They get it
Email from a member of the Reds organization:
I was in Louisville last night for the Caravan stop at Slugger Field.
The group w/ Jay Bruce, Corky Miller, Ryan LeMarre, Walt Jocketty and Bob & Phil Castellini signed autographs for upwards of 700 fans. The event was scheduled from 6-9pm, but they stayed until almost 9:30 to make sure everyone went home with an autograph. As we're leaving, we overheard a young fan (maybe eight or nine years old) turn to his dad and say, "Waiting six hours to get Jay Bruce's autograph was totally worth it, right Dad?". I told Jay about that he just smiled and said, "Dude...I'm not that big of a deal...but that's what the Caravan is all about."
The Bengals today signed free agent LB Aaron Maybin, a fifth-year NFL player, to a Reserve/Future contract. He will count on the team’s Active List beginning Feb. 4, the Monday after the Super Bowl.
Maybin (6-4, 240; Penn State) has 47 career NFL games, split between Buffalo and the N.Y. Jets. He played in eight games for the Jets in 2012, ranking fifth on the team in QB hits (nine) and logging four tackles. He was released by the Jets on Nov. 13 of last season. He was a first-round Buffalo draft choice (11th overall) in 2009. He played two seasons for the Bills and was signed by the Jets as a free agent during 2011 training camp. In 2011, he led the Jets in sacks (6.0) and forced fumbles (four).
What they are saying about Maybin:
NFL.com: Emboldened by Maybin's seemingly found promise, Rex Ryan predicted during training camp that Maybin would have a much bigger role on the Jets' defense this season. Instead, he had one tackle in eight games before he was quietly released on Nov. 13.
ESPN Maybin has been a first-round bust who has not lived up to the expectations of being the 11th overall pick by the Bills in 2009. In 48 games, he has totaled 36 tackles, six sacks and five forced fumbles.
Who will go after Revis?
Cincinnati Bengals: This is probably a long shot, but the Bengals do have an extra second round pick. But would Revis consider signing long-term?
Larkin excited to managing Brazil in classic
Barry Larkin is in Brazil getting ready for his team's debut in the round of 16 of the World Baseball Classic, which opens in Fukuoka, Japan, on March 2.
The Brazilians are scheduled to play that day against two-time defending champion Japan, part of a highly talented grouping that also includes Cuba and China. Larkin said he’s enjoying his first foray as a manager.
"I've told the players that it really doesn't matter who we play or where we play, but how we play," said Larkin, the former Reds shortstop who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.
Did you miss him?
Former UC football coach Rick Minter joined me last night. He discussed his new job on the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles. He also had some interesting comments on the state of UC football and Tommy Tuberville. Listen here. Interview starts at 15-minute mark of podcast:
6:05, Sports Talk
Reds/All Star game: Can't have it without Pete Rose involved, right?
Face of the Franchise: MLB Network says Joey Votto is the face of the Reds franchise. Agree?
Billy Hamilton: Can you wait on him?
All-Star game and Pete Rose
Let's talk about that elephant in the corner of the room. This has been a great week for the Reds, their fans and the city. The All-Star game is coming to town in 2015. I've waited a couple of days do bring this up, so as to not change the feel-good narrative of what the game means to the city. However, there is a significant issue attached to this story: Pete Rose. It's time for MLB to reinstate Rose, as part of a celebration of the All-Star game returning to the home of the first professional baseball team?
You simply can't have the All-Star game shine a spotlight on Cincinnati and the Reds and not have the week include Rose. He played in 17 All-Star games. He was involved in perhaps the most memorable moment (1970) in the history of the game. He is the face of the franchise's history. This franchise, city and fan base has been through a lot: Rose's ban, Marge Schott, nine straight losing seasons, no playoffs from 1996 to 2009. But now, the franchise is on solid ground, poised to be a yearly factor on the playoff scene. There is a pride associated with the franchise that fans haven't felt for years. The fans, city and franchise deserve to have a missing piece returned to them. For nearly 24 years the Reds have followed and respected the wishes of MLB and Bud Selig. They have chosen not to go toe to toe with Selig, over Rose issues. The Reds sat back and accepted not being able to retire Rose's number 14. They have remained silent about not being able to induct him into their own Hall of Fame. They did not push the envelope for Rose to simply be able to speak at GABP, on the anniversary of record breaking hit 4,192. The Reds have earned a lot of credit within MLB, from the Civil Rights Games to the Urban Youth Academy to making the playoffs 2 of last 3 years as a "small" market team. Selig clearly recognizes and appreciates their efforts. He understands the history of the franchise. Now is the time for him to reconnect that history and return Rose to the Reds, the fans and city.
Get reinstatement out of the way. To wait til 2015 and the All-Star game, is to turn the spotlight on Rose, more than the game itself.
All-Star week will include dinners, Q/A sessions, clinics, and endless festivities. Rose should be a part of those activities, selling the event, selling the game, like nobody else can.
The biggest hope in all of this happening is that Bud Selig plans to retire after 2014.
It would be a clean break and lead to a fresh start in the relationship between Rose and MLB. Selig would have upheld the decision of friend, and former commissioner Bart Giamatti to ban Rose. What a first step for the new commissioner. I can see that individual holding a press conference and simply saying, "it's time...Pete, welcome back to this great game."
Will Rose get into the Hall of Fame? I don't know. I'd guess no. But actually put Rose on the ballot for the first time and let the writers decide. Either way, it's time, time to lift the ban. It's been 23 years, 5 months and 1 day since Rose was banned, August 24, 1989. That's 8,555 days. Rose is now 71 years old. He cost himself dearly, with his own actions. He stated, last week on his reality show, he's probably cost himself $60-million with his actions. He paid a huge price. To some, he's became a joke and caricature of himself. To others, he's become a sympathetic figure. Still, others won't be happy til they extract a pound of flesh from Rose. Nobody disputes what Rose did was wrong. He's been punished. He has served a nearly 24 year sentence. It's time for that sentence to be commuted. Do it for the Reds, the fans and the city. Rose being back in baseball does more good for the game than harm.
Reds: Billy, Billy, Billy
Patience Reds fans, Hamilton worth the wait
John Erardi, Enquirer
Everyone wants to see Hamilton in the bigs, but nobody is yet clamoring for it . . . Why? Because there’s a pennant to win first.
A better formula could not be written for a highly regarded prospect in need of some seasoning. Fans and rookies and media are all in need of protection from ourselves. It is up to general managers to provide it.
Even the Big Man needs protection.
‘‘Our owner wants him up here, too,’’ says Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, smiling.
Did you miss it?
The Reds Caravan was in-studio with Scott Sloan this morning. He was joined by Brandon Phillips, Marty Brennaman, Joe Morgan, Chris Welsh, Todd Benzinger, Tucker Barnhart and Gapper. It was fantastic back and forth between Brandon, Marty and Joe.
Click here for photos of their visit
Baseball TV deals growing more lucrative
“Teams that signed their contracts three years ago or four years ago, or teams that sign their contracts in another couple of years are not going to benefit from this bubble. This is true whether they are in large markets or small markets.”
Major-league TV contracts
Ranked by expected revenue per year:
• Dodgers: $250 million*
• Angels: $147 million
• Yankees: $90 million
• Astros: $80 million
• Rangers: $80 million
• Mets: $65 million
• Red Sox: $60 million
• Cubs: $50 million
• Padres: $50 million
• Tigers: $50 million
• White Sox: $45.5 million
• Mariners: $45 million
• Indians: $40 million
• Blue Jays: $36 million
• Phillies: $35 million
• Diamondbacks: $31 million
• Reds: $30 million
UC sees increase in basketball attendance
Bill Koch, Enquirer
A 180 percent increase in student attendance has lifted overall attendance at University of Cincinnati men’s basketball games by 26.7 percent over last year.
The Bearcats have averaged 8,056 fans through their first 12 home games compared with 6,358 through the same number of games in 2011-12. UC’s home attendance ranks seventh in the Big East Conference behind Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Georgetown.
Shot of the night