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MO' Favorite Links
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My favorite site. Not for those easily offended.
This is a great NBA blog. The NBA (National Basketball Association) is a professional men's basketball league, consisting of 29 American teams, and one Canadian team. It was founded in 1946. Cincinnati used to have a team. I wish it did now.
Better Off Red
Jamie Ramsey is the Assistant Media Relations Director of the Reds. He takes you behind the scenes of a Major League team. And he writes funny captions for his photos.
Plenty of scenery and funny stuff on Big Smudge. I'll be honest, these guys told me they were fans of my show, and even if they didn't mean it, that gets them linked.
Bugs and Cranks
If it's about baseball, these guys usually have something to say about it. And it's usually funny.
Booze, Ladies, and Football.
Calling It Like It Is
A guy from Cincinnati, who uh, well he calls it like it is.
Chris Sabo's Goggles
A Reds fan stuck in Chicago does a blog. He says the purpose of the blog is to inform people of the Reds without the geeky stuff, like facts for example. My kind of guy.
You're probably thinking this website is about me. Actually, it's not.
Local college basketball blog by two guys...one a UC fan, the other an XU fan.
The Godfather of sports blogs.
My favorite baseball blog. I thought I loved the game, then I read these guys.
Stuff guys like. At least stuff normal guys like.
Hugging Harold Reynolds
Very funny sports blog with one of my favorite names.
John Clay's Sidelines
John is an outstanding writer who covers everything and anything UK-related.
Larry Brown Sports
The other Larry Brown, not the guy who's coached half the teams in the NBA.
Look At Me Shirts
Be the guy in the ironic shirt. Take credit for someone else's joke.
Mo Egger's Blog
Did you really think my blog wouldn't be on a list of "favorites?"
Do you like mind-numbing statistical analysis of the Reds? Do you treat every game like the fate of the world rests on it? This site is probably not for you.
Most negative man in America. And I usually agree with him.
Pro Football Talk
Not daily, but almost hourly reading for NFL fans.
Everything and anything Reds...and more, by Reds fans.
Rush The Court
The Ubiquitous college basketblog.
A little UK, a little Louisville. A lot of funny.
Anything and everything hoops.
A Cincinnati guy based in Vegas. What I'd write if I could write.
Because some things can't be taught.
I admit, I'm a geek.
Who Dey Revolution
No site better captures the frustration of being a Bengals fan better than this one. Fan empowerment at its best.
We have a season to embrace, a glorious sport to wax poetic over, and the pageantry of Opening Day to celebrate, but first I have a show to plug....
Our show runs from noon until 3:00 today from Gameworks in Newport. The list of prizes we have is quite impressive, with giveaways from Riverbend, Hometown Sports and Collectibles, Keeneland, and more.
We have a Kegs and Eggs breakfast that starts at 9am and beer specials that run all day.
We have a speed-pitch, which almost guarantees that you'll see dudes destroying their rotator cuffs trying to impress people.
And we have Dallas Latos.
We also have other guests. Joel Luckhaupt who knows more about stats than I will ever care to, will be with me at 12:30, Doc Rodgers gives us a former front office exec's point of view at 1:04, and Chris Sexton, who's wife runs one hell of a fish fry, gives us a former player's perspective at 2:04.
Did I mention we have Dallas Latos?
She starts off the show at noon. The doors open at 9am. There's no cover and there's nowhere better to park than Newport on the Levee.
We'll get to the season and my attempts to wax poetic about baseball in a minute, but one quick thing on the Joey Votto deal....
Bob Castellini is a rich person. He did not get to be rich by cashing in winning Mega Millions tickets and he didn't stumble into his wealth like some genetic lottery winner either. He has accumulated a massive amount of money by being smart, by investing well, and by making sound, thought-out, business decisions.
I bring this up because as we sort through the pros and cons of Votto's new contract, one major questions keeps popping up....
How are the Reds going to pay for this?
It's a fair and legit question, and it's not one that either you or I know the answer to. I don't think Bob Castellini necessarily knows the answer to it, but I don't think that smart, successful businessmen like him throw around money like PacMan Jones at a strip club. They do their homework, they assess the risks, and they make decisions based on their likelihood of getting a solid return on their investment.
I'm guessing that the Castellinis have taken a strong look at how the business of baseball and the Reds will evolve over the next decade. I'm guessing they've looked into new potential revenue streams, and new partnerships. I'm guessing there's a plan to pay for this, one that might not be foolproof and one that could blow up in Castellini's face, but I can't imagine that a wealthy guy who's spent a lifetime making sound business decisions hasn't put a lot of thought into his latest big move.
While questions linger about the long-term ramifications of the Joey deal, we do have a season that begins today, in case you hadn't noticed.
At some point today you'll read some poetic, eloquent reflection on Opening Day in Cincinnati and what the newness of a baseball season means. Whatever is said in that piece, pretend you read it here because I feel the exact same way.
More than anything though, beyond the pomp and circumstance of today and even beyond the high expectations for the season, I'm just excited to sit in the ballpark today with a cold one and watch a baseball game.
There's nothing better.
Let's get to some predictions for 2012....
*Jay Bruce will lead the National League in home runs. Stat nerds will point out that his 32 home runs last season, a career high, were largely achieved because he also had a career high of 589 at-bats. Jay's homer rate in 2011, one for 18.3 ABs, fell in line with his homer rate for his career, which is 18.5
That's fair, but in both 2010 and 2011, Jay went through prolonged slumps. He went a month and a half without going deep in 2010 and he went yard just once during a six week span last year and had another month long drought later in the season.
I say Jay finds his long ball stroke a little more consistently this season and with Pujols and Fielder now in the other league, and with Ryan Howard hobbling, their aren't as many sluggers in the way.
*Tony LaRussa's transgressions will be forgiven. Dusty Baker could win 129 games this season and successfully negotiate a peace treaty between Major League Baseball and Pete Rose and most fans still won't give the guy a fair shake. This is a win-or-else season for Dusty and it's a season where his decisions will be debated and scrutinized more than ever. His first spring training lineup nearly broke Twitter.
Which brings us to Tony.
He's not managing right now. (How weird was it watching the Cardinals last night without him in the dugout?) He has ties to the Reds GM and owner. And like most of his time in Oakland and St. Louis, the Reds have a transcendent superstar to build around. Would he come here? No idea? Should this be something we're even discussing? Not really. But we will. Tony replacing Dusty will be brought up every time this team loses back to back games. It might be brought up if they lose today.
*Banana Phone callers will constantly refer to "Ryan Madison." Not as much as if Ryan Madson had been healthy this season, but you'll hear it during Reds Rain Delays nonetheless.
*Zack Cozart will be the new fan favorite. When he's bad, he won't be as frustratingly bad as guys like Drew Stubbs. When he's good, he'll give this team a dimension they've long been lacking. Plus, the people (like me) constantly looking for a new favorite player will want to stand out from the hordes of Votto/Bruce/Phillips frontrunners by picking a good, young player with staying power.
*Dallas Latos' husband will be very, very good. His ERA will go up because he's not pitching at PETCO Park, but his road numbers last year (3.68 ERA and only eight homers allowed) suggest that the impact of moving from such a pitcher-friendly park will be minimal. The Reds presumably score runs for him, he'll accumulate 200 Ks, and he'll adjust to tossing at GABP. I say he leads the staff in wins.
*We will finally put an end to an annoying meme that stopped being funny a while ago. Look, I don't like Chris Carpenter. I hope he leads the league in losses and cries after every defeat, but "How will Chris Carpenter explain this to his son" is more tired than wondering when UK's national title will be vacated.
*The Reds will go 86-76. They're better, but I don't know that they're 90-win better. The back of the rotation doesn't yet do it for me. Neither of the left fielders do it for me. The third base situation is shaky. Two rookies have featured roles. And the added wild card team in each league could make adding a component at the deadline trickier than ever.
The good news is that NL is forgiving. The Phillies, Cardinals, Brewers, and Giants all face massive questions. The Nationals still look like a team that's a year away. The Braves have to overcome the hangover of last year's collapse. The Marlins are viable but their rotation will be inconsistent. The Dodgers have too many bad players. And the Cubs have too many weird people rooting for them.
86 wins gets the Reds in the playoffs in a down year for the National League. The one-game playoff will be against the Fish in Miami, bringing the season full-circle as the Reds square off against the same team they play today.
Plenty more predictions on ESPN1530 today starting at 12:04. See you at Gameworks.