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by Isaac Thorn 02.10.2009
Posted In: baseball at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Random Ramblings

Another week of sports stories has washed ashore with some (like something or other about Alex Rodriguez but not the Kabbalah) sure to ring through our ears and eyes, ad nauseum like the Brett Favre Retirement Spectacle of last year.

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by Armond Prude 04.30.2010
at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Celtics vs. Cavaliers: The Sequel

The NBA Finals might be weeks away, but a rematch of last year’s NBA semifinals matches familiar faces. Here are four things to ponder during the Celtics-Cavs series before — presumably — one team continues its advancement to the Finals.

Celtics vs. LeBron James
The most current concern in the city of Cleveland is if the elbow of reigning MVP LeBron James will be ready to go on Saturday night for Game 1. His elbow was tweaked as he came down on it after contesting the layup of Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. Thus far, LeBron says that he will be ready to go Saturday and is for the most part 100 percent. LeBron has had great person success this season and in the past against the Celtics. In four regular-season games this year, he averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds. This may be James' year to win it all as he is not only coming off one of his better statistical regular seasons, but has the players around him to take on anything the rest of the NBA decides to bring his way.

Cleveland’s new starting lineup and depth off the bench
The 2010 Cavaliers have been completely upgraded from the 2008 team that was defeated in the Eastern Conference Championship by the Celtics. Not only does the starting lineup come with a completely new look, but the firepower that the Cavs produce off the bench is what makes this year’s team heavily favored to make a championship appearance. The starting lineup now features Moe Williams, Anthony Parker, Antwan Jamison and Shaquille O'neal. One of the most productive benches in basketball includes Delonte West, Jamario Moon, Anderson Verejao and Zydrunas Illgauskas. The Cavs are twice improved over the 2008 team that the Celtics faced, while their depth off the bench gives them the firepower to play with any team they will face along the playoffs.

Cleveland holds home-court advantage as the No. 1 seed
This time two years ago when the two teams played, the Celtics had boasted the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference along with the claim to home-court advantage. 2010 is a different year as the Cavs hold home-court advantage throughout the entire playoffs. I’m sure the Cavs are more than happy to begin the Series in the "Q" rather than in the Celts "TD Gardens." This is one of the series’ more significant factors as the Cavaliers hold one of the NBA's best home records in the last two years.

Lack of production from Celtics bench
For what seems like the entire year, the Celtics have received no serious production from their bench players. To make matters worse, newly acquired Michael Finley and Nate Robinson have done nothing with the few minutes they've played this season. Proven veteran Rasheed Wallace, who was acquired with a large paycheck this summer, has struggled throughout the year to find his fit with the rest of the team. The "Big 3" (Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) are going to need a helping hand from their teammates if they don't plan on watching the rest of the playoffs from their couch throughout May and June.

Prediction: Cavs win 4 games to 1


 
 
by Jason Gargano 11.23.2010
at 06:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Reds Future Looks Sweet

Joey Votto won the NL MVP yesterday by getting 31 of the 32 first-place votes, a dominating total that left little doubt about the 27-year-old first baseman's rapidly ascendant reputation. It's no coincidence that Votto's move into the MLB elite coincided with the team's first playoff appearance in 15 years (and just their second playoff appearance since 1979), which was also the last time a Reds player, Barry Larkin, won the MVP. What wasn't expected was the gusher of praise about the Reds future from MLB Network's panel of Hot Stove analysts.

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by Danny Cross 10.08.2008
Posted In: baseball at 02:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Bring On the MLB Tournament

Last week I was sitting in a smokey Portland bar, chatting nonchalantly with friends about current events when I looked up at a TV screen and saw that the Dodgers were beating the Cubs for the second straight night. The Cubs led the National League in wins this year and were on the brink of falling behind two games to none in a best-of-five series.

"That ain't good," I thought to myself. "Them daggone Cubbies gonna lose already."

Then a girl my friend dates showed up and made a weird hand gesture, which prompted my friend to lay down on the dirty floor for about two seconds. I still don't know what that was about, but it only temporarily distracted me from the unfortunate reality of baseball's Divisional Series. I thought that if MLB is going to start drawing brackets and letting mediocre teams into the playoffs, then it may as well be the NCAA tournament, and the Dodgers can be Butler.

Six PBR pints later (seriously, it wasn't a good night) I had forgotten all about the Cubs or the 84-win team that was probably going to reach the NLCS. There was pool to be played and spicy hot dogs to eat and heartburn to deal with. But then I returned home a few days later and read my favorite alt-weekly sports columinst Bill Peterson, who said this about the situation: "Exactly 40 years ago, in 1968, the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers embarked on the last World Series between the regular season champions from the National and American leagues. MLB was set to divide its leagues and embark on playoffs the next year. Purists objected that excellence would be punished. The purists were right. Back then, you didn’t get to the World Series without a club that proved it through time. Now a club can go to the World Series if it’s just a little better than average."

I nodded my head to Peterson's words. "Yeah, man. The wild card is such a gimmick and I hate when they have cheerleaders on the dugouts too."

But then Peterson made a really good point about today's playoff format actually giving small market teams a chance to win the whole thing: "With expanded playoffs, it doesn't matter if the Yankees pay $200 million for players because during the week that counts the $200 million club might not be as good as the $80 million club down the street. The expanded playoffs are a lifeline for clubs like the Reds, who will never be able to afford the most expensive talent. If they can just cobble together enough victories to reach the playoffs, they're in the lottery."

So, back when the league offered a relative degree of competitive balance (before those God damn labor unions started greedy ass free agency), the regular season determined who the most deserving teams were. But now the free market has determined that the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies and Angels are the best teams, we need a new playoff format.

If this is the only way to make the league fair again, then the playoffs should be expanded even further. Let 16 teams in and spend a month playing four rounds of seven-game series. Then crappy teams like the Reds can make the playoffs once in a while and maybe even win a series. It would only be mildly more risky for the teams that actually deserve to be here, and it would be really exciting for the baseball fans that never get to see their teams in the playoffs. Even if they have to go in as a No. 10 seed, it would still be worth watching.

 
 
by Jason Gargano 11.08.2010
at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Jocketty, Reds Get Props in Sporting News

I flipped through the latest issue of The Sporting News during a stop at Fountain News (far and away the best source for magazines and newspapers downtown) yesterday. A few locally related mentions caught my eye:

1. Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty was named SN’s 2010 MLB Executive of the Year by a group of 24 peers. Jocketty tells SN that the biggest challenge was to instill a “culture of winning” into a franchise that hadn’t delivered a winning season in a decade.

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by Staff 04.01.2016 31 days ago
Posted In: baseball at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Opening Day Parties and Pre-Games

Get yo' pre-party on before the Reds take on the Phillies at 4:10 p.m. April 4

Opening Day might not be an official local holiday, but we take our season opener pretty damn seriously in Cincinnati, so be prepared to wrap up work early on Monday and head downtown ASAP. The celebration begins promptly at noon on Monday with the 97th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade.

Findlay Market Opening Day Parade — The 97th Opening Day Parade celebrates the first day of the Cincinnati Reds season. Grand Marshal Lou Piniella, manager of the Reds’ 1990 World Championship team, leads the festivities. Participants from more than 200 businesses and groups will make their way from the market down Race Street and east onto Fifth, walking, marching, biking, driving and operating floats all the way to Taft Theatre. Noon. Leaves from Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarketparade.com.

Opening Day Autograph Extravaganza at Arnold's —
Arnold's celebrates Opening Day with breakfast starting at 9 a.m., followed by a visit from Circus Mojo and Jeremy Dubin of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, who will be performing Casey at the Bat, and give away autographed Reds memorabilia. Music by Todd Hepburn. Bar opens at 9 a.m. Arnold's Bar & Grill, 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.

Opening Day at Igby's — Features a full day of swag and giveaways — including a pair of Opening Day tickets — plus Tito's samplings, a ballpark menu (brats, burgers and more) and DJs from noon-4 p.m. Bar opens at noon. Igby's, 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown, facebook.com/Igbys.


Opening Day Kegs 'n' Eggs at Rhinegeist — Cold beers and hot breakfast starting at 10 a.m. Come play corn hole or ping pong, before catching the game on their big screen projector (they'll also be selling six-packs of Hustle for carry-out for those watching the game elsewhere). Craft Connection Brewery Tours will be providing a shuttle from the tap room to Great American Ball Park every 30 minutes from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Brewery opens at 10 a.m. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/rhinegeist.

Opening Day at The Lackman — The parade passes one block away from The Lackman. Celebrate with beer-themed brew: Rhinegeist's Hustle Rye Pale Ale and MadTree's Rounding Third American IPA. Happy hour after the game from 4-8 p.m. Bar opens at noon. The Lackman, 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, lackmanbar.com.

Opening Day at Lachey's — 
Sports! Cheer on the Reds with a live DJ from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., $10 Marge Schott Boilermakers, $4 Rhinegeist Hustle cans, $4 MadTree Rounding Third on Draft and live game play on all of the bar's HDTVs. Bar opens at 11 a.m. Lachey's Bar, 56 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, lacheys.com.

Opening Day at Knockback Nat's — Doors open early to celebrate the Reds. Party features $1 hot dogs, $1 Jell-o shots and door prizes. Bar opens at 10 a.m. Knockback Nat's, 10 W. Seventh St., Downtown, 513-621-1000.

Opening Day at Moerlein Lager House The Moerlein Lager House hosts a live broadcast of the Bob & Tom Show from 6-10 a.m.; a breakfast buffet for $15.99 will be offered during the broadcast in the Beer Garden. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Greg Vaughn, outfielder for the Reds' 1999 team, will meet fans in a tent on the Event Lawn, where there will also be a live DJ and drinks. Opens at 6 a.m. Free admission. Moerlein Lager House, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, facebook.com/moerleinlagerhouse.

Opening Day at O'Malley's in the Alley —
Opens early for Opening Day. Check Facebook for specials. Doors open 10 a.m. O'Malley's in the Alley, 25 Ogden Place, Downtown, 
facebook.com/OMalleysInTheAlley1.

Opening Day at Neons — Jim Beam co-hosts Opening Day festivities at Neons, where they'll be giving away two tickets to the game to the biggest Reds fan; come dressed in all your Reds swag and gear and the crowd will vote on the best outfit at 3 p.m. The bar will also roll out a 12-foot projector to screen old World Series games until the first pitch at 4:10 p.m., when they'll start screening the game live. Melt Eclectic Cafe will be behind the grill, serving hot dogs, snacks and other ballpark-style grub. Bar opens at noon. The Famous Neons Unplugged, 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/neonsunplugged.

Opening Day at Washington Park — A free fun-filled day in the park with family-friendly festivities including games, live music, good food and cold brews, including drafts from Moerlein, MadTree and Rhinegeist. The Opening Day parade passes right by the park. City Flea will also be hosting a little pop-up Mini Market during the festivities! 11 a.m. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

Rally on the Square — Fountain Square is one of the best spots to watch, offering both a great view and a beer-centric (and philanthropic) after party. The 14th-annual Rally on the Square is community service group Give Back Cincinnati’s biggest fundraiser of the year; members will pour concoctions from MadTree Brewing all afternoon, so drink up for a good cause. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

Reds Community Fund Block Party — The fifth-annual Reds Community Fund giant block party takes over Joe Nuxhall and Freedom ways at the Banks prior to the Opening Day game. Includes live music, beer trucks, pizza, Queen City sausage and more. Benefits the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Banks, Downtown, facebook.com/redscommunityfund.


Season Opener '16 at Taft's Ale House — Celebrate Opening Day and Taft's Ale House's first birthday! The first 100 guests receive a free T-shirt, plus old-time photos and baseball cards. The brewpub is also releasing two limited-edition beers: Old Wooden Tooth bourbon-barrel aged Russian imperial stout and Second Base American-style lager. Bar opens at 8:30 a.m. Taft's Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/taftsalehouse.


 
 

 

 

 
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