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by Mike Breen 05.10.2012
Posted In: baseball at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Hang with Pete Rose at a Casino

The Cincinnati Reds' star/Hit King to appear at Belterra next weekend

No matter how many times Pete Rose makes an appearance at a casino, it still just screams, "INAPPROPRIATE!" in light of his place in baseball history (the bad stuff, not the greatness). Guess a guy's gotta make a living somehow. Next weekend you can once again hang with the Hit King and play the slots when he makes an appearance at Belterra Casino in Indiana. He'll appear in the casino/resort's "CenterStage Showroom" (now THAT's appropriate). The event is being billed as "An Evening with Pete Rose: 4,192, The Making of the Hit King."

Here's what you can look forward to, per the press release:
Baseball enthusiasts will witness Belterra’s CenterStage transform into a ballpark atmosphere for a 90 minute interactive celebration of Pete Rose and the great game of baseball.

The one night only event will give fans an inside look at what it was like be on the ride as Rose reached key milestones and earned his place among baseball greats. Unique video and photo highlights serve as the backdrop for Rose as he shares personal stories from his playing career and fields questions from the event host.

Join Pete Rose as he recounts the greatest moments in his legendary career from his glory days with the Big Red Machine and playing in the World Series to his 44 game hitting streak and the epic collision in the 1970 All-Star game.  Rose will recount his feelings as he chased the 3,000 and 4,000 hit plateau and the emotion he felt when he reached the pinnacle of his career, hit number 4,192.

Tickets are available here or here and cost $30.

 
 
by Brian Dill 05.01.2012
Posted In: baseball at 01:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Reds On the Upswing

Clubs sits in second place at 11-11 after slow start

Maybe what Joey Votto said after the Reds' latest victory rings true: “I think a losing record early in the year can be a good thing."

The Reds have reeled off three straight series wins and a fourth is not out of the question as the last-place Cubs come to the Queen City. Votto ended a homerless streak in game three versus the Astros and drove in four runs as the Reds came from behind to clinch a 6-5 win. The Reds have won seven of their last 10 games and face three division foes in their next three series’.

After the Cubs, the Reds travel to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, the two teams nipping at the Redlegs (pun absolutely intended). Series victories can put some distance between the Reds and their division rivals and with some outside help could even see the Reds jump over the Cardinals for first. Jay Bruce has been paramount in the Reds' recent run, as he has hit a home run in four straight games and leads the Reds in nearly every offensive category.

The hot bat of Bruce along with continued solid performances from Votto, Zack Cozart and a recently more effective Drew Stubbs are a must. Now the tail end of the Reds' starting rotation has to bust out of their slump — Homer Bailey and Mike Leake have a combined record of 1-5. The two can start a positive trend against an inept Cubs offense sans shortstop Starlin Castro (.333).


Look for the Reds to win six out of their next nine and keep in touch with St. Louis before a huge series with a surprisingly good Washington team.
 
 
by Brian Dill 04.19.2012
Posted In: baseball at 09:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Reds Slip in Rankings

Team sits in second place despite anemic offense

With all the talent the Reds have on their roster the bats just aren’t blazing like we all suspected they would. The Reds rank 27th or lower in four major offensive categories, including runs scored — a woeful 31 runs in 10 games. Luckily for the Reds, outside their current opponent — St. Louis — nobody in the division can win games, either. The Reds sit in second place along with Houston and Milwaukee. The one thing Dusty’s boys can’t afford is to continue with the Drew Stubbs special — swinging and missing. If the Cardinals sweep the Reds — which is looking probable — then they would be six games back, not insurmountable but far from ideal.

A healthy Brandon Phillips will go a long way in getting putting runs on the board. Wilson Valdez and Willie Harris did a commendable job in their time replacing Phillips, but any extended absence from Phillips results in a significant drop in offensive production. In addition to Phillips recovering from a hamstring injury, much of the starting lineup will have to overcome a plague-like slump. Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick, Devin Mesoraco, Ryan Hanigan, Drew Stubbs and Scott Rolen are all hitting .205 or worse. Production from the cleanup spot is hurting badly; Rolen has no dingers and only two extra-base hits. Joey Votto and Zack Cozart — the only to hitting worth a damn — need production behind them if the reds are going to reverse their current run scoring trend.


The Reds have Bronson Arroyo taking the hill tonight against the only St. Louis starter without a win this year, Adam Wainwright (0-2.) Wainwright enters the game with an 11.42 era, if the Reds can’t stop their anemic offensive output against Wainwright it may be a long next couple of weeks.

 
 
by Danny Cross 04.17.2012
Posted In: baseball at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Canseco: ‘Global Warming Could’ve Saved Titanic’

Former ballplayer says no icebergs = no shipwreck

When Jose Canseco last month offered his sincere concern over the world’s energy consumption and various global warming issues that have resulted, we at CityBeat were quick to report such thoughtful commentary. In a story titled “Ranking Jose Canseco’s Global Warming Tweets” we provided some background on the former Major League Baseball player/steroid user/author and recapped his series of hilarious tweets.

Most of us believed that our immense enjoyment of Canseco’s socio-political commentary would be short-lived — after following him on Twitter for a few days we were offered only recaps of him winning long drive competitions and pleading with Major League clubs to sign him even though he’s 47.

Then on Sunday something awesome happened. Apparently inspired by the recent release of Titanic 3D, Canseco in fewer than 144 characters again blew everyone’s minds: “Titanic 100 years wOw. Global warming couldve saved titanic. Sad to say.”

Canseco was prompted by skeptics to elaborate: “Because we don't recycle and consume like crazy icicles are non existent. Titanic wouldve still existed today," he wrote.

He then showed frustration with the people who didn’t understand the irony he was describing: “You clowns it's very simple. With global warning the weather is hotter so the icebergs would be melted and titanic saved.”

Skeptics satisfied, Canseco went back to blasting our wasteful lifestyles: “100 years ago people actually cared about planet and respected nature. Now we can care less and consume energy like it's free.”

And then, for good measure, he offered a couple slices of personality that prove follow Jose Canseco on Twitter will continue to be a worthwhile endeavor, political activism or not: “Titanic reminds me of the days I had two yachts in Miami but no icicles" and “I had a bat I named Titanic .It was biggest rawlings ever made and beautiful and unbreakable dont know where Titanic is now.”

It’s good to know that influential people like Jose Canseco are taking on such causes, even after learning that Al Gore is not dead. Hug 4 u, Jose.

 
 
by Danny Cross 04.11.2012
Posted In: Basketball, football at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Helicopter Is Back!

Former UC basketball player Eric Hicks to suit up for Cincinnati Commandos

Anyone who misses the days of Eric “The Helicopter” Hicks jamming on people’s heads for the University of Cincinnati basketball team will have a chance to see Hicks suit up for another local team later this month, but this time he’ll be playing football.

Hicks signed a one-day contract to play in the Cincinnati Commandos game against the Marion Blue Racers on April 28. He’ll be in town practicing with the United Indoor Football League team during the next couple of weeks. He calls it his “OchoCinco moment.”

Although he never played in the NBA, Hicks has been a professional basketball player since leaving UC after his senior season in 2006. Hicks has been a very good player in several European leagues, having played on championship and All-Star teams in such countries as Belgium, Poland, Russia, Israel, China and Spain.

Several notable NFL players had college basketball experience, including tight ends Antonio Gates, Jimmie Graham and Rob Gronkowski. Hicks, who is 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, hasn’t played football since his sophomore year of high school in North Carolina. Although he doesn’t expect to end up in the NFL any time soon, Commandos coach Billy Back says his size and athleticism could be real advantages in this league.

“He’s an all-time fan favorite Bearcat and one of my favorites as well,” Back said. “He’s an athlete, and we can use his height to our advantage.”

Hicks plans to return to Europe soon to resume his basketball career, but said in a release that he’s excited about playing for the Commandos.

In addition to the April 28 game in which Hicks will play, the Commandos have home games at the Cincinnati Gardens May 12, May 26 and June 2. Tickets are $10-$22 and available through Ticket Master or the Cincinnati Gardens ticket office, 513-631-7793 or 2250 Seymour Ave. Find the team's website here.

Here’s a video showing a bunch of cool stuff Hicks did as a Bearcat.

 
 
by Brian Dill 04.04.2012
Posted In: baseball at 09:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Opening Day on the Horizon: A Reds Preview

With Opening Day fast approaching, you now have 225 million reasons to go watch the Reds this year. Bob Castellini opened up the checkbook and Walt Jocketty busted out his best persuasive vocabulary and Joey Votto accepted; to the tune of a 10-year, $225 million contract extension — the fourth largest in major league history.

Reds ownership — unlike our dear friend, Mike Brown — has embraced the recent successes of their young nucleus of talented players and has spared no expense to keep the "Little Big Red Machine" well-oiled. Votto joins fellow all-star Jay Bruce, who signed a six-year, $51 million deal after the 2010 season. It’s nice to see a professional sports owner in Cincinnati who actually loves the sport and is in it for the right reasons.

The Reds will have plenty of offensive talent this year, something that really has not been a problem over the past couple of seasons. Any lingering doubt has to relate to the recent injuries that have plagued the bullpen. Ryan Madson is out for the year after Tommy John surgery while Nick Masset will start the season on the DL with shoulder cuff inflammation. This means that Aroldis Chapman will start in the bullpen even though most Reds fans — and manager, Dusty Baker — know his services would be better used as a starter. Sean Marshall will step in to the closer role until the Reds have more depth in the bullpen; he isn’t a bad option and has consistently kept a low ERA in a relief role.

One thing hasn’t changed, the Reds still play in Great American Ballpark and they have an abundance of young, strong bats in the lineup. Between Votto, Bruce, Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey, expect the Reds to be amongst the league-leaders in home runs. Drew Stubbs will hit some too, but if he could take a little constructive criticism to heart: Please, learn to bunt. This will be a key in the Reds venture for success this year.

If Stubbs can get on base, he is going to steal — there are very few players in the majors that have his kind of speed. If the bats behind Stubbs perform up to expectations, the Reds will score more than enough runs to support the pitching staff. And the single most important key to success this year is battling through injuries; if the young guys can step in and compete there is no reason the Reds won’t win the division — after all, we do have the best first baseman, if not player, in the National League.

The Reds will open their season against the Miami Marlins at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday following the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. For more celebration of Opening Day, check out C. Trent Rosecrans' column from this week's CityBeat here.

 
 
by Danny Cross 03.29.2012
Posted In: baseball at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Ranking Jose Canseco’s Global Warming Tweets

Former MLB meathead goes ROFL on Twitter

Former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco doesn’t have the best image. After breaking into the majors as a super fast, freaky power hitter with the Oakland A’s and winning a World Series with his fellow Bash Brother/performance-enhancing-drug-user Mark McGwire, Canseco’s career and reputation were marred by injuries and a series of embarrassing moments on and off the field.

In 1992, Canseco was traded to another team while he was in the on-deck circle waiting to bat. In 1993, a fly ball bounced off his head and over the fence for a home run — This Week In Baseball in 1998 named the incident the greatest blooper of the show’s first 20-plus years. Canseco then asked his manager to pitch in a game even though he was an outfielder, which resulted in an elbow injury that required surgery.

During the PED witch hunt of the early 2000s, Canseco apparently took exception to MLB’s — and the media’s — obsession with how huge Barry Bonds’ body and head had gotten and released a tell-all book called Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, in which he claimed that the majority of MLB players were on steroids.

Since then, Canseco has generally been seen as a doofus who does silly things to maintain his celebrity and make relatively small amounts of money, such as participating in reality shows, claiming Madonna liked him more than he liked her and training for a mixed martial arts fight and then losing in 77 seconds.

Canseco in the past few days has apparently attempted to rectify all his wrongs with a series of tweets aimed at schooling all the “morons” who don’t believe in global warming. It reads as a passionate, if grammatically flawed, cry for reason in the wake of the mass consumption and laziness that has led to the death of thousands of polar bears and, apparently, Al Gore.

The following is a collection of the tweets, which have made quite an impression on the Twitter community, ranked in order of hilariousness.

Be the first to receive future advice on world-changing lifestyle tips from Jose Canseco by following him @JoseCanseco.

8. The tweet that got it all started — Canseco alerts the public that he is going to drop some serious knowledge about global warming the following day, likely using an aggressive tone.

7. While this tweet was certainly informative, the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto has been known even by the laziest non-recyclers for a long time. The Playboy celebrity golf tournament reference is funny, though — classic Canseco.


6. “How do we stop global warming?” A relevant question, completely reasonable coming from someone like Canseco who probably doesn’t actually know the answer.

5. Here’s where Canseco starts really lashing into the skeptics, his frustration with mass consumption demonstrating a larger level of understanding of the issue, which likely surprised many readers. Canseco also introduces the concept of polar bears in this tweet, which is essential to later hilarity.

4. Ridiculously bad grammar aside, Canseco again makes a good point — in some countries families indeed share much less space than we use in America. The second reference to polar bears is really funny and for some reason unexpected.

3. Canseco in this tweet proves that he’s not going to let the issue of lazy, over-consuming humans fizzle out after a couple of liberal-esque polar bear references. Jose is now invoking the sacrifices of the pioneers, who didn’t use any electricity and just slept in flannel pajamas even when it was snowing. A pretty good point.

2. Jose Canseco thinks Al Gore is dead.

1. If Canseco is correct that lowering your body temperature at night will make you live 20-percent longer, then he’s probably well on his way to solving global warming. Energy savings aside, Canseco’s hope that he’ll live into his seventies rather than dying in some stupid way during the next 10 years is likely what led to this outburst of social consciousness.

 
 
by Danny Cross 03.22.2012
Posted In: Basketball at 09:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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Cincy, Columbus Mayors Bet Ice Cream on UC-Ohio State Game

Hometown favorites at stake when Bearcats and Buckeyes meet in the Sweet 16

University of Cincinnati basketball players might not know that much about the history between their program and that of Ohio State University, but Cincinnati's mayor just added another level to the stakes for tonight’s game. Mayor Mark Mallory and Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman have made a friendly bet on the outcome, putting each city’s hometown ice cream on the line.

If Ohio State wins the game — which will take place 9:45 p.m. tonight in Boston — Mallory will send a shipment of Graeter’s to Columbus. Should UC beat OSU and advance to the Elite 8, Coleman will send some of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams to Cincinnati.

Mallory has offered supreme confidence that the 6-seeded Bearcats will take down the 2-seed Buckeyes.

“The Cincinnati Bearcats are a great source of pride for the entire city. I’m confident that UC will prevail and march on to the Elite 8,” Mallory said in a news release. “I just hope Mayor Coleman sends enough Jeni’s Ice cream for the entire team.”

When offered the initial wager, Coleman reportedly slammed down his OSU travel coffee mug, then paused to reflect on the heartbreak Buckeye fans felt back in 1961 when UC upset the favored Buckeyes to win the NCAA championship and then defeated OSU in the title game again in 1962. (Just kidding, Coleman was also gracious and nice, releasing his own statement.)

“I want to thank Mayor Mallory for his generous offer of Graeter’s ice cream on behalf of the Bearcats,” Coleman said. “While I do not expect it to be as sweet as the Buckeyes’ victory Thursday night, I’m sure it will be delicious. In fact, I’ll be happy to share some with Mayor Mallory if he’d like to join me next week rooting on the Buckeyes in the Final Four.

 
 
by Danny Cross 03.19.2012
Posted In: Basketball at 08:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Ohio Teams Go 8-0 In NCAA Tournament

Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio State, Ohio U. all in the Sweet Sixteen

Late Sunday night, as the Cincinnati-Florida State game prepared to determine the final member of this year’s Sweet Sixteen, the national analysis dudes all started talking about how the state of Ohio had gone 7-0 up to that point — Ohio University had just defeated South Florida to get into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since the 1960s. Ohio State and Xavier were both already in.

Cincinnati went on to win a physical, back-and-forth game against FSU, which finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference and won the ACC tournament. It was the first time in the history of UC’s program that the team beat a higher-seeded opponent in the NCAA Tournament. The No. 6 seed Bearcats will play No. 2 seed Ohio State at 9:45 p.m. Thursday in Boston, which means the state of Ohio will suffer its first loss of the 2012 NCAA Tournament then.

After a second-round comeback win over Notre Dame, Xavier found itself in the fortunate position of facing a team called “Lehigh” rather than one called “Duke.” Lehigh was one of two 15 seeds to defeat a No. 2 seed in this year’s second-round of play, and the “Mountain Hawks” made actually game of against Xavier, which didn’t have the game in hand until less than five minutes remained. Xavier will now play No. 3 seed Baylor at 7:15 p.m. Friday in Atlanta.

Ohio University upset 4-seeded Michigan in the second round and then ousted No. 13 seed South Florida in the third. The Bobcats will play No. 1 seed North Carolina at 7:47 p.m. Friday in St. Louis.

Ohio State beat Loyola (Md.) and Gonzaga to earn its spot in the Sweet Sixteen. OSU and Cincinnati last faced each other in the NCAA Tournament in the 1962 National Championship game, which UC won 71–59. (UC also defeated OSU in the 1961 title game, 70-65.) The Ohio State-Cincinnati winner will face the winner of Syracuse-Wisconsin, setting up a potential rematch of the Big East Tournament semifinal game when Cincinnati upset Syracuse.

MORE SWEET NEARBY TEAMS:

The Ohio Valley’s hoops success easily spreads beyond just the Ohio teams — three more schools within 100 miles are in the Sweet Sixteen: Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana. Kentucky and Indiana are actually matched up in the South Region (9:45 p.m. Friday in Atlanta), while Louisville faces Michigan State in the West (7:47 p.m. Thursday in Phoenix).

BIG EAST REPRESENT:

The Big East again this year sent more teams to the NCAA Tournament than any other conference, and four of its nine are still standing: Syracuse, Marquette, Cincinnati and Louisville. Each of these schools is in a separate region, so it’s still technically possible for an all-Big East Final Four.

SWEET SIXTEEN SCHEDULE:

Thursday, March 22

Wisconsin vs. Syracuse (Boston): 7:15 p.m. on CBS

Louisville vs. Michigan State (Phoenix): 7:47 p.m. on TBS

Cincinnati vs. Ohio State (Boston): 9:45 p.m. on CBS

Florida vs. Marquette (Phoenix): 10:17 p.m. on TBS

Friday, March 23

Baylor vs. Xavier (Atlanta): 7:15 p.m. on CBS

North Carolina vs. Ohio (St. Louis): 7:47 p.m. on TBS

Kentucky vs. Indiana (Atlanta): 9:45 p.m. on CBS

Kansas vs. N.C. State (St. Louis): 10:17 p.m. on TBS

 
 
by Brian Dill 03.16.2012
Posted In: College, Basketball at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Queen City Hoops: March Madness Edition

UC, Xavier play second-round NCAA Tournament games today

It’s a big day for fans here in the Queen City, for those repping the navy and white and the red and black. After the five months of build-up March Madness has finally arrived and after success for other semi-local teams — Ohio State, Kentucky and Louisville — the Bearcats and the Muskies look to continue the trend.

Sixth-seeded Cincinnati will face the eleventh-seeded Texas Longhorns in the second round of the East region. The game is slated to tip at 12:15 p.m. today on CBS.

The Bearcats will need to contain the Longhorn’s one-man show in J’Covan Brown. The junior guard averaged a Big 12 best 20.1 points per game on a team that averaged 73 a game. Production drops off seriously after Brown — Texas only has one other player averaging double figure points. If the Bearcats decide to play man-to-man, a combo of Dion Dixon and JaQuan Parker will look to slow down Brown. Cashmere Wright will have the duty of slowing down freshman point guard Myck Kabongo, a former McDonald’s All-American.

Offensively the ‘Cats will look to use their superior size — Texas has only one player taller than 6-foot-7 — down low with Yancy Gates, Cheikh Mbodj and Justin Jackson. If UC can get the ball down low on a consistent basis then the duo of Wright and Dixon will be able to penetrate and create open outside shots for Parker and leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick. Unlike Texas, UC has a well-balanced offense with four players averaging double digits and a fifth player averaging 9 points per game.

Texas is a young team with six freshmen on the roster and has lost more than one close game during a tough Big 12 schedule despite their lack of experience. The Bearcats also have fought their way through their fair share of adversity this year. If Mick Cronin’s guys play with the defensive tenacity that saw them knock off a nation-leading seven ranked teams during the season, than surely we will see them in round three.

Catch plenty of action and throw back a green beer (or 12) before the 10th-seeded Musketeers face off against seventh-seeded Notre Dame in a battle of Catholic supremacy ... on the hardwood (in terms of religion, they’re all winners).

On paper this looks like a great game and hopefully it plays out that way on the court. As most college hoops fans know, the Muskies are led by the outstanding backcourt duo of Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons. They average 17 points and 15.5 points, respectively.

Notre Dame doesn’t have a go-to scorer after losing their stud, Tim Abromaitis, early in the year. But what the Fighting Irish don’t lack is a core group of players that work their tails off and come up with wins. A big match up in this game will be between big-men Jack Cooley and Kenny Frease. If either one can have a monster game expect that team to win.

I think Xavier will have their hands full but I also think the Musketeers play some of their best ball during tournament time. I think Xavier pulls it out by five or so. Although the Reds look like their going to be damned good this year I’m not ready for the hoops season to end early. Best of luck to both teams!

 
 

 

 

 
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