Jay Bruce hit .234 with two home runs in his first 77 at-bats through April 25. At the time I asked, “Will the Real Jay Bruce Please Stand Up?” Six weeks later the Reds’ right fielder is hitting .292 with an NL-leading 17 home runs and 46 RBI.
I guess he answered my question. Or has he?
After a hot start, the Reds have lost eight of 11 and each of the last three series. It's not a good time to be falling flat — the surging Milwaukee Brewers host the Reds tonight, opening what could be a key, pysche-altering three-game series.
The Reds opened the 2011 season with a three-game spanking of the Milwaukee Brewers, a flawed team that was being pimped as much more than that by people who should know better. The Reds’ other so-called Central Division contenders, the St. Louis Cardinals, didn’t look much better than the Brewers, losing two of three to the revamped (as in lone power source Adrian Gonzalez is gone) San Diego Padres. (The snake-bitten Cards also lost outfielder/key offensive cog Matt Holliday for an undetermined period with an emergency appendectomy.)
One weekend does not make a season, but it’s beginning to look like 2010 all over again.
What's up with the presumed opening-day starters for the three NL Central Division favorites? First the Cardinals Adam Wainwright goes down with a bum elbow that required season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the Reds Edinson Volquez, whom manager Dusty Baker oddly anointed as the opening-day starter before spring training even opened, was thrown off course with visa issues relating to his positive drug test from last year. And now the Brewers newly acquired ace, Zack Greinke, breaks a rib while playing in a pick-up basketball game.
Yo! Yo! Yo! It's CityBeat sports reporting live inside Fifth Third Arena (brought to you by convenient overdraft protection).
Day Night for the Bearcats, who will honor the several years of distinguished service of six seniors: Rashad Bishop, Larry Davis, Darnell Wilks, Ibrahima Thomas, Anthony McClain and Eddie Tyree. Let us take a moment to remember the task undertaken by the four-players still remaining from Cronin's 2007 recruiting class — Bishop, Wilks, McClain and Davis — who joined the UC program after Cronin's first-year in the Big East and have brought the program back from a 2-14 Big East record to its current standing as a much deserving NCAA at-large team.
Then 6-9 sophomore forward Brandon Davies — the team's third leading scorer, top rebounder and best athlete — was kicked off the team for violating BYU's honor code.
MLB network has been doing its top 10 right now at each position. “Right now” means right now, as in 2011. Track records no doubt come into play, but the lists are based on whom the network’s “editors” — let’s hope that doesn’t include Harold Reynolds who, though a nice guy, isn’t known for employing incisive analysis — deem to be the best players going into this season.
Would UC make the NCAA tournament if the season ended today? Yes, according to Joe Lunardi, the diminutive Italian dude who compiles ESPN’s Bracketology predictions. Lunardi currently has the ’Cats as an 11 seed, which means at least four other at-large teams are below them in the seeding. (Conversely, he has a streaking Xavier team as an eight seed.)
Anyone else ready for baseball? Mired in the middle of a painful, almost entirely sunless winter, there are few phrases any more satisfying than this: Pitchers and catchers report in two weeks.
Remember the Crypt Keeper from HBO's long-lost and much-beloved series Tales from the Crypt? He apparently now owns the Oakland Raiders, which is convenient given the team's "menacing" and "scary" persona over the years.
The photo above was taken at a press conference yesterday as the Keeper announced the hiring of new Raiders coach Hue Jackson.