0 Comments · Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It took all the way until the first day
of July, nearly a week from the All-Star break, to figure out just what
was off about this baseball season. We’ve had plenty of exciting games still
there was something missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it until
the National League All-Star rosters were announced. Tony La Russa, we missed you.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Quite honestly, a team Hall of Fame never
seemed like a big deal to me — a nice honor, sure, but nothing like
Cooperstown. It’s something, I always thought, to which those being
inducted paid lip service. That was until I threw out the softball
icebreaker to Sean Casey on Saturday before his induction into the Reds
Hall of Fame.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Joey Votto should be the face of baseball
right now. He should be the biggest name in the game, there should be
cameras following his every move, national TV commercials and the
talking heads on TV saying “Votto” so much that you’d think it was a
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Are we living in some kind of strange new
world where down is up, dogs live in harmony with cats and the Bengals
are a well-run organization? Because it appears that the Bengals, long
the butt of jokes not just here in Cincinnati, but nationwide, are
making — gasp — sensible and shrewd decisions.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Does anyone actually enjoy sports anymore? With Twitter, Facebook and message boards, it seems we have more outlets than ever to discuss and learn about sports. Add MLB.tv, NFL Sunday Ticket, ESPN3.com
and other technological advances in streaming video, we’re always
informed and entertained. So we can bitch. And bitch. And bitch. And then bitch some more.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
From a fan’s standpoint, what Aroldis
Chapman is doing seems amazing. Through May 27, Chapman hadn’t allowed
an earned run in 21 appearances and 26 innings. He’d only allowed seven
hits, walked eight and struck out 44. But it’s not just those in the
stands that are impressed — so are his teammates.
by Danny Cross
Posted In: Basketball
at 11:12 AM | Permalink
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
Posted In: baseball
at 09:28 AM | Permalink
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 Brian Dill
Posted In: College
at 02:00 PM | Permalink
Bearcats a lock, Muskies not so much
The regular season is drawing to a close as Cincinnati and
Xavier each have one game left before conference tournament time. Cincinnati
will hear their name called on "Selection Sunday" — as for Xavier, only time will
tell.ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Xavier as one of his
first four out, and I tend to agree — although I disagree with the pointless
bickering in the comments section regarding the brawl that happened — wait for
it — almost three months ago. The Bearcats are listed as a 10 seed, a much better
prospect than having an 8 or 9 seed and having to play Kentucky or Syracuse if
they can make it past the first round. With the current mock up, the ‘Cats
would play San Diego State in the first round — a winnable game — and North
Carolina in the second — maybe, with a hope and a prayer.
Not to say that crazier things haven’t happened: VMI, Butler
(twice) and George Mason have all knocked off No. 1 seeds in the tournament. UC has more talent than any of those teams, and if they
can continue playing like they did against Marquette this past Wednesday the
Sweet 16 or even Elite 8 isn’t out of the question.
The Bearcats played stifling defense against Marquette, forcing
17 turnovers. They dominated the paint, outscoring the Golden Eagles 42-24, and
JaQuon Parker was a revelation. Parker used his size and strength to drive to
the hoop at will and went 2-for-4 from behind the arc, including a halftime
buzzer-beater that put UC up 16 at the half. Parker finished the game with a
career-best 28 points.
The Bearcats didn’t look back. Yancy Gates finished the game
with 13 boards despite being limited to less than four minutes of first half
play because of foul trouble. The 72-61 final wasn’t as close as the score
indicated, as UC coasted to victory. With the emergence of Parker the 'Cats now
have a steady combo of inside and outside threats that will make them a
difficult team to face both in New York and in the NCAA tournament.
Xavier, on the other hand, isn’t a lock for a ticket to March
Madness. Winning the A10 tourney would put all doubt to rest. The Muskies host
Charlotte tomorrow; with a loss the NIT will certainly be beckoning. A win
leaves a glimmer of hope, but in all likelihood, Chris Mack and his team will be
on the outside looking in next Sunday.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
For many years around here we’ve been
told to be patient, and now, seemingly out of nowhere, this team is no
longer patient. This team is going to win — this year and next. After
that, Joey Votto’s gone and who knows what happens.