Sunday, May 31, 2009

Florence Freedom's 2009 season is off to a hot start

The Florence Freedom just concluded there first series win in franchise history over the Gateway Grizzlies on Sunday. The team is off to a hot start boasting a 7-3 record which is good for first place in the Frontier League East.

Second baseman Billy Mottram belted his 8th home run this season on Sunday. That's pretty remarkable considering the Freedom are only 10 games into the season.

Owner Clint Brown has done a good job with turning around the franchise. A successful minor league team needs to have great promotions, good facilities, and a family fun environment, all of which he's achieved. It also helps that he tries to bring in players with local ties such as Tim Grogan and Jay Johnson, two former colonels who are trying to resurrect their playing careers.

Oh and Adam, Obama bobble heads are the promotion this upcoming Tuesday, now that's "Frontier League."

So far, Not so Good

As we had discussed earlier in the week this road trip for the Reds is very crucial in staying near the top of the division as we head into June. Coming into the series the Reds were 1.5 games out of first place with the Cardinals, now after losing the first two in Milwaukee, the Reds are 2.5 games out of the tied Cardinals and Brewers. To make matters worse Reds Star First Baseman Joey Votto has not been placed on the Disabled List due to Stress related issues. Votto, who has been dealing with dizziness relating to an inner ear infection, had cleared out his locker early Saturday without any indication to his teammates or the media as to what was causing this stress. Baker held a meeting with the team in the clubhouse but did not disclose to the team what the issue was either. “He is dealing with a personal issue,” said Baker. “He wants us to respect his privacy about that and he is dealing with it, just trying to deal with it.”

Friday, May 29, 2009

Justin Martin Rescinds Louisville Scholarship, Xavier and Cincinnati Possible Suitors

Justin Martin, the #56 ranked recruit by for the class of 2010, has decided to part ways for the moment with Louisville by backing out of his commitment.

Martin has scholarship offers from six schools including Xavier, Cincinnati and Dayton. Kentucky and Arizona have also expressed interest in the 6'7 small forward.

When Martin originally committed he narrowed it down to two schools, Louisville and Xavier. Now that Sean Miller has left Arizona could be a strong suitor if they decide to pony up a scholarship. Martin averaged 10.4 points for a stacked Lawrence North team last year.

Louisville has recruited several others from Lawrence North. The high school is most known for two highly touted recruits by the names of Greg Oden and Mike Conley.

Huge Road Trip for the Reds

Some people don't think that series count in May. Cincinnati fans are calling into radio shows and saying that it doesn't matter that the Reds are in the hunt to start the month of June. Well I think it does matter, you have to win in April, May and June if you want to compete in August and September. The Reds are sitting third in the division, 1.5 games out of first place with a road trip facing the #2 Milwaukee and #1 St. Louis. If they can pull off a winning road trip they should come out of this swing in first place in the division. I am still optimistic about this team, but they need to make this a winning campaign.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Northern Kentucky University Signs Eric Stenger

The NKU Norse men's basketball team signed Erik Stenger of St. Xavier high school to a scholarship a couple weeks ago. Stenger is a 6'6 forward who put up solid numbers during his senior campaign averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Stenger was nominated for numerous awards last season and helped lead St. Xavier to the district championship.

Stenger joins Ethan Faulkner as NKU's lone recruits next season. The Norse will also have redshirt freshmen Corey Sorrell on the squad.

With Scott Bibbins, Dennis Gagai, and Dustin Maguire back next year the Norse will have solid guard play. One thing they'll lack is a presence in the post with only Tanner Jacobs and Brad Hosler as the current bigs.

Stenger will help a little but I'm hoping for A.J. Stewart.......

John Calipari, Kentucky, and Memphis NCAA Violations

The administration at Kentucky has confirmed that they were aware of this situation prior to hiring coach John Calipari. What is also known is the fact that Memphis knew of this during the courtship of Calipari and despite these allegations were willing to counter Kentucky's offer to try to keep him as a head coach. As far as Calipari is concerned there is no sanctions being brought against him or any evidence that he was involved with either of these situations. As far as the SAT scores that would have occurred prior to the alleged student being a Memphis basketball player, so he would have no control. As far as the individual traveling with the team, Calipari more than likely would not handle any of those arrangements. However, I think the issue here is cultural. Calipari is known for "skiriting" the rules, not necessarily breaking the rules but finding ways to get around some of the rules. Is he the only one who does this? I would say absolutely not, but the fact of the matter is Calipari could potentially have two Final Four trips wiped off of his record. Typically where there is smoke there is fire. Calipari was under the close eye of the NCAA while at Memphis and he knew that, Calipari did not personally break the rules. But while at Kentucky he will be on an even bigger stage and will not be able to skirt some of these NCAA rules. And at this level he may not have to. The recruiting game is ugly and has been for many years, but as fans of the NCAA you either deal with it or deny it. There is no doubt in my mind that Tubby Smith played by the rules 100% and did not get involved in that recruiting mess. However, Smith did not bring in the talent to win which eventually led to him leaving Kentucky. Gillispie wrote the book on skirting the rules and did so while recruiting as most good recruiters do. Calipari is going to know the rules, and he will abide by them 100%, but don't be naive to think that Calipari will not work loopholes and continue to target the top notch talent because he knows that is what got him the contract in the first place.

Memphis Program Under NCAA Review

Last night the news was released out of Memphis that the mens basketball program is under investigation from the NCAA for possible violations. The allegations come from the 07/08 season and allegedy involve money paid for travel for an associate of a player and possible SAT fraud. At this point Coach Calipari is not named in any violations but will attend a hearing. The player has not been named.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coach Calipari's First Mistake

The initial few weeks of Coach Calipari's regime have come with great praise from many around the national media and program supporters. But a recent incident that has come to the public show's Calipari's first mistake as Head Coach, and in my opinion its a big one. Landon Slone was a walk on guard for Kentucky last year who saw some significant minutes considering he was a non-scholarship player. Landon recently announced that he would not be returning to the University next season. With all of the Calipari recruits this is not a real shock. The shock for me is the fact that Slone had wanted to meet with Calipari face to face to discuss his status, and in the weeks that he has been coach, Calipari had not made time to do so. Slone has mentioned this in many of his interviews which proves it is more than likely bothering him. I would feel the same way if I were Landon. Last season he was a member of this team and deserved the opportunity to have at least five minutes with the head coach to discuss his status. Calipari offered an apology to Landon Slone on his twitter account stating, "UKCoachCalipari- Sorry to Landon Sloan. Heard he waited to speak to me in my office but I didn’t know. Really sorry. We are still trying to get organized!!" Where this is a nice gesture by Calipari it still doesn't make the situation right. Coach Calipari should schedule a meeting with Slone and apologize to him face to face. Although it is not a huge issue I still feel like it is an issue. Calipari does not walk on water like some Kentucky fans want to believe, this is one that he can still make right.

MLB Stat Leaders

As of Wednesday 5/27 here are some of the top MLB statistical leaders as well as where the first Reds player stacks up.

1. Miguel Cabrera- .377
2. Jason Bartlett- .373
3. Carlos Beltran- .367
T-4. Joey Votto- .364
T-4. Victor Martinez- .364


1. Evan Longoria- 49
2. Jason Bay- 47
T-3. Raul Ibanez- 44
T-3. Justin Morneau- 44
5. Prince Fielder- 43

T-19. Brandon Phillips- 34

1. Adrien Gonzalez- 17
1. Raul Ibanez- 17
3. Carlos Pena- 16
4. Adam Dunn- 15
5. 3 players tied- 14

T-10. Jay Bruce- 12

1. Brian Roberts- 42
2. Andruw Jones- 39
3. 4 players tied- 38

T-22. Willy Taveras- 32

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Evan Gordon: NBA Rookie Sensations Brother Signs with Liberty

Evan Gordon, younger brother of Los Angeles Clippers guard and former Indiana University stud Eric Gordon, has verbally committed to play for Liberty.

For a second year in a row Liberty has recruited a younger brother from a promising bloodline. Seth Curry, who recently transferred to Duke, led all freshmen in scoring last season and is the brother of future top-10 pick Stephen Curry.

Evan Gordon attended Hargrave Military Academy last season and was said to be looking at Butler, Indiana, and Xavier as well. Gordon was leaning towards Xavier until Miller parted ways for Arizona. Former Xavier stars recruited from Hargrave include David West and Stanley Burrell.

Derrick Brown Will Sign with Agent, Enter NBA Draft

Various media outlets, including FOX Sports, are reporting that Derrick Brown will sign with an agent and enter the NBA Draft. It's said that Brown will sign with agent Bill Duffy. So far Brown has worked out for Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago and I could see him landing with the Cavs at the 30th pick in the 1st round.

Brown was quoted in a recent interview as saying, "I'm in the draft. I'm not even thinking about anything other than that. I loved my time at Xavier, but I'm ready to move onto a new era."

Am I surprised that Brown is If you would've told me that he was going to enter the draft following the season I would've thought otherwise. I think Miller leaving and his current draft status as a late first-round pick has played a big part in him deciding to jump to the NBA. Unlike last year, the Muskies will now be dependent on there guard play and won't have much depth in the post. Jamel McLean will need to step up as he will play power forward along with Love and Frease splitting time at center. Xavier has now lost four forwards, two to graduation in B.J. Raymond and C.J. Anderson, Brown, and Sean Miller recruit and now Arizona bound Kevin Parrom.

Why transfer to Division II?

There has been a lot of Internet speculation that former Kentucky Wildcat forward AJ Stewart may potentially transfer to play for the Norse. At this point there is no solid evidence that this rumor is true but if Stewart did transfer to the Norse he would not be the first Division I player to do so. Many players transfer down to Division II after a couple of years on the Division I level to get more playing time and display their talents for international and NBA scouts. You will not find major D-I talents making the move to a lower level, however, you do see a many players who rarely see the floor make the jump and immediately become a starter. Below you will find the list of players that have transferred to NKU from Division I schools dating back to the 2001-2002 season:

G- Dustin McGuire: St. Louis
F- Tanner Jacobs: Kennesaw State
G- DeAaron Williams: Wisconsin
G- Dennis Gagai: West Virginia
F- A'Daeron Duncan: Coppin State
F- Vincent Humphrey: Valparaiso
G- Anthony Teague: New Mexico
G- Steven Wright: Bowling Green State
C- James Cripe: Dayton
C- Gavin Ludgood: Florida Atlantic
F- Derek Smith: Kentucky *(Played Football)
G- Jared Ronai: UNC Asheville
G- Adam Howell: Ohio University
F- Quentin Smith: Morehead State
C- Chris Seabrooks: Pitt

Although the numbers are seriously skewed it is possible for Division II players to make it to the NBA. The most famous Division II player in the NBA has been Ben Wallace who played for Virginia Union. Other NCAA Division II notable players in the NBA have been:
Ben Wallace- Virginia Union
Charles Oakley- Virginia Union
Larry Smith- Alcorn State
Darrell Armstrong- Fayetville State
Manute Bol- Bridgeport
Wayne Cooper- New Orleans
Mario Elie- American International
Jerome Kersey- Longwood
Rick Mahorn- Hampton
Haywoode Workman- Winston-Salem St.

Stewart, Liggins, Slone leaving Kentucky

It has been speculated all weekend but now confirmed that Forward AJ Stewart, Guard DeAndre Liggins, and Guard Landon Slone will be leaving the University of Kentucky. Stewart has been rumored to be considering Division II Northern Kentucky University. Also leaving the team will be Senior Jared Carter, who could have applied for a medical redshirt season. Also leaving will be scholarship player Donald Williams. This will open up the much needed roster for the Wildcats who still will have too many scholarship players and not enough scholarships. If Meeks returns to Kentucky the issue grows.
*Update Note: There have been conflicting reports on Liggins, as of this point this could still be considered a rumor as it has not been officially announced by the University, but everything that I read he is all but gone.

Homer Bailey to the Bullpen?

Homer Bailey, who was called up from AAA just last week, was sent back to Louisville after a rough start Saturday night against the Indians. Bailey has not been able to consistantly perform at the Major League level as a starting pitcher. Bailey has the fastball but has not been able to become a true pitcher with an arsenal of pitches. Do you think Bailey would be better suited in the bullpen? Bailey has some powerful stuff and should be able to make it by now. Would he be better suited in shorter situations such as set up or closer? At this point in his career I would like to see him succeed and something is not working, is it he is not willing to be coached or is he in the wrong position?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kentucky's Fab Five

With the recent signing of top ranked recruit John Wall, head coach John Calipari has created quite a stir throughout the bluegrass state. Kentucky's recruiting class is overwhelmingly ranked the #1 class in this years recruiting but how good are they? Only time will tell, but this class that Calipari has assembled on paper is as good as any put together. Right now I would compare it to Michigan's Fab Five in 1991, lets compare:

1991 Michigan Wolverines Recruiting Class:
#1 overall- Chris Webber
#5 overall- Juwan Howard
#8 overall- Jalen Rose
#18 overall- Jimmy King
#48 overall- Ray Jackson

2009 Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting Class:
#1 overall- John Wall
#2 overall- Demarcus Cousins
#22 overall- Daniel Orton
#23 overall- Eric Bledsoe
#40 overall- Jon Hood

The 1991 Michigan team went to two final fours while in school and were two time national runner up. The future is still unknown with this Kentucky team, it is unlikely that we will have this complete group for more than two years so next year will be pivotal.

Reds Ace on DL

The Cincinnati Reds placed right handed starter Edinson Volquez on the 15 day disabled list, retroactive to May 17, with back spasms. Volquez underwent an MRI that confirmed the injury is not structural but a muscular injury. Volquez could be activated as early as June 1 so it is not known how many starts he will miss. Homer Bailey was recalled from Louisville to take Volquez's roster spot and will start on Saturday against the Indians.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How big can this be for Kentucky?

With Kentucky signing the #1 recruit in the country John Wall they will potentially propel themselves back into national prominence. But not only that, Wall can become an NBA Lottery pick in 2010 and become one of the highest drafted Kentucky players if he can reach the potential level that is speculated. So I was curious to evaluate the NBA Draft and how Kentucky has fared throughout the years. I found some data online regarding Kentucky and the NBA draft. The numbers are from 1949-2008 draft history (1949 was the first year they did the traditional round robin format)

Kentucky Wildcats
Total NBA draft picks: 35
Total First round draft picks: 23
Total Second round draft picks: 12

Kentucky has only had three first round picks in the 2000's (Jamal Magloire, Teyshaun Prince, and Rajon Rondo) With this recruiting class and the current talent at Kentucky I could see that number exploding in 2010. With Patterson, Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, and Orton all projected to be top players in the country and Meeks could come back and make himself a first rounder.

Also, John Wall is projected to be the first pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. (Obviously this doesn't mean anything right now) But, if Wall were the first overall pick in the NBA draft he would become the first player in Kentucky Wildcat history to accomplish this feat. The closest Kentucky has had was two #2 picks (Alex Groza and Sam Bowie)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lexington Welcomes John "Balls to the" Wall - Highlight Reel

John Wall Signs with Kentucky

Sorry for the delay on the news, traveling today. But big news for the Kentucky Wildcats all around. National #1 ranked recruit Point Guard John Wall has signed to play for the University of Kentucky. Wall will be the highest ranked recruit to sign with the Kentucky Wildcats. I have never been so happy to be wrong. Most of my reports on here about Wall had him leaning toward Miami, which I really felt was true. A news conference will be scheduled at 2pm at Wall's high school on Wednesday. So lets look at what the Wildcats have coming in to the program next year:

Five Star PG- John Wall
Five Star PG- Eric Bledsoe (who qualified today!)
Five Star PF- Demarcus Cousins
Five Star C- Daniel Orton
Four Star SF- Darnell Dodson
Four Star SG- Jon Hood

This freshman class alone could contend for a national title. Add to that Jodie Meeks, Patrick Patterson, and Darius Miller this team could be freakishly good. But lets not let the cart get ahead of the horse. Calipari still needs to get these kids to buy into his system and go out and win games. They do not award any titles in the summer. But this is looking to be a very very bright year for the Cats!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Holmes' Ricardo Johnson and Elijah Pittman Named Top Two Recruits in 2010 Kentucky Class

The Holmes Bulldogs were crowned as the Kentucky state champs in March and now the teams two studs have been named the best players in the state by a respected recruiting website.

State Tournament MVP, Ricardo Johnson, was ranked No. 1 followed by teammate Elijah Pittman at number two.

Johnson is being looked at by a number of teams including Kentucky, Xavier and Cincinnati. He's received one offer from Bradley.

Pittman is also being looked at by a number of teams including Kentucky and Xavier.

Without a doubt Holmes will be projected to repeat as state champs with the return of Johnson, Pittman, Jeremiah Johnson and Kevon Rice. The last team to win back-to-back Kentucky men's basketball state championships was Louisville Male in 1970 and 1971. Can Holmes break the 35+ year drought?

This Week in Reds Baseball- May 18th

* The Reds wrapped up their first west coast road trip of the season Sunday. They started off really strong sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in dominating fashion. Unfortunately the San Diego trip was another story, getting swept by the lowly Padres.

* The Reds could potentially have a very serious situation on their hands with their stud first baseman Joey Votto.
Votto left two games this road trip complaining of dizziness. “I can’t focus. I get dizzy and I can’t see straight," Votto stated after leaving Saturday's game. Votto did not start on Sunday. “Something has to be wrong for him not to play or come out of the game because this guy is a gamer, big time,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker. “Let’s just hope they find out what it is. Just because they run tests doesn’t mean they’ll find it.”

* Micah Owings was used in Saturday's 16 inning loss in San Diego in a relief situation. This could cause issues for the Reds rotation in the coming weeks. Owings was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Phillies, but after being used for five innings in relief Saturday, it is unlikely that Owings will get the start. Too add to the injury Volquez was pulled from his start Saturday after pitching 5 2/3 innings with back spasms. With Owings having pitched essentially a full game on Saturday and pitcher Nick Massett more than likely heading to the DL, the Reds may have to look to Louisville for help. The most likely options? Homer Bailey, who has been spotty in his starts, or Pedro Viola who is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA.

* The Reds open up interleague play with Cleveland this weekend at Great American Ballpark. Last year the Reds were 5-1 against their upstate rivals. The Indians are currently last in their division with a record of 14-25.

NL Central Standings

Brewers 23-14 (-)
Cubs 21-15 (1.5)
Cardinals 21-16 (2)
Reds 20 17-3 (3)
Astros 17-19 (5.5)
Pirates 16-21 (7)

This Week's Schedule
Tuesday May 19 7:10PM Phillies
Wednesday May 20 7:10PM Phillies
Thursday May 21 12:35PM Phillies
Friday May 22 7:10PM Indians
Saturday May 23 7:10PM Indians
Sunday May 23 1:10PM Indians

Reds Statistical Leaders
AVG 0.366 Votto
HOME RUNS 11 Bruce
RBI 27 Phillips
STEALS 10 Taveras
ERA 1.93 Cueto
WINS 5 Arroyo
SAVES 10 Cordero

John Wall to make Decision Soon

Reports are indicated that John Wall could be making his decision on where he will bring his talents as early as some time this week. Although as many of you who have followed Wall know this could change at the drop of a hat. Several outlets have confirmed that Wall is down to UK and Miami. Although Duke is still potentially in the running. Duke is where a lot of his AAU camp and "posse" would like him to end up more than likely so they can stay as close to him as possible and cash in on their lottery ticket when he is drafted. I am still thinking that Wall is leaning more towards playing for Miami. There are two very different situations with Kentucky and Miami. He can come to Kentucky and play on a team with a lot of talent, a group that has the potential to contend for a title. Or, he can go to Miami where they will compete in the ACC, probably make the tournament, but Wall will be the absolute go to guy and get all of the shots. Kentucky will have a number of top notch players in the stable next year that could help Wall, but also will take some of Wall's opportunities for scoring. I don't think either choice will affect his NBA recruiting, unless he completely bombs out his freshman year. From what I have read NBA scouts look at efficiency more than just pure scoring. So if Wall goes to Miami and puts up 40 every night, they are going to look at his shooting percentage. It may fare better for Wall to come to Kentucky and become a more efficient player. But I still think that he is leaning toward heading to South Beach. So for now as usual it is a wait an see game with John Wall.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Billy Gillespie Rumored for Texas-Pan American Coach Opening

Several media outlets near Edinburg, Texas recently announced that Billy Gillespie is rumored to be one of the candidates for the Texas-Pan American job opening.

I don't know if there's any truth to these rumors but this would be a huge step backward for the former University of Kentucky coach. The Division 1 coach openings are slim right now so Gillespie could be interested and he's familiar with the Texas recruiting scene as he started his career coaching at UTEP and Texas A&M and was born and raised in Texas.

Texas-Pan American is a member of the Great West Conference and is coming off a 10-17 season. Texas-Pan American isn't known for there basketball tradition but Gillespie has previous success in turning programs around (i.e. In his three seasons at Texas A&M the team achieved three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in program history.)

Texas-Pan American's program is currently under an internal investigation for possible NCAA violations. So far, 28 coaches have applied for the position.

Joey Votto's 2009 All-Star Game Chances

Joey Votto is currently putting up stellar numbers for the surprising Cincinnati Reds. The question is if Votto keeps up with this pace will he be an all-star? You would think a .373 average, which currently ranks 2nd in the National League would be enough. Also, a .477 on-base percentage isn't to shabby. Where would the Reds be without Votto's consistent bat?

Problem is there's a difference between whether a player should get voted in and what will happen come all-star voting time. First-base in the National League has the most depth out of any position in all of Major League Baseball. How is Votto suppose to compete with the likes of Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Lance Berkman, Adrian Gonzalez and Price Fielder? The answer is..... he won't. Not to mention that since this is fan voting you'll probably see Carlos Delgado and Derek Lee towards the top because the Mets and Cubs fans control the voting polls in the National League.

This brings me to my next question, is it time to get rid of fan-voting? Aren't you tired of seeing a bunch of Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs start every year during the All-Star Game? As a kid I remember one of the most fun things to do at Reds games was to punch your ballot for your favorite all-stars. Now, the majority of the votes come online from people who vote numerous time for players from there favorite team. Did Kosuke Fukudome deserve to start or even be in the game last year..... no way. It's not just Fukudome, players that don't deserve to step foot on the field happens every year. What should Major League Baseball do about this?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Former Highlands star Michael Mitchell

Below is a story written on FoxSports by Peter Schrager regarding Highlands product Micahel Mitchell being drafted in the second round of this years draft by the Oakland Raiders.

"Michael Mitchell: Forget the Raiders' somewhat controversial first-round selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey for a moment. I'm more fascinated by Oakland's second-round pick, the Mystery Man — Ohio safety Michael Mitchell.

Mitchell, the third safety taken in April's draft, was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Mel Kiper Jr. had him listed as his 73rd-ranked safety on the board. Not 73rd-ranked player; 73rd-ranked safety. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News listed Mitchell as his 242nd-rated player on his board. I didn't include him in my entire seven-round mock draft. The NFL gives the media a giant book of player profiles for just about every prospect imaginable. The book is as thick as the Manhattan Yellow Pages. Mitchell didn't make the cut. There was not a single page on him.

So here's this kid, a relative unknown to the pundits, going No. 44 overall. In the weeks after the draft, we've been given a bit more info on the Mystery Man and there's a lot to like. Stuff like he was a three-year starter who led his team in interceptions last season. Stuff like his Pro Day workout included a 4.43 in the 40, 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and a 37½-inch vertical leap. Stuff like the Bears were very hot on him and rumored to be ready to scoop him up with their second-round pick, and ultimately traded out of that spot once he was off the board.

At 6-1 and 220 pounds, Mitchell's an imposing physical presence at safety. Capable of playing either the free- or strong-safety positions, he offers versatility to a defensive backfield that's been pretty much Nnamdi Asomugha and a slew of underachievers the past few seasons.

The draft pundits had their laughs in April. I'm one of them.
But perhaps it's Mitchell (and in turn, Al Davis) having the last ones this season.
I can't wait to find out."

2009 Bengals Depth Chart- Wide Receivers

Wide Receivers
1. Chad Johnson
2. Laveranues Coles
3. Chris Henry
4. Andre Caldwell
5. Jerome Simpson
6. Antonio Chatman
7. Mario Urrutia
8. Maurice Purify
9. Freddie Brown
10. Quan Cosby

Key losses: T.J. Housmanzadeh
Key additions: Laveranues Coles

The Bengals lost last season's number one receiver in TJ Housmanzadeh in free agency to the Seattle Seahawks. TJ was Mr. automatic in receptions with his ability to get into seams in the middle of the field. With the addition of Coles, the Bengals may have found a viable replacement for Housh. The 32 year old Coles has spent the last four seasons with the New York Jets. Last year Coles had 70 receptions for 850 yards and 7 TD's. In comparison last season Housh had 90 Recs, 904 yards, and 4 TD's.
Meanwhile Chad Johnson is coming off of his least productive season since his rookie year in 2001. Chad only managed 53 recs, 540 yards, and 4 TD's by far his lowest stat totals since '01. Chad was slowed a little by injury last year but still managed to start in 10 games for the men in stripes. We are all hoping that Chad has not lost his step and can pick his game up this year.
The number 3 receiver and below is where this get interesting. Talent wise, Chris Henry is definitely your #3, but the question remains can he stay out of trouble for long enough to put in a full season. Andre Caldwell proved last season that he can be a solid option for kick returns averaging 26 yards per return. But Caldwell has yet to show us his ability to run solid routes and be a strong option at the WR position.
Jerome Simpson has not progressed at all since his signing as a rookie which concerns me. Simpson will need a very strong preseason if he hopes to find the field with any regularity this year. Antonio Chatman has also showed value as a kick and punt returner but has not been very strong at WR.
The questions remain on whether or not Mario Urrutia can make it at this level. Urrutia was a major talent at Louisville and has the size to be an NFL receiver. I have heard that he will get the opportunity to become a part of the offense at training camp. I would also think that it would be unlikely that Cosby, Purify, and Brown can make it to this level just yet. Look for them to round out the practice squad or take a position on another team.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2009 Mens Basketball Attendance: Kentucky, Xavier and Cincinnati

Kentucky ranked 1st in all of college basketball last year with an average attendance of 22,239 a game and a total of 422.547 fans in 19 home games. Rupp Arena holds 23,500 for basketball games. UK filled 95% of there seats last season, despite a down year.

Xavier ranked 41st in attendance with an average of 10,097 a game and a total of 151,456 fans in 15 home games. The Cintas Center holds 10,250 for basketball games. X filled 99% of there seats last year, not to shabby.

Cincinnati ranked 70th with an average attendance of 7,818 a game and total of 140,725 fans in 18 home games. Fifth Third Arena holds 13,176 for basketball games. UC filled 60% of there seats last year. It shows that in Cincinnati it's all about winning (i.e. look at UC football (way up) and the Reds (down because of a decade of losing)).

Move over Arroyo....

Do you need your easy listening Christian music fix? If so go to Ben Utecht's website and purchase his latest inspirational CD. said "Combining killer vocals with hard-hitting pop tunes, Utecht proves this is no vanity project." Utecht's self titled debut album includes such tunes as "Heal Me," "We all Bow Down," and "Glimpse of Heaven."

(SHU, do you still have that jersey?)

Highlands to Name Mike Flynn as New Head Coach

The Highlands Bluebirds, one of NKY's most storied basketball programs, is expected to name Mike Flynn as head coach of their Varsity Basketball program. Flynn, who previously coached at Holmes during the 1990's, is scheduled to be announced as head coach at the school on Friday. After leaving Holmes in 1996, Flynn accepted a head coaching position at Ashland Paul Blazer. Flynn was the longest-tenured boys basketball coach in Ashland’s storied history at nine years from 1997-2006, has a career record of 417-191 and was 182-92 with the Tomcats. Flynn's most recent head coaching position was in Bourbon county where he finished the 07-08 season at Bourbon County 11-19.

Honoring Willie Anderson

Willie Anderson has officially announced his retirement from the NFL. As my favorite NFL player of all time I am sad to hear this news, almost as sad as it was for me when the Bengals released him. Willie was the inspiration to this Bengals team for many years. His career in Cincinnati started a little tumultuous. After a three week holdout in his rookie season Anderson did not start until seventh game of the season.
After that Anderson would start every game for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1997-2006. Throughout that stretch Willie Anderson made the pro bowl 2003-2006 and NFL 1st Team All-Pro in 04-06. Throughout his career Willie Anderson started 184 games at the Offensive Tackle quite and amazing feat for a player in the toughest position in football. Willie Anderson was dominating at his craft slowing down some of the games best DE. The Bengals didn't use schemes to help Anderson protect, Willie was always straight up with his defender and typically locked them down. He went many seasons only allowing 1-2 sacks per year. Big Willie suffered a knee injury in week three of the 2007 season which cut his production that year to seven games. Willie Anderson was released from the Bengals in 2008 following the Bengals request for Willie to take a pay cut.
The Bengals felt that Anderson was too old and could not recover from the injury. However, after he was released from the Bengals he signed with the Ravens and started 11 games for the AFC Championship runner-up Raven's team. After 14 seasons in the NFL Willie Anderson has decided to retire. As I stated in a previous post I believe that Anderson is one of the best Right Tackles of his generation in the NFL. He never really received all of the accolades because of the teams that he played on for Cincinnati. All those who followed this team closely while he was a member of the Bengals knew that Willie was the cornerstone of this team.
Anderson as a leader on and off the field and a great ambassador for the Cincinnati franchise. The Bengals should take some time in 2009 to honor Anderson, especially because of the way that he was released from this franchise.

2009 Bengals Depth Chart- Running Backs

Running Backs
1.Cedric Benson
2.Brian Leonard
3.Kenny Watson
4.Bernard Scott
5.DeDe Dorsey

Key Additions: Brian Leonard, Bernard Scott
Key Losses: Chris Perry

The Bengals were finally able to see what a healthy Chris Perry could do last season as a starter at the Running Back position. Unfortunately what they saw was not an NFL caliber tailback. The Bengals released Perry this off season and in turn signed Brian Leonard for the St. Louis Rams. Leonard was used in St. Louis as a hybrid FB/HB and in two seasons with St. Louis put up very meager numbers. The Bengals will more than likely use Leonard in third down situations and short yardage. Cincinnati has given the load to last season free agent signee Cedric Benson. As the season progressed last year Benson picked up considerably. The last two games of the season Benson rushed for 171 and 111 yards with a TD. As Benson's production improved so did the Bengals, who won the last three games of the year. Cedric Benson will more than likely get the goal line carries for the Bengals with Leaonard used occasionally when they need a bruiser. I would doubt the Bengals will carry 5 RB throughout the season so look for a position battle this preseason between Watson, Scott, and Dorsey. Scott, who was drafted in the 6th round out of Abiline Christian College, comes with some off the field baggage. I would venture to say that Watson's spot as the #3 is safe. At this point until we see them on the field we will not know how the last spots will shake out. Scott worked a lot with the Special Teams while in town for the Rookie Mini-Camp which will help him hold onto a roster spot if he can produce for them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Hard Knocks Curse?

After a brief trial run by HBO in 2001, 2002 and 2004, 2007 marked the first year that HBO re-installed the program which follows a NFL team throughout training camp titled, "Hard Knocks." Lets look how teams on the show have fared during that respective season.

2007 - Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off a year where they went 9-7 and made the playoffs the Chiefs struggled to repeat their 2006 performance. After watching the show we learned the team had dancers from Ft. Wayne but a 4-12 record left many fans in distraught. Starting quarterback Trent Green was traded to the Dolphins, Larry Johnson started to break down and Will Shield retired right before the season started. In 2008, matters got worse and the team accomplished there worst record in program history at 2-14.

2008 - Dallas Cowboys
Coming off a remarkable 13-3 season in 2007 where the team earned a first-round bye in the playoffs you would think things would only be looking up for the Cowboys. During the show we watched Patrick Crayton catch 7 balls at once during punt return drills and Adam "Pacman" Jones talk about the scrip club and how he's being rebellion.... Despite the preseason praise the Cowboys finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs. Players such as Tony Romo and Marion Barber were banged up during the course of the season and after the year came to an end Dallas released Terrell Owens.

2009 - Cincinnati Bengals

HBO to confirm Bengals on Hard Knocks

In case you aren't a regular NKYSportsWorlder and read the post nearly two weeks ago that made the announcement, HBO and the Bengals will confirm on Thursday that the Bengals will be the spotlight of Hard Knocks season. Hard Knocks is the HBO series that follows the inside of NFL franchises during training camp. Five one hour episodes will air typically on Sunday nights. Stay tuned for arranged NKYSportsWorld viewing parties.

Willie Anderson Placed on Reserved/Retired List

Willie Anderson has possibly reached the end of a Hall of Fame caliber career on the Offensive Line. Anderson was placed on the Reserved/Retired List by the Ravens meaning if Anderson were to return to Football the Ravens would have the rights to his contract. Willie Anderson was the first round pick of the Bengals in 1996 and a four time pro-bowler. In my opinion the offensive line is the most important component of any football team and Anderson was far too long the unsung hero of a very bad Bengals team. I think if Anderson had played for the Patriots or Packers he would be heralded as one of the best to play his position. Unfortunately Anderson played for some very bad Bengals teams in the past. Willie Anderson is my favorite football player of all time, so much that I wore his jersey at my wedding. It's a sad day for football if Anderson calls it quits but the shelf life of NFL lineman is very short.

2009 Bengals Depth Chart- Quarterbacks

With training camp seemingly just around the corner I wanted to take a look at the Bengals depth chart and roster to evaluate the changes and potential position battles we may see this season. Periodically I will update each position with key additions and losses and an evaluation of players.

Quarterback- Carson Palmer, J.T. O'Sullivan, Jordan Palmer
Key additions: J.T. O'Sullivan
Key losses: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Everyone knows that this is Palmer's team. However, since his injury in the playoffs in 2005 durability has been a question mark for Palmer. Carson missed 12 games last season. The backup last season and starter for most of the year Ryan Fitzpatrick has moved on to Buffalo. The Bengals signed O'Sullivan in March out of Free Agency. Last season O'Sullivan was the starter of the 49ers for the first half of the season and passed for 1,600 yards and 8 TD's. O'Sullivan should be a solid backup for Palmer, and would give us a decent option if we need to use him. Jordan Palmer will continue to be the #3 Quarterback on the roster and should hopefully not see the regular season NFL field.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fox Sports Power Rankings

1.Dodgers 22-11
Not much confidence out there that the Dodgers will maintain league's best record sans Manny.

2. Blue Jays 22-12
Finally some tests against the Yanks and Red Sox have arrived. Now we'll see ...

3. Cardinals 20-12
Colby Rasmus has one HR in 86 at-bats. But he'll get a chance to improve with Ankiel on DL.

4. Red Sox 20-12
Still waiting on Big Papi to get into a groove.

5. Brewers 18-14
Hoffman now 5-for-5 in save opportunities. Looks like staying healthy is his only concern.

6. Reds 18-14
If pitching staff stays this good, management owes it to fans and players to bolster offense at deadline.

7. Royals 18-14
Angels figured out only way to beat Greinke -- 1-0.

8. Tigers 17-13
Justin Verlander has allowed one run over last 23 innings.

9. Mets 17-14
And just like that they're back on top of the East.

10. Marlins 17-15
Hanley Ramirez starting to heat up. Hopefully it's contagious and Dan Uggla catches it.

Norse Capture GLVC All-Sports Trophy

From NKU Release
NKU captured the 2008-09 GLVC All-Sports Trophy, an award presented to the institution that demonstrates the best all-around performance in the 17 sports sponsored by the Great Lakes Valley Conference. It is NKU’s 6th All-Sports Trophy and first since the 2005-06 athletics season. During the 2008-09 athletic season, the Norse captured GLVC titles in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball, and baseball.

NKU will also capture the Commissioner’s Cup, which is awarded to the institution that produced the overall best finish in the GLVC’s seven “core” sports, which include baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and volleyball. NKU finished 3rd or higher in all seven of the core sports this season, including the four conference titles in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and softball.

NKU Athletics also accomplished another impressive feat during the 2008-09 athletic campaign. For the first time in the program’s history, all 13 NKU sports participated in their respective NCAA Championships!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Xavier Mens Basketball Recruiting Update: Adreian Payne, J.D. Weatherspoon and Darwin Davis

Adreian Payne, a Top 20 recruit and 4th best center according to for the Class of 2010 has kept Xavier at the top of his list despite Sean Miller leaving the program for Arizona. In a recent interview Payne said the reason for having Xavier at the top of his list is the location as he currently plays in Dayton, Ohio and would like to be close to home. Other teams Payne is interested in include Dayton, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky and Ohio State.

Like Kevin Parrom, J.D. Weatherspoon, a 6'6 forward out of Columbus, Ohio, was another player who opted out of his commitment upon hearing the Miller news. Although Xavier remains at the top of his list Ohio State has started to check out the 3-star recruit.

Darwin Davis, a 5'10 sophomore point guard out of Indianapolis, recently received a scholarship offer from Xavier. Davis has also received offers from New Mexico and Ohio University and has also received interest from Tennessee, Indiana, Butler, Dayton, Virginia and Ohio State. Davis averaged 13.2 points per game during his sophomore season, helping lead his team to a perfect 26-0 record and the state championship.

NFHS Approves Replay Rule

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee has approved a new rule that will allow replay monitor review in High School basketball contests. The review will only be allowed in end of regulation or end of overtime period shots that will affect the outcome of the game. The rule change is in response to three state championship games during the 07-08 season that were determined by last second controversial shots. The rule specifically states when available so it doesn't really clarify if officials will be able to use specific team video camera's or other forms of media during the contest. I would highly doubt if this rule will be enacted during regular season games but would come into play during State tournament play. Another rule, from a separate issue, is High Schools will now be permitted to use LED backboard lights when available and will serve as the official time keep when in place. Previous rules prohibited the use of backboard LED lights in High School contests.

This Week In Reds Baseball- May 11th

* Pitcher Micah Owings was used in a pinch hit situation on Sunday in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to tie the game. Owings hit a Home Run which sent the game into extra innings. On the season Owings is hitting .333 6/18 at the plate with 1 HR and 4 RBI. His OPS is 1.111, best on the team.

* Prior to entering Wednesday's game against the Brewers the Reds pitching staff led the Majors in ERA. After the 9 run game from Arroyo in the 15-3 loss and taking some lumps from the Cardinals on Sunday the Reds now rank 7th in MLB and 5th in the NL.

*This week will mark the Reds first west coast swing with six games in the West. We will see how this young team adjusts.

*The Reds currently boast a 14-9 record against NL Central teams, the Cardinals and Cubs both have 11 wins against the Central, the Brewers have 12.

*1B Yonder Alonso is having a great start to the season in Sarasota. Alonso is currently hitting .279 with 5 HR and 28 RBI. Alonso is currently leading the Florida State League in RBI.

NL Central Standings
Cardinals 20 12 -
Brewers 18 14 (2)
Cubs 17 14 (2.5)
Reds 17 14 (2.5)
Astros 14 17 (5.5)
Pirates 12 19 (7.5)

This Week's Schedule
Monday May 11 9:40PM at Arizona
Tuesday May 12 9:40PM at Arizona
Wednesday May 13 9:40PM at Arizona
Friday May 15 10:05PM at San Diego
Saturday May 16 10:05PM at San Diego
Sunday May 17 4:05PM at San Diego

Reds Statistical Leaders
AVG- 0.376 Votto
HOME RUNS- 10 Bruce
RBI- 24 Votto
STEALS- 7 Taveras
ERA- 1.59 Cueto
WINS- 4 Volquez
STRIKEOUTS- 43 Volquez
SAVES- 9 Cordero

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tracking the Trade: Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn for Micah Owings:

Dunn is currently batting .311 with 11 long balls and 28 RBI's in 29 games. His OBP is a remarkable .451 and he's walked 27 times. He currently ranks 2nd in the NL in homers, 1st in walks, 2nd in slugging percentage and 3rd in RBI's. His strikeout total is still high at 31 but he's only committed one error so far. I still think he's worth the $8 million the Nationals are giving him this year and it would be nice to have him in LF with Dickerson struggling.

Owings has posted a 2-3 record and a 5.08 ERA. He's allowed four or more runs in four of his five starts. His strikeout to walk ratio isn't all that great with 15 K's and 12 BB's. The one thing Owings does bring to the table though is giving the Reds a "26th man." What i mean by that is the team can pull him off the bench at any time to hit, as seen tonight with his game tying jack to left-field of Ryan Franklin on a 3-2 count in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Owings is currently batting .333 with a homer and 4 RBI's. Five of Owings six hits have been for extra bases.

Ken Griffey, Jr. for Nick Masset:

Griffey is currently hitting .218 with three long bombs and seven RBI's. Although the Mariners are off to a great start Griffey is not. It was a great move by the M's as they're putting "butts in the seats" with the signing of The Kid.

Masset lost the fight for the 5th starting spot with his poor performance in the spring but has slowly gained respect from Dusty Baker and the Reds. Masset currently boasts a 1.35 ERA and has only allowed two runs on four hits in 13.1 innings.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cincinnati Bengals Sign Roy Williams, Release Levi Jones

The Cincinnati Bengals today signed Mike Zimmer's buddy Roy Williams, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys to a deal. The signing occurred after the team had cut former 1st-round pick Levi Jones. The Jones deal was anticipated as he wanted out and the Bengals drafted Andre Smith for a reason. Jones is expected to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, reuniting him with former teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

However, Roy Williams is a little surprising as the Bengals have Chinedum Ndukwe, Chris Crocker, Marvin White and Corey Lynch. This tells me that although Crocker signed a new deal with the Bengals they weren't set on him starting next year. Williams comes in after seven seasons with the Cowboys, five of which he made the Pro Bowl and was a feared safety in the NFC. Financial terms have yet to be released but the signing wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the release of Jones. During his career with the Cowboys, Williams had 611 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, 19 interceptions and 56 passes defensed.

Your thoughts on the Williams signing?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eric Bledsoe Will Sign with Kentucky Wildcats......

As reported previously, top recruit Eric Bledsoe had narrowed his list and now it's down to Kentucky and Memphis. It seems sources close to the recruitment of Eric Bledsoe were indicating as of Tuesday night that the five-star point guard was leaning toward choosing Kentucky over Memphis. They're also reports that Bledsoe will sign with Kentucky tomorrow morning. We'll keep you updated.

Monday, May 4, 2009

John Wall Charged with Breaking and Entering

It looks like John Wall was making an unscheduled visit to 537 E. Davie Street in Raleigh on April 27th which resulted in Wall being cited for breaking and entering. Wall, who is the Rivals #1 ranked recruit was cited with a misdemeanor for entering the vacant house. It was not reported that anything was missing or damaged. Wall was with two other individuals at the time who were also cited. Not real sure what the point of entering the home was, they also did not break in but entered through an open back door. Wall is certainly living under a microscope but also has a huge payday in his future. If I were him I would avoid these types of situations to avoid any negative publicity. I don't think this will hurt his recruiting, but group his questionable academics with a potentially questionable reputation and it may have a negative effect in the future.

Check out the story here

This Week in Reds Baseball- May 4th

* This was the week for Reds Pitching. After only giving up one hit against Atlanta (although he walked quite a few) Edinson Volquez followed up that performance with giving up one hit while striking out 8 in 8 innings securing a 3-0 victory for the Reds Wednesday against Houston.

* Not to be outshined by Volquez' performance Johnny Cueto went out against Pittsburgh sunday and pitched 8 innings allowing 4 hits, 0 runs, 9 k's and 1 walk. Cueto improved to 2-1 on the season.

* The Reds had 13 wins in April, the most since 2006.

* Down on the Farm, Homer Bailey seems to be finding a bit of a rhythm. This Saturday in Buffalo Bailey pitched a complete game shutout allowing 5 hits surrendering 1 walk while striking out 5.

*Reds return home this week with two games against division opponent Milwaukee and a big weekend series against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are currently in first place in the division, I don't think it is crucial to win this series but a sweep of the Cards would sure help if we are really going to make a run this year.

* Attendance for the most recent home-stand in Cincinnati left many scratching their heads. After getting almost 90,000 into the ballpark over the weekend series against Atlanta, they struggled to get fans in the seats during the week. Below is the breakdown of the attendance.
Friday vs Braves 30,606
Saturday vs Braves 33,015
Sunday vs Braves 29,327
Monday vs Astros 12,365
Tuesday vs Astros 9,878
Wednesday vs Astros 12,681

NL Central Standings
Cardinals 17-8
Reds 13-11 (3.5)
Cubs 13-11 (3.5)
Brewers 13-12 (4)
Pirates 12-12 (4.5)
Astros 11-14 (6)

This Week's Schedule
Monday May 4 7:10PM at Florida
Tuesday May 5 7:10PM at Florida
Wednesday May 6 7:10PM Milwaukee
Thursday May 7 7:10PM Milwaukee
Friday May 8 7:10PM St. Louis
Saturday May 9 7:10PM St. Louis
Sunday May 10 1:10PM St. Louis

Reds Statistical Leaders
AVG- 0.363 Votto
HOME RUNS- 6 Bruce
RBI- 22 Votto
STEALS- 5 Taveras
ERA- 1.65 Cueto
WINS- 4 Arroyo
SAVES- 7 Cordero

John Wall's List of Schools

John Wall has yet to narrow his list of potential schools and told a reporter with that he will probably narrow that list next week. Wall was scheduled to visit NC Central this weekend but did not end up making the visit. No real shock because I would not think that Wall would have much of an interest playing Division II but Wall played for their new coach and was more than likely doing him a favor. Most would prognosticate that Wall's list is down to Duke, Kentucky, Miami, and Florida. But as we have seen with Wall, only he really knows. A lot of the reason why Wall's recruitment has carried on this long is because he shut it down last year due to his mother being hospitalized with an illness. There have been a lot of questions surrounding Wall's academic eligibility which is still yet to be determined. Either way this kid is keeping a lot of people in the basketball community on their toes. Wall should be able to take his time and make the decision. In my outside opinion, don't be surprised if you see Wall in Miami. He is a one and done guy without a doubt, and wouldn't you rather spend that one in South Beach? He can win with Miami, maybe not a National Championship but at least get them to the tournament.

NBA Playoffs Round Two

One second round series matchup has already began in the NBA while two first round matchups finished up their series in 7 games this weekend. The first round proved once again that the NBA playoffs are the only time to watch NBA basketball but provided us drama and highlight reels that are leaving us amazed at their talent. Below are the matchups for the second round. For those of you keeping score I predicted the eastern first round matchups correct but was a little off on the West.

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland dominated their opening round series sweeping the Detroit Pistons. LeBron James took over as usual and look for him to do the same in this series. Atlanta won their first playoff series since 1999 but looked vulnerable in doing so. Miami was not nearly as complete of a team as the Cavaliers and took Atlanta down to the wire. I think the Hawks will defend their home court a little here but will fall to the Cav's in 5.

Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics

This is a very intriguing matchup. If you are comparing names Boston will win, but Orlando gets a whole lot out of Courtney Lee, Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu. I think the key for Orlando is how well (or poorly) Dwight Howard plays. Boston doesn't match up well in the post with Howard and he should have his way with Perkins. But good guard play takes you a long way in the playoffs and this will help Boston. The Celtics are coming off an absolute battle with the Bulls where they played a record seven overtime periods. Look for Boston to pull it out in 7 games again.

Western Conference

Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have better talent and better depth than the Rockets which will take them a very long way in this series. A combination of Yao Ming, Luis Scola, and Ron Artest in the front court will cause some problems for Bynum and Odom. But again, the Lakers backcourt is much stronger. If Houston can get some production out of Aaron Brooks they could make it interesting but I think the Lakers will pull this out in 5.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets

We get a little early jump on this one because they have already played one game in this series with Denver beating Dallas 109-95 on Denver's home court. I am not at all surprised by the outcome and after handling New Orleans with some pretty impressive W's in the first series I think Denver will survive. Billups is the key to Denver's success and with a lot of experience on this level he can take Denver to new heights. They will work to contain Dirk which will work in the end. I will take Denver in six.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Top 10 Best Trades in Cincinnati Reds History

After much research I've came up with the Top 10 best trades in Cincinnati Reds history. The following trades are listed from ten to one, with one being deemed as the most important for the organization:

(10) 1998
Acquired: Sean Casey from Cleveland
Traded: Dave Burba

Impact: Casey turned into a fan-favorite in Cincinnati. Not only that, he left everything on the field and showed that by batting over .300 five years in a Reds uniform and was a career .302 hitter.

(9) 1984
Acquired: Pete Rose from Montreal
Traded: Tom Lawless

Impact: Rose became a player-manager and revitalized the franchise with his energy. I think this move was important mainly because he set the all-time hit record in a Reds uniform.

(8) 1921
Acquired: Eppa Rixey from Philadelphia
Traded: Greasy Neale and Jimmy Ring

Impact: Rixey won 20 or more games three times. He's the all-time Reds leader in wins (179), starts (356) and innings (2,890).

(7) 1987
Acquired: Jose Rijo from New York Yankees
Traded: Dave Parker

Impact: Rijo ended up being the anchor in the Reds Wire-to-Wire run in 1990. He also went on to play 10 years with the Reds and posted a 97-61 career record, including a 2.83 ERA. The aging Parker put up decent numbers in his years with the A’s but the Reds won this trade.

(6) 1933
Acquired: Paul Derringer, Allyn Stout, and Sparky Adams from St. Louis
Traded: Leo Durocher, Butch Henline, and Jack Ogden

Impact: Derringer teamed with Bucky Walters to give the Reds a formidable 1-2 pitching punch, winning 20 or more games four times. Of his 161 wins, second on the all-time Reds list, 45 came in the pennant years of 1939-40.

(5) 2006
Acquired: Brandon Phillips from Cleveland
Traded: Player to be named (Jeff Stevens)

Impact: Since being traded Phillips has averaged 25 home runs, 26 stolen bases and a .270 average through his first three seasons. Not to mention he won a gold-glove and is one of the best second baseman in the game at the present time.

(4) 1971
Acquired: George Foster from San Francisco
Traded: Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert

Impact: After emerging as a threat with the Big Red Machine, Foster led the NL with 52 homers in 1977 and 40 in '78. He still ranks fifth on the club's all-time list with 244 homers.

(3) 1932
Acquired: Ernie Lombardi, Babe Herman, and Wally Gilbert from Brooklyn
Traded: Tony Cuccinello, Joe Stripp, and Clyde Sukeforth

Impact: Named to the Hall of Fame in 1986, Lombardi hit over .300 seven times in 10 years with the Reds and led the NL with a .342 average in 1938.

(2) 1977
Acquired: Tom Seaver from New York Mets
Traded: Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman

Impact: Seaver continued his Hall of Fame career with the Reds, having tremendous seasons and winning 122 of his 311 wins away from the Mets.

(1) 1971
Acquired: Joe Morgan, Cesar Geronimo, Jack Billingham, Ed Armbrister, and Denis Menke from Houston Astros
Traded: Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart

Impact: In a deal panned by the Cincinnati press, the Reds picked up three big pieces of the Big Red Machine in Morgan, Geronimo, and Billingham. Thanks in large part of this trade, the Reds would run off ten straight winning seasons, five division titles, three National League Championships, and two World Series titles.

Your Thoughts?

The Top 10 worst trades in Cincinnati Reds history will soon follow.

Kevin Parrom chooses Arizona

Kevin Parrom, the #25 SG in the 2009 Rivals Class, has chosen to play in Arizona and former Xavier head coach Sean Miller. Parrom made a recent visit to Arizona and decided shortly after to play for the Wildcats next year. Parrom was previously considering Xavier but when Sean Miller left so did the interest in the Musketeers.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What a Series!

It happened again, I am absolutely hooked on the NBA. The Bulls-Celtics series has been completely amazing. What a matchup, with KG injured these two teams are a perfect matchup with Boston having a slight advantage of starting personnel but Chicago having a stronger bench. Last night Chicago took the Celtics into 3OT's before pulling out a victory. There are way too many highlights for me to go through each one but it seemed like every possession I was saying "Wow, that was clutch." Even the Royal D-Bag Joakim Noah made a nice play in the third OT. The game will now move back to Boston for Game 7. Both teams split the two games on the road and won their next home game, but I would have to think that Chicago comes in with the momentum. Either way, if you are not watching this series you should start watching now. Four of the six games have gone into overtime and another game was won on a last second shot. This series is the epitome of what NBA Playoff Basketball is and the reason why I watch every year.