Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 NFL Predictions Contest

Here is how it will work: List each of your playoff teams below along with you Super Bowl Matchup and end of season awards. For each playoff team you get correct you will get 5 points, 20 points for picking the SuperBowl winner, and 5 points for each award selected correctly. Winner will receive bragging rights and the respect of your fellow NKY SportsWorlders.

Here are mine:
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals*
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
AFC South:Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans*

NFC East: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles*
NFC North: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers*
NFC West: Arizona Cardinals
NFC South: New Orleans Saints

SuperBowl: San Diego Chargers over Chicago Bears

NFL MVP: Drew Brees
Coach of the Year: Gary Kubiak
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Beanie Wells
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Rey Maualuga

2009 Bengals Depth Chart

With only one preseason game remaining and the season right around the corner we are currently looking a number of position battles while a few of the positions are already decided. Below we have listed each of the positions along with a short analysis and predictions as to how the final roster may shake out. The Bengals have already cut down to 75 but must take these players and determine their final 53 man roster.

1.Carson Palmer
2. J.T. O'Sullivan
3. Jordan Palmer

This position is pretty well locked at this point. Palmer is the starter as long as he is healthy and O'Sullivan has locked up the #2 spot. Jordan Palmer has been shaky this preseason but the Bengals like to have younger brother Jordan around for their franchise QB Carson.

Running Back:
1. Cedric Benson
2. Bernard Scott
3. DeDe Dorsey
4. Brian Leonard
5. James Johnson

Benson is the number one and will get the majority of the carries this year. However, don't be shocked to see a two headed game utilizing the speed and versatility of Bernard Scott. Scott will get a good deal of touches this season splitting carries with Benson. The battle comes for the #3 spot between DeDe Dorsey, Brian Leonard, and James Johnson. Dorsey has that game breaking speed but has been injury prone. Leonard is a big bruising body with good blocking ability. I look for Leonard to make the team because he is more versatile and could replace Benson if they need a bruiser.

Wide Receiver
1. Chad Ochocinco
2. Laverneus Coles
3. Chris Henry
4. Andre Caldwell
5. Antonio Chatman
6. Maurice Purify
7. Jerome Simpson
8. Quan Cosby
9. Freddie Brown

There is a good deal of depth in the receivers this year which will leave a few of them off of the 53 man roster. Ochocinco, Coles, and Henry will be the primary options. Look for Coles to be utilized as Houshmanzadeh was in the slot and middle of the field while Henry and Ochocinco stretch. Henry provides that big body which will be solid in the Red zone. As long as Palmer is around all three should be poised for big seasons. The #4 is locked with Caldwell right now. Maurice Purify has had a strong preseason and camp and may have jumped over Jerome Simpson. Simpson still has not been able to get himself on the field, which may result in a hallway meeting with Jim Lippincott. Purify has shown to be a solid gunner on special teams while Quan Cosby could make the squad as a punt returner especially after taking one to the house against the Rams.

1. Jeremi Johnson
2. Fui Vakapuna
3. Chris Pressley

Jeremi is still the number one but in my opinion still far away from being in football shape. Fui Vakapuna has had a strong camp but has been tweaked up at times. Chris Pressley burst onto the scene thanks to Hard Knocks but it looks like the numbers game may leave Pressley on the practice squad.

Tight End:
1. Daniel Coats
2. Chase Coffman
3. Darius Hill

Ben Utecht met with neurologists early this week to see if the head injury suffered during the pre-season that has ended his season and could end his NFL career. Utecht has a history of concussions and there is significant concern that he could suffer long term damage. That puts Daniel Coats at the number one. Coats is a solid blocker but is a liability as a receiver. Rookie Chase Coffman was a beast in college as a receiving tight end but so far for the Bengals he has run routes straight up and down like a hard on and needs to get a base. Coffman lacks the physical nature that Coats brings and may hurt the Bengals in run and pass blocking.

Right Tackle
1. Anthony Collins
2. Dennis Roland
3. Andre Smith

Despite a few penalties this year Anthony Collins has proven to be very strong at Right Tackle. Currently Andre Smith is still on the bottom of the chart but could rise rapidly as they decide where to use him. Early on the plan was to play Smith at right tackle but now there are rumblings that he could move to left side and move to left LG and jump Nate Livings. For now it looks like Collins is the guy.

Right Guard
1. Bobbie Williams
2. Scott Kooistra
3. Andrew Crummey

This is Bobbie Williams spot and Bobbie Williams will hold it down. Kooistra is a decent backup but if we have to depend on him this year it will be a long year for Palmer or maybe even O'Sullivan.

1. Kyle Cook
2. Jonathan Luigs

Cook has been Richie Brahm good so far this preseason which I think is very exciting for the Bengals. Luigs also seems to be catching on and could serve as a long term backup for Cook and provide the Bengals a good option if they need him.

Left Guard
1. Nate Livings
2. Evan Mathis
3. Jason Shirley

Nate Livings has had a few hiccups this preseason but overall has shown that he can compete as an everyday starter. There have been talks of potentially using Andre Smith in this position as speculated in an earlier post. But for now there really are no major position battles other than where Smith will fall.

Left Tackle
1. Andrew Whitworth
2. Augustus Parrish

I love Andrew Whitworth. Whitworth brings an attitude for this line and has shown some very solid leadership to a young line. Whitworth isn't exactly a long term verteran but seems to get it. Meanwhile "Randy Jackson" Parrish seems to be lost most times and may struggle but thanks to the down numbers may very well make the team. Lets just hope we don't have to see him on the field.

Strong Safety
1. Roy Williams
2. Chinedum Ndukwe
3. Kyries Hebert
4. Tom Nelson

Another interesting position to watch play out will be the safety position. For Strong Safety Williams and Ndukwe appear to be locked in. However, Tom Nelson appears to be making a strong case to make the team. I really don't see Nelson jumping over either Williams or Ndukwe but could make a strong case over Hebert who was leading tackler last year on special teams.

Free Safety
1. Chris Crocker
2. Marvin White
3. Corey Lynch

Crocker is locked in at the #1 and White should make the team. That leaves Corey Lynch. Lynch will be grouped in with Hebert, and Nelson as to who to decide they should keep. So far this season Lynch has not impressed the coaches and could find himself without a team.

Left Defensive End
1. Robert Geathers
2. Jonathan Fanene
3. Chris Harrington

Geathers has been pretty strong so far and will get a lot of downs on the end as long as he stays healthy. Fanene has also looked very positive when used in backup situations.

Left Defensive Tackle
1. Domata Peko
2. Clinton McDonald
3. Langston Moore

The Bengals brought Langston Moore back this season to add a little veteran depth to the weakest of positions on the D-Line. Having Peko as your starter doesn't exactly show weaknesses as Peko has emerged as a very solid interior lineman. But the depth at left tackle could be an issue.

Right Defensive Tackle
1. Tank Johnson
2. Pat Sims
3. Ventrell Jenkins

Tank still has some work to do to get back to the caliber of football that we know he can play. But all signs indicate that Tank will be a force inside for the Bengals and could help the interior run defense that we need. Along with Peko on the inside I hope to see a lot of push from the line this year which could free up the linebackers and strengthen the defense. Pat Sims has also been very impressive. Expect to see a lot of bodies rotating through the D-line this season.

Right Defensive End
1. Antwan Odom
2. Michael Johnson
3. Frostee Rucker

Odom has been dealing with injuries again this pre-season which has given rookie Michael Johnson a lot of opportunity. Johnson is a physical animal but has show to be a little shaky as far as finding his spots on the field. When he breaks loose he will be unstoppable. With time I think Johnson will be a stud. Rucker should make the team.

1. Rashad Jeanty
2. Rey Maualuga
3. Darryl Blackstock

Currently the Bengals have Jeanty in front of rookie Maualuga but indications from Hard Knocks show a strong desire to have Rey on the field. The knock on Maualuga since entering the draft was he tends to roam and get out of position. We have seen that work both against him and for him so far this preseason. Either way I think you will see a healthy does of both.

1. Keith Rivers
2. Brandon Johnson
3. Jim Maxwell

I am sure that Rivers has circled the Pittsburgh game on his calender at the opportunity to get a shot on Steelers receiver Hines Ward. If I were Ward I would avoid Keith like the plague. Rivers was on pace last year to contend for Defensive Rookie of the Year and it looks like he has not missed a beat. With the intensity of Maualuga and the veteran leadership of Dahani Jones this linebacking corp could be one of the best in a very good division.

Middle Linebacker
1. Dhani Jones
2. Abdul Hodge
3. Dan Skuta

Jones has the middle on lock, I will be interested to see if they move Rivers or Mauluga over there at all this season to see how well they can handle the position at this level. Jones gives you a very smart option in the middle who will have to help with the youth of Rivers and Mauluga in getting them in the right spots.

Right Cornerback
1. Leon Hall
2. Geoffrey Pope
3. Morgan Trent

Hall has really become a strong cornerback in the league. After struggles early Hall has put himself in good position and paired with Joseph the Bengals have two of the better young corners in the division.

Left Cornerback
1. Johnathan Joseph
2. David Jones
3. Rico Murray

Just as Leon Hall has Jonathan Joseph has also improved greatly in pass defense and will help with a much improved Bengals secondary. With the addition of hard hitting safeties like Roy Williams and the return from injury of Ndukwe. Joseph will be relied on to cover some of the best receivers this season and should answer the call. I expect a much improved secondary this year. With David Jones injured this has opened up opportunity for young guys to step up and make the team.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reports indicate that Andre Smith will sign with Bengals

According to Chad Ochocino's Twitter page the Bengals have agreed in principle with first round selection Andre Smith. The story has also has been picked up by several national media outlets. However Andre Smith's agent, Alvin Keels, has indicated the following:

"Andre Smith has not signed Bengals fans. reports are premature. But we are working hard to get something done."

What could be the case is that they have agreed to a deal in principle but have not yet inked it completely. Either way there seems to be some movement in both camps which is much better than where we were a week ago. Do the Bengals brass have the motivation to get the deal done while the NFL Films cameras are there so they can show the rest of the league and future draft picks that they are willing to work? Who knows, I would doubt that the Bengals have moved too much off of their offer.

We can only wait an see what they offer will be once it is finalized. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Billy Gillispie arrested for DUI

Billy Gillispie press conference
Our poor former basketball leader Billy Gillispie was arrested early Thursday morning in Frankfort, KY for driving under the influence. Apparently Billy Boy refused to take a breathalyzer test along with a passenger in his car. The passenger in his car, Charles O'Conner was also arrested and charged with public intoxication.

This would be the third time that Gillispie has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Once in 1999 in Tulsa, OK and once in 2003 in his first year at Texas-El Paso. I don't think this will help Gillipie's credibility in his lawsuit against the University of Kentucky.

Check out the story here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Xavier Basketball 2010 Committments

Justin Martin (6'7, SF), 4-star recruit, Ranked 83rd on the Rivals150.
Jordan Latham (6'8, PF), 3-star recruit, Ranked 121st on the Rivals150.
Jay Canty (6'5, SG/SF), 3-star recruit, Ranked 130th on Rivals150.

Not to mention Mack has another recruit, Darwin Davis, committed to Xavier for the class of 2011. Davis is a 5'9 PG that is Ranked 68th on the Rivals150.

Amazing how a new head coach in the A-10 can get three Rivals150 recruits to commit to a small D-1 university after a highly-touted coach leaves for the PAC-10. Is Xavier really a mid-major?

As an argument to this how much weight do you place on recruiting website rankings? For instance, both Darnell Wilks and Anthony ("Biggie") McClain of UC were Rivals100 recruits and haven't lived up to the hype yet. However, Deonta Vaughn and Derrick Brown weren't "highly ranked" recruits...

University of Cincinnati Football

Get ready for College Football to start. The University of Cincinnati looks to build on last year's Big East Championship and BCS berth. Here are some recent interesting news and notes

* UC starts off the new season on national television Monday September 7th vs. Rutgers. Pretty big game to start the season opener on the road, against a conference rival, with 10 new starters on defense.

* Last years backup quarterback and previous Notre Dame transfer Demetrius Jones has been named the team's starting linebacker. That will be interesting.

* The University of Cincinnati and head coach Brian Kelly continue to surprise by announcing impressive non-conference opponents year after year. The team announced today that it will travel to Knoxville in 2011 to play at the University of Tennessee. Bold move by the Cats but one I respect. Brian Kelly has always stuck to his word about having no fear playing against top competition. (Take note Ohio State."

“Our philosophy is to play the best possible out of conference schedule,” UC head coach Brian Kelly said. “Tennessee’s football tradition and geographic location make it a great matchup for us.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fantasy Sports Insurance

I was listening to the radio today and they were talking about this so I decided to look it up. Fantasy Sports Insurance, is a website that offers just that, fantasy sports insurance.

"FSI is a new and innovative Disability Insurance policy that protects a fantasy team owners’ investment in their team should a key player(s) suffer a “season changing” injury."

Basically how it works is this coverage will protect your fantasy investment from a "season changing" loss as a result of an injury to a key player. The policy will allow you to recoup your league fee's if you loose a key fantasy player.

I did a test rating just to see how it works:

So let's use Adrian Peterson as an example. There are three coverage options:
Option 1: One key player misses 10 out of the first 15 NFL regular season games.- due to injury
Option 2: One key player misses 8 out of the first 15 NFL regular season games.- due to injury
Option 3: Three Key players miss a combined total of 18 out of the first 15 NFL regular season games- due to injury.

I chose option 1, I want to cover if I lose Peterson for 10 games this season. For examples sake I say that I spent $100 on league fees. I can also select coverage for Intra-season transaction fees (which I chose for $30), as well as addition expenses such as magazine subscriptions, online fee's etc. (which I chose for $20.)

So we are looking to cover our $150 investment which includes league fee's, transaction fee's, and subscription fee's. To cover this the 2009-2010 Fantasy Football premium would be: $18.03.

This really is not that bad of a deal. If you are playing in a high dollar league this can really serve to protect your investment. I have not reviewed the policy language but from what I understand you could still win your league with your other players. This policy will just cover you if your "key player" goes down. You must identify that key player and purchase coverage prior to the loss. So you would have to buy this before the season starts. You can only cover their identified "Top 50." So you can't get your fee's back if you lose Andre Caldwell.

This is a very innovative product that would make sense to use if you were playing in some high dollar fantasy leagues.

2009 Fantasy Football Rankings- Wide Receivers

1. Larry Fitzgerald- ARI
2. Andre Johnson- HOU
3. Calvin Johnson- DET
4. Reggie Wayne- IND
5. Randy Moss- NE
6. Greg Jennings- GB
7. Roddy White- ATL
8. Marques Colston- NO
9. Dewayne Bowe- KC
10. Anquan Boldin- ARI
11. Wes Welker- NE
12. Steve Smith- CAR
13. Vincent Jackson- SD
14. Roy Williams- DAL
15. Chad Ochocino- CIN
16. Terrell Owens- BUF
17. Brandon Marshall- DEN
18. TJ Houshmanzadeh- SEA
19. Anthony Gonzalez- IND
20. Santonio Holmes- PIT
21. Eddie Royal- DEN
22. DeSean Jackson- PHI
23. Bernard Berrian- MIN
24. Lee Evans- BUF
25. Braylon Edwards- CLE
26. Donald Driver- GB
27. Antonio Bryant- TB
28. Ted Ginn Jr.- MIA
29. Santana Moss- WAS
30. Jerricho Cotchery- NYJ
31. Hines Ward- PIT
32. Devin Hester- CHI
33. Laverneus Coles- CIN
34. Torry Holt- JAC
35. Donnie Avery- STL
36. Lance Moore- NO
37. Derrick Mason- BAL
38. Nate Washington- TEN
39. Steve Breaston- ARI
40. Kevin Walter- HOU

2009 Fantasy Football Rankings- Running Backs

1. Adrian Peterson- MIN
2. Michael Turner- ATL
3. Maurice Jones-Drew- JAC
4. DeAngelo Williams- CAR
5. Matt Forte- CHI
6. Steve Slaton- HOU
7. Frank Gore- SF
8. Brian Westbrook- PHI
9. LaDainian Tomlinson- SD
10. Steven Jackson- STL
11. Clinton Portis- WAS
12. Chris Johnson- TEN
13. Brandon Jacobs- NYG
14. Marion Barber- DAL
15. Kevin Smith- DET
16. Pierre Thomas- NO
17. Ronnie Brown- MIA
18. Marshawn Lynce- BUF
19. Larry Johnson- KC
20. Darren McFadden- OAK
21. Ryan Grant- GB
22. Joseph Addai- IND
23. LenDale White- TEN
24. Willie Parker- PIT
25. Thomas Jones- NYJ
26. Cedric Benson- CIN
27. Jonathan Stewart- CAR
28. Reggie Bush- NO
29. Derrick Ward- TB
30. Ray Rice- BAL
31. Knowshon Moreno- DEN
32. Donald Brown- IND
33. Earnest Graham- TB
34. Jamal Lewis- CLE
35. Felix Jones- DAL
36. Leon Washington- NYJ
37. Darren Sproles- SD
38. Beanie Wells- ARI
39. Fred Jackson- BUF
40. Julius Jones- SEA

2009 Fantasy Football Player Rankings- Quarterbacks

Despite the fact that most of the people with whom I play Fantasy Football are regular visitors to this site I wanted to list the rankings of each major Fantasy Football players to help with this years drafting season. For QB's I am only ranking starters. Rankings were based on 6 points per TD.


1. Drew Brees, NO
2. Peyton Mannings, IND
3. Tom Brady, NE
4. Aaron Rodgers, GB
5. Phillip Rivers, SD
6. Jay Cutler, CHI
7. Tony Romo, DAL
8. Donovan McNabb, PHI
9. Matt Ryan, ATL
10. Kurt Warner, ARI
11. Carson Palmer, CIN
12. Matt Schaub, HOU
13. Ben Roethlesberger, PIT
14. Eli Manning, NYG
15. Matt Cassel, KC
16. Matt Hasselbeck, SEA
17. Trent Edwards, BUF
18. Jason Campbell, WAS
19. Joe Flacco, BAL
20. Brett Favre, MIN
21. Shaun Hill, SF
22. Jake Delhomme, CAR
23. Kerry Collins, TEN
24. Chad Pennington, MIA
25. Kyle Orton, DEN
26. David Garrard, JAC
27. Marc Bulger, STL
28. Mark Sanchez, NYJ
29. JaMarcus Russel, OAK
30. Matthew Stafford, DET
31. Brady Quinn, CLE
32. Luke McCown, TB

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mike Brown Doesn't Get It

There are a million opinions and a million blogs out there about Mike Brown and his obvious lack of football intelligence, so I won't bore you with the monotony of another one. I only want to point out one thing; the reason he has never responded or seemed to care about all of the criticism is quite frankly, he doesn't get it.

ESPN recently did a writeup about the whole Mike Brown controversy. (It's a nice read and can be found here.) One quote from him really struct me as odd, but also explained a whole lot at the same time. That part of the story talks about Who Dey Revolution's attempts at a flyby during training camp with a banner reading "101-187-1...HIRE A GM!" Mike Brown's responds only by saying "Well, if they've got that kind of money, they ought to buy some tickets." (Seriously, that's the actual quote.)

Buy tickets?? That's his solution for the fans frustrations?? He's actually suggesting that any frustrated Bengals fan should buy tickets, the one thing these frustrated fans do NOT want to do (as evident by the teams inability to sell out a single game when the last five consecutive seasons sold out.) I wish Brown would have finished by saying what exactly this would accomplish, other than making him more money of course.

Red Hot Reds?

The Reds started out their season "Red Hot" and found themselves amongst the top of the Division for the first few months of the season. However, they have fallen, scratch that plummetted from grace to a meager 52-71. Just look at their breakdown by month:

April: 11-10 (.524)
May: 15-13 (.536)
June: 11-15 (.423)
July: 8-19 (.296)
August: 7-14 (.333)

Despite this great start the Reds were only in first place 2 days this year going back to May 13th. Now they are the farthest back they have been all year at 18.5 games out of first place. Rather than chasing the division the Reds are chasing their worst season since 1982 when they finished 61-101.

Andre Smith Situation

Last night on his Twitter page Alvin Keels posted this after a four hour meeting with the Bengals front office.

"Leaving Cinci, Not any closer on a deal for Andre Smith. Mike Brown says 'the ship has sailed on the slotting system.'"

The Bengals appear to be digging in with their $33 million dollar offer to Andre. Meanwhile Keels is holding strong to their request for more money than Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bey and more money than last years No. 6 pick Vernon Gholston.

I agree with Mike Brown on one point, the current salary system does not make sense. However, I completely disagree that the "ship has sailed on the slotting system." I commend Mike Brown for standing up to change a very lopsided system but it hurts as a Bengals fan to watch this happen with my team. Especially because 30 other owners in the league have voted to keep the system (by signing their players.)

I don't know how this situation will play out. I know that there are only two pre-season games left and Andre Smith is still not in a Bengals uniform. He has missed his first training camp and surely missed out on important bonding, meetings and time on the field. I doubt that Smith will come in and be ready for camp to start.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Others See It Too

An AP article up on proves that we are not the only ones appalled by what we have always known, and Hard Knocks has confirmed. Mike Brown calls the shots, and is why the Bengals will probably never fully succeed. To me, it's outrageous that someone with so little basic football knowledge can run a professional football team. Unfortunately for us, there are no signs of this changing, and after Mike Brown goes, things seem to be downhill from there.
Click Here

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rare Autograph Found on Ebay

Wow, I cant believe I found this guys signed rookie card on Ebay? What I would pay for that!


Hard Knocks Observations

Last night, HBO aired its second installment of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals and once again succeeded in putting on an entertaining, informative, and, especially for Bengals' fans, thought-provoking program.  This week's segment focused primarily on the team's preparation for its first preseason game and its aftermath.  Instead of flooding the blog with a barrage of one-liners, here are three observations I came away with from the show.

Coaches' Evaluations:  I could watch a whole show on Bengals coaches evaluating their players.  I found the scene after the New Orleans game where the coaches (sans Mike Brown) evaluated the team's performance to be revealing but too short to satiate any hunger to know how the players really stand among the coaches.  In particular, the portion of the meeting where they discussed Chris "Slim" Henry as a guy who still has some maturing to do as evidenced by his desire to make a lot of commotion after big plays.  Hard Knocks showed a clip from the first preseason game of Marvin Lewis pleading with Slim to get away from the Saints' sideline after a touchdown and that pretty much summed it up.  It capped off a portion earlier in the show that discussed Chris' past problems, the changes he's made in his life, and the Bengals' -or should I say Mike Brown's?- willingness to give him one last chance to walk the line.  

I can guess but I'd also be curious to know for sure which areas Bob Bratkowski referred to as lacking talent on the offense.  

Carson and Chad: Last night, we got a glimpse of Carson on the field and how he interacts with the other players.  Since Carson arrived in Cincinnati, I've never been impressed with many of his interviews or conferences in the sense that I thought he really assumed and was comfortable with the mantle of leader of the team but I always suspected that it was just his distaste for interacting with the media.  Despite that, I've continued to read reports to the contrary.  After last night's episode, he seemed much more comfortable in the leadership role than I had previously thought.  He was also pretty funny and I thoroughly enjoyed the clips of him and Kyle cook as well as his refined palate for Gatorade.  

As for Chad: I like Chad.  A year ago today, everyone was scheming for the best way to get him out of the 'Nati, perhaps rightfully so.  But when he's focused on being the best at his position and is in the right frame of mind he's a treat to watch.  Despite what John Kiesewetter thinks, I think Chad has made Hard Knocks even more fun to watch.

Andre Smith: If the edit of Katie Blackburn's conversation with Alvin Keels is any indication, Andre Smith might last longer than Justin Smith.  Keels is supposed to be in town after the Patriots game- let's hope that goes better than what last night's episode would suggest.  That's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Have the Reds Found a Cheap Adam Dunn?

Hey, did everyone know the Reds are still playing… Most of you are more interested in Hard Knocks and Bengals preseason games (I can’t blame you).

One positive statistic I came across today that many people, including Dusty Baker, have overlooked is the play of Jonny Gomes. In only 173 at-bats, Gomes has put up solid numbers including a .277 AVG, 15 HR, 36 RBI and a .357 OBP.

Former Red, Adam Dunn, was just in town and it was amazing the amount of write-ups I scanned detailing how the Reds could use his 40 homers and 100+ RBI’s a year now more than ever. Funny thing is the Reds have a guy on their current roster who is also iffy in the field and is known for his bat, Jonny Gomes.

Listed below is Adam Dunn’s current 2009 stats and Gomes’ projected stats if he were to presently have 400 plate appearances.

Dunn: 282 AVG, 63 R, 31 HR, 86 RBI, 131 K
Gomes: .277 AVG, 58 R, 35 HR, 84 RBI, 135 K (Projected)

Cincinnati Reds v Boston Red Sox

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some Mid-Morning Thoughts on the Bengals

* Andre Smith's agent Alvin Keels announced yesterday on his Twitter page: “Sent over what I thought was a very good and fair proposal today to the Bengals! Let’s hope it does the trick. If not back to square one!”

Keels definition of very good and fair may not be the same as Mike Brown and Katie Blackburn. Keels is requesting an increase of pay over the pick that was selected after Smith, which is typically the case. But the Bengals are holding to the fact that the Raiders have overpaid for their pick. Really this whole thing is a mess but it is not all together Keels and the Bengals fault. The system is severely flawed. Rookies are being paid astronomical contracts without proving a thing on the field. Meanwhile players who have proven that they can contribute are struggling for contracts. The superstars will always get paid, but it is the marginal stars and role players who suffer. I would say this should be address in the next collective bargaining agreement. They should reference the NBA how they use "slotting" to determine rookie contracts.

* I really enjoyed Hard Knocks last night some of the highlights and thoughts from me:
- How bad did you feel for Reggie Kelly? That one will hurt the team. Carson has really been a supporter of the impact Kelly has had on this team. From what we saw yesterday you could tell he is a leader and his presence will be missed. That one will hurt.
- I really don't like the way that we cut players. Jim Lippincott, director of player personnel, walked into J.D. Runnels room at 5:30 in the morning, woke him up and told him he was cut. I get why they do it early, so he has a chance to find another team. From what I have seen of the show the Chiefs director of players calls the player in after practice. Jerry Jones would call the players in for the Cowboys. I don't know if that is how they handle every release, but that one didn't look good to me. I surely hope they did not do that for veteran Kenny Watson.
- Chad is stupid, but I love Chad I just can't help it. Child Please!
- I am now very worried about Chase Coffman at TE this season.
- Roy Williams looked very soft in the footage that they covered him, I hope that he turns it up on game day.
- The City of Georgetown and Cincinnati looked very good on camera. HBO does it better than anyone.
- I am really excited to get a better look at Mike Brown and how he handles this franchise. We had a sneak peak in on some of the meetings that he had with the whole team and whole staff. I think this footage may answer some questions for Bengals fans.

* First preseason game is this Friday night in New Orleans. Preseason game are worthless for the most part outside of the first few series. I am interested to see our run and pass defense against a good offensive Saints team. Also interested to see how the O-line holds up. Its still early but hope to open up with a bang!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NKU Athletics Website

The Northern Kentucky University athletics department have launched a brand new website that covers all Norse athetics. It is a huge upgrade from the previous site. Hopefully someone in the department will keep the content up to date. On the old site the Men's Basketball information still have information from the GLVC tournament. It is definately worth checking out. The address is

Reds Need To Take After Brewers

Today, the Milwaukee Brewers did something that Cincinnati fans have been asking the Reds to do for a long time. The Milwaukee Brewers took ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions. The Brewers have seen their season slipping away and today made several monumental moves to their ballclub. In the process, the Brewers ate a huge amount of money and apologized to their fans for the decisions they have made and the turn the seasons is taking. In a flurry of moves, the Brewers designated for assignment Bill Hall who just three seasons ago hit 35 home runs. The also optioned to AAA Indianapolis former All-Star SS JJ Hardy and fired pitching coach Bill Castro who had been with the organization for 18 years. The Bill Hall move will cost the club 11 million dollars.

Do you ever see the Reds doing something like this? How long did we sit on the contract of players like Alex Gonzalez just because we were ignorant enough to pay them large amounts of cash? How long will we continue to keep Brooke Jacoby has hitting coach and Dick Pole as pitching coach with the Cincinnati Reds continuing to finish near the bottom of the league in hitting and pitching. Today I am ashamed to say that I salute the Milwaukee Brewers.


Anyone for JJ Hardy? The Brewers still owe the Reds a player to be named later in the trade for David Weathers?
Hardy stats (26 Years old): 2007 164 Hits, 30 Doubles, 26 HR, 80 RBI, 73 Ks, .277
2008 161 Hits, 31 Doubles, 24 HR, 74 RBI, 98 Ks, .283
2009 (371 AB) 85 Hits, 14 Doubles, 11 HR, 45 RBI, 73 Ks, .229

Despite recent splurge of young arms, Reds still loaded with young guns...

NKYSportsWorld first Guest Columnist Brian-

Over the recent weeks, the Cincinnati Reds have traded away a couple of very talented young arms, from their minor leagues most notably Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke who were included in the Scott Rolen deal. They also traded away Robert Manuel to Seattle for Wladimir Balentien. For many organizations, this splurge of talent would be devastating to the young crop of talent within the minor league system. However, the Reds have been building this very slowly, and have acquired a good stock of young arms within the minors that are still left despite these trades.

A few examples of these young arms are two young men now patrolling the back end of the Riverbats bullpen in Louisville, Logan Ondrusek and Enerio Del Rosario. Both the 24 year old Ondrusek, who stands 6 feet seven in stature (ala Aaron Harang) and the 23 year old Rosario began the season in Single A.

After successful stints in both A (2-0 O.96 ERA in 13 games, pitching 18.2 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 ER, 7 BB. and 12 SO) and also in AA ( 2-1 1.65 ERA in 24 games, pitching 32.2 innings, allowing 21 hits, 6 ER, 12 BB, 24 SO and 7 saves). Ondrusek now finds himself as one of the closers for the Triple A Bats, where he has been spectacular ( 0-0 0.00 ERA in 7 games, pitching 8.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO and 4 saves).

Del Sorario has been equally as impressive in his ascent to Triple A Louisville from Single A Sarasota, in A (2-1 1.98 ERA in 31 games, pitching 50 innings, allowing 40 hits, 11 ER, 6 BB, 33 SO, and 7 saves), while in AA( 0-0 1.59 ERA in 4 games, pitching 5.2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO and 1 save). Del Rosario also now finds himself enjoying success with the Triple AAA Bats ( 0-0 1.13 ERA in 5 games, pitching 8.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, and 2 saves). Ondrusek and Del Rosario are only two examples of the youthful talent that is conjugated in Louisville.

Along with these two, 22 year old starter Travis Wood has found his way to Louisville, after compiling impressive numbers in Double AA ( 9-3 1.21 ERA in 19 games, all starts, pitching 119 innings, allowing 78 hits, 16 ER, 37 BB, and 103 SO). Wood has also enjoyed success in Louisville,( 2-1 2.55 ERA in 4 games, all starts, pitching 24.2 innings, allowing 19 hits, 7 ER, 12 BB, 14 SO). These three young arms along with International League leader in holds with 16, 26 year old left handed Pedro Viola, and also 25 year old left-handed starter Matt Maloney, who made his major league debut earlier this season, and the Reds have a solid group of young arms waiting on the horizon.

The success of these young arms must have made it much easier for Walt Jocketty to pull the trigger to bring much needed leadership to a team in tailspin. Championship teams are not built over night, and require the right mix of talent, whether youthful or not. The steps are being taken to build this team as a contender for more than just one year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pitino-Sypher Story Comes Out

NCAA Elite 8: Michigan State Spartans v Louisville Cardinals
Finally we know the details that were involved in the case between Karen Sypher and Rick Pitino. According to a story posted in the Louisville Courier Journal released just minutes ago Rick Pitino confirms that he had consensual sex with Karen Sypher and gave her $3,000 to have an abortion. Check out the article here.

The next few days will be interesting to see how the national and local media react to this story. I cannot see this ending well for Coach Pitino. The University of Louisville has reported that they are standing behind their coach in support. I can only imagine how much backlash will come from the Pro-Life supporters.

We hold our public figures in higher regard and sometime to higher standards. But not only committing adultery but also contributing to an abortion will no doubt be devastating to Pitino. I understand that this does not affect his ability to coach and win basketball games, however, as a Head Coach you should be a role model to your players. Pitino has not succeeded in that respect and it could hurt him with recruiting in the future.

Andre Smith Hold Out

Cicinnati Bengals Minicamp
The Cincinnati Bengals and first round selection Andre Smith have yet to come to terms of an agreement and it does not look like they are going to get a contract signed any time soon. Mike Brown and the Bengals are notorious for digging in their heels and holding strong to their offer, and it seems like Smith's agent, Alvin Keels, may be a little bit in over his head at this point. And honestly the Bengals offer is pretty strong, they are offering Andre Smith a 5 year $33 million offer. What is complicating the deal are the contracts that were signed around Smith.
Andre Smith is the highest pick yet to sign at #6. The number 5 selection Mark Sanchez signed with the Jets at 5 years $60 million. Where the trouble comes is the deal the #7 selection Darrius Heyaward-Bey signed with the Raiders at 5 years $38 million dollars. Most believe that the Raiders overpaid for Heyward-Bey, but Smith and his agent are holding strong that they will not sign for less than the player selected after Smith. Smith's representatives are seeking a five year $40 million dollar deal.
As far as the other Offensive Tackles taken in the first round Jason Smith taken at #2 signed a deal for 5 years $62 million, Eugene Monroe has not yet signed with the Jaguars at the #8 pick and #23 selection Michael Oher signed for 5 years $13.8 million.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jay Canty Commits to Xavier

Jay Canty, a small forward out of North Carolina, has committed to Xavier University. Canty will join Jordan Latham as the second recruit signed for the 2010 class at X.

Canty averaged 22 points last season and is ranked 124 overall on the Rivals150, 3-stars by Scout, and a scout grade of 88 by ESPN.

The only thing that scares me off is that High Point was the only other school to offer him a scholarship. I know some recruiting sites ranked him as good prospect but it's interesting that no big name schools recruited him hard, especially schools in North Carolina such as Wake Forest, N.C. State, etc.

Latham (6'8) and Canty (6'5) are much needed recruits for 2010 as Xavier will be guard heavy in 2010 with Crawford, Holloway, Redford, Lyons and Jackson still around.

Rivals High Top 100 Football Teams

Rivals has released their top 100 pre-season ranked teams in the country. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area is represented really well on the list. Check out where the following local teams ranked nationally:

#4 Elder Panthers
#13 Colerain Cardinals
#39 St. Xavier Tigers (Louisville)
#50 Moeller Crusaders
#68 Trinity Shamrocks (Louisville)
#76 Highlands Bluebirds

Check out the full list here.

Ouch! Peter King on the Bengals of Old

In this weeks Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King discussed Dick LeBeau and how he should be in the Hall of Fame. He also takes a big shot at the Bengals...

"LeBeau did not succeed as a head coach, going 12-36 in three seasons with the Bengals when he finally got his chance to run a team. But I can tell, having been around that team a lot over the years, that Vince Lombardi could have coached them with Bill Walsh his offensive coordinator and Bill Belichick on the defensive side, and it'd still have been a disaster."

Read more:

Kenny Watson Released by the Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
According to, veteran RB Kenny Watson was released from the Bengals on Monday along with fullback J.D. Runnels Jr. Watson saw action in 10 games last season and only rushed for 55 yards on 13 attempts. In 2007, Watson started 5 games and managed 7 rushing TD's and 763 yards rushing averaging 4.3 yards per carry. DeDe Dorsey has showed a lot of promise so far this training camp, perhaps this move shows greater confidence in Dorsey as a backup and Benson as the starter.

Sign of the Times

Dayton Daily News Cincinnati Reds beat writer Hal McCoy announced last week that after this season he will no longer be covering the Cincinnati Reds. This is not a retirement by choice. The 68 year old writer has been told that the Dayton Daily News will no longer be covering the Reds with a beat writer. This is a sign of the times as newspapers and reporters around the nation are closing and losing their jobs. Unfortunately it is a dying industry. No longer are they getting the necessary revenues from subscriptions, advertisements, and classifieds. For years Hal McCoy has provided honest and accurate analysis and opinion on the Cincinnati Reds, a voice that will surely be missed. He wrote a great goodbye article in the Dayton Daily News on Thursday.

Check it out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stormy Weathers Headed Toward Milwaukee

Stormy to Milwaukee... Derek didn't say it would be like this!

David "Stormy" Weathers was traded to Milwaukee for a player to be named this weekend. Looks like Jocketty is beginning to try to shed salaries as Weathers is making $3.5 million this year and had a club option for 2010 worth $3.7 million or a $400,000 buyout.

I will miss Stormy, he was consistent and posted an ERA in the mid-threes the past five seasons. He's currently posting a 3.32 ERA and the stat that stands out to me is he's posting a .199 BAA. He was a class act and put forth his best effort game in and game out.

Is this a surprise.... no. It's something that needed to be done as Stormy will soon be 40 and we literally can't afford to pay him close to $4 million next year. But do you trade him to a division rival??? We've traded or let division rivals sign players in the past couple years and it's ended up biting us in the you know what (See Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse, Todd Coffey).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bengals Training Camp

The Bengals are in the first week of their traning camp and with Hard Knocks and position battles I am getting very excited for football season. To get the rest of you excited I wanted to post this video to get you ready for football season.

Check it out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 Arroyo and Harang Likely to Clear Waivers

I find this to be quite amusing. Sport Illustrated recently released what they believe to be the Top 10 list of mlb players to clear waivers this year if placed on waivers. Four of the top five players they listed to more than likely clear waivers are either current or former Reds:

Likely to clear

1. Bronson Arroyo, Reds pitcher: He's a winner, but his other stats (WHIP, ERA), probably don't justify his salary. The Reds wanted the Yankees to pay the full $17 million freight through 2010. Realistically, they'd probably have to chip in a few million to make anything work.

2. Adam Dunn, Nationals slugger: That $12 million salary for 2010 should scare anyone off. He was traded after the waiver deadline last year, and it could happen again. Belongs in the American League, a place he has yet to play.

3. Jose Guillen, Royals outfielder: He said it himself. He "s----.'' At $12 million per, he sure does.

4. Aaron Harang, Reds pitcher: Like Arroyo, the former ace hasn't lived up to his high pay.

Click Here for the full article.

Louisville Loses big Melo to Syracuse

Highly ranked recruit Fabricio De Melo, aka "Fab Melo", has decided to play his collegiate basketball for Coach Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange. Depending on which school site you read Melo was leaning toward Louisville and Syracuse. Most of the Cardinal fans had considered Melo to be a lock for them and the class of 2010. This is a considerable loss for Pitino and his Cardinals, especially to lose him to a conference foe.

Bengals Training Camp Report

I was going through some different online sources to prepare an assesment of the Bengals training camp when I came across John Thornton on his All Pro Blogger. This is the best recap I have found, he brings a very unique perspective as a former player and obviously very familiar with this team. Check it out.

TE Kelly Done for the Season

The Bengals have suffered their first training camp loss of the year. Veteran TE Reggie Kelly ruptured his Achilles tendon in practice Monday morning. The 11 year veteran will have surgery on the tendon on Wednesday and will more than likely miss the entire Bengals season. He injured the tendon during a non-contact drill, his tendon popped while making a lateral move.

Kelly has primarily been a run and pass blocking Tight End for the Bengals. With Ben Utecht and rookie Chase Coffman being strictly receiving tight ends, the Bengals will need Daniel Coats to step up and take over the roll as blocking tight end in Kelly's absence. With there already being major questions surrounding the offensive line and blocking, this could be a big set back for the protection of Palmer and Benson.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What could have been

Okay, maybe its not a dream team. And I realize in today's baseball where the size of your market generally dictates how much you can spend, that this probably would not be possible. But, here is the team the Reds could have right now.

C Ramon Hernandez
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
3B Scott Rolen
SS Felipe Lopez
LF Adam Dunn
CF Mike Cameron
RF Josh Hamilton

SP Aaron Harang
SP Bronson Arroyo
SP Johnny Cueto
SP Ryan Dempster
SP Kyle Lohse

RP Arthur Rhodes
RP Daniel Ray Herrera
RP David Weathers
RP Jared Burton
RP Jeremy Affeldt
RP Todd Coffey

CP Francisco Cordero

BN Ryan Hanigan
BN Jerry Hairston
BN Jorge Cantu
BN Cody Ross
BN Chris Dickerson

Could this team compete?

Worst Case Scenario for Volquez

The Reds announced that this morning pitcher Edinson Volquez had Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. Timothy Kremcheck. This surgery means that the Reds number one pitcher will be out at least 12 months recovering from this procedure. So the Reds will be without Volquez until at least after the All Star break next season. It seems that what was once a very promising part of this Reds team, the rotation, now has more questions than ever. What is the deal with Harang? Can Arroyo stay consistent? Is Bailey the real deal? Can Micah Owings be a starting pitcher? With our ace out a year, I am worried about this staff.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reds Trades

First off, I really don't like the deal that the Reds have made with Toronto. The Reds trade Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke, and Zach Stewart to the Blue Jays for Third Base veteran Scott Rolen. I like the acquisition of Rolen, and don't all together mind losing Encarnacion. But I HATE losing Roenicke, and Stewart was one of the Reds best prospect arms, with only two seasons in the minors. Rolen, a fourteen year veteran, has a lifetime .287 batting average and will step into this team as perhaps the second best hitter. I imagine that you will hear a lot about how he will be the good clubhouse guy and the veteran this team needs. But how long will it take him to get the respect from the clubhouse? I just don't like it. Why are dumping youth for veterans? Sure Edwin's contract was too big, but Rolen's is bigger. I hope that they prove me wrong.