Saturday, December 18, 2010

Interesting Fact of the Day

University of Cincinnati football team was exactly close to stellar in the late 1990's but check out their coaching staff from 1997-1998:

Rick Minter- Head Coach
Jimbo Fisher- Offensive Coordinator (Florida State Head Coach)
Rex Ryan- Defensive Coordinator (NY Jets Head Coach)
John Harbaugh- Special Teams Coach (Baltimore Ravens Head Coach)
Mike Tomlin- Defensive Backs Coach (Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach)
Joker Phillips- Wide Receivers Coach (University of KY Head Coach)
Bob Wylie- Offensive Line Coach (Denver Broncos OL Coach)

Pretty impressive staff for an 8-4 team

Thursday, December 16, 2010

D-Bag of the Month

The D-Bag of the month goes to Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi. Not only did he purposely trip Miami Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll, but then he gets up at a press conference and pushed tears about how sorry he was. It was a total douche move on his part. Not only that it was completely pre-meditated and they have been doing it all season. It's unfortunate that tools like this guy are able to work on NFL sidelines while there are tons of hard working people who respect the game must watch from the stands.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You Know What Grinds My Gears

Cliff Lee vs. Lebron James

Im not sure if I am way off base here but aren't Cliff Lee and Lebron James one in the same? However, one is portrayed as a wise saint and the other a lowly coward taking the easy route. Over this summer, Lebron James left Cleveland for Miami. He took less money to form an NBA All-Star team in hopes to win an NBA championship. Multiple media personalities and former NBA players including Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan ripped James for his decision calling him a coward and proclaiming they would never do the same. Cliff Lee signed with Philadelphia yesterday taking less money to team with Roy Halliday to form an All-Star team of pitching aces. One where he wont even be the opening day starter. Yet he is proclaimed as driven and unselfish.

Am I missing something here? All I know is Lebron James is the only reason why I watch the NBA and that won't change.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brian St.Pierre?? Really??

The Carolina Panthers have signed and announced that Brian St. Pierre will be their starting QB for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens over 3rd string QB Tony Pike. St. Pierre, who is 2 of 5 for 12 yards in his NFL career, was a stay at home dad only last week. After much digging, I have found the secret, actual Panthers QB depth chart.

1. Matt Moore
2. Jimmy Clausin
3. Brian St. Pierre
4. Jared Lorenzen
5. Paul Blake (Necessary Roughness)
6. Akili Smith
7. Matt Leinart
8. Junior Floyd (Little Giants)
9. Ryan Leaf
10. Jordan Palmer
11. Dave Klinger
12. Bobby Hoying
13. JaMarcus Russell
14. Craig Krenzel
15. Andy Reid
16. Tony Pike

UPDATE: After seeing this video , the Panthers have just added Andy Reid to the number 15 spot.

Friday, October 22, 2010

NBA is almost here

The NBA regular season is right around the corner and I cannot wait! I have said on here a number of times that the NBA is back. There are so many story lines to follow this season and so much pairity in the NBA I think this is going to be a fun year. With no team in Cincinnati I have the luxury of being a casual NBA fan. I can't say that I have any one team that I call my favorite. Here are a few that I will be following this season:

-Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are about as close as a home team that we have in Cincinnati. They have one of the best players in the league that no one knows about in Danny Granger. Granger has that game chaning ability and is just as electic as the top stars in the league. The problem is there is not much around him.

- Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant is my favorite NBA player to watch. Everything he does is incredibly smooth. He is humble, a team player, and very very good. The Thunder have a good cast of charachters that no one has ever heard of Westbrook, Sefolosha, and Krstic are all good role players on the team. I would expect the Thunder to hang around all season and have a better showing in the NBA playoffs.

- Miami Heat
Who isn't excited about watching the Miami Heat! With the much publicized addition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Wade, Bosh, James combo is without a doubt the most talented group in the NBA. We have never seen a team assembled in my lifetime with such dominating players. The problem in Miami anything less than a Championship would be considered a failure. That is a lot of pressure to get through a pretty balanced league.

- Boston Celtics I typically hate all things Boston but for some reason I have always been a little bit of a Celtics fan. Since they added thier big three (Allen, Garnett, and Pierce) I have followed their team very closely. They have made some interesting off-season additions in Jermaine O'Neil and Shaquille O'Neal if they can get some good split time from the two and take some pressure off of Kendrick Perkins this team could really get back to the NBA Finals.

-Los Angeles Clippers I can remember watching the Clippers about 4 or 5 years ago (I didn't look it up) when they made the playoffs for the first time in a long time. They were scrappy, dynamic, and played really hard. I fell in love with the Clippers then. Although most if not all of those players are gone they are still an interesting team. The get Blake Griffin this season who missed all of last year with injury, they have Eric Gordon who is coming into his own and Baron Davis who stil has some gas in the tank. I think the Clippers will make the playoffs this year and I am looking forward to watching.

In addition to following these teams I am looking forward to watching John Wall (Wizards) DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) and Patrick Patterson (Houston Rockets).

Back at it....

I think I have finally come out of my depression regarding the Reds. The emotional swing of just one week was pretty intense! I have to confess I didn't even watch the game on Sunday night. I was following via cell phone while on a business trip in San Francisco but after games 1 and 2 I knew a series loss was inevitable. As much as we wanted to rip on Colin Cowherd the numbers just didn't lie about this team. They were a good team who made a living beating up on bad teams. The Reds finished with losing records against teams in the upper echelon of the league. But I think the future is bright in Cincinnati. The nucleus of this team should be back next year with the addition of some good young talent.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Northern Kentucky University 2010-11 Men’s Basketball Preview

After a disappointing 17-13 season (8-10 in conference play), the NKU Norse men's basketball team looks to return to the top of the GLVC with a entirely re-shaped roster of D-1 transfers and several key returning players.

Although the Norse will be without David Palmer and Scott Bibbins (graduation), Dustin Maguire (medical setback - quit team) and Dennis Gagai (torn mcl - out majority of the season), the team has much to look forward to with four transfers, three from D-1 programs, including:

Josh Tabb (6-4, Sr.) - Tabb comes from the University of Tennessee. He started 11 games last years for the Volunteers and saw action in 33 games where he primarily served as the sixth man. He averaged just over three points and nearly two assists per contest. Volunteer coach, Bruce Pearl, suspended Tabb last year and gave no reason for Tabb’s suspension, other than saying he “hadn’t taken care of his business like we expect him to.’’ It was reported that Tabb withdrew from Tennessee to be with his ailing mother.

Malcolm Eleby (6-3, Sr.) - Eleby comes to the Norse from the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure, an A-10 powerhouse…Eleby started 57 games in three season for the Bonnies racking up nearly 6 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds per contest.

James Cotton (6-8, So.) - Cotton is a transfer from Maryland-Eastern Shore. He played in 19 games last season as a freshman, starting three times. He averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds per game last year.

Bobby Shannon (6-5, Jr.) - Shannon is a JUCO transfer who led the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference in scoring with an average of 23 points per game for Southern Maryland. In high school, Shannon led all Washington, D.C. area players in scoring during his senior year at Potomac High School. He averaged 27 points and led his team to a share of the Prince George's 3A/2A league title and the Maryland 2A South Region postseason championship. He originally signed with Marshall out of high school and was recruited by some big schools, including: Arkansas, Georgetown, Maryland, Villanova, Memphis, UTEP, George Washington and Iowa State.

The Norse also return:

Chris Knight, a 6-7 senior who averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds per game last season.
Corey Sorrell, a 6-5 sophomore who averaged 8 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Ethan Faulkner, a 6-1 sophomore who averaged 4 points and 3 assists last season.
Tony Rack, a 6-0 junior who averaged 4 points and shot 52% from 3-point range last year.

Although the team may be small, I feel they could put together a good showing in the GLVC this year. Team chemistry could be a problem early on as it may take some time for players to get used to all the new transfers and the changing in the offensive scheme due to the graduation of Palmer (averaged 17 points per game last season as the teams go-to guy in the post).

It's always tough to project a roster with so many new players, however, this is how I think things will pan out:

Starting Lineup
F - Chris Knight
F - Bobby Shannon
G/F - Corey Sorrell
G - Josh Tabb
G - Malcolm Eleby

Key Reserves
F - James Cotton
G - Ethan Faulkner
G - Tony Rack
F - Eric Stenger

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's only one game

So, it turns out that it really doesn't matter who pitched for us in game one last night. No one, not Arroyo, Wood, Cueto or Bob Gibson was going to beat Roy Halladay last night. It was just an amazing playoff performance and something that we may never see again. Halladay threw 29 balls all night long. He got up to three balls in the count just three times. He walked Jay Bruce on a close called ball 4, the only at bat that kept Halladay from perfection. The Reds obviously helped Halladay along the way. I was screaming at Brandon Phillips for swinging at the first pitch in the ball game...but it felt like they never did that again. Mike and Mike were talking about it this morning. Halladay threw first pitch strikes to 25 of the 28 batters he faced, 16 of those strikes were looking. The last three batters in the 9th inning, Hernandez, Cairo and Phillips all looked at first pitch strikes last night. Before the game, Dusty sat with Marty Brennaman and was adamant that the Reds had to be agressive and get after Halladay early. It was important that the Reds not fall behind. Well, that didn't work out last night.

Luckily we do live to play another day. The Reds will face former Reds killer Roy Oswalt on Friday night. We all know the history of Roy Oswalt against the Reds but this year has been a different story. In two starts this year Oswalt is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA giving up 17 hits and 9 runs in 12 innings. Of course, both of those starts were in an Astros uniform. Oswalt has been a different pitcher since the trade to the Phillies. In a Phillies uniform Oswalt is 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA. Dare I say, nearly unhittable, because he's only given up 53 hits in 82 2/3 innings pitched. I'm sure the Philly fans, and maybe the Phillies themselves are expecting no competition from the Reds on Friday night. I can only hope the Reds can prove them wrong!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NLDS Game 1 Lineups

The lineups are out, thanks to Lance McCallister's Twitter page!

Cincinnati Reds

2B-Brandon Phillips
SS-Orlando Cabrera
1B-Joey Votto
3B-Scott Rolen
LF-Jonny Gomes
RF-Jay Bruce
CF-Drew Stubbs
C-Ramon Hernandez
P-Edinson Volquez

Philadelphia Phillies

SS-Jimmy Rollins
CF-Shane Victorino
2B-Chase Utley
1B-Ryan Howard
RF-Jayson Werth
LF-Raul Ibanez
C-Carlos Ruiz
3B-Wilson Valdez
P-Roy Halladay

Reds Playoff Roster Set

There are two veteran players who did not make the Reds postseason roster, Aaron Harang and Jim Edmonds. I think everyone knew that Harang would not make the cut, which is really a shame because he has been such a pillar for this Reds rotation the last 5 years. But his stuff is just not there and there are younger arms who have surpassed him. Edmonds was the wild card, he has been dealing with injury all season and his strained oblique made him too risky to add him to the lineup.

RHP- Edinson Volquez
RHP- Bronson Arroyo
RHP- Johnny Cueto
RHP- Francisco Cordero
LHP- Arthur Rhodes
RHP- Nick Masset
LHP- Aroldis Chapman
RHP- Logan Ondrusek
LHP- Bill Bray
RHP- Homer Bailey
LHP- Travis Wood

Position Players
1B- Joey Votto
2B- Brandon Phillips
SS- Orlando Cabrera
3B- Scott Rolen
RF- Jay Bruce
CF- Drew Stubbs
LF- Jonny Gomes
C- Ramon Hernandez
C- Ryan Hanigan
OF- Chris Heisey
OF- Laynce Nix
IF- Miguel Cairo
IF- Paul Janish
IF- Jaun Francisco

Not on the Roster
C- Corky Miller
MI- Chris Valaika
UT- Jim Edmonds
1B- Yonder Alonso
UT- Willie Bloomquist
P- Mike Leake
P- Aaron Harang
P- Micah Owings
P- Sam LeCure
P- Jared Burton
P- Carlos Fisher
P- Matt Maloney
P- Jordan Smith

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Checking up on our Predictions

Only three NKYSportsWorlders put their MLB Predictions up this season. And the picks weren't that far off. All three had Philly winning the East, not a real shocker. Only one person picked the Reds to win the Central (this guy) and Redleg2420 had them winning the Wild Card. No one picked the Rays to make the playoffs, and surprisingly no one took the Rangers!

Redleg2420- 5 correct picks
SHU- 4 correct picks
Adam- 4 however DQ'd because I picked two Wild Cards! What an idiot!

Reds Playoff Schedule

Wednesday, 5:07 p.m. in Philadelphia (TBS)

Friday, 6:07 p.m. in Philadelphia (TBS)

Sunday, 7:07 p.m. (TNT) or 8:07 p.m. (TBS) in Cincinnati . Reds play at 8:07 if Yankees-Twins series ends in three games.

Monday, 5:07 p.m. if necessary (TBS) in Cincinnati. Moves to 7:37 if Giants-Braves series ends in three games.

Wednesday, 6:07 p.m. if necessary, TBS in Philadelphia. Moves to 8:07 if Giants-Braves series ends in four games.

Looking at the Lineups

One of the great things about Major League Baseball are the statistics. I have always been a statistics nerd and like to look at the numbers. The numbers never lie. Here is a position by position comparison of the starters for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.


CIN- Ramon Hernandez .297 /7 HR/ 48 RBI/.792 OPS
PHI- Carlos Ruiz .302 /8 HR/ 53 RBI/.847 OPS

First Base

CIN- Joey Votto .324/ 37 HR/ 113 RBI/ 1.024 OPS
PHI- Ryan Howard .276/ 31 HR/ 108 RBI/ .859 OPS

Second Base

CIN- Brandon Phillips .275/ 18 HR/ 59 RBI/ .762 OPS
PHI- Chase Utley .275/ 16 HR/ 65 RBI/ .832 OPS


CIN- Orlando Cabrera .263/ 4 HR/ 42 RBI/ .657 OPS
PHI- Jimmy Rollins .243/ 8 HR/ 41 RBI/ .694 OPS

Third Base

CIN- Scott Rolen .285/ 20 HR/ 83 RBI/ .854 OPS
PHI- Placido Polanco .298/ 6 HR/ 52 RBI/ .726 OPS

Right Field

CIN- Jay Bruce .281/ 25 HR/ 70 RBI/ .846 OPS
PHI- Jayson Werth .296/ 27 HR/ 85 RBI/ .921 OPS

Center Field

CIN- Drew Stubbs .255/ 22 HR/ 77 RBI/ .773 OPS
PHI- Shane Victorino .259/ 18 HR/ 69 RBI/ .756 OPS

Left Field

CIN- Jonny Gomes .266/ 18 HR/ 86 RBI/ .758 OPS
PHI- Raul Ibanez .275/ 16 HR/ 83 RBI/ .793 OPS

There were a lot of things that jumped out at me in looking at the numbers. Comparing the two teams they are pretty close to each other by way of offensive production. The one that really shocked me was the comparison of Drew Stubbs and Shane Victorino. Before actually looking at the numbers I had considered this a weakness for the Reds and advantage for Philadelphia but the numbers did not support that. Stubbs has been just as productive as Shane Victorino this season.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Joey Votto should be National League MVP

Toward the end of the Major League Baseball season there were three players in the National League in the hunt for Most Valuable Player. Joey Votto of the Reds, Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. The only player to lead his team to the post season was Joey Votto. Here are the statistics:

(*) denotes NL rank
Joey Votto
AVG: .324 (2)
HR: 37 (3)
RBI: 113 (3)

Carlos Gonzalez
AVG: .336 (1)
HR: 34 (4)
RBI: 117 (2)

Albert Pujols
AVG: .312 (5)
HR: 42 (1)
RBI: 118 (1)

Looking at the numbers they are all pretty much on top of each other. I think most would say that Pujols is out of the race and it is down between Gonzalez and Votto. I think the fact that Votto has led the Reds to the MLB, has the best OPS in baseball, and had balanced statistics at home and on the road will give him the nod. Check out the splits for Gonzalez and Votto at home and on the road.

Carlos Gonzalez
Home: 114 Hits, 26 HR, 76 RBI, .380 AVG, 1.161 OPS
Away: 83 Hits, 8 HR, 41 RBI, .289 AVG, .775 OPS

Joey Votto
Home: 79 Hits, 18 HR, 56 RBI, .297 AVG, .951 OPS
Away: 98 Hits, 19 HR, 57 RBI, .349 AVG, 1.093 OPS

I find it interesting that Votto actually hit a little better on the road. But overall has a extremely balanced production. I have heard arguments that Gonzalez' numbers are inflated because of playing in Colorado, the numbers would support that. Apologists or people pulling for Gonzalez would say that Great American Ballpark is also a hitters park which would inflate Votto's numbers, but the statistics do not support that. Votto is the more balanced player and should be MVP.

If Votto did win the National League MVP he would be the 12th Cincinnati Red and the first in 15 years to win the prestigious award. His predecessors are the following:

1938- Ernie Lombardi
1939- Bucky Walters
1940- Frank McCormick
1961- Frank Robinson
1970- Johnny Bench
1972- Johnny Bench
1973- Pete Rose
1975- Joe Morgan
1976- Joe Morgan
1977- George Foster
1995- Barry Larkin

Can the Reds do it?

The Cincinnati Reds definitely have an uphill battle in the 2010 Postseason. Their reward for their 1st appearance in 15 years is a date with the Philadelphia Phillies, a team with the best record in baseball. The Phillies are a balanced team with a wicked pitching staff and a ton of professional hitters. And most of the guys on the Phillies have been there before when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.

But look out for this Reds team. They have surprised people all season long, and they are young enough and maybe dumb enough to do it! When you back a man into a corner his instinct is to fight and I think this team might fight their way out of it. No one is giving them a shot and the most dangerous team in sports is typically the team with nothing to lose.

Reds Pitching Probables

We know the first game of the series is set.

Edinson Volquez (RHP) vs. Roy Halladay (RHP)

Volquez has an excellent career record against the Phillies going 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 16Ks in 12 innings pitched. Halladay is 1-1 against the Reds but has a blistering 33k's in 31 innings pitched.

Game two probables are:

Bronson Arroyo (RHP) vs. Roy Oswalt (RHP)

Arroyo is the only Reds starting pitcher with playoff experience pitching for Boston in the early part of the decade. Oswalt has traditionally been a Reds killer with 23 career wins against the Reds. But this season Oswalt has been 0-2 against Cincinnati with a 6.75 era in 12 innings pitched.

Game three in Cincinnati probables:

Johnny Cueto (RHP) vs. Cole Hamels (LHP)

Cueto has been better at home this season than on the road. And Dusty wants to go Power pitcher, spot pitcher, power pitcher against Philly. Hamels is 1-0 against the Reds with a 0.00 ERA this season. And in his career Hamels has never lost to the Reds going 6-0 in 7 games with a 1.07 ERA.

Bengals all over the Board

The Bengals lost to the Browns. That cannot happen. The Browns are terrible yet they always seem to find a way to play us tough. Football takes a different turn when you play in the Division. There is so much familiarity within the Division it is tough to win every game (which makes what last years team did even more impressive.) But this Cincinnati team should not lose to the Browns, plain and simple.

Thinking back on the game what do you attribute the loss to? Carson Palmer has been the whipping boy in losses (and wins) this season. But yesterday Palmer played pretty good throwing for 371 yards, two TD's and 0 INT's (although there was a botched handoff and a fumble from Palmer.) But here is an interesting statistic that I read on When Palmer throws for more than 300 yards the Bengals have lost 3 straight and seven of their last eight games. This team is built for the run and they need to utilize our backfield to be successful.

There were a few costly penalties yesterday that really hurt the Bengals as they tried to come back. The call on Chinedum Ndukwe on Ben Watson was a joke. Ndukwe did not lead with his helmet did not unnecessarily hit Watson, it was a standard play from a safety trying to knock the ball loose. It turned a 21 yard catch into a 36 yard gain. Another big penalty came on the offense, with the Bengals driving in the 4th on 3rd and 3 Ochocinco gets called for offensive pass interference which pushed us back out of Field Goal range.

I would have to say that overall the game was sloppy. There were some dumb plays, some bad plays, and just overall bad game for the Bengals. You cannot put yourself in that much of a hole against any team in the NFL. There are a lot of things not clicking right now for Cincinnati and they will need to figure that out very soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seriously Cincinnati, just enjoy the Moment!

Just two days after our Cincinnati Reds locked up the National League Central Division Championship there were two stories crowding the airwaves in Cincinnati.

- First, you have a ton of people calling in to local radio shows complaining about Dusty Baker's post-clinch lineup. Dusty was resting his starters for the playoffs. It happens all over the NFL, NBA, and NHL. For one game Dusty Baker gave his studs a break and the backups some valuable time. Yet, people in this city want to begin the serious criticism of the decision and spend the day railing on Dusty rather than enjoying the position that we are in.

- Second, the 5 individuals who filed complaints with the Cincinnati Health Department for the Reds smoking Cigars indoors need to really get a life. As one blogger put it "they were not disturbing your meal at Olive Garden."

It has been 15 years since this team has been in the playoffs people. I recommend stopping and enjoying the moment. I think the years of losing has most "fans" wired to just bitch and moan. Relax people!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Playoff Matchups

Here are the teams we could potentially see in the playoffs and our record against them in the regular season.

Atlanta Braves
2-3 (.400)
24 runs scored
24 runs allowed

Philadelphia Phillies
2-5 (.286)
27 runs scored
30 runs allowed

San Diego Padres
2-4 (.333)
27 runs scored
29 runs allowed

San Francisco Giants
3-4 (.429)
37 runs scored
56 runs allowed

The Night in Photos.....

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning during their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cincinnati Reds players celebrate clinching the NL Central Division after defeating the Houston Astros in their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cincinnati Reds players celebrate after clinching the NL Central Division after defeating the Houston Astros in their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker celebrates after clinching the NL Central Division by defeating the Houston Astros in their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker celebrates clinching the NL Central Division by defeating the Houston Astros in their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Jonny Gomes (L) celebrates after defeating the Houston Astros in their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrates after defeating the Houston Astros in their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce celebrates hitting a home run against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati, Ohio September 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

From the NKYSportsWorld Vault

This was first posted last August from Guest Columnist "Mr. Chocolate Milk Man" Brian. Not a bad assessment considering what happened with this team. I wanted to re-post this because I find it interesting that a lot of these guys are helping us right now. Although it does sound that he was not really happy with the Rolen is that working out now?

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.

Who is responsible for this team?

A few of us NKYSportsWorlders last night at the Reds game were having the discussion of who was responsible for this team. We had a consensus that Jim Bowden had absolutely NOTHING to do with the current Reds success but spoke a lot about O'Brien, Krivsky, and Jocketty. Then today on Lance McCallisters blog at he posted the following which is pretty interesting.

How the Reds were built
(The General Manager that acquired each of the players on the Reds roster.)
Jim Bowden (2)
Joey Votto, draft, 2nd round, 2002
Ryan Hanigan, non-drafted free agent, 2002
Dan O'Brien (6)
Homer Bailey, draft, 1st round, 2004
Paul Janish, draft, 5th round, 2004
Jay Bruce, draft, 1st round, 2005
Travis Wood, draft, 4th round, 2005
Logan Ondrusek, draft, 13th round, 2005
Johnny Cueto, non-drafted free agent, 2004
Brad Kuhlman, interim GM (1)
Aaron Harang, trade, 2003
Wayne Krivsky (8)
Drew Stubbs, draft, 1st round, 2006
Jordan Smith, draft, 6th round, 2006
Chris Heisey, draft, 17th round, 2006
Brandon Phillips trade, 2006
Bronson Arroyo, trade, 2006
Edinson Volquez, trade, 2007
Francisco Cordero, free agent, 2007
Bill Bray, trade, 2006
Walt Jocketty (11)
Aroldis Chapman, free agent, 2010
Mike Leake, draft, 1st round, 2009
Ramon Hernandez, trade, 2008
Orlando Cabrera, free agent, 2010
Scott Rolen, trade, 2009
Jonny Gomes, free agent, 2009
Miguel Cairo, free agent, 2010
Laynce Nix, free agent, 2008
Jim Edmonds, trade, 2010
Arthur Rhodes, free agent, 2008
Nick Masset, trade, 2008

We are the Champions!!!!!

Wow! What an energy last night at Great American Ballpark. I have been a Reds fan my entire life and I have never been to a Reds game like that. What an amazing feeling as a fan to watch your team clinch the National League Central Division Championship. For so many years I have had to watch other teams celebrate in the locker room, other fans cheering their winners, but not this year. This year it is our turn! This year the Reds are Champions!

At times last night the energy in the crowd was nervous energy. There was a mixture of watching on the field and watching the scoreboard. We all saw Pittsburgh take an early lead on St. Louis but no one in the stands, and I suspect in the dugout, wanted to become the Champions in that way. We all wanted to do it on our field. And with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the ninth inning Jay Bruce brought it home!

How do you react to a Division Championship? I don't know? I was 11 last time the Reds were in the playoffs. While I was a huge fan at the time I didn't have the same everyday following like I do now. But it is really hard for me to fathom the fact that people around the country are going to be watching my Cincinnati Reds in the playoffs. Fans from Milwaukee, Kansas City, Arizona, Detroit, and Seattle will be watching our Reds and wishing they were in the post-season.

I have decided that I am going to be an optimist here. No one predicted the Reds would win their Division so they are playing with house money. Why can't it be us? Why can't we be the ones who go out and shock the world and win it all? Remember those Marlins teams that did it with young talent? That could be us. Now lets go do it Redlegs. Our 2010 NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL CHAMPIONS!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random rumblings

* Carson Palmer is not an elite Quarterback. That is the first step in my Bengals Fan confessions. I have for many years held out that Carson is an Elite Quarterback in the NFL but things have just not gone his way. I have said to myself and friends, "he is just still timid from the Knee injury, he will be fine." But guess what, the Knee injury happened in 2005! He has also dealt with the shoulder injury from 2008. But there are other QB's in the league who have dealt with injury and just brushed it off. The injury excuse for Palmer is over. This team has given him all of the weapons they can now it is time for Palmer to step his game up. I love the guy "that's my quarterback" But if this team is going to succeed they need Palmer to make the throws that he has continually been missing. To his credit, I don't think this offensive line is a strong of a pass blocking line than people will say, Palmer has been getting the ball out fast but under a decent amount of pressure.

* The Reds magic number is down to 3 games. Last night was a train wreck for sure. Cueto gives up 8 runs in 1 1/3 innings and Harang comes in to give up 2 more before leaving after being drilled by a line drive. (I seriously thought the ball broke his leg, that sounded nasty!) But last night was kind of a blessing to me. Dusty was able to play some guys that have not been on the field in a while and give some rest to our studs. The Cardinals continued their streak against the Pirates and got drilled so we lowered the magic number by one game. The playoffs can be wrapped up this weekend in San Diego. (Did I just say that?)

* Kentucky football has their first big test of the season this weekend when they play Florida in Gainesville. This is not last years Florida team for sure but they are still a strong opponent with some weak spots. Mike Hartline has been phenomenal so far this season and they will need him to be very good to beat Florida.

* We are still waiting for the official report out of Alabama regarding the grades of Eric Bledsoe. There are a couple of issues at hand but if it is revealed that Bledsoes grades were tampered with in any way I am sure he would be retroactively ruled ineligible and Kentucky would have to vacate their season. Stay tuned.

* Louisville recruit Tony Wroten Jr. tweeted last night that he had a good visit with "Coach Patino," now that is funny!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This is my confession...

Okay, anyone who has spent a good deal of time around me knows that I love sports and more specifically I love American sports. ('Cause America is the greatest ) But that is starting to change and like another significant change in my life that occurred when I was 12 I am not sure what I think about it.

Thanks to the badass graphics, smooth gameplay, and overall awesomeness of FIFA for Playstation 3 I have started to become a fan of soccer. It all happened very innocently. I was on vacation in Florida with my wife's family. There were a bunch of guys on the trip and on rainy days we would play PS3 and my bro-in-law pulled out FIFA. It was on from there. I began to start to figure out the strategy of the game and how to score. (I also figured out you can just cherry pick run out for a goal or you are offsides, stupid rule, if you could do that games would be like 15-10)

So after playing a lot of matches of FIFA I started to notice that I have the Fox Soccer channel on my cable package and started watching English Premier League Soccer on Saturday mornings. It has been rather enjoyable. I have been DVR'ing the games and watching them when I get a chance. This is great because I never see the scores on SportsCenter or randomly on my sports sites because no one follows the Premier League in the States. Plus the games are on early Saturday morning when TV is typically terrible.

I think my problem has been I have been subjected to the horrendous Soccer in the United States and the MLS. English Premier League is great, I really like the fanaticism shown by the fans and the history behind it. The atmosphere is awesome. I still think the game can be a little slow but it is a lot like hockey, when there is a chance for a goal or a goal the excitement level increases significantly. I am not going to say that Soccer is my favorite sport or be a huge poser, I just wanted to let my NKYSportsWorlders know that I have a new appreciation for the sport. I will expand on this in the future this was just my confession to the world.

News of the Day

*Homer Bailey is blaming his performance last night on dizziness so hopefully this is not a sign of him breaking down. Chris Welsh commented a few times on the broadcast last night that Bailey was only getting his fastball between 88-90.

* Francisco Cordero owes Jay Bruce a Jeff Ruby Steak. Bruce saved the game last night for Cordero who looked like he was going to blow yet another save. After a good stretch for Cordero he seems to be back in that bad place. The timing couldn't be worse. The good news if Cordero can't get it done in the playoffs we always have Chapman to turn to.

MVP Watch

Joey Votto
.320 / 34 HR / 104 RBI

Carlos Gonzalez
.341 / 32 HR / 106 RBI

Albert Pujols
.307 / 39 HR / 104 RBI

To me it is not really a two man race between Joey Votto and Carlos Gonzalez. Traditionally the award will go to a player who has led their team to the playoffs. The Reds are a lock for the playoffs and the Rockies are in the middle of a hunt for the NL West. Gonzalez's numbers are pretty impressive considering his age and I think he may be the early favorite for the award.

* Looks like there is some serious regret in the decision TJ Houshmandzadeh made last year to move to Seattle. In a phone interview with local reporters Housh said, "I just didn't think it through thoroughly like I should have. I tell people now if you have a chance to stay with your team and the offers are anywhere close, stay."

* The media is continuing to be all over Marvin about Chad Ochocino and his use of Twitter. Give it up! It is not a distraction for Chad. His production has been up last year and so far he is off to a great start. I am tired of the media trying to portray the athlete as being someone who has to focus their entire life to the game and have no outside interests. Twitter has given the opportunity for fans to get an inside glimpse of the players as humans, not just athletes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

News and Notes

* Reggie Bush gave back his Heisman. I get that the comparison for Bush and Simpson that I made in a previous post are two different scenarios. But goes back to one of the things I hate about the NCAA. Looking back at Bush they will just say that Reggie Bush never existed and he was not the best player in the NCAA during his run a USC because he accepted cash. It like when the NCAA says that Memphis did not make the National Title game because Derrick Rose did not take his own SAT. I am pretty sure I saw Reggie Bush dominate people and pretty sure Memphis barely lost to Kansas. But whatever. NCAA system is flawed but I don't know how to fix it.

* The Reds are going to make the playoffs. One more time....The Reds are going to make the playoffs. I sheepishly predicted that in my MLB predictions post but that is because I am homer and I always pick my local teams. Did I expect this team to do it this year? Not really. But I think people who follow this team closely know that the Reds have a good deal of young talent. And we are talking REAL talent not Jim Bowden talent. But I still think this team has some inconsistencies and I am not expecting them to make the World Series. But anything can happen in October.

* Week 1 for the Bengals was pretty much a disaster. I began to write a re-cap of the game and just could not bring myself to finish it. I can't think of one thing they did good in the first half of that game and by the beginning of the second half the game was over. Sure the offense picked up a lot of yards and point in the second half but New England was completely in cruise control. I still think this Bengals team is good and definitely a playoff contender. They will figure it out. There are too many weapons on this team for them not to. This week is a great test with Baltimore.

* The University of Kentucky is already in the middle of a player eligibility situation that frankly has me worried. Reporters in Alabama have been digging up a story regarding Eric Bledsoe's grades in high school. Apparently there are some big changes in his grades from Junior to Senior year. Which if the kid knew he had a chance to play DI and subsequently go the NBA there is serious incentive to work hard. But I am also not naive and know there there is corruption at every corner of the NCAA. I don't know how this situation will end, but I really believe that when you deal with these blue chip kids there is only trouble to follow. Just how the system works. Quite a shame.

* Notre Dame has gotten off to an interesting start to the season. Back to back losses to Michigan is tough to swallow and the Irish were pretty much single handedly beaten by Denard Robinson who gained over 500 yards by himself! But they were without Dayne Crist for most of the first half after suffering from a head injury in the first quarter. I think Notre Dame will figure it all out by season's end and be just fine under BK.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Survival Football

Prove your NFL Knowledge and join our NKY SportsWorld NFL Survival League. Below are the details.

Yahoo Survival Football
Group ID#: 27420
Group Password: bengals
Start Week 1
Deadline Sunday at 1:00 pm EST
Number of Strikes 2 Strikes and you're eliminated
Playoffs Yes

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Superbowl Predictions

The ESPN panel likes the Ravens. Peter King has the Steelers winning it all. What do they have in common?- they will both more likely than not be wrong.

Superbowl predictions in August are usually futile, but fun to make. What are everyone's predictions for the Superbowl and division champs?


East - Jets
North - Bengals
South - Colts
West - Broncos
WC - Ravens, Texans


East - Dallas
North - Packers
South - Saints
West - 49ers
WC - Panthers, Eagles

SB - Dallas over Jets

Mad props to Merril Hoge for picking the Bengals to reach the Superbowl.

Another attack of the little b*%ches....

Check out this story.

Apparently last night in Milwaukee a fan was ejected from the stadium after complaints from Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina. The fan insists that he never yelled profanities with Molina but was bantering back and forth. It looks like the Cardinals were whining and complaining as usual which caused the ejection of a fan. Seriously Cardinals, give it up!

Reggie Bush and the Heisman Trophy

There were reports circulating yesterday indicating that the Heisman Trust was going to take away the Heisman trophy from Reggie Bush due to his improper contact with and agent while at USC. This would be the first time they have stripped a player of their Heisman trophy. I have been listening to a lot of national reaction from this and most are saying that it should be taken away he needs to understand the consequences. The question I have, if they are going to take Reggie Bush's trophy away why would they not take away the trophy from OJ Simpson? Everyone knows what OJ has been involved in since his retirement why would they not go back and take it away? It is because the Heisman, the Hall of Fame, and any other sporting award is a recognition of an athlete's on field performance. It is not about if the player sings in the church choir it is what is accomplished between the lines. Reggie Bush was the best player in college football and the fact that he took money from an agent does not change that. It is the exact same reason I think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. He should not have bet on baseball, but his gambling does not take away the fact that he was the greatest hitter in the history of the game.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


* Kentucky played an excellent first half Saturday in Louisville, but then Louisville played a better second half. At the beginning of the game it looked like Kentucky would run away with it but some adjustments by Louisville made it closer than expected. Kentucky will struggle against their league competition (shocker!) and I really think Louisville will be better than expected, although expectations are low.

* At first glance Dayne Crist looked uncomfortable in the fast paced Brian Kelly spread offense. But looking back at the stat lines he had a pretty solid game. What impressed me most was the Irish defense. They were able to rack up four sacks, two interceptions and chased Purdue all over the field all this with their stud Manti Te'o playing a bad game. If their defense can play strong they have so many weapons on offense this team will surprise some people.

* Boise State and Virginia Tech last night had the feel of a BCS Championship game. There was so much energy on the field and in the stands. Good for Boise to finally have a national stage early in the season, Boise is good. But also don't discredit Virginia Tech, they overcame a 17 point deficit to take a late third quarter lead. That was a fun game.

* Colin Cowherd caught a lot of flack for his comments a few weeks ago about the Reds not being able to beat talented teams. Well guess what, they can't! They have an easy schedule down the stretch that will bode well for their playoff chances but doesn't look good for a deep playoff run. The Reds are 14-26 (.350) against teams that are in first or second place in the league. Not good!

* Guess what, Aroldis Chapman is human.

* Tough loss for the Football Bearcats Saturday night. Apparently the offensive line stayed in Clifton as they gave up 8 sacks. The offensive line is the most important element of an offense, not good for UC. Also they will be without their #1 receiver Vidal Hazelton who tore his ACL. Hazelton was a transfer from USC who had to sit out all of last season. Just overall a tough day for UC.

*I have had a theory for a long time about TJ Houshmandzadeh and his presence in the locker room. He was always very demonstrative on the field when he didn't get a ball or didn't get a call. There was tension in the Bengals locker room for some time and that seemed to go away a bit last season. Add to that he was released this weekend by Seattle who still owes him a TON of money. Why would they just throw all of that away? My best theory is because he is a toxic player and they don't want him around. Now he is in Baltimore, which doesn't worry me at all. I think Housh hit his peak and is on the decline.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoughts on the Reds...

*I love that this city is getting behind the Reds. Cincinnati is electric right now. With a recent string of success for the Bengals, and now a 7 game division lead in September I don't think Cincinnati fans know how to deal with this! Cincinnati has been mired in mediocrity for years, and where outsiders would say we are still nothing more than mediocre. I don't care, Cincinnati is in the drivers seat to make the playoffs for the first time in 15 years and I am going to enjoy it!

* What a night last night for the Reds and rookie phenom Aroldis Chapman. The whole stadium waited in anticipation for Dusty Baker to call on the kid, and once the Reds built a comfortable 5 run lead Baker called on "The Cuban Missle" to pitch in the eighth. I almost felt bad for Jonathan Lucroy last night. He was the Brewers first victim of Chapman. Aroldis hit him with a fastball and then a nasty slider. Three more fastballs and Lucroy was out. What an atmosphere!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN radio and they are discussing former Ravens head coach Brian Billick has made a statement regarding Rex Ryan and his language on Hard Knocks. Billick said:
"Whether the camera is on you or not, you ought not to be using certain language."

Seriously Brian Billick? Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? For a group of NKYSportsWorlders we know the history of Brian Billick and his mouth, and one trip through YouTube will give you plenty of inappropriate Billick comments when the camera was rolling. So I ask you Mr. Billick, "Can I get a measurement, can I get a fu*%#@g measurement?"

How About those Reds!

The Cincinnati Reds are 76-55 and are currently leading the division by 6 games......someone please pinch me!

Throughout this entire season it has not always been pretty, it has not always been dominating, but they just find a way to win. National pundits like Cowherd want to say this team can't beat a good opponent. And to Cowherd's credit if you look at the statistics they do have a losing record against the upper echelon of the National League. But who would have expected the Reds to be this good? No one! (Other than me of course)

They just keep doing it by the skin of the teeth but in the end that doesn't matter because they do it. To most baseball fans they probably don't know most of this Reds team. They know Arroyo, Rolen, and now probably Votto. But what they don't know are the guys like Gomes, Cairo, Nix, Stubbs, Yanish, Valaika, Hannigan, Bruce, and Phillips all of the guys who have had those moments throughout the season when we needed them.

I love this team and most importantly I love this pitching staff. Think of all of the options that we have. They are calling up Aroldis Chapman today add that to Volquez, Cueto, Harang, Wood, Leake, Arroyo, Rhodes, Massett, Ondrusek, and Cordero it is not a team of All-Stars but a servicable staff with a whole lot of options.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bengals to release Antonio Bryant?

Twitter is buzzing with multiple people indicating the Bengals are set to release recent Free Agent Antonio Bryant. Bryant was signed in the offseason after clearing a physical from team doctors. If they do release Bryant this will be another negative mark on the Bengals front office. There are few complaints the past few years about the personnel decisions that have been made, however you still have a few questionable choices, like drafting Andre Smith (which I supported at the time.) There have been no sources yet confirming his release but all signs seems to be pointing in that direction.

Reds Schedule down the Stretch

The Cincinnati Reds are currently enjoying a 3.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. They have not experienced this much success in over a decade. But if they really want to make a push and lock up a spot in the post season they are going to have to continue taking advantage of weak opponents. Check out the upcoming series for both Cincinnati and St. Louis (home games in bold):

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago (3 games)
Milwaukee (3 games)
St. Louis (3 games)
Colorado (4 games)
Pittsburgh (3 games)
Arizona (4 games)
Houston (3 games)
Milwaukee (3 games)
San Diego (3 games)
Houston (3 games)
Milwaukee (3 games)

St. Louis Cardinals

Washington (4 games)
Houston (3 games)
Cincinnati (3 games)
Milwaukee (3 games)
Atlanta (4 games)
Chicago (3 games)
San Diego (4 games)
Pittsburgh (3 games)
Chicago (3 games)
Pittsburgh (3 games)
Colorado (4 games)

UK Releases 2010-2011 Basketball Schedule.

Nov. 5 (Fri) DILLARD [EXH.] TBA
Nov. 19 (Fri) 1 vs. Portland 10:30 p.m.
Nov. 22 (Mon) 2 vs. Oklahoma 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 23 (Tues) 2 vs. Virginia/Washington / 4:30/9:30 p.m.
Nov. 24 (Wed) 2 vs. EA Sports Maui Invitational / / TBA
Nov. 30 (Tues) BOSTON TBA
Dec. 4 (Sat) at North Carolina 12:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 (Wed) 3 vs. Notre Dame 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 (Sat) INDIANA 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 22 (Wed) WINTHROP TBA
Dec. 31 (Fri) at Louisville Noon
Jan. 3 (Mon) PENN 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 8 (Sat) • at Georgia 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 11 (Tues) • AUBURN 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 15 (Sat) • LSU 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 18 (Tues) • at Alabama 9:00 p.m.
Jan. 22 (Sat) • at South Carolina 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 29 (Sat) • GEORGIA 4:00 p.m.
Feb. 1 (Tues) • at Ole Miss 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 5 (Sat) • at Florida [ESPN College GameDay] 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 8 (Tues) • TENNESSEE 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 12 (Sat) • at Vanderbilt 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 15 (Tues) • MISSISSIPPI STATE 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 (Sat) • SOUTH CAROLINA 4:00 p.m.
Feb. 23 (Wed) • at Arkansas 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 26 (Sat) • FLORIDA 4:00 p.m.
Mar. 1 (Tues) • VANDERBILT 9:00 p.m.
Mar. 6 (Sun) • at Tennessee Noon
Mar. 10-13 (Th-Su) 4 SEC Tournament [Atlanta] / TBA
Check local listings • All times Eastern

For a rundown of each opponent check out this link.

Truffle Shuffle Season 3 Draft Analysis

Last night was the third annual Truffle Shuffle Fantasy Football Draft. Some were winners, most were losers. Check out the full rundown below. If you are not in the league you probably don't care. I understand that, but its my blog and I can do what I want!


The squad who pays homage to lifetime backup J.T. O'Sullivan stayed pretty conservative in the draft until the later rounds. With a solid base in place with Turner, Mendenhall, and Jennings this squad started to shoot all over the board in the later rounds. He took a chance on a few guys like Bernard Barrian, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Lee Evans. The draft grade was set to be much higher until the final round when he selected Shayne Graham.

Key Player: Michael Turner
Reach Player: Mohamed Massaquoi
Sleeper: Javih Best

Final Grade: B

Smushing Ain't Easy

This team started pretty strong with a Ray Rice, Andre Johnson, LeSean McCoy foundation. It seemed as if Smushing was going to be easy early on. But while the rest of the league spent time grabbing QB's, Smush was loading up on WR's and TE's. Finally in round 9 he grabbed Kevin Kolb, and after ridicule from the peanut gallery he began to panic and drafted Cutler and Eli Manning using the often controversial 3 Qb set. What he failed to realize in his barrage of QB picks is that all three have the same bye week. I did the math and the probability of this happening is only 1/2,209,390,637,378. The panic continued and he selected two defenses.

Key Player: Andre Johnson
Reach Player: Laurence Maroney
Sleeper: Knowshon Moreno

Final Grade: F-


He-Man tied with Wanna Get High? for longest average time per pick at just under 35 minutes to make his selection. With the bottom of the snake draft he took Drew Brees at pick 9 which I thought was solid. Ryan Matthews in round two was the sexy pick but questionable to me with guys like Williams, Mendenhall, and McCoy on the board. HE-MAN will be hoping to strike gold with his RB's with Mathews, Charles, and Spiller. Apparently HE-MAN really enjoyed watching the Super Bowl last year he drafted a record 4 New Orleans Saints.

Key Player: Drew Brees
Reach Player: Victor Cruz
Sleeper: C.J. Spiller

Final Grade: C-

Lord Voldemort

The dark lord hasn't always been known as a trendsetter, but set a trend in this draft by taking the first QB and grabbing Aaron Rodgers in round 1. That caused mass panic in Truffle Shuffle land which resulted in a run on QB's in late round 1 early round 2. The rest of the league thanks you for this trend because it gave some of us some later round steals. Voldemort grabbed a few good WR's in Miles Austin, Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, and Eddie Royal. But is somewhat weak on RB's with Shonn Greene, Pierre Thomas, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

Key Player: Aaron Rodgers
Reach Player: Pierre Thomas
Sleeper: Hakeem Nicks

Final Grade: B-

The Rick Rollers

This team is never gonna give you up, and certainly never gonna make you cry. The Rick Roller stringed together quite possibly one of the greatest drafts in the history of fantasy drafts. He didn't quite shock the world with a Chris Johnson first pick. But on the back end of the snake grabbed Reggie Wayne and Calvin Johnson in a somewhat WR heavy league. It seems as if Rick lost a little focus near the end with some shaky picks like Justin Forsett, Malcolm Floyd, and Mike Wallace. But killed it in the end with a solid Devin Aromashodu 14th round selection.

Key Player: Chris Johnson
Reach Player: Dez Bryant
Sleeper: Justin Forsett

Final Grade: Epic


Team Champ didn't quite live up to their name in this draft and had the highest "had to search for that guy" rating of the night. He started off solid with Jones-Drew, Brady and Roddy White. Then the LandShark Lager kicked in and he picked Matt Forte and Steve Slaton. Then in later rounds he selected T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Vince Young, and Michael Bush. That's when I realized that he had a fantasy magazine from 2009. Tough luck Championship. There is always next year.

Key Player: Maurice Jones-Drew
Reach Player: Steve Slaton
Sleeper: Jeremy Maclin

Final Grade: C+

Wanna Get High?

As mentioned previously, Wanna Get High was tied with HE-MAN for longest average time per pick, and what made that worse he had back to back picks. Wanna Get High? has a history of dominating the regular season and promptly getting knocked from the playoffs in his first post-season game. He decided this year that was not going to happen to him anymore, so he drafted Marion Barber, Beanie Wells, Zach Miller and Brandon Jacobs. He surely won't win the regular season with that crew. He stayed true to his Bengaldom by picking Benson with the first pick round #2, Terrell Owens round 8, and Jermaine Gresham round 10. I thought he got a steal in round #5 for NYG Steve Smith.

Key Player: Cedric Benson
Reach Player: Jermaine Gresham
Sleeper: Zach Miller

Final Grade: C

The Skidmarks

The good news for the Skidmarks, Frank Gore was available for his first pick and he didn't have to be embarrassed by taking Alex Smith first if Gore were gone. The whole room knew who was going #3 once Skidmarks went on the clock and true to 49er form he took Gore #3. I loved DeAngelo Williams late 2nd round. Joseph Addai is questionable in round #4 with some other RB's on the board at that point. He got a couple of steals with Arian Foster in round #9 and the pick of the night Thomas Jones in round #14!

Key Player: Frank Gore
Reach Player: Joseph Addai
Sleeper: Arian Foster

Final Grade: B

Galactic Empire

The Empire strikes back in this league and struck hard with a few solid early picks in Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss, and Ryan Grant. The Empire lives by the creed "If you ain't first your last" and we all knew something was coming when he asked, "what round is it?" then promptly took the first TE Dallas Clark in round #4. The Empire also started the run early by taking a defense in round #9. He got a nice pick in round #12 with Darren Sproles and completely screwed me in round #10 and took Reggie Bush.

Key Player: Adrian Peterson
Reach Player: Braylon Edwards
Sleeper: Pierre Garcon

Final Grade: B-

Team Andy

Team Andy, proudly beaming in his team name originality, was our Fantasy Draft virgin. And you wouldn't know he was a Fantasy Draft first timer. I thought he went a little too early on Steven Jackson in the first round with some studs still on the board but backed that up with Schaub, Marshall, Ochocinco, and Sims-Walker. I thought for being a first time player Team Andy really had a solid showing. He did get a little Atlanta happy in the end with his two final picks of Michael Jenkins and Jerious Norwood.

Key Player: Matta Schaub
Reach Player: Fred Jackson
Sleeper: Michael Crabtree

Final Grade: C+

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NFL Fantasy Draft Guide

I have been an avid Fantasy Sports player for many years. And tonight is yet another live draft. I think my favorite part of Fantasy sports, other than total domination of my friends, is the draft. Fantasy drafts are really one of societies accepted total nerd activities. Think about it. There are 10-12 guys in a room, most probably wearing some football shirt or jersey. The guys have books, magazines, lists, and spreadsheets and are mulling over picking their "fantasy" players who are going to gel together. It's a total nerd event but I love it!

With that being said I have always wanted to do a full fledged fantasy analysis on my blog, but since all of the guys that are in my league are in my fantasy leagues it makes it difficult to post my strategies. But this year I am opening up for the masses (and most importantly my competition) and giving you this NFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

So here are some simple rules to follow if you are a first timer (or a player in my league)

Don't listen to those "experts" on TV and in magazines. They will tell you that you shouldn't take a kicker with your first few picks. Well guess what, they tell you that because they want you to lose so they can win! I am on to this conspiracy. Take a kicker early and be sure to have a backup kicker on your bench.

Another tip, Running Backs are overrated. Do you get excited about four yards per carry? Most receptions are around 10 yards. That's six extra yards that you are leaving on the table. Don't let them fool you.

If you have ever followed sports you know the old adage "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships." Do you just want to win some games, no! You want to win it all, and to do so you have to have a solid defense. So while the rest of the world is following their numerous publications and going RB, RB, QB. You can be racking up a crazy strong defense. Think about it!

Peyton Manning has been one of the most successful QB's in the league, and he has done so by using a Tight End. Don't get caught in the trap of undervaluing a tight end on your team. Again, while everyone else is stockpiling RBs, QBs, and WRs you could be grabbing top notch TE's.

Just some things to think about as we enter this fantasy draft season. Again, I hope that all of the my friends and associates who play fantasy football with me will read my guide and finally take heed to my suggestions. If you all follow my strategy it will surely bring home a championship!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reds call up Two

The Reds have called up two players to the big leagues right-handed pitcher Sam LeCure and infielder Chris Valaika.

LeCure was up earlier in the season and went 1-4 with a 4.86 ERA. He was 8-3 with a 3.67 ERA. LeCure will work in the bullpen this time after being a starter in his last call up.

Chris Valaika will make is debut with the Reds tonight. In Louisville he hit .304 with 4 HR and 53 RBI. Valaika is likely to replace Jim Edmonds who was injured last night.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Give it a rest St. Louis!!

Check out this article

If you don't feel like wasting your day reading St. Louis news the headline is "LaRue's out, Cueto's in: Is that fair?"

The article indicates that Jason LaRue has been placed on the 60 day DL as a result of his concussion. And the writer is whining and complaining about Johnny Cueto only getting a 7 game suspension. They say that Cueto has "ended LaRue's season." He also mentions that St. Louis had to find a way to get Pedro Feliz on their roster. I don't want to speculate that LaRue did not get injured, but I seriously doubt that his injuries would require a 60 day DL placement. Perhaps this is an easy excuse to bitch and moan about being called a team that bitches and moans, make room for a new player by putting a guy who has made 29 appearances this season on the DL. Let it go St. Louis. If you didn't want to get hurt don't get in the middle of a fight. What a bunch of little bitches!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reds offer Baker an extension

Reports indicate the Reds have offered manager Dusty Baker a contract extension. It is not clear how many years they have offered but its a clear sign they have faith in Dusty and hope for stability.

Will Brandon Knight be better than John Wall?

Brandon Knight has only played in three games in a Kentucky uniform. But in those three game he has managed to average 25 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 8.3 assists an only 5 turnovers. Granted it is a very small sample size against inferior competition, but so far Knight has not disappointed. From the games I watched him play it made me wonder, can this kid be better than John Wall? Knight is quick but not Wall quick. So far Knight appears to be a better shooter but not as strong around the rim as Wall. The big difference I see is Knight protects the basketball and uses his teammates. To really compare Knight and Wall is difficult, but as far as the college game I think Knight will translate better on the college court than Wall. We will just have to wait and see, but the future looks bright in Lexington!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Change in the Reds rotation

Mike Leake will no longer be in the Reds rotation. The Reds want to keep his innings down. The rotation will be: Arroyo, Wood, Cueto, Volquez and Bailey. Leake will now come out of the bullpen.

Rey Maualuga won't be Suspended

The NFL will not suspend Bengals LB Rey Maualuga for his DUI that occurred in Newport in February. Maualuga had voluntarily entered a facility in the offseason and claims he has not had a drink since the incident. Maualuga will be docked two games pay for the incident.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reds agree to terms with Grandal

The Reds have agreed to terms with their first round pick Yasmani Grandal. To get him signed they had to offer a major league contract and will have to add him to the 40 man roster.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos

I would give you a full recap of the Bengals/Dallas game but I must admit I only watched the first teamers and then retired to the pool to enjoy my vacation! Here are some thoughts from last nights pre-season matchup with the Broncos.

- I love having a Tight End! Jermaine Gresham was impressive with a few good receptions with some good yardage and a few nice blocks. Gresham will be a serious weapon for Palmer. And unlike Chase Coffman from last year, Gresham seems willing and able to block in the NFL.

- Decisions on Special Teams? Cosby, Jones, and Shipley all had great returns last night making me wonder who will win the job. The most impressive to me, Cosby, may be the odd man out with the logjam at receiver. Meanwhile kickers fighting for the spot with Dave Rayner and Mike Nuegent. Rayner missed a field goal in the first quarter and appeared to be upset with the hold from Kevin Huber. He rallied to hit FG's from 36, 27, 31, and 26. Neugent meanwhile hit 2 extra points.

- Carson Palmer looked very crisp last night. Palmer was 12/15 for 105 yards. One of those incompletions was a dropped T.O. pass.

- Jordan Shipley continues to impress after catching 5 passes for 50 yards. Shipley should get a lot of looks in the slot this season with Ochocinco and Owens on the outside.

- Kyle Cook went down with an injury early in the game but should return to practice in a couple of days. The good news, seventh round pick Reggie Stephens stepped into the role at center and did a very good job filling in for Cook.

Kentucky Point Guard Brandon Knight impressive in first game as a Wildcat

Even though is was just a scrimmage the 2010-2011 Kentucky Wildcats made their debut last night in Canada in a televised scrimmage against the University of Windsor. The Cats were led by an impressive 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists performance by freshman point guard Brandon Knight. Darius Miller seemed to accept his role as this teams leader by playing multiple positions and scoring 18 points. Other Freshman star Terrence Jones suffered a broken rib in his first game and will not play in the other scrimmages in Canada this week.

Lance Stephenson is a not a good guy....

Former Cincinnati Bearcat and current Indiana Pacers player Lance Stephenson was arrested early Sunday in New York after pushing his girlfriend, and mother of his child, down a staircase. The incident occurred about 5 a.m. in the morning and Stephenson was arrested on charges of assault, harassment, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

Check out the story here.

The dreaded West Coast swing

The first place Reds are now going to enter a 9 game west coast trip that could make or break their run for the playoffs. As Reds fans we know the West Coast has not always been nice to us in the past. And despite our recent run of success I think we are all a little nervous. The Reds will open tomorrow with 3 in Arizona, followed by 3 in Los Angeles, and 3 in San Francisco. The reds have yet to have a series with the Diamondbacks, and are 2-2, and 3-3 respectively with the Giants and Dodgers.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bengals vs. Cowboys: What to watch for

Its hard to really say what to watch for this weekend during the Hall of Fame game. This game is so early into the training camp process I really doubt that you will see the Bengals use their #1's either very long or even at all. If we are lucky we may see a drive with the first teamers and then a game will backups and borderlines. Either way I am still excited to see the men in stripes on the field once again.

I am interested to see if they use Jermaine Gresham at all. He has only had a few practices under his belt and according to Bratkowski still has a lot to learn. But Gresham is a huge body and a big target.

Also, I have heard a lot of positive things about Jerome Simpson and his development. Bengals pundits are saying he has made huge strides, maybe he is starting to figure out the playbook, after two years we should hope so.

Can Adam Jones help in the secondary? Do you guys remember we signed Adam "Pac Man" Jones in the offseason? Well we did, and after some 20 months since playing football he will be back on a live field.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Local Sports News and Notes

* The Bengals have signed their first round pick Jermaine Gresham. Gresham signed a five year $15.85 million contract on Monday. Unlike Andre Smith last year who spent his holdout eating Cheetos, Gresham has been working out at the University of Oklahoma to prepare for camp. With Gresham coming into camp that means Jim Lippincott will have to pay an early morning visit to a player this morning....we will see who gets the ax.

* Reds starting shortstop Orlando Cabrerra will be placed on the disabled list. Cabrera strained his oblique swinging the bat in the 9th inning against Pittsburgh Monday night. I am assuming that Paul Janish would step up to be the starter. Hopefully Cabrerra will not be out long, Janish gives you similar defense but typically not a great bat.

* Looks like Chris Heisey will be taking over as the starting Center Fielder for now. Stubbs has been awful at the plate the last few weeks and Heisey has been showing a great deal of consistency. I doubt they send Stubbs down to Louisville, hopefully he will be able to get his stroke back.

* John Calipari announced on Facebook Sunday night that Darnell Dodson will not be traveling to Canada with the Kentucky Wildcats next week and all indications point will not be academically eligible to play for Kentucky next season. Rumors of Dodson leaving the team have been around all summer. First, assistant Rick Robic indicated Dodson would be on the team back in July. Now Calipari confirms that he will be out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bengals News

* The circus has officially come into town with the signing of Terrell Owens. But I love the move! The price is perfect, they have added serious depth at a position of need, and he is practically best friends with Chad. The guy with the toughest job? Carson Palmer. But he has shown an ability to handle diva receivers if he was able to put up with Housh he can handle anyone!

* Surprise, Surprise Andre Smith was not able to pass his physical and has not yet stepped onto the practice field. Although it is still VERY early, Smith is starting to look like one of those classic Mike Brown draft busts, which has been rare these days. Smith appears to have no work ethic at all which is shame for a kid who has all of the talent in the world. The Bengals should bring in Willie Anderson to be a player/mentor for the O-Line. I think he could teach Andre a lot.

* Think about how good this team can be. From last years Division Championship team we have lost nearly no one and added an extreme amount of depth at different positions. A sometimes anemic offense has added T.O., Bryant, and Gresham to their corp of weapons. And one of the leagues top defenses remains in tact and adds back players like Antwan Odom who lost last year to injury. This team will be very good this year.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cincinnati Cyclones lose their Coach

Chuck Webber, the two time Kelly Cup Champion coach will be moving on to coach the Rochester Americans in the AHL. The AHL serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League and the Americans are affiliated with the Florida Panthers. This would be a step up for Chuck in his quest to be a coach in the NHL.

The Cyclones have enjoyed unprecedented success under Coach Webber going 177-92-19 in four seasons. Who knows where the team will go from here? With ECHL hockey their is typically a great deal of turnover so we could see a completely different team in Cincinnati next season. Thanks for a great run Chuck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bengals and Terrell Owens

The St. Louis Rams have apparently decided against making an offer to former All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens, which leaves Cincinnati as the only team who is showing interest in Owens now.

So here we are faced with a guy who no team in the NFL wants, so you would think you can get him cheap. He has been one of the best receivers in the NFL but is far past his prime. Has been known to be a bit of problem in the locker room but has seemed to clean that up. Is close friends with Chad Ochocinco and has been working out with Carson Palmer.

Do the Bengals sign him? Now there seems to be hesitation surrounding Antonio Bryant and how healthy his knees are. Right now at Wideout you have Chad locked in a the #1, Bryant at the 2, Caldwell at the #3 spot and the rest is up for grabs. If they sign T.O. he would more than likely be the #2 or #3 depending on the health of Bryant.

I say do it. If you can get him for next to nothing he can only help your team. If he becomes a problem you can get rid of him. The only issue I have is Marvin seems to want to avoid him where Brown wants to have him. We have seen this before, and Brown always seems to win. Get your popcorn ready.....

Scratching my head...

The Reds have been shut out by their opponents 12 times this season, the most in the majors. Yet they still lead the National League in runs scored with 448.

NBA News and Notes

* Chris Paul and his agent are approaching the New Orleans management team looking for one of two plans. Plans on how the Hornets can add to the team to become a contender, or how Paul can make his way out of New Orleans. Reports indicated Paul has expressed interest in New York, Orlando, Dallas, or Portland.

* The Bulls are set to work out Tracy McGrady today. Chicago is looking to add McGrady for depth which means he would have to be willing to accept a role on the team as a bench player. McGrady has spent most of his career being the go-to guy when he is healthy. So I am not sure how well he will accept his role in Chicago as a bench player?

* Kobe Bryant underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week to repair his right knee. This is the third surgery that Bryant has had on the knee and he expects to be ready to go by the time training camp rolls around on September 25th.

* LeBron James had an interesting tweet last night stating "There's no such thing as a "Reliable Source" Don't believe it people. The truth these days is so far gone. No credibility." I wonder if ESPN was concerned about journalistic credibility when they whored themselves out to James and his team? James and his posse have done a horrible job of building his image this offseason.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Soccer Explained: One Reason to Watch Soccer

Reason #1: for moments like this.

Shout out to Matt for finding this and to Molly Malone's for making it into the video.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cedric Benson to meet with Goodell

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 8: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Bengals RB Cedric Benson is scheduled to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursay according to Benson was arrested in Austin, Texas in late may and charged with assault. Benson was accused of punching a bartender and spitting blood on another bar employee.
Marvin Lewis came out in support of Benson on stating, "Cedric got attacked in a bar. Only because it was Cedric Benson does it become news. I think that's something you have to understand. I don't know why we're even talking about Cedric being suspended a game. I don't even know why we're bringing it up. To me it's unbelievable. It wouldn't be brought up in 31 other cities in the country I think."
I don't think the NFL is specifically targeting the Cincinnati Bengals, but I do think the allegations around Benson are interesting. The timing of the meeting is interesting because the case has not been resolved in Texas. Benson has had a past with the law with boating while intoxicated, resisting arrest, and DUI. I imagine that Goodell wants to discuss the matter with Benson to hear his side of the story. Hopefully he will not face any missed time this season as the Bengals have planned much of their offense around him.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NKY Prep Standout Zeke Pike

There have been a number of Northern Kentucky players gaining national attention the past few years, but perhaps none more than Dixie Heights Junior Zeke Pike. Pike is the son of former Buffalo Bills defensive and special teams player Mark Pike. The 6'5" 220 lb. Pike is entering his junior year at Dixie.

Pike has been making the rounds on the recruiting circuit already which has brought a great deal of attention for him. He currently has offers from: Auburn, Alabama, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Purdue, and Texas A&M. There are also a number of schools who continue to court Pike to come play for them.

With the High School football season just around the corner I am looking forward to catching a few Dixie games. If he continues at this pace it seems that he will just about have his choice of schools which will be great for bringing attention to the region.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Former Ryle Football Player Arrested at Notre Dame

One of the prized recruits from the 2010 Northern Kentucky Football class Tate Nichols was arrested Sunday morning at a party in South Bend. There were 42 individuals total arrested from a college party that police said "pandemonium" ensued. Of those 44 arrested were Nichols, Nate Montana son of Joe, and Tim Abromaitis star of the basketball team.

I don't think this says that Nichols has character issues, there were college kids at a college party. But I am sure that young Tate has learned a valuable lesson here. For all you college kids out there, if there are more than 20 of you at a house, you have a good change of getting busted. Be smart.

Check out the full article here.

Reds working out veteran Pitcher

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Isringhausen told KFNS radio in St. Louis this morning that he is scheduled to pitch a bullpen session this week in Cincinnati for Walt Jocketty. Isringhausen has not pitched in the Major leagues since 2009. He pitched in 9 games in 2009 for Tampa Bay before he tore a ligament and needed Tommy John surgery. I have been told the Reds are really looking for some bullpen help to make a playoff run. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Local Player Lueke in Cliff Lee Deal

We have reported on here before the statistics of former Scott High School and Northern Kentucky University pitcher Josh Lueke. Last week, Lueke was involved in the trade from Texas to Seattle for former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. Lueke this season is 3-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 38.1 IP he has 62 k's and just 10 walks with a very solid 1.04 WHIP. It appears that Lueke was one of the players attached to help sweeten the deal and pushed Texas over the edge to acquire Lee. Congratulations to him and good luck with Seattle.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A thought on the Reds....

The Reds have a logjam at the Pitcher position, and it is only going to get worse as Volquez and Bailey return from rehab assignments. So there are a few questions to ask, where do they fit? That is a very relevant question. I have one suggestion for Mr. Walt Jocketty to at least think about. What about moving Homer Bailey to the bullpen to be the closer?

I have always said I thought Bailey's talents would be best suited in the bullpen. Check out his stat splits per inning. He has had more K's in the first inning in his carrer than in any other inning. His numbers in the first three innings are by far better than any other.

Add to that Cordero has been shaky at best as the closer. You could use him as a set-up man and have Bailey, Rhodes, and Cordero all available to back up the youth in the rotation. The Reds are going to have to either make a move to open up a spot or get creative once Volquez comes back. Travis Wood showed you on Saturday he has the stuff to be up here and needs to be competing at this level. Unless they can move one of their veteran arms they will be faced with making a tough decision. But this is not at all a bad problem to have!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good Opportunity for Azubuike

Today the Knicks signed David Lee to a $80m deal and then promptly traded him to Golden State for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf. New York will be a great opportunity for Azubuike to get some regular playing time and make an impact in the league. He averaged 14.4 points per game in the 08-09 season. Last year his season was cut short just after 9 games due to a torn patella tendon.
Kelenna should be able to step in and be a starter in New York who really enhanced their team with adding these players.

Rest in Peace Melvin Turpin

Former Kentucky Wildcat Melvin Turpin has reportedly committed suicide. One of the "Twin Towers" along with Sam Bowie, Turpin was selected 6th in the 1984 NBA Draft. The 49 year old Turpin was a three time ALL-SEC player, and a two time All-American. I cannot imagine what would cause someone to take their own life, the pain and sadness must have reached a level that I hope I never understand. Rest in Peace Dinner Bell Mel!

News and Notes

* I don't know what I think of the LeBron James special last night. I was very excited to watch, and I couldn't wait to find out. But when the interview started I thought it was just bad. The interview was awkward. LeBron was awkward. And why did he choose Greenwich, CT one of the most affluent towns in America? I think LeBron came out looking bad in the end. But all will be forgotten when the NBA tips off.

* Joey Votto should have been voted into the All-Star game the first go-round. I don't understand why Red's fans were so upset. I agree he deserved it but at the same rate I didn't get online and vote until the "Last Man In." Did you expect Charlie Manuel to pass over his guy? Not a chance. And I love the fact that the National Media wants to talk about how Cincinnati can stuff the ballot box based on the All-Star game in 1957! Come on guys, you can do better than that.

* If the Miami Heat do not win a Championship this season it will be considered a disappointment, that is a lot of pressure. But in Wade I trust, he will prove to be the key.

* The Reds will be in a dog fight for the rest of the year, and I don't think they will do it with Cliff Lee. My money is on the Twins. If the Reds could give up Alonso and Mesarasco I would do it in a heartbeat. But I am sure that Seattle will want a young arm. If they ship off Travis Wood I will be disappointed. Teams are built in the minor league and if you can manufacture talent you can become a perennial powerhouse. At the same rate we have a lot of talented pitchers, thats not a bad problem to have.

Dan Gilbert is not Happy

The Cleveland Majority owner Dan Gilber posted the following letter last night on the Cavaliers website shortly after LeBron James made his decision to go the Miami. Some of the shots may be in a little bad taste, but I would be pissed too!

"Dear Cleveland, all of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers supporters wherever you may be tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: "I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former 'king' wins one."

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our homegrown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland. Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day...

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue...

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My LeBron Prediction

LeBron is going to Miami. Mark it down. He can't win a Championship in Cleveland, and he wants to win a Championship. He wants to build a dynasty and he can do that with the talent in Miami. If he does go there the Heat become a fantasy team. The only problem with Miami there is absolutely nothing around him down there. They will have to stuff the roster with minimum salary guys. I can't wait for 9:00!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NBA Free Agency

So far this "blockbuster" free agent pool has been less than exciting. Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Rudy Gay, and Joe Johnson have all decided to re-sign with their current teams. Amare Stoudemire is the first and so far only big name to move teams, Stoudemire will sign with the New York Knicks.
Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carlos Boozer are all still hanging in the mix with LeBron James. James has visited with the Bulls, Clippers, Heat, Cavaliers, Knicks, and Nets. Many are already indicating that they feel the Knicks are out of the race for James. Most reports indicate that James is leaning toward staying in Cleveland and trying to lure Chris Bosh to the Cavaliers. Is adding Bosh to the mix enough to put the Cavaliers over the edge?

Meanwhile we have Dwayne Wade hanging in the mix. Wade's services seem to be down to staying in Miami or moving to Chicago, which is Wade's hometown. The Chicago deal is intriguing. Add Wade to a team that already has a superstar Point Guard in Derrick Rose and you have a serious contender in the East.

There are also still a number of serviceable free agents on the market with guys like Ray Allen, David Lee, Luis Scola, Brenden Haywood, Tyrus Thomas, Josh Childress, Raymond Felton, and Shaquille O'Neal.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Soccer Explained: Diving

I've decided to start a series about soccer to explain some aspects of the game that for those who don't follow soccer (although it may be enjoyed by fans of the sport just as well.) Perhaps the first entry is the most ambitious, but I believe diving remains one of the most controversial,and ostentatious, parts of the game. I must give a disclaimer, however, because I hate diving. I think it is dishonest, makes the players look like wimps, and is a general black eye to the sport. Yet, I understand why players do it.

Not every player takes dives. It seems to be more common in certain cultures than others. My most disliked international team, Italy, is a quintessential example of persistent flopping. Don't get my wrong, Italy is an amazing soccer team and one that should be feared on the pitch, but they take more dives than the kids at my local swimming pool.

To understand diving, one must understand the importance of goals in soccer. Yeah, yeah, you need goals to win. . . more than the other team. . . even John Madden gets that part of the game. But when so many games come down to a single goal difference, a single goal is HUGE. A single goal in a soccer game weighs heavier than a single touchdown, home run, 3-pointer, or try because it is so rare. It is not uncommon for only one goal to be scored in a game (90+ minutes of play.) So any chance players get to take a free kick at the goal, they will take.

And this is why players take dives, especially in the penalty box. Free kicks are golden opportunities put a point on the board. All that stands in the way of the spot of the foul and the goal is usually four players covering their family jewels and a keeper that can barely see around the wall. They are better than corner kicks as they allow players to take direct shots on goal or pass to another open player to take a shot. A foul in the box is almost an automatic goal through a penalty kick (although, if anyone saw the Spain-Paraguay match, PKs are less than automatic.)

What is maddening about diving is that it seems to grow more dramatic with each passing season. Players' inner-thespians come out as soon as they think they can draw a foul and often they end up looking ridiculous. One of the more refreshing moments of a Portugal match last week was seeing the midfielder Tiago get a yellow card for taking a dive in the box. Too bad they can't give those out in the NBA as well.