Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cedric Benson Arrested

CINCINNATI - JANUARY 9: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs for a 47-yard touchdown against the New York Jets in the second half during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson was arrested and charged with assault early Tuesday Morning in Austin, Texas. The arrest comes from an incident that occurred on May 30th. Benson allegedly punched an employee of a bar in Austin. Cedric has posted bail and was release from Travis County Jail.

This is not Cedric Benson's first brush with the law. Two years ago he was cited for a DUI while operating a boat and shortly after for operating a car. He has not had any incidents since. Benson has currently been in contract negotiations with Cincinnati working on a long term deal. This will certainly play a role in those negotiations.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The United States and Soccer

June 26, 2010 - South Africa - Football - United States of America v Ghana FIFA World Cup Second Round - South Africa 2010 - Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa - 26/6/10..USA's Landon Donovan (L) jumps over a challenge by Ghana's Andre Ayew.
After the United States lost in the World Cup on Saturday I was hearing a lot of people question, how could a country like Ghana? Ghana is roughly the size of Oregon about 50x smaller than the United States. One would think that the talent pool alone in the the United States compared to Ghana would come into play. Why is it that the Americans are more than competitive in most sports but not in Soccer? I have never claimed to be nor pretend to be a fan of Soccer. I watched some of the World Cup and followed casually. I compare my interest much like the Olympics. But I have some thoughts on the idea.....

I would agree with the assessment that the talent pool for athletes in the United States is better than the talent pool in Ghana, the big difference is the talent in the United States is spread out. The sporting landscape in the United States is different than in other countries. And in the United States the popularity of sports such as Football, Baseball, Basketball, and even Hockey stand above the popularity of Soccer. Sure, youth Soccer is huge and millions of American children spend their weekends on the Soccer field. However, in the United States when the top young athletes have to decide what sport they wish to pursue they gravitate away from Soccer and toward other sports that are more popular in the United States.

In other countries, such a Ghana, there are fewer options when it comes to highly publicized sports. In many, and would even say most nations the following for Soccer is much bigger than the NFL, MLB, and NBA combined. In these countries you attract the very best athletes that nation as to offer because in their world Soccer is king. The popularity of the game and development of talent in the United States is the best that it has been and is only getting better. I just do not see that shift occurring in the United States where soccer will attract the top athletes which is why the United States will never be an upper echelon nation for Soccer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Did you Know?

Ex-Cincinnati Red Alex Gonzalez is currently batting .263 with 14 HR's and 40 RBI's with an OBP of .302 compared to Orlando Cabrera's .242 AVG with 3 HR's, 27 RBI's and a .281 OBP.

Who saw that coming?

Brandon Phillips Arrested

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was arrested last night and charged with reckless driving in Park Hills. Phillips was in the car with his mother and was driving 75 in a 35. Reckless driving is a discretionary offense and the officer made the decision to arrest Phillips and book him in the Kenton County jail. Phillips was booked and released on a $25 bond. It is not known who came up the the stacks of cash to help B-Phil find the twenty five bucks he needed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Kentucky Wallpaper!

2 Legit!

REDS.COM-Legendary hip hop performer and Grammy Award winner MC Hammer will bring his high-energy show to Great American Ball Park on Friday, July 16 as part of the celebration of the 1990 World Series Champion Cincinnati Reds.

Included in the game ticket for Reds vs. Colorado Rockies (7:10pm) will be:

- Two shows by MC Hammer and his dancers

- A tribute to the 1990 World Series Champion Reds

- Members of the 1990 team appearing in person throughout the evening

- Postgame fireworks show presented by Klosterman Baking Company

MC Hammer’s pregame concert will run 6 to 6:40pm on the right field porch and a second show will be on the field starting approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game. He will also do a meet and greet with fans in the FanZone.

Hammer is best known for a series of chart-topping hits in the late ‘80’s and early 90’s including “Too Legit to Quit” and “U Can’t Touch This,” which was Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop #1 single in June of 1990 and the unofficial anthem of the 1990 Reds.

Hammer is a huge baseball fan and served as the batboy for the Oakland A’s from 1972 to 1980.

Purchase Reds tickets at:

• reds.com

• 513-381-REDS

• Great American Ball Park box office

Have you watched the Reds play?

I often times read a lot of sports articles that I don't agree with. But I recently came across this gem on CNNSI.com that really got me scratching my head.

Check it out here.

The point that Joe Sheehan is trying to make is the Cardinals have the advantage because they have Tony LaRussa as manager, and he is better than Dusty Baker. Okay, I will concede the fact that LaRussa is a more accomplished manager and if given the choice of the two most would more than likely choose LaRussa. However, I think the Dusty bashing articles are just pulled out of the trash bin from his days in Chicago and really are no longer relevant to his stint with the Reds.

He has penciled Cabrera into the leadoff spot in 39 games, a bit more than half the time, despite the shortstop's execrable .281 OBP.

By my count the Reds are 20-19 with Cabrerra in the leadoff spot. To me that is not killing this team. And if you watch this team you know Cabrerra can get you clutch hits. He has a .375 OBP in his first AB, and .355 OBP with RISP and 2 out.

He limited the playing time of good defender and on-base guy Chris Dickerson to open the season, instead playing OBP sinks Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix.

Again, I am confident that Joe Sheehan is not watching the Reds only reading his Sports Illustrated Baseball preview on what "should" be happening in Cincinnati. Dickerson was supposed to be the other option in the OF, but Gomes has had a career year for the Reds. Sheehan tries to make the argument that Gomes is a defensive liability but Gomes has a 1.000 fielding percentage in LF with 0 errors and 67 put outs on 70 chances. Dickerson is hitting .255 with RISP, Nix a weak .158, but Gomes is hitting a blistering .436 with RISP. Add to that Gomes has 50 RBI so far this season. I am not knocking Dickerson, but for Sheehan to knock Dusty about starting Gomes over Dickerson is absolutely ridiculous.

Again, I agree that LaRussa is a more accomplished manager. But the whole "Dusty Baker ruins teams" story is tired. And I am tired of writers pulling out these stories without knowing what they are saying. I am confident that Sheehan reviewed stats, and I am confident that Sheehan knows and understands baseball. But I have to respectfully disagree with his assessment of this team. He clearly has not watched this team play to understand the impact that some of these guys have on the field.

The LeBron Sweepstakes

Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James stands on the court against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series in Boston, Massachusetts May 13, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
With the NBA Draft last night we saw a few teams leverage themselves to make a run at this big time free agent pool. And there are a few teams who have positioned themselves to make a push.

Miami Heat
The Heat currently only have two players under contract, one of them being former #2 pick Michael Beasley. But with that they have the most cap room of any team in the league with the ability to sign three maximum contracts. They will more than likely re-sign Dwyane Wade, who has expressed an interest in staying. They added some size in the draft with Texas center Dexter Pittman, West Virginia forward DaSean Butler and Mississippi forward Jarvis Varnado. So even with signing Wade they would have the room to add at least one other max contract and I believe at this point close to a third max contract. So consider they could add LeBron James to this mix and then a Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, or Joe Johnson. The downside? They would basically be surrounding these stars with minimum contract players. So outside of the three studs they would be weak at two other positions.

Chicago Bulls
The Bulls seemed to be the team making the most moves to try to position themselves to make a push. They opened up some cap space yesterday by agreeing to a deal with the Washington Wizards to send Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards for cash considerations. This would remove Hinrich's $9m contract and put the Bulls more than $30m under the cap. Which would give them the ability to sign two maximum contracts. But consider that Chicago has one of the best PG's in the league in Derek Rose you would have a nice combination with Rose, James, Deng, Noah, and another big free agent. Their move in the draft showed they are playing for free agency. They drafted Kevin Seraphin from France but traded his rights away to Washington.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have long been the team who were believed to be the front runner for James. But other teams have since come into the mix which seem to have pushed New York back in the race. They were conservative in the draft taking Syracuse guard Andy Rautins 38th overall and Stanford forward Landry Fields at No. 39. They are also trying to conserve cap space. The Knicks are $30m under which would give them the ability to sign two, but would that be enough with what they have there now? Their biggest star is Danilo Gallinari and have Wilson Chandler as a role player. They just picked up Tracy McGrady in a trade with Houston but other than that they would have to fill in with role players.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big day for the NBA

Tonight is the night for the NBA Draft, and with July 1st fast approaching the make-up of the 2010-11 season will start to fall into place.

First the draft. The draft has a lot of interesting players in it this year who could really be a difference maker for some franchises. In my opinion, John Wall is one of those players. He is most definitely going to the Washington Wizards unless some team is able to come up with a crazy deal to get him. On top of Wall you have Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins, and Derrick Favors who are all expected to be at the top of the draft board.

But more intriguing than the talent that is available through the draft is the talent that is available in free agency. This years free agent pool is deeper than any in the history of the game. And there is no doubt that the top NBA free agents will be paying attention to the moves that are being made tonight in the draft. This years free agent pool consists of:
Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Ray Allen.
Add to that you have some restricted free agents and guys with options to opt out that include: Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, Rudy Gay, and Paul Pierce. Not all of these guys will exercise their options but with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire, some of these guys may look to cash in now while they can.

No doubt Wade, James and Bosh are the cream of the crop in both this free agent class and the NBA. And they will be watching as the chips fall for some of their potential destinations. They all have indicated they want to win an NBA Championship. And the beauty part of the NBA there are max contracts. So it is not a system where the team with the deepest pockets will win the prize. There is truly for the most part an equal playing field and these superstars can decide what franchise and opportunity will give them the best chance to win the coveted NBA title.

I am really excited to see how this all shakes out the next two weeks. The NBA is alive and well my friends, jump on now and you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Anderson wants to make a Comeback!

My favorite Cincinnati Bengal of all-time wants to make a comeback to the NFL. In this article here by senior football writer Len Pasquarelli, Anderson expressed an interest in joining a team to serve as a backup lineman but most importantly a mentor to young lineman. Anderson was a mainstay for the Bengals and one of the few positive things they had in a time where they were mired in mediocrity. With an offensive line who is young, I really think Anderson could make an impact in the locker room. But would he return? Since his retirement it always seems like he kind of has a sour taste for Cincinnati. I only say that because he seems to mention his time with the Ravens more, which in his defense they won more games. Personally I would love to see him return to Cincinnati either as a player or a coach.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bengals Make First Cuts

From Joey Reedy's Blog

After the first Mini-Camp of the season the Bengals have made the following cuts. I don't think there are any shockers on this list.

- CB Keiwan Ratliff
- CB DeAngelo Willingham
- RB Walter Mendenhall
- P Jake Richardson
- S Bryan Evans

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft

1. Washington Wizards
John Wall, PG
Kentucky- Freshman

Lightening fast guard from Kentucky that will be one of NBA's elite.

2. Philadelphia 76ers
Evan Turner, SG
Ohio State- Junior

Versatile scorer for Ohio State, can play as a guard or a forward.

3. New Jersey Nets
Derrick Favors, PF
Georgia Tech- Freshman

A lot of upside and untapped potential from this big man.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves
Wesley Johnson, SF
Syracuse- Junior

Came on strong for Syracuse after disappointing stint at Iowa State.

5. Sacramento Kings
Demarcus Cousins, PF
Kentucky- Freshman

Big physical body who will bring aggressive play and help for Tyreke Evans.

6. Golden State Warriors
Ekpe Udoh, C
Baylor- Junior

Good interior defense and a big presence in the post for Golden State.

7. Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, C
Georgetown- Sophomore

Monroe is sized like a Center but plays like a guard, his versatility will help.

8. Los Angeles Clippers
Al Farouq Aminu, SF
Wake Forest- Sophomore

Aminu averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds in the ACC.

9. Utah Jazz
Luke Babbitt, SF
Nevada- Sophomore

Babbitt is a lights out shooter, not a name you know now but will soon.

10. Indiana Pacers
Patrick Patterson, PF
Kentucky- Junior

Tremendous work ethic and good range for a big man.

11. New Orleans Hornets
Xavier Henry, SG
Kansas- Freshman

Henry is a solid shooter who can also take it inside.

12. Memphis Grizzlies
James Anderson, SG
Oklahoma State- Junior

Memphis has fallen in love with Andersons work ethic and drive.

13. Toronto Raptors
Hassan Whiteside, C
Marshall- Freshman

Whiteside is a 7 foot center with a 7-7 wingspan, the NBA loves size.

14. Houston Rockets
Gordon Hayward, SF
Butler- Sophomore

I don't think anyone knows what to expect from Hayward in the NBA.

15. Milwaukee Bucks
Ed Davis, PF
North Carolina- Sophomore

Very tall and athletic but still relative unknown as to what his ceiling is.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Seraphin, PF

6'10 20 year old from Cayenne, French Guyana.

17. Chicago Bulls
Larry Sanders, PF
VCU- Junior

A bit of a late bloomer, but again he has some size which every team needs.

18. Miami Heat
Craig Brackins, PF
Iowa State- Junior

Many projected Brackins to be a lottery pick in 2009.

19. Boston Celtics
Cole Aldrich, C
Kansas- Junior

Boston is always looking to add depth in the frontcourt.

20. San Antonio Spurs
Damion James, SF
Texas- Senior

A rare Senior in the crop, James has a high basketball IQ.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Solomon Alabi, C
Florida State- Sophomore

Alabi played his best games against the best competition.

22. Portland TrailBlazers
Paul George, SG
Fresno State- Sophomore

George is a reach for any team, but he is 6'7 and plays like a guard.

23. Minnesota Timberwolves
Stanley Robinson, SF
UConn- Senior

Robinson averaged 14 points in his senior season at UConn.

24. Atlanta Hawks
Avery Bradley, SG
Texas- Freshman

Very good shooter and strong in transition.

25. Memphis Grizzlies
Sherron Collins, PG
Kansas- Senior

The Grizzlies may reach here for Collins, they like his leadership.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder
Daniel Orton, C
Kentucky- Freshman

Orton only averaged 3 points for Kentucky in limited action.

27. New Jersey Nets
Eric Bledsoe, PG
Kentucky- Freshman

Still unknown what Bledsoe can do as the top PG, playing in the shadow of Wall.

28. Memphis Grizzlies
Lance Stephenson, SG
Cincinnati- Freshman

Stephenson has a good sense on the court and an NBA ready body.

29. Orlando Magic
Quincy Pondexter, SF
Washington- Senior

Improved significantly from his Junior and Senior year.

30. Washington Wizards
Devin Ebanks, SF
West Virginia- Sophomore

Ebanks is a defensive specialist who can help any team in spot situations.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is for the Stamp Tax!

Tomorrow is possibly the biggest day in the history of our young nation. The United States plays England in the World Cup to avenge the injustices the colonies suffered at the hands of their British masters over two centuries ago.

Soccer fans will recall the last time these two met in the World Cup when the US upset the English in 1960. It still ranks among the most impressive (and surprising) victories of the US national team. Tomorrow, the US plans to repeat that event, although to much less surprise than the first time.

Kickoff is at 2:30pm EDT on ABC. England will wish they never quartered their troops in American homes!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What About Leake?

The ESPN Machine hyped up Washington National's rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg to epic proportions, and in defense of Strasburg he did not disappoint in his debut. But I say what about Mike Leake? Where has the love been? A few of the baseball insiders have mentioned Leake on their spots on TV and Radio, but for the most part he has only been a local story. But consider this about Leake....

- Mike Leake is the first player since 2000 to go directly from the draft to the Major Leagues. (Xavier Nady did it in San Diego)

- The last time a starting pitcher came from the draft to the bigs? 1989 Jim Abbott of the California Angels.

- The last time a Reds player came from the draft to the big leagues? 1957!

So why isn't the 5-0 Mike Leake a bigger story? He doesn't have the blistering speed that Strasburg has but his college statistics were just as good. Coming out of Arizona State he was the PAC-10 Pitcher of the Year the first time back to back winner of the award.

So far on the season Leake has appeared in 11 games for the Reds. He is 5-0 with a 2.22 ERAm and a 1.23 WHIP. Leake has 50 k's and 25 BB. And Leake is not just doing it against poor competition. His wins this season have come against St. Louis, Washington, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles. Add to that an outing against Atlanta where the Reds blew 6 run lead in the ninth inning and took the win from Leake.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cincinnati Reds pick Yasmani Grandal with 12th pick

The Cincinnati Reds drafted Yasmani Grandal, a 6'2, 210 lb catcher out of Miami (Fla.) with the 12th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft.

Grandal slid down the draft chart and was rumored to be going to the Royals with the 4th pick. Grandal was a teammate of Yonder Alonso at Miami and is a switch-hitter who led his team with an average of .412 in 59 games and 201 at-bats in 2010. His numbers included 14 homers, 56 RBI's, 23 doubles, and a .760 slugging percentage. The stats that stand out most to me are his .537 OBP and how he's strong behind the plate with a .978 career fielding percentage! I just bruced myself...

Do you guys like or dislike this pick? I know we selected Devin Mesoraco in 2007 with our first pick but I like the Grandal pick. Mesoraco is 22 and came straight out of high school when Grandal is 21 and has three years of college experience. However, Mesoraco was hitting .335 with 10 homers and 31 RBI's in only 43 games before being moved up recently to Carolina.

Scouts say Grandal is close to being major league ready and the Reds have had some success drafting guys out of big name colleges over the last couple years (i.e. Mike Leake, Yonder Alonso, Drew Stubbs). Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan are getting older and they're not the future. One of these two guys will be starting for the Reds by 2012 in my opinion. With plenty of good arms sitting in the wings in Louisville I see this as a great pick.

The Next Pujols? Nationals Select Harper #1

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Perfect" Game ...

... with the exception of one call at first base. Jim Joyce, 22 year veteran ump, blew what appeared to be a routine call costing Armando Galarraga a perfect game. It would have been the last out of the game, which needed just one more play to official end. Not only would this have been a perfect game, it would have been the third of the season, the third in a span of a month, the second shortest perfect game by one minute, and a perfect game with the fewest pitches in over 100 years. Joyce even acknowledges blowing the call after the game saying:
"I just cost that kid a perfect game. "I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay."

Here a some questions still left unanswered:

What repercussions, if any, should come from this?
What changes have caused perfect games to be happening so frequently?
Will this finally bring instant replay to baseball?