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!