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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Xavier Fells Jumberjacks For Third Win


For the second time in three games the Xavier Musketeers defeated Lumberjacks of Stephen F Austin, 81-63..

There are only two teams in Division 1 with that nickname.  Last Friday Xavier defeated the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 93-60.

These Lumberjacks wood, excuse me would prove to be a much tougher opponent.  The smaller Lumberjacks shot 25 3-point shots, making 10 of them to hang with the Musketeers.

At the 15:19 mark of the first half, Xavier had to look at its first deficit of the year.  They never trailed Northern Arizona or Long Beach State in their first two wins.

Xavier's largest lead in the first half was eight points, finishing the half with a seven-point lead.  The :Lumberjacks were within five points at 66-61 with 5:44 left in the game.

Xavier pulled away from there with 15 unanswered points fueled by Dee Davis' 12 assists.

SFA won the Southland Conference last season with an 18-0 record.  They had a 14-game road winning streak snapped at the Cintas Center.

"That was a tournament team, in my mind," Xavier coach Chris Mack said.  "That is one of the hardest playing team the Cintas Center has ever seen."

Matt Stainbrook scored a team-high 20 points.  Freshman Trevon Bluiett scored 16 and Remy Abell contributed 12 points.

The Lumberjacks' Jacob Parker led all scorers with 21 points and five 3-point shots out of 10 tries.  Thomas Walkup scored 17 and Ty Charles added 10.

SFA outrebounded the taller Musketeers 40 - 36 with 16 coming on the offensive end.

"That was disappointing," Mack said.  "Our guards at this point of the season don't want to box out."

"We have to get better," said Stainbrook, who grabbed six rebounds.  "We can't let them show more heart the us."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gunner Kiel Out Guns Pirates Shane Carden

Gunner Kiel and Shane Carden both threw for more than 400 yards in a shoot out at Paul Brown Stadium but it was Andrew Gantz and a fumble return by Terrell Hartsfield that sealed a 54-46 Cincinnati victory over East Carolina.

With 4:47 left Kiel threw his fourth touchdown to seemingly ice the game for the Bearcats but Carden passed the Pirates down the field in 57 seconds to bring East Carolina to within a score. Carden missed a two-point conversion attempt.

Cincinnati needed to run out the last 3:34 to ice a 45-40 victory.  That didn't happen.

Kiel fumbled on a fourth and two play from the Bearcats' 33.  Lamar Ivey recovered on the Cincinnati 27.

"It was a stupid call," Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville admitted.  The Bearcats were setting up a pooch kick by Kiel unless the Pirates gave them a certain look on defense.  They got the look they wanted but not the results.

The Pirates had 2:03 to score the go-ahead touchdown.  They ran eight plays, two of which Cincinnati was called for pass interference.  The Bearcats thought they had a stop on a fourth and goal from the seven but Howard Wilder was flagged, giving Carden a chance to run it in from the two.  The second two-point try fell incomplete.

The quick score left Kiel with 57 seconds to get the Bearcats into field goal range from his own 35.

Kiel found Casey Gladney for 15 yards.  He found Mekale for four and 16 yards on the next two plays to put the ball on the East Carolina 30 with a timeout left.

A clock play and two incompletions left Cincinnati with a fourth down and 19 seconds in the game.

Gantz kicked a career-high 47 yard field goal with nine ticks left on the clock to give the Bearcats a 48-46 lead.  The freshman from Centerville, Ohio had never kicked a game winner before at any level.

"It is something everybody dreams of.  I can't describe the feeling," Gantz said.

East Carolina tried a hook and lateral play but the last lateral fell loose at the Pirates 20.  Hartsfield scooped it and jogged into the end zone for the final six points of the game.  UC celebrated its sixth win of the season rather than tacking on the extra point.

Though Carden had just two touchdowns throw in the game, he set up rushing touchdowns by Breon Allen, Marquez Grayson and Justin Hardy in addition to his own running score.

Cincinnati improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference to tie Memphis, who beat the Bearcats 41-14 on October 4.

East Carolina suffered its second straight conference loss.  The Pirates are 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the AAC.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gunslingers Gunner Kiel and Shane Carden Shoot It Out At PBS

Shane Carden from Houston, Texas is the only quarterback in East Carolina University to pass for more than 4,000 yards (4,139) in a season and 10,000 yards (10,046) and counting in a career.

Bengals fans should note that Jeff Blake, who quarterbacked the Bengals in the mid-90's played for the Pirates.

Gunner Kiel from Columbus, Indiana has had an astounding start of his career with the Bearcats in spite of a pair of rib injuries.

Kiel is the only quarterback in the 127-year history of Cincinnati football to pass for four or more touchdowns in three straight games.  He threw for six against Toledo in his first game,

Only four Cincinnati quarterbacks have thrown four or more touchdowns in more than one game in their career.

Zach Collaros threw four or more on four occasions in a two-year period.  Greg Cook, another former Bengal quarterback threw four or more touchdowns twice.  Brendon Kay had four games. Gene Rossi had two games.

Kiel is the only quarterback with at least three such games in one season.

Xavier Makes Big Changes At The Cintas Center


The Business Courier's Steve Watkins outlines interesting changes to enhance the fan experience at Xavier basketball games this season.

Xavier opens the season against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Friday at the Cintas Center at 7:00pm.

Among them is an extensive selection of craft beers.

See Watkin's article by clicking on the link below......



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lauren Hill Wins The Day


Lauren Hill played just 43 seconds and scored four points in Mount St. Joseph University Lions' 66-55 win over the Hiram College Terriers..

We will forget the score.  We will forget who won.  We won't forget Lauren or her fight and that is how she wants it.

"I am so thankful for the awareness," Hill told a room full of sports reporters, who had the rare privilege of writing a story more important than a college basketball game. "This shouldn't end with this game.  When I was first diagnosed in October, I felt so alone."

She wasn't alone on Sunday.

Hill played high school basketball at Lawrenceburg High School just 11 miles from Mt. St. Joe.  She committed to play for first year coach Dan Benjaman in October.

"Forty-nine days later, she told me that she was diagnosed with DIPG," Benjamin said.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma is a type of high-grade glioma, a brain tumor that comes from cells called glia that surround, protect, and otherwise support the nerve cells in the brain.

It is found in school age children most often with 150 diagnosed every year.  Lauren is older than most patients.  She has been able to articulate what younger children are going through.

Mariko Dewire MD, a neural oncologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital is Lauren's physician.

"We are currently learning about the biology of these tumors," Dewire said.  "We hope to find drugs to find drugs that are specific to its mutations and pathways."

Hill is sensitive to light and loud noises.  She wore sunglasses and ear plugs when she was off the court.

Hill scored on the opening tip off, a set play that Benjamin and his team has been working on in practice.  Benjamin shared with the Hiram College head coach, Emily Hays.

"They all played their parts beautifully," Benjamin said.  He was not surprised.

"Lauren is strong.  She has come to practice looking tired but once she was on the court, she found energy," said Benjamin, who almost resigned because of personal problems.  He came back because Lauren Hill insisted that if he wasn't the coach, she wasn't going to play.

The Mount controlled the tip and Lauren Hill drove to the basket left-handed and put the ball in easily with her left hand.  Her dominate hand has always been her right.

Only 17 seconds elapsed.  Timeout was immediately called to make substitutions.

Tara Dennis scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds for the Lions, who led 51-30 with 6:03 left in the game.  Helped by Merideth Harfiel's 13 points and Bristyl's 14 the Mount stretched its lead to 64-53 when Erica Walsh hit a jump shot with 1:44 left. 

The Terrier's leading scorer Keisey Koskinen cut the lead to nine with 1;20 left but after a missed shot by Taylor Ratliff with 29 seconds left.  Hartfiel collected the rebound and passed the ball to Brilyn Webb, who frantically called timeout as the crowd chanted, "Lauren Hill."

There was 25 seconds left and Hill returned to the court.  Hill took the inbounds pass and missed her shot but Dennis grabbed the rebound.  Dennis gave the ball back to Hill who put the ball in the basket to put the Mount up 66-55 as time ran out.

Brooke Desserich lost a daughter to DIPG.  She spearheads a charity, A Cure Starts Now, to help find a "home run cure."

"When I met Lauren last June, she really wanted to be that voice for children, who couldn't speak for themselves," Desserich said,  "It was amazing to listen to her.  She felt a weight of responsibility to speak for these kids and that' what moved me."

"This isn't the end of the support," Hill said. "I want people to keep supporting it. I want people to keep with it. I don't think I will ever be aware of how many people this effective.  Now that more people know about DIPG, I'm so happy that more people are aware of it.. I'm probably not going to be around to see it but its going to help a lot of people.  It is going to help everybody."

Lauren Hill Helps Us All Feel This Moment


It is a cliché.

You have to live in the moment because you're not guaranteed tomorrow.

Lauren Hill is guaranteed very few tomorrows with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. All she wanted to do was to feel alive, to feel the thrill of taking the basketball floor with her college teammates.

Doctors don't think she will make it to December and her motor skills are declining quickly.  She feels dizzy when she is ready to shot the basketball.  She is right-handed and losing that side of her body.

The benefit of her desire has allowed others of us to feel alive.  Sometimes we don't we just go through our lives but really don't cherish it or even feel it.

Hiram College, Mt. St. Joseph University and host Xavier University made sure that as many people as possible could feel this with Lauren.  Hiram College and Mt. St. Joseph University will play a basketball game to celebrate the short life and future of a typical college student athlete.

Today Lauren knows that even in a bleak future she is not alone.

The outcome of the game will be recorded but soon forgotten.  The feeling of being alive will be remembered forever.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reds Replace 3B Coach Steve Smith


Many Reds' fans got their wish on Monday.

The Reds replace thirdbase coach Steve Smith on their coaching staff.  The rest of the coaching staff will return.

The Reds had more runnere thrown out at home (without being forcedd (28) than any other teajm and Smith took the blame.

In September, Smith defended himself through the media but the Reds' front office, perhaps reacting to public presssure, announced that Smith will not return to the staff in 2015.

No replacement has been named at this time.

Mark Berrry had been the thirdbase coach from 1999 to 2013 when he was diagnosed with cancer in his lymph nodes.  Berry coached part time in 2013.  Chris Speier manned the coaching box when Berry was weak from treatment.  Berry remains with the organization as a roving minor league coach.

Smith approached the press in September and defended himself from the growing criticism.

Statistician Joel Luckhaupt spent hours reviewing all 27 outs and gave this breakdown.

11 outs were from the contact play.  Contact plays are managers decisions and predetermined based on the situation.

Four outs were clearly the runner making the decision on his own.

Two were off sacrifice flies which are runners reading the play, although the thirdbase coach can hold them.

10 were outs at home where a runner tried to score on a hit to the outfield.

Of those 10 three were close plays and two were close enough to be reviewed.

That leaves seven in which Smith played a part in the outcome.

Steve Smith questions numbers http://fullofschatz.blogspot.com/2014/09/reds-thirdbase-coach-steve-smith.html

Research On Smith


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

LeBron James and David West Will Play At Cintas Center On Wednesday


Local news teases aside, LeBron James will play against the Indiana Pacers at Xavier;s Cintas Center on Wednesday.

James is sitting out the exhibition contest in Milwaukee against the Bucks as he and his Cavalier teammates prepare for the season which opens against the New York Knicks on October 30.

"There are no physical problems at all.  He's fine," Cavalier coach David Blatt told Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  "We are just trying to manage the preseason with the best possible way to get him ready."

The game in Milwaukee is a good one for James, the team's most recognized player.  Milwaukee is a Central Division rival and Cleveland will visit the city twice during the season.  Cincinnati is a different case.  The fans that the NBA wants to cultivate, will have this lone chance to see the league's biggest drawing card.

David West will return to the Cintas Center, where he played his collegiate basketball.  West has also been sitting out games to preserve his strength for the long season ahead.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Championship Baseball Coach Gary Yeatts Summarizes Reds' Season


Two-time state champion baseball coach summarizes Reds' 2014 season.

Garry Yeatts won Ohio High School State Baseball Championships in 1985 and 1991 as the team's head coach.

Now retired and livinng in Sedona, Arizona, Yeatts is one of Reds' owner Bob Castellini's assistance during the Reds' spring training in Goodyear, Arizona.

With a unique eye for the inner workings of baseball, Yeatts writes a summary of the Reds' 2014 season.

See Below...."There Is No Crying In Baseball"

​Try telling Reds fans that there is no crying in baseball. A disappointing season ends with a 76-86 record and no playoffs in sight. An unprecedented meltdown after the All-Star game and a total of 38 games lost by one run. Despite that, the Reds fans turned out in impressive numbers at GABP. Final attendance was 2,476,664 and that was second best in GABP history. You got to hand it to them for hanging in there.

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Now, that I have your attention...let's look at this season. The Reds hit .238 on the year. Scoring runs was like my chances of meeting the girl in this picture. Nearly impossible. (Tell the truth Gary- OK- Totally Impossible and then there is the question of what I would do with her even if I met her.) Back to Baseball!  38 games were lost by one run. Enough to keep you watching and hoping but all too often going to be in a sleepless fit of lost opportunities and poor situational hitting. You can use whatever adjective your mind can project but for me, it was abysmal. Of course, offense was down throughout the MLB. Only 15 hitters were able to hit .300 and team batting average was about. .252. The Reds were next to last in all of baseball. When you add that to a bullpen that managed one win after the all-star game (Stop- LOOKING AT THE PICTURE!). Well, you know the result...no pennant race. No wild card game or playoffs for 2014. The last game of the season took a little sting away with Johnny Cueto winning his 20th. Quite an accomplishment with this team.     


Reds fans will simply watch the playoffs and root for whoever can beat the Cardinals. We have become all too good at that. So, what about this season? Writers at the Cincinnati Enquirer are having a field day examining what went wrong with the Reds. Some fans are already upset with the rehiring of Walt Jocketty and Bryan Price. My friend Hal McCoy describes Jocketty's effort as having to be monumental to turn around the Reds. Let's make it a little more simple. I'm good at simple. Sure some changes have to be made. At least 5-7 current players will not be Reds next year. To me the simplest fact for the Reds' decline was Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. 

This was a case of  Blue J's for the Redlegs. Look at their major league average to date. JV .310avg..79 rbi's, and 23 Hrs. JB- .251 avg., 78 rbi's and 26 Hrs. BUT in 2014 they combined .229 avg., 89 rbi's and 24 Hrs. That's 22 million $$$$$$dollars  of payroll for those anemic numbers. There is not a team in the league that can have their two superstars put up those kind of numbers and compete for a championship. I am not criticizing either guy. Sure there were injuries. But facts are facts. You lose 25 Hrs. and 68 rbis on the average and the result is 38 one run games that you lose. One can only wonder if these two fine gentlemen had had their normal years with the emergence of Mesoraco, Frazier, and Hamilton. I know there are 25 guys on a team and everyone accepts part of the blame for this season, but this is where you have to start.

So what about 2015? Is McCoy right about the monumental task for Mr. Jocketty? If Votto and Bruce are healthy and return to form, the Reds can again be a contender. A BIG IF but not unreasonable. The Opening Day lineup was together for only 12 games this year. Nine of the top 12 teams in starting pitching in MLB made the playoffs. The Reds have starting pitching. They are exceptionally strong up the middle of the diamond. They have some team speed.They are still relatively young. They can bounce back but not without Votto and Bruce. Make all the trades and changes you want, but Votto and Bruce have to  produce.
Another cogent fact for future Reds' improvement is the Central Division. The Reds play 76 division games, almost half of a season. They posted winning records against everyone but the Cardinals going 40-36. To accomplish that while having such a poor overall year shows that the Reds can compete against the competition.  I will wait for Goodyear to return to examine 2015 more closely. As I sat with Mr. Castellini and Mr. Wyler in September at GABP, their disappointment was palpable. Their determination was unmistakable. Cincinnati is so fortunate to have their leadership. Attendance at Reds games shows how the city feels about their baseball team. It's a great facility and downtown area.
Many thanks to all of those who read my musings.  On a side note... while I was in Cincy , I had the privilege to visit the MIRACLE FIELD to view firsthand what Kim Nuxhall and his team have done with the MIRACLE FIELD program in Fairfield. If you ever get the chance to stop by and watchthose children. Ir will Rock your world!!!

It is impossible not to cry when you see what the facility has accomplished for challenged children. So there is crying in Baseball after all. For all of the right reasons!!

Enjoy the playoffs. YIB-G   Go Reds in 2015    (38 one run losses-get some rest Bryan Price- you deserve it!)

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Reds Have A New Owner


Steve Watkins of the Business Courier broke the story of the Reds new owner.  The Louise Nippert trust one of the minority owners sold her share of the team.

See Watkins report by clicking below.....


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bearcats Get The Memphis Blues


In Marc Cohn's blues hit Walking in Memphis, he refers to the ghost of Elvis walking around Beal Street.  Apparently, he was accompanied by the University of Cincinnati defense that suffered through a 41-14 loss.

Gunner Kiel threw an 80-yard touchdown, his 15th of the season, to Mekale McKay on the first play from scrimmage.  That was the highlight of the night for Tommy Tuberville and the 22,000 plus fans which dwindle to the lower triple digits when the Memphis offense took the air out.

Memphis came into the game with a 2-2 record.  Their wins were 63-0 over Austin Peay and 36-17 over Middle Tennessee State.   Their two losses were 42-35 at the Rose Bowl against number 11 UCLA and 24-3 at number 10 Mississippi.

The Tigers were aware that Cincinnati was picked to win the American Athletic Conference and wanted to make a statement.

The statement included 610 yards of offense after spotting UC an early 7-0 lead.

The UC defense gave up over 700 yards of offense last week to Ohio State. 

“It’s not good,” Tuberville said. “We haven’t stopped anybody. This is not new, now.”

Quaterback Paxton Lynch threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns.  He ran for two more.  Sophomore Sam Craft, who is listed as a wide receiver, carried the ball 38 times for 175 yards.  Memphis ran for 299 yards in all.

The Bearcats struggled on offense.

After the first play, Kiel threw for 136 yards on 10 completions with one interception.  The Bearcats also lost a fumble and were stopped on downs on another occasion.

Kiel was injured near the end of the half.  He was hit while throwing a pass and had X-rays taken of his chest.  He was unable to play the second half.

“Gunner’s probably going to be down for a while,” coach Tommy Tuberville said. “He’s having a pretty tough time.”

Munchie Legaux, who made a magnificent recovery from a badly torn knee, finished the game.  Legaux completed five passes for 39 yards.  He rushed for 20 yards on three carries.

"We built this game up all week and they responded," said Memphis coach Justin Fuentes.  "When one side of the ball struggled the other stepped up.  That's what good teams do."

The Tigers had a chip on their shoulders.

"We were talking all week about making a statement," Lynch said.  "They were picked to win the conference. It shows we can control our own destiny. We knew we had to respond after their first play.  We just marched down the field.  We had a lot of plays installed for this defense.  We knew we had to take the momentum back. This gives us confidence. We believe that we can win every game."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cueto's Dramitic Hit Gave Himself 20 Wins

Bryan Price left it up to Johnny Beisbol

Cueto used his own bat to provide the margin for his career-best 20th win, becoming the first Reds' pitcher since 1988 to win 20 games.  Danny Jackson won 23 that year.  Cueto was the first Reds' right-hander to win 20 since Sammy Ellis won 22 and Jim Maloney won 20 in 1965.

The strategy was unorthodox so much so that Cueto didn't fully understand it.  St. Louis Cardinal fans surely disliked it.

Bryan Price allowed Cueto to bat with the go ahead run on third with one out in the eighth inning.

"It was one of the worst decisions for me to make because I know what's on the line," Price said. "The Cardinals are watching the game too.  Of course Cozart hits an absolute missile and that Harrison kid makes another great play.  But hey the most important guy for me today was Johnny Cueto.  If anyone deserved a chance to do that it was him. I put Johnny ahead of everyone else.  I would not apologize for anything that we did in September.  For a team out of the race, we honored the pennant race as much as we could."

Cueto wanted to hit but even second guessed the reasoning.

"I don't understand it," Cueto said with a wide smile on his face. "I still don't understand the at bat.  I told my manager that I want to hit.  He gave me the confidence to do it. I got the hit and I still don't understand it."

Two years ago, in the final start of the season, Cueto had 19 wins and the Reds knew he was going to start in the playoffs.  The Reds took him out after seven innings of a 1-1 game.  The Reds scored the winning run in the ninth, too late for Cueto to pick up his 20th.


"In that situation, we had the team first," Price said. "That was the right call."

Cueto and his mother expected 20 wins this season.

"I only ask God to be healthy and keep the team together," Cueto said through interpreter Tomas Vera.  "I had 104 pitches and a man on third. I don't understand why he trusted me but I am happy that I got the hit.  It feels great.  I feel really happy.  I feel really, really happy today."

Cueto is not concerned about the Cy Young Award that will likely go to Clayton Kershaw.

"You don't know what is going to happen," Cueto said apparently not knowing the media votes on the award and the consensus has been that Kershaw will get the vote.  "I have the numbers. I have my innings.  I have my strikeouts. Look where I'm pitching (hitter friendly Great American Ball Park). That's for you in the media.to worry about."

The Reds gave Cueto an early lead early in the 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on the final day of the season..

Kristopher Negron singled off Pittsburgh starter, Gerrit Cole.  Brandon Phillips singled Negron to third on a hit-and-run play.  Negron, going on contact scored on Frazier's grounder to third.

Cueto gave up two singles in the first but held the Pirates scoreless until Neil Walker hit his 23rd home run, leading off the fourth.

Cueto retired 14 of 15 batters after the home run and in the process tied Stephan Strasburg for the NL lead with his 242nd strikeout.

Travis Snider doubled with two out in the eighth and Cueto hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch.  Cueto ended the inning by taking the throw from Frazier on Walker's ground ball.

"I was aggressive the whole time," Cueto said.  "When Walker grounded out I felt really happy because I was behind in the count and when he hit the ground ball, I thought, "I got him."'

Pirates fans taunted Cueto last season in the wild card playoff game that Cueto started and chanted his name in the belief that they got in his head.  Pirate fans started the chant late in the game.

"I heard them," Cueto said.  "They think it bothers me but they only beat me one time."

Jason Bourgeois tripled to open the bottom of the eighth. With the infield in Josh Harrison made a diving catch of Zack Cozart's line drive.  Bryan Price let Cueto try to win his big game with his own bat.  The Pirates pitched out but there was no play on.  Cueto fouled off a two-strike pitch.  The worked the count full.
Cueto singled up the middle of the drawn in infield.

Yorman Rodriguez ran for Cueto, who ended his season with an eight inning, one-run effort with no walks and seven strikeouts.  He finished with a NL Best 243 2/3 innings and tied for the lead with 242 strikeouts.

Kristopher Negron, clapping his hands before his sixth home run sprint of the season, took out some of the drama with a blast off Justin Wilson to give Aroldis Chapman a three-run lead to work with in seeking his 36th save in 38 chances.

Starling Marte extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a bloop single to center.  Gabby Sanchez struck out swinging.  Jordy Mercer was caught looking at a third strike.  Tony Sanchez became Chapman's 106th strikeout victim on the season to end it.

With the loss the Pirates had to settle for the Wild Card home game against the San Francisco Giants.

Johnny Cue20 Goes For An Elusive Milestone


Johnny Cueto will probably not win the Cy Young Award but regardless of the outcome of today;s game, he has had a great season.

If Cueto wins his 20th game he will have done something that no Reds pitcher has done since 1988 and something no Reds' right-handed pitcher has done since 1965.

For pitchers, 20-win seasons have been hard to come by with five fewer starts and increased use of specialized bullpens.  Danny Jackson a left-hander won 23 games in 1988.  Right-handers Sammy Ellis (22) and Jim Maloney (20)  accomplished the feat in 1965.

Would the Cy Young going to Clayton Kershaw dampen the excitement  of the feaqt?

"Yes, because he's had a phenomenal  year and no because he's had a phenomenal year" Bryan Price said.. The baseball community recognize his year."

His teammates are 100 percent behind him.

"It is very important for Johnny to get that win," said Todd Frazier, who needs one more home run to reacn 30 for the season.  "I'm going to fight for him."
Reds caricatures for sale fstopjd@fuse.net

Frazier knows that Kershaw will probably win the Cy Young and possibly the MVP.

"Overall Johnny understands," Frazier said. "He had a great year. He exceeded my expectations , coming off the injuries. He;s workded hard. Johnny has that energy that you build on."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pirates Edge Reds Keep Division Hopes Alive

Travis Snider's line drive sliced away from Jay Bruce in rightfield, allowing Josh Harrison to score the go-head run in the Pirates 3-1 win that keeps its division tittle hopes alive.

Harrison, the National League's leading hitter, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a single with two outs in the eighth.  Last season's MVP, Andrew McCutcheon, doubled to plate pinch runner, Gregory Polanco.

Mike Leake and Vance Worley locked up in a pitcher's duel.

Both threw up zeroes for five innings.

Gabby Sanchez put the Pirates into a brief lead with his seventh home run, leading off the sixth.

Zack Cozart led off the Reds half with a single off the glove of Jordy Mercer.  Mercer recovered in time to catch Cozart at second, going for the extra base.  One out later, Leake doubled.  He scored by running through thirdbase coach Steve Smith to score on Kristopher Negron's single to centerfield.
Reds caricatures for sale fstopjd@fuse.net

Leake finished with seven innings, allowing just the one run on three hits.  He walked two and struck out eight.

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 33rd save.

Princeton High and UC Grad Near MLB Batting Title


Josh Harrison, a 2006 graduate of Princeton High School and a Bearcat baseball player from 2006-2008, leads the National League in hitting with three games left in the 2014 season at .319.

Harrison is in a battle with his teammate and 2013 Most Valuable Player, Andrew McCutcheon, who is at .314.  Starling Marte, yet another teammate is ninth in the NL at .293.

Harrison along with brother Vince, who also played professional baseball, comes from a baseball family.  Their uncle John Shelby had an 11-year big league career.

The 2014 All-Star goes into the game Friday against the Reds with a 13-game hitting streak, that ties a career high.

Harrison won  three letters in baseball at Princeton. He was the captain his last two years and the Vikings MVP as a senior, when he was named the The Enquirer's All-City Team.  At UC, Harrison played three seasons.  He is in the Bearcats' top-10 in batting average (4th .358), runs (3rd 192), hits (4th 246), doubles (4th 53), RBI (5th, 153), total bases (5th 366) and stolen bases (2nd 63). 

Harrison was named Big East Co-Player of the Year in 2008, succeeding the Reds' Todd Frazier, who was the Big East Player of the Year in 2007. 

Tony Campana of the Diamondbacks from Springfield High was a teammate of Harrison's at Cincinnati. Colerain's pitcher Dan Osterbrock, who was drafted and played in the Minnesota Twins organization was on those Bearcat teams as well.  The Bearcats won a team record 39 games with those three Cincinnati players.

The Cubs drafted Harrison in the sixth round in 2008.  He was traded to the Pirates with Jose Ascaino and Kevin Hart for John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny.

For the second season in a row, Harrison will have a chance to play in the Major League Post-Season

Reds caricatures for sale fstopjd@fuse.net
The Pirates are one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central Division title.  They have already clinched at least a Wild Card spot and hold a one-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for the home field in the Wild Card game.