About Me

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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.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Xavier Loses Third Straight To Big East Elite




The gauntlet is complete and the Xavier Musketeers ranked 22nd took their lumps on the road and took its third straight loos on its home court.  The Creighton Blue Jays  ranked 7th held  on to win 72-67.

Losses to former number one Villanova and 12th ranked Butler led up to the matchup with the Blue Jays. 

Xavier (13-5, 3-3 Big East) rallied from an 11-point deficit with nine minutes to go in the game after head coach Chris Mack after Malcolm Bernard was called for an offensive foul with XU trailing 55-50.  A minute and a half later, Creighton (18-1, 5-1 Big East) led 61-50.

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Xavier fought back to take a 67-66 lead with 1:08 left.

Rashid Gaston, who scored 12 points and led all rebounders with 17, made a jumper in the lane after a tip in by 7'  freshman Justin Patton tipped in a missed shot.  J.P. Macura rebounded a missed shot by Marcus Foster and Edmond Sumner tied the game after Gaston pulled in a offensive rebound.

Xavier's Trevon Bluiett stole the ball from Isiah Zierdan and Macura hit one of two free throws on the other end to give Xavier the lead.  They didn't score again.

Patton tipped in a miss by Foster with :49 seconds left

Xavier missed four shots on one trip  Sumner rebounded a 3-poin miss by Bluiett and Gaston missed twice after rebounding Sumner's miss.  Macura was forced to foul Cole Huff following his rebound of Gaston's second miss.

"The ball didn't roll in for us," Mack said.  "It wasn't a lack of effort.  We could have done things better earlier in the game. At times we weren't tough enough>

Bluiett led Xavier with 17 points.  Sumner had 10.  Poor free throw shooting 16-for-29 (55%) cost the Musketeers the game.

"Just taking care of  the ball, paying attention to details and making our free throws will help things go our way," Gaston said. "You've got to go to the line with confidence and knock them down."

Creighton had to play the the last 29 minutes without its floor leader, Maurice Watson Jr..  Watson leads the nation with 162 assists this season and 8.8 per game.  He is also the NCAA active leader with 801, including three against Xavier.

Wataon injured his knee with over nine minutes left in the game.  As a senior who transferred from Boston three years ago, he is also Creighton's emotional leader.

 "It was tough when we lost Mo," Huff said.. "We could have hung our heads. He could have hung his head but he was inspirational on the bench. He was another set of eyes. We are a family. It was guys that don't play much that carried him off. They could hang their heads because the don't play much but they won't leave anyone behind."

Watson did what he could from the bench after he was carried off the court by teammates after the game.

 "It meant the world to me when my teammates carried me off the court," Watson said. "One of the things I wanted to work on was to be a better leader. For them to embrace me like that after I may have been an A hole to them means a lot to me."

There is no structural damage to his knee.

"It hurt really badly when the adrenaline wore off. There is no structural damage but I'm going to live in the training room for awhile," Watson said. "It is tough to put into words whet this means to us. We came in here with a chance to win three times in this building. It is hard to do and I know how far this team has come in the last three years."


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Xavier Remains Only Undefeated Team In The Big East - Myles Davis Returning






The Xavier Musketeers won a frenetic game against the visiting St. John's Red Storm, 97-82.

The Musketeers (13-2, 3-0) the leading rebounding team in the league shot 59 percent from the floor, including 15-for-26 from 3-point range but were out rebounded 38-36.

St. John (8-9, 2-2) shot 10-for-27 from 3-point range to stay close.

"We played really unselfish," Xavier head coach Chris Mack said.  "We were finding the open man.  We made an emphasis to get the ball in the lane. We had the game plan to get them in foul trouble and we did that."

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St. John committed 25 fouls.  Xavier converted 19 of 32 from the foul line.  Xavier fouled 22 times and St. John's shot 80 percent from the line (20-25).

St. John's is a young team with just one senior.

"We are young and inexperienced," St. John's coach Chris Mullin said. "We try not to use that as an excuse but were are trying to get better while winning. We were porous in the first half.  We have to learn to defend better."

Six Musketeers scored 10 points or more.

Edmond Sumner led the Musketeers with 20 points.  Kaiser Gates had 17.  Trevon Bluiett bounced back from a game in which he scored just one point to post 15.  J.P. Macura had 14. Malcolm Bernard and freshman Tyrique Jones scored 10.

Marcul LoVett, red-shirt freshman from Ft. Wayne, Indiana led all scorers with 32. Shamorie Ponds added 21 and Bashir Ahmed scored 10 for St. John's. Ponds had a game-high seven rebounds.

'The scary part is they are all ffreshmen," Mack said.

Mack also announced that veteran Myles Davis will be added to the active roster for the first time this season.  Davis served a 15-game disciplinary suspension.

"He will be no different than the other 14 players on the team," Mack said.  "He met all the terms of the suspension that were presented to him.  We hope he will continue to make the right choices to remain part of this team."

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Reds Sign RH Reliever Drew Storen





The Reds signed right-handed relief pitcher Drew Storen to a one-year Major League contract.

Storen  is from Brownsville, Indiana, where he was a high school teammate of  Reds' catcher Tucker Barnhart.

Storen is 29 and was a first round pick of the Washington Nationals in 2009. He broke into the big leagues the next season as a 22-year old.

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Storen had 43 saves with a 6-3 record and a 2.75 ERA in 2011.

A year ago, Storen was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays with cash for Ben Revere and a player to be named later.  Storen appeared in 38 games for Toronto until he was traded to the Seattle Mariners on July 26 for Joaquin Benoit.

Storen was 1-3 with three saves in Toronto with a 6.21 ERA.  After the trade, Storen pitched in 19 games with Seattle and had a 3-0 record. He earned $8,375,000 last season.

The Reds will have open competition for a closer this spring with Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen in the mix with Storen.

The Reds also claimed RHP Tyrell Jenkins off waivers from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Xavier Scorches Friars In Big East Opener





Xavier was hitting on all cylinders in the first Big East Conference game of the season.  The Musketeers had 22 assists and dominating the boards in an 82-56 win over the Providence Fryers.

The Musketeers 11-2, 1-0) had 38 rebounds to the Friars (10-4, 0-1) 20, leading to Xavier's largest margin of victory in their four-year membership in the conference.

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While National nimber on Villanova struggled to a three point win at home against the DePaul Demon Deacons, Xavier manhandled the Fryeirs, who came in with losses to Ohio State, Virginia and Boston College non of which were teh magnitude of the drubbing they took at the Cintas Center.

Trevon Bluiett led everyone with 22 points and nine rebounds as he sat out the last quarter of the game when Xavier coach Chris Mack emptied the bench.  Edmond Sumner had 13 points.  RaShid Gaston scored 12 and J.P. Macura scored 11 as the Musketeers pulled away from the Friars.

Providence coach Ed Cooley was just empty.  Waiting to face the inquisition by the press while standing in the Cintas Center hallway.

'I don't have much to say to them," Cooley said to no one in particular. "This might be the worst loss in my coaching career."

The Friars leading scorer Rodney Bullock a junior out of Hampton, Virginia had just two points and was a measly 1-for-11 from the field after coming into the game scoring 19.4 points per game. He also had half of his average of six rebounds per game.

Isaiah Jackon led Providence with 17 points.  Jalen Lindsey added 15.  Kalif Young led the Friars with five rebounds.

"We came out with a lot of energy and just were locked in from the get-go," Bluiett said.  "We knew what they were trying to do.  We tried to get Bullock out of his comfort zone.  We thought we did a pretty good job. We know his sweet spots. We tried to get him off that a little bit."

The strategy worked but the Musketeers didn't surprise the Friars but executed very well on both sides of the court.

"They did every thing we saw in the scouting report," Jackson said. "They played well in transition and shot the three very well.  We have to regroup.  We have another game on the road at Butler.  We have to fight from the beginning.  We can't dig ourselves a big hole like that."







Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Xavier Wins Third Straight With Victory Over Eastern Washington





Baylor and Colorado gave the Xavier Musketeers a lesson in humility by giving the sixth ranked team beatings out west.

Baylor drubbed Xavier on December 3rd by 15 points (76-61) Colorado took Xavier down 68-66.

A hard fall means a high bounce if you're made of the right material.  To that end Xavier has defeated Utah, who came into the contest 7-2 by a 77-69 tally.  Then defeated an 8-2 Wake Forest in the Skip Prosser Classic in a hard fought 69-65 win on Saturday.

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Eastern Washington was 8-3 entering the Cintas Center but had just taken a 70-48 beating at Northern Kentucky on Sunday.

For 11 minutes the Eagles soared over the Musketeers with an 11 point lead.

"We we the better team for about 15 minutes," head coach Jim Hayford quipped after the Musketeers completed an 85-56 win.

Edmond Sumner connected on a three-point shot and the rest of the night Xavier showed why they were ranked among the top teams in the nation.

"I was more worried about how I played on defense," Sumner said. "I had a lot of energy out there. I think I sparked us on defense and opened us up on offense. I made the right plays and let the game come to me."

The Musketeers caught the Eagles at the on three's by Treyvon Bluiett and Kaiser Gates to take a 30-28 lead at the 3:31 mark.  Gates closed out the half with a three and the Musketeers led by 16 by halftime.

"They were 6-for-6 from three point range to close out the half," Hayford said.  "When they shoot the ball that well they are an unbeatable team.  They showed why they are in the top 10."

Bluiett led Xaver 10-2 with 16 points. Sumner finished with 14. J.P Macura added 12.  Gates 4 three point shots gave him 12 for the game. Malcom Bernard chipped in with 10.  Macura led the Musketeers with six rebounds which accounted for the Musketeers 36-30 rebounding edge.

"Overall that's the best I've felt," said Gates who is recovery from injury. "I felt more loose than I usually do, a little more bouncy."

Jacob Wiley led Eastern Washington 8-4 with 16 points. Felix Von Hofe was next with nine points

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Number Seven Xavier Wins Seventh Straight To Start The Season




Seven is the lucky number tonight as AP # 7 Xavier won its 7th game without a defeat in an 85-55 romp over the Bison of North Dakota State.

Trevon Bluiett led four other Musketeer players who scored in double figures with 23 points.

Sean O'Mara scored 12. J.P. Macura added 11 and Malcolm Bernard chipped in 10.  Bernard also controlled the boards with a game-high eight rebounds.

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Xavier (7-0) scored the first seven points and never looked back. The Musketeers stretched the halftime lead to 21.

The Bison competed to the best of their ability with red-shirt freshman Deng Geu scoring 18 points for NDSU (5-3).

"Deng has oodles and oodles of potential," Bison coach David  Richman said.  'He's struggled with his confidence. It was good to see him hit his first three. It gave him confidence."

Carlin Dupree had nine points for NDSU and four players had four rebounds but a taller, more physical Xavier team out rebounded the Bison 43-27.

"I think in the first half we played up to our standards," Bluiett said. "In the second half I think we took a step backward as far as the effort on the defensive end."

The statistics bear that out NDSU scored 33 points in the second half after putting up 22 in the first.

NEXT UP

Xavier will fly to Waco, Texas to play Baylor on Saturday.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Bearcats Struggle Against Tigers - Lose Fourth Straight





Jason Stewart prepares every week like he’s the starter but usually watches Riley Ferguson lead the Memphis Tigers.  This time an undisclosed injury to the starter put Stewart in the spotlight

Stewart threw two touchdown passes and Doroland Dorceus ran for two more scores to lead Memphis to a 34-7 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night.

Memphis (7-4, 4-3 American) has beaten Cincinnati in three straight games.

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Stewart, who transferred from Fort Scott Community College, tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Joey Magnifico, and a 22-yard scoring strike to Anthony Miller. Stewart had 138 yards passing after replacing Ferguson after the Tigers' first possession.

"Stewart took care of the football. He managed the game. He really did a great job. He prepares like he's the starter all the time,"  Memphis coach Mike Norvell said. "We wanted to make sure we took care of Riley. It was mostly precaution. I won't go into it in detail but I think it'll be fine. It's tough when a guy has to come in seven or eight minutes into a game."

Stewart appeared in three games this season, completing seven of 12 passes for 63 yards.

 "The team believed in me,” Stewart said.. “The coaches believed in me. I was a little nervous at first but once I got into the flow of the game I was fine. I didn't get a chance to play a lot by I love Riley. I've always supported him. I feel like I've been blessed and wouldn't trade a day. I feel blessed from the way I got here. I didn't have any offers out of high school and went the junior college route.”

His teammates knew they could count  on him.

“I'm proud of Stewart too. Stew prepares every week like he's the starter," Dorceus said.” We went to work.”

Dorceus ran for two scores inside the 8-yard line and finished with 66 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Hayden Moore threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Devin Gray early in the fourth quarter for Cincinnati (4-7, 1-6), which gained just 99 yards in the first half and finished with 244 yards of offense. Moore was 23 of 34 for 144 yards and threw two interceptions.

Curtis Akins and Chris Morely intercepted Moore’s passes in back-to-back possessions as Memphis bolted to a 27-0  halftime lead.

“It was the same old song,” Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said.  “I didn’t think we’d turn the ball over like we did early.  But again you’ve  still got to make first downs.  We still have to cross the goal line.  We left the defense out there way too long. It was downhill from there.”

Jake Elliot, Memphis’ leading scorer, kicked field goals of 37 and 32 yards

Memphis is bowl eligible for the third year in a row.  Cincinnati will not get the requisite six wins with one game to play.  Memphis improves to 21-13 all time.

TAKEAWAYS
Memphis –  Elliot broke the Memphis scoring record held by Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots.  Elliot has never missed an extra-point making all 192 attempts including four against Cincinnati…The Tigers entered the game tied for third in the nation with 23 forced turnovers.  They added two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Cincinnati-  Three Cincinnati quarterbacks have started at least two games.  Hayden Moore started his sixth against Memphis.  Gunner Kiel started three and Ross Trail two.  The QB’s have combined for 15 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. Moore (8 TD-7 Int) Kiel (6TD-@Int) Triail (1TD-6Int).

UP Next
Memphis – The Tigers will host Houston at 2:30 p.m. on Friday November 25.

Cincinnati – The Bearcats, will need a win at Tulsa next Friday, November 25, to be bowl eligible.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Xavier Plays Matador And Side Steps The Buffalo Bulls





Like the aggressive male bovine the Buffalo Bulls lived up to their name, allowing Xavier to withdraw its red cape, like a matador win going away.

J.P. Macura scored 18 points to lead the Xavier Musketeers to an 86-53 win over last the Buffalo Bulls, the two-time defending champion of the Mid-American Conference.

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Macura has a careeer field goal percentage of .444 but  shot just 4-for-11 from the field with no 5-point shots.

Buffalo was called for 38 fouls.  Macura was the beneficiary and made all 10 of his free throws.

Xavier had 21 fouls called against them but Buffalo made just 13 0f 21 from the foul line while Xavier was 28-for-38.  The Division I record for fouls in a game is 50 by Arizona vs Northern Arizona on Jan. 26, 1953. Yes, 1953. 84 fouls in that game combined, also a record.

"There were a lot of fouls," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "We were able to use Buffalo's aggressiveness to our advantage.  For the most part we were able to keep them off the foul line."

Xavier put four players in double figures with Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett scoring 13 apiece.  Freshmand Quentin Goodin added 11 points. Freshman Tyrique Jones had a game-high 11 rebounds.

"I thought Tyrique (Jones) and Quentin (Goodin), our freshmen had their best games," Mack said.. "They grew a lot since Friday night. They had to learn the speed of the game and they're getting there. Tyrique is a freshman but has a college body."

Nick Perkins had 15 points to lead the Bulls.  Bufallo's leading scorer from last year fouled out with eight points.  Quate McKinzie fouled out with three points.  Buffalo finished the game with four other players with  four fouls including Perknis.

“They moved the ball we didn’t. We need to learn to play defense without fouling," Buffalo coach Nate Oats said. "“The fouls were 38-21 and we had what two guys foul out.Our guys said they got screwed but those officials worked the tournament.They didn’t cost us 30 fouls.”

“We wanted to play a top 10 team to see where we were.We’re not where we need to be, playing as selfish as we played," Oats said.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

BYU Shuts Down Gunner Kiel And The Bearcats






The Brigham Young University Cougars devoured the young Cincinnati Bearcats like they were middle aged divorcees after a Chippendale Show in a 20-3 win..

Cincinnati put together a seven-play, 59-yard drive after taking the opening kickoff at its own 35.  The drive stalled at the six when Kiel checked down to Tion Green for a four-yard gain that was short of the first down. Josh Pasley kicked a 23-yard field goal.

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The Cougars (5-4) came back to tie the game with a field goal of its own, a 28-yarder by Rhett Almond, but broke the game open with a trick flea flicker play that had BYU quarterback Tayshom Hill connecting with Jona Trinnaman on a 43-yard pass to the Cincinnati 11.  Hill waltzed in from the eight two plays later.

They left 44 seconds for Kiel and the Bearcat offense.

The Cougars took the second half kick and marched.70 yards in 12 plays.

The Bearcats tried to rally, moving the ball from their own 16 during a 15-play drive that reached the BYU 11 but Tion Green lost four yards on a run.  On the next play, Columbus, Ohio native Logan Taele sacked Kiele for a seven-yard loss.  When Josh Pasley missed a 39-yard field goal attempt, the drive turned into tragedy as the Bearcats used 6:43 of the clock without scoring a point.

Brigham Young ran the ball for 207 yards on 47 attempts to control the clock and completing the scoring with a 19-yard field goal by Almond.

"People say a 20-3 game isn't exciting but that's my kind of excitement," BYU head coach Kilani Sitake said.
"The defense played really well after that first drive. They made some good throws but we had a chance to regroup and get back to assignment football. The offense started out slow but once our offense was able to sustain drives, it gave us time to make adjustments on defense. It works hand-in-hand."

UC finished with 295 total yards, 96 rushing and 199 passing.  Kiel completed 19 of 32 passes and one interception.

Not a good performance again today, especially on the offensive side of the ball," UC head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "The defense played well. We made one mistake on their trick play before the half. That should have never happened."

Kiel started the season third on the Bearcat depth chart at quarterback behind Hayden Moore and Ross Trail but took over on October 22 against East Carolina, leading Cincinnati to its last win. The 4-5 Bearcats have now lost two straight games.

"Gunner didn’t have a great game, not throwing a touchdown pass. Just not very good (overall) to be honest with you. No consistency of any length of a drive to get a touchdown," Tuberville said..

"Everybody’s talking about getting to a bowl game. I just want to get a touchdown. We are struggling big time. We’ve got no consistency on offense to help our defense. We’ve got three games to see if we can help them. We have not seen a whole lot of improvement on offense the last three games. We’ve tried it all. We’ve tried every quarterback. We’ve tried every running back"

 
 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Josh Tomlin Explains Cleveland Indians World Series Mindset







Team attitude in March foreshadows the Cleveland Indians mindset that propelled them into the 2016 World Series.


http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20160329_SEA@CLE

Tomlin was asked his preference for starting or working out of the bullpen on March 28.  The attitude explains why the team is playing in its first World Series since 1997.

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Indians: The team will decide on Wednesday whether Tomlin will work out of the bullpen in favor of Cody Anderson or start.

''I'm hoping for the best 25 guys,'' Tomlin said. ''We need to put personal preferences aside. You do whatever you can to help your team win games. The goal should be to try to win the World Series, not I'd rather start, I'd rather be in the bullpen. Just get the ball whenever you get the ball and try to compete and win.''

Middletown's Kyle Schwarber Is Cubs Designated Hitter






Against all odds, Kyle Schwarber is going to be in the lineup in the Chicago Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Schwarber will bat fifth in the batting order, six months after tearing the ACL and LCL in April on a play in the outfield.  Schwarber, who is called Hulk by his teammates, made his debut against the Cleveland Indians on June 16, 2015 when he struck out on three pitches by Marc Rzepczynski.

The 6' 3"
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235 lb. left-handed hitter got his first Major League hit, a triple, off Shaun Marcum as Schwaber went 4-for-5 in the Cubs 17-0 win at Wrigley Field on June 17.  Schwarber hit his first home run of his career off Danny Salazar the next night as the Indians won two of the three games.

Schwarber had just four at bats in two games this season with a walk before the injury on April 7.  The prognosis was for the 23-year old to be ready for spring training but the former All-State linebacker for the Middletown Middies, healed so quickly that the Cubs sent him to the Arizona Fall League to get some at bats against live pitching.

Three weeks ago Cubs' manager Joe Maddon said, "Kyle won't play this season but he's killing his rehab. I talk to him every day and I'm sure he's disappointed but he is with us cheering us on."