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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

David Bell Promoted In Reds Organization

Though he has never played for the Reds, David Bell, is as close as one could be without actually putting on a uniform.

Bell was named manager of the Reds top farm team in Louisville.

Bell replaces Rick Sweet, who skippered the Bats for the last six seasons.  Sweet has taken a job with the Reds as catching coordinator.  He will remain an important part of the organization.

Bell's grandfather Gus, a Louisville native, played for the Reds from 1953 through the Reds pennant winning season of 1961.  The elder Bell, whose given name is also David, then became a member of the original New York Mets.

Gus's son and David Bell's father, David Gus "Buddy" Bell starred at Cincinnati's Moeller High School before beginning an 18 year major league career, three of which were spent with the Reds.  Buddy has managed the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals.  He currently works for the Chicago White Sox in the personnel department.and has been considered as a candidate to take over for the recently departed Ozzie Guillen but the job was awarded to Robin Ventura.  Buddy's son Michael played for the Reds briefly for the Reds in 2000.

David Michael Bell also graduated from Moeller High and played 12 seasons in the major leagues.  The 39-year old played for Cleveland, Seattle, St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

Bell played under current Reds manager Dusty Baker, on San Francisco's World Series runner up in 2002.

Bell had been managing the last three seasons in Double A Carolina for the Reds comes home to Louisville where he played for the Redbirds from 1995-97.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Musketeers Down the Dogs 70-56

The Xavier Musketeers won its fourth game in as many tries with a big win over the Georgia Bulldogs at the Cintas Center.

The Musketeers took advantage of poor shooting by the Bulldogs to build a nine-point halftime lead and never looked back.

Georgia lost its two leading scorers, who left early.  Xavier defeated that version of the Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia on February 8, earlier this year.

Xavier's defense choked the Bulldogs, holding them to one basket in its first 16 attempts.  The Musketeers started off with the first 10 points.

Individually, Travis Taylor turned in a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.  The 12 boards was a game high.  Kenny Frease scored 12. Tu Holloway matched Frease with 12. Mark Lyons scored 10 to give the Musketeers four double digit scorers.

Xavier built an 11 point lead at the mid point of the first half but went cold for two minutes to allow Georgia to  stay close.

Georgia exhausted its final time out early in the second half and Xavier kept the defensive pressure to build the lead to 30 with 7:32 left in the contest.

"We weren't shooting well but we kept up the defensive pressure," Musketeer coach Chris Mack said.

Georgia coach, Mark Fox, kept trying to stop Xavier's momentum with timeouts.

"Xavier is better than us right now," Fox said.  "We got off to a very slow start."

Georgia (4-2) was coming off a victory over Notre Dame on Tuesday, while Xavier (4-0) was rested with a week of inactivity.

Xavier subbed liberally, allowing freshman Dee Davis playing time earlier than he'd seen in the first three games.

"We played with a lot of energy," Holloway said.  "Coach told us before the game we were going to be subbing every two or three minutes."

Taylor, a transfer from Monmouth University in Union, NJ, felt the energy after grabbing some rebounds.

"It gets your motor running," Taylor said.  "It does me.  We're not a finished product yet.  We're still bonding."

Georgia drew an administrative technical foul at the 12:09 mark when freshman Kentavius Caldwell-Pope called a timeout as he fell to prevent a traveling call.  The Bulldogs had used all of its allotted timeouts prior to the call.

"We started very poorly," Fox explained.  "We were trying to hang on until halftime and didn't quite make it."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Astros Move To American League in 2013

The Houston Astros will play its last season in the National League in 2012.

The franchise that began in 1962 as the Colt 45's will complete its 51st season as a National League team, then help Major League Baseball divide into two 16-team leagues.

The franchise made the playoffs nine times and participated in one World Series in 2005.

There will be an extra wild card team added in each league.  The two wild card teams will meet in a one-game playoff to see which advances to the Division Series.

Jim Crane purchased the Astros from Dreyton McClaine for $660 million but will receive a rebate of $80 million to compensate him for moving to the American League West where more road games will be televised after prime time in the Central Time Zone.

The move to the AL West will form an intrastate rivalry between both Texas teams the Texas Rangers of the Dallas area and Houston.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shane Larkin Gets Special Waiver to Play For the Miami Hurricanes Debut' Tuesday Against Rutgers

Shane Larkin, two time All-State point guard for Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, Florida received a special waiver today that allows him to play for the Miami Hurricanes in the 2011-12 season.

Larkin is the son of Cincinnati Reds All-Star shortstop Barry Larkin and the nephew of Xavier University's all-time leading scorer, Byron Larkin.

The younger Larkin, who led Dr. Phillips to the Florida state championship game, originally signed to play for Oliver Purnell, the former University of Dayton coach at DePaul.

Larkin attended summer classes and worked out with the team until August 4, for an undisclosed medical reason.  He needed to be closer to home and he joined the Hurricanes a few weeks ago.

The waiver allows Larkin to play this season.  Normally, a transfer from on Division I school to another must sit out a year.

Larkin played 22 minutes in his debut against Rutgers, Tuesday night.  He hit his only 3-point attempt and added a steal, an assist and a rebound.  Larkin was among Florida state's steals leaders last season at Dr. Phillips.

Miami defeated Rutgers in Coral Gables, 72-57.

Xavier Beats the Mastodons of Indiana Purdue at Fort Wayne 86-63

The IPFW team isn't knicknamed the Mastodons because they start three seniors.  When excavation was done during campus construction, bones from a mastodon was discovered and the team was named after them.

The bones of the team was strewn over the Cintas Center in the wake of the Xavier Musketeers 86-63 win over IPFW.

Preseason All-American Tu Holloway returned from his one-game suspension to add more experience to Xavier's lineup.

For the second game in a row, Mark Lyons, scored over 20 points with 21.  He was second to Holloway who tallied game-high 24.  Freshman Dezmine Wells added 16 points.  Kenny Frease blocked six shots, a career high.

Wells hit a 3-pointer to give Xavier a quick 5-2 lead and Holloway hit another to make it 10-6.

"We allowed Holloway and Wells to hit shots early," IPFW coach, Tony Jasik said.  "You can't come in here and allow them to his shots early and feel good about themselves.

Lyons had just two points at halftime but tallied 19 after the break.  Holloway scored most of his points in the second half.

"I was trying to get my teammates in position to score.  I don't have to score like I did last season.  My teammates were scoring and we were winning," Holloway said.  He dished out six assists for the game.

Xavier led by 14 at the break, 36-22 but the Mastodons scored 40 in the second half.  Junior Frank Gaines led IPFW with 22 points but was 5-for-22 from the field.

"If a guy scores 22 on you but has to take 22 shots to do it so be it," Xavier coach Chris Mack said.  "We made some improvements from last game but I don't like the way we finished and we didn't handle their pressure very well."

IPFW forced four turnovers in the last four minutes as freshmen, Wells and Dee Davis were bothered by the Mastodon's press.

"We don't press very often.  Maybe we should use it a little more," Jasik said.  "Early in the year, you can't work on everything.  They'll (Xavier) will be fine."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Columbus Ohio Native Takes Over The Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals hired Columbus native, Mike Matheny, to manage the World Champions.

Matheny is 41 years old and a former Cardinal catcher.  He was a minor league instructor for St. Louis.

Matheny, who won four Gold Gloves, three with St. Louis, was chosen over Ryne Sandberg, Jose Oquendo, Chris Maloney, Joe McEwing and Terry Francona.  He has no managerial experience but was hired over current Cardinal coach, Oquendo and former Phillies and Red Sox manager, Francona.

The graduate of Reynoldsburg, Ohio high and played at the University of Michigan.  Matheny was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1991 in the eighth round.

He played for the Brewers, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Giants during his 13 year major league career.

Matheny was a .239 hitter for his career with 67 home runs and 443 RBI.  He was coveted for his defense and handling pitchers.

Dave Duncan, retired manager Tony La Russa's longtime pitching coach, has one more year on his contract.  Oquendo could also chose to return to the Cardinals coaching staff.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Steelers Hold On For 24-17 Win Over Bengals

Pittsburgh put together an 11-play 81 yard drive in the third quarter, then turned back the Bengals to improve to 7-3.

Rashard Mendenhall ran nine yards for the winning score to provide the winning margin.

The drive answered Cincinnati's 11-play, 67-yard drive that finished with Andy Dalton finding Jermaine Gresham in the deep left corner of the end zone that tied the game at 17.

The Bengals drove to the Steelers 25-yard line before William Gay intercepted Dalton's attempt to connect with Jerome Simpson.  The Steelers ran out the clock to put the game away.

Leon Hall Is Out

Hall injured his achilles tendon on his left foot

Leon Hall

Halftime Score Pittsburgh 17 Cincinnati 10

The Bengals and Steelers are tied at halftime.

Leon Hall injured his left achilles tendon.  His return in questionable.

Steelers Lead 14-7 AJ Green Injured

The Steelers scored on its first two possessions but Andy Dalton found AJ Green with a 36 yard pass near the end of the quarter.

Green was hurt on the play but his return is probable.

Bengals Attempt To Prove They Are For Real Against Hated Steelers

The storied football rivalry takes on another chapter as the Bengals try to prove they can take down the class of their division. The Bengals hold a half game lead over Pittsburgh with a 6-2 record.  Pittsburgh is 6-3.

The Steelers won both of last year's meetings and the Bengals swept Pittsburgh in 2009.

Pittsburgh leads the all-time 50-32.

The Bengals will be without DB Adam Jones and leading pass rusher Carlos Dunlap.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

West Virginia Beat UC 24-21

Tony Miliano's field goal attempt was blocked as time expired.

Cincinnati moved the ball to the West Virginia 14 yard line to set up for a potential game tying field goal with three seconds left on the clock.

An iffy snap and a hasty hold allowed Eain Smith to get to the ball and end the game with his team clinging to a much needed victory.

In reality West Virginia players and coaches had no idea who blocked the 31-yard attempt by Miliano, they were just glad that one of them did.

"Everybody was taking credit, even guys that didn't play," coach Dana Holgorson said outside the visiting locker room at Paul Brown Stadium.  "I don't care.  I'll take credit for it or I'll give it to all of them."

Cincinnati had the Big East Conference by the throat.  The Bearcats were 7-1 and 3-0 in the Big East.  All of the other teams had two losses with the exception of Louisville but UC defeated them on October 15 on the same turf on which they suffered today's defeat.

West Virginia, who is even taking legal action to exit the conference early, was reeling.  They lost two conference games in a row.   They started the game 6-3 and 2-2 in conference.  Now they have a legitimate shot at the BCS bowl awarded the conference.

"We put ourselves in a hole that we shouldn't have," Moutaineer quarterback Geno Smith said.  "We found out that we could handle adversity.  It molded us for this win today."

Isaiah Pead got Cincinnati off to a fast start with a 40-yard touchdown run but Smith quickly rallied his teammates.

Smith connected with Stedman Bailey on a 59-yard touchdown pass to answer the Bearcats early score.

"It was crucial that we answer that score," Smith said.

West Virginia took the lead on a 28-yard field goal by Tyler Bitancurt.

UC failed to score after getting a first and goal on the five yard line late in the first quarter.  Cincinnati lined up for a field goal but an offside gave them the opportunity to try for a touchdown.  Collaros didn't make it into the end zone.

Collaros was injured and never returned when Najeer Goode from Cleveland Benedictine forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Julian Miller.

"It should have been my touchdown," said Goode, who played against Collaros in high school.

Munchie Legaux led the Bearcats back by leading two touchdown drives.  Legaux ran the ball in from seven yards out and Pead scored from 10 yards out to put UC on top 21-17, a minute and a half into the fourth quarter.

Smith took his team down the field  with a 12-play, 74-yard drive that Shawne Austin finished with a one-yard run.

West Virginia survived the Bearcats last effort to tie the game.

"We could have collapsed on defense but we didn't" Holgorsen said.  "We had no choice but to play until the clock read all zeroes.  It was a classic example of finding a way to win."

Cincinnati Gets The Ball With 2:01 Left Trailing 24-21

They have the ball on there own 30.

West Virginia Rebounds to Take 24-21 Lead

West Virginia scored on a one-yard run by Shawne Austin to recapture the lead 24-21.

The Mountaineers ran 12 plays to cover 74 yards in 4:41

Cincinnati Takes the Lead

Isaiah Pead raced 10 yards for a touchdown to put Cincinnati on top 21-17.

The drive following a West Virginia fumble spanned 52 yards.

UC Trails West Virginia 17-14 at the End of 3 Quarters

Cincinnati recovered a West Virginia fumble and have the ball on the Moutaineers 36-yard line.

Munchie Scores for UC Trail WVA 17-14

Munchie Legaux followed a 45-yard pass to Isaiah Pead with a seven-yard touchdown run.  It was his second touchdown of his career and first in red pants.

Legaux ran for 65 yards from the Cincinnati four yard line following a blocked field goal.  The drive stalled and Tony Milian missed a 42-yard field goal.  Cincinnati's defense quickly got the ball back and the Bearcats put the ball in the end zone.

West Virginia Leads 17-7 at the Half

Cincinnati's offense is now in the hands of Munchie Legaux.

Collaros left with an injury and his return is doubtful.

Zach Collaros Hurt On WVA Scoring Play

Zach Collaros fumbled into the end zone Julian Miller recovered it for the score.

Collaros left the field on a cart before the Mountaineers kicked the extra point to increase its lead to 17-7.

Backup Munchie Legaux took over.  He had only thrown eight passes in the Bearcats first six games.  His second pass of the day was intercepted by Keith Tandy, giving the Mountaineers the ball on its own 38.

West Virginia Takes a 10-7 Lead

West Virginia used the momentum of stopping Cincinnati to end the first quarter by driving 72-yards in 11 plays.

Tyler Bitancourt kicked a 28-yard field goal to finish the 5:19 drive.

UC and West Virginia Tied at 7 After One Quarter

West Virginia maintained the tie by holding UC inside the five yard line mid-way through the quarter.

UC lined up for a field goal attempt but a Mountaineer lineman was offside, giving UC the ball on the 1 1/2 yard line.

Coach Butch Jones decided to go for the touchdown but Zach Collaras was stopped six inches from the goal line.  West Virginia lost three more inches because defensive back, Darwin Cook dived onto the pile late.

West Virginia maintained possession but ran three plays for no gain.  Mountaineer punter Mike Molinari got his team out of the whole with a 58-yard punt.  A block in the back moved Cincinnati back to its own 41.

West Virginia Long Pass Play Ties the Game

Geno Smith completed a 59-yard pass to Steadman Bailey to get the visiting Mountaineers even with the Bearcats.

The pass was completed in spite of a hold by a UC defender.

UC Takes An Early Lead On West Virginia

Isaih Pead ran for 40 yards for the first score of the game.

It was Pead's team-leading ninth touchdown of the season.  He has 29 career touchdowns.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Xavier Holds Off Morgan State 74-63

Xavier defeated visiting Morgan State by eleven points without its leading scorer, Tu Holloway, who was suspended fo a minor NCAA violation.

Holloway played on two AAU teams in the off season that triggered the violation.  He was suspended for one game.

In his absence, Mark Lyons ran the point for the Musketeers, scoring a team high 22 points and dishing out six assists.  Lyons also led Xavier with seven rebounds.

Newcomer Dezmine Wells added 12 in his Xavier debut.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Colerain Family Takes A Big Loss

The father of Colerain junior defensive back, Dejuan Lang, died Wednesday night from a sudden heart attack.

His father was 47.

The family tragedy occurred three days before the big playoff game between the Colerain Cardinals and the St. Xavier Bombers.

The seeming importance of the game, has taken a back seat to the loss suffered by the Lang and Colerain family.  There will be a game on Saturday that the young participants and their immediate families will be played but the Colerain family with a sense of true loss and diminished joy.

The thrill and satisfaction of competing among the best that Ohio is part of life.  The loss of a loved one is also a part of life.  It is a part of life that no one escapes.  We hope for the best timing in death but we do not get to choose.  Those of us that remain must accept the loss, like it or not.

If there is a positive side to a loss, it is knowing that the burden is shared albeit to a far lessor degree. Dejuan and his family are part of our Colerain larger family.  All of us share in the loss.

We in the Colerain community are also sharing the loss of classmate and teammate, George Bosarge, whose wife Sharon passed away, November 3 from cervical cancer.  Sharon knew six years ago that her cancer was terminal but lived her life to the fullest every day until the end arrived.

Sharon attended Lebanon High School and Miami University.  The Colerain community also shares this loss with George, who played football with us 40 years ago.

The timing was much different from the Lang family loss in that the outcome was known for a long period of time rather than the sudden shock, yet the loss is no less severe.

George should also know that the Colerain community shares in his grief.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Joe Frazier Passes Away at 67

Joe Frazier went down for the ultimate count on Monday night at the age of 67 following a bout with liver cancer.

He was a great fighter, who had the misfortune to be a contemporary of Cassius Clay/Mohamed Ali, yet went about his business like a true professional.

Frazier's powerful left hook across the "Louisville Lips" of Ali, defeated Ali in what was known as the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971.

Ali called Frazier an "Uncle Tom" a racial slur that hurt Frazier more than any punch that he endured.

Frazier is a native of Beaufort, South Carolina but lived in Philadelphia most of his life, a city that has a statue of a fictitious fighter.

He was one of my favorite fighters before I gave up watching boxing.  I couldn't get myself to watch the sport after watching the Ray Mancini/Duk Koo Kim fight in which the latter fighter lost his life.

He fought Ali twice more after his victory in Madison Square Garden but lost both of them.  Frazier retired and helped the youth of Philadelphia by teaching them the art of self defense.  He finished his career at 32-4 in 1976 after a pair of losses to George Foreman, who knocked out Frazier twice.  Foreman was the only man to knock Frazier out until cancer knocked him out on Monday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Brandon Phillips Adds Silver to Gold

Brandon Phillips won the National League Silver Slugger award at secondbase.

The award goes to one player at each position.  One day after he was named the league's best defensive secondbaseman, Phillips was named the best hitting secondbaseman.

Phillips filled in at cleanup for the Reds when the team lost Scott Rolen with injuries.  He also hit leadoff later in the season when manager, Dusty Baker made a change at the top of the Reds lineup.

He led all NL secondbasemen with an even .300 batting average.  He contributed 18 home runs and 82 RBI, the latter total was second among players at his position.

Phillips is the first Red secondbaseman to win the award since 2005 when Felipe Lopez took the hardware.

Barry Larkin, Phillip;s childhood hero, was the last Red to win both awards in the same season in 1996, the year Larkin won the NL MVP.

Votto and Philips Win Gold Gloves

The right side of the Cincinnati Reds infield was recognized as the toughest to penetrate in the National League.

Joey Votto won the Rawlings Gold Glove at firstbase.  It was his first.  His teammate, Brandon Phillips, won the award as secondbaseman for the third time.

The Reds picked up the 2012 option on Phillips contract on Monday.

Votto was a raw talent when the Reds made him a second round pick in 2002 out of Toronto, Canada.

Votto was so raw when he was signed that the Reds infield instructors drew a line in the dirt to keep him from straying too far off firstbase for ground balls to the right side.  Phillips' range cut into that distance even further.

Votto made the following statement:

I'd like to thank the managers and coaches who selected me. It always means a tremendous amount to be selected by your superiors for any award, especially for one of this magnitude. I'd also like to thank the Reds’ coaching staff for their help, with a special mention to bench coach Chris Speier.

“My infield teammates were an inspiration to me, and both Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen are two players I strive to emulate and keep up with defensively. This award, of all awards I've won in the past, has special meaning to me. When I first started playing professional baseball I was without a position. For my first half season in the minor leagues, I was essentially a professional DH. To have come this far through hard work, perseverance and the willingness to learn is something I will always be proud of. Defense is a part of the game that can always be improved upon, and to have come as far as I have, I am an example of that.

“Special thanks to Reds minor league coordinator Freddy Benavides, who has been a persistent and humbling supporter of mine. Thank you also to Ryan Jackson, who works with me every off-season.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dusty Baker Has More Wins Than Any Active Manager Save Jim Leyland

With the retirement of Tony La Russa on Monday, Jim Leyland, the Detroit Tigers skipper, becomes first among active managers with 1,588 wins over his 20 year career.

Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds is now the second winningest manager in the Major Leagues with 1,484 victories in 18 seasons.

Leyland is 18th alltime.  Baker is 21st.

Baker has more wins on his record than any other National League manager.

Baker will tie Hall of Fame manager, Clark Griffith, with his seventh win in 2012.  An 87 win season tie another Hall of Fame manager, Dick Williams for 19th all-time.

Leyland will most likely pass Tommy LaSorda, Fred Clarke and Ralph Houck with just 31 wins.