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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Xavier Falls at Home to Gonzaga 72-65

Xavier was at full strength for the first time since they defeated Cincinnati in the fight marred, Crosstown Shootout but Gonzaga outrebounded, outshot and out played the home team in a 72-65 win at the Cintas Center.

Sam Dower had career highs with 22 points and 10 rebounds and the Musketeers had no answer for him.

Gonzaga held a 44-31 edge in rebounding, 14 on offense, leading to 17 second chance points.  Xavier had 10 points off offensive rebounds so that differential was the difference in the game.

Gonzaga scored 24 points from behind the 3-point line with Dower a post player, hitting two big outside shots.

"The ball was falling in the warm ups and it carried over into the game," Dower said.  "I was just using what the defense gave me.  I guess they scouted me and didn't think, I could hit the mid-range shot."

Xavier coach Chris Mack, knew all about Dower but didn't have the answer to his hot shooting hand.

"We knew he was really good.  He had a good game against us last year in less minutes," Mack said.  "We did a good job against their outside shooters but Dower made shot after shot with the shot clock winding down."

Gonzaga's freshman guards have been carrying the scoring for the team.

Coach Mark Few has seen Dower shoot like that before.

"When he gets going like that, we call his number.  Our guys did a good job of finding him.  It wasn't an out-of-body experience.  He's done that before," Few said.

Dez Wells played for the first time since the Cincinnati game, after serving a four-game suspension.  The rust showed.  Wells scored in double figures in four of the Musketeers first eight games but managed only eight against Gonzaga.  He was just 2-for-7 from the field.

Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons led Xavier with 15 points each.  Kenny Frease scored 12 and led the team with six rebounds.

"That was a great win for our program," Few said.  "That team had not lost a game when they were complete."

Xavier drops to 9-4, losing four of the last five.  Gonzaga improved to 11-2.

University of Cincinnati Wins The Liberty Bowl 31-24

Isaiah Pead russhed for 149 yards and the clinching touchdown as UC won its 10th game of the season over Vanderbilt of the SEC.  It was the fourth time in five seasons that the Bearcats have won 10 games in a season, ending with a record of 10-3.

Zach Callaros the senior quarterback, came all the way back from breaking his ankle just seven weeks ago.  He didn't have the best game statistically but led his team to the win.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bengals Hold On To Win 23-16

Bengals now wait for the Giants to complete their win over the Jets.  The Arizona drive ended at the Bengals 15.

The Bengals Forced to Punt Arizona Has The Ball on Its Own 40 with :48 To Play

The Bengals could not run out the clock

Bengals Catch a Christmas Break

The Cardinals had a fourth and five at the Bengals 22 yard line.  John Skelton had receiver, Early Doucet wide open in the endzone.  It was as if forces tackled the wide open receiver.  Doucet fell with no Bengal defender within 10 yards.  The Bengals have to run out the last 1:42 to seal the win.

Giants lead the Jets 20-7 with 8:43 left in the game.

Cedric Benson Fumbles The Ball Back to Arizona at the Bengal 24

With the Bengals trying to run out the clock, Calais Campbell forced a fumble which the Cardinals recovered. Arizona has scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Arizona Closes Gap to 23-16

Jay Feely kicked a 29-yard field goal to get the Cardinals within a touchdown.  Arizona had the ball first and goal at the Cincinnati one-yard line but a fumble put them back to the six.   They failed to get into the endzone.

Cardinals First Trip Across the 50 Leads to a Touchdown Bengala Hold 23-13 Lead

John Skelton hit Larry Fitzgerald with a 30-yard pass.  After a fumble Arizona scored on a two-yard pass play but missed the two-point conversion.

Bengal Lead 23-0 after Three Quarters

The Bengals have the ball and the Cardinals still haven't crossed midfield.  The Giants lead the Jets, 10-7.

Mike Nugent Kicks His Third Field Goal Bengals 23 Cardinals 0

Nugent kicked his third field goal in five attempts, this time a 33-yarder.  The drive capped a Bengals drive aided by a costly roughing the passer penalty after Dalton threw what would have been an interception.

Reggie Nelson Picks off John Skelton for the Third Time

John Skelton, who isn't as funny to Arizona fans as Red Skelton, threw his third interception on the Cardinals first second half possession.  Arizona has yet to cross into Bengals territory.

Mike Nugent Ends the First Half With a 41-yard Field Goal

The Bengals take a 20-0 lead at the half....Meanwhile in New York the Giants lead the Jets 10-7 late in the first half.

Jerome Simpson Leaps Into the Endzone

Jerome Simpson leaped the Arizona defender at the four-yard line and stuck the landing.  The acrobatic catch and run give the Bengals a whopping 17-0 lead.

Simpson caught the 19-yard pass from Dalton around the 12-yard line and raced to the corner.  Linebacker Daryl Washington, 6'2" and 230 lbs cut him off.  Simpson leaped over Washington flipped completely and landed on his feet.

Cincinnati Enquirer writer, Joe Reedy, put up a gymnastic style score card and gave him a '9' because he stuck the landing.

Nate Clements Intercepts For Bengals

The Bengals have two interceptions and three sacks.  The Cardinals have not crossed mid field.

Mike Nugent Misses a 48 Yard Field Goal Attempt

Nugent missed for the second straight time.  The miss gives Arizona its best start of a drive at their own 38 yard line.

Mike Nugent Misses a 48 Yard Field Goal Attempt

Nugent missed for the second straight time.  The miss gives Arizona its best start of a drive at their own 38 yard line.

Nugent Missed a 35 Yard Field Goal Attempt

The Bengals lead remains 10-0.

Bengals 10 Cardinals 0 End Of 1st Quarter

The Bengals score on its first two possessions.  The Cardinals have not been beyond mid field in three possessions.

Bengals Score

Andy Dalton connected with Jermaine Gresham for an 11-yard touchdown pass.  Mike Nugent kicked the extra point...Bengals 10- Arizona 0

The TD pass extends Andy Dalton's Bengal rookie record to 19.

Bengals Sack Skelton Again and Take Over at the Arizona 49

Carlos Dunlap sacked John Skelton on a third and six for a nine yard loss.

Meanwhile in New York the Jets took a 7-0 over the Giants.  The Bengals are battling the Jets for the sixth and final playoff spot.

Bengals Settle For a 23 Yard Field Goal

The Bengels moved the ball just 17 yards and Mike Nugent kicked the field goal to put the Bengals up 3-0

Maualug Intercepts Skelton to Set Up Bengals at the Arizona 23

Following a sack of John Skelton by Domata Peko, Maualuga picked off a short pass on the next play.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Reds Acquire Marshal From Cubs Send Three Players To Chicago

The Reds made the trade official that has been rumored for days.

Marshall, who turns 30 on Ted Williams birthday, August 30th, will join the Reds bullpen.

Young lefthanded pitcher, Travis Wood, who made his debut at Wrigley Field in 2010, will join the Cubs on a full-time basis.  The Reds sent OF Dave Sappelt and minor league infielder, Ronald Torreyes, as well.

Marshall was a starting pitcher when he broke in with the Cubs in 2006 but ended up in the bullpen, where he found his niche.  He hasn't started a game for the Cubs in the last two seasons.

He is very tough on lefthanded hitters, including Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.  Lefties hit just .206 off Marshall in his career, due to a very good curveball.  The move takes a weapon away from the Cubs for division matchups and puts it to the Reds side for 2012.

Wood broke in with the Reds after losing out to Mike Leake for the fifth starter's job in 2010.  Then arrived at midseason and pitched well.  He regressed last season and was sent to Louisville to get straightened out.

Sappelt hit well in spring training and many thought he might earn a roster spot after moving through the organization quickly in 2010.  Deficient defense and baserunning, kept him from making the club. 

Torreyes spent most of last season at low A Dayton.  The scouts that I talked to, thought very highly of his bat.  Torreyes hit .356 with three home runs and 41 RBI over 67 games at Dayton.  The 5'9" 140 lb, Venezuelan is just 18 years old.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fans Hate the Latos - Alonso Trade in San Diego and Cincinnati

Many fans in both San Diego and Cincinnati hate the trade that brought Mat Latos to Cincinnati and sent Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger.

Alonso and Grandal are both blocked by others in the organization.  Alonso by 2010 MVP, Joey Votto and Grandal by Ryan Hanigan, who signed a four year extension in March and Devin Mesoraco, who like Grandal is a former number one draft pick.

Grandal signed a major league contract out of the University of Miami.  Alonso did the same.  Time is running out.  The Reds have lost patience with Volquez.  The hardest player for Walt Jocketty to deal was Boxberger, who was taken with the supplemental pick right after the Reds selected Mike Leake in 2009.

Reds fans think the price for Latos was too steep.

The following readers commented on the Cincinnati Enquirer site.

Josh Mohr (Scott HS)

Idiot move Walt. There is a reason SD traded him.. Anger, bi-polar, fastball command an issue, traded 3 first rd picks for him. Amazed at this situation. Now we have no LF, no CL, no BP arms. Just weakens our team.. San Diego absolutely robbed us blind.

Never mind that Jocketty has been doing his job since young Josh was born.  Latos has been difficult to handle for manager Bud Black.  But his fastball command is among very good.  He keeps the ball down and gets a lot of ground ball outs and strikeouts.  Latos' anger and attitude problems are similar to those that Brandon Phillips had in the Cleveland organization.  Sometimes hearing the same thing from another organization after a fresh start will sink in like it did with Phillips.

Volquez was a nibbler even in his 17-win season.  He often had to pitch out of trouble caused by walks. When he attacks hitters, he is hard to beat.  When he misses the corners, he is eminently beatable.

Bob Levine said.

Way too high of a price for damaged goods. 

Gave up way to much for a potential #1. You would have thought the reds learned their lesson with the hamilton for volquez trade. Alonso is a stud and would have loved to see him and votto in the same lineup 

This comes from a fan, who forgets about defense.  The only position that Alonso can play at the major league level is firstbase.  Votto just won a gold glove there.  The Reds would be foolish to weaken two positions considering half of every game is played on defense.

Marc Brown

Absolutely a terrible trade. Gave up way too much. This guy pitched in pitcher friendly Petco Field. Lets see how he handles Great American Small Park. Simply ridiculous.

Latos just as well on the road as he has at Petco.  For his career his road ERA is 3.57 in 41 games.  At home in 31 games it is 3.11.  He has allowed 22 home runs in 41 games on the road.  He allowed 17 at home in 31 games.

Wanda Paul Marzig Stober

Gave up way too much...I never heard of Latos 

I don't think Latos has ever heard of Wanda either.

A lot of fans in San Diego think the Padres gave up too much.  A little background.....The Padres traded slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Boston for another top prospect left handed hitting firstbaseman, Anthony Rizzo.  Alonso gives them two prospects for a proven power hitter and a proven starter.

The following commented on the San Diego Union site.

Garth Ward

This organization is a total joke. Nice move Byrnes. You have no idea how much you guys have lost the fan base. Shows what you really think about Rizzo after you sold the fan a bill of goods on the AG trade. Now Latos, and your explanation to the fan base is that "we had depth?" Who is this depth? Latos is a potential ace, who is 24, and has nothing but upside. That is the only explanation that the fans get? Please name one thing that Moorad has done to demonstrate he is serious about winning. Your customers are very sick and tired of the direction of this team, and the ownership could care less. No one respects what you are doing.

They also got a pitcher who has proven capable of winning 17 games.  A change of scenes may just be what Volquez needs to turn his career around.

Larry Urdahl

Last year was the 1st year I didn't watch the Padres on TV or Read about them in a newspaper or attend a game because of the Gonzales move and many other stupid moves. Now I totally sever all relations with the Padres forever. Since 1950 I have followed the Padres and Now I shall officially find another team to like and support. A minor league organization does not belong in the major leagues.

John Godfrey

Mat Latos was one reason to go to Petco, and now he's gone. Why should I pay money to see the 2012 Padres? Give me one reason, please.......Orlando Hudson?

Former Reds general manager Jim Bowden had this to say of the trade:


 This is a clear win of a trade for the Padres and their general manager, Josh Byrnes,” Bowden said. “In modern times, I can’t remember a trade that was this far lopsided.”

This comes from a man who labeled such hot prospects as Willie Greene, Brett Tomko and John Roper, untouchable.

Of 11 number one picks that Bowden made in the draft while GM in Cincinnati, only five made the major leagues and one, Jeremy Sowers, didn't sign  Johnny Oliver, Ty Howington, David Espinosa and Chis Gruler  never played in the majors.  Mottola played a 59 games and Pat Watkins played 116 games in his career.

Those that made the majors, Brandon Larson, Austin Kearns, CJ Nitkowski, Bret Tomko and Sowers failed to live up to the promise bestowed on a number one pick.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Short Handed Xavier Suffers First Loss to Oral Roberts 64-42

Oral Roberts believed that faith is the best healer.

While Xavier may not lack faith, they lacked three of their top players when confronting Oral Roberts University at the Cintas Center Sunday.

Coach Chris Mack took the microphone to mid court and apologized for the ugly events that occurred at the end of last Saturday's win over the University of Cincinnati.  After the game he apologized for not having those players, who were left to play, prepared.

"I didn't do a good enough job preparing my team and putting them in the best positions to be successful," Mack told the media in the post-game press conference.

Kenny Frease, sporting a black eye from the incident was also apologetic, "My team expected me to step up and I didn't do that."

Those who should apologize the most were in street clothes.  Mark Lyons, Tu Holloway and Dez Wells were suspended by the University for their roles in the brawl against Cincinnati.

Oral Roberts has been successful against team ranked like Xavier, who was ranked eighth in the country coming into the contest.  They have defeated a ranked team or at least one from a "power" conference in each of the last eight seasons.

Warren Niles, who learned his basketball in Forest Park and Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, put the Golden Eagles in position to pull the upset with his 15-point scoring effort.  He also contributed seven rebounds and helped the double team that haunted Frease all game.

Dominique Morrison, who admitted struggling with his shot all season, connected on five or eight 3-point shots to lead all scorers with 19.

Frease was the leading scorer among those available to play.  He just four points.  He turned the ball over four times.

"The missing players made it a little more difficult to prepare," ORU coach Scott Sutton said.  "A  lot of these kids the were able to play, played very limited minutes.  We didn't have a great scouting report.  We figured that they would pound the ball to Frease and I thought we did an excellent job of double teaming Frease.  We caused some turnovers and kept the ball out of his hands.  We got a lot of steals, a lot of easy opportunities in the first half.  That really got us going."

Oral Roberts would have been happy to play Xavier at full strength but concentrated on taking care of their jobs.

I think it was our best game," Morrison said.  "We stepped it up and made a lot of shots.  We've been missing a lot of shots and put in a lot of work.  It paid off today."

"Full strength it might have been a different game but they weren't here to play so we don't know.  We can't control what happened last week.  We could only control what happened on the court today.  We went out and played as hard as we could."

The thrill of beating the number eight team in the country was not spoiled for the Oral Roberts players or the coach.

"It was a great day for our program," Sutton said.  "We don't get this opportunity very often. One to play a top 10 team and number two to play them without three of their best players.  It was unfortunate what happened last Saturday but I don't want to take anything away from our kids.  It was a great team win.  It was a mindset and they came out and played a completer 40 minutes.  It was the best game we've played all year. I'm awfully proud of what they were able to do today."

Niles was happy to play in front of his family and friends.

"It was great coming home to play in front of my family and to get the win," Niles said..  "It was the first time all season I got to play in front of my family and get the win against the number eight team."

"They were the number eight team in the country.  The suspensions didn't take away from our team at all.  We prepared to play the number eight team in the country.  We weren't looking at the suspensions or any of that.  If I had my choice, me, I'd would like to have them out there to play against.  But for our team to get the win, I didn't really care if they were playing or not."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reds Trade Yonder Alonso and 3 Others for Mat Latos

Walt Jocketty made the deal that fans have been screaming for.  The Reds obtained 24-year old RHP Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres.

The Reds traded Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, both out of The University of Miami, Brad Boxberger and Edinson Volquez.

Alonso showed great promise at the plate but was seen as a liability in the outfield.  With his natural position blocked by 2010 MVP Joey Votto, there was no room for him.  Grandal was the Reds first pick in 2010, a switch hitting catcher, who is perhaps two years away.  The Reds are set with Devin Mesoraco, emerging from the Reds farm system at the catching position.  Boxberger, has improved steadily and appears to be ready to pitch in relief in the major leagues.  Volquez is eligible for arbitration and has struggled in his comeback from elbow surgery,.

Latos was 9-14 for the under achieving San Diego with a 3.47 ERA.  Even in pitcher friendly Petco Park, Latos is known as a ground ball pitcher, very helpful in cozy Great American Ball Park.

"Mat is a big strong, young pitcher with electric stuff," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said in the Reds press release.  "We consider him to be a potential number one starter, who contracturally have under control for four more years.  To acquire a pitcher who is ready to fit in the top of the rotation, you have to give up talent."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reds Sign Former Moeller Star, Lose Dontrelle Willis To Philadelphia

The Reds have another Moeller product in the fold.  Andrew Brackman, all 6'10" of him, will be in Goodyear, Arizona, trying to win a spot on the Reds pitching staff.

Brackman was the 30th pick in the 2007 draft, picked by the New York Yankees out of North Carolina State.  He played both basketball and baseball for NC State.

He spent the season at Scranton Wilkes Barre pitching for former Cincinnati Reds manager, Dave Miley.  His lack of command.  The Yankees called him up in September and he made his debut on September 22 against
Tampa Bay.  Brackman worked an inning and a third, allowing a hit and a walk.  He finished with 2 1/3 innings over three outings without allowing a run.

The Yankees declined his option making him a free-agent.

I was asked to administer a poll for Sports Illustrated last spring.  Dontrelle Willis was one of the players that responded. He was asked his favorite major league city and least favorite major league city.  His answer to both was Philadelphia.  "I really like Philadelphia but it's my least favorite city because you play the Phillies," Willis said.

Willis is going to Philadelphia.  He signed a contract to pitch in the bullpen of the NL East Division winner.

The Reds tendered contracts to all six of its arbitration eligible players, Jose Arredondo, Homer Bailey, Nick Massett, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray and Paul Janish.

These players can now got through the arbitration process or avoid it by signing with the Reds.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Both Coaches Disappointed At Ugly End to Xavier 76-53 Win Over Cincinnati

Xavier coach Chris Mack and Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin have known each other since the fifth grade.  Both shared disappointment in the ugly ending that actually cut the game 10 seconds short.

Xavier played its best game of the season according to Mack but what will be remembered is the ugly brawl that erupted under the Cincinnati basket within a few feet of the Cincinnati bench.

Cronin sensed it coming and tried in vain to call timeout before it exploded.  As close as he was to the action, he is unclear of exactly what happened.  He only knew something had to give.

"I tried to get some answers in there," Cronin said as he emerged from Cincinnati's locker room at the Cintas Center.  "I disappointed to be honest with you in everybody involved.  Whether our guys started it or their guys started it or you're upset because you lost there is no excuse."

"I was trying to call timeout.  Did you see me trying to call timeout?  It's a hard game to officiate but I was disappointed in it because it was going on all day.  I was told to shut up because I asked an official to tell guys to stop talking to our bench.  And if guys on our side were talking, well then give them a "T"  I thought they could have done better.  It's unfortunate.  It's not an easy situation for officials. It was too much.  That's not an excuse. It's just a fact."

The game was officiated by Michael Roberts, the crew chief who has worked Xavier games before.  Jeff Anderson and Tony Crisp were the other referees that are not as familiar with either team.  Crisp and Anderson declined comment as they left the center.

Xavier Athletic Director, Mike Bobinski, told reporters that he had not seen Crisp and Anderson and was not familiar with either's conference affiliation.

As of now, the ugliness is tangible.  Security officers cleared the hallways leading to the Cincinnati team bus in the Cintas Center and escorted the players out.  The police escorted the team bus back to the Clifton campus.

Mack also was disappointed in the ending in spite of  the pride he felt about his team's play.

"What happened takes away from the game," Mack said.  "I was disappointed.  I thought it was as clean a crosstown shootout as there has been.  There were hard fouls, loose balls. The only technical was given to me on a goal tending call.  We're all competitors."

The series has a history of high intensity emotional displays.

Byron Larkin and a Cincinnati player had a short skirmish in 1988 at Cincinnati Gardens.  There was the famous "no handshake game in 1994 when Xavier coach Pete Gillen and Cincinnati coach, Bob Huggins nearly came to blows after another game at the Gardens in 1994.  Huggins refused to shake hands after the game and the snub led to a confrontation.

The two campuses are five miles apart.  The players play with and against each other during the summer.  They frequent the same restaurants in the area.

What started the fight was unclear.  Roberts held a brief meeting to try to diffuse the situation before the start of the second half.  The effort failed.

"He told us that two players were talking to each other and that if they said anything else they were going to get a technical.  Mick talked to his player and I talked to mine and there was no technical," Mack said.

Right before halftime, Xavier forward, Dezmine Wells was upset about being hit in the mouth drawing blood.  He and UC player shoved each other.  Wells complained to the official near the scorers table as he left the game to stop the bleeding. "I'm trying to help you," the official said as Wells left the court.

Wells and UC player Yancy Gates are believed to be under scrutiny by officials in consultation with the supervisor of officials as they break down tapes of the incident.

The only injury seems to be the left eye of Xavier's Kenny Frease.  Mack said that he was being examined and no other players appear to be injured.

Cronin also blamed the UC media relations department for allowing Sean Kilpatrick to appear on Andy Furman's Talk Radio 1160 show earlier this week.  Kilpatrick said over the air that Xavier guard Tu Holloway, who is highly regarded by experts, "isn't as good as me and would not start on UC's team."

Kilpatrick heard chants of  "Who's Kilpatrick?" the entire game.

Cronin and Mack agreed that whatever was said should have been disregarded.

"Who cares?," Cronin said.  "Our media department shouldn't have let him talk to a guy known for stirring controversy.  Even so, it's no excuse for what happened."

"It is not about one player playing for respect," Mack said.  "It is about the team winning.  You have to ignore those things."

Cronin spent several minutes chastising college athletes for the behavior demonstrated at the end of the game.

"I work at a where the polio vaccine was discovered.  I try to remind our players that they are lucky to be getting an education at the institution much less on scholarship.  What's more important? Discovering the vaccine or a basketball game.  I made them take off their UC jersey's, some of them I took them off physically.  I will look at the tapes and see who deserves to be on this team moving forward.

Questions were asked about ending the series.

Neither coaches wanted it to end but both allowed for the possibility.

"I hope we can get past this and put this aside because the game itself.  Is a big game whether we get our ass kicked or kicked their's its a big game," Bobinski said.  "It means a lot to both schools it gets people talking in the city, brings a lot of exposure to both schools.  You just hope that its more positive."

Friday, December 9, 2011

MTSU Raiders Ambush Xavier Women At Home 65-49

Everything was going Xavier's way in the first half.  A high, hard pass from Amber Gray deflected off the fingertips of freshman Liz Stratman and ended up in the basket, helping Xavier to a 12-point lead over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

It would seem Xavier had the momentum but it was not so, MTSU fought back to take a 30-29 halftime lead and poured it on the young Musketeers.

Junior Kortni Jones hit a series of 3-point shots, four in the second half, as the Blue Raiders outscored the shocked Xavier team 35-20 after the break.

"We got off to a great start.  We played together and moved the ball," first year coach Amy Waugh said of the first 15 minutes of the contest.

From the time of the fluke basket, MTSU got every loose ball and hit seemingly every shot the rest of the game.

"We have a lot of players, who haven't played a lot in college," Waugh said.  "We're not used to playing with a 12-point lead.  We started to get relaxed and lazy.  We're not a very good team when we do that. If we learned anything today, is that we can't turn the switch on and off."

Xavier was coming off two good wins over Cincinnati Sunday and Morehead State Tuesday.  Then flopped on Friday.

Lynnette led Xavier with 15 points.  Amber Gray scored 12 but only two in the second half.  Stratman led the Musketeers on the glass gathering eight rebounds.

Jones had 18 points, all on 3's for MTSU and Sophmore, Ebony Jones, from Lexington, KY Dunbar played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with 24 points.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dmitri Young May Be Back With the Reds

One of my favorite former Reds' players, Dmitri Young, is trying to make a comeback.  John Fay of the Enquirer  reported that Walt Jocketty is considering signing Young to a minor league contract.

Young is a switch-hitting outfielder/firstbaseman, who hit over .300 for the Reds all four seasons he played in Cincinnati from 1998 through 2001.  He was a member of the 96-win 1999 team that narrowly missed the playoffs.

Young is 38-years old and played 13 seasons, his last being 2008 with Washington.

There is very little risk to the team to sign Young, who will likely be invited to spring training.  The chance for Young is similar to the one extended to Dontrelle Willis, who was Young's teammate in Detroit.

Young was drafted in the first round of the 1991 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.  He was the fourth player chosen in the draft.  His younger brother, Delmon, was the first player taken in the 2003 draft.  Delmon, who was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays and played last season with Minnesota and Detroit.

Colerain's Tyler Moeller Honored at Ohio State

Tyler Moeller was named Academic All-Big 10 and was voted by the media that covers the Big 10 Honorbale Mention All-Big 10.

Moeller, who starred on Colerain's 2004 Undefeated State Championship team, was a member of the Ohio State Football team for six seasons.

Moeller was granted two medical red shirts and returned from serious injuries to anchor Buckeye defense.

The defensive back, was a member of Ohio state team that defeated Michigan five straight times.  He was one win short of becoming the lone player to be a member of an Ohio State team to defeat Michigan six straight years.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ron Santo Elected To Baseball Hall of Fame

Chicago Cubs fan favorite Ron Santo was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Commitee.

Santo died less than a year ago. It was an honor that he wanted and eluded him since he retired as a player after the 1974 season.

Many felt that he lacked the "numbers” to warrant election. He was somewhat overshadowed by teammates Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ferguson Jenkins. Those three are members of the Hall. A player must wait five seasons after retirement to be on the ballot. He then has as many as 15 years on the ballot. If he doesn't receive enough votes to be elected, he is removed after 15 years. A 17 member Veterans commitee panel reconsiders players after that period ends.

A vote by 12 Vets Commitee members is required. Santo got 16 of the 17 votes.

While I'm happy for him to be honored, it is too little, too late.

His numbers have been the same for 38 years.  Where were the voters then?

The man would have, should have been able to enjoy his elections while he was living.  It would have meant so much to him. He was overshadowed by his peers and unfortunately his teams didn't play in a World Series, in spite of his HOF teammates.

Now that he's gone what's the point?  What does election to the Hall of Fame mean?  Is the election about numbers or not?

The all-time hits leader is not in.  The man who held minorities out of the game for decades is in.

If Santo's election had to do with character alone, he should have been in a long time ago.

It seems to me that the Baseball Writers Association has turned the charge determining who is qualified and who is not into something to stroke the egos of those working in a dying medium.  I've heard BBW members make statements about candidates like, "He deserves to be in but not on the first ballot."  What is that all about?   Is not election the ultimate honor in baseball?  Why try to add another level to the honor?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

University of Cincinnati Plays Vanderbilt In The 2011 Liberty Bowl

The University of Cincinnati will meet the Vanderbilt University Commodores in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis,Tennessee at 3:30 eastern time on New Year's Eve.

Cincinnati was 9-3 and shared the Big East Conference title with Louisville and West Virginia with a 5-2 conference record.

Vanderbilt was 6-6 with a 2-6 Southeastern Conference record.

This will be Cincinnati's third major bowl game in the last four seasons.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ramon Hernandez Signs With Colorado Rockies

Ramon Hernandez signed a two-year contract with the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

Heranandez spent the last three seasons with the Reds.  The Reds will get an extra pick in the supplemental round of the 2012 player draft as compensation.  The supplemental round is held after the first round and is only for teams that lost type A or B players to free agency.

The Rockies traded catcher Chris Iannetta earlier in the day.

The 35-year old hit .282 for the Reds with 12 home runs and 36 RBI with a lot of key hits.  Manager Dusty Baker called him "Clutch man Monie".

The Rockies trading Iannetta to the Los Angeles Angels has significance for the Reds.  The Angels expressed interest in the Reds other catcher, Ryan Hanigan.  Devin Mesoraco has a good chance to make the Reds our of spring training with Hernandez gone.  The Reds first round draft choice in 2010, Yasmani Grandal, will also compete for a roster spot this spring.

Trey Griffey Sets Receiving Record in Florida

One of Grffey's Record Setting Catches.
Trey Griffey, the eldest son of former Reds star, Ken Griffey Jr.,. had a tremendous senior season at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando.

Dr. Phillips lost to Tampa Plant High School in the Florida State 8A state semifinals.  The classification is for Florida's largest schools. Dr. Phillips finished the season 10-2.


Grffey Shakes Hands With Florida State's Kenny Shaw

Griffey caught a school record 72 passes for a record 970 yards.  He also shattered the single game record with 13 catches breaking the record of nine set by Kenny Shaw in 2009. Shaw is now playing at Florida State.

Griffey became a legitimate Division I football recruit by having his best season this fall. Griffey has offers from FAU, Iowa State, Middle Tennessee State, Michigan State, Washington State, Ball State, Buffalo and Florida International University.

Griffey's sister, Taryn, a sophomore, returns as a starter on the defending state champions.  The Panthers are ranked 5th by USA Today.