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, 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.


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.

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"
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."

Saturday, October 22, 2016

IU, Middletown's Kyle Schwarber May Get To World Series After All

Kyle Schwarber thought his season was over in April when he tore both the ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Cubs third game of the season.

His manager Joe Maddon was asked about Schwarber by a Cincinnati writer the last weekend of the season as the Cubs closed in on its 103rd win of the season.

"Of course he's not going to play, but he's been killing his rehab," Maddon said. "I talk to him every day. He's always around cheering his teammates. He is disappointed he hasn't been able to participate."

That may change.  The Cubs sent the Middletown native to Arizona with the idea of getting some at bats.  There is a possibility that he can be added to the Cubs roster in time for the World Series, should they defeat the Dodgers one more time at Wrigley Field this weekend.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Reds Finish Season Four Games Better, Lose To Cubs

Raisel Iglesias was close to earning his second save when he retired the first two batters in the ninth but the Cubs rallied for four big runs to win 7-3 and build steam for the playoffs with its 103rd win.

The Cubs starters were long gone when Iglesias walked Albert Almora Jr.  Munernori Kawasaki singled sharply to center.  Matt Szczur took a close 2-2 pitch that minor league umpire Chad Whitson called a ball.  Szczur hit a hard grounder past Joey Votto to score both runners. Miguel Montero homered before Iglesias could get out of the inning.

"It's the lesson of the position that you're going to be challenged," Bryan Price said. "It won't be the last time it happens.  We don't have a game tomorrow to bounce back on."

The Cubs were where the Reds are five years ago.  The Reds are edging closer to where they want to be.

The Reds drew 1,894,085 patrons to the ball this season to watch the Reds improve to 68-94 over a 64-98 2015.

"I'm proud of the players," Price said. "The win/loss is nothing to brag about but I wanted the players to know that we appreciate how they battled  under these conditions."

A piece of the Reds' future stated for the Reds in Robert Stephenson.  He navigated dangerous waters in his sixth start  Stephenson walked two and allowed a single in the first but got a double play groundball out of Addison Russell.

"It has been painful with the growing pains we had to build on," Price said. "I tip my hat to the veteran players, Brandon (Phillips), Joey (Votto), Zach (Cozart) and Jay (Bruce). We knew what the season might look like but they did a wonderful job.  We lost 94 games but every win meant something."

The Reds put three on the board against Kyle Hendricks, who is likely to be one of the Cubs three playoff starters next week.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. singled with one out. Adam Duvall singled and Scott Schebler was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Eugenio Suarez earned his70th RBI with a walk.  Tucker Barnhart singled home two runs.

The Cubs scored in the third when Dexter Fowler walked and advanced to third on Kris Bryant's single. Anthony Rizzo grounded out as Fowler scored.  Two walks and a single got the Cubs a fourth inning run.

The Reds got a run back in the fourth. Suarez doubled but was thrown out at third on Barnhart's grounder to first. Tony Renda's double scored Barnhart.

Jumbo Diaz, Wandy Peralta and Ross Ohlendorf held the Cubs until Wilson Contreras hit his 12th home run off Blake Wood.

Joey Votto Feels He Is Short Of His Goal

Joey Votto has a number in mind when he talks about goals for the season.

Votto is one home run and three RBI of reaching the 30 and 100 plateau.  He leads the National League with a .988 OPS (on-base + slugging percentage).

The 33-year old was hitting .203 on May 23rd.  Votto managed to build the average to .252 by the All-Star break.by hitting .297 in the last 42 games before the All-Star Break.

The most important number to Votto is 162. He will play his 158th against the Cubs on the last day of the season.

"Making a point to be out there every single day is important to me," Votto said. "I missed a couple games with the flu and there were a couple random days for a rest but if I could have eliminated those, I'd rather play in 162."

Votto played in 162 in 2015.  He played in all 162 in 2013 after coming off an injury and 161 in 2011.

The Reds firstbaseman stood by his cubicle with a gash on his chin.  He got it on a bad slide into secondbase in St. Louis on Thursday.  Votto sent a text to manager Bryan Price at 3:00 am Friday morning, telling his manager that he wanted to play Friday.

"It is a point of pride for me," Votto said. 'I feel and obligation to the fans, the front office and my teammates and myself but most of all I feel the obligation to the fans. The more stories I hear, the more people write notes to me or on twitter, the notes to me, the feedback  is I got to go to a game. I got to watch my favorite player play, not just me necessarily. Just being out there everyday, knowing that someone gets done at work and come to the ballpark to see me play. I feel I have to be there to justify my ticket. It means a lot to me to give that back to them."

 Votto is hitting .411 since the All'Star game with an OPS of 1.168, 15 home runs and 55 RBI.  He has drawn 108 walks coming into the last day of the season and his been on base in .494 percent of his plate appearances.  That is nearly once every two times he steps in the batter's box.

"I wish I would have started out better," Votto said. "I didn't doubt that I could come back from the start but I was frustrated and in disbelief. I have faith in my ability. I felt good.  The only way I could do that was play everyday.  That's the important stat to me."

"If I only played 140 games, I never would have been able to do that," Votto said.

Votto is pleased with his offense but feels he is lacking in a couple errors, base running and defense.

"I went a couple months with inconsistent defense," Votto said. "Until Trout came into the league I felt that I was in the conversation for the best player in the league.  He fucked that up for everybody, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams included.  You can't be in that conversation unless you do every aspect of the game. I love competing against the best. It is something I take a lot of pride in. Offensively I felt I could compete with anybody in baseball.  Defensively, I feel I have a ways to go.  It is exciting to have another challenge to overcome.  I'm grateful for that."

South Florida Runs Over Cincinnati With Five Rushing Touchdowns In 45-20 Win

Cincinnati was looking forward to this game since taking a 65-27 beating in Tampa last November but South Florida got put its running game to work.

Quentin Flowers and Marlon Mack ran for two touchdowns apiece and Mack became South Florida's career rushing leader as the Bulls scored the final 28 points to beat Cincinnati 45-20 on Saturday night.

Last season the Bearcats trailed the Bulls 51-3 at halftime this time they trailed 24-20 but Bearcats' freshman Ross Trail threw three interceptions before being replaced by Gunner Kiel after Johnny Ward's pick-six as the Bulls ran away with this game too.

Trail threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

We had been preparing for this ballgame since last year,”  Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. “Playing at home, we played with a lot of grit in that first half.”

Mack finished 118 yards on 20 carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that moved him past Andre Hall into first on South Florida's career rushing list. Mack, a junior, has 2,755 yards rushing in 28 career games.

"That was a big hole,” Mack said. “I had to make a move on the linebacker and I did it.. I just had to make him miss. "The record feels great. I thank my O-Line for the last three years. It is a good feeling. It is very nice to get our first conference win on the road."

The Bulls’ offense rushed for five touchdowns and 226 yards.

'Mack's run was pretty impressive,” Bulls’ coach Willie Taggart said. “He pushed the L1 button like on the video game to make the move on that linebacker. He deserves everything he gets. Quentin was sharp. Once his baby girl was born, he returned to practice and was very sharp.”

There were six lead changes in the first half and South Florida led 24-20

"We did a a good job of taking what we learned at halftime and took it to the field,” USF coach Willie Taggart said.

Flowers completed 16 of 26 passes for 196 yards and added 74 yards rushing.

"We just take what the defense gives us,” said Flowers, who had his first child, daughter Amayah, on Monday.  “We can run the ball. We have guys that can turn a six yard run into 60 like Marlon Mack did."
 Mack's first touchdown, a 4-yard run, gave USF (4-1, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) a 24-20 lead with 1:40 left in the first half.

Flowers scored on a 19-yard run with 4:29 to play in the third quarter and, fewer than 3 minutes later, Ward returned an interception 11 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-20.

Tion Greene had 98 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries for Cincinnati (3-2, 0-1).

“Both sides, I thought we played the ballgame pretty much how we wanted to play it,” Tuberville said. “We knew we were gonna have a tough time with No. 9  (Flowers) running the ball, scrambling around and running quarterback draws. We pretty much contained it for the first half, more than most people have done. Second half, It was totally different defense.”

South Florida - The Bulls came into the game ranked 24th in the FBS with eight takeaways. They had four more against the Bearcats: three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Cincinnati - Kiel, who threw 40 combined touchdown passes in 2014 and 2015, completed his first three passes before finishing 3-of-11 passing for 47 yards. Sophomore Hayden Moore started the first three games of the season, throwing for 785 yards with seven TDs and three interceptions, before injuring his ankle in a 40-16 loss to Houston on Sept. 15.

South Florida - The Bulls host East Carolina in its second conference game October 8 at noon. USF edged East Carolina 22-17 in 2015.

Cincinnati - The Bearcats travel to Connecticut on October 8 for an 11:30 am game. Cincinnati was a 37-13 winner in their last meeting.