I went out of town and you wouldn't believe the things I saw! It sure was different!
As you can see, I've been working on my leads and intro paragraphs. I spent a week in Maine and had more fun watching the New England Sports Network I ever could have imagined. My little brother went to college up there, so he had four years of watching/enduring their unique brand of sports coverage.
The folks at that station really exemplify what it means to be a homer. Aside from that, I hear they have a regular segment in which a man takes a woman on a date to Fenway Park. The most confusing footage I watched was when former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria did a segment at McGreevy's bar, and he was holding this mammoth burger called the "Josh Beckett Burger."
It's for charity or something, which is good. Fauria's assessment of the burger was something else entirely. The camera focused on him, he held the burger up and said "This thing will go right through you!"
I'm not sure if that means something else up there by the Freedom Trail, but around here that is not how you describe something you want someone to purchase and eat.
The Boston Red Sox have many smart, level-headed fans. They also have a lot of fans who wear Red Sox hats and T-shirts that say things like "YANKEES SUCK" across the front.
My brother is correct in thinking that these folks exhibit the behavior of someone who has been bullied somehow. Yankees fans aren't nearly as concerned with Boston. I think they just want to win, and if they get to climb over the Red Sox to get there, then all the better.
The lunatic Red Sox fan has some distorted notion that the Yankees are a big market "Evil Empire," when their team is run no differently. I understand why A's and Twins fans might feel this way, but for Boston fans to makes no sense to me.
The more I watch Jonathan Papelbon the less I care for him. Also, the Dunkin Donuts ads featuring Dustin Pedroia are shot so that Pedroia looks like he's 6-5 and not 5-8 or whatever he is.
The worse my fantasy baseball team plays, the less I'm going to talk about it. I'm playing like the Diamondbacks.
I will say that Volquez's mystery-voodoo ailment coupled with Mike Cameron deciding his knees hurt on MONDAY really helps. A lot. Thanks.
I think I still love sports, but SportsCenter is getting harder and harder to watch. I just can't shake the notion that until they can routinely call the Mets catcher "Omir" instead of "Omar" Santos they should shy away from having Barry Melrose offer baseball analysis and certainly shelve those moronic moments in front of a screen where two or three anchors stand around sipping coffee, somehow trying to make their personalities (of which there is little) shine into the stories they are supposed to be telling.
More objective, coherent content to follow.
Image: Dustin Pedroia in yet another coffee-themed optical illusion.
There are times during Reds TV broadcasts when one just shakes his head and thinks, “Goddammit George Grande, the world ain’t all that great.” And there are times when you might say, “Welshy, I really miss your mustache and I think it's funny how uncomfortable George Grande makes you.” And then there are times when Jeff Brantley talks about himself, and all you can do is laugh out loud.
Losing Game 1 of a seven-game series is not good. (Yea, yea, losing Game 1 of any series isn’t good, smart ass.) So with the pressure already on the lovable Tampa Bay Rays, I believe we should up the stakes on this somewhat uninteresting World Series.
The graphic featured a photo of Reds centerfielder Drew Stubbs sitting on the ground, a grimace overtaking his face after apparently being thrown out while trying to steal second base; a table of stats that included the offensive numbers of strikeout-prone hitters Stubbs, former Red Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Howard and Jack Cust; and a paragraph across the bottom of the graphic entitled “One of These Players Is Not Like the Others.”
Dear Cincinnati Reds:
I recently attended a baseball game between the Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark. I don’t usually go to your stadium to watch the games live because walking across Fort Washington Way and looking at the Pepsi Smokestacks in the outfield kind of make me hate being there. I don’t mind the Mountain Dew bottles racing each other on the scoreboard or how Mr. Red always loses the Skyline Chili race because he is too tempted by a 3-Way to finish the competition. That guy’s lack of dedication kills me every time.
Last night I was watching the last couple innings of the Reds game and this Reds coach popped up on the screen with dark Batman-looking eyes and a very well-defined face and I was like, “Who the fuck is that dude?”
Not everyone is the type of person who throws pennies in the garbage rather than collecting them in a coffee can, rolling them into groups of 50, bundling them in a plastic bag and taking them to the bank to collect the $5 bounty. Luckily for professional athletes, sports agents aren't this type of person.
With Opening Day fast approaching, you now have 225 million reasons to go watch the Reds this year. Bob Castellini opened up the checkbook and Walt Jocketty busted out his best persuasive vocabulary and Joey Votto accepted; to the tune of a 10-year, $225 million contract extension — the fourth largest in major league history.
Reds ownership — unlike our dear friend, Mike Brown — has embraced the recent successes of their young nucleus of talented players and has spared no expense to keep the "Little Big Red Machine" well-oiled. Votto joins fellow all-star Jay Bruce, who signed a six-year, $51 million deal after the 2010 season. It’s nice to see a professional sports owner in Cincinnati who actually loves the sport and is in it for the right reasons.
The Reds will have plenty of offensive talent this year, something that really has not been a problem over the past couple of seasons. Any lingering doubt has to relate to the recent injuries that have plagued the bullpen. Ryan Madson is out for the year after Tommy John surgery while Nick Masset will start the season on the DL with shoulder cuff inflammation. This means that Aroldis Chapman will start in the bullpen even though most Reds fans — and manager, Dusty Baker — know his services would be better used as a starter. Sean Marshall will step in to the closer role until the Reds have more depth in the bullpen; he isn’t a bad option and has consistently kept a low ERA in a relief role.
One thing hasn’t changed, the Reds still play in Great American Ballpark and they have an abundance of young, strong bats in the lineup. Between Votto, Bruce, Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey, expect the Reds to be amongst the league-leaders in home runs. Drew Stubbs will hit some too, but if he could take a little constructive criticism to heart: Please, learn to bunt. This will be a key in the Reds venture for success this year.
If Stubbs can get on base, he is going to steal — there are very few players in the majors that have his kind of speed. If the bats behind Stubbs perform up to expectations, the Reds will score more than enough runs to support the pitching staff. And the single most important key to success this year is battling through injuries; if the young guys can step in and compete there is no reason the Reds won’t win the division — after all, we do have the best first baseman, if not player, in the National League.
The Reds will open their season against the Miami Marlins at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday following the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. For more celebration of Opening Day, check out C. Trent Rosecrans' column from this week's CityBeat here.