Thursday, April 30, 2009

If Edinson Volquez can pitch half as good the rest of this season as he pitched Wednesday night, he'll win 20 games and the Reds may turn out to be contenders. Volquez was more than terrific against the Astros, holding them to just one hit through eight innings. In fact, the first inning double by Houston's Miguel Tejada was almost a spectacular catch by Jay Bruce in right field. Had Bruce come up with that fly ball, Volquez may have pitching the ninth inning, looking for a no hitter. He told me, and a number of other reporters in the club house after the game that he was ready to let Francisco Cordero throw the ninth. But if he had a no hitter through eight, I would bet the ranch Volquez would have felt differently.

The Reds have finished April with an 11-10 record. That was a goal, finish the month with a winning record. And if they do that every month this season, they'll wind up with 88 wins. That, of course, is easier said than done. But if it happens, 88 wins would have Cincinnati in playoff contention.

We saw again this home stand how inconsistent a young team can be. Wednesday night, the youth of Adam Rosales was infectous. He not only drove in two of the Reds runs, he also helped the grounds crew cover the field with the tarp, when a pre game shower passed over Great American Ball Park. We saw the sheer desire and hustle of Lance Nix in this series. When he came up to the majors, Nix was labeled 'can't miss'. But that was beroe injuries derailed his career. Now, Nix has a second chance with the Reds and is back on track. But we also saw in this homestand that ended 2-4 for the Reds, just how far it needs to go to become a championship team. It again left too many runners on base. The team does not play well coming from behind, as evidenced by Bronson Arroyo's bad outing on Sunday. And it still does not have a pure clean up hitter. Maybe those things even out as the season progresses. But my thinking remains that the Reds will regret not signing a legitimate big league hitter for their left field postion. Should July roll around and this team remain in contention, it will be imperative that GM Walt Jocketty pursue that kind of player.

The great fear with this team shouldn't be that it will fall out of contention by mid summer and play to a house full of empty seats (although less than 10,000 showed up to watch them on Tuesday night). The great fear is missing the playoffs by a few games, and looking back on situations where a veteran left fielder might have help win some of those games.

But so far, OK.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rookie camp is this weekend at Paul Brown Stadium. I want to see two things: the wingspan of third round pick Michael Johnson and just how stout Rey Maualuga is.

You get no real insight into what a player is capable of at these mini-camps. Everyone is in shorts and tee shirts. The real deal is in July. But to give each player a taste of what the team is about, coaches thrive on weekends like this one.

Another classic example of why the Reds will frustrate us this season happened in Wednesday night's game against Houston. Lance Nix opens the inning with a triple. He eventually scored. But the Reds had runners on second and third with only one out and neither base runner made it home. It's not just batting average or RBI that tells the story of what a player can do offensively. The real story can be found in what a player can do in situational hitting, in this case, runners in scoring position with less than two out.

Apparently former Red Ryan Freel isn't a happy camper in Baltimore, as evidence points to here.

Nice story from's Eric Young on Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. No two players since the arrival of Dunn and Kearns have given Reds fans so much hope. Kearns never was the player the Reds and their fans thought he'd be. And Dunn, while consistent with 40 HR's and 100 RBI seasons, could have been so much better if he'd just have applied himself more in the field.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Afternoon

Edwin Encarnacion seems clueless at the plate....again. Why should this be a surprise to us? It's an act we've seen every since Easy Edwin made his way to the majors. As Chris Welsh put it on the TV broadcasts a couple of seasons ago, Edwin goes to the plate without any plan. And invariably, it bites him. It got him again last night, when, with a couple of runners on (second and third no less) and the game tied at 1-1, all EE could do was tap harmlessly in front of the plate. Inning over, rally over and Reds eventually lose.

And this is why the Reds gave EE a two year contract in the off season? Did they not look at history before they dealt with the future?

Don't count me in the crowd that is crowing for EE to be sent to the minors. Hitting minor league pitching won't do anything for Encarnacion. He needs to sit and watch and take a lot of 'real live arm' batting practice. And until and if he proves he can handl that, the Reds shouldn't put him in the line-up. Period, end of story.

My latest podcast is posted on This episode, we look back on the Bengals draft with Rob Rang from and Ross Tucker from If you're on the fly, you can download it here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

Random thoughts about the NFL Draft and your Cincinnati Bengals....

I have no problem with the Bengals taking Andre Smith with the 6th overall pick. I think the mistakes he's made, making illegal contact with an agent while still at Alabama, leaving the Combine early, going through three agents, were mistakes of youth. He has no criminal record. The only downside of signing Smith is that the Bengals will have to play him at left tackle. It's either that, or move Andrew Whitworth from guard to left tackle. That isn't smart. Whitworth could be a Pro Bowl guard for a long time......Rey Maualuga dropped to the second round for a lot of reasons. Inside linebackers, with rare exception, are less desirable than outside linebackers. And Maualuga did seem to be out of position, occassionally at times at Southern Cal. But the biggest reason he dropped? Maualuga scored only a 15 on the NFL's Wonderlick intelligence test. The other Southern Cal linebackers drafted this weekend, Clay Matthews (27) and Brian Cushing (23) did much better.....Getting UC punter Kevin Huber was a steal. It means incumbant Kyle Larson is as good as done. If Huber shows a pulse in training camp, the job is his. You don't draft a punter unless you're intent on keeping him. There are plenty of punters on the street......The Bengals can't help themselves. They drafted another guy with a rap sheet as long as Vine Street. Running back Bernard Scott had so many off the field issues, he didn't play college ball in 2005 and 2006. He's had five separate arrests. Why the Bengals have to go down this road consistently is beyond me. And if you're a fan, you should be livid that they keep doing it. It's arrogance, plain and simple. Character matters, except in Bengal-dom......

The Reds have a major problem in left field. And GM Walt Jocketty had better be working the problem. Neither Chris Dickerson nor Jerry Hairston are hitting. Jocketty made the miscalculation this winter that Dickerson was ready for the majors, full time. He isn't, and may never be. Jocketty bases his calculation on the 31-games that Dickerson spent with the Reds last September. Remember, he hadn't played an inning of major league baseball before that. And at 26, was a career minor leaguer. Hairston is simply a journeyman.

Jocketty's biggest fear has to be the Reds losing a playoff berth this season by a few games and looking back at a number of games that were winnable, simply if he had found a major league caliber left fielder.

The Reds ponied up $10 million for a new scoreboard in left field. Yet they refused to pony up any money for a quality free agent bat. They back off a trade with the White Sox for Jermaine Dye, because of the economy and because Dye came with an $11 million price tag. But they found money for a scoreboard upgrade. You tell me what makes more sense.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just confirmed, I'll have Bengals 2nd round draft pick, Southern Cal LB Rey Mauluga as my guest Sunday morning at 11:35am on 700 WLW. Other guests: NFL player agent, Jack Bechta, Sports Illustrated's Ross Tucker, Michael Abromowitz from and Rob Rang from We begin at 9am!

Headline on Bengals draft? Not bad. Mauluga was a second round steal.

Name to watch in Round 3 Sunday, Penn State center A.Q. Shipley, 6-2, 304. I'm told he's the strongest center in the entire draft.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Now less than 24 hours before the annual NFL draft and since everyone and his brother has a mock draft, I figure, why not me. So here goes, my 2009 NFL Mock Draft. We'll know by 9pm Saturday EDT just how out of my mind I am.

Let's face it, the rebuilding in Detroit is going to take a long, long time. Draft a guy who'll be the face of the future. Let him sit and learn from someone else

They gave up on Orlando Pace and they need to rebuild their offense. Sound a little bit like the Bengals? Smith is a great start

They be tempted by Michael Crabtree because their new QB Matt Cassel has to throw to somebody. But plenty of WR option are available later.

OK, this is the pick that will affect what the Bengals do the most. If the Seahawks take OT Eugene Monroe, it will make the Bengals brass think real hard about taking DT BJ Raji. But the Seahawks have to think about replacing Matt Hasselback soon. Sanchez is a good options

Kellen Winslow is gone. Braylon Edwards is going. Somebody has to catch passes. If the Chiefs don't take Crabtree, the Browns will leap on him.

Monroe is the second best option at LT in this draft. Jerry Jones, in the "Drugstore List" says this about Monroe. "Excellent pass protecter, good balance and footwork. Won starting LT job as a junior beating out Branden Albert, who was a first round draft pick in 2008". The Bengals should be so lucky to get this guy.

Despite the report that Harvin tested positive for marijuana the the NFL Combine, the Raiders will take Harvin and his myriad talents.

The Jags need a WR because Matt Jones is no more. Jeremy Macklin will be there. But the Jags also need to do something about their awful pass defense.

Defense, defense, defense for this team. The Pack needs a pass rusher to be truly back

The 49er's defense isn't bad. But it's constantly put in the position of having to always be on the field. The 49ers need to protect the quarterback better. Drafting Smith, and yes his bizarre behavior lately, gives them the strongest man in this year's draft.

The Bills will be tempted by OT Michael Ohler. But Jackson gives them a legit pass rusher, something this team really needs.

The Broncos need help stopping the run. With both of the top DT off the board, Maualuga is the choice.

The Redskins can't throw the ball and their defense can't stop the run. They liked Sanchez and Crabtree is their kind of guy. Assuming they don't trade up, they take Maybin the second best pass rusher in this draft.

Let's face it, the Saints need a 'horse'. "Beanie" falls into their laps.

Back to back Buckeyes. Jenkins will give the Texans a 'shutdown' corner that this franchise desperately needs.

Here's my thinking. The Chargers play the run well, the pass not so well. Having Jerry handle double teams will free up the ends for a more effective pass rush. OK, so maybe that's why I'm not an NFL general manager.

Davis is a corner who can attack the run. That's a valuable and scarce commodity. He also ran a 4.44 at the Combine. J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets hop on him in a heartbeat.

The Bears have Jay Cutler. They also have an offense that can't rush. That would make Cutler a sitting duck. Moreno is a great fit.

Sure, Jon Gruden isn't there anymore but the Bucs have been searching for a franchise quarterback every since Jake Plummer told them to take a hike. Freeman will take a lot of hikes in his time in Tampa.

The Lions got a franchise quarterback with the #1 overall. They now have someone to protect his butt. Good solid choice. Which means, the Lions probably won't do it.

Ha! Bet your were saying "Ken, you forgot about him". No and neither will the Eagles, who have the defense to win now....but not the offense. Maclin will help that, a lot.

The Vikings can't pass, because they can't pass protect. They would've like Oher. But they're OK, because Beatty has the speed and footwork to pass protect like a horse. 6-6, 307 pounds and a very willing blocker.

Been awhile since the Patriots drafted this high in round 1. Like the Vikings, the Pats need offensive line help. But they also have a big need in the secondary. Smith is the choice, despite his 5-9 height.

Once thought to be a top five pick, Brown's stock has tumbled some. But in the Falcons defense, he should flourish. He'll have to leap frog some incumbants. But Brown should have no problem doing that.

Aside from Curry, Matthews is the best outside linebacker in this draft. He'll be a star in Miami. Matthews gets a lot of his headlines from rushing the passer, but he's also very good against the run.

With Chris McCallister gone, Butler has a chance to become the heir-apparent. The Ravens will be tempted by a local, Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, still available. But they can find a WR later in the draft.

Best choice on the board for the Colts. Marvin Harrison is a memory and Peyton Manning needs a fresh target. Heyward-Bey can leap and his YAC (yards after catch) are impressive.

The Eagles got a WR earlier in round 1. Now they get a workhorse running back who is also excellent at pass protection. And the Eagles had trouble with that this past season.

This is, of course, assuming the Giants don't make the trade for Browns WR Braylon Edwards. Britt is a big target (6-3 218) and while not a 'burner' has sure hands and runs tight routs.

Tennessee desperately needs wide receivers. But the best of the best are all gone by now. So, take the guy where pass protection begins. Mack will be a fixture on that Titans line for years.

The Cardinals need a running back and a pass rusher. But remember, all the good running backs are gone. Johnson should have been gone by now. So the Cardinalsl leap on him. His big wing span and his ability to stop the run is enticing. So too are his dimensions: 6-7 270

They'll look hard at Robert Ayers, the defensive end from Tennessee and Paul Kruger, the defensive end from Utah. But in the end, the Steelers will opt for offensive line help. Immediately after this pick, Ben Roethlisberger will announce he's naming his first born Eben, who can play either RT or LT (not Ben's future kid, Eben Britton.)

So there you have it. We'll see, starting Saturday at 4p how far off I am.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another win. This time it was Alex Gonzalez and Jay Bruce who provided the side show to the main acts: Aaron Harang and Joey Votto. Votto goes 4-5 against the Cubs today and Harang goes seven and allows just one, unearned run.

Reds now a game and a half out of first with a weekend series at GABP against the Braves. If the Reds don't draw at least 90,000 for the three games there are serious problems with the way that team is being marketed. Even back in bad old generic Riverfront Stadium, a weekend series with the Braves was usually good for 100,000.

Just posted on my web site is an interview I did for my Sunday Morning Sports Talk show on 700 WLW with Michael Abromowitz of The Football Expert. It's all about the upcoming draft this weekend. You might be surprised to see who he thinks the Bengals will take.

By the way, among my guests this Sunday will be NFL player agent, Jack Bechta, as well as former NFL offensive lineman, Ross Tucker. Sunday Morning Sports Talk airs from 9am-Noon EDT.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just posted on the front page of my web site: is my latest video. It's a behind the scenes look at my radio show on 700 WLW. I'm on Sundays from 9am-Noon EDT

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marvin Lewis actually said today, the Bengals don't neccessarily have to draft a tackle in the first round of this weekend's draft. He says the Bengals have players on their roster who can get the job done.


Marvin, here's your guy. Find a way to get Eugene Monroe on Saturday.

Monroe may be gone when the Bengals pick 6th overall. But, watch what Seattle does. If the Seahawks take QB Matt Sanchez with the 4th overall pick, Monroe just might be there when it's the Bengals turn.
Just posted on the front page of my web site: is the latest Broo View Podcast. My guest in this episode, is the editor and publisher of Pro Football Weekly, Hub Arkush. We're scoping the upcoming NFL Draft.

If you want, you can download it by clicking here. But check out I've got past episodes of The Broo View Podcast and some other cool interviews.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Tuesday!

Like who didn't see that coming, right?

The anemic Reds win again. And last night in Houston delivered their best offensive game of the young season. That's three of four they just took from the Astros. Remember, last season, they managed only three wins, total against Houston. The Reds got just enough decent pitching from Bronson Arroyo (who predicted he'd start the season 3-0. You're raising your hand right now and I'm calling your a liar, OK?). The bullpen was terrific again. Dusty Baker showed a lot of courage letting Arthur Rhodes pitch to a couple of right handed batters with the game on the line. Note to all baseball purists: it's OK sometimes to go against 'the book'. Rhodes has earned his reputation of not being a 'situational left hander'. If I'm running the Reds (and on this blog I am) I use nobody out of that bullpen unless they're named Rhodes, Weathers and Cordero, not if the game is on the line.

Now it's onto Chicago for three (unless the weather people are finally right and it rains like Noah-land on Tuesday night). At worst, the Reds will finish this marathon road trip with a break even record. The hitting is non-existant, except for Joey Votto. Alex Gonzalez has exactly two more hits than a dead man. Bruce, Encarnacion, Phillips, Hernandez and that left field platoon of Hairston and Dickerson are all below or just at the mythical Mendoza line (.200 avg for the normal people reading this, not the sabermetricians, of which I'm one). The NL Central is weak. We might be onto something here....or on something.

Big night of hockey Monday night here in the 'nati. Our defending Kelly Cup champs went to double overtime,before beating the Wheeling Nailers. Fun, exciting hockey. I'm a hockey freak. I played it in HS and a little bit at Ohio University. I had season tickets, back in the day for both the NY Rangers and the Cyclones, when they played at the Gardens. There is no better in arena experience than hockey. It's a different bunch of Cyclones from the team that won it all last season. But I think they have a chance to repeat, particularly after last night's thriller.

So, is this the guy the Bengals wind up with at #6 overall in this weekend's NFL draft?

I got no problem if it is. You can talk all you want about Andre Smith skipping out early at the Combine. You can talk all you want about his body shape. He can block and I've been told, he's the strongest man in the draft. A Bengal by sundown Saturday? No problem with that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

Amazingly, the Reds won again Sunday. I say amazingly, because for the first two weeks of the season, the Reds offensive hasn't just been anemic, it's gone missing.

If you can’t score, you can’t win. Pick the sport, any sport. No team has ever won without a run, point, goal or birdie. Plain, simple, end of story.

The Reds can’t score, at least they can’t score when they need to score. We saw it again last night. We almost saw it Friday night. But Ramon Hernandez saved the night with his two run home run. Saturday night, the Reds got a grand total of two hits. They would have each had to have been grand slam homer for the the Reds to win. They lost, 7-0. Harang wasn’t sharp. The Astros got lucky with a couple of early “seeing eye” singles and Jared Burton was smacked around again.

Here’s the problem. And it’s been the problem ever since the Reds took a pass on adding a free agent bat this off season: the starting pitching has be lights out every game for this team to have a chance to win. OK, sure, we’ve seen games where the Reds have put six, eight runs up. But look at the run production through ten games. In six of those ten games, the Reds have put up three or fewer runs. And if it wasn’t for Joey Votto, it’d be a lot worse. Votto has driven in ten of the 38-runs the Reds have scored so far this season.

The bottom of the batting order is non existant. Gonzalez, Hernandez and the pitcher, all stuck below the Mendoza line. Gonzalez has exactly three hits in eight games. Jay Bruce has been to bat 34 times, he has six hits. Everybody I talk to says ‘he’ll come around’. Really? Have you seen the numbers Bruce has put up since his first two weeks in the majors? They’re pretty horrid. He’s hitting .226, just 19 home runs in just under 400 at bats and he’s whiffed over 100 times…once every four at bats, actually.

I told you last week, don’t make any hard evaluations until the season is six weeks old. By the sixth week, you’ll know exactly what this team is going to do the rest of this season. You’re smart, you follow the game. You’ll know.
But the first ten games have given us warning signs. Starting pitching has to be lights out every night for this team to have a chance at winning. Bullpen can’t afford too many Burton like performances. The base running and the defense have to be beyond good. Have we seen any of that so far this season?

As a guy I once worked for said, “There’s no calvary coming over the hill”. What you got is what you got. Maybe you platoon Janish at short with Gonzalez and hope you find offense there. Maybe Hanigan plays a little more until Hernandez hits his way out of it. Dickerson is hitting .263, Hairston .167. Do you keep running that tandem out there? Jonny Gomes is hitting .192 in Louisville.

Who didn’t see this coming?

Look, I like the $10 million scoreboard in left field. I would’ve loved a $10 million player in left field.

So here’s the question today: should the Reds now do what they didn’t do this winter, shop for a bat? Geoff Jenkins is sitting at home. It’ll cost the Reds about $400 grand to get him. Luis Gonzalez is sitting at home. Dollar figure on Gonzalez is about the same. Jim Edmonds is mowing his lawn today. What did he do to Walt Jocketty when they were both with the Cardinals? Shoe polish Walt’s car door handle?

My point is, it’s not too late and this division is not that great. If you’re proactive now, you might be able to save the strengths of this team, and save a season in the process. A baseball roster is a fluid thing, most seasons. Injuries, demotions trades and releases happen even on championship teams. They’re about ready for all of that in the land of the Yankees today.

Don’t make Harang and Arroyo sweat every pitch that they throw. Don’t yank Volquez and Cueto early, because you’re afraid leaving them in a game will result in a run or two you know you won’t be able to match. I hope some smart guy in Redsland is thinking about this, thinking that this season may only be a couple of weeks old but the warning signs are there. I hope somebody is sending a scout out to the batting cages or high school fields where an out of work major leaguer is staying in shape.

A lot of people got on Wayne Krivsky three years ago when he made that deal with the Nationals for relief pitching. It didn’t turn out so hot, but at least he tried. It was later in that season than it is now. But it’s later than you think.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The other shoe dropped in the Jeff Keppinger to Houston trade that went down just before spring training ended. Thursday, the Reds completed the deal by prying Drew Sutton loose from the Astros. And at least by this account, it's not playing well with the Astros' faithful.

I just booked Michael Abramowitz from for my Sunday Morning Sportstalk show on 700 WLW. I've been following his stuff on that web site and he seems to have good logic about how the NFL draft may go down.

Also, Hub Arkush from Pro Football Weekly will join me, as well as former Red, Merv Rettenmund. Hope you will too, from 9am-Noon EDT.

It's a big day in Cincinnati for another reason this Sunday. The original "Jersey Boy" is in town for a concert. He's my 'home boy', as Frankie Valli and I grew up in the same town (though he's quite a few years older than me)

But, I'll have to miss his performance....Sports Rock!, don't you know.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Chris Mack era is about to begin. As we reported last night (Monday) on WLWT Channel 5 here in Cincinnati, Mack is the choice of Xavier AD, Mike Bobinski. Bobinski reccommended Mack to the XU Athletic board today. The reccommendation was accepted and Mack will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday.

Xavier could have chased a bigger name. But it might have been in another coaching search in three years, if it had. Mack, like UC's Mick Cronin will be at his school for the long haul. Good choice.

The 2009 NFL schedule was released tonight. No prime time games for the Bengals. Why should there be? They were horrid last season. Maybe the Bengals can get onto a Sunday night telecast in the final seven weeks of the season. The league allows for 'flexing' the schedule in the final seven weeks. But they'd have to exceed everyone's expectations to pull that off.

If the Reds are really all about pitching, speed and defense, how do you explain their last two games, both wins....with home runs winning both?

He's considered by many to be the best player in the upcoming NFL draft, but apparently Wake Forest linebacker, Aaron Curry could be in for some rough sledding, if this column by's Rob Rang turns out to be true.

See you tonight at 11p on Cincinnati's WLWT Channel 5

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm on now with lots of neat pictures and postings. We're battling the elements to bring home some qualilty entertainment, as we ty to be an entertainment desitnation, Want in on the fun? Here's the link!

OK, if you missed it on News 5 Monday night at 11p, sources close to the process tell us that Xavier Athletic Director, Mike Bobinski will reccomend to the school's athletic council and school president, Father Michael Graham, that current assistant coach, Chris Mack should be hired as the school's next basketball coach. We're told the news conference announcing this could happen as early as Tuesday afternoon. However, with the annual basketball banquet scheduled for Wednesday night, there might be a thought of holding off the announcement until then, in front of the most faithful of Xavier supporters. Stay tuned on this one.

Reds win, 7-6. More offensive tonight, but almost all from two swings of the bat: Jay Bruce's solo home run and Edwin Encarnacion's grand slam. I thought this was supposed to be pitching, speed and defense? Anyway, the first leg of the longest road trip of the season gets off to a good start in Milwaukee. Edinson Volquez was hit hard, again. It's Bronson Arroyo's turn Tuesday night.

A great voice silenced Monday. Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and some would say the voice of the city of Philadelphia. He died in the broadcast booth at the National stadium, getting ready to call an afternoon ball game. Harry was so electic, he was the voice of NFL Films, succeding John Facenda upon his death, while also do the annual Doggie Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday on the Animal Planet channel. Kalas was only 73.

And Mark "The Bird" Fidrych died Monday as well. It was an apparent farm accident. Fidrych was one of the more bizzare players in the mid 70's, talking to the basebal and patting down and smoothing the mound before pitching . The Bird was only 54. Deaths come in threes right? Well let's not forget that innocent porn star of he 70's Marylin Chambers. No cause of death filed yet for the eager to please Miss Chambers.

Now check out my latest podcast all about the Cincinnati The Broo View episode202

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just posted on my web site is an in depth interview with 1978 National League MVP Dave Parker. The native Cincinnati talks about the 30th anniversary of the "We Are Family" World Championship Pirates, as well as the current state of Major League Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds. You can find it on the front page of:
Good Monday Morning!

Five games into this season, what have we learned about your Cincinnati Reds? In a word: nothing. True story: I bumped into a guy at Kroger last night and he asks me, “well,, what is Dusty going to do to shake up things up?” I was like, ‘huh’. Shake things ups? It’s been four games. Like he should go out and sign Javy Valentin and go find Jacque Jones? It’s four game. What we know about this team is the same things we’ve suspected ever since the end of last season. It has young pitching and young pitching is going to look great some days and other days it’s going to look like what Edinson Volquez looked like Wednesday night.

It’s going to have trouble scoring runs. Well, you’re saying, wait a minute Ken, they scored eight on Thursday and six Wednesday night. Yeah, but most of that offense is Joey Votto. 20-total RBI so far in five games, seven off the bat of Votto. Jay Bruce isn’t hitting, Roberto Hernandez isn’t hiting, Alex Gonzalez is still looking for his first base hit and Willy Taveres has been hacking up a lung since the end of spring training.

For all this talk of pitching, speed and defense, here’s what four games have given us: three errors, two stolen bases and a staff ERA of 6.50. The team is hitting .218. Only four teams are hitting worse. But what does it mean?

It means the Reds have gotten off to a slow start. Not good, when you look at the schedule and see an overwhelming majority of their early season games are against division opponents. Those, of course, are the games you have to win because it not only benefits you, it hurts the teams that are chasing the same thing you are, a division title.

But shake things up? I don’t care what kind of team you have and what kind of first week you’ve put together, call me in six weeks. Six weeks is about the right amount of time for analysis. Six weeks after a season begins, you’ve played between 30-35 games, almost a quarter of the season. It’s not time to panic. It’s not time to shake things up. Harang pitched well on Opening Day, but lost. Volquez pitched awful and lost. Arroyo pitched OK and got a lot of runs. And for the most part, Cueto pitched well Saturday. Harang was terrific in Sunday’s win.

The hitting, aside from Votto, isn’t happening. We knew that could be a problem. My guess is, they’ve told Johnny Gomes don’t go out of cell phone range. My guess is, Castellini will give his GM the green light to go buy a bat if the Reds are in it by late July. My guess is the Pirates aren’t as good as they’ve looked this season and the Reds aren’t as bad as they’ve looked this week. Time to panic? Dude, this is baseball. It’s not like you’ve entrusted your life savings to Bernie Madoff. That would be time to panic.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Just posted on my web site, is the latest Broo View Podcast. My guest this time is the noted baseball writer from Baseball Prospectus, Dave Laurila. Our topic? A look at the 2009 Cincinnati Reds, who managed to win their first game of the season today. It's on the front page of my site. But, if you're on the fly, you can download it here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Good Thursday Morning!

Pitching, speed and defense my a##. Did you watch any of that Reds vs Mets game last night? Pitchng? Apparently Edinson Volquez is still under the assumption that his right arm is good for 200 pitches per outing. It took him 100, just to get two outs into the fifth inning. It was the same thing that plagued him last season. And statistically, last season was very good for Volquez. But his season will be over in July if he doesn't bear down in the count and get out of innings.

Mike Lincoln followed and was lit up. Defense? Alex Gonzalez booted a double play ball that would have gotten the Reds out of an inning with only a run scoring. Instead, three runs scored after that play. And Jay Bruce fell down on what should have been a one run single, turning it into a three run scoring play.

Speed? OK, Willy Taveres finally got into a game and motored his way around the bases to a triple. But where are the stolen bases? Where is the speed in the outfield that's supposed to get to fly balls that were uncatchable last season?

Look, I know it's only two games. But you can't look at either of these two losses to the Mets and not have some serious concerns. And while I'm at it, the Reds have known since last August they had to come up with a player, or a platoon situation, in left field. Their answer was to sign Johnny Gomes, who never caught on with Tampa and give the opposite side of the plate to Chris Dickerson, who had a grand total of 31-big league games coming into this season. So what happens? Gomes is sent to the minors the day before the season begins and Dickerson doesn't start opening day. And this is a plan? Really?

More coming as Thursday progresses. I'll have a new Broo View Podcast posted sometime around mid day. My guest will be Dave Laurila from Baseball Prospectus.

And my Sunday Morning Sportstalk Show on 700 WLW is beginning to take shape. My guests will include CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated Seth Davis, author of a compelling book on the 1979 NCAA Championship game between Larry Bird's Indiana State Sycamores and Magic Johnson's Michigan State Spartans. Also joining me, the godfather of sabermetrics, Bill James. We'll have other assorted guests as well, and your phone calls. I'm on from 9am-Noon EDT. And if you don't live in the Tri-State, you can always listen on line at

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

OK, Sean Miller took the money and ran, all the way to the desert. Am I surprised? In a sense, no. There's no right thinking American who wouldn't look at the current economic landscape and say "you know what? I don't really need to make $14 million in the next seven years". But let's be honest about this: it was all about the money.

And I'm wondering if there isn't some college president out there today, anywhere at any Division I school, who isn't thinking "what is the point of writing contracts for coaches?" They never bind a coach to a school. The coach is always looking to better the deal after a winning season (funny how they never want to give money back after their team tanks). I'm wondering if it wouldn't take a school president or two to just say "no, you can't talk to my coach. He's under contract until 2015, get back to me then." And correct me if I'm wrong: doesn't the school HAVE to pay the coach for the life of the deal, unless there are some mitigating circumstances other than not winning basketball games?

Good luck Sean. You're a good guy. But don't try to tell anyone that this wasn't about money.

I'm wondering if Arizona is that much of an easier place to win a national championship than Xavier. The stars would have to line up perfectly for Xavier to win it all. That might MIGHT happen once every 100 years. But if I'm not mistaken, the only national championship Arizona has won was in 1997.

I’m also wondering where the Reds are going to find all of the runs they’re going to need to compete this season. Adam Dunn is gone, so is his 100 RBI. Remember, this team didn’t score a whole lot of runs last season. Now, pitching, speed and defense are supposed to carry the day. Playing half of their games in a ball park built for home runs,? Really? I’m wondering…

I’m wondering if the Bengals really do want to trade Chad Ocho Cinco now, why didn’t they want to trade him last season? They’d have gotten a first and a third round pick from the Redskins, maybe two firsts. Now, we hear some blogger out in Oakland ran into the Raiders head coach in a rest room and got the scoop that the Raiders are sending the Bengals a first round pick and running back Michael Bush in exchange for the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson. Wait a year and the Bengals might be able to get Derek Anderson from the Browns for Ocho No Show. Or maybe Kyle Boller.

I’m also wondering when every newspaper in America folds and TV stations start running Who Wants To Marry My Gardener instead of news, where will we get our credible news from? Think about that the next time you read a blog and run with it. This blogger out in California, the one who met the Raiders’ coach at a Wendy’s or wherever may be right. They deal could happen. But more often that not, the guy writing the blog you’re taking as gospel is probably living in his parents’ basement.

Here’s something else I’m wondering about today. I’m wondering why Billy Gillispie never signed his contract at Kentucky. Because despite what he thinks, Gillispie may have kissed away six million dollars in severance. Somebody got ahold of the letter that informed Billy Clyde that he was no longer welcomed at Rupp Arena. The only thing that was listed as a reason why he’s no longer the head coach in Lexington, the ONLY reason, was that he failed to sign his contract. Let me ask you a question. If all you have to do is sign your name to piece of paper to guarantee that you’ll get six mil if your boss wants to fire you, how many pens do you bring to the signing ceremony? I don’t want to call Billy Clyde dumb. Because I don’t have to.

I told you I wonder about a lot of things. Here’s something else that popped into my head before I passed out on my couch Monday. I'm wondering why we all had to freeze our assets off Monday watching the Reds on Opening Day.

Nine of the last eleven Opening Days here in Cincinnati have been miserable. Years ago, not that long ago, Opening day was the middle of the month. A long time ago, like in 1919, Opening Day was April 23. They used to play a 154 game schedule, so teams could open later. Now, the season opens with the threat of snow and ends with the threat of Thanksgiving. I’m wondering today, where did all of the scheduled double-headers go? Remember the Sunday double-headers? Why can’t they play a half dozen of those during the season and start everything a week later?

I know why, the players union didn’t want it because it was too much to ask a multi-million dollar ballplayer to hang around a stadium for eight hours on a Sunday. And the owners didn’t want it, because a doubleheader is basically baseball’s version of ‘happy hour’: two for the price of one. You ever see a happy owner in baseball? But for us, once you get by the initial rush of Opening Day and the first half dozen beers, you’re just sitting in the cold, getting rained on and tempting the flu. I’m wondering, why isn’t anyone else thinking about that.

I'll see you tonight at 6p & 11p on WLWT Channel 5

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Knocked it out of the park, didn't he? You think anyone in Big Blue Nation is upset with UK hiring John Calipari? I loved the part about how he's no savior and has 'no magic wand' to fix Kentucky basketball. "I told Dr. Todd (school president) and Mitch (Barnhart, UK AD) that if they're looking to hire someone to turn this around overnight, they're talking to the wrong guy". Calipari's news conference today was a revival, tempered by realism.

Great joke someone told on my radio show this past Sunday. You know what they call a pervert in Kentucky? Someone who like sex more than basketball.

But. like everything, there are dissenting opinions on the Calipari hiring. Pat Forde, from has this take on the hiring.

April 1st reminds me of one of the greatest April Fool's Day jokes every pulled in sports. In fact, it happened only last year and the brunt of it was Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, Kyle Kendrick.

Check it out:

The Reds are actually going to talk with Gary Sheffield? Believe it. Dusty Baker will visit with the former Tigers slugger tomorrow in Sarasota. Detroit is paying Sheffield's 2009 contract, all $14 million of it, just to go away. So if the Reds sign him, they get him for the major league minimum, about $400,000. Geoff Jenkins will visit the Reds, as well. But statistically, both have fallen off the map. Still with 499 career home runs, it'd be kind of cool to see Sheffield hit #500 in a Reds uniform. And Sheffield is only a year removed from a .265 25/75 season. But too many reports say he's finished. But, even though Jonny Gomes and Chris Dickerson have had a decent spring platooning in left field, the Reds have been weak this spring in the area I said they would be: run production. I'm sure that's why Sheffield and Jenkins are coming in for visits.

Just booked for my Sunday Morning Sports Talk show on 700 WLW: former National League MVP Dave Parker. I'm on from 9am-Noon. Parker will join me at 10:00am. If you don't live within the coverage area of the "50,000 watt flamethrower", you can always listen on line.

More on Thursday....and a fresh Broo View Podcast then, on