Monday, June 29, 2009

Just back from a quick trip to the East Coast. Did New York, theatre, couple of restaurants and the obligatory diner trips. And I also caught a ballgame, the Mets against the Cardinals at Citi Field. Great new ballpark, resurrecting the style and thankfully not the smell of the old Ebbets Field. I’m not old enough to remember the Brooklyn Dodgers, but apparently Brooklyn and Ebbets Field had a smell all their own.

Anyhow, I watched the Mets smoke the Cardinals 11-0 on Wednesday night and then get trounced themselves by the Yankees on Friday night. And out there, the fans are just like you and me. Well, OK, perhaps we don’t use four letter words as verbs as much as they do. But in the sense that fans want their teams to win and want action if they don’t, we’ve got some common ground with New Yorkers.

The Mets are banged up. They want their general manager to make a deal, today, last Thursday if possible, to get another big bat in their line up. The Yankees have some pitching problems, they want another arm for the rotation, couple for the bullpen and if their GM can find someone to replace outfielder Xavier Nady, great, go get him.

Like you and me, maybe, fans out there believe there are teams and GM’s all over baseball just waiting to be fleeced. They get a star player or two for a couple of broken down veterans and minor leaguers that are more like suspects instead of prospects.

You know, like Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Lincoln in exchange for Kevin Youkilis.

So I’m sitting at this game and the guy next to me strikes up a conversation. Wants to know where I’m from. I guess I didn’t look or act like a ntative, even though I spent 17-years of my life, a long time ago, living in that area of the country. Guy says, ‘Cincinnati?’ I said ‘yeah’. And after we got by the initial jokes of Bengals arrests and Pete Rose’s gambling, he wants to know if Aaron Harang was available. Because he’d heard on a sports talk radio show out there that the Reds would be willing to deal Harang to the Mets in exchange for somebody named Argemis Reyes and a left handed pitcher in Double-A who had just blown out his elbow. You think sports talk radio is anything around here? Out there think Lance McAllister on steroids, 24-7, 365.

So anyway, I tell this guy Sal, from Bensonhurst, I said I didn’t think Harang’s available,,but after checking Harang’s pitching line the next night, I began to think it wasn’t such a bad idea.

But the truth is nobody is trading anyone right now. And yeah, every fans wants action, deals, call ups, try outs, imports from Japan. But it won’t happen, not yet anyway. Look at the standings today. 14 teams are within 6 games of the lead, or closer. Even more can still think of themselves as wild card contenders. The Reds are at ‘500’ and only 2.5 games back, and right in the thick of things in the National League Wild Card Race.

Deal now and get what, from whom? This is the time of the year when baseball resembles a contract negotiation. Neither side wants to make the first move. How much do you want? What are you offering? Who’s on first? I got it, you take it. That’s why mid season deals are done as close to the trading deadline as possible. Teams that need will offer more, teams that are out of it will take less than what they will now, a little more than a month away from deadline day.

What you get now is Norris Hopper for Corky Miller, not even a seismic blip in Louisville.

Barring a total implosion, the Reds are going to be in this race at least until the trade deadline. So you have to figure a trade for an upgrade will be coming. But the question is, at what price? Bailey? Stubbs? Arroyo? Pick a name. But make sure it’s a good one. That’s the only way you’ll get someone coming here, who’ll be good enough to help.

Every so often, the Reds have night like last night. They put up five or more runs and you think everything is going to be OK. But it’s not. They pay the price, far too often, of not addressing their glaring offensive needs in this past off season. They pay the price for letting their farm system go into atrophy in the mid-90’s to 2003. And now, if they really want to win this season, they’ll pay the price. It’s the cost of doing business.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Random thoughts on a random Friday...

I guess Joey Votto is OK again. Last night's effort in Toronto was all the reason you need to believe he's OK again....

If the Reds want to be taken as serious contenders, they'll need to take two of three from the Indians this weekend. Cleveland is a bad ballclub. I'm not sure how much better the Reds are. But they're certainly better than the Indians...

And, of course, now that the Reds have reacquired catcher Corky Miller, all things are possible, aren't they?.....

Is Jay Bruce this year's Adam Dunn? Check the stats: HR total good, RBI total not bad, batting average in the toilet. Defensively, Bruce is much better than Dunn. But at the plate, he appears to be channeling the former Reds....

Spending time in New Jersey this week and took in the Mets vs Cardinals on Wednesday night. The Mets' new park, Citi Field, is beautiful, much along the lines of the new stadium in DC. It s archtecture would remind those of you who remember Ebbets Field (not me, not old enough) of the old Brooklyn Dodgers stadium. There are monuments and tributes everywhere to the old Dodgers. After finishing Lee Lowenfish's exellent work on Branch Rickey, Citi Field is the kind of park the old Dodger GM and part owner envisioned. Had the city of New York built this kind of stadium in 1955 (without, of course, the amenities that only the year 2009 can deliver) there might not have been an LA Dodgers...

Also, the Mets can hit the ball, decimating the Cardinals pitching for eleven runs the night I attended....

Dined at New York's legendary steak house, Gallagher's on Thursday night and then went directly across 52nd street to the August Wilson Theatre for the 8p curtain of Jersey Boys. The musical was its usual phenominal self. Second time I've seen it, the first at the Aronoff in May, 2008. The steak wasn't all that great. The Precinct has nothing to worry about. Did a couple of diners here, too. The uniquely NJ treat of a Taylor ham and egg sandwich on a roll was delightful at the Nutley Diner. Hot apple pie ala mode at one of my old haunts, the Arlington Diner was as remembered.....

The Bengals report to training camp on July 30 with a first workout on the 31st. They break camp in Georgetown, KY on August 18. By my Ohio University math, that's 19-days. Question to Mike Brown: what's the point? Mike likes to count nickels. It is really worth the time, trouble and expense to pack up your franchise and haul it an hour south just to spend less than three weeks there? Save your money. You're only allowed 80 players on your camp roster. That's 40 hotel rooms. You'd be helping the greater Cincinnati area economy in the process....

Xavier's Derrick Brown went 40th in last night's NBA draft. He better get a passport. I see Europe in his future. Maybe not this year or next, but someday. Brown, who looked like a lottery pick in November, needs to refine his inside game. I'm just sayin.....

Just read where Southwest Airlines will open up shop at LaGuardia Airport in NYC beginning Sunday. So when do we Cincinnatian get the honor of having that discout airline at CVG. OK, thank you Delta one more time. $15 to check a bag now when you fly with 'the monopoly'. That's on top of some of the highest priced tickets in travel....

The "King Of Pop" dead at 50. Elvis died at what, 43? The media and the lawyers had a field day when Elvis went. Why am I thinking the same thing is about to happen again?....

Farrah Fawcett gets bumped to page 2. If you're a male and under 50, she had a lot more affect on you than the "King Of Pop".....

On my radio show this Sunday on 700 WLW, my guests include NFL player agent, Jack Bechta. We'll debate the merits of an 18 game regular season. Also, former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky joins me. I've got some other things up my proverbial sleeve too. I'm on from 9am-Noon ET...

Sunday night at 11:35p on WLWT, it's Sports Rock! Mo Egger from WLW & 1530 Homer joins me.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

As we've witness tonight, Joey Votto's return to the Cincinnati Reds is no panacea. It will take him time to get used to the speed (and pitching) at the Major League level. And it's not like the Reds had a whole lot of offense before he left to battle his stress related illness. Like Adam Dunn or not, he took 100 runs and 100 rbi with him when he left. And the Reds front office simply failed to replace that offense. We got a $10 million scoreboard in left field, instead of a $10 million player. We also got Willy Tavares for $6.8 million, but that's another story.

If you're a Reds fan, your greatest fear is that while Votto was away, the division was there for the taking. No NL Central team had enough to put space between itself and the rest of the pack. Would the Reds had been able to do with Votto in the line-up? That will be debated all next off season, if the Reds fail to qualify for the post season playoffs.

Just published on my web site, is the latest Broo View Podcast. This episode features an in depth interview with Forbes Magazine's Tom Van Riper. We discuss the not so out of the question possible strike that could be looming in the NFL. In a hurry? You can download the show here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

Bob Castellini is taking some public hits. Fans are upset with the way his ballclub is put together. Some of us would rather have had a ten million dollar ballplayer in left field, rather than a ten million dollar scoreboard, particularly one where there aren’t enough replays and the graphics appear to have been done on an Apple 3 computer.

But give the produce King this, he knows Cincinnati, and he appreciates the history that is Cincinnati Reds baseball. That’s the thing about baseball, it’s all about history. We revel in the stats, the stories, the players. Football offers us the national pastime, anymore. Basketball allows us to see the superstars closer and in more detail than any other sport. But baseball is the total story, weaved together by stats, by stories and by its history. You probably couldn’t name the starting defensive tackles on the 1992 Cincinnati Bengals. Hell, as bad as that team was, why would you want to/ But I’ll bet you know that the 1992 Reds finished 18 games above ‘500’, and that their starting outfield was Bip Roberts in left, Dave Martinez in center and Paul O’Neill in right.

For the record, the starting defensive ends on the 1992 Bengals were Lamar Rogers and Alonzo Mitts.

This week, the produce King welcomed the baseball world to Cincinnati for the Civil Rights Game. By all accounts the weekend was a slam dunk hit. The fly by media actually stopped in Cincinnati for once. Some big names in sports spent the weekend here and we got some good national pub.

But here’s what I saw that I liked. I saw Frank Robinson, embraced by Cincinnati again and willing to be so. As late as five years ago the chances of that happening were about as good as you landing on Mars. Robinson was run out of here in 1966, called an old 30 and in return from the Orioles, the Reds got a box of jock straps and Milt Pappas. We know what Robinson did when he got to Baltimore. We also know that he never forgave Cincinnati, or the misguided bunch that traded him away.

Robinson went onto make a little history himself, becoming baseball’s first black manager, and winning another MVP award wearing an Orioles uniform. He moved on to other jobs in baseball and we moved onto the Big Red Machine, other heroes, other stories. He didn’t like us all that much and we simply forgot about him. Except when Castellini picked up the phone a few months ago and reached out to him. Told Robinson it was a new day here, that he, Castellini was a Cincinnati born and bred guy and that, like a lot us, went to Crosley Field and watch Robinson do his magic act that baffled opposing pitchers.

In the roundtable discussion Friday at the Freedom Center, and last night on the radio and TV, you’d have thought Frank Robinson was Cincinnati’s official ambassador to the game of baseball. Good lesson from the produce King: extend an olive branch and you may wind up with a vineyard.

The other thing I saw this week that I liked a lot was Eric Davis, in uniform and working with the current Reds. To those of us who need a refresher court, Eric Davis went over the wall to rob the opposing batters of home runs, had remarkable speed in the field and on the bases, led the Reds to a wire-to-wire World Series win in 1990, lacerated a kidney in the process, hired his own private plane to fly back from Oakland when his doctors told him he should not fly commercial, and we won’t even get into what Marge Schott was overheard calling him.

Oh, and he beat cancer along the way, playing in major league baseball games the same day he took chemotherapy. Try that sometime and see how you do.

He also infuriated a lot of us because we thought he held his hands too low at the plate and seemed to come up with muscle ailments far too often.

But he was good, damn good and the wire to wire thing ought to be a ‘get out of jail free’ card with all of us.

But like Robinson, Davis was estranged from this Reds organization too. Too often, he’d come into town to see his friends and we’d wonder why the Reds couldn’t find a place for him, anywhere, somewhere.

Castellini found a place. Special assistant to the president, is Davis’ title. The title is insignificant. The real story is a reconnection with history. The Produce King figured it out. Under Marge Schott, under Carl Lindner, the Reds really never had any interest in it.

In a 300 television channel universe, in a DINS world….and you know what D-I-N-S means….in a climate where even if we have a job, we worry constantly if we’ll keep it, the appreciation, let alone the knowledge of it is a luxury to a lot of us. But to the business, and the sport, of baseball. In a lot of ways, history is baseball’s life blood. It was good to see Hank Aaron here this weekend. We reveled in the athletic royalty of Muhammad Ali. But the bigger story for us, we who call the Tri-State home, was two of our own back with the family. It was a good week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Random thoughts from a random mind for a random kind of Friday...

If Willy Tavares is 1-for his last 45-at bats, why does Reds manager Dusty Baker keep putting him in the line-up? Is it because Reds owner, Bob Castellini is paying Tavares $6.8 million for two seasons and GM Walt Jocketty is the guy who found Tavares? Is Willy Tavares no more than a 2009 version of 2008 over-paid bust, Corey Patterson?

I've been consistent on this: the Reds should have put offensively challenged but defensively solid Chris Dickerson, making the major league minimum, in centerfield this season and taken the $6.8 million they spent on Tavares and signed a legit big time player, for one season, to play left field. Bobby Abreu anyone? Swing the deal for Jermain Dye, mayhaps? You only needed a stopgap in the outfield, because in 2010 either Drew Stubbs will be in left field or Yonder Alonso will be on first base, with Joey Votto in left. It's beyond disappointing, the number of games the Reds would have won this season, had they just had a timely base hit. They're hitting .213 with runners in scoring position...

There is no future in baseball anymore. 2010 for your Cincinnati Reds? What if a series of injuries keep them from being competitive? They have the pitching now to compete. But the front office failed their fans and a majority of that big league roster by not adding another big time bat. By the way, exactly which Cincinnati Red right now strikes fear in the heart of an imposing pitcher?

Ochocinco isn't moving in with Carson Palmer. Mrs. Palmer, mother of Carson's newborn twins, shot down the idea. Palmer said Thursday he doesn't need another kid (85) running around the house, either.....

The Bengals will be better in 2009. But they won't be playoff better. Ochocinco guaranteed the team will make the playoffs. But honestly, do you see eleven wins on their schedule? And it will take eleven to get into the playoffs. Things may be different come September. But with the Ravens and Steelers in the Bengals division, with the Titans, Texans, Jags, Dolphins and Bills as legit candidates for the the two wild cards, exactly how does Cincinnati get into the playoffs?

2010, with Rey Maualuga and Andre Smith with a year under their belts? Different story.

Shaq is going to make LeBron better? Really?

One of my guests this Sunday on 700 WLW (9am-Noon ET) will be college football guhru Phil Steele. His pre-season magazine is a 'must get' for any real fan. He'll join me at 10:05 am.

Geoff Hobson from, former Bengal Eric Thomas and WEBN's Wildman Walker join George Vogel and me on Sports Rock this Sunday night 11:35pm on WLWT in Cincinnati.

I read where Seleena Roberts' book on Alex Rodriguez has sold a grand total of 16,000 copies. Can you say 'Bargain Rack at Barnes & Noble" by September? I get the feeling no one who actually reads books (an increasingly aging demo) cares about steroids and human growth hormones.

Watching the Pittsburgh Penguins parade around that city's downtown with the Stanley Cup makes me wonder if a scene like that might've been possible in Cincinnati. In 1979, when the NHL 'expanded' (it refused to call it a merger) the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers were offered an option: pony up a franchise fee and join the NHL or take a cash buyout and fold. The Stingers money guys, which included current Reds' owner Bob Castellini, took the money and ran.

I think the NHL would have been big in Cincinnati. We'll never know.

Whatever happened to original Stingers Dennis Sobchuck, or Dale Smedsmo?

If the Minnesota Vikings actually sign Brett Favre, they deserve him. I thought only wide receivers were allowed to be divas.

Anybody notice, that with 18 games to go BEFORE the halfway point of this 2009 baseball season, the Nationals Adam Dunn has 18 home runs and 46 rbi? He's averaged 40/100 over the last five seasons. And the Reds did absolutely nothing in the off season to replace the numbers Dunn took away with him.

Just askin'....

Not a great joke, but worth a smile: guy walks into a bar with a pile of asphalt on his shouler. He says to the bartender "Gimmee a beer, and give me one for the road"

Baboom-ching. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To me, football has always been the ultimate team game. Rarely do you see one player carry a team for an entire game, let alone a season. In baseball, you can ride behind a hot hitter. In basketball, does anyone doubt that the Lakers are where they are today because of Kobe Bryant. In Cleveland, take away Lebron, and you’ve got a team that would struggle to win 25-games a season.

But in football, you can often extract one player from a championship team and chances are, it would continue to compete at that level. Oh, yeah, there are exceptions. Take Tom Brady away from the Patriots, Peyton Manning from the Colts, you’ve got problems. But by and large, football is a game that’s won or lost on how well eleven players execute a game plan.

You can run 50 plays in an NFL game and if only one player messes up on each play, the team has 50-botched plays. But if all eleven players execute all 50 plays perfectly, you’re probably winning, and big.

Football is a game where coaches, more than any other sport, want control. It’s why you see these OTA’s and mini camps. It’s a game where authority matters above all else. You don’t see it in the NBA, that’s anything but a coach’s league. And in baseball, the high school kid drafted in round one may make more in bonus money than a manager will make in ten years. Money always trumps authority.

The Bengals have had trouble embracing the team concept. They haven’t been a collection of renegades. But they’ve had a few too many go off the reservation. Carl Pickens was a trailblazer. Corey Dillon perfected that act. And when you mix in the garden variety of arrests, we have what we’ve had around here for far too long.

I raise that today, because Ochocinco is back in town. He didn’t come riding down Vine Street like John Wayne, or even like Mongo in Blazing Saddles. Ochocinco slipped into Cincinnati Monday night and by nueve o’clock on Tuesday was at Paul Brown Stadium. Forget that he missed all of the voluntary workouts up until now, Ochocino was in town and open for business. He arrived after an appearance on the NFL Network where he said, he was in tip top shape, something he wasn’t in this time a year ago because, well, he really wanted out of here. Now, he doesn’t. He ran, caught passes, went to the gym and boxed on his own this winter and proclaimed himself ready for the upcoming NFL season. And while some of us, who’ve heard things like this from the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson before, a lot of us said OK, finally. It’s 2005 all over again. Except…

By early Wednesday night, Chad was twittering. And he was claiming to have gone quasi-Tyson. He had pictures of tattoos that were put on his face by somebody who had just left his house. A map of Florida on one cheek. Couple of crosses on the other and the initials OC on the bridge of his nose.

We had to investigate. I sent a crew from channel 5 to track Chad down at a restaurant in Kenwood. He also twittered that he’d be eating there. We found him. He didn’t want to talk on camera. And we were cool with that. But the pictures we took clearly showed the artwork on his face. A big deal, considering that this is a guy who reportedly fancies himself as a television or movie star when his playing days are over.

But by Thursday morning, that tatts were gone. Or almost. Some of the magic marker, or whatever it was, was still on his face. It all played out, in front of the cameras and reporters gathered around his locker, our first chance to talk with Ochocinco since the end of last season. The rest of the Bengals had been working up a sweat for most of the spring. But on his first day back, it was all about Chad. He said that he had punked his twitter followers and the media. The media gets punked all the time. The eight thousand or so people who were following Chad, well, welcome to our world.

And I wonder. Did we simply feed the beast? Or does the beast demand feeding. And in the ultimate team sport, how did the guy who always likes to break from the team (this is the same guy who said on Thursday that of course the HBO show Hard Knocks will feature him big this summer. What other story lines are on the team)….I wondered, how did this guy come off to the rest of his team mates? We don’t know. They gave us a half an hour in the locker room to collect interviews. Chad consumed 25 minutes.

In the small but vocal world of “look at me” athletes, Ochocinco is right up there. But it’s all harmless, to you and to me. We never get hurt. I like the guy. I don’t know him well. But I know that when he’s serious about playing football, there is no tougher wide receiver to cover. He is the provider of great fodder for radio, television stations and newspapers. In this business, in these days, you can’t get enough of that.

But I wonder if Marvin Lewis didn’t cringe, or do something worse, when he got wind of the tattoo tale this week. He’d never say it, would probably deny it, but my guess is his reaction was something along the line of , here we go again. He better get used to it. There were only four cameras in the Bengals locker room Thursday. HBO is bringing ten to Georgetown next month.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So the Ochocinco photos are 'fake'. Chad twittered the world Wednesday night with photos of tattooes on his face. He posted them and wrote all about it. He has, at last count, over 5,400 followers on his twitter account.

Then, he tweets that he's having dinner at Red Lobster in Kenwood. So we sent our producer there to see if Ochocinco would talk. Our crew waited until Chad left the restaurant and approached him. He declined to talk, but our video clearly shows that he had indeed three 'tattooes' on his face. Today, those 'tatts' were gone, apparently just some ink or magic marker he had someone place on his face. Again, he was out in public with this on his kisser last night.

Today, he tweeted to his legion of followers that he "punked the twitter world and the media". I'll bet his fans like that. The media? Who weeps for us?

But ask youself this: might there be something wrong with an adult (he's 31) walking around with ink on his face, removable tattooes? Might there be a problem with attention compulsion?

I like the guy. I think he's a lot better football player than some of the fans around here give him credit for. But I also think the dude has a problem.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's not like Mike Tyson, but it's on the same road. Ochocinco, the artist formerly known at Chad Johnson, has 'tatted up' his face. He shied away from the News 5 cameras tonight. But, in Chad unique style, posted pictures of himself on the internet with his 'new look'.
On his right cheek are two crosses. Here's a shot (left) of his left cheek, where he's got the map of Florida tattooed. On the bridge of his nose are the letters "OC", interlocked.
News 5 producer, Nicky Lewis tried to get Chad to talk about his latest image adjustment. But Johnson refused to comment, telling Lewis to 'show up tomorrow', when the Bengals will have an open locker room and he would talk about it then. Lewis also gave the intrepid Lewis a kiss on her cheek, before leaving a suburban Cincinnati restaurant.
So what should we make of this? Chad being Chad (or Ocho being Cinco?) Nothing. But if the guy was so adamant about being focused on football this season (as we heard in his NFL Network appearance last week) why then this?
Just posted on my web site is the latest Broo View Podcast. In this current episode is an in depth interview with sports psychologist, Dr. Barbara Walker, about the influence stress has on elite athletes. Timely, I think, given the Joey Votto situation. Also on the front page of is an interview with former NFL safety, Matt Bowen (Redskins, Bills, Packers and Rams) who lists his impact players in the NFL this coming season. Wait 'til you hear his pick for your Cincinnati Bengals.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A wonderfully gifted and funny man died this weekend, far to young. Shad O'Shea was a local Cincinnati legend, a throwback to the time when radio was fun and very important in people's everyday lives. He was 'old school', with the wit and irreverence of modern day. He knew the difference between engaging a listener and simply reading liners and giving time checks. He worked at radio stations from California to Louisiana to Ohio, and some places in between. Shad, before running a successful recording studio and owning the Fraternity record label, live the nomadic life of a rock and roll DJ in the 50's and 60's. He worked with talent that would go onto work at some of the biggest rock and roll radio stations in the USA, and some that would never get out of the 500 watt station they were stuck at. He treated everyone the same.

I met Shad a few years ago. He treated me like I knew him forever. He helped me with a project I was working on when I freelanced at WGRR-FM in Cincinnati, recounting stories of his time as a DJ and some of the characters in the music business he ran into along the way.

He wasn't old, and to my knowlege at least, wasn't in poor health. But now he's gone. A good ole boy, as we like to say in the broadcasting business. Arf, arf Shad. You were a bona fide original.

I got to thinking about this the other night, one of those things that hits you when you’re up too late and you can’t get to sleep. You know how it goes.

I was thinking about virtues. I don’t know why, maybe it was the bourbon. Maybe it was one of those Catholic High School flashbacks that haunt a lot of us. As I recall, or as I recall the good Christian Brothers of Ireland beating into me, there are seven virtues in life, Plato and Aristotle had a hand in it. The Church got involved, Cardinal and Theological stuff. Prudence and justice are virtues. So are faith, love and charity. Hope is right up there. But maybe the toughest virtue for all of us in the super hit seven is restraint. Patience would be another word for it. And I got to thinking about how that virtue applies to your Cincinnati Reds.

That team tries our patience, doesn’t it? Not quite as much as your Cincinnati Bengals, of course, but the Reds are getting there.

Patience is lost in this 300 TV channel instant internet universe we live in. We don’t want to wait for anything. We want it now, last Thursday, if possible. So when a team preaches patience and it hasn’t won significantly in over a decade, patience is the last thing a fan wants to hear.

What has it been for the Reds, one winning season since 2000, two since 1995? If you’re under 20, you have no recolection of the Reds in the post season playoffs.

That’s the kind of stuff that tries patience. That’s why we want it now. Delayed gratification? Define delayed.

This season is rolling on and the time to get things right is rapidly ending. We begin today with the Reds three and a half games out of first place, a team with terrific talent as some positions, serviceable talent at others and some guys who might be better off in places like Louisville or Scranton.

As the season rolls on, the Reds are a team that is beginning to offer more questions than answers. And we’ve been here before, haven’t we?

What do you do with Jay Bruce? He couldn’t hit a beach ball right now. His batting average has slipped to .212. He strikes about as often as his hero Adam Dunn. He looks lost. So if you’re the Reds what do you do with Bruce? How do you fix the player who’s the face of your future? Send him to “AAA” and let him find his swing there? I’ve heard that suggestion a lot this week. You think that discovery is waiting for him in Louisville? Against minor league pitching? The kind of pitching Bruce devoured on his meteoric rise to Major League Baseball.

Do you bench him? Ok, who else you got? And by sitting on the bench he’ll find his swing again by doing what, spitting sunflower seeds onto the dugout floor?

What do you do with Homer Bailey? I’ve said on this show that I believe Bailey will not pitch another meaningful game for the Cincinnati Reds this season. He’s inconsistent in “AAA” (incidentally, the same place you might’ve suggested the Reds send Jay Bruce) and when Bailey has arrived in Cincinnati, he’s brought with him great stuff and horrid control. Homer Bailey has been traded about six dozen times on talk radio in this town since we last saw him a couple of weeks ago. I heard someone call in after one game and suggest the Reds should just release Bailey.


Maybe the Reds front office has it because it knows that the last thing you turn and run from is raw talent, particularly young, raw talent. It probably also has something to do with money. It’s always about money, and young players like Bruce and Bailey are years away from being expensive players.

But probably it’s about patience. The smart guys at Great American Ball Park seem to be going down that road, maybe with no other choice.

Maybe we should too. Plato and Aristotle would be proud. And after all they have the ears of the Gods

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

At some point, the Reds will have their Opening Day 25 man roster together again. When? The latest to go on the shelf, of course, is Joey Votto and Edinson Volquez. Now, Willy Tavares is out of the line up tonight in St. Louis, nursing a sore hamstring that apparently caused him to misplay a fly ball at the worst time Tuesday night. There's only so long you can juggle a line up and expect to win. I sense that time is quickly approaching for your Cincinnati Reds.

Just posted, the latest Broo View Podcast. It's on the front page of I've got some comments from Carson Palmer, about how he believes the offense will be better, and different, in 2009. And I also have an in depth interview with Josh Peter, of on the NFL's inordinate number of DUI arrests since 2000. The number will astound you. If you're on the fly, you can download Broo View Episode 209 here. It's worth the listen.

I told Bengals safety, Chinedum Ndukwe that I'm following him on twitter. He told me he's selling his restaurant, or at least his stake in it, in Mt. Adams. Bummer. I hope the food continues to be as good as its been with Chinedum's money in it.

I don't believe for a minute that the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to win the Stanley Cup this year. They'd have to win twice in Detroit to do that (in games 5 and 7 no less) and that's not happening. But I'm glad it's not a sweep. These are the two best teams in the NHL, but the Red Wings are light years ahead of everyone else.

Good Cincinnati story line in the Cup finals. Mike Babcock coached the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (where there was such an animal) and one of his players was current Pens Coach Dan Bylsma. They teamed up in Anaheim a few years ago to win a Stanley Cup. Now their on opposite benches. Just goes to prove, if you follow minor league sports, you never know who might do what, later in life.

NBA? Lakers in six. It can't go seven, because I don't think there's anyway the Lakers lose a game 7 on their home court. But Dwight Howard is amazing. I just saw a pregame interview with him a few minutes ago. Howard's shoulders are so wide, I think a small plane could lane on them.