The Bengals today returned C Kyle Cook to practice, on a roster exemption.
Cook is on the Reserve/Injured list, due to an ankle injury suffered in preseason, but he was designated for possible return under new NFL rules for 2012.
Today starts a three-week window during which Cook may practice with the team without being counted against the 53-player active roster limit. He could be added to the roster at any time during this three-week period.
Cook (6-3, 315; Michigan State) is a fifth-year NFL player. He finished last season with a streak of 50 consecutive Bengals starts, tied for longest on the team at the time.
Did you miss him?
OSU assistant coach Kerry Coombs joined me on Sports Talk last night.
He talked about his first season at Ohio State, the 19 seniors that stuck around, motivation for this team, comparing OSU-Michigan to Colerain-Elder, the what if? of having no shot at BCS title, recruiting, and his thoughts on the seasons for UC, Colerain and more.
6:05, Sports Talk
8:05, Butch Jones Show
John Rodenberg, Moeller coach
Eddie Eviston, Newport Central Catholic
Heather Mitts, soccer clinic
Christian Laettner, in town for bball clinic. See info below.
It was time
We enter year four of The Chapman Plan and once again it appears Aroldis Chapman is headed for the starting rotation. Will the move work? I have no idea. But I do know it's time to find out. Chapman grew up a starting pitcher and pitched for the Cuban National team as a starting pitcher. The Reds gave him a 6-year, $30m deal on January 10, 2010 because he was a starting pitcher.
Multiple issues have jerked Chapman's development around in his first three years.
Remember, Chapman was in the rotation last spring and was dominant. But injuries to Ryan Madson, Nick Masset and Bill Bray led to Chapman's move to bullpen.
The Jonathan Broxton signing today has put the wheels in motion for Chapman's return to the rotation.
Here are things to consider with today's news:
I don't like giving closes big dollars. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the deal is three years $21M & club option for 2016 ($4M-$7M-$9M, with $1M buyout on $9M option). Closer is the most overrated position in sports. A study by Dave Smith of Retrosheet, found that over the last 70 years a team leading by one run, entering the 9th inning, wins the game 84% of the time, no matter who is pitching. Teams win 95% of games they take a lead of any margin to the 9th inning.
I would have been fine rolling dice with Sean Marshall, JJ Hoover, Sam LeCure. Keep in mind, the Reds are already paying Marshall $4.5M, $5.5M and $6.5M over the next three years. But it's not my money and I don't know the budget that Walt Jocketty has to work with. The point is this clears the way for Chapman to start. Or, at least for the Reds to find out if he can start. Consider the potential rotation of: Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Chapman and Arroyo. I'll put that rotation up against any staff in baseball.
Why fix what's not broken?: Chapman was dominant last year. He saved 38 of 43 games (88%). He recorded 122 strikeouts in 71.2 innings with a 1.51 ERA. But keep in mind, Francisco Cordero saved 37 of 43 games (86%) in 2011. Anyone can close. The Cardinals won the 2011 World Series with eight different guys saving at least one game. The Giants won the World Series this year with a guy that had three career saves entering the season. Not anyone can be a front line starting pitcher.
If you have a stud pitcher would you rather have him throw 75 innings or 175 innings? I know, I know the argument is a closer can impact 75 games while a starter can impact only 30+ games.
Yes, there is great drama when the bullpen gate flies open to start the 9th inning and Chapman runs out. And there is something to be said for the confidence factor he brings the Reds and fear factor he creates for the opposition. But again, Coco saved games at basically the same rate in 2011. The value is in Chapman starting.
Teams haven't feared the Phillies because of closers like Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson or Jonathan Paplebon. They have feared them because of starting pitchers like Roy Halladay,Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Teams didn't fear the 90's Braves because of Mark Wholers, Greg McMichaels or Alejandro Pena. They feared the Braves because of Greg Madduz, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
Can Chapman's arm handle the added innings? He did wear down and have to be shut down due to fatigue last September. He had issues pitching back to back days, three days in a row or 4 times in 5 days. I'd argue moving to the rotation gives his arm four days rest between appearances. He obviously will see a jump in innings. What is a fair expectation after throwing 71.2 last year? He threw 118 innings in Cuba in 2009 and 109 innings for Reds (ML/AAA) in 2010. Can he get to 150? 175? Why not? They can pace him, skip him, reset rotation at All-Star break. They certainly have the bullpen depth to cover innings he can't.
Chapman won't be able to throw 104MPH into the 56h, 6th, 7th innings. But a guy like Justin Verlander seems to be able to handled that, cranking it up when needed late in games. Critics say Chapman has just one pitch, the fastball. I'd argue his 9th inning success has stunted the development of his other pitchers because he hasn't needed them. In 2012 I'd guess he threw his fastball 85+% of time, slider 10% and changeup 5%. That can and will change as he works on/needs those secondary pitches.
What happens to Mike Leake? He's the odd man out. Not sure that means you have to trade him. I would listen/explore his value, maybe in a package with Drew Stubbs. The Reds have minor leauge arms like Daniel Corcino and Tony Cingrani for desperate times. If they don't trade Leake he's added insurance against a rotation the pushed its luck with health in 2012. He could also make spot starts/pick up starts for Chapman. Or, stick him in the bullpen. Sample size is too small to say he can't do it.
This might not work. Maybe Chapman can't make the adjustments. Maybe he develops into a Cy Young candidate. The fact is in year four it's time to find out once and for all.
Reds sign Broxton
CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the signing of free agent RHP Jonathan Broxton to a three-year contract through the 2015 season with a club option for 2016.
Broxton, 28, is a 2-time All-Star (2009 & 2010). Since 2006 among Major League Baseball relievers (min 400ip) he ranks fourth in strikeouts (526), fourth in lowest homers allowed per 9 innings (0.56) and sixth in ERA (3.01).
Last season in 60 games with Kansas City and Cincinnati he went 4-5 with 27 saves and a 2.48 ERA. With the Reds he recorded all 4 saves over 4 consecutive apps from 9/11-9/19, while Aroldis Chapman rested a fatigued shoulder. Broxton allowed only 2 homers all season, on 5/16 to Baltimore's Wilson Betemit and on 9/29 at Pittsburgh to Andrew McCutchen. Between home runs he threw 42 homerless innings over 42 apps. He also allowed only one walk in his last 18 appearances.
At the 2012 trade deadline Broxton was acquired by the Reds from the Royals in exchange for RHP Juan Carlos Sulbaran and LHP Donnie Joseph.
Broxton deal w/Reds, three years $21M & club option for 2016.
Salaries of $4M-$7M-$9M, with $1M buyout on $9M option.
Broxton guarantee grows to $22M if Reds trade him. In that event, option becomes mutual option and buyout increases to $2M.
Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports, @ken_rosenthal
"The critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development. A tipping point is often considered to be a turning point."--Whatis.com
---- As I looked up that full definition I was thinking of the conference fate of the University of Cincinnati
ACC votes to add Louisville
ACC Journal Sports
As a long-time basketball power with a rising football program and a dynamic athletic director (Tom Jurich), Louisville is seen as by far the best candidate athletically. However, in terms of academics (see below) and TV market size (see bottom), the Cardinals would fit at the bottom of the existing ACC spectrum.
U.S. News & World Report University Rankings
No. 14 Navy^
No. 63 Connecticut
No. 139 Cincinnati
No. 160 Louisville
No. 170 South Florida
Cable TV Households In Current ACC States
Florida 5.2 million
Massachusetts 2.2 million
North Carolina 2.1 million
Georgia 2 million
Virginia 1.9 million
Maryland/D.C. 1.8 million
South Carolina 1 million
Cable TV Households In Potential New ACC States
Ohio (Cincinnati) 3 million
Connecticut (UConn) 1.1 million
Kentucky (Louisville) 1 million
Clip and save: FAQ about Louisville and conference realignment
More on what Louisville offers/doesn't offer:
College athletic department finances: How does UC compare to other schools?
On how importance conference security is for the university of Cincinnati:
From UC/Butch Jones press conference
“I could sit up here and give you a canned response and I’d be lying to you. If you ask any coach around the country, that security of being in a conference is critical. It’s critical for everything. I think that’s big. I do have the comfort in knowing that President Santa Ono and [Director of Athletics] Whit Babcock are doing anything and everything in their control to take care of the future of the University of Cincinnati. Those two individuals, along with our Board of Trustees have done a tremendous job. They’ve been proactive and everything is about a vision of continuing to grow and elevate all your programs. So I have that comfort level, but to sit here and tell you it’s not a concern – it is a concern because I do believe in the product that we have here. Not only on the field but off the field in terms of academics and everything that we have, our community. But make no mistake about it, everything is about an institution’s profile in whether we’re in the BIG EAST or somewhere else, I can tell you this: everyone is doing their due diligence here and that is great to see. We have a great product where it be, where it ends up whether it’s the BIG EAST or where have you. But I can tell you this: everyone is working extremely hard. And as the football coach, I can only control so many things. Just like I talked about not getting ahead of ourselves for Thursday night’s game, it’s the same with me. I have to coach this football team and make sure we’re ready to play our best football game. We’re doing anything and everything to secure the future of the University of Cincinnati.”
Steroid era players present problem for Hall of Fame voters
The Houston Astros held a news conference Monday to celebrate the inclusion of Craig Biggio on the new Hall of Fame ballot. There were no such gatherings in San Francisco for Barry Bonds, or in Boston for Roger Clemens, or in New York for Mike Piazza, or in Chicago for Sammy Sosa.
Nine rule changes MLB needs to make
When it comes to areas of improvement, I've come up with a starting nine: nine rules changes baseball should implement immediately. I have named each of the proposed rules in honor of the person most associated with the need for change.
DeCourcy: Hoosiers display endless possibilities
NKU women record first win as a Division 1 porgram:
From NKU: Doss' short jumper just before the buzzer sounded gave NKU an improbable 66-64 win over Youngstown State on Tuesday night. The shot capped an incredible late-game sequence of heroics as the Norse (1-4) rallied from an eight-point deficit (63-55) with 3:33 remaining to stun the previously unbeaten Penguins.
USGA: Proposed change to rule about anchoring putter
2013 class of Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame announced
Mike Tyson is doing what?, where?
Mike Tyson's One Man Show To Play Cincinnati
CINCINNATI, OH -After a highly successful bout on Broadway, Mike Tyson announced today that he will take his acclaimed one-man show, “MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH,” on a national tour. Helmed by renowned director Spike Lee and producer James L. Nederlander, the tour is set to play Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena on Sunday, March 24. Tickets, $250 (VIP), $100, $75, $50, & $35, go on sale this Saturday, December 1 at 10am and are available at the Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations including select Kroger stores, call 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com.
“After a successful run at the MGM in Las Vegas and on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre with Spike Lee, I’m excited to take ‘MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH’ on tour and share it with my fans across the country,” said Tyson. “’Undisputed Truth’ is my story- I'm giving my all. I’m proud to take the show nationwide, and it’s a privilege to continue working with The Nederlander Organization.”
“MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH” is a rare, personal look inside the life and mind of one of the most feared men ever to wear the heavyweight crown. Directed by Academy Award nominee Spike Lee, this riveting one-man show goes beyond the headlines, behind the scenes and between the lines to deliver a must-see theatrical knockout.
Cincinnati making strong push to join ACC
The source said Cincinnati has stepped up the push to get into the ACC in light of the Big East adding Tulane as an all-sports member and East Carolina in football on Tuesday.
UC to ACC
The question most asked of me continues to be "where do you think UC winds up in conference realignment?". Once again, I'll say what I said last Wednesday night on Sports Talk. The UC people I talk to continue to tell me they have hope, faith and confidence that UC's eventual destination is the ACC. That's all I've got. I wish I had more. I don't. I am amused by the rumors. Yesterday, I suggested on Twitter, I would pay to watch a reality TV show dealing with the media chasing coaching and realignment rumors. It could be a combination of Survivor and Big Brother. Each time a "scoop" is wrong a media member would be voted off.