The Reds signed LH reliever Manny Parra to 1-year contract and designated for assignment RHP Todd Redmond. Parra was 3-10 5.06 ERA last season. The 30-year old made 16 starts and 26 relief appearances in 2012. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports the deal is worth $1-million, with a chance for additional incentives. Parra limited LHB to a .229 BA last year, RHB hit .296. Parra's career stats.
Bullpen options for Reds:
I count 11 pitchers for 7 spots
LHP Chapman *if begins season in pen
Red sign catcher Miguel Olivo to a minor leauge deal
Who is Miguel Olivo?
34 year old, RH hitting catcher
2012: .222, 12 HR, 29 RBI with Mariners
Career stats: 11 years, 1,083 games, .241 BA, 141 HR, 479 RBI
2009 with Kansas City: .249-23-65
2011 with Seattle: .224-16-62
Olivo has 8 ML seasons of at least 12 HR and 5 ML seasons with at least 58 RBI. He has a seemingly impossible career OBP of .275.
Olivo has caught 2 no-hitters in career: Anibal Sanchez, '06 and Ubaldo Jimmenez '10
Olivo has thrown out 34% of runners attempting to steal.
He threw out at least 20 runners in a season three times.
He has 99 career pass balls, 2nd among active catchers, including seasons of 16, 11, 10, 10, 10.
He led AL in pass balls four times.
He has 80 career errors, including leading AL in errors three times.
What does it mean?
Does Olivo become last year's Dioner Navarro, a veteran catcher signed as insurance to play at AAA?
Does this mean Devin Mesoraco is going back to AAA to get every day playing time and Olivo is the back-up to Hanigan?
I'd bet Olivo is AAA insurance for the time being.
NBA action is fantastic
I'm off today. Casey's favorite NBA team is the Miami Heat.
I bought tickets to Pacers vs Heat tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Congrats to Steve Specht
Steve Specht of St. Xavier is the winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award, the NFL announced today.
As the national Shula Award winner, Specht will receive $25,000, of which $15,000 will go to the St. Xavier football program. Specht is a guest of the NFL this week at the Super Bowl, and he was congratulated by Shula today at a news conference in New Orleans.
Specht is a former winner of the Paul Brown Excellence in Coaching award, presented annually by the Bengals to an outstanding high school football coach in the Cincinnati region. Specht was the Paul Brown winner for the 2005 season.
Specht was among 45 original nominees for the Shula Award.
“The Bengals offer Steve our most enthusiastic congratulations on this national honor,” said Bengals president Mike Brown. “It’s a joy for us to hear. Steve is a leader among the exceptionally strong community of high school coaches we have in our area, and his selection is a tribute to all of them. The Bengals are fortunate to be in a community where the football foundation is so strong, and of course we are proud to have one of our Paul Brown Award winners achieve this distinction.”
Nominations for the Shula Award include submissions from NFL players, and Specht was nominated by one of his former St. Xavier players, DE Greg Scruggs of the Seattle Seahawks.
The Shula Award selection panel is a 10-person body including Coach Shula, Tony Dungy, John Madden and Condoleeza Rice.
High school basketball
Check out Steve Alford's son, Bryce. He is 6'3 175, and will play for his dad at New Mexico next season. He currently plays for La Cueva High School, a public high school located in northeast Albuquerque. This season, as a senior, he's averaging 38 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assist per game. Last week he scored 43 in a game and had a game of 37 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists. He has over 2,100 points in his career. He is trying to lead his team to a 2nd state title in four seasons.
Ever see this before?
Reds sign 2nd overall pick in 2006 draft
Greg Reynolds, who was once the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Rockies, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Reds.
At this point Reynolds is little more than minor-league filler despite still being just 27 years old. Reynolds has a 7.47 ERA in 94 career innings as a big leaguer and a 4.88 ERA in the minors. He basically never looked like much of a prospect, which is pretty tough to do as college pitcher who was the second overall pick.
1. Luke Hochevar, Kansas City
2. Greg Reynolds, Colorado
3. Evan Longoria, Tampa
7. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
8. Drew Stubbs, CIN
10. Tim Lincecum, SF
Career/bio for Greg Reynolds
(Photo: John Ueland, WSJ)
22 more rules of the Super Bowl party
Wall Street Journal
1. A Super Bowl Party is just a bunch of smart-alecks making pithy wisecracks about a mass cultural event. It's like Twitter, but with people.
10. Chili, not soup. Never soup. There once was a man who served soup at his Super Bowl Party, and he was never visited by his friends or family again.
Super Bowl Buckeyes & Super Stats
77 appearances at the Super Bowl for Ohio State Buckeyes; 29 have won rings.
From Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State football program is, once again, well represented at the Super Bowl with four former players – San Francisco 49ers’ RG Alex Boone, WR Ted Ginn, LB Larry Grant and S Donte Whitner – just three days from playing in Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens at the Super Dome in New Orleans.
This Buckeye contingent at the Super Bowl is tied for the second-most number of players from one school (Miami, 7) at the game. The players’ appearance also marks the 15th consecutive year a former Buckeye has made the Super Bowl. Only Nebraska (20 consecutive years) has been represented consecutively in the Super Bowl longer than Ohio State.
Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel is tied with the great Jim Marshall among Buckeyes with four appearances in the Super Bowl. Vrabel leads all Buckeyes with three Super Bowl rings. A total of 29 Buckeyes have been on a Super Bowl-winning team and they have combined for a total of 35 rings.
Multiple Super Bowl Champions
3 – Mike Vrabel New England – 2008, 2005 and 2004
2 – Pepper Johnson New York Giants – 1991 and 1987
2 – William Roberts New York Giants – 1991 and 1987
2 – John Frank San Francisco 49ers – 1989 and 1985
2 – Morris Bradshaw Oakland Raiders – 1981 and 1977
Here are some more Super Bowl notes and numbers.
*The most Buckeyes in one Super Bowl is five, and this happened twice: in 1977 at Super Bowl XI with Len Willis and Jim Marshall representing Minnesota and Jack Tatum, Morris Bradshaw and Neal Colzie representing Oakland. In 2000, at Super Bowl XXXIV, Eddie George and Chris Sanders played for Tennessee while Orlando Pace, Lorenzo Styles and Joe Germaine represented the St. Louis Rams.
*This year’s contingent of 49ers is tied for the third-largest Buckeye representation at the Super Bowl with the 2011 game that featured Will Allen with Pittsburgh and A.J. Hawk, Ryan Pickett and Matt Wilhelm with Green Bay.
*This year marks only the second time one team has had as many as four Buckeyes on its Super Bowl roster: in 1997 William Roberts, Terry Glenn, Keith Byars and Tom Tupa all played for New England.
*Santonio Holmes was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII. He caught nine passes for 131 yards, including a game-winning, 6-yard touchdown catch from Ben Rothlisberger with 35 seconds to play in Pittsburgh’s 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
*Six Buckeyes have played on two different teams that reached Super Bowls: Bob Brudzinski (played in 1980 Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams and in 1983 and 1985 with Miami); Pete Johnson (1982 with Cincinnati and 1985 with Miami); William Roberts (1987 and 1991 with the New York Giants and 1997 with New England); Mike Tomczak (1986 with Chicago and 1996 with Pittsburgh); tom Tupa (1997 with New England and 2003 with Tampa Bay); and Ryan Pickett (2002 with St. Louis and 2011 with Green Bay).
*There are no Buckeyes – former coaches or players – coaching in this Super Bowl, but over the years 22 former Buckeyes have coached in at least one Super Bowl.
(Dana O'Neil, ESPN)
Basketball means more in Indiana
But what separates Indiana from other places with a steady hoops heartbeat -- Kentucky, Kansas, Tobacco Road -- is that here, it is not simply about the Hoosiers.
The love affair is far more personal and intimate, almost in reverse of everyplace else. It doesn't start with devotion to IU -- or even Butler's famed Hinkle Fieldhouse -- that trickles down.
It starts with the basketball goal that, by its mere presence, redefines a space from a simple driveway or hayloft into a gym, and trickles up.
Locals love to tell stories about how they played on goals nailed to pretty much anything old-fashioned ingenuity could conjure.
How 'bout the Norse?
What a story is developing with Coach Dave Bezold and his NKU Norse. In their first year at the Division One level, NKU started the season 0-6, they have gone 7-5 since. They have racked up four road wins, and are just two games out of first place in the Atlantic Sun.
From NKU last night
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Eshaunte Jones poured in 25 points, including a 3-pointer while being fouled with 26.7 seconds left in the game, as Northern Kentucky University held on for a 70-68 victory over East Tennessee State on Thursday night.
Jones made a career-high seven 3-pointers for Northern Kentucky, which improved to 7-11 overall, 5-5 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. His final trey, which banked in after he was fouled taking the shot from the left wing, resulted in a four-point play that extended a 66-65 Norse lead to 70-65.
“I did not mean to bank it in at all, but the shot clock was winding down and I had a good look,” Jones said. “The defender hit me just as I released it, and thankfully it went in.”
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