The Jerry Palm Reader
Find out which teams need to win or lose to directly help each team's RPI each day with the Jerry Palm Reader.
Bracketology from Joe Lunardi
4 Butler, Ohio State
Bracket watch from SI
3 Louisville Butler
5 Ohio State
Reds and Latos agree: 2 years, $11.5M
Reds, Baker eager to erase postseason disappointment
The Sporting News
Despite last season’s postseason failure, Baker believes the Reds are ready to win this season.
“I know that we’re close,” Baker said. “I like this team; they like each other. This is as close to a family situation (on a team) that I’ve felt in a while.”
MLB Network aired a special on the history of the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon. It's 90-minutes, and it is spectacular. The footage of the 1919 World Series is very cool. They have a ton of interviews. I got the DVD about two years ago. MLB Network will re-air on Sunday at 2pm and next Tuesday at 1pm. Loved these quotes
“You guys are of the right age, you have the talent, it’s time for you to win.”
-Lou Piniella when he took over Reds in 1990
“I’ve got a World Series ring and trophy, he doesn’t have anything but dirty shoes from jumping up and down.”
-Jack Billingham on Carlton Fisk Game 6 HR
6:05, Reds Hot Stove
7:05, Sports Talk
7:30, UC basketball
Reds: Pitchers and catchers report + the Michael Bourn contract
Choo on CF: 'I'll try'
Did you miss him?
Bryan Price joined me on Sports Talk last night. He talked about his pitching staff, why he thinks Aroldis Chapman to the rotation is the right move, why he believes Homer Bailey turning the corner last year and if Mike Leake can pitch out of the bullpen. Listen here:
Pitching, pitching, pitching
I've been thinking about the state of pitching for the Reds, since talking to Bryan Price last night. Consider how good the Reds have it, and how far the organization has come. The Reds team ERA last season was 3.34, the first time it has been under 4.00 since 1999 and the best since 1972 (3.21). Pitchers and catchers report today and the Reds have compiled one of the best rotations in baseball, a solid bullpen and pitching depth in the system. The Reds are not looking for an ace, they are not scrambling to fill out the rotation. They have drafted, developed, traded for and signed arms for this rotation.
Drafted: Homer Bailey, Mike Leake
Traded for: Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo
International free agent: Aroldis Chapman
Amateur free agents: Johnny Cueto
Draft pipeline Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino, Robert Stephenson, Nick Travieso.
Remember the days of drafting Ty Howington, Chris Grueler, Ryan Wagner and Jeremy Sowers? Remember all the re-treads signed, fliers taken and dumpster diving for arms? Consider names that popped up in the Reds starting rotation over the years:
2009: Micah Owings, Justin Lehr, Kip Wells
2008: Josh Fogg made 14 starts with 7.58 ERA
2007: Bobby Livingston, Tom Shearn, Kirk Sarloos, Matt Belisle, Phil Dumatrait.
2006: Brandon Claussen, Elizardo Ramirez, Chris Mihalak, Joe Mays
2005: Ramon Ortiz, Eric Milton (6.47 ERA in 34 starts, Luke Hudson (6.38 in 16 starts)
2004: Jose Acevedo, Todd Van Poppel
2003: Danny Graves, John Riedling
2002: Jimmy Haynes, Joey Hamilton, Brian Moehler, Jared Fernandez
Sore elbow forces Angels' Ryan Madson to shut down rehab
Indians sign Bourn
The Indians also got Bourn at a fair price. The $12 million AAV (average annual value) is the highest ever for a player who never hit more than 12 home runs or topped a .400 slugging percentage, and it's better than the other speed stars who got big deals, such as Juan Pierre, who once got $44 million over five years from the Dodgers, and Angel Pagan, who got $40 million over four from the Giants this winter.
4-year deal with Michael Bourn:
$7 million 2013
$13.5 million 2014
$13.5 million 2015
$14 million 2016
(Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Bourn or Choo?
I've had this idea presented by many listeners: Would the Reds have been better off signing Bourn instead of trading for Choo? Take your pick.
A: Acquire Shin-Soo Choo for Drew Stubbs and Di Di Gregorius. Rent Choo for one season. Play him out of position. Indians pay $3.5M of his $7.37M. Get a 1st round draft pick when Choo leaves after '13, assuming Reds make qualifying offer to him.
B. Wait until market settled and roll dice they could have gotten Michael Bourn for 4-years, $48M, with a vesting option for a 5th year. Have a Gold Glove CF. Give up '13 first round pick as compensation.
Let's slow down with the revisionist second guess. For one, I don't see how the money would have worked. I guess they could have passed on Ryan Ludwick, played Todd Frazier in LF, Bourn in CF and used Hannahan/Rolen as a 3B platoon. But Ludwick got a $2M bonus and makes just $1M this year. Bourn gets $7M this year. And you still have Rolen's money.
What if the Reds had gambled and lost out on Bourn to another team? What about Billy Hamilton? Signing Bourn would have thrown up a road block, unless they were going to play Hamilton in LF and not sign Ryan Ludwick. Can't imagine an OF of Bourn and Hamilton, with their lack of power. I'm happy buying Hamilton a season at AAA and trying to plug him in at GABP next year. Plus, I'll gladly keep the Reds first round pick and get another first round pick when Choo walks. I'll take option A. How about you?
15 worst contracts in MLB.....no Reds on this list
Pro Football Focus ranks the free agent RB class....see anyone you like?
USA Today: Best NFL free agents by position
Mick Cronin from his radio show, 700 WLW, last night:
On Cashmere Wright:
"The truth of it is we haven't been the same since Cash's injury...and not practicing has affected his conditioning...but he's gutting it out."
"He needs to play, to get back in shape. Resting him would hurt him."
On offensive issues:
"With all due respect to everybody, (offense and shooting) that's not our problem. The problem is bad defense. Pitt shot 45% against us in our gym. They had four dunks against us in the 2nd half. That's never happened against one of my teams.
"If we play the defense we are capable of we are up 10-15 points vs Pitt."
"You can control being a great defense team. We were earlier in the year. That's who we need to be. You've got to be able to win when you don't make shots. When you make shots you should win easy."
"All you can control on offense is excuting and getting good shots. We can control our defense"
Listen to podcast here:
All due respect to Mick.........
I appreciate the importance of defense, and turning defense into offense to get easier baskets, but UC has shot less than 38% in six consecutive games: .308, .375, .367, .375, .327, .345. UC has shot less than 39% in 11 of their last 14 games. The Bearcats are the Bengals without AJ Green on offense.
Last week, UC held Providence to 42% shooting, 3-17 on 3's, out rebounded them by 7 and lost. Why?, because UC shot just .375 and managed just 50 points.
UC's defense smothers Big East teams:
60.3 Scoring (4th of 15 teams)
.418 FG (8th)
.295 3PT (3rd)
Overall, the Bearcats are 11th in the NCAA in field-goal defense at .378.
Mick says life in the Big East is a nightly scrum, with points being hard to come buy. That's true, but the problem is UC is near the bottom of the Big East scrum when it comes to scoring:
61.8 Points (12th)
.382 FG (14th).
.286 3PT (12th), Sean Kilpatrick .313, Cashmere Wright .262
.696 FT (10th)
Nationally, UC is 257th in shooting at .416.
UC's is getting little from the front line and has a backcourt settling for three-point shots and not handling the ball that well. 60% of Wright and Kilpatrick's Big East field goal attempts are three-point shots, they are hitting just 29%. Wright, Kilpatrick and Parker have 65 assists and 67 turnovers in conference play. Titus Rubles is shooting a mind numbing .264 in conference play. Back-up point guard Ge'Lawn Guyn has three assists in 109 conference minutes. Kilpatrick and Wright are averaging 30.3 of the team's 61.8 points (49%) in the Big East. The situation is unlikely to change this season, they are what they are. With a gimpy Wright, they are actually less that what they are. Before the knee injury, Wright was scoring 15.1 a game, since the injury he's scoring 7.8 a game.
A couple of thing are clear, I would avoid the half court offense at all cost. If UC can't shoot straight then they need easier shots. If that means running and pressing and sending guys in like hockey lines, then so be it. Otherwise, there are seven games left in the regular season. UC will try to suffocate teams, attempt to get to 60 points, and hope it's enough. And then hope for the continued development of players in the off season and impact from incoming freshmen.
Things could be worse, they are 18-6/6-5, ranked 35th in RPI and projected as a 6-seed for the NCAA tournament.
Rather than UK's coach, Donovan has become SEC's longest lasting UK challenger
Xavier and the Big East 7
Bobinski said if Xavier receives the expected offer from the departing Big East schools to become one of its new members then it would have to listen. It would be situation where there were like-minded schools with a common purpose. He also said that 2014 would be more realistic for any movement while 2013 could be a bit rushed, although everything is negotiable. He didn't say Xavier would definitely leave, but it sure sounded like the Musketeers have given this a lot of thought and are likely gone if asked, whenever that occurs. Xavier and Butler are expected to be first up on the docket to join Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, St. John's, Villanova, Seton Hall and Providence -- with the choice for a 10th or possibly 11th or 12th coming from a pool of Creighton (MVC), Dayton, Richmond, VCU and Saint Louis (all A-10). Of course, that's the wishful thinking of the departing seven schools.
SI swimsuit issue
I can't believe all that snow and ice....can you?