Monday, June 14, 2010

Conference Shakeups and Still No Relief

One good thing for Reds fans hoping the Reds fix the bullpen is that Walt Jocketty is aware of the problem, and Walt's pulled the right lever more than a few times since coming to Cincinnati. At the risk of repeating myself (okay, forget the risk, I'm repeating myself) the Reds best in-house option is to use some starters from Louisville. Or bring up a starter or two and toss some combination of Harang, LeCure, and maybe even Cueto into the bullpen. Aroldis Chapman would look good to me coming out of the Reds bullpen, but the Reds seem determined to keep him on a straight path to starting. Something needs to give, because I'm convinced the bullpen is going to kill this team. Herrera and Massett are having trouble getting people out, Owings is struggling to find the plate, and Del Rosario has allowed 7 of 9 inherited runners to score. That's not relief, that's high octane gasoline. It should say Marathon on the bullpen door with numbers like those. Even Cordero has suffered more than his share of blowups. Ondrusek has been okay since coming back and Rhodes is lights out. Two guys out of seven can be trusted at this writing, with a hopeful look towards Cordero. The rest of the guys outside of Del Rosario have shown the ability in the past to get it done, but they aren't. The way I see it the Reds have three days to figure it out. Then they head out for a six game road trip, then back home for six, three against the Phillies. Then comes a trip that could turn into Hamburger Hill. 11 games against the Cubs, Mets, and Phillies. I don't see a lot of help from the current relievers in the minors. Jared Burton is working his way back but doesn't seem to be ready. So brings up some starters and mix and match from there. Barring a trade, Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, and Chapman seem to be the best quick fix.

I don't know if Texas staying the Big 12 is good or bad for U.C. It still appears that it will come down to what the Big Ten gobbles up. Should the Big Ten want to go to 16 teams in tne next couple of years, then the Big Ten is going to poach enough teams from the Big East to cause Cincinnati trouble. If Texas had taken off for the Pac 10, along with Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Ok State, then the Big Ten could have expanded by using some Big 12 leftovers and a couple of Big East teams. There still would have been enough leftovers for the Big East to remain viable. But if the Big Ten goes for it by taking Big East teams now, as many as four could go. My gut tells me the Big Ten might be a little reluctant to go to 16 teams and leave no room for Notre Dame.

That buzzing at the World Cup has everyone annoyed, but as the USA-England game progressed, I think I became a little used to it and it became like elevator music. Annoying when someone pointed it out, but otherwise it was just there. But the players at the World Cup in South Africa are another story. They say they can't communicate on the field, and some have said they had trouble sleeping the night after a game. This is what makes sports a laugh riot. Every event has some issue, some turn of fortunes, and/or some outcomes that we never could have thought of in a million years. So blow you horns, (or vuvuzelas if you prefer) and have some fun!

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