Friday, July 2, 2010

What a Start!

What a start to the road trip for the Reds. And what a start for Travis Wood yesterday and Bronson Arroyo today. A lot has been made of the veteran influences on this team, and rightly so. Scott Rolen, Orlando Cabrera, Gomes, Hernandez, and on and on it goes. Winners. But pitching might be the main ingredient for any team making a run at the division title. The Reds are showing they are deeper in starting pitching than at any I time I can remember. Bailey gets hurt, up comes Sam LeCure for a decent stretch. Then it's Travis time and he fires a gem in his debut. With Volquez on the horizon, it bodes well for the Reds and they try to establish themselves as a legitimate contender. It wasn't that long ago I was still fretting over the Reds run differential for the season. After today's 12-0 thumping of the Cubs at Wrigley the Reds are now plus 40 on the season. One more week like the last one and they are stamped "Legitimate".

The NBA free agency circus is really a lot of fun to watch. Billionaires flying to Cleveland to grovel at the feet of LeBron James. LeBron showing up in tee shirts and sweatpants, able to toy with the rich guys. I don't think LeBron would really toy with them because he appears to be a class act, but he could and the billionaires wouldn't care. It really is something that it has come to this. As fellow WLWT employee John London remarked Friday afternoon, what must the guys like Wilt Chamberlain be thinking when they traveled by bus to most of their games in the old days of the NBA? It's just further proof that the best players have the hammer now, and they should. The NBA has a fine system and it is working to perfection right now.

The NFL system works fairly well too, but I really hope the next CBA has more of a slotting system when it comes to contracts for first round picks. Keep the revenue pool large for player salaries, but please have most of it go to veterans. Why am I thinking of this now? The Utah Jazz have already signed first round pick Gordon Hayward. No holdout, no bitterness, just go by the system and when you prove your worth son, you'll get your money like LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Does it really make any sense that Andre Smith of the Bengals gets a bigger contract than say, Dhani Jones or Brandon Johnson?

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