Monday, August 15, 2011

Dog Days But Bradley Shines

The dog days are here and Cincinnati is left with the fading Reds and a Bengals team that started the preseason like they were a terrible team. They reminded me of the Cincinnati Bengals. They were that bad. I'm not sure what else can be said about a franchise that can't find it's own helmet with both hands, but I'll come up with something down the road. At least the tennis at Kings Island will give us a little diversion this week. My highlight for the weekend was Keegan Bradley winning the PGA Championship. A no-name, a rookie, he came out of nowhere. But oddly enough, I've been following Keegan Bradley for about a year now. Last year at the Chiquita Classic at River's Bend, I was grabbing guys off the practice green to interview. By complete chance Keegan Bradley was one of those guys. He was very approachable, friendly, and a good interview. Golf is in his blood. His father is a club pro and his aunt happens to be hall of fame golfer Pat Bradley. Also during our small talk he mentioned he had attended St. John's and was still a die-hard fan of the Red Storm. He wore his red shirt on Sunday to prove it. So after he was greased with some Big East conversation, he talked a little "mechanics of the golf game" with me. It was a treat so I kept an eye on him to make sure he finished in the Top 25 of the Nationwide Tour and made it to the PGA. He did. But you honestly aren't expecting much from the guy. Still, anytime I perused the leader board I would look for Keegan. Then back in May while on vacation I had a moment to turn on the television to see the end of the Byron Nelson Classic. Leading the pack was Keegan Bradley. I was actually pumped to see the guy win a tournament. I guess that made me a closet-fan of the kid. Now for him to win the PGA Championship is crazy. I can't imagine how he feels. But after watching his game this weekend, he might have a bunch of wins in that golf bag. He can bomb it off the tee, and his putting showed a deft downhill touch. (We won't talk about that chip on 15)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's Votto or Alonso

We'll now have to wait for the off-season, but the Reds have to make a tough decision. Or maybe it's not so tough. But they will either have to trade Yonder Alonso, or trade Joey Votto. A lot of people clamored for Alonso to play left field. Those same people were screaming "What?!" when they saw Alonso imitate a drunken Bleacher Bum on Friday and Saturday while chasing balls in the outfield. So here's the decision: you either trade Alonso or you trade Joey Votto. They both appear to be first basemen and first basemen only. Period. End of story.
Obviously Votto will bring you the most in a trade. But do you even open that door and explore moving your best hitter to another team? Different people handle that type of thing different ways. Some will see it as a slap, some will see it as business. It would be difficult to mess with a situation that clearly works so well for the Reds and Votto. Maybe Alonso makes it an easier decision by whacking the ball around at the major league level. Should he continue to do that, I would think he should fetch a decent prize in return. I'm not one to give up easily but I really don't see a future for either one in the outfield. I think you have to move one of the two before next season.

By the way, two quick observations on some new blood in town: A.J. Green is a thoroughbred. He has that "Wow" factor just running around in practice. He reminds me of one of my all-time favorite Bengals, wide receiver Isaac Curtis. A.J. is that smooth, and he's a little bigger. He also reminds me of Carl Pickens (without the 'tude) the way he goes up and claims the ball in the air. I'm never big on spending high draft picks on wide receivers, but this kid looks pretty special.
Observation Two: Dave Sappelt might be playing left field for the Reds for years to come. He looks the part. Oh, he's not 6'2", 220 lbs., but he sure looks like a ballplayer to me. The hit-robbing catch in left field Sunday was a beauty. But the best thing about Sappelt comes in the batters box. He better get the majority of the playing time out there the rest of the season.