Monday, July 23, 2012

Life Without Parole For Penn State

Ok, so it's not the "Death Penalty" for Penn State, but it is darned near as harsh. This is going to cripple the program for years. Four years without a chance to play in the postseason. Players can immediately transfer without having to sit out. So why would any player stay who can find a ride with another program? They won't. I haven't figured out the full affect of the scholarship limitations but on the surface it appears crippling. Walk-ons could be playing key roles. All of a sudden the Golden Gophers of Minnesota may not be the worst team in the Big Ten. The knee-jerk reaction is to think the Nittany Lions program will never be the same. However, it is not knee-jerk to think the program will be crippled for at least a decade. And forget getting back to the days when Penn State was a feared program. They had to build a protective bubble around State College, Pennsylvania, to make that happen. Fortunately that protective bubble was ripped away. What we found inside was ugly. Thankfully that bubble appears to have received the death penalty.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

$10 Buys Bengals A Lot Of Grief

I feel all of the pain that comes with the Bengals over the past 21 years.  I understand how people feel about Mike Brown and the way he runs the team.  I'm still mystified that he continues to be stubborn when it comes to an indoor practice facility.  We could go on and on and on and on.  Over two decades of poking eyes and knocking noggins like The Three Stooges has brought us to the point where Mike Brown and The Family can do nothing right, even when they do.  The reaction to this pep-rally to kickoff training camp at Paul Brown Stadium is Through the Looking-Glass.  Season ticket holders were invited and the entry fee is 10 dollars.  That's just a little more than season ticket holders pay for one beer at a game.  Fans who pay up will hear an address from head coach Marvin Lewis and some players, hear a local band play music, and see a fireworks show.  No one is forcing anyone to do anything.  If it sounds like it is worth $10, then fine.  If not, then find something else to do that evening.  But this outcry that the Bengals are fleecing their season ticket holders is borderline lunacy.  The best thing about the outcry was a column by The Enquirer's Paul Daugherty that brought about some hearty laughs.  I may not agree with the overall message but there was some excellent comedy in that piece.  But that piece also reflects what is really the root of the issue: Mike Brown Fatigue.  It reared its ugly head in earnest about 12 years ago.  The hiring of Marvin Lewis was supposed to cure Mike Brown Fatigue, but it was nothing more than a children's aspirin for a concussion.  There has been so much damage over the years that there may not be a cure.  But there is no sense in finding issues where none exist.  There's plenty to slam Brown about over the years, but this is not one of them.  Consider that a one-day ticket at Redsfest is $17.  The pep-rally is hardly Redsfest but it is a nice start by the organization.  Just be patient fans, Brown will probably give you something legitimate to complain about soon enough.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Baker Falls Into Closer Trap

It's happened.  Thursday night in San Diego was the perfect example.  Aroldis Chapman is no longer being used when the Reds need him most.  He is being used like a traditional closer.  In other words he comes in almost exclusively when the Reds have the lead and need three outs to end the game.  That is a waste of talent, and not just any talent, but one of the best arms in major league baseball.  Some of my friends will give me the old "Mariano Rivera did it for 15 years with the Yankees" routine, and in recent years that has been the case.  But not in earlier seasons when Rivera was a young buck.  And do the Reds have the lead late in the game as often as some of Rivera's Yankees teams?  The Reds need Chapman pitching an inning or two in a tie game instead of hoping like heck the Reds get the lead and then have a chance to use him.  Plus, he is already warming up several games he doesn't appear in.  So what the????   Dusty Baker needs to use his best weapon in critical points of the game.  If that's the eighth inning, so be it.  The best arm in the league does you no good sitting in the outfield bullpen while others are costing you the game.