Friday, June 7, 2013

News and notes from week 10

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Whoops! My bad! I made huge mistake last week when I erroneously said the Pointer Sisters performed “We Are Family”, when it was actually Sister Sledge. Thanks to Gary Maloy of Jacksonville, Florida for pointing that out. And to think, I used to be a disc jockey!

I want to extend my condolences to the family of NFL legend Deacon Jones. As a child I remember watching Mr. Jones toward the end of his career. Mr. Jones was a towering, intimidating defensive force who revolutionized the way the game was played and is commonly credited with coining the phrase “Sacking the Quarterback.”

I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to the newest member of A.A.R.P.; my cousin Debbie Houser of Vale, North Carolina. (In case you don’t know, you have to be at least 50 to join A.A.R.P.) Don’t worry cuz; I’ll be there in October.

I’ve been sitting by the phone waiting for an MLB team to draft me; of course I’ve been waiting about thirty years now.

With my age, 49, I’m a perfect fit for the “veteran” New York Yankees. I probably could start in left field by Monday.

Speaking of old; my little boy asked me the other day if the world was in black and white when I was his age. I told him color wasn’t invented until I was twelve.

The “Foot In the Mouth” Award winner this week is……Ohio State president Gordon Gee for his remarks about Catholics and the Southeastern Conference. Excuse me Mr. Gee the difference is that Catholics will pray you out of Hell; the S.E.C. teams will just beat the hell out of the Buckeyes.

Our “I Can’t Seem to Find the Target” Award goes to…..Pirates pitcher Mike Zagurski, who, last Friday, promptly hit Brandon Phillips on his first pitch, then proceeded to uncork three wild pitches, one allowing the Reds to score, along with walking four, once with the bases loaded. Not bad for one and two third innings of work.

Useless trivia; On May 1, 1974 Pittsburgh pitcher Dock Ellis deliberately hit, in succession, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen. Ellis walked Tony Perez after unsuccessfully trying to hit him, as if that wasn’t enough; Ellis tried to drill Johnny Bench. Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh went to the mound and, as Al Oliver would write later, said to Ellis “Dock, it looks like you don’t have your good stuff tonight.” For what it’s worth, the Reds won the game 5 – 3.

That was some really cool throwback uniforms the Reds and Pirates wore on Saturday. I liked the Pirates Homestead Grays, but I loved the Reds Cincinnati Tigers Negro League uniforms. I’d love to see the Reds wear those uniforms more often

Was that the left handed version of Satchel Paige pitching Saturday night for Pittsburgh?

Look, I really don’t care if an opponent’s pitcher gets 27 strikeouts in a game….as long as the Reds win.

Thirty years ago, I attended a Negro League Tribute hosted by the Appalachian League’s Paintsville KY Brewers. I had the distinct honor to speak to one of the players, unfortunately I can’t remember his name, but to hear his stories about playing with and against baseball legends Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Buck O’Neil were absolutely priceless. I could have talked with him for hours, maybe even days.

You know, I’m still a little upset with the Veterans Committee for not electing Buck O’Neil to the Baseball Hall of Fame while he was still alive. The Hall of Fame began an honorary lifetime achievement award named for O’Neil in 2008.

More useless trivia; famous alumni of the Paintsville KY Rookie League teams include, MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac, and former Reds outfielder Glenn Braggs were teammates on the Paintsville Brewers in 1983. Reds 1990 World Series MVP Jose Rijo played for Paintsville in 1982, and former ESPN baseball analyst Orestes Destrade was a Paintsville Yankee in 1981.

A huge rival for Paintsville was the Pikeville KY Cubs located about 40 miles south of Paintsville on U.S. 23. Noted Pikeville alumni; some little known pitcher named Greg Maddux, maybe you’ve heard of him.

Of the remaining 29 Major League baseball teams, I’d never, ever guess the New York Mets would sweep the New York Yankees in a four game series.

I saw where golfer Andrew Dodt recorded two holes-in-one during a round last week. Big deal! I’ve gotten two aces in a round before…at a local putt-putt golf course.

The Eternal Optimist; Hey, Manny Parra did strike out the side in the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.

The Realist; The Colorado Rockies lit up Parra for three runs on four hits.

The Truth; Manny Parra wasn’t the only Cincinnati pitcher the Rockies thumped Wednesday night.

Is it still considered a come from behind win since Colorado trailed the Reds 4 – 1 after the first inning?

The last time the Reds gave up 20 or more hits in a game was that franchise setting 22 – 1 rectum kicking by Philadelphia on July 6, 2009.

Do you think the Phillies Domonic Brown will get hot this season? (Sarcasm intended)

Up until Monday night I was happily ignorant of the name Yasiel Puig, now the media has practically given him the N.L. Rookie of the Year award after just his second game.

The Reds have won only two of six at St. Louis; nine of the remaining twelve games versus the Cardinals this season are in Cincinnati. The schedule makers have been very kind to the Cardinals this early in the season, while the Reds have played impressively against some stiff competition. The driver’s seat for the Central Division is up for grabs this weekend, sweep St. Louis and we’ll be tied for the division come Monday morning, get swept by the Cardinals and face a tough six game deficit. A Reds sweep is possible, but I’d be very satisfied with two wins this weekend. Sunday’s game is very scary, the Reds rarely play well on Sunday Night Baseball. It’s finally here, the series we’ve waited for since the season began, and the Reds can certainly make a huge statement this weekend. It’s put up or shut up time.

Have a blessed week, GO REDS!

Dan Howard

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