Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring training notes and other nuggets


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Some old business; thanks to all of you who commented on my article last week from this website, the various e-mails I’ve received, and those who spoke to me personally. I hope all of you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

In addition to not having Fox Sports Ohio, Suddenlink does not offer MLB Network in this area on their cable packages. Aside from ESPN and Fox Sports, NFL Network is the only other sports network available to Suddenlink subscribers. Cincinnati Reds baseball is not available in high definition on their access channel 22, nor is it offered anywhere else on their other channels. You can watch Pittsburgh Pirates games in high definition on Root Sports HD, like anyone around here would want to do that!

One week into Spring Training and it looks like Donald Lutz and Neftali Soto have earned their place on the 25 man roster. As of Wednesday night, Lutz led the team in RBI with five while sporting a .300 batting average. Soto leads the Reds in hits with eight, including four doubles and a home run.

This spring Zack Cozart has a .455 average; I sure hope he can carry that over to a productive 2014 season.

Do you know that Billy Hamilton is tied for the team lead in stolen bases with two? Ramon Santiago also has two thefts.

Speaking of thefts, the Reds have eight steals after the first week of Spring Training as compared with five home runs. Maybe manager Bryan Price understands the importance of having speed on the base paths.

Do you think there will be any player on Cincinnati’s roster this season that will be under a bigger microscope than the Reds one hundred six million dollar man Homer Bailey? He looked good Wednesday night holding the vaunted Los Angeles Dodgers offense hitless.

I saw that White Sox slugger Adam Dunn was at the Academy Awards this past Sunday, why shouldn’t he, for seven and a half years he acted like an outfielder while playing for the Reds.

Useless Trivia; Adam Dunn played a bartender in the Best Picture nominated movie Dallas Buyers Club. Dunn also was one of the movie’s investors. Matthew McConaughey won the Best Actor Academy Award for his part in the movie. In 2006, McConaughey spent some time in this area of West Virginia during the filming of the movie We Are Marshall, an inspirational film about the rebuilding of Marshall University’s football program after most of the team was tragically killed in a plane crash on November 14, 1970.

It’s hard to believe that twenty five years have passed since Sports Illustrated broke the story on Pete Rose gambling in the March 21, 1989 issue. Pete’s on the cover the latest issue and I plan on reading the article this weekend.

A follow up to a previous post; Terry Quillen, the principal of Warfield KY. Elementary School showed me some of the artifacts baseball Hall of Famers had given him as part of a program to keep kids off drugs and involved with their education. Rollie Fingers sent an autographed picture along with an inspirational message, as did Ozzie Smith, Bert Blyleven, and 95 year old Bobby Doerr to mention a few. No Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famers has responded, yet.

For what it’s worth Reggie Jackson wanted seventy five bucks for a picture plus an additional twenty to have it signed. Needless to say “Mr. October” will not be a part of the collection.

My family and I went bowling this past weekend and I’m pleased to report that Brandon Phillips is not the only person to bowl 300. Unfortunately, it took me three games to do it, 97 plus 103 plus 100 equals 300 doesn’t it?

My bowling stunk so badly that the alley had to be evacuated.

Have a blessed week. Y’all know anybody who gives bowling lessons?

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