Monday, September 26, 2016

MLB Week 25 – Why

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by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

It’s impossible to speak about an unspeakable tragedy, but I will try to share my thoughts in the next few paragraphs.

Sunday is my only day off from my job as a clerk for the United States Postal Service. It’s the only morning I get to rise late, around 10am, review my Sunday School lesson for our noon service, play with my granddaughter, and otherwise do little else before leaving for church.

September 25, was just a typical Sunday morning for me and my family, we’re beginning a study from Acts chapter 18 in Sunday School, so I made sure I had my notes ready and grabbed a bowl of cereal for a Sunday morning news briefing on television. I wasn’t prepared for what I heard.

I’ve been a Christian for 32 years, an Assistant Pastor for eight years and, in 2010, I earned an Associate’s Degree in Theology, but nothing prepared me for the shock of hearing the tragic death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

MLB Week 24 – The End is Near

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by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

“The city is in ruins.

The fledgling city has now has been reduced to ashes by a gang of swashbuckling Buccaneers, pillaging the village, taking no prisoners and showing no mercy.

Children are crying, women are nearing hysterics, and men wander what’s left of the smoldering streets in stunned disbelief.

One pirate busted into my humble abode, terrifying my family. I sprang into action, ready to defend my wife and kids to the death if necessary. I grabbed the first thing I could reach, a family heirloom sword, and lunged toward the torso of the assailant. I could see that my aggression had no effect on my unwelcomed guest. A sneer crossed his face as he drew his revolver from its holster a pointed it in my direction. I paused briefly then resumed my attack, expecting to meet death. The pirate pulled the hammer back on his revolver, I told my wife I loved her as I could see the invader squeeze the trigger…”

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cellar is a Historical Rarity for Reds

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by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

I was too hasty of my burying the Pirates last week. The Pirates are still in the wildcard race. I had them dead and buried. But they beat the Reds three out of four at GABP. Now they have a shot, a very long shot but they have a chance. Darn it!

May I digress about the terrible breaks the Bengals always get against the Steelers. The Steelers always benefit from horrible game changing calls against the Bengals. And of course the awful calls are never overturned by the NFL officiating crew. Something bad happens almost every time the Steelers play the Bengals. I knew the officials would not reverse the obvious NON-fumble by the Bengals Tyler Boyd. The NFL should be called the NPSL. The National Pittsburgh Steelers League. No clear evidence they said to overturn the fumble call on Boyd they said. Well, the announcers who saw it on the TV replays could tell it was NOT a fumble. Maybe the NPSL should get HD monitors. What a joke. The Steelers get all the breaks and all the calls. Does that sound juvenile and bitter? Yes, and thank you.

Monday, September 12, 2016

MLB Week 23 – Fifteen Years Ago…

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by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Fifteen years ago, on what seemed to be a perfect Tuesday morning, nearly three thousand individuals left their homes, and never returned.

Fifteen years ago, the innocence of this nation, and the world, changed as unspeakable evil crept upon our shores in an event so aptly described as “a cowardly attack”.

Fifteen years ago, time seemingly stopped moving as we watched in absolute horror the events unfolding in New York City, Washington D.C. and that field near Pittsburgh.

Fifteen years ago, in the worst single day of our life, we saw the best of America as untold numbers of rescue personnel risked their lives in an effort to save others, unfortunately 411 heroes met the same fate as the ones they were attempting to rescue. Among the deceased included 343 New York City Firefighters, 37 Port Authority Police Officers, 23 New York City Police Officers and 8 Emergency Medical Technicians.

Sinking Pirates Extra Sweet for Redlegs

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Nice weekend for the Reds in Pittsburgh. They finished the Pirates for the season and that is so sweet. And the Reds did it in Pittsburgh, double sweet. We all remember in 2013 when the Pirates mercilessly taunted, and harassed Johnny Cueto and all the Reds players and fans non-stop during the whole game. The Pirates grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second and they celebrated obnoxiously and derided the Reds from that point until the game was over. The Reds lost 6-2. I know the Pirates hadn’t been to a postseason in over 20 years at the time. And you know what? They sure acted like it!

Bitter? Yeah! Jealous? No! I know the Reds fans will never ever act like that. Why? Reds fans respect the game and we respect our opponents. We cheer when we're supposed to. And boo when we must. But Reds fans won’t taunt or insult other players no matter what. Why? Midwestern and southern manners. Most of us who live in the Midwest have ancestors from Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Southerners have manners and respect. And these transplanted southerners brought hard work, respect for others, manners and ethics with them when they came north looking for work after World War II. But to be honest when the southerners arrived in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan they found that those people, a lot of them descendants from German and Irish potato farmers, had much the same values as they did.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

MLB Week 22 – The Agony of Defeat

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by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Will the Reds ever beat the Mets again in my lifetime?

With the 6 – 3 loss on Wednesday afternoon, Cincinnati has now dropped fourteen straight games against the Mets. Since the pivotal Reds/Mets series on September 23 – 25, 2013, Cincinnati has lost 19 of 21 to New York. It seemed the Reds gave up after winning the first game of the series 3 – 2 in ten innings, their 90th win of 2013. The win along with the division leader St. Louis Cardinals 4 – 3 win against the Washington Nationals allowed both the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates to clinch Wild Card spots. Former Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick voiced his displeasure with the fans about lacking passion during the series in which I replied;

“So, Ryan Ludwick, it’s the fans fault that the Reds dropped two of three to the Mets? You guys couldn’t hit water if you fell out of a boat, especially with runners in scoring position (4 for 29 in the series) and somehow it’s the fans fault? Look, I totally understand the momentum gained with a boisterous crowd, but give us something to cheer about, please. All during the Mets series y’all basically went through the motions, in fact, despite the numerous protests to the contrary, I believe you thought that all you’d need to do is show up and the Mets would just wilt in your greatness. In other words, you looked past the Mets. What really bugged me was the way the Reds laid down in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday’s game. LaTroy Hawkins, who’s like 96 years old, give or take a few years, placed his walker to the side of the mound, took a couple of puffs from his oxygen tank and promptly retired the side in order. And that’s the fans fault? Bob Castellini may sign his name to your checks, but it’s those fans, you know, the ones who came out in record numbers this season, which pays your salary. Remember that.” (News and Notes from MLB Week 26 dated September 26, 2013)

Redlegs Review Podcast: Episode 22

In this edition of the podcast, Dan Howard and Jack Ward discuss the week that was for the Reds (Cardinals, Mets), as well as some early postseason predictions. Can the Cubs end the streak?

Future Bright for Reds, Postseason Prognostications

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by:Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds stand 57-80 through Tuesday. But we aren’t discouraged because this year has been over since April. This year all we have done is watch painfully the Reds build for the future and we must admit the future looks good. The Reds have discovered Dan Straily who has been outstanding for the Reds. Anthony Desclafani once he got back from injury has been amazingly consistent. Michael Lorenzen has been great and whether starting or in the relief roll Raisel Iglesias has been a lock down performer. Blake Wood has been a pleasant surprise. Brandon Finnegan really battles every time out and once he gets more consistent he is going to be a very good pitcher.

Tucker Barnhart we can’t say enough good things about as he has solidified the Reds catcher position. The Reds were unsure how Tucker would perform as the everyday catcher after the season ending injury to Devin Mersoraco. Zack Cozart has been better than ever since coming off knee surgery. Brandon Phillips has been his usual good self and Joey Votto after a terrible start has been Joey Votto. Adam Duvall has been a very pleasant surprise and has locked down an outfield position for a few years. I think that Billy Hamilton has figured it out. He has the talent, it’s just been a matter of gaining confidence and experience.