By Josh Kramer
Finally something positive in Columbus
It has not exactly been a pleasant past six months in Columbus. Ohio State went from a national title contender, to rule breakers, to having the faces of the program resign and/or quitters, to a program that is currently waiting further instruction from the NCAA. Not exactly the place where Buckeye Nation would like to be heading into a season where many had considered them a national title favorite before all of the recent shenanigans.
On a day where a recruit decided to forego heading to the Horseshoe and take his talents up North to the hated Big House (Kyle Kalis), at least something good finally happened. Ohio State added a new coach to the staff. A home-grown Ohioan. A Buckeye legend. A former two-time Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the year. And of course a 3-time Super Bowl Champion. None other than a man who most definitely bleeds scarlet and gray, Mike Vrabel.
This is an outstanding hire for the Buckeyes in a time of need for the program. Sure Vrabel has no official coaching experience. But when guys like Bill Belichick are praising the guys ability to teach others, you know he is the real deal. Not to mention he represents all that is good about Ohio State (outside of his alchohol misunderstanding a while back compliments of SB Nation). Plus he is a very close friends with the new Buckeye Head Coach, Luke Fickell. Hopefully a familiar face and friend can ease some of the tension and pressure Fickell is already feeling.
Finally something positive is happening for the Ohio State football program for the first time in a long time.
No news is good news
The Reds head into the All Star break in the midst of a real rough patch. This is the first time in nearly two years that the Reds have really struggled. They are currently two games under 500. Losers of seven of their last ten games. Four games out of first place in the NL Central. And have not won consecutive games in over 22 contests. There is a key storyline to some of these recent struggles.
None other than Cincinnati fan favorite (just kidding), Francisco “Coco” Cordero. Heading into last Wednesday, Cordero was in the midst of a great season. He had converted 17 of 19 saves on the year and allowed fewer base runners than any closer in the NL. Not only was Coco handling business, but he wasn’t even making things interesting. It seemed he had taken a page out of the Sandman, Mariano Rivera’s book.
Wednesday is where everything began to fall apart for the often maligned Red’s closer. That rough evening began his recent horrific spiral. In hist last three outings, he has gone 3 and 1/3 innings, given up seven runs, and eight hits (three blown saves). Cordero’s last converted a save during the Battle of Ohio on July 3rd. After that game, his ERA was 1.49. In addition he had only blown two saves all season. Now, less than two weeks later, his ERA has gone all the way up to 2.95 and he has now blown five saves.
The life of a closer is tough. When you do well, you typically do not get a whole lot of recognition. When you fail, everybody points the finger at you. But Cordero’s recent ineptitude has cost the Reds in a big way. Without his recent woes, they could easily be in first place or within a game. Instead Cincinnati heads into the break four games out.
Where is the Trout love?
I am a die-hard baseball fan and have obviously heard of Mike Trout, the 19-year-old slugger out of New Jersey. But I have not heard nearly as much about this guy as I have about the one and only Bryce Harper.
Where was the love for this guy before his recent call up to the big team?
He never got an SI Cover or major news/blog coverage. Or maybe I missed the coverage. Apparently he made the cover of Baseball America. And though this is a great publication, Sports Illustrated is much more widely known and followed. There is one key to all of this though that everyone should keep in mind. Mike Trout is currently up in the bigs with an Angels team that is just one game out of first place in the AL West, while fellow teenager Bryce Harper is playing Double A ball with the Harrisburg Senators in Pennsylvania.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.