Tag Archives: Brandon Phillips

Food for Thought 8-14-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Aroldis Chapman (pictured above) is looking to become the first relief pitcher to win a Cy Young since 2003 and perhaps the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher ever to win the prestigious award.

By Josh Kramer

The Reds may be the oldest team in professional baseball history (established in 1869), but there is one thing this proud franchise has never done.  No Cincinnati pitcher has ever claimed the Cy Young Award.  Just to put that into perspective, the Diamondbacks (established in 1998) have sported five winners of the prestigious award for the best pitcher in their respective League.  I know there is a still a month and a half left in the regular season, but a pair of serious Cy Young candidates currently reside in Cincinnati.  I will give you a hint.  One is a starter, while the other is a relief pitcher.  Despite the absence of star Joey Votto, the Reds have somehow managed to go a remarkable 19 and 8.  So much for staying afloat and playing .500 ball with the all-world Votto sidelined.

Sure plenty of players have stepped up in the absence of the MLB’s best all-around hitter (such as Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips), but two players have been getting the job done all year.  Johnny Cueto has not only proven himself to be a formidable number one starter, but he has also proven to be arguably the best pitcher in the National League.  Cueto currently is tied for the NL lead with 15 wins and ranks third in ERA (2.45).  Make sure to note that the two pitchers with better ERA’s than Cueto in the present have 10 wins and 9 wins respectively (Vogelsong and Zimmermann)  Then there is the Cuban Missile.  Outside of one short-lived rough patch just before the All-Star break, Aroldis Chapman has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Chapman has been simply unhittable as of late going a remarkable 22 straight appearances without allowing a run.  Also, in 51.2 innings against National League foes, Chapman has surrendered one earned run.  Lastly he has given up just 25 hits.  Really think about those statistics.  Could we be on the verge of the first relief-pitcher to take home the Cy Young Award since Eric Gagne in 2003?  Or perhaps the first Reds Cy Young Award winner ever? Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Johnny Cueto (pictured above) is the biggest snub this year in terms of the MLB All-Star Game.

By Josh Kramer

The “smartest” man ever to step foot on a baseball diamond strikes again.  This time, he is playing for keeps.  Despite being retired, Tony LaRussa is still going after his bitter rival, the Cincinnati Reds.  Now I am not naive enough to think that snubs don’t happen every year in regards to the All-Star Game rosters.  Due to a flawed selection system, this is inevitable.  But it is very atypical to see a particular “city” get snubbed like this. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tiger Woods (pictured above) leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus with PGA Tour win number 74 yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Spain took their place among the elite teams in soccer history this weekend after taking home a third consecutive major title.  Wimbledon has had a March Madness type of feel with Venus Williams exiting in Round 1 and Rafael Nadal going down in Round 2.  Brad Keselowski was the king of the Kentucky Speedway.  And the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has opened up Season 2.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Kentucky Speedway got it right this year.  Brad Keselowski was a happy man on Saturday night as he moved into 10th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Now the NASCAAR crew heads to Daytona to see who can take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.  David Ragan came out victorious last year at this event, while the current leader of the Spring Cup Standings, Matt Kenseth, finished second.

4.  Tiger Woods is back in the building.  Or at least in the win column.  Woods has leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus in terms of PGA Tour wins and now ranks second all time at 74.  I am not going to get carried away though.  He is still out in the “Woods” in my eyes and the Tiger we once knew will never return.  Next stop, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love.  Unfortunately, with no football or college hoops going on at the moment, there is not too much love in Philly these days. Things have gone from good, to bad, … Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer So much for the “Battle of Ohio.”  The first part of the annual six game set between the Reds and the Indians became a massacre in a hurry as the Reds busted out the brooms yesterday afternoon.  … Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XVI

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. A year ago, Rashard Mendenhall (pictured above) made some inappropriate comments on Twitter. The importance of Twitter in sports continues to grow by the day.

By Josh Kramer

We have reached the four-month anniversary of “Throwback Saturdays.”  This is a day where we reflect on what was going on in the wide world of sports one year ago and two years ago.  In addition, it is an opportunity to see just how right or wrong I was at the time in my analysis.  So what was happening on May 5, 2011?  How about on May 5, 2012?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Twitter: A Best Friend or Worst Enemy of Athletes

Here is a snippet..

For the athletic forum, Twitter can also be a great thing.   People are able to receive news instantaneously from millions of sources.  In addition, people are able to interact with players, coaches, and various sports personalities through “tweets.”  What could be better than creating a way for fans to actually relate with the athletes they idolize and cheer for?  Guys like Chad Ochocinco have used the Twitter world and the whole forum of social media to their advantage increasing their popularity exponentially.  The majority of athletes have caught on to this by now and are doing what they can to create a greater appeal to a larger fan base via Twitter.

Some guys just don’t get it though.  And there is one guy that comes to mind when I think of those that are “Twitter Incompetent.”

Rashard Mendenhall.

Now, Mendenhall has turned into a fine running back that played a key role in leading the Steelers to an AFC Championship this past year.  But boy has he struggled with his utilization of the Twitter World.  First he made comments backing up already hotly contested comments by fellow NFL Player Adrian Peterson, which compared NFL Players to slaves.  Now he has spoken out against Americans celebrating the death of Osama.  Talk about two heavy topics to hit on the wrong end of the stick (To finish read this post, click this link). Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Rich Aurilia. Felipe Lopez.  Alex Gonzalez.  Paul Janish.  Edgar Renteria. What do all of these guys have in common?  They all played shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds at some point during the years of 2005 to 2011.  … Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Every city has special traditions and aspects of life that are unique.  Things that are simply “insert city name” (Cincinnati in this case).  Well today is that day for Cincinnatians and others from around the Tri-State area.  Opening Day … Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ubaldo Jimenez (pictured above) has had a nightmarish past two years. Sunday added to the woes. Can he ever regain his form from April-July of 2010?

By Josh Kramer

Back on July 8, 2010, Ubaldo Jimenez was hands down the best pitcher in baseball.  He was sitting pretty with a 15-1 record and a 2.20 ERA.  Jimenez was just a couple of days away from representing the National League as the starting pitcher in the All-Star Game, and appeared to be on track to break records.  Nearly two years later, Ubaldo’s world has been flipped upside down.

On April 1, 2012, Ubaldo Jimenez hit a new low.  Going against his former teammates for the first time, Ubaldo took aim at Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki.  There is no way to be 100% sure that Jimenez beamed Tulo on purpose, but his reaction did not provide any comfort for those on either side.  Jimenez seemed ready to throw down with his former teammate whom most are aware was never his favorite person.  I know that players get hit by pitches every game.  Even at times pitchers drill opposing hitters on purpose.  It is a part of baseball and has been for well over 100 years.

But this is Spring Training.  The Rockies and Indians both officially open up the 2012 campaign later this week.  I do feel Rockies Manager Jim Tracy overreacted a bit when he said, “It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball. I have lost all respect for him. To do something like that and walk down off the mound, and if there’s any suggestion whatsoever that the ball got away, I don’t want to hear any of that (expletive). He intentionally threw at him. He should be suspended. I am going to be very disappointed if he doesn’t get suspended. He deserves to be.

Amid all of this controversy and Ubaldo’s five-game suspension, his insane decline as a pitcher has been lost. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part VIII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jerry Sandusky (pictured above) is one of the many faces that represents a year of scandal in the NCAA.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the eighth edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  By this point, I think you all know the drill.  What was happening in the wide world of sports on March 10, 2011?  How about on March 10, 2010?  Well let’s find out.

One year ago..

State of College Athletics

Here is a snippet..

“The NCAA’s core purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”

That is directly from the NCAA website.

It’s hard to believe in those words these days.

Reggie Bush.

Cam Newton.

The “Tat Five.”

Lane Kiffin.

Bruce Pearl.

Jim Calhoun.

Jim Tressel.

All of those people were recently involved in major scandals in college athletics. Don’t forget about oversigning either. College athletics is in worse shape than LeBron James’ reputation in Cleveland.

What’s worse is some university presidents and athletic directors will stand by these men at all costs (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading