THE REDS WILL CONTINUE TO BE MEDIOCRE.
At least they didn't lose 100 games....but soon ends the Reds 2005 season. Aside from a pleasant comeback season from Junior Griffey....the first season in nearly two decades with no Barry Larkin.......the firing of Manager Miley....and Eric Milton amazingly not straining his neck watching those dingers he gave up....nothing of any significance happened.
And so is life as a Reds fan. I root for a team that brings a knife to a gunfight. The eight teams you will watch play over the next 3 weeks have a lot in common. They invest time and money into their team. Not just throwing money at anyone...but knowing how to use their money.
The Reds biggest free agent, Eric Milton, pretty much should be the poster boy for the 2005 season. The front office was given the green light to splurge just a tad....and they bring in a gopher ball pitcher to one of the best home run parks in the majors. Smart. I'd rather have 2 or 3 cheaper ground ball pitchers that could keep it in the yard than Milton, the 3 run inning starter.
And name the last player the Reds developed. Well, there is Adam Dunn. He can mash with the best of them....but doesn't know how to hit a sacrafice fly. Griffey and Sean Casey are solid. Everything else if just a stop gap or someone's else's project.
Take a picture of this season....because next season may look the same. New ownership will be around...and 2006 will pretty much be an open audition for Reds to keep their Cincinnati jobs. With no Carl Linder around....Griffey could very well be dealt. So could Casey. Or maybe Dunn. Or Wily Mo Pena. If the Reds don't WOW everyone right out of the gate....then the season will be written off by the All Star break.
INDEPENDENCE BARELY KEEPS STREAK ALIVE
I've touted it here before, but my ol' high school....Independence High in Charlotte, NC....has won 83 straight football games. That is the longest current streak in the nation.
Well, it almost ended on Friday. Playing Providence High [where former Tar Heel, 1998 National Player Of the Year and current Wizard Antwan Jamison went to school] who brought an equal 5-0 record into the matchup, the Patriots nearly let one slip away.
Providence jumped on Independence early....holding a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. But, the Independence Patriots chipped away at the lead...trailing 35-21 at halftime. The Panthers scored quickly in the 3rd to gain a 42-21 advantage. Independence scored the last 24 points of the game to gain the victory, 45-42.
HUGGS GETS ROASTED
There was an event held a few nights ago in Cincinnati. The Bob Huggins roast. Proceeds went to charity [Emanuel Center and Katrina aid].
Over 6,000 people attended the roast...which sold $1,000 tickets to be seated on the floor. The roasters included fellow coaches Rick Pitino of Louisville, Tubby Smith of Kentucky, Bobby Lutz of Charlotte, John Calipari of Memphis and the now-retired Charlie Spoonhour. Most took shots at Huggins, per roast custom. Everyone thanked him and wished him luck as he sets out for a new challenge.
The only angry moment came from former Bearcat Kenyon Martin. Martin said: "This is personal between me and the university. The way I feel, I want my name no longer affiliated with the University of Cincinnati. I would like them to take my jersey down and get rid of my locker and my trophies."
STEVE SMITH TO RETIRE
Steve Smith is set to call it a career. While I never really had any close ties with Smith...I am sad to see him go. He was a great embassador to the NBA and won many citizenship awards. Last year he split time in Charlotte and Miami.
Smith came out of Michigan State highly touted. Drafted by the Miami Heat in 1991...he also spent time in Atlanta, Portland, San Antonio, New Orleans and Charlotte. He won an NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2003. He won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.