Listen weekday mornings at 7:15am for the Cappie's Sports Stumper and your chance to win!
Weekday Mornings doing Sports on the Mike Miller Show.
Local Football & Basketball Play By Play on WIMA.
First Pitch show leading up to Reds Baseball on WIMA.
As the play-by-play voice of Bowling Green Football and Mens Basketball on the Falcon Sports Radio Network.
Formerly served as the play-by-play voice of the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League.
Tweets of the Day:
As a longtime observer of baseball I am always aware that you have to temper your day-to-day frustrations with the realization that the season is looooong.
With that said, the Reds struggles of late (losing 5 of 6) bother me because the team seems to have slipped in the area of fudamentals.
Stuff like good baserunning, good defense and good at bats are "the little things" that add up to big losses for the Redlegs of late.
This team can't play this way and be successful. They don't have a lineup of big boppers that can step in and rescue a game with a three-run homer.
This team is (or needs to be) built around good starting pitching and defense.
Examples of bad fundamentals over the last couple of days include a baserunning blunder by Todd Frazier and Zach Cozart dropping the ball on a double play pivot.
By themselves they're not that big a deal, but when you don't have much margin for error they're magnified.
Here's hoping the Reds rediscover their mojo quickly. More performances like the listless efforts in Oakland will be reason for real concern.
Recommended reading (NBA Draft edition):
Cavs keeping plans close to the vest. Mary Schmitt Boyer, Cleveland Plain Dealer
More on the Cavs choices. Bob Finnan, News Herald
Cavs can't find a trade partner. Sean Deveney, Sporting News
Pistons should take Trey Burke. Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News
Larry Bird back to finish what he started with Pacers. Bob Kravitz, Indy Star
Tweets of the day:
Golf is a big topic in Lima this week as the City Men's Golf Championship is contested for the 86th time.
While 143 entrants isn't a great number compared to some years (and only 24 in the Championship Flight), I think the future of the game in our area is bright thanks to the efforts of the Lima Junior Golf Association.
One of its most accomplished players was Delphos Jefferson product Dillon Klein, who yesterday at Bluffton Golf Club carded a 70 to claim the Medalist honor at the City Tournament for the second straight year.
Last year's Champ, Ollie Holtsberry was also a LJGA standout.
Michael Schmitmeyer, who has won the Dr. Pepper three times is yet another LJGA product. He was the association's Player of the Year in 2008.
Yesterday 97 youngsters played in the LJGA's Pepsi Open at Springbrook which shows that the youth in this area is very much engaged with the game.
Here's a salute to all the folks that organize the events and the association for the young golfers in our community. They've been perpetuating the game for a long time and it looks like the future for golf in Lima is bright.
The NBA Draft is tomorrow, the Cavs have the first pick (again). What will they do with it?: Hoops Rumors
L.C.C.'s Darius West has bought in and so have many others. It's Big Blue Nation swaying football recruits to head to Lexington: UK Fans sway recruits
Projected toughest non-conference schedules in college football (no Ohio State isn't on the list): Bruce Feldman, CBS Sports
The best Non-BCS teams in college football: Football Post
Delivery of video ("watching TV") is changing and so are "TV Rights" deals: Sports Illustrated
A sports agent has advice for those wanting a career in sports. It's a long way to the top: Football Post
Tweets of the day:
Pro Football Talk picks Anthony Munoz, Ken Anderson, Corey Dillon, and Chad Johnson for #BengalsMtRushmore.— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) June 25, 2013
60th anniversary of 1st G/AB for #Tigers great Al Kaline: Didn't even own a bat for first AB, grabbed one "too heavy" and hit fly to center— Tom Gage (@Tom_Gage) June 25, 2013
Al Kaline gets a standing ovation from the crowd as he's recognized on the scoreboard for the 60th anniversary of his major league debut.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 25, 2013
"Now you got me all stirred up over here. Every time I come out here, I'm thinking of earthquakes & losin." The Cowboy looking back to 1989.— TitanicStruggle (@TitanicStruggle) June 26, 2013
It's always great to take in Lima Locos baseball each summer with the Great Lakes League. It's even better when the Locos have a local product on the roster. It's even better when that local kid is a major cog for the Locos.
That appears to be the case with the recently acquired Mackenzie Hampshire from Elida High School.
"Big Mack" had had some folks lobbying Locos management to include him on this summer's roster after an All-GLIAC freshman year at Ashland.
However, the team already had three players at Mack's primary position (1B), including Wes Rea of Mississpi State (now in College World Series Finals).
Despite that, events conspired to make it possible for the Locos to add Hampshire to the team last week.
With each win in Omaha, it became less likely that Rea would acutally show up in Lima to play. Also the Locos offense needed an infusion of pop as they struggled to get the team batting average over the Mendoza line.
And Mack has proven to be a spark for that formerly moribund attack.
In his first game as a Loco last Friday night at Hamilton, he went 4-for-6 to lead Lima to a 15-0 win. He followed that up with a 1-for-3 night at home versus Lexington in a 5-4, 11 inning win. He was on base twice more via a walk and being hit by a pitch.
Two games in Hampshire has been on base 7 times in his 11 plate appearances. He is hitting .556 (5-for-9) with a double and five runs scored.
The thing that has impressed me the most at the plate is his discerning eye. He only swings at pitches he can drive and has also shown the willingness to go the other way for a base hit when needed. That's improtant for big powerful batters like Mack because most pitchers are going to stay away from the inner part of the plate.
I am thrilled to have Mackenzie on the club and with the Locos riding a five game winning streak, now is as good a time as ever to check out the action at Simmons Field.
I'll see you there tomorrow night and/or Thursday night at 7:00 as the Locos take on Xenia.
NCAA trying to open up college hoops, tweaks rules and expands replay: NCAA.com
Can LeBron surpass MJ as the GOAT? It's subjective. Greg Doyel, CBS
Speaking of Greatest of All Time...what does yesterday's loss do to Rafael Nadal's legacy. Greg Crouch, Fox Sports
The fastest growing sport in USA is...Roller Derby? Indy Star
Tweets of the day:
Elias Says Blackhawks are 1st team ever to win a Stanley Cup game in regulation after trailing in final 2 min of 3rd http://t.co/GVP3jSS2JH— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 25, 2013
NHL fans booing Gary Bettman: A tradition like no other— Mark Kunz (@MarkKunz44) June 25, 2013
D.B Cooper just flew in to Boston on A. Earhart's plane, skated out to center ice and dug up J. Hoffa. NBC shrugs it off, talks about Jagr.— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) June 25, 2013
Tiki Barber calls Warren Sapp "an idiot" for Strahan comments http://t.co/dJdyF00RJh— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 25, 2013
Arolids Chapman was shaky again yesterday in getting a "save" in Cincinnati's 4-2 win at Arizona. That followed a blown save on Saturday night (although he should've gotten an out on a ball hit to Joey Votto that was scored a hit), a failure precipitated by two walks.
I've maintained all season that Chapman hasn't really looked sharp. I also remember that he went through a very rough stretch in June of last year, blowing three saves and taking four losses in a seven game run from June 7 to June 24.
With that said, almost every statistical measure comparing 2013 to 2012 (at this point of the season) shows that Chapman's performance is off significantly from last season.
Through June 24 (2012/2013):
Opp BA: .130/.185
Opp OPS: .464/.586
K/9 inn: 15.5/15.3
BB/9 inn: 2.8/4.4
It would seem that even though Manager Dusty Baker continues to baby Chapman with his ridiculous 1 inning mandate, the Missile continues to misfire.
Chapman has only three blown saves as compared to four at this time last year but that's a mirage. He's not dialed in and hasn't been all season.
With all the injuries and ineffectiveness in the bullpen, the Reds cannot afford Chapman being off his game.
Today's recommended reading:
College hoops' transfer epidemic (poaching) is fueled by the graduate transfer rule: KC Star
Reds Manager Dusty Baker discusses recovering from "mini-stroke": MLB.com
Nik Wallenda says it doesn't matter if the wire he walks on is 20 feet in the air or 2,000 feet: Tampa Bay Times
Chris Chambliss to sell bat from famous '76 ALCS winning HR: NY Times
Tweets of the day:
Leyland on Verlander: "The good thing about it is it's not stuff and he's healthy. We can fix the other things."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) June 23, 2013
"You fall 1500 feet, you ain't gonna need no paramedic." Marty urging folks to dial up The Discovery Channel tonight. #flyingwalenda— TitanicStruggle (@TitanicStruggle) June 23, 2013
The Miami Heat, led by LeBron James, have now claimed back-to-back NBA Championships.
Here are some statistical and historical notes from ESPN:
The Heat are the third team in NBA history to win Game 7 in the conference finals and NBA Finals in the same season ('62 Celtics, '88 Lakers).
They are also the third team in NBA history to win the NBA title without leading the NBA Finals at any point in the series until after Game 7 ('69 Celtics, '78 Bullets).
LeBron James won his second NBA title and joins Bill Russell and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to win back-to-back regular-season MVPs and NBA titles.
He joined Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Hakeem Olajuwon as players who won back-to-back NBA Finals MVPs (O’Neal and Jordan won three straight, with Jordan doing so twice).
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that James tied the record for most points in a Game 7 NBA Finals win, matching the mark set by Tom Heinsohn for the Boston Celtics in 1957.
Heat president Pat Riley has now been a part of nine championship teams. He won six as a coach (five as a head coach), two as an executive, and one as a player (in 1972 with the Lakers).
Home teams are now 15-3 all-time in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, with six straight wins. The last road team to win was the 1978 Bullets over the SuperSonics.
And this from me...
In the never ending attempt to put things in historical context: While great Game 7 performances are the things of legend, there's something to be said for NOT playing in Game 7's.
While the Heat played two Game 7's in this playoffs, during their six Championship runs, the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls only faced TWO deciding games (neither of them in the Finals). In 1992 the Knicks took them the distance in the conference semis and in 1998 it took seven for the Bulls to dispatch the Pacers.
In those two games Joradan averaged 35.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
Today's recommended reading:
Urban Meyer gets another recruit from outside the Buckeye State: Columbus Dispatch
IndyCar relinquishes control of developmental series: Indy Star
Indians TV ratings on FSO/STO are up, while National broadcasts struggle: George Thomas, ABJ
University Athletic Departments, like U.S. Government, can't help but spend money they don't have. Cal's plan to pay for stadium renovation, long predicted as pie in the sky, has in fact failed. SF Chronicle
Great idea “@markpantoni: Over 50 companies at the Ohio St Football Job Fair. Helping our players be set for life after football.”— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) June 20, 2013
"I'm going to get an NBA Championship tattoo." -Birdman— Frank Caliendo (@FrankCaliendo) June 21, 2013
You're not supposed to be here? You're 6'8 270 lbs and you run like a deer. Why exactly aren't you supposed to be here, Lebron?— T.J. Moe (@TJMoe28) June 21, 2013
I'm as guilty as anyone...
"Jay Bruce always strikes out in the clutch".
Well, not so much.
Last night's game-tying HR in the ninth inning was the 10th longball of his career in the ninth inning or later that tied the game or gave the Reds the lead.
Over that time (2008-present) only Mr. Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera, has more such HR's (14).
It seems that Bruce is always a whipping boy for Reds fans. That status is sometimes justified when he goes into one of his funks.
But it's time to admit that we unfairly whack on Jay Bruce.
Also from last night:
It was the Reds seventh walk-off win, tied with the Giants for the most in MLB.
Bruce's HR also wrecked the "perfect" season of Pirates closer Jason Grilli. He had been 25 of 25 in saves and hadn't allowed a home run yet this season.
Brandon Phillips' game-winning single in the 13th inning hopefully will snap him out of his funk. He had been 2-for-25 on the homestand before that hit.
Speaking of that hit, it came with two strikes and the infield drawn in. Manager Dusty Baker commented after the game that Phillips hit it up the middle, "as we teach them to do with infield in". I guess that proves that Baker and hitting coach Brook Jacoby do actually "coach 'em up", contrary to some fans who claim otherwise.
Finally, Aroldis Chapman threw as hard as he has in quite a while. He blew away Pedro Alvarez with back to back fastballs at 100 and 101 mph in the tenth inning.
Red Wings looking to leave "The Joe" behind: Detroit News
Former Tiger coach Hank Haney says Woods won't catch Jack: Fox Sports
Inverness deserves to host a major again: Dave Hackenberg, Toledo Blade
The case that could change the way college sports operates: Wall Street Journal
Tweets of the day:
@ctrent Parra-noia--the belief that the game is over when Manny Parra is sent in to pitch.— Jay Lampert (@MortChristenson) June 20, 2013
Patrick Kane's playoff beard makes him look like Beavis in the episode he cut off his hair and taped it to his face. pic.twitter.com/vHLDkxK4sB— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 20, 2013
Elias Says Yasiel Puig is 1st player in modern MLB history with 27 hits and 5 HR in his 1st 15 games http://t.co/GVP3jSS2JH— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 20, 2013