By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, proud as a papa peacock that I live in the Ohio College Basketball Capital with the mammoth success of the Dayton Flyers and the Wright State Raiders.
—One thing is certain, Joey Votto is working on drawing walks this spring. His batting average is .077 but his onbase average is .383. Tucker Barnhart also is hitting .077, but his onbase average is .183.
Aristides Aquino is hitting his way back to Class AAA Louisville at .059. Mike Moustakas is hitting .286 and Nick Castellanos is hitting .250.
Nick Senzel made his spring training debut Thursday as a designated hitter against Milwaukee and went 0 for 3 as the Reds lost, 6-5.
After 10 games, the Reds are 4-and-6 and, remember these words of wisdom, “It’s only spring training.”
But none other than Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax said this: “People who write that spring training is not unnecessary never tried to throw a baseball.” (Yes, spring training is mostly for pitchers to get their arms in shape and their duffel bags full of illegal substances.)
—QUOTE: From Newark sports columnist Jerry Izenberg: “Watching a spring training game is as exciting as watching a tree form its annual ring.”
—Of the many records being set by UD’s Obi Toppin, there has to be one not listed on the stat sheet: Most times appearing on ESPN’s Top Ten Plays of the Day.
Toppin has been on it so many times this year he should be up for an Emmy…or at least an ESPY.
—Former Dallas quarterback Tony Romo signed a contract worth $180 million over the next 10 years, not to throw a football, but to talk about it. CBS is paying him that ghastly amount to broadcast games.
That’s more money than Romo ever made calling signals for the Cowboys and it drew a tweet from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.: “I’m done playin’ football. I just wanna be an announcer now.”
Some say Beckham quit playing football early last season when he was wearing an orange helmet.
And now you know why your cable bill is so high.
—QUOTE: From Chicago Black Hawks broadcaster Pat Foley: “If you have only one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs play. It’ll seem like forever.”
—Major League Baseball wants to eliminate 42 minor league franchises, take away teams from many small cities that have no other professional sports event to attend.
Is it financial? The guess is that the $10.7 billion in 2019 revenue wasn’t enough for MLB.
—QUOTE: How do we know baseball is the nation’s pastime? “Because kissing a girl is called getting to first base, not getting a first down.”
—Have you seen Zion Williamson play basketball for the New Orleans Pelicans? He is what one calls Instant Superstar.
If you’ve noticed the struggles Duke has had this year you know how badly ZW is missed in Durham, N.C. Williamson is to the NBA what Obi Toppin is to the Atlantic 10. Unfortunately for Flyers fans, Toppin will join Williamson next year in the NBA.
—QUOTE: From New Orleans teammate Lonzo Ball: “Zion gets out on the break, he’s a big physical body, he screens and rolls.” (Is Ball describing Zion Williamson or Obi Toppin?)
FAVORITE BASEBALL SONGS: Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Jack Norworth), Centerfield (John Fogerty of CCR), Talkin’ Baseball – Willie, Mickey and The Duke (Terry Cashman), Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio (Les Brown & His Band of Renown), Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? (Count Basie), Van Lingle Mungo (Dave Frishberg), Nolan Ryan (Jerry Jeff Walker), Third Base, Dodger Stadium (Ry Cooder), That’s the Way Baseball Go (Merle Haggard).