By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after listening to Nick Senzel hit a leadoff home run to open Monday’s exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox, wondering if the poor guys can spend an entire season without visiting the doctor as much as he visits the bat rack.
—The 2020 published Cincinnati Reds media guide is 262 pages, reduced from 448 pages of the 2019 guide.
Many things have been eliminated, including a page that listed print media who cover the Reds, complete with photos.
However, on page 37, across the top of the page, are photos of the three security/bomb-sniffing K9s, German Shepherds named Gator, Paisley and Siggy. The rest of the page, about 90 per cent of it, is white space.
Well, there are those who say that the media have gone to the dogs.
—Much has been made about the Reds spending $169 million on free agents in the off-season. But check out what the Chicago White Sox did. The Chisox really are all-in. They invested $336.5 million in free agents and contract extensions.
—QUOTE: From former manager Tom Trebelhorn: “Running a ball club is like raising kids who fall out of trees.” (It appears money is growing on trees near the White Sox front office.)
—Where will the cheating end? Or will it?
The Los Angeles Angels fired visiting clubhouse attendant Brian Harkins for providing visiting pitchers with sticky substances to apply to the baseballs.
It enables pitchers to get a firmer grip to increase velocity and movement. It has not been reported which pitchers accepted the sticky gifts. But Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer says that 70 per cent of major league pitchers apply foreign substances to baseballs.
And guess what? Bauer’s ‘spin rate’ on his pitches increased dramatically last season, so is he one of the 70 per centers?
Clubhouse attendants rely on monetary tips from players for their services so it is assumed that Harkins was tipped generously. And is it any surprise that the visiting players once voted him ‘Visiting Clubhouse Attendant of the Year?’
—QUOTE: From pitching legend Satchel Paige: “I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain’t ever been seen in this generation.”
—And the cheating has extended to horse racing. Trainer Jason Servis and about a dozen others in the horse industry have been charged with doping horses.
Servis is the trainer of Maximum Security, the horse who won the Kentucky Derby last year but was disqualified for interference at the top of the stretch.
Maximum Security, though, won four of his next five important races, including the $10 million Saudi Cup in Dubai.
The sad thing is that the enhancement drug Servis allegedly used to increase a horse’s stamina can affect the heart and even cause death.
—Speaking of horse racing, a standardbred name Obee ran Monday in the seventh race at The Meadows outside of Pittsburgh. He finished far up the track.
If they had spelled his name correctly, Obi, Obee would have won that race in a slam dunk.
—QUOTE: From U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-New Mexico): “The sport of horse racing which, at its best, showcases the majestic beauty of this animal and the athleticism of the jockeys, has reached an alarming level of corruption and exploitation.” (Wonder if he bet on Maximum Security in the 2019 Kentucky Derby?)
—A classy bit of sportsmanship was displayed Saturday night in UD Arena by George Washington University basketball coach Jamion Christian.
It was Senior Night and late in the game University of Dayton coach Anthony Grant pulled senior Trey Landers from the game so he could be recognized by the fans.
As he left the floor, taking 10 rebounds with him, Landers was met at mid-court by Christian, who gave him a fist bump and a hug. And Christian’s team was being annihilated.
Stay classy, George Washington.
—QUOTE: From legendary football coach Knute Rockne: “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than than a hundred teaching it.” (And Jamion Christian showed his players what sportsmanship is all about.)
—How has UD’s success affected the community? I was at the Englewood Kroger Sunday afternoon for an hour, wearing a UD hoodie. Eight fans stopped me to say, “Go Flyers,” or to chat about Obi Toppin.
—QUOTE: From artist Andy Warhol: “I like to work when I’m not working — do something that may not be considered work, but to me it’s work. Getting work by getting exercise.” (Nadine makes certain I get plenty of cart-pushing exercise.)