By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while contemplating leaving the house for the first time since Sunday morning to take Paige and Quinn for a walk around the block. I love you, neighbors, but don’t come to see Quinn for the first time. Not now.
—The Miami Valley lost a strong radio sports voice Wednesday, a sad day, indeed. Mark Schlemmer announced his retirement from his sports talk show on ESPN-WING.
Health issues took away his microphone and that’s about the only thing that stopped Schlemmer from expressing his strong opinions.
Like him or dislike him, what you hear is what you get. He never soft-pedaled with his opinions. And what I like most about Mark, not counting his sense of humor and his love of similar things that I love, is that he told it like it is. He gave you radio with a heart and radio with a soul.
I was fortunate to be on his show many times and it was so much fun, a lot of laughs and chats as if we were talking over a backyard fence. That’s talk radio as it should be.
Your voice will be missed, my friend, and Godspeed.
—QUOTE: From former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali: “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
—Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is a fantastic interview, when a reporter can find him. He is seldom at his locker during the time writers are permitted in the clubhouse. He is usually working in the weight room or hitting in the under-the-stands batting cages.
Sometimes I think he must be standing somewhere with a bat in his hand practicing drawing walks.
So it was refreshing to hear what Votto said about reporters being banned from clubhouses during spring training during the early stages of the coronavirus eruption.
“Frankly, most fans don’t care about balls and strikes and runs,” he said. “They care about the person. They want to feel like they are close to the performer in any sport. I think everybody in the media is a bridge that connects the athletes with the public. Without that close proximity, I personally don’t think you get the human component.”
If we’re a bridge, can I be the Golden Gate and not the Brent Spence?
QUOTE: From Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., “I can’t play being mad. I go out there and have fun. It’s a game and that’s how I am going to great it.”
I only saw Griffey angry one time. It was in spring training and he believed a Sports Illustrated writer did him wrong. He saw that writer on the other side of a practice field and began screaming at him.
The writer was a friend of mine and he saw me laughing at what Griffey was saying. It was humorous. But that writer has been cold toward me ever since.
—From Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker: “The Houston Astros have been advised to wear gloves and sanitize their trash cans before they pound on them.”
And while we are trashing (pun intended) the Astros, somebody on Facebook asked: “Why didn’t the Astros warn us that coronavirus was coming?”
—Also from Facebook: “Covid-19 has grocery store shelves looking like the Cincinnati Bengals trophy case.” Ouch, but true.
—From noted philosopher/baseball pitcher Satchel Paige, who pitched until he was in a rocking chair: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Me? 21.
—With sports at a standstill, ESPN is searching hard for content and recently showed the end of the Iditarod dog race across Alaska. So what does former Troy Daily News sports editor and current Elyria Chronicle-Telegram sports editor Kevin Aprile think about the Iditarod? “It’s MUSH to do about nothing.”
—If ESPN has one more panel discussion/screaming match about quarterback Tom Brady I am going to hurl a slightly deflated football through the Smart TV screen.
—For starved baseball fans, next Wednesday WXVU-FM in Cincinnati will play a baseball show written by Rod Serling in 1955. And good friend John Kiesewetter says it stands the test of time.
It has references to Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial and Yogi Berra. Serling wrote it at the height of the Cold War. It is about confusion between the Russians and the Cincinnati Reds. A Russian security officer ends up playing left field for the Reds.
Isn’t the Reds outfield already too crowded?
—Wash your hands and use one panel of toilet paper at a time.