By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from the Man Cave, waiting for the next trade announcement from the Cincinnati Reds that they’ve traded Luis Castillo for three new MacBook Pro laptops.
—This is sad to say, but painfully true. If fans want to see Triple-A baseball next year, you don’t have to drive to Columbus, Toledo or Indianapolis. Just purchase some tickets to Cincinnati Reds games.
The Reds are in the embryonic stages of shedding payroll, which means they are shedding whatever accomplished talent they have.
The Reds aren’t alone in this game of parting ways with expensive players. It is the nature of baseball these days. But it certainly doesn’t make the paying customer want to rush to his credit card to purchase tickets.
For the Reds:
Tucker Barnhart, gone.
Wade Miley, gone.
Michael Lorenzen, gone.
Nick Castellanos, going, going, gone.
Chances to make the 2022 playoffs, gone.
If the Reds could trade their three mascots for the Philly Phanatic it would be the best trade they’ll make.
It is disconcerting that the Cincinnati chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWA) voted Miley as the team’s most outstanding pitcher and Castellanos as the most valuable players. And both are gone.
Joey Votto received The Good Guy Award and if he would waive his no-trade clause he probably would be gone, too.
They traded Barnhart, one of the top leaders in the clubhouse, for a non-descript Class A infielder with a .190 career batting average. As Peggy Lee once said, “Is that all there is?”
They permitted Wade Miley, arguably their best pitcher and another clubhouse leader, to lapse on waivers. Not only did they get nothing for him, they watched a division foe, the Chicago Cubs, grab him.
Nick Castellanos? His departure was as predictable as a Eugenio Suarez strikeout.
Castellanos won a Silver Slugger Award and told local writers he would be amenable to re-signing with the Reds. What he didn’t say was, “If the price is right.” What he told local writers was lip service, giving Reds fans false hope.
And if you believe the rumor-mongers, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, Tyler Mahle and Gapper are on the trade block, along with Mr. Red and Rosie Red.
When Bob Castellini put together a purchase group to buy the Reds, he was naive and unaware of the difficulty of manufacturing a dynasty to rival The Big Red Machine.
These are the words he uttered, which he probably now regrets:
“We are buying the Reds to win. Anything else is unacceptable. We will not rest until we are putting a contender on the field year-in and year-out.”
Words to live by. . .and die by. When he fired talented general manager Wayne Krivsky, I asked him when the franchise would show some stability and his snippy answer was, “We’re just not going to lose any more.”
Words to live by. . .and die by.
—Super agent Scott Boras represents Nick Castellanos and, of course, plans to rip away the top dollars from whichever team signs the former Reds right fielder and free agent.
Said Boras, “I advised all of you two years ago that Ol’ Saint Nick was going to bring a lot of presents to Cincinnati. Frankly, we’re just going to sit back and see what teams have been naughty and nice.” (And you know who the owners believe is The Grinch. Ironically, his initials are S.B.)
—Only legendary broadcast Vin Scully could come up with this one, something he tweeted about the Atlanta Braves.
Would you believe in the year Hank Aaron passed away, the Braves won 44 games before the All-Star break, 44 games after the break, and won the World Series the 44th week of the year. Aaron, of course, wore number 44. Maybe the Braves had a secret weapon after all. (The most amazing thing is that Scully is 93 and has a Twitter account.)
—The College Football Selection Committee (CFB) continues to mystify and stupefy.
This week, they ranked Michigan No. 6 and Michigan State No. 7.
I was certain I wasn’t watching a replay of the 2019 game when Michigan beat Michigan State, 41-10. No, I was watching this year’s game in real time: Michigan State 37, Michigan 34.
And a member had the audacity to say the committee believes Michigan is a better team than Michigan State. Say what? When one team beats another team, who’s the best team?
My guess is they figured the Michigan loss was a ‘good loss.’ If that’s so, they have to figure the Michigan State’s win was a ‘bad win.’
They did move unbeaten Cincinnati to No. 5. But, Bearcat fans, if you believe the committee will put UC in the final four, well, I’ll sell you the falling-down Brent Spence Bridge for $1,000 and throw in the orange cones.
—Is this called getting your Ducks in a row? One day after he was put on administrative leave, Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray resigned and checked into an alcohol abuse program.
Murray was on thin ice after the Ducks received complaints about improper conduct. (Will this stuff ever end? Probably not.)
—If you are as old as Methuselah and me, you remember when there were only six NHL franchises — New York, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto and Detroit. And nearly every player was from Canada.
Now there are 30 franchises and players come from all over the globe. Consider the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their roster contains players from ten countries — Canada, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Latvia, Russia,
Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
Impressive? You bet. I’ll be really impressed when a player from Mexico straps on a pair of skates. The only ice in Mexico is accompanied by a shot of Jose Cuervo.
—Watched my alma mater, Kent State, play Central Michigan this week in an MAC track meet that was supposed to be football.
It was Central Michigan 54, Kent State 30. CSU running back Lew Nichols III carried 43 times for 215 yards and four touchdowns. Kent’s defense against Nichols wasn’t worth a dime and that’s pretty much the story in the MAC.
And Kent’s hustle-up, no-huddle offense is an enabler with scores like 52-47, 64-31 and 48-38. Other league scores: 52-49, 56-44, 55-24, 45-40 and 39-38.
It almost looks as if MAC schools can’t afford defensive co-ordinators. (I had to check those scores twice to make certain some weren’t basketball scores. None were.)
—The networks pay big money for football and basketball color analysts. Are they all paid to say when asked what a team has to do to win, “They’ve got to take care of the football,” or “They’ve got to take care of the basketball.” Well, duh.