OBSERVATIONS: Las Vegas thinks ‘highly’ of the Reds (sort of)

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, so bored this week that I watched the entire UD-Virginia Tech replay on ESPN2, even though I covered the game. And how boring am I? I loved it.

—Las Vegas must not be paying close attention to baseball due to the lockout. Who is?

MLB-TV has nearly cut out all of its studio talk shows in favor of showing old videos of games long past. Commissioner Rob Manfred has decreed that the network not only do not do interviews with current players, but also to show no video or even photos of current players.

Anyway, Las Vegas has put the odds at 33 to 1 that the 2022 Reds make the World Series. But, of course, the Reds probably are not finished shedding payroll.

Those 33 to 1 odds aren’t bad. They rank ahead of 11 teams —Minnesota, Cleveland, Miami, Oakland, Chicago Cubs, Colorado, Kansas City, Washington, Arizona, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

But hold off on setting aside money for playoff tickets in Cincinnati. Maybe.

There is talk of including 14 teams in the post-season — first and second place teams from the six divisions and two wild card teams.

So why even play the regular season? What would it mean? Just a 162-game season to eliminate some really bad teams, mostly tankers, who have no chance in the first place?

—One of the worst trades ever made, and not just by the Cincinnati Reds, but by any team, was when former owner Bill DeWitt traded MVP/All-Star outfielder Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Milt Pappas, pitcher Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.

What isn’t generally known is that before DeWitt made the Baltimore trade, he offered Robinson to the Houston Astros for outfielder Jimmy ‘The Toy Cannon’ Wynn and pitcher Larry Dierker.

That would have made a much better deal, but it fell through because the Astros wanted Robinson and another high-profile player.

And it turns out, on good source, that DeWitt was misheard when he made the infamous trade of Robinson.

It is widely accepted that DeWitt said the reason he traded Robinson was that, “He is an old 30.”

That’s not what Dewitt said, according to long-time Baltimore baseball writer Jim Henneman. DeWitt’s quote to a Baltimore paper was, “Robinson is not a young 30. If he was 26, we probably would not have made the trade.”

Nevertheless, it was a trade that stunk to high heaven — if you were a Reds fan. The Baltimore viewpoint was that it was one of the best trades ever made in baseball.

—Quiz time: Who are these guys? Alex Diaz, Daniel Duarte, James Marinan, Riley O’Brien, Reiner Sanmartin, Jared Solomon, Allan Cerda.

No, they are not seven members of the Witness Protection Program nor are they members of the English World Cup soccer team. They are seven players on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster.

—QUOTE: From famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma: “Good things happen when you meet strangers.” (At least the Cincinnati Reds will have new opportunities for bobblehead giveaways.)

Former manager Jack McKeon was once asked by a New York writer what he did in his off time in New York. McKeon said he went to Carnegie Hall to catch Yo-Yo Ma. McKeon was pulling the writer’s leg. He thought Carnegie Hall was the Mets’ second baseman.

—How great was Tony Gwynn as a hitter? His picture, swinging a bat, is next to the word ‘great’ in Funk & Wagnalls. (Well, it should be.)

—Golden State’s golden boy, Steph Curry, set the NBA record for career three-pointers and now has 2,477 of them.

Put that in perspective. That’s 64,494 feet worth of three-pointers, or 12 1/2 miles worth.

Yes, Curry is acknowledged as one of the all-time best shooters. When he hits, it is usually all net and no rim. . .but, he also has missed 3,926 three-point attempts.

—QUOTE: From NBA three-point sharp-shooter Steph Curry: “Every time I rise up, I have confidence that I’m going to make it.” (He has been right 2,477 times, but he has been wrong 3,926 times.)

—It is sad to see what is happening at the Nutter Center. The Wright State basketball team resembles a gathering of lost souls.

Coach Scott Nagy, believing the Raiders would be solid this season, put together a challenging schedule. He didn’t bite off more his team could chew. He bit off enough to require the Heimlich Maneuver.

The Raiders are 2-and-7 and were embarrassed this week by losing on their home court by 18 points (66-48) to the University of Akron. No energy, no fire and complete lack of confidence and it is as plain as the frown on Nagy’s face.

Here is an idea that would be considered heresy on the WSU campus. Nagy should take his squad to UD Arena for a game so they can watch confidence, fire and enough energy to make it look as if the Flyers each drink a six-pack of Red Bull before their games.

—This one could be a nightmare for UD broadcaster Larry Hansgen. A Mongolian-born player has committed to UD and his name. . .are you ready for this. . .is Ekhiin-Od Michael Sharavjamts. He goes by Mongolian Mike and that might be what Hansgen calls him on the air.

There are now more foreign languages spoken in the UD lockerroom that at a United Nations Security Council meeting.

The Flyers have five foreign-born players on the current roster: Mustapha Amzil (Finnland), Toumani Camara (Belgium), Kobe Elvis (Canada), Moulaye Sissoko (Mali), Richard Amaefule (England).

—The Jacksonville Jaguars fired coach Urban Meyer. What took so long? Meyer’s sideline demeanor rivaled that of a guy in prison walking to his execution.

Meyer is the latest on a list of excellent college coaches who failed miserably in the NFL: Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Chip Kelly, Steve Spurrier, Dennis Erickson, Bobby Petrino, Butch Davis.

Along those lines, how about some great players who have failed as manager and coaches. There, of course, are many exceptions, but the failures are noteworthy:

MLB: Ted Williams, Maury Wills, Alan Trammell, Buddy Bell, Rogers Hornby.

NBA: Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Bob Cousy, Elgin Baylor, Wes Unseld, Kevin McHale, Willis Reed.

NHL: Wayne Gretzky, Bryan Trottier, Dennis Savard, Phil Esposito.

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