By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wondering if now that MLB has approved advertising on uniforms, will the Cincinnati Reds wear a patch on their sleeves that reads “1-800-Got Junk.”
—There was no doubt Amir Garrett was expendable. He was one of the many problem childs in the terrible collection of relief pitchers paraded out of the Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen last season. It wasn’t a bullpen, it was a pigpen.
But…Mike Minor? Now that’s perplexing. Minor is nearly a clone of Wade Miley, only not as good. The Reds waived Miley after last season, received nothing in return, other than dumping $10 million,
So how much will they pay Minor? Uh, $10 million. Miley, 35, was 12-7 with a 3.37 earned run average last season and a go-to guy for the staff’s young pitchers, a positive influence.
Minor, 34, was 8-12 with a 5.05 ERA last season at Kansas City. And he has an injury history.
And the Reds traded starter Sonny Gray, 32, when he was going to make $10.166 million.
I’ve scratched my head until my scalp hurts over what the Reds have done so far.
Garrett was emotional about his departure from Cincinnati, as was Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. But seeing what was happening around him, Garrett was not shocked.
“I kinda knew it a little bit,” he said. “I didn’t pitch well last year, so they probably were going to look to get rid of me. That’s fine. But I was more focused on coming here to do what I needed to do to show that last year was a fluke.”
—QUOTE: From former major league catcher and broadcaster Joe Garagiola: “Being traded is like celebrating your 100th birthday. It might not be the happiest occasion in the world, but consider the alternative?”
—Words to remember from Reds general manager Nick Krall when asked about pitchers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle: “I don’t see us moving either of those players. With the moves we have made, we are now under budget and can make some moves to help us get to the playoffs.”
And the moves so far? One-year contracts to infielders Donovan Solano ($4.5 million) and Colin Moran ($1 million). They’ve also signed right-handed relief pitcher Buck Farmer to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league camp.
Thus the Reds are the only team with two Farmers in camp, Buck and Kyle. In fact, they are the only team with one Farmer in camp, but they still could trade Jonathan India for The Farmer in the Dell and make it three.
—Received an e-mail this morning from reds.com, an ad from MLBshop, the official on-line shop of the Cincinnati Reds.
It read, “Clearance. Up to 70 per cent off.”
Enter your own gag here. . .( ).
—Former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Sean Casey ha a podcast called, what else, ‘The Mayor’s Office.’
The Cleveland – – – – dians signed Casey out of the University of Richmond. When the Spiders upended Iowa in the first round of the NCAA, Casey posted this on social media: “Still dancing!! Iowa caught in the web!’
That’s probably the same web the Spiders used to ensnare Dayton in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals, a loss that cost the Flyers a spot on the NCAA bracket.
—What a tremendous environment for Wright State Wednesday night in UD Arena. The Raiders thrived on the crowd’s support and won their first-ever NCAA tournament game, 93-82 over Bryant.
Tanner Holden put on style show, a sight to be-Holden, with 37 points, upstaging Bryant’s Peter Kiss, the nation’s leading scorer. Kiss has enough hot dog in him to be a Kahn’s spokesman. He scored 28, but took 25 shots to make 11. He was not the Kiss of death that some expected him to be.
Holden took only 15 shots for his 11 baskets and was 14 of 16 from the foul line. Holden leads the nation in free throws attempted and makes most of them, so foul him at your own peril.
Holden is from Wheelersburg, the hometown of legendary former Reds scout Gene Bennett. When Wright State signed Holden, Bennett told me, “Wait until you see this kid. He is small (6-foot-1), but fearless going to the basket and he’ll be a super-star at Wright State.”
Obviously, Bennett — also a college basketball referee in his time — knew as much about basketball talent as he did about baseball, which was voluminous.
—And how about the Dayton Flyers? Playing without their ignition switch, Malachi Smith, UD took apart Toledo in their gym, 74-55, in the first round of the NIT?
Koby Brea, winner of the Atlantic 10 conference ‘Sixth Man’ Award, started in Smith’s place. Brea’s shot is as pretty as Ken Griffey Jr.’s swing and he scored 13 points and yanked down a career-best 10 rebounds.
Toledo, the Mid-American Conference regular-season champions, could not put a strait jacket on 6-10 freshman DaRon Holmes II. He scored 20 points on 10 for 16 shooting with a slam, a flush and a stuff (that’s three dunks).
Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk, whose name is not quite as difficult to say as Mike Krzyzewski, said what many coaches think after losing to the freshmen-laden Flyers.
“I knew they were good and to be honest with you, they’re better in person than they were on film,” he said. Well, of course. It is difficult to play basketball on film. Too slippery.
Even though the Flyers are the overall No. 1 seed in the NIT, because UD Arena is fully booked, they have to play on the road again, Sunday at 3 o’clock on the quirky raised-level floor at Vanderbilt. If they win, their next game would be in UD Arena.
—From disgruntled University of Kentucky fan David Fraley after the No. 2 Mildcats were stunned, shocked and stupefied by the proud Peacocks of St. Peter’s in the first round of the NCAA.
“It’s a good thing Kentucky wasn’t seeded No. 1 or it would have lost to Norfolk State.”
—Fellow sports journalist Kevin Kernan came up with his one and I love it: “The shift is baseball’s version of basketball’s zone defense.”