Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) Reds. They may have played their best game of the season last night. Plenty of offense, decent starting pitching, some really solid bullpen work, and a nice, comfortable win over what might be a pretty good Orioles team.
Bronson Arroyo was better. Not great. Maybe not even good. But better. He had more velocity and there were one or two moments where he was able to fool hitters with breaking stuff enough to get them to swing and miss, or flutter something toward the plate that hitters were in front of just enough to not hit hard.
I don't know how long this is gonna go with Bronson. I'll guess that he continues to progress, the Reds will see value in keeping him in the rotation for a while. If he regresses, I'll bet that Bronson bolts for his boat.
Here's what I've observed from certain corners of the fan base...
A pathetically built-in need to be right that's making some who call them fans of the team rooting for Bronson to fail. Some have long-ago made up their minds about Bronson's comeback and would rather be correct than be happy, so as much as they may want the Reds to win, if a loss comes at the expense of being right about Bronson, then so be it.
Maybe I'm wrong. I'd like to be. But I doubt it.
2) US Bank Arena. So the announcement that US Bank Arena has been chosen to host NCAA Tournament games in 2022 has come with a catch. From Cincinnati.com...
It will only happen if the owners of U.S. Bank Arena and local officials can figure out how to pay for a $200 million renovation of the 40-year-old facility.
The requirement to overhaul the arena tempered enthusiasm for an announcement that otherwise excited basketball fans and local tourism officials about the prospect of Cincinnati welcoming tens of thousands of visitors and a national TV audience. If the deal goes through and the city lands the 2022 first and second round games, it would be the first time since 1992 the city has played host to March Madness.
But that won't happen unless the arena's owners, Nederlander Entertainment, and local officials can figure out how to solve one of the most vexing development challenges facing the city.
Can I admit to being a little torn on this? I'm philosophically opposed to the idea of taxpayer-funded stadiums and arenas, and I'd love to know why the people who own the place can't pay for the upgrades themselves.
But - and I say this realizing that something like this is a tough when the primary tenant is an ECHL hockey team - it'd be awesome to have a state-of-the-art, modern facility downtown. It'd be awesome to host things like NCAA Tournaments, more major concerts, bigger midwest-centric sporting events. I like it when we have stuff happening here. More stuff would happen here if we had a place suitable for hosting more stuff.
I don't know how this happens. I don't love the idea of us paying for it. But I'd love something that's better than what we have.
It's a simple question, one that we'll confront again with the places the Reds and Bengals play in, as well as potentially where FC Cincinnati could play. Do you want a new arena or not?
3) Vintage Rajon. With apologies to the Blue Jackets, who stayed alive with a thrilling 5-4 game four win over Pittsburgh, and a compelling Toronto/Milwaukee NBA Playoff game, I'm going to throw a few words out there about Rajon Rondo, who last night led a Bull team that I've badly underestimated to a game two win over the Celtics, and a 2-0 lead in the series.
Rondo looked like the player who helped navigate those "Big 3" Boston teams during the last decade. Chicago's offense ran through Rondo as if he'd been running the point smoothly for them for years, controlling the flow of the game on both ends, ultimately piling up a 11/14/9/5 line in 40 minutes, helping the Bulls shoot more than 58 when he created a shot, and never breaking down on defense. He was less the guy who looked out of place in Sacramento, disinterested in Dallas, and like he simply didn't give a shit earlier in the season in Chicago and more the guy who at one point in his career was considered one of the sport's great pure point guards.
The Celtics - who many of us overestimated - had other issues, namely that they're deficient on the glass and looked physically and emotionally spent, but their biggest problem was a point guard who played the way he used to when he was wearing Boston's colors.