Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) It's not going good in Goodyear, is it? It's been a busy last few weeks here. Bengals free agency and college basketball, for many of us at least, have taken center stage. The Reds, meanwhile, have been doing their thing in Arizona, which feels like its about as far away from Cincinnati and the Reds are from winning.
Most of the important dispatches from the desert have not been good. Bailey, injured. DeSclafani, injured. Arroyo, being pegged by baseballs. Mesoraco, likely not ready for the opener. Feldman, your 2017 Opening Day starter.
it's clear that having Scott Feldman start Opening Day of any season with the Cincinnati Reds wasn't Plan A. It wasn't Plan A when the
rebuild reboot started three years ago. It wasn't Plan A when the reboot actually became a full-on rebuild a year or so later. It wasn't Plan A when the 2016 season ended, nor was it Plan A when pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training over a month ago. Despite the wealth of pitching talent the team has drafted, developed, traded for, and signed in that stretch, however, Feldman will now be the first pitcher rolled out by Cincinnati in the 2017 season, which is a somewhat stark reality....
...With Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson struggling to even make the team after rocky debuts last year, Tim Adleman a fringe innings-eater having a rough spring, an Amir Garrett likely destined for a AAA beginning of the year due to service time concerns, that left Feldman and Brandon Finnegan as the only two real considerations for the Opening Day start. It seems the club has opted for Feldman's experience over Finnegan's more solid 2016 season, for whatever reason, which is surely in part a reflection on Finnegan's youth and still-developing path as a starter. But considering the promising youth movement across the rest of their roster, it's about as un-emphatic a way to assert that 2017 is going to be a step in the right direction as there could possibly be.
Progress comes slow, man. That's all I've got for you.
2) Join us tomorrow night. FC Cincinnati, which opens its season this Saturday against Charleston, has asked me to join on as co-host of the Toyota FC Cincinnati Fan Show, presented by Moerlein Lager House on ESPN1530. (You can read the club's release, which refers to me as "popular" here) I'll get a chance to work closely with my buddy Tom Gelehrter, which I'm really excited about, and given the growing enthusiasm for the club, I'm really pumped to be a part of a show that last year gained quite a following.
It should be a fun time tomorrow night as we preview the season, and I hope to see you there.
3) A league I love has a problem. The biggest issues in the NBA right now concerns contending teams giving their best players rest, often in marquee, nationally-televised games. You can listen to any national sports-talk show or read any major sports blog to hear and see people talking about this problem, which is a complex one, and outlined exceptionally well by Deadspin.
Here's the main problem: the NBA has long fought the notion that its regular season is both meaningless and too long. It's really, really difficult to combat those beliefs when the best franchises are sitting out top players, something that all but sends the message that the games the players are missing are largely inconsequential.
Even worse, there's nothing the NBA can do about this. Yes, they can change the schedule - which will happen next season. Yes - the commissioner can send strongly-worded memos to owners - which he has. But the league and the guy who runs it is powerless against coaches and general managers who put their own teams' well-being ahead of the league's business concerns.
Meanwhile, fans get screwed, media partners get dicked over, and a bunch of games that often feel like they lack real meaning become even more unimportant.
Radio Show: Today. 3:05. ESPN1530. Feel free to suggest a topic.