Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) Suspicious Minds. The Reds were swept in Milwaukee. Actually, check that. The Reds were non-competitive in Milwaukee, getting outscored 29-12. Think the Reds have any chance of being somewhere in the same area code as .500? Not when you lose consistently to teams that'll reside in the bottom half of the NL.
Devin Mesoraco is set to come back tomorrow, which is great. To add him, it seems likely that the Reds will be reducing the workforce in the bullpen to seven men.
That's right, a team that's more reliant on its relievers than any is probably gonna cut an arm.
At least Eric Thames didn't homer. Here's some thoughts on him anyway....
The ONLY thing I hated about the steroid era is how skeptical its made us of anything that seems inexplicable. 30 year-old Eric Thames - who hadn't played in a big league game since 2012 - leads the majors with 11 home runs. His first few weeks back in the states after playing for years in Korea are the kind of irregular marvel that we used to celebrate. But now, we wonder what else is beyond what meets the eye.
Some will go as far as to blindly, and unfairly accuse Thames of cheating. I don't like unsubstantiated accusations, nor do I like irresponsibility, so I won't do that. I do, however, remember how many amazing feats and performances were ultimately proven to be, uh, artificially enhanced. Fool me once....
I don't believe that Eric Thames is cheating, in part because I want to believe in the kind of story Eric Thames should be. I do understand looking at his performance through a lens of suspicion, even if he's done nothing wrong.
2) The draft. I already wrote an entry about the directions the Bengals can go in tonight, but to expand up on that, here are the things that interest me about them this weekend, starting this evening....
*Does last year's search for one of the draft's best receivers carry over into this year?
*Does their phone ring late tonight/early tomorrow with teams that didn't get the QB they desired asking about AJ McCarron?
*With what round(s) and with what player(s) do the Bengals upgrade their pass rush?
*How will they upgrade at running back, if Joe Mixon is available at 41, and if he isn't?
(BTW, my take on Joe Mixon is that any outrage they engender by taking him should've already been spent. By merely expressing interest, they've shown you how they feel about what he did to the woman he punched a few years ago. Also, every team in this league has a place where they'll take him.)
*How many teams will be interested in trading up to nine, and would the Bengals be willing to pull the trigger on a deal?
*How much different could their front seven look after this weekend?
I'm at Longneck's in Wilder tonight from 7:30 until 9:30, then on air from Dickman's starting at 10:00. Hope to see you at one or the other. Maybe both!
3) You and I lost yesterday. ESPN laid off, by most accounts, roughly 100 people yesterday, a number of them high-profile people whose work we're familiar with. (Full disclosure: I do fill-in work part-time on ESPN Radio, a job that - to the best of my knowledge, right now - I still have) You don't have to look far to mind all kinds of opinion pieces on what's happened both to the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports and the people who now refer to it as their former employer. I have two main takes...
*The good news, for those affected, is that decisions like this aren't performance, or quality-related. Jayson Stark didn't all of a sudden become a lousy baseball writer. Andy Katz didn't suddenly turn into someone who can't cover college basketball. The bad news, though, is that decisions like this aren't performance, or quality-related. Work your ass off, do the right things, represent your company with dignity, and ultimately, you're still just a number on a spreadsheet.
*The biggest losers are you and I. More trimming = fewer choices. Fewer choices = fewer stories being told, fewer points of view being offered, fewers vantage points, fewer wrongs being exposed, fewer powerless being empowered, and fewer angles being explored. We as consumers of content win when there's more content to sift through.
There's a little less to sift through today, because yesterday, you and I lost.
Radio Show: Rocky Boiman at 3:20, Tony Pike at 4:20, and plenty of draft angles, perspective, and analysis today, starting at 3:05 on ESPN1530.