Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
This is not a mirage. I'm actually contributing something new to my blog, which I had to blow some dust off of this morning.
The website has taken a backseat to, well, last week's four-day weekend, then an extensive on-air schedule this week that's included my regular show on ESPN1530, some evening work on ESPN Radio, and yesterday's fill-in stint on Kentucky Sports Radio, which was among the most enjoyable professional experiences I've had in a while.
None of it was hard work, but it was time-consuming. And when you're short on time, you end up having to make certain decisions....
Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
Staring at my kid's face > staring at my outdated laptop.
1) The Reds, otherwise known as one of a number of teams that has more All-Stars than the Cubs. Since I last typed words onto a webpage, some topics have emerged....
*The Nationals' interest in Raisel Iglesias. They're interested in the Reds reliever, which is understandable. He's quite good, you may have heard. The DC bullpen is quite bad, nearly as bad as their weather radar system. Maybe there will be a trade!
I hope not.
I'd absolutely listen to what the Nationals were interested in offering, although it feels like a perusal of their prospects would yield uninspiring results. I'd have to be overwhelmed to move Raisel Iglesias, a guy with a seemingly complex contract, but who's under team control for the rest of the decade, and a guy that - while I'd love to think what could've been for him as a starter - can anchor the bullpen in (hopefully) a more modern role than that of typical closer and be one of the cornerstones of the ongoing rebuild. I like this paragraph, from a site that often yields great paragraphs, Red Reporter...
For the Reds, it’s surely nice to know that the players they prize the most are also sought after by other clubs. However, in Iglesias’ case, this isn’t another flip rental to help overhaul the roster mid-rebuild. He’s a bona fide cog on the roster, signed for years to come, and not commanding an overwhelming salary. In other words, he’s a piece that’s been kept around specifically for the Reds to build around, not to be leveraged for other pieces that might well turn in to what he already is. So for the Reds to trade him, they’d need a ransom as the return, and I’m not so certain the Nationals can swing that with prospects alone.
(Photo: Getty Images)
*Zack and Scooter. "Zack and Scooter" sounds like a bad morning show on a bad radio station in some place like, I don't know, Charlotte. Zack is the straight-laced guy who likes Steve Winwood and golf. Scooter used to drink a lot, has two ex-wives and wears Hawaiian shirts. He also flirts with the woman who reads the news who sounds hotter than she is.
I forget where I was going with this. Oh yeah...
Zack Cozart is going to be 32 in a month. He's going to make a lot of money next year. He's having a great season, mainly on the strength of an unbelievable first two months. He's also the owner of a new donkey. I like him. I just don't want the Reds to bring him back next season.
Compared to his career norms, Zack Cozart's 2017 totals are otherworldly, and good for him. It's fun to watch someone enjoy a career year. But what he's been this season is not representative of the kind of player he is, and the coming seasons are much, much more likely to look like his first five seasons than the last two months.
But...there will probably be a team that will pay him based on their belief that 2017 is representative of what Zack Cozart is.
Meanwhile, Scooter Gennett continues to rake, leaving some to grumble about his part-time-but-almost-full-time playing status, which is a little silly because he continues to play quite regularly.
Instead of griping about how they use him, I say we tip one back due to the fact that the Reds have him - acquiring him for nothing in return - which makes Cozart more expendable, gives them an option as a starter if needed next season in the infield, and at worst provides them a versatile bench weapon for the next couple of years, which is still probably his best role.
*Homer Bailey. He had a decent start the other day in Denver, which was nice. I don't think the Reds are going to contend next season, and I'd stop way, way short of talking about them as serious challengers in 2019, but if you're clinging to the idea that the next two years can yield substantially better results than the last four, tell me how that's happening without Homer Bailey being at least competent.
*Replay. If replay went away in all sports, we'd still enjoy them. Trust me. I promise.
2) Greene Day.
The Reds are gonna sign their first round pick today, right? Right? RIGHT?
They have until 5:00 today. As I type this, that deadline is more than seven hours away. The smart money still seems to be on Hunter signing his first pro contract. People who cover this sport closely insist that there's nothing to worry about. Dick Williams insists that there's nothing to worry about.
It's hard to not start thinking about how it will feel if the weekend begins, happy hour drinks begin to be poured, and Hunter Greene is not officially a member of the Reds organization. The blog I write will have curse words. Be ready.
3) NBA Free Agency. Even people who don't like the National Basketball Association have to admit that no sport has an offseason like the NBA does. Packed tightly into about a three to four week window we get pre-draft trades, the draft, legit player movement involving players that matter, then the Summer League (Ball Fox tonight on ESPN if you're so inclined) before the league essentially goes away for three months.
There have been lots of moves. I won't discuss them all. I will give you yet another glimpse into what it's like to be a Knicks fan...
There were a handful of signings announced last night - Rudy Gay to San Antonio, Vince Carter to Sacramento, Kelly Olynyk to Miami - and every time one of them was announced (or, broken), I thought "hmmm, that's a good move." Gay goes to a place that has a deep enough roster that he can return from an Achilles tear at his pace, and he can help the Spurs play smaller, which is badly needed. Carter gives the Kings an old-head to foster better culture around their young guys. Olynyk is perfect for Miami, because he can stretch defenses and doesn't need to rebound.
And then there was the Knicks signing Tim Hardaway Jr. - a player they traded two years ago - and offer sheet for four years - including a player option - for $71 million.
I don't have it in me to truly break down how bad this is. Hardaway had a nice final six or so weeks in Atlanta this season, scoring points for the Hawks that used to be scored by Kyle Korver, but he's a defensive trainwreck, and his contract - assuming that Atlanta simply laughs at New York and refuses to match isn't one that a rebuilding team takes on.
Unless it's the Knicks.
Recommended link of the day: Actually, two. One, I'm late on: Every NFL Play Is a Brutal Game of Chess (this is Bengals-centric). The other is everything in The Enquirer's "Bengals 50" series. Dehner and Owczarski are absolutely killing it with this. Such good stuff. Seriously, check all of it out if you haven't already.
Radio Show: We are on from the Kentucky Speedway today. Seg will slobber over race car drivers. I'll talk about other sports. It will be fun. 3:05 on ESPN1530. Then I'm on late tonight on ESPN Radio, with lots of NBA, starting at 11:00. Please listen to all of it, which you can do at ESPN1530.com/listen.