Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
1) To borrow Marvin's favorite phrase.....
I see better than I hear.
Marvin Lewis says that after the Bengals whacked Ken Zampese last week, it's the players who should now be on notice...
“This is not magic,” Lewis said of his speech to the team. “You have to do the work. Offense, defense and special teams all alike. Changing; I said we got Kenny out of here. Not Kenny. We did. And they gotta understand that. They’re part of that. And the next time, look around, there will be different guys sitting there. And they realize that, too.
“That’s the part of it that everybody has to understand. We have to do it together, collectively. We had a period where I felt like this was the time to do it, and we had an opportunity to make it right and move forward and get back in this race, get back in the division, get back in the AFC and do what we set out to do.”
Ok. Fine. But...
All of this sounds fine, and I really hope that things don't devolve to the point where new players are needed across the board, but I'm as interested now in what the Bengals will do with players that aren't getting it done as ever.
Namely, if Andy Dalton plays against Green Bay the way he performed against Baltimore and Houston, will he continue to be the starter?
There are other personnel matters, of course. The offensive line, for one. But their biggest under-performer in the first two games was Dalton, a guy who's deserved some benefit of the doubt, but a player the Bengals can ill afford to wait to figure it out given their dire situation. Is he in danger of losing his gig?
If what we've seen so far continues for a little while longer (keyword: little), it should be.
Even though it never has been.
2) What's it gonna take? This scene in New York yesterday was heartbreaking.
Todd Frazier drilled a foul ball into the stands that struck a little girl, who was eventually taken to a hospital. The looks on the faces of the players tells you all you need to know.
I've written about MLB's lack of uniformity in demanding that its teams extend netting down the baselines more than I care to. There simply is no good argument against, or excuse for doing this, and it's going to require a fan dying before league-wide changes are made.
Every day that goes by with even one major league stadium lacking protective netting past each dugout, if not farther down both lines, baseball teams are inviting a child to get hit in the face by a projectile traveling 100 mph. Think about that. Obscene amounts of money go toward ballpark experience and ambience and amenities, and because courts of law have upheld that the disclaimer on the back of tickets indemnifies teams from balls and bats whirring into the stands, they treat safety as if it’s of no concern. This is more than negligence. It is the witting abdication of moral responsibility. It is in every sense of the word shameful.
Shame on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Shame on the San Diego Padres. Shame on the Colorado Rockies. Shame on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Shame on the San Francisco Giants. Shame on the Cincinnati Reds. Shame on the Chicago Cubs. Shame on the Milwaukee Brewers. Shame on the Miami Marlins. Shame on the Los Angeles Angels. Shame on the Oakland A’s. Shame on the Seattle Mariners. Shame on the Cleveland Indians. Shame on the Detroit Tigers. Shame on the Chicago White Sox. Shame on the Toronto Blue Jays. Shame on the Boston Red Sox. Shame on the Baltimore Orioles. Shame on the Tampa Bay Rays. And shame on the New York Yankees, who witnessed Wednesday why it’s such an obscene dereliction of duty that 20 teams still refuse to get onboard with something that should’ve been required well over a decade ago.
Pretty much on-point, and you'll notice that the Reds are among the 20 clubs that refuse to take the extra step to protect their fans. (I nearly saw a kid get maimed sitting about 15 rows up back in May and wrote about what the Reds must do.) Rob Manfred needs to take this out of the hands of the individual teams and mandate that in 2018, netting is extended well past the dugouts. It's absurd that we're even still talking about this.
3) For the 51st and final time in 2017.....I attended what will be - barring something unforeseen tonight - my final Reds game of the season last night. It wasn't my final baseball game of the year - I've catching a big White Sox Royals game Friday and Cubs/Brewers on Saturday on the way to Sunday's Bengals game in Green Bay - but it was the last time I'll be inside GABP until late next March.
The game itself was pretty non-descript. Rookie Davis didn't have it, and the Reds went quietly against a Cardinals team that has to pretty much win out to make the playoffs, sending the Reds to 25-26 in games I attended this season. But there's always something about being at the ballpark for the final time during a season that makes me wistful, and I always walk a little bit slower toward the exit when I won't be returning for a while. I don't really have a larger point here, and I'm guessing a few people reading this are rolling their eyes, but I like going to Reds games and I miss going during those long fall and winter months when I drive past the ballpark in the dark on my way home but can't go in.
Radio Show: After a nice little day off yesterday, I'm back today, baby. Lots of Bengals, some UC, fantasy football and gambling advice, and yeah, I'm gonna talk MLB netting. Today. 3:05. ESPN1530.
Recommended Link Of The Day: How Randall Cunningham Taught NFL Quarterbacks To Fly