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The most interesting thing about last night's Reds game was that Cliff Pennington pitched.
The most painful part was watching Zack Weiss give up two of the hardest-hit homers I've ever seen, in his big league debut. Zack's current career ERA is literally infinity.
The second most painful part was watching Tanner Rainney, in just his second Major League appearance, struggle to find the strike zone the way I struggled to find dates when I was single.
The most sobering part was watching Sal Romano turn in a forgettable performance.
And the most frustrating part is that this season seems over before it's really even began.
This isn't fun anymore.
It's becoming less and less interesting to watch.
And as progress stalls, it's becoming more and more difficult to have faith in what the Reds are doing.
Not that I expected them to be really good this season - I'm no longer taking heat for my 90-loss preseason prediction - but I'd hoped that the Reds would at least be, I don't know fun? Interesting? Deserving of more attention later in the season than they've gotten?
There's still a part of me that wants to buy into the belief that what we're enduring with this team is merely the pain that must come before the payoff, but even with the injuries the Reds have had to deal with taken into consideration, it's really hard to watch this team every day and envision a time in the near future when they'll contend.
Not be competitive. Contend.
Meanwhile, even as Bryan Price manages like a guy enjoying total job security, the hot-button issue with Reds fans who remain interested in how long it'll be before the Reds make a managerial change.
Honestly, I really don't care right now. Whoever is occupant of the manager's office is, is for now, irrelevant. And it will be until the Reds have enough quality players in their primes, collectively capable of both lifting this franchise out of its funk and giving fans reasons to not feel the apathy that's currently setting in.
When the two most interesting things about a big league franchise are the development of an 18 year-old throwing in A ball and wondering which position player will be next to toe the rubber, it's ceased being fun following them.
Here's some stuff....
On the other end of the fun spectrum....My casual Blue Jackets fandom is kicking into another gear. How could it not after their stirring game one OT win over the Capitals last night? The Jackets trailed 2-0 and 3-2, were hosed by the officials multiple times, and seemed on the brink of getting blown off the ice a number of times throughout the night.
And they still won.
This was the best, and most satisfying sporting event I've watched since the UC win over Wichita State, which feels like it was a lifetime ago. I can't find anyone who thinks the Jackets will win this series, but they've stolen home ice, and as the game wore on, Columbus started to look like the better team.
I'm pumped to be at Nationwide for game three on Tuesday.
Joey Votto got the night off last night. I understand the reasoning. He was one of two players that played in every single game last year, starting all 162, and up until he rested last night, he'd started 202 straight games. He's going to be 35 later this year, and the older players get, the more rest they need. Plus, he's the biggest investment, and long-term, he's still the Reds' most important guy, worth protecting at the expense of the short-term. I get why Bryan Price wanted to give Votto the night off.
At the same time...Dude, the were 2-9 coming into last night, desperate for a win, and Votto historically has raked against last night's St. Louis starter, Michael Wacha. I get why Joey sat.
I also get why him sitting didn't sit well with others.
IYCMI: I tackled the whole Mike Brown/Eric Reid thing for The Athletic. Tell me why I'm wrong. Scroll down for the contact info you need.
The most underrated sports weekend of the year is the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs. My Knicks are not in them, of course, which is something I'm used to. Still, the slew of eight game ones in two days is a good time. Here's some very brief, depth-lacking NBA takes.
Jeff Hornacek is no longer coaching the Knicks. I'm okay with this. I didn't like how he preferred to play washed-up guys like Jarrett Jack instead of younger players, I hated how he managed the end of games, and he never really seemed to grasp the best way to use Kristaps Porzingis.
Still, he's wasn't anywhere close to that franchise's biggest problem, so his successor will probably be set up to fail.
And as much as I'd love to see him stalking the sidelines at MSG, I have no idea why Jay Wright would want to leave Villanova to take over that dumspter fire in NYC.
Coach of the Year: Quin Snyder
Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons, even if it's a sham that he's eligible.
Who cares about the rest?
I'm holding back the temptation to pick the Cavs to win the whole thing, something that seems more conceivable than it has at any point over the last 20 months. But I can't pull the trigger.
For all of the concerns that exist about them, I'm picking Golden State to win it again, but only after they survive the toughest road they've had to take during this historic four-year run.
Toronto over Washington in five
Miami over Philly in six
Celtics over Milwaukee in seven
Cleveland over Indy in four
(Relax Pacers fan. I've said they're the best success story in the NBA this year. I'm rooting for them. I just don't see them winning a game. I hope they prove me wrong.)
Golden State over San Antonio in six
Houston over Minnesota in four
Utah over OKC in five
New Orleans over Portland in seven.
Thanks for indulging me.
Here's some other stuff...
UC football is at an interesting crossroads as we get set for year two of the Luke Fickell regime. This is a good piece on a crucial year for the program and its head coach.
Good question: When will the Reds organization hold anyone accountable?
Bookmark this: What do NFL contracts actually mean?
Radio Show: We've got Chris Sabo at 3:33 and NFL Draft expert Dane Brugler at 4:05. A fun show starts at 3:05 on ESPN1530. Also, we have Cincy 3:60 at noon. Both on ESPN1530.