The Cincinnati Reds are not going to the playoffs, nor will they be major players (aside from some trades they may make) in a pennant race this season.
There's some tepid optimism for the Bengals, but no one's expecting big things this coming season, and even though we're going to convince ourselves that things like OTAs and minicamps are big, huge, things worthy of our attention, football is still months away.
As a sports-talk radio host here in Cincinnati, these are the dog days. The Reds season is going nowhere and its newness has worn off. Football remains deep in the distance. "Hey isn't it great that all these people are going to FC Cincinnati games" reached its expiration date as a topic two years ago, and I get yelled by the old white dudes in my audience whenever I bring up the NBA. Plus, I'm not good at coming up with topics like "let's come up with a list of the best athletes whose last names began with the letter B that wore the number 6."
So do you know how badly I needed a summer-long feud between Joey Votto and Canada?
We had one, at least for a day. Joey said some things on a podcast that pissed off our neighbors to the north...
“I don’t care almost at all about Canadian baseball,” Votto said on the podcast. “I wasn’t raised inside of Canadian baseball, really. I played on a local team, but as an 18-year-old I was drafted and I’m coming up on half of my life being in the United States working and being supported by American baseball.
“I’m happy for (Paxton) as a fellow player … but as far as Toronto and Canadian baseball and the country of Canada and him being Canadian, I don’t care at all. He or the Jays or Canada in general may disagree with that, but I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about that. I’m more happy for him as a player. That was a great moment. I’m not connected to Toronto so I don’t feel that sort of way about that. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be a Grinch about that.”
Canadians apparently lost their minds, which is news, because I wasn't really sure that Canadians were capable of losing their minds.
But whatever heat Joey was getting from his home and native land was cooled when he issued a needless apology yesterday...
I was asked recently about James Paxton and his no-hitter on Canadian soil. I am not sure how I could have been so ridiculously selfish and short-sighted in my reply.
When asked about baseball in Canada, the Blue Jays and specifically this event, it took me back to the times and my resentment for not making Team Canada in high school, not being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school, or not being picked for the Olympic team while in the minor leagues.
Clearly my reply came out of a side of jealousy for a Canadian baseball athlete being celebrated in the city of Toronto. It was an odd reply and one I am terribly ashamed of....
...As I write this I am saddened that I was so flagrant with my remarks and more importantly that I offended so many people that mean so much to me.
I would not be where I am now without the efforts of so many Canadian baseball people and the fans of Canadian baseball.
To James Paxton, the Blue Jays, the Toronto fans, the women and men all across Canada that work so hard to promote and support Canadian baseball, I am sorry for my selfish comments and I humbly ask for your forgiveness.
No, Joey! Take it back. First off, understand than apologizing to the angry mob rarely appeases the angry mob. Secondly, you said nothing wrong. Finally, think of me. Me!
I needed this. I needed a beef between the Reds best player and an entire country. This could've made the dog days bearable, and made a pretty miserable baseball season a ton more fun. I was this close to watching a star athlete and an entire country lob grenades at each other for months, which would have been an absolute blast to talk about, with me taking Joey's side, of course. I wanted this. I needed this. Dammit, I deserved this.
And I would've had it had Joey not said he was sorry.
His next apology should be to me.
Here's some stuff...
Reds win! Five of seven in California. A nice series-salvaging getaway day win in San Fran. A couple of sterling grabs, including this one by Scooter Gennett. And me no longer writing in complete sentences.
I'm happy to see that Canada moving its weapons into attack position and pointing them at Joey Votto didn't distract his teammates.
Rockets win. Live by playing iso-ball, die by playing iso-ball. I'm not convinced it'll work four times against Golden State.
You bet on PJ Tucker, Trevor Ariza, and Eric Gordon. I'll bet on Steph, Klay, and KD.
FC Cincinnati wins! I didn't attend their US Open Cup win over Detroit, but I did watch it on the stream. The Gettler Stadium setup actually looked kinda cool. And the home team looked like a different club once the tilt went into extra time.
You should join us tonight...
I've gotta be honest, I'm a little light on the sports opinions this morning. If that's the case on the radio this afternoon, I'm in trouble.
Here's some other stuff...
I spent the morning listening to this....this week's SI Media podcast featuring Scott Van Pelt and Brent Musburger. Both men talk gambling. You should listen.
This is creative...A day in the life of an inveterate MLB gambler in 2038
Like good technical football stuff? This is good technical football stuff.
This is the man I want the Knicks to draft, if they're able to draft him.
Radio Show: If the Votto v. Canada thing re-ignites, we'll have full coverage on ESPN1530. If not, I'll probably talk about Joey Votto anyway.
Also....wanna win a new lawn mower and tickets to every Riverbend show? Go here.