For reasons that aren't really worth getting into, I've blogged very, very little since the beginning of 2019, and really, compared to the frequency and volume with which I used to update this page, I've been slacking on the blog for about a year and a half.
For other reasons that are even less worth getting into, that should end today.
I've had today circled for a while, targeting April 2nd as the unofficial date my blog is relaunching. Starting today, I now have more time to devote to a page that's become less of a priority in recent months, and whereas the baseball season has usually meant a very inconsistent schedule, my on-air schedule this season will pretty much be the same every single day.
This should enable me to be a frequent blogger again.
I'm not going to be doing anything revolutionary, or different from what I used to do for years. I'll post my daily thoughts. Sometimes at great length, other times with brevity. Occasionally, there will be a non-sport-related thought. Usually, I'll #sticktosports. And I'll never feel obligated to mention your favorite team just because it recently won a game.
I don't know how good this is going to be, and my shaky time-management skills are going to be challenged, but this page used to be a priority of mine, and I want to make it one again. I'll still be very busy at times, with a daily radio show, regular contributions to The Athletic, and fill-in work on ESPN Radio that I just signed up to do for another 20 months, but even though I've teased making this page something resembling what it used to be, this time I mean it.
Thanks for reading.
*Reds lose. No one was there for it, so maybe it didn't happen. Interesting ballgame last night, played out in front of maybe 5,000 folks. We don't need to regurgitate decades-long old takes about why early-season attendance is so low. I do think, however, that the new enthusiasm and interest in the Reds won't be measured early by high attendance totals, for a few reasons. The Reds don't have a weekend series at home in April. It's still cold. And there's a difference between a team making a few moves to pique people's interest and getting them to plunk down some money.
Those who did show up at saw an interesting ballgame, particularly in the ninth inning. I don't have an issue with how David Bell handled the bottom half after Curt Casali doubled to lead off the inning. Chris Welsh, on the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast, wondered if instead of having Michael Lorenzen run for Casali, if it made sense to have him hit for Scott Schebler against Josh Hader. Others opined that Bell should've called for a bunt.
I'm okay with what Bell did. Lorenzen has promise as a hitter, but his big league plate experience is too limited to expect him to come up big against a pitcher of Hader's caliber, and in an admittedly small sample size, Lorenzen's OPS against lefties is .152 lower than it is against righties. Compared to how productive he's been against right-handed pitchers, Schebler has held his own against southpaws.
And bunting is stupid.
The bigger issue for me is how pedestrian Raisel Iglesias has looked in both of his 2019 outings. The velocity last night wasn't what we're used to seeing. Maybe worth keeping an eye on, maybe not, and by the middle of the month, we might chalk two shaky outings up to being little more than just a guy getting off to a slow start.
*Equally as sobering, Hunter Greene will need Tommy John surgery. It's a massive setback for the Reds, and a brutal blow to the kid. When he was taken in the 2017 draft, some wondered if there was a chance we'd see him find his way to a big league mound as soon as late 2019. Now, your guess is as good as mine as to where and whether he'll pitch in 2020.
As for the angst and the social media-drive "I told you so" hot taking happening right now, I stand by what I wrote when the Hunter Greene injury first became news last summer....
A lot of this is a crap shoot, totally random and beyond anyone’s control. Every young pitcher carries with him some risk, and many will fall victim to that one-in-three thing that seems to strike with no real of predicting who will be next or why one pitcher has elbow problems yet another only misses a throwing session. The best teams can do is make informed guesses, place their bets on the guys that have the most upside, and when they have the chance, use the draft to acquire once-in-a-lifetime talents that could change the trajectory of an entire franchise, even if it means incurring some risk.
Hunter Greene was, and is, worth the risk.
*Mick, UC, UCLA, and the "hatchet piece." Let me get this part out of the way: I want Mick Cronin to stay at the University of Cincinnati. I also want Mick Cronin to win a little bit more frequently in March. Both things can be true.
Both of these things can be true too: Mick Cronin is negotiating a new contract with UC. Mick Cronin is a candidate to be the next head coach at UCLA. One of those two statements doesn't make the other one not true. Here are separate, unconnected thoughts....
-If Mick Cronin does take the UCLA job, I believe he will be the Head Coach at UC for the next 8-10 years.
-If Mick is using the UCLA as leverage - and I'm a big proponent of anyone using leverage - the this is likely the last time, shy of making a Final Four run, that he'll be able to use another job as leverage.
-UCLA presents Mick with a better chance of winning a national title. I'm sorry, but I believe that to be true I don't think Mick will have that many chances to take a job that gives him a much better chance to win one.
-Mike DeCourcy is in the US Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. He doesn't do "hatchet pieces."
-If John Calipari and Coach K aren't supposed to recruit the players that both coaches took to the Elite 8, Mick should gladly take them. That's unrelated to the Mick-staying-or-going-thing, but there have been some really bad UK and Duke takes over the last few days.
The quality of the work will get better. It feels like it's been months since I've done this...
Radio Show today: Reds/Brewers, Hunter Greene, Iglesias, and the return of The GABP Woo. Plus, we'll get to the Mick situation, ballpark attendance, and a ton more. Join me at 3:05 on ESPN1530.
Follow me on Twitter: @MoEgger1530
Listen to ESPN1530: ESPN1530.com/listen