Off to a late start. My apologies....
*Reds fight, and lose. I loved everything about yesterday's Reds/Pirates "brawl," starting with the way Derek Dietrich stood and admired his work after hammering a second inning home run, continuing with the way Chris Archer kept baseball on brand with its silly adherence to its unwritten rules, to the way David Bell charged out of the dugout after Archer was warned when he threw behind Dietrich in retaliation. Bell sprinted from the dugout in a clear attempt to get his team going, but I liked it. I'm guessing his players did too.
And as if I couldn't already love Yasiel Puig enough, I loved watching him try to fight the entire city of Pittsburgh while his teammates tried to restrain him. Many have wondered what kind of teammate Puig will be. What I saw yesterday tells me he'll be a damn good one.
Unfortunately, the fun little mini-fracas that unfolded at PNC Park is merely nothing more than a nice little distraction from the fact that the Reds are now 1-8. Yes, the 1995 Reds started with the exact same record before ultimately running away with the NL Central, but I might know more about the '95 Reds than anyone on the planet, and let me tell you, this team ain't the 1995 Reds.
I'd rather talk about the "fight" than actual baseball, because aside from wondering whether or not David Bell did the right thing in allowing Raisel Iglesias in to pitch the tenth on Saturday (a move I have no problem with), there really isn't that much to say.
So let's talk about the brouhaha, which was the fault of home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg.
When Dietrich stood and stared after hitting his second inning dinger, nearly everyone knew that there was a decent chance that Chris Archer would throw at him the next time he came to the plate. Even after Dietrich finished circling the bases, it was apparent that he'd drawn the ire of Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli. That's when Kellogg should've gone ahead and pre-emptively issued warnings.
Instead, he allowed for Archer to eventually throw behind Dietrich, which was lame but not unexpected. Then all hell broke loose, a bunch of guys were tossed, yet Archer was allowed to stay in. The whole thing could have been avoided. I'm glad it wasn't, because incidents like yesterday's are fun, and it'll be a little more interesting the next time the Reds hook up with the Pirates, but the blame for the dustup lays with the ump that did nothing to prevent it.
*What happens if 1-8 turns into 3-15? Are you still reminding me of how early it is?
*I have Virginia over Texas Tech. Don't think Chris Beard's team can solve the Cavaliers defensively, nor do I think the Red Raiders can get out in transition before Virginia gets its defense set. Give me the Cavs -1 and the under at 118, which for as low as it is, still seems too high.
Also, yes that was a foul. And yes, that was a double-dribble. Let's move on.
*FC Cincinnati gets a point, and good for them. It felt like a little bit of a missed opportunity, not building on an early 1-0 lead. The home team looked gassed across the final 15 or 20 minutes. My daughter and I had a good time, though.