We're going to call this the relaunch to the relaunch.
I have been pretty awful at regularly posting on this site, for a variety of reasons both good and bad. Laziness is one. Being the parent usually in charge of getting my daughter ready for the day is another. There's been a few internal issues that don't matter. But I think we've cleared a lot of them up, and so now here we go.
I'm going to commit to updating this page on a daily basis, except that this week is a holiday week and when there's a pool calling my name, I prefer to be in it instead of staring at my laptop.
But hey, I'll do it today and tomorrow. It's a start, right?
These entries won't be exceptionally long, and you won't read the name of your favorite team just because they won a game last night. I stopped blogging so regularly because I was beginning to feel almost an obligation to mention certain things, forgetting that this page is supposed to be a reflection of what's on my mind at the time, as well as an extension of the radio show.
Sometimes, there's a lot on my mind. Other times, there isn't.
And sometimes what's on my mind has - gasp! - little to do with sports.
Speaking of the radio show. 2019 has been the first year of my career in which I haven't had to split the time on ESPN1530 during the baseball season, and while it has been an absolute blast being on every day, it's taken a little getting used to, having every day to get through the slow post-Opening Day/NFL Draft months as we lead up to Bengals training camp. Combine that with breaking in a new producer, and I've been devoting a little more time to what I say on the air than what I type into a computer.
Speaking of the radio show...we need more interaction from you. That's on me to be able to get from you, something I've done a poor job of doing. I've had people say to me that we are opposed to taking phone calls, which couldn't be further from the truth. The thing I enjoy most about hosting a talk show is the back-and-forth with the audience, hopefully in the spirit of respectful debate.
Talk radio has changed. Gone are the days when people could only express themselves to a chud on the air by waiting on hold for 25 minutes, and long gone are the days when anyone wants to wait on hold for more than just a few minutes. Plus, I believe people are less likely to call and have a discussion with someone they disagree with, in today's age of affirmation over information.
So as a whole, shows like ours don't get as many calls, and host must be more prepared to do entire broadcasts without getting them.
The problem is when you prepare for a show without calls, the stick to the script a little too much, if you will, squeezing out listener interaction. I've been very, very guilty of this, and I think it's come at the expense of allowing you to be heard and making the show what it's supposed to be, which is not me droning on and on and on.
So, we're going to start prioritizing other voices a little more. Mainly, yours. I hope at some point in the coming weeks, I say something compelling enough to make you want to chime in. I assure you that you won't be on hold for 25 minutes.
And I'll try to assure you that you'll read more words on this here website.
The Reds lost last night. I don't know about you, but I miss the days when the Reds' bullpen was a major strength. Instead, it feels like Reds' relievers are limping to the All-Star break.
The recent struggles may be a sign of overuse, or it could just be a collective lull by a group that's been so good. More than anything, watching some of these relievers come back to earth a little brings me back to thinking about the missed opportunities that have so populated the first half. The Reds have wasted some outstanding relief pitching, and now that the bullpen is at least a mild issue, you can't help but wonder if they're buried too deep in the division to be able to withstand what's happened with the relief corps.
The Reds need to go 49-31 over their final 80 games to finish with 87 wins. That's .613 baseball, starting tonight. At some point, hopes for legit contention have to include a record that features more wins than losses, and arguments that involve something other than how shitty the rest of the division is.
Can you watch Christian Yelich without wondering what the Reds could have done - check that, should have done - get him?
Yeah. I can't either.
Thoughts on two things I wrote last week from The Athletic.
I wrote this about Zach Harvey coming to UC. Some didn't like it, which is fine. No one will like everything you do, when you do this for a living.
But a few have accused me of not wanting Harvey to play for the Bearcats, which couldn't be further from the truth. I'm all about second chances, and everything I've heard from people that have been around Zach Harvey points to him being a nice, mature kid who did something regrettable at an age when most of us do regrettable things. From my piece...
To UC’s credit, the announcement of Harvey’s addition was accompanied by an honest statement of accountability from the university and on the part of both parties. Details of the incident — which are largely scarce, considering the case involved minors — are still enough to make me wince with dread at what life will be like when my daughter becomes a teenager. Though in fairness, none of what I’ve heard is enough to make me believe that Harvey is undeserving of the opportunity to play major college basketball, either.
If that reads to you like it comes from someone that doesn't want Zach Harvey here, then I can't help you. What it is, is something that comes from someone that cares deeply about UC basketball, who founds lots to like about the teams that have preceded John Brannen's first UC squad, and who believes that the standard for what's come to represent Cincinnati hoops is pretty high.
And you and I both know that if I didn't address Zach Harvey's past, which I'm comfortable never bringing up again, I'm dealing with the requisite accusations of being a homer.
Which, I know, I'm not.
I wrote this about Jonah Williams injury. Some have told me that I'm minimizing the potential impact of the Bengals' first round pick.
No. My point is that you shouldn't pin all of your hopes on a rookie left tackle. Losing Jonah Williams hurts, but is survivable.
James Rapien got married this weekend. He took this picture with me just after his nuptials.
The wedding was Saturday, somewhere in Michigan. The weather was beautiful, the setting was gorgeous, and it happened in plenty of time for me to get out of town before James could ride me about what the Knicks did and didn't do when NBA free agency began.
Yeah, the Knicks. I wish I had something powerful and poetic about what it's like to be a diehard fan of this awful, terrible, franchise, but nothing I write here will be as good, or as eloquent as the dozens of pieces on the Knicks that have populated the internet since Sunday night.
They are the worst-run, most inept, tone-deaf organization in sports. They are getting what they deserve, even if us as fans deserve so much better. I'm actually rooting for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to win multiple titles with the Nets, which will make all seven of their fans happy. The Knicks deserve as much embarrassment, shame, and humiliation as possible, and nothing would provide those things more than the two players this entire season was predicated on them getting thriving, and winning a title in Brooklyn.
Sunday was the latest gut punch from a franchise that's never incapable of disappointment, and what they did and didn't do this weekend might not even come close to topping the list of things that have made me wish I'd never chosen this terrible team to root for. That's the problem, when a team becomes such a punchline that when it publicly gets embarrassed the way the Knicks were on Sunday, the accompanying feeling is so familiar, and so unsurprising.
This went longer than it should have.
Read these two things for today's radio show...
An oral history of how the Reds landed All-Star Luis Castillo, by C. Trent Rosecrans. C. Trent will join me at 5:05 on ESN1530.
Let's Update the Cincinnati Bengals’ Uniform, by Paul Lukas of SI.com. Paul joins me at 5:20 on ESPN1530.
Follow me on Twitter: @MoEgger1530
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