It’s Opening Day for baseball in Cincinnati, which is an unofficial civic holiday around here – a parade, kids playing hooky from school, day-drinking… and tonight is the NCAA men’s basketball finals. A feast for the sports fanatic.
The Cincinnati Reds are picked to finish last in their division this year, mainly because they fared poorly last year and lost two starters from that team via trade, while not really picking up much, other than Marlon Byrd to play left field. I think they’ll do better than the prognosticators say… or at least I hope so. There was an interesting article in the Cincinnati Enquirer recently about the diametrically opposite batting approaches favored by two of the Reds biggest stars, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Joey is new school all the way, a Sabermetrics dream come true. He’d rather walk than swing at a bad pitch. Which is fine if the folks behind you in the lineup have some pop, but that’s not the case for the Reds. I prefer the Brandon Phillips approach – if there’s a dude on 3rd with less than 2 outs, your job is to get him home… and a walk isn’t going to do that. So if you’re counting votes, put me down for Team Brandon.
Now on to hoops. Turns out Kentucky was beatable after all. Sorry Ashley Judd.
I know some college basketball fans wanted to see a perfect season, but I wasn’t one of them, mainly because of the insufferable better-than-thou attitude of many in Big Blue Nation. Halfway through the season, I was watching a UK game on TV and saw a UK fan in the stands wearing this shirt:
That sort of hubris deserves a comeuppance, and that’s exactly what Frank the Tank and the Wisconsin Badgers delivered. Now they just need to knock off Duke, or else we’ll have another set of insufferable fans to deal with.