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The trade deadline is less than 72 hours away, and there are more opinions on whether the Reds should make a major move than Phyllis Diller got rhymes. Some say the Reds should stay put and see if their young players (Cozart, Alonso and Heisey) can give them the spark they need. Those wanting to deal are torn between landing another starting pitcher, a reliever, or a solid bat to stick in the middle of the lineup.
As for me, I think they need to make a deal, but the deal should be with a player already on their roster. The Reds need to sign Brandon Phillips to a long-term contract.
I know what you’re thinking: What’s the rush? The Reds have him signed through the end of the season, and have an option to sign him in 2012 for $12 million. But I think signing him now, in the middle of what has been a less than stellar season for the club, sends the right message about the Reds’ intentions for the next few seasons.
Let’s face it: if the Reds let Phillips go after 2012, whoever takes his spot at second will represent a drop off in defense–no matter who he might be. Phillips is the best defensive second baseman in the league, and there is no question he is the best Reds player at that position since Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. I grew up watching Morgan play, and I don’t recall him having the range or arm strength of Phillips. At least with the glove, he is a once in a generation player.
Offensively, he’s not Joe Morgan. But among all second basemen today, he ranks third in RBI, sixth in batting average, ninth in homers and OBP, and tenth in slugging and OPS. Those stats are pretty good, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the best of him yet. BP is 31-the age Barry Larkin was when he had his MVP season. I think Phillips is going to have one of those magical seasons when everything just clicks for him and he will be a MVP candidate. I only hope he’s wearing a Reds uniform when it happens.
But aside from all that, Brandon Phillips is the face of the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, I know. He drives us nuts sometimes. We wish he hadn’t publicly called the Cardinals a bunch of WLBs (even though THEY ARE) and sometimes he seems a little too casual on the field.
@DatDudeBP has the greatest smile in the game and (largely through twitter) has developed a relationship with his fans like nothing we have ever seen. He’s cracking jokes with the haters in St. Louis and flying his #BP FansShawty out to hang with him on road trips. He’s showing up at a kid’s youth league game. And (quite important in this day and age) he doesn’t appear to be destined for scandal. Word is the only alcohol that has ever touched his lips was a sip of celebratory champagne after winning the division last season.
I grew up with an appreciation for a specific Reds trade as a crucial component in forming the Big Red Machine. In November 1971, the Reds sent Lee May, Jimmy Stewart and Tommy Helms to Houston for Ed Armbrister, Denis Menke, Cesar Geronimo, Jack Billingham and Joe Morgan. Armbrister was a decent pinch hitter. Menke was later traded for Pat Darcy, who went 11-5 for the Reds in 1975. Geronimo won four gold gloves in centerfield. Billingham averaged 12.5 wins in six seasons for the Reds. And I seem to recall the aforementioned Morgan guy ended up alright.
It’s still the greatest trade in Reds history, but another that has to rank right up there is the one they made in 2006 with the Indians. Phillips came to the Reds for nothing more than a “player to be named later.” That player, Jeff Stevens, has logged a grand total of 7 innings pitching for the Cubs this season.
Following a third consecutive loss to the Mets at home, the Reds’ season may quickly be fading away. And that’s why it’s time to make another great deal.
It’s time to give DatDude a long-term contract.
Today we have a reader submission for the Monday Morning Mullet (afternoon edition). I can’t give you the exact details of where this beauty was found but I can tell you how I got a hold of it. A near and dear friend of mine, Tim, sent it to me in the middle of my work day a few weeks ago and I had forgotten about it. Saturday night, while enjoying a Maker’s on the rocks at Drake’s (www.drakescomeplay.com www.facebook.com/DrakesStMatthews), he reminded me that I needed to post it. So I have spent all morning trying to find it and voila…here it is. Thanks Tim, you owe me a drink!
This guy needs to be on a bud light commercial, he’s definitely a Real American Hero. Here’s to you Mr. Hawaiian Shirt Mullet Man! The way you sport that shirt with jorts and no socks with the shoes, makes the girls go crazy. The classic 1980’s beach bum Mullet time warped to 2011 to give us all a good laugh. So crack open a bud light because you deserve it…and maybe you’ll get drunk enough that you pass out and someone will lop off that huge rat tail known as a mullet
There’s no better way to start off the week than seeing a most awesome mullet on Monday morning. I pride myself in being somewhat of an amateur paparazzi, well at least when it comes to mullets and other hideous sites. If you would like to send me your own pictures of an awesome mullet or anything else I might enjoy, please e-mail it to MondayMorningMullet@gmail.com and your picture will be the Monday Morning Mullet.
With the start of the 2011-2012 College Football Season a little more than a month away, let the speculation begin as to which team will come out on top when the smoke clears in early January, 2012. The SEC has had a strangle-hold on the National Championship over the last 10 years (claiming 6 in that span including the last 5 in a row) and they are poised to try and make it 6 in a row this season. The LSU Tigers are expected to be the dominant team in the conference but they will face plenty of obstacles from within the conference as well as outside of the conference. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide will be a strong National title contender too and don’t count out the defending Champions, both SEC and National, the Auburn Tigers. This is just the western side of the SEC; don’t look past Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks in the east. This may be the best team he has fielded since he took over the helm in Columbia. So with all of this noted, the question begs, is there a serious threat from any other conference that can derail the SEC from claiming a sixth consecutive National Championship?
If you are going by conference, then the Big East does not have a team that can even threaten to win the SEC Championship. The closest they have may well be the Louisville Cardinals but Charlie Strong’s team is still short of being able to play for the big one; nonetheless they will be one of the favorites, if not the favorite to win the watered-down Big East and appear in a BCS Bowl.
The Pac-12 has just two teams with a shot… that would be last season’s runner-up, the Oregon Ducks and the Andrew Luck led Stanford Cardinals. The Ducks are still loaded on both sides of the ball and the offensive scheme is still unique to most defensive coordinators. But the Ducks are having some issues including the NCAA looking into the illegal / suspicious recruitment practices of several current players. For Stanford, the loss of their coach, Jim Harbaugh to the NFL and the graduation of three offensive linemen make a run at the NCAA title a chore but if they can knock off the Ducks and the Trojans, they will have a chance to play for the championship. USC would be a long shot to make a run as they just are down-trodden on the defensive side of the ball.
The Big Ten had at least three possible contenders to the thrown but with the mess up in Columbus that number is now down to two. The most serious threat out of the Big Ten could be Brett Bilema’s Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers have a pair of running backs that can put up 100 rushing yds in the drop of a hat; they will run behind a bruising front line that is experienced. The defense is solid and they play smart. The other threat out of the conference would be the “new kids on the block”, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Bo Pelini’s Huskers have a defense that is rapidly getting the moniker back of “the Black-Shirt Defense” and if he can get the QB situation sorted out, and then the offense may be able to get in gear as well. The one thing that could hurt the Huskers is a schedule which does not necessarily favor them.
The ACC has been a conference that has been embattled as of late and much like the PAC 12, there really is only 2 teams that could halt the SEC’s run at 6th consecutive title, the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Florida State Seminoles. For the Hokies, they will have to break in a new QB for the departed Tyrod Taylor. They also lost a couple of RBs to early NFL Draft entrance but the Hokies have typically put their hat on their defense and special teams and both of those areas are solid. The offense may be the one thing standing in the way of the fans in Blacksburg getting that elusive National Title. The Noles will also have to break in somewhat of a new QB for the departed Christina Ponder. But Bert Emmanuel played in several games last season including leading his team to a Bowl victory. So he is poised and ready to make a splash as the full-time starter. The defense is fast and ferocious and the offense has plenty of weapons at the skilled positions. It is simply the mental lapses and the injuries that seem to always plague the Seminoles.
Last but not least, there is the now depleted Big 12 which will pin its hopes on the University of Oklahoma to bring home a National Championship. The Sooners will enter the season as No. 1 in most polls (LSU will undoubtedly get votes for the top spot as well) and this as well balanced of a team as you will find in all of college football this season. The only thing that seems to derail the Sooners is that always improbable and inexplicable loss to someone that they just didn’t seem prepared to play. Coach Stoops has to find a way to keep the focus and the hunger in his players each and every week. If he does that, the fans in Norman may be celebrating a return to its “glory days”. Texas will try to rebound after a disappointing campaign last season. Oklahoma St. could make a run but you just get the feeling they are still missing something. Texas A&M will be dangerous but they are National Champion material just yet.
The only other team left would be the Boise St. Broncos but as we saw last year, that road can be so difficult to climb year-after-year, especially when you are not a member of a BCS conference. Kellen Moore is back under center and the Broncos have some very good players on offense and defense. It still will come down to who loses in front of them and when they lose. A loss early in the season will still allow for a team in a BCS conference to still “leap-frog” the Broncos at the end. So the Broncos will always be the under-dog when trying to get to the title game.
The Bluegrass Stallions are extremely pleased to be hosting the DeMarcus Cousins Elite Skills Basketball Camp on Aug 1-3 at the Kentucky Basketball Academy. The camp will be for boys and girls ages 7-16 and will run from 9am-1pm each day. The camp fee is $149 and includes a personal photo taken with DeMarcus, an autographed 16×20 photo of DeMarcus, an Official Nike Camp Tee shirt, lunch provided by Papa Johns as well as an Official Certificate of Participation. Campers will also receive basketball instruction by DeMarcus as well as members of the Bluegrass Stallions including Stallions Head Coach Jaron Brown.
DeMarcus Cousins was a 2009 McDonald’s All American in high school as well as being named to the 2010 AP First Team All American while playing at the University of Kentucky. After being drafted 5th overall in the 2010 draft by the Sacramento Kings, Cousins went on to be named to the NBA All Rookie First Team. “I love Kentucky and most importantly the people of Kentucky” stated Cousins. “I’ve wanted to do a basketball camp in Kentucky this summer and teaming up with the Stallions made sense. I look forward to reuniting with all the Kentucky fans and having a lot of fun with the kids that will be attending my skills camp.” This will mark the second camp the Stallions have hosted this summer. Team President Kristi Nelson is excited about the opportunity to work with Cousins, “We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with DeMarcus. We feel as if our first camp this summer was a success. DeMarcus has been successful at every level of basketball. Having him share his experiences with the campers brings this camp to a whole new level.”
For more information about the DeMarcus Cousins Elite Basketball Camp please call 502-863-6303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms are available at the Stallions office (143 E. Main Street, Georgetown, KY) or those interested can pre register for camp by going to www.bluegrassstallions.com
Former George Rogers Clark standout and Louisville guard Preston Knowles will have a basketball camp July 25-28 at the Winchester YMCA. The camp will feature two sessions, one for players ages 4 through 8th grade from 9 a.m.-noon. The second session is for players in grades 9-12 will be from 6-8:30 p.m.
Once Knowles graduated from GRC and headed west on 75 my hatred for the Cards toned down a notch. Each time Knowles came back to Winchester to watch his former team, he never shied away to sign autographs for every kid that came up to him. I know my nephew who has looked up to Knowles for some time now is ecstatic about attending the camp.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to be around Preston then you should know that this is a good chance for your kids to get hands on learning from one of the hardest working talents to come through Winchester.
For more information feel free to call the Winchester YMCA at 859-744-9622.