Category Archives: Major League Baseball

Bryce Harper Is A Punk

Yes, Bryce Harper is probably the best player in Major League Baseball right now.  Yes, Bryce Harper is bringing younger fans and excitement to the game.  Yes, Bryce Harper will probably end up in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.

But one thing remains the same.  Bryce Harper is a punk.  A spoiled, arrogant punk.
harper_bryce640
Monday Night, he cried in the fourth inning to home plate umpire Brian Knight after taking a clear strike for a K looking.  Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Harper was ejected after chirping at Knight when the Nats’ Danny Espinosa took strike three looking.  Luckily for Harper, Clint Robinson ended it with a walk-off homer to win it for Washington.

After the game ended, Harper was clearly shown on camera saying “F-ck You” in the direction of Knight during the home plate celebration.  Class act, Harper.  Class act.

(Courtesy Of SB Nation’s Joe Mullinax)

I am sure the fanboys will continue to defend Harper.  I even was beginning to sway Bryce’s way when it came to “Making Baseball Fun Again”.  After his act Monday Night, I am going back to the “old rules”.  Hopefully someone plunks this punk soon.  At the very least, Dusty Baker better get his ass under control.

2016 Cincinnati Reds: Permission To Lose?

phillips-Friday

​The 2016 MLB Season for the Cincinnati Reds will be a difficult one for fans of the team.  It will be one where there are absolutely no expectations for the team to win.  In fact the team’s President, Walt Jocketty, even expressed as much during the team’s Winter Caravan.  Much of the team’s core and fan favorite players have been traded away recently. 3B & 2015 Home Run Derby Champion Todd Frazier, Starting Pitchers Johnny Cueto & Mike Leake in addition to flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman have been dealt.  Stalwart 2B Brandon Phillips rejected, due to his status as a “10/5 Player” (10 years in the majors and five with the same team), not one but two potential trades to Arizona & Washington, which puts into question his thirst for winning as opposed to just collecting a hefty payday.  RF Jay Bruce still is the subject of trade rumors but his poor stats the past two years, due to injury in 2014 (.217, 18 HRs & 66 RBIs) and a horrible season in 2015 (.226, 26 & 87) hurts any trade value he may have.  Star 1B Joey Votto remains, mainly because of a huge contract that most MLB teams would not want and also because the Reds seem to envision him being part of a supposed resurgence in 2018.

The rest though, is “potential”.  Can new 3B Eugenio Suarez fill the hole Todd Frazier left behind?  Suarez showed potential in 97 games for the Reds last year (.280, 13 & 48) but can he do it over a full season?  If so, will fans warm to him as they did to Frazier?  Billy Hamilton is on his last chance being the Reds’ starting CF and leadoff hitter.  Billy is a demon on the basepaths with 57 stolen bases but showed no progress at the plate. (.226 batting average in 114 games).

The old adage rings true; “You can’t steal first base.”  Billy must learn how to bunt, IMMEDIATELY.

LF is a gaping hole that may take many games to fill.  Journeyman OF Adam Duvall will get a shot at the job as will top prospect Jesse Winker.  In five minor league seasons Jesse hit for a .292 average with 49 HRs & 223 RBIs.

The pitching staff will be led by RH Homer Bailey but due to injury he won’t return until mid-May.  The rest of the rotation will be filled by “Young Guns” Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, John Lamb, Raisel Inglesias & John Moscot.

Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Jonathan Sanchez & Robert Stephenson could also be in the mix whether starting or relieving.  JJ Hoover, who rebounded from a horrendous 2014 last season (2.94 era over 64.1 innings in a set-up role) will take over the closer spot.  Hoover doesn’t have the 103 MPH fastball of Chapman but he can bring it and is a tough competitor.

Reds fans must be patient in 2016 and even 2017.  The farm system, while not stellar, is solid and should provide hope in a few years.  Hopefully Reds fans will stick around.

Last Rites For Jim Rome

rome

I used to be a BIG Jim Rome fan.
Romie used to be a big deal “back in the day”. Talking “smack”, running bad callers & gaining a huge legion of fans…his ‘clones’. Rome even had tour stops (of which I attended three) that drew thousands. The “SmackOff”, which was a competition amongst the best callers, used to generate huge buzz.

But times & people change. The smack now seems stale, the personal appearances now only draw a few & the “SmackOff” is now just cringe inducing. Hell, ESPN even dumped Rome and he is fading away on the now near dead CBS Sports Radio Network. Once in awhile CBS throws Jim a bone and lets him appear on their NFL Coverage but usually those segments are now used by those on social media to goof on “Van Smack”.

It was a fun ride Romie, but it’s over. Time to put away the smack talk & call it a career.
Time to give yourself a ‘manual buzzer’.

What Are Your New Years Sports Resolutions?

resolutions

It’s the beginning of a New Year and with that time once again for each of us to make our New Years  Resolutions.

What are your ‘Sports Resolutions’ for 2016?
Is it to be a better fan of your teams?
Is it to be more critical of your teams?
Is it to actually get off the couch and participate in a sport?
Is it to lessen your sports spectating?
Is it to watch more sports?
Is it to ‘cut the cord’ and go to more streaming services to watch sports?
Is it to give up on sports altogether?
Is it to maybe start watching and following a new sport?
Is it to maybe help in coaching youth sports?

Feel free to share your New Years ‘Sports Resolutions’ with us and tell us how you do as the year progresses.  The Sports Bus cares.

Christmas Wishes for Ohio Sports Fans

It’s the Holiday Season…so why not give our “Christmas Wishes” for fans of Ohio’s major sports teams?

CLEVELAND BROWNS- Hope, any glimmer of hope. All the fans of this downtrodden franchise want is a sign that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train.

CINCINNATI BENGALS- Success on the “big stage”.  This is the season where the Bengals need to show their fans that they can deliver in ‘primetime’. Yes, Andy Dalton is injured…but AJ McCarron should keep the ship afloat until the “Red Rifle” can return in the playoffs.

OHIO STATE FOOTBALL- A convincing win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.  Yes, the dominating victory over Michigan was nice but Buckeyes fans need a big win over the Irish to take the sour taste of no return to the College Football Playoff out of their mouths.

CINCINNATI REDS- A blueprint of a true, concrete plan.  Most reasonable Reds fans probably understand the need for the mid-market team to shed payroll.  But those fans also need to see what is being done to rebuild….or maybe just get some more sweet bobbleheads.

CLEVELAND INDIANS- A sense of direction.  Is this team really in it to win it or just to keep their heads above .500?  The franchise has made some vaguely interesting moves so far this offseason to pique interest among the fanbase but is it enough to compete in the AL Central?

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS- Leadership from within.  Yes, the hiring of John Tortorella as head coach should provide discipline but the team needs leadership from the players themselves.  Nick Foligno was elected captain but it still seems like someone, anyone, needs to start being a bit of an asshole in the locker room.  Nice guys finish last especially in the NHL.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- A NBA Championship. Pure and simple.  This team is the only real hope Cleveland has of bringing a title to the city.  If they fail this season, it doesn’t look possible anytime soon.

OHIO STATE BASKETBALL- A .500 season with maybe a couple of Big Ten Tournament wins would be nice.  Kentucky win aside, this is a very young team and is due to disappoint Buckeyes fans a few more times this season. If they could sneak into the NCAA Tournament, that would be a bonus.

UC & XAVIER BASKETBALL- To use a cliche, “You keep being you”.  Both of these teams exemplify why  the city of Cincinnati is a true college basketball gem.  UC & X are very good teams with great coaches at the helm.  Added bonus, neither coach looks to be wanting to go elsewhere which should mean continued success for a long time.

LOOK INTO THE FACE OF SADNESS

So, on “Back To The Future” Day & being tortured by a man named Murphy, the same name held by the goat that cursed them, the Chicago Cubs were swept by the New York Mets and knocked out of the MLB Postseason.  And once again, Cubs fans experienced deep sadness and disappointment that has haunted them since 1908 (yes, their last World Series win).

So why not brighten your day at work or home by realizing “Hey, at least I am not one of these sad sacks….”
cubs5
Now, now…this is nothing that an “Old Style” & Deep Dish Pizza can’t fix.

cubs7
Don’t try to overthink it, young man….your team is cursed.

cubs6Child abuse?  Yeah, your parents making you a Cubs fan should qualify.

cubs9
What is up with this?  We always thought the Wrigley Bleachers were a fun place where no one cared about winning.

cubs2
We sure hope this older Cubs fan was around to see their World Series win.

cubs8
Befuddlement also seems to be a common look among Cubs fans, even for Jack Benny on the right.

cubs4
The sad moment when you realize you are not only a Cubs fan but also dressed up like a clown.

cubs1
It’s ok…at least you have a really nice sweater….ok, maybe not.

cubs3
Thanks for coming, Cubs fans….and always, wait till next year.

(Screengrabs courtesy of TBS)