It’s a nice view from the top

What a weekend for Cincinnati Reds baseball. You can be a huge buzz kill and try to rain on this premature parade, but the Redlegs gave us a lot to enjoy this weekend. People will tell you it’s only May. But we won’t focus on the time of year. Instead, focus on this:

A beautiful sight.

Let’s discuss what was so great about this particular series:
-Even though you’ll probably hear a lot from the Captain Buzzkills out there (“It’s only May.”), you can tell them to shove it and throw out this stat: This is the deepest into the season the Reds have had the division lead since June of 2006. As Paul Daugherty told us in this morning’s paper, enjoy first place.
-I didn’t see any of it, but everything I’ve heard tells me the Civil Rights Game ceremonies were outstanding.
-Mike Leake is a stud. The first rookie in 20+ years to go straight to the majors and he looks like the ace on this staff so far. 4-0 with a staff-best 3.09 ERA. He went head-to-head with the Cardinals’ co-ace in Adam Wainwright and grabbed a huge win for this club on Saturday night.
-This offense can hit. Over the past 12 games, the Reds are hitting .297 as a team. That will usually get the job done.
-The defense is legit, too. 11 games without an error.
-The starters, after a shaky start (to say the least), are stepping up. In the last eight games, they’ve chalked up a 6-1 record, 2.11 ERA and 45 Ks. They need these kinds of numbers. Of the six division leaders in the majors right now, the Reds have given up the most runs (178)
-Pujols’ homer in the first game (and only loss) of the series ended a streak of 21 scoreless innings by Reds pitchers. Not half-bad.
-The entire pitching staff, from the starters to the ‘pen, have notched a 1.88 ERA over the last eight games.
-Bronson Arroyo has started pitching like the Bronson we saw back when he came over from Boston. In his last four starts, he’s 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA, including his first complete game of the season on Sunday.
-Drew Stubbs’ batting average may not be all that impressive (.202), but he was big this weekend. Friday night, he becomes the first player to homer off of Jaimie Garcia and he gets the biggest hit of the weekend on Saturday with the two-RBI triple in the sixth.
-What an awesome finish on Saturday night. The only thing I was upset about was the fact that I didn’t get to hear Marty call it because I was watching the game from my buddies’ place up in Columbus. Luckily, I was able to listen to Marty’s outstanding call.
-The Reds are in first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals had held that position since July 31 of last year. It’s great to see the Redlegs in first place. It’s even better to see them take first place from the Cards.

-The Cavaliers choked again in the playoffs. Now everyone wants to talk about where LeBron will go. Except for Clevelanders (Clevelandians?). A group of the city’s “finest” gathered to try and keep The King around through their music.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “We Are LeBron Video“, posted with vodpod

They raise a good point when they sing about the big sign. I mean, honestly, what would you do with this thing if he goes to New York or Chi-Town?

Maybe a Jake Delhomme sign instead?

In all seriousness, it’ll be interesting to see where LeBron goes. I’m hearing it’s a 60-40 type of situation. 60% chance he stays, 40% chance he goes. I think his decision will tell us a lot about what he wants to do in the future.
-Going to New York gets him an uncanny amount of visibility and even more marketability. But it’s definitely the worst spot as far as talent and championship potential. What’s more important: his brand or a championship? If he goes to the Knickerbockers, I think it’s the former.
-New Jersey may have been as bad as we’ve seen in a long time this year, but could you imagine the potential for the Nets if LeBron goes there? They’ve got a bona fide star in Devin Harris and Brooke Lopez is on his way to being there, as well. That’s two more stars than LBJ has ever played with in Cleveland. On top of that, New Jersey gets a lottery pick in this year’s draft. Newark isn’t New York, but it’s close by. New Jersey isn’t looking all that bad in the LeBron James Sweepstakes.
-I like Chicago. The Bulls have a great young core of guys between Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. That’s a good four starters there if you add BronBron. There’s even a little talk of John Calipari returning to the NBA to coach D. Rose again. Even though Calipari’s Twitter says otherwise, stories like this one are still coming out. I thought Coach Cal made it pretty clear when he said:

“I want to address this with the Big Blue Nation one last time, I will be coaching at Kentucky next year. Now let’s finish what we started!”

Even so, “Worldwide Wes” is trying to make him think differently. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell he’s leaving, but I would laugh a little.
-What about LeBron teaming up with Dwyane Wade? It’d be scary to think about, but I don’t think it happens. D. Wade and LeBron are SUPERSTARS. They might say they wouldn’t mind playing together, but they won’t. Both of them want the ball in their hands. If they play together, someone doesn’t do as much.
-Now that you’ve seen what I have to say, I’ll let you check out something a little more intelligent. The New York Times gave us the odds for each team in the LeBron James Guessing Game.

-All I really have to say about the Cavs’ early exit from the playoffs is that Mike Brown is gone. I understand he isn’t the sole reason Cleveland is home earlier than expected again, but he was downright out-coached by Doc Rivers in that series. He never figured out the match-up issues, he kept playing Shaq one series too early. I’ve heard different theories on Brown’s game plans throughout the Boston series. This is the one that makes the most sense: Brown wanted to please everyone. He has no clout whatsoever. He can’t point at a championship ring and demand everyone’s respect. He hasn’t done enough to tell Shaquille O’Neal to sit on the bench, tell LeBron James to do something. Phil Jackson won with Kobe and Shaq because they knew he knew what he was doing. It’s not because Kobe is better than LeBron. It’s because players would put egos aside when Phil Jackson told them to because he knew how to get a ring. Mike Brown might find out later. He doesn’t know now. He’s done. Cleveland wants to win championships and they want to keep LeBron. I don’t think either happens with Brown at the helm.

-The Cincinnati Cyclones are back in the Kelly Cup and ahead 2-0 coming back home to US Bank Arena tonight. They’ve rattled off six straight wins after falling behind 3-0 to the Reading Royals, the ‘Clones took the next four and took two in Boise over the Idaho Steelheads. Even if the Reds and Bengals keep up their winning ways, the Cyclones are still the best bang for your buck in Cincinnati sports. Except for maybe the Cincinnati Steam – back-to-back GLSCL Champs!

-Speaking of overcoming 3-0 deficits, how about the Philadelphia Flyers? The first NHL team to come back from that deficit since the 1975 New York Islanders. That’s impressive enough in and of itself. Then, they carry the momentum over and absolutely destroy the red-hot Montreal Canadiens 6-0 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. I realize the Habs are the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference, but you’re doing something right when you knock off the President’s Trophy winner (Washington Capitals) and defending Stanley Cup champs (Pittsburgh Penguins), especially considering those two teams have the two best players in the game right now. So after they do that, they can’t even manage a goal against the 7-seed and give up six goals? The Flyers are smoking hot. Maybe that historic comeback made them even better.
-It’s so weird to think that the 7th and 8th seeds are facing off in the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference finals features the top two seeds. I don’t know that I’m necessarily pulling for anyone, but I guess I’m rooting for the Sharks and Canadiens. The Sharks because I’m playing a season with them in NHL2k9 and the Canadiens because they’re the 8-seed and they’ve made it this far.

-I really enjoy this video. It’s pretty awesome. There might be a curse word in it, but don’t be offended:

-The Celtics look like they’re still a championship-caliber team. Everyone overshadowed their play with talk of LeBron leaving, but they’re looking very good. Even though they almost blew a huge lead in Game 1 against the Magic, they hung on and took home court advantage. Rajon Rondo is a stud. KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are all playing like they did during that 2008 title run. The NBA is all about match-ups, and it seems like the Magic would have the edge in that category. But the Celtics are playing some outstanding team defense. That’s what it takes to make Dwight Howard a non-factor. It will be interesting to see what Stan Van Gundy and Orlando have in store to try and make some adjustments.
-The Suns don’t match up well against the Lakers. No one does. L.A. has three guys over seven feet tall. They’ve got Kobe. Their bench is solid. The Suns have the best pick and roll duo in the game between Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Their bench and their defense were outstanding against San Antonio in the conference semis. They exercised that demon that was the Spurs, so I have to wonder if they’re over the hump. It should be a fun series. If Phoenix can get the pace moving, L.A. is in a bad way. If it’s a half-court game, I would have to say the Lakers have the edge.

-I don’t get the obsession with this Ke$ha chick. All she does is talk and add effects. “What comes out isn’t really music, but I still have a number one hit.”

That’s all I’ve got for today.
Altiora.

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~ by nchaney3 on May 17, 2010.

One Response to “It’s a nice view from the top”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Chaney. Nick Chaney said: The Reds are in first place, Cleveland's "finest" want LeBron to stay and Ke$ha isn't talented. The new TAC: http://wp.me/pDVhz-8F […]

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