CINCINNATI - It's Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The best of all time, Vin Scully is 85 years old today.
CLOSING TIME: As hoped, the Reds finished their deal with Jonathan Broxton Wednesday. The deal is three years and worth some $21 million. He hasn't been promised the closer's role, but that's closer's money, not set-up dough. Obviously, the decision has been made to get Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation and let Broxton finish games. The Reds are halfway through their deal with Chapman and it's time to find out if starting is his future. If it doesn't work out, they know that he can dominate at the end of games.
JUICED AND JUDGED: The 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballots went out on Wednesday with 37 players to be evaluated. The list includes Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, all guys who did extraordinary things in the game and were linked to steroids at one time or another. It's the first appearance on the ballot for the trio. Admitted steroid user Mark McGwire has been on the ballot six times and so far hasn't sniffed Cooperstown.
QUESTION: There are 600 selectors for the Hall of Fame, all members of the Baseball Writers Association. Why aren't veteran radio and television play-by-play announcers among the selectors? The likes of Marty Brennaman, George Grande and Chris Welsh are great observers of the game, and should have a voice. This is especially true today since there are so few print writers left in the press box.
OPINION: Clemens, Bonds and Sosa manipulated the game. Pete Rose deserves election before they do.
IN: Louisville gets invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, replacing Maryland.
OUT: UC and Connecticut remain on the outside looking in. Two things can happen. The ACC can be raided again by the Big Ten. If that's the case, the ACC will come calling. Perhaps even without a raid, the ACC might expand to 16 teams and the Bearcats and Huskies would have to be considered. Or, UC will be stuck in a league that looks mysteriously like the old Conference USA.
OBSERVATION: If UC AD Whit Babcock can get the Bearcats out of the Big East mess and into a legitimate conference, they should erect a statue of him next to the one of Oscar Robertson.
RANDOM QUESTION: Somewhere in this wide, wide world, there has to be a financial advisor or a stock broker named Clifton or Clifford. Do you think his clients might call him "Fiscal Cliff"?
CENTER OF ATTENTION: The Bengals Kyle Cook has returned to practice on a roster exemption. The veteran center is on the reserve/injured list because of an ankle injury. Now the Bengals have three weeks to decide whether to return him to the active roster or keep him inactive for the remainder of the season.
POWERBALL: Looks like the winning numbers are 5, 23, 16, 22, 29 and 6. A winning ticket is worth $580-million.
ROOKIE: I dropped my wife off at a Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Wednesday night so she could play the Powerball lottery. She's never done it before. The poor gal in the store was by herself and was inundated with ticket buyers and gas pumpers. I'm sure she was thrilled to see a first-time player.
IF I RAN A COMPANY: Just a thought: If I managed a company, perhaps 100 to 200 workers, I would spend a few hundred dollars and buy a lottery ticket for each employee. If somebody hit the jackpot, the entire work force would share the winnings. A big lottery drawing is a bonding event similar to employees getting involved with a Super Bowl or Final Four pool. Why not make it a company-wide affair?
CONCLUSION: Ideas like this are probably why nobody has ever asked me to run a business.
FALLEN LEADER: Perhaps you read or saw a television story about the death of Channel 9's former General Manager J.B. Chase. In my 33 years here, he presided over our greatest era. We did Xavier basketball, the WEBN Fireworks, the Flying Pig Marathon, a slew of special programs and we had a fabulous children's program called "Kids Eye-View." We teamed with CBS to do national coverage for their affiliates, taking us to the Olympics, Super Bowls, etc. He was very fair and very supportive of his employees.
THE RUB: One time, just before the pressure of a ratings period, J.B. brought in a couple of masseuses who gave every employee one of those 10-minute massages. It was great. Another time, we played miniature golf in a course that was set up throughout our old building at Fifth and Central.
BUCKEYE BEST: Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been named AP's Mister Football in Ohio. Sounds like he deserves it, with 4,000 yards passing, 42 passing touchdowns, 835 yards rushing and 18 rushing touchdowns.
HOWEVER: It seemed odd to me that NOT ONE CINCINNATI AREA PLAYER was considered a finalist for the honor this year. Even odder was that no Cincinnati area player has won Mr Football since 1992 when Marc Edwards of Norwood claimed it. In fact, he's the only Mr. Football ever from Greater Cincinnati. Maybe they should rename it, Mr Northeastern