CINCINNATI - It's Wednesday, October 24, 2012:
IMAGINE: It's a breathtaking fall day in Cincinnati, perfect for a baseball game. Had the Reds stuck around through the NLCS, they would be hosting game one of the World Series.
REALITY: It's the Giants against the Tigers in San Francisco Wednesday night. Two very different pitchers will start, powerful Justin Verlander for the Tigers and finesse-you-to-death Barry Zito for the Giants.
REST OR RUST: The Giants have been busy, wrapping up the NLCS on Monday night. They've played constantly, going five games with the Reds in the NLDS, and then seven games with the Cardinals in the NLCS. Meanwhile the Tigers haven't played for a week, after eliminating the over-rated Yankees last Thursday.
MY PICK: Tigers in six.
WRONG FIT: It looked like it would be the perfect marriage for the Florida Marlins. Ozzie Guillen was colorful and was embraced immediately by South Florida as the Marlins manager. Then he said a bunch of ignorant stuff. Then after the team signed high-priced free agents, it still failed miserably. Ozzie got dumped Tuesday. Owner Jeffrey Loria will hire his fifth manager since early 2010.
HE'S BACK: One time slugger/strikeout artist Adam Dunn has been named the Sporting News American League Comeback Player of the Year. "it's an award I hope I never win again" said the very likeable and honest Dunn. He batted a measly .204 in 2012, but that was still 40 points higher than 2011. His 41 home runs was among the tops in the league.
ANOTHER BELL AT THIRD BASE: The Chicago Cubs have hired Cincinnati native David Bell to be their third base coach in 2012. David, who is a Moeller guy and son of Buddy, has managed in the Reds farm system for the last four years.
BENGAL BACKLASH: The AP features a staff of writers who evaluate NFL teams from week-to-week. I wanted to see what was written after the Bengals lost to the Steelers. Some are very lame like the chronically lame Chris Berman of ESPN who wrote "tough task to beat Steelers when Pittsburgh needs game." Wow...wonder how long he worked on that one. But here's one from Clark Judge of CBSSports.com: "As long as the Bengals can't beat Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and they lost their last nine to them, they can't be taken seriously as a playoff contender." Or former quarterback Rich Gannon of CBSSports.com: "Starting to lose faith in a group that has lost three in a row. Time to start pumping the brakes."
BLOCKBUSTER SUNDAY: Sunday's game between the Bengals and Steelers was the top-ranked program on television last week, according to the Nielsen ratings.
VAST WASTELAND: Here's the top 10 programs from last week. Here's what I watched or didn't watch. I'd like to know what I'm missing.
1. NFL Football. Not Ready for Prime Time Bengals again
2. 60 Minutes. I watch it every chance I get. It shows that a good news story is still worth watching. We don't have to dumb everything down to a :15 soundbite.
3. The Big Bang Theory. I watched it once. Didn't laugh at all. Contrived.
4. Person of Interest (Haven't seen it)
5. Dancing with the Stars. I can't dance and I'm sure not gonna waste an hour of my life watching other people dance
6. Two and half Men. Bunch of sexual one-liners. Sophomoric
7. The Voice. (See #5)
8. Dancing with the Stars Results. 13 million people watched this. And we wonder why Americans are lagging behind.
9. Modern Family. I hear good things about this show, but I've never seen it.
10. Sunday Night pre-game. It was better than the game.
50 YEARS AGO: I did enjoy a couple of TV programs on Tuesday night. This is the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis and PBS ran back-to-back shows that remembered that time. A little too many nuclear explosions for my taste, but they were still great shows. I remember well how we practiced hiding under our desks when there was the fear of nuclear attack. The principal at St. Nick's announced on the PA system that the Soviets had been turned away by the Americans blockade and the whole school cheered. End of crisis.
FAVORITE LINE: I've read several obituaries on former presidential candidate George McGovern. He liked to say that when he grew up, "I wanted to run for president in the worst way. and then I did exactly that." He lost in the worst landslide in history to Tricky Dick Nixon. McGovern won only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
FIRST VOTE: The year was 1972 and it was the first time I was allowed to vote for president. I voted for McGovern. I was the one.
WE WON'T SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER: As expected, Churchill Downs has taken the 12 September racing dates usually given to Turfway Park.
TURFWAY'S RESPONSE: Chip Bach of Turfway says the reduction in dates "makes in possible for us to support a purse structure befitting Kentucky racing." Bach, who heads up Operations, says Turfway's purses will nearly double while providing an active 2013 stakes schedule.
HOCKEY TALK: The New York Islanders are are