Bryan Price is back as Reds manager next season and other random things that might affect how we view our sports.
I said this past weekend that I wasn't ecstatic that Price was returning as manager. I said I wasn't happy, but I said I was satisfied. Ecstatic should be reserved for life-changing moments, marriage, kids, grandkids coming into your lives. Happy should be for things like a raise, good service at a restaurant or discovering a dollar on the street.
Look, the Reds aren't going to be appreciably better next season than this season. They may not be as bad as 34 1/2 games out of first bad. But so long as the current version of the Cubs are around, they're not going to contend for a National League Central Division title either.
Their starting rotation candidates are big in number but short in quality. Their best pitcher this year was plucked off the scrap heap two days before the start of this season. Dan Straily and his 14 wins were 'found money.' After that, there's not much.
Homer Bailey pitched less than 35 innings. Anthony DeSclafani pitched just a half of a season. Brandon Finnegan ran out of gas, and Cody Reed couldn't figure out how to get Major League hitters out. Robert Stephenson was apparently not all that impressive in Triple-A this season and fell out of favor at times with his manager.
The Reds bullpen was a dumpster fire most of the season. After Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen, there's not much. Dick Williams, the GM who won't have Walt Jocketty with his hands all over things in 2017, said today to mlb.com's Mark Sheldon that fixing the bullpen will be a priority. Good. Most disasters should be.
The "everyday 8" isn't bad. The infield, except for Joey Votto, is just OK. In the outfield, Billy Hamilton was piecing together his best season yet, but his season was cut short by injury. Hamilton has had trouble with injuries.
In left field, Adam Duvall hit for power, but his OBP was concerning. The Reds also need a right fielder. I actually think their catching is in decent shape, but can Devin Mesoraco play an entire season? We haven't seen that since 2014.
The Reds' biggest problem remains player development. They simply don't get prospects through their system quickly enough. Look at what they have in AAA and AA. Where is their next impactful player? Pitcher Amir Garrett seems promising, but so did Cody Reed at that level. Jesse Winker was apparently not called up on Sept. 1.
I've said the Reds are at least two years away from being "contending good." I'm not so sure about that anymore. Baseball teams can be fixed, quickly, with trades and free agent signings. With a surplus of minor league pitching and in need of more consistent hitting at the major league level, the cash-strapped Reds need to look at both of those avenues. And then they need to draft better and develop that talent quicker than they've been doing.
Some occurring thoughts I'm having after watching a lot of football this weekend ...
I'm happy to see the NFL taking a more aggressive approach dealing with concussions, but hits on quarterbacks are now at an alarming level. Carson Palmer went out of Sunday's game right after Cam Newton departed. Not good.
I don't care if your first name is Jeff and your last name is Fisher, nobody saw this coming for the Rams - or the Raiders for that matter.
The Patriots almost escaped their "Brady-less" era without a loss, but Buffalo got them Sunday. Good for Rex Ryan. He'll pay a price when the Pats roll into Buffalo later this season. Guaranteed.
Look, I don't care who doesn't like Gunner Kiel inside the UC football program. If he's healthy (and he is) and he's smart (he has to be to play quarterback and stay eligible in this day and age) he should be starting games for the Bearcats. That's a program struggling to stay relevant in a Non Power 5 Conference.
It needs to play well to stay in contention for inclusion into the Big 12, if that conference expands. What happened against Houston a few weeks ago and Saturday night in UC's latest loss is inexcusable. Kiel has thrown 50 touchdown passes in his three previous years. He threw for over 500 yards in a game against Houston in 2015. I have no earthly idea what's going on with Kiel and why he's not playing. I won't listen to rumors. I only know what my eyes tell me, and my eyes tell me, someone is making a very big mistake not playing him.
I felt bad for Miami University coach Chuck Martin on Saturday. Late in the game, a flag for a late hit on his quarterback, a penalty that would have given his team a first down in a tight ball game with Ohio University, was picked up by the officiating crew. It looked like a late hit to me. I'm not upset at all that my Bobcats won, but that was a lousy reversal.
Ohio State looked great again, thrashing Rutgers. The Buckeyes are 4-0, but they haven't played anyone. And Oklahoma doesn't look like the team that was billed a "final 4" contender. Despite Indiana beating Michigan State, the Buckeyes' next opponent won't challenge them much. Their first real test will be at Wisconsin in two weeks. Then we'll know if OSU is really a College Football Playoff contender.
A little music to start your week. Sting turned 65 on Sunday. From his 1983 album Synchronicity, with the Police....
A song that stayed at the top of the charts for eight weeks back in 1983. It won a couple of Grammys for Sting. The song isn't a love song at all. It's apparently about a stalker. And how's this for history, Sting wrote this song in the same hotel, setting at the same desk that Ian Fleming wrote several of his James Bond novels.
In his time, Sting has won 16 Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Sixty-five years ago Sunday in a London suburb, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner came upon this earth. You know him as Sting.