Archive for April, 2008

Bengals Draft Picks

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

The Cincinnati Bengals made 10 selections in the 2008 NFL draft in New York this weekend. The Bengals draft picks were made up of 3 wide receivers, 2 outside linebackers, 2 defensive tackles, 1 offensive tackle, 1 safety, and 1 tight end. 

Here is a the list of the Bengals selection:

1   (9) Keith Rivers OLB  USC

2 (46) Jerome Simpson  WR Coastal Carolina

3 (77) Pat Sims DT Auburn

3 (97) Andre Caldwell WR Florida

4 (112) Anthony Collins OT Kansas

5 (145) Jason Shirley DT Fresno State

6 (177) Corey Lynch  S Appalachain State

6 (207) Matt Sherry TE Villinova

7 (244) Angelo Craig DE Cincinnati

7 (246) Mario Urrutia WR Louisville

An issue of concern is why the Bengals selected DT Jason Shirley who was in and out of trouble last season at Fresno State.  The selection just reflects on the management and personnel for Cincinnati.  One would think that after what happened with Chris Henry, that the personnel and management would be smart enough to consider that kind of intangible.  Another interesting pick came in the second round, when the Bengals chose Jerome Simpson from Coastal Carolina, when there were a few other big name and higher ranked wide receivers still avaliable, such as Texas WR Limas Sweed, but maybe Simpson will have an impact for the Bengals and end up being a good pick. 

The players selected won’t make the Bengals have a winning season this year, but lets hope they have the potential to make the Bengals a better team and have a winning season in the future. 

Koufos to Enter NBA Draft; Wallace to Transfer from OSU

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Ohio State 7 foot freshman center Kosta Koufos declared earlier this week that he will enter the NBA Draft.  Koufos has not signed with an agent yet – leaving him the option of returning to school to for his sophmore season. 

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Kosta Koufos averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes during his freshman season.  During the NIT Tournament, he played his best basketball of the season averaging 18.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and lead the Buckeyes to an NIT Championship.  His performance helped him be named the MVP of the tournament.

College basketball players like Kosta Koufos who declare but do not hire an agent have until June 16th to withdraw their name from the NBA draft.

Kosta Koufos will probably not be coming back to OSU. If he does not enter the NBA draft, it is probably because he is not a lottery pick and he will opt to play professional basketball in Greece. I feel there is a better chance that he will come back to OSU than when Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and Daquean Cook had to make their decision. The chance is slim, but most players don’t come back once they declare for the NBA draft.

Freshman forward Eric Wallace has asked earlier this week that he be released from his scholarship and that he will be transferring to another school after he finishes spring quarter. 

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The 6′ 5” freshman forward saw limited playing time this year.  Wallace played in 15 games and averaged 4.8 minutes of playing time and scored 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

I can understand the reason that Eric Wallace decided to transfer from OSU.  A great recruiting class coming in will not help increase his playing time.  He would probably have that much playing time his next 3 years at OSU.  Maybe another Division 1 or a Division 2 school is a better choice. It should be interesting to see what school he decides to transfer to.

Scarlet Defeats Gray in Buckeyes Annual Spring Game

Monday, April 21st, 2008

The Scarlet team defeated the Gray team 20-7, in Ohio State’s Annual Spring Football Game on Saturday afternoon.  In spite of bad weather, about 76,000 fans still came out to watch the Spring Game.

Quarterback Todd Boeckman started the game out for the Scarlet team and completed 12-of-18 passes for 145 yards and 2 interceptions.  Boeckman scored the first touchdown for the Scarlet team on a 1 yard run. 

Quarterback Joe Bauserman played the most for the Gray team throwing 7-of-14 for 125 yards and threw a 51 yard touchdown pass to Taurian Washington to tie the game at 7 – the only touchdown of the game for the Gray team.    

Kicker Aaron Pettrey made a 48 yard field goal attempt for the Scarlet team to make it 10-7 at half.

Antonio Henton took over for Todd Boeckman and threw 5-of-7 for the Scarlet team, including a 30 yard pass to Ray Small on a drive that setup a 1 yard TD run for Daniel “Boom” Herron to score the other TD to make it 17-7 for the Scarlet team.  Henton also played for the Gray team and completed 1-of-5 for 11 yards. 

Kicker Mike Mattimoe scored on a 24 yard field goal for the Scarlet team in the fourth quarter to make it 20-7.

Brian Hartline had 6 catches for 82 yards to lead the Scarlet team offensively.  Taurian Washington lead the Gray team offensively with 4 receptions for 71 yards and 1 touchdown.

Defensively, Andre Amos lead the Gray team with 8 tackles and Marcus Freeman added 7 tackles.  Austin Spitler lead the Scarlet team with 5 tackles.

Rushing the ball no one really stood out offensivley. Running back Brandon Saine had a disappointing performance with 4 rushes for -4 yards. Another disappointment in the Spring game was not being able to see the #1 high school football recruit Terelle Pryor in action on Saturday because he has not enrolled yet at OSU.

Bengals Release 2008 Schedule

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

The Cincinnati Bengals released their 2008 schedule for their upcoming season.  According to Espn.com, the Bengals have the 6th toughest schedule in the NFL.  The components that make up the 2008 strength of schedule are opponents’ 07 win percentage, opponents’ 07 wins, and opponents’ 07 losses.  The Bengals opponents’ 07 win percentage is .547 with opponents having 140-116 record. 

The 2008 season doesn’t have any Sunday night or Monday night games like last season.  However, in Week 12, the Bengals get to play at Pittsburgh Thursday night primetime. 

The Bengals 2008 schedule is made up of 8 games against playoff teams from last season, with four of those games at home and four on the road.  The playoff teams from last season on this year’s schedule are Tennessee, the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, home and home with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, and Washington Redskins.

I don’t expect the Bengals to have a winning season this year.  Hopefully I will be wrong and be in for a pleasant suprise.

WK DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET)
1 Sun, Sep 7 at Baltimore 1:00 PM
2 Sun, Sep 14 Tennessee 1:00 PM
3 Sun, Sep 21 at NY Giants 1:00 PM
4 Sun, Sep 28 Cleveland 1:00 PM
5 Sun, Oct 5 at Dallas 4:15 PM
6 Sun, Oct 12 at NY Jets 1:00 PM
7 Sun, Oct 19 Pittsburgh 1:00 PM
9 Sun, Nov 2 Jacksonville 1:00 PM
10 Sun, Nov 9 at Houston 1:00 PM
11 Sun, Nov 16 Philadelphia 1:00 PM
12 Thu, Nov 20 at Pittsburgh 8:15 PM
13 Sun, Nov 30 Baltimore 1:00 PM
14 Sun, Dec 7 at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
15 Sun, Dec 14 Washington 1:00 PM
16 Sun, Dec 21 at Cleveland 1:00 PM
17 Sun, Dec 28 Kansas City 1:00 PM

Clippers Off to a Rough Start

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

The Columbus Clippers are off to a rough start with a 3-9 record and they are currently in last place in the International League West Division. The Clippers currently have the second worst record in Triple AAA baseball, with only Lehigh Valley playing as poorly with a 1-11 start.

An interesting fact about the Clippers is that they didn’t make the AAA playoffs during the mid 1990’s when they were affiliated with the New York Yankees.  However, 18 Clipper players from that ERA played with, the World Champion Yankees of 1996, including Derek Jeter, Jorge Posanda, Mariano Rivera, and Bernie Williams.                                    

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The Columbus Clippers are currently affiliated with the Washington Nationals, and their management voted recently to sign a two year player development contract with the Nationals.

The Clippers go on a 4 game road stand starting tonight against the Durham Bulls before returning home to play the Indianapolis Indians.

Dragons Sweep Wizards in First 4 Game Home Stand of Season

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

The Dayton Dragons swept the Fort Wayne Wizards in their first 4 game home stand of the season at Fifth Third Field on April 7th through April 10th. 

The Dragons swept the Fort Wayne Wizards with scores of 3-2, 5-4, 8-5, and 8-1. 

For those that are wondering about the Dayton Dragons, the Dayton Dragons play in minor league single A Midwest League baseball. The Dayton Dragons are affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds. Two famous Dayton Dragons baseball players to move up and play in the MLB with the Cincinnati Reds are Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn.

The Dayton Dragons are currently 5-3.  The Dayton Dragons begin a 6 game road stand starting with 3 games against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and finishing the next 3 games with the Beloit Snappers.

Blue Jackets Close Out Season

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The Columbus Blue Jackets closed out the season by losing to the St Louis Blues 4-1  in Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Arena Sunday afternoon. 

Interestingly enough, the Columbus Blue Jackets still lost on Sunday afternoon, even after having more shots on goal than the St. Louis Blues.  The Blue Jackets outshot the Blues 36-19 and had almost twice as many shots on goal than the St. Louis Blues did.

Goalie Hannu Toivonen had a great game making 35 saves for the St Louis Blues.

St Louis Blues Center Keith Tkachuk made a milestone by scoring his 500th career goal on a short-handed empty net with 1:44 left in the game and also had an assist.

Maybe the Blue Jackets lost their last game at home because they were playing their last regular season game with 6 of their regular minor league affiliates in the lineup and were without LW Fredrik Modin, RW David Vyborny, C Dan Fritsche, C Jiri Novotny, D Dick Tarnstrom, D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, and LW Jason Chimera. Also the better Goalie Pascal Leclaire (24 wins and 17 losses) was not playing, instead Goalie Fredrik Norrena (finished the season 10 wins and 19 losses) was playing.

The Columbus Blue Jackets finished the season 34-36-12 and have failed to make the playoffs again since becoming a franchise and entering the league in 2000. The season is a little bit of a dissappointment for the Blue Jackets. At one point of the season it looked like the Blue Jackets had a chance at making the playoffs. On the bright side, there is always next season and General Manager Scott Howson has $20 million to spend in the off-season to improve the team.

Buckeyes Finish Out Like Champions

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Finally – after losing to Florida 84-75 in last year’s NCAA championship game and to Texas A&M 70-47 in this year’s NIT pre-season title game – the Ohio State Buckeyes won a basketball championship by defeating the Massachusettes Minutemen 92-85 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. This victory secured the Buckeyes’ NIT crown.

Ohio State became the third team in history, besides Dayton (1968) and Kentucky (1976)  to lose in the NCAA title game the previous season, and win the NIT the next season.

Some people may say “Who cares?” But to finish out the season the way they did, and for an Ohio State team to win a championship, instead of keeping the reputation of a second place finisher, is good for the university.  Although they are not NCAA Champions, the Buckeyes can at least feel proud of their accomplishments. They should be especially proud of how they played and progressed at the end of the season.

As Jamar Butler quoted in an ESPN article, “This is what happens when you put an NCAA tournament team in the NIT.  Write that down and send that to the committee.” Butler finished his last college basketball game with 19 points and 8 assists. The Buckeyes proved their point and built momentum going into next year’s basketball season.  Ohio State has a great 2008 recruiting class and should be a pre-season top 25 team.

Buckeyes Are Headed to NIT Championship

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

The Ohio State Buckeyes are going to the title game again – although it is the NIT Championship and not the NCAA Championship.  It would have been ironic to see a rematch of last year’s NCAA Championship game between the 2006, 2007 back-to-back 2 time defending national champion Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes in the NIT Championship. 

However, Florida lost in the NIT Semi-finals on Tuesday night to A-10 foe UMass 78-66.  Ohio State advanced by beating Mississippi 81-69 in the NIT-Semi-finals.   

Ohio State basketball has made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season and it has really started to show through March and especially in the NIT Tournament.  In the NIT Tournament, the Buckeyes have breezed by every team they have played so far winning in double digits against UNC-Asheville, California, Dayton, and Mississippi. 

Hopefully, OSU can close out the season on Thursday night with a win against UMass and an NIT Championship.  OSU better not have another meltdown in the title game with a second place finish.  The winner of the game can at least have pride and make the NCAA Selection Committee feel bad that the committee didn’t select them for the NCAA tournament.

Reds Lose on Opening Day

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

On Opening Day, after an hour rain delay, the Cincinnati Reds dropped their home opener in Great American Ballpark to the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 Monday afternoon. 

After Arizona Diamondback firstbase man Conor Jackson hit an RBI single to score secondbase man Orlando Hudson in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead, the Diamondbacks would hit 2 more solo home runs in the third inning to go up 3-0.  The Reds caught up to the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the 4th inning when they scored their only 2 runs of the game.  After secondbase man Brandon Phillips hit a triple RBI for Ken Griffey to score the run, left fielder Adam Dunn grounded out to second for Brandon Phillips to score.  Arizona would hit another solo home run in the 7th inning to put away the Reds.

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Brandon Webb got the W on opening day after he pitched 6 innings for the Diamondbacks, giving up 2 runs, 3 hits, 6 walks, and had 4 strikeouts. 

This was not the way new Reds Manager Dusty Baker wanted to make his starting debut.  When will the Reds have a winning season?  Hopefully Dusty Baker and the Reds can get it together this year and have a winning season because they need to end their 7 year season losing streak. 

The Cincinnati Reds have 2 more games against Arizona starting on Wednesday night at 7 PM and Thursday afternoon, before having a 4 game homestand with the Philadelphia Phillies.