Reds win! Reds win! Reds win!
OK, normally this is not headline news in March, but in this case one has indeed belonged to the Reds for the first time.
(We may be heading into a season in which positives are few and far between, so just roll with it…)
The Cincinnati 9 beat the Chicago Cubs 6-2 yesterday to improve to 1-6 on the spring.
Far more significant: Amir Garrett picked three scoreless innings. He struck out two and allowed just one hit.
Michael Lorenzen also had a good outing (two innings, one walk), but the top prospect acquired for Dan Straily, Louis Castillo, was shelled (two runs, three hits in one inning).
Jose Peraza went 2 for 3, drove in two runs and raised his early-spring batting average to .583.
Of course more news keeps coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine, which really revs up with workouts starting today.
Not surprisingly, Pat Elflein says he is open to playing guard or center after doing both at Ohio State.
Given his experience, he might be a good fit for the Bengals, who have questions at center and might have a big need at guard if they aren’t able to re-sign Kevin Zeitler…
Hue Jackson says the Browns are prioritizing the re-signing of Terrelle Pryor, who was one of the few bright spots in their 2016 campaign that included only one win.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out considering Pryor is older and less experienced at his position than the average breakout player who is a free agent. He needs to cash in now while he still can, but how much incentive is there for the Browns to break the bank on him when they still can’t really expect to be even decent this fall?…
And of course everyone is still wondering if Cleveland will draft a quarterback in the first round.
I tend to agree with Land of 10 colleague Ben Axelrod on this topic.
This is going to sound crazy, but I think browns fans are too obsessed with finding an immediate long-term solution with a QB.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) March 2, 2017
Obviously the Browns need to upgrade their QB. But there's nothing wrong with being the Bengals/Texans/Dolphins & just being a QB away.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) March 2, 2017
This is not crazy at all. Given how much of a crapshoot taking a quarterback tends to be — and how, um, not impossible it is to stumble upon a good one in a later round — going with the best player available makes sense, especially if you have a terrible roster like Cleveland’s and there are no can’t-miss QBs at the top of this draft.
I am a big Deshaun Watson fan, but I can’t blame a team for being scared away at the top of the first round by the interceptions. Now, a little later after I’ve added a highly talented likely impact starter or two elsewhere? Sign me up.
Obviously things fell into place about as well as can be expected for the Bengals, who got a Pro Bowler in A.J. Green in the first round and at least a reliable long-term starter in Andy Dalton in the second in 2011.
Meanwhile, the Titans, Jaguars and Vikings all wasted first-round picks that year on guys even the average college football fan could have told you probably wouldn’t make it in the pros…
This is a big weekend in women’s college basketball as Ohio State and Dayton begin conference tournament play today. Wright State is up tomorrow (and the Raider men play Northern Kentucky on Sunday in their first Horizon League tourney game).
Kelsey Mitchell and the top-seeded Buckeyes face Northwestern at noon on the Big Ten Network while the No. 1 seed Flyers are set to take on VCU at 11 a.m. on ASN.
Here is David Jablonski’s weekly look at where the Dayton Flyers men stand in bracketology with nine days to go until Selection Sunday…
Looking ahead to the NBA potseason, are the Cavaliers now the favorites to win the championship?
It’s funny to ask that about the defending champions as long as they have LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, but everyone was penciling in the Warriors to take back the title after signing Kevin Durant.
With Durant now nursing an injury and his status for the playoffs uncertain (he’ll probably be back, but how good will he be?), the postseason could take on a different look.
Plus Cleveland has made some interesting moves, adding Kyle Korver, Derrick Williams and Deron Williams, guys who have, were supposed to or used to have a lot of game.