Cincinnati Reds

Don’t ever call Ken Griffey Jr. a "penny pincher"

Ken Griffey Jr. is the man. Not just because of his early career when he was the baddest boy in MLB, but because the guy has a great sense of humor. For example, when Griffey lost a $1,500 bet to his teammate, he promptly paid up, but just not in the manner most would expect.

Pitcher Josh Fogg arrived at his locker Wednesday to find it stacked with 60 boxes of pennies, 2,500 pennies to a box. He immediately looked at Griffey and said, “That’s good, Griff, real funny. Kick me when I’m down.”

Griffey warned him but Fogg didn’t believe it when Griffey said he was going to pay off a $1,500 debt in pennies.

“I’m a man of my word,” said Griffey. “When you owe a man $1,500, you pay him. You can’t do a whole lot with pennies, can you? Just think, each box weighs 16 pounds so Fogg has 60 bowling balls in his locker.”

Said Fogg, “I’m going to take them to bullpen and count them because I have a lot time on my hands.”

Looks like Fogg is going to be spending the next two weeks feeding the local grocery store’s CoinStar machine. And if his luck is anything like ours then he’ll wind up with about 650 bucks for those $1,500-worth of pennies.


[]: Keppinger expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks

Cincinnati Reds

Johnny Bench gets a red-wax seal of approval

You know you’ve made it big time when you get face plastered to a bottle of liquor.

Johnny Bench certainly doesn’t need any extra help when it comes to being a baseball legend, but he’ll receive the greatest honor of his career on March 14th when Maker’s Mark starts knocking out bottles of bourbon with his image on the label. Talk about the thrill of a lifetime! Sure, winning a World Series and practically being shoved into the Baseball Hall of Fame are pretty cool, but we’re talking booze people!!

The bottle, produced annually by Maker’s Mark the last five years to commemorate the Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park, will feature a photo of the Hall of Fame catcher and Binger, Okla., native, standing with a mask in one hand and a mitt in the other.

Maker’s Mark, based in Loretto, Ky., will produce 3,000 numbered bottles, which will go on sale March 14 in the Cincinnati area and northern Kentucky. Proceeds from the sale of the bottles will benefit the Reds’ Hall of Fame and Museum and the Johnny Bench Scholarship Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

It might not be quite as cool as Michael Jordan on the Wheaties box or Santa gracing Coca-Cola bottles, but it beats the heck out of being the guy who gets honored on a can of SlumpBuster.


[]: Johnny Bench being honored with commemorative bourbon bottle

Cincinnati Reds

The Full Count: Reds win crazy game in Atlanta with crazy fans in the stands

1. The Marathon: The Braves-Reds game went 15 innings and featured crazy back-and-forth scoring. However, the end result was the same for the Reds, who completed a sweep with a wild 5-4 win. The game started out as a pitcher’s duel, with John Smoltz and Aaron Harang churning out great starts. With the Braves up 1-0 entering the eighth, Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer off Rafael Soriano. The Braves quickly tied it back up with a Jeff Francoeur sac fly, and the game went into extras. The teams traded runs in the 10th, but other than that there was no score until the 15th. Brandon Phillips hit a two-RBI single in the top of the inning, and Francoeur then hit an RBI single. But with two men on and one out, the Braves could not convert another run, giving Cincy the win. The sweep for the Reds ties them with Houston for last place in the division. The lucky Braves still are just two games back of New York.

2. The Unlikely Wins Leader: If you were told before the season that Carlos Zambrano would lead the NL in wins, it might not have surprised you. But considering his struggles for the first two months of this season, it is almost shocking that he became the first NL pitcher to win 12 games on Tuesday. Zambrano has now run off nine straight starts with three or fewer runs allowed, and is 7-2 over that stretch. He pitched five shutout innings as the Cubs crushed the Giants 12-1. Zambrano’s 3.69 ERA ranks only 17th in the league, quite odd for a wins leader. However, judging by his success over the past one and a half months, it seems as though his ERA will keep plummeting and Zambrano could be a Cy Young contender.

3. What a Relief: The Padres nearly wasted an excellent start by Greg Maddux, but in the end they won anyway. The 5-4 victory over the Mets gave San Diego a series win, but they are still a game behind Los Angeles. Maddux pitched five scoreless innings and added six strikeouts, but the bullpen proceeded to allow four runs, nearly blowing the game. Then Geoff Blum hit a key RBI single that broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth and won it for the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo homer, breaking a month-long homerless streak for him. David Wright and Carlos Delgado both homered to supply all four runs for the Mets.

Player of the Day: Lenny DiNardo, A’s: 7 innings, three hits, no runs in a 6-0 win over Texas. DiNardo helped the A’s snap their awful nine-game losing streak.

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati mayor has Rick Vaughn syndrome

This wasn’t the first time this has ever happened, and it certainly won’t be the last, but it is always funny to see someone throw like a little girl.

The Reds brought Mayor Mark Mallory to the field on opening to do to toss out the ceremonial opening pitch of the season but nobody realized that the mayor had a wet noodle for an arm. Eric Davis had to walk nearly to the dugout to retrieve the ball.

This morning, Mallory referenced the pitch during an interview with a local TV station by saying, “There’s no excuse. It was a terrible throw, a terrible throw.”

Unlike most politicians, at least Mallory can take credit for his shortcomings.


[]: Strong Mayor, Weak Arm

Cincinnati Reds

Odds and Ends: Shackleford is cleared

A couple of weeks ago, we told you how Reds pitcher Brian Shackelford was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in a hotel room. Today, Shackleford was completely exonerated and his attorney was told he would not be charged. No further details were available. The media likes to report on athletes getting arrested but tends not to follow up when it turns out they’re innocent. We’re just helping to clear his name.

In other news…

[SI]: Zidane suspended for three games even though he’s retired.

[Yahoo]: Duke QB suspended for plagiarism

[Sportsline]: Kentucky in trouble for recruiting violation because fans were contacting recruits on their myspace page

[The Sports Dirt]: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder starts sports-talk chain

[Sports BBQ]: Steve Nash cuts off his hair — coincidental that his wife’s name is Delilah

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brian Shackleford arrested

You know, the sports pages sometimes read like the police blotter and it seems to be happening more and more recently. The latest is Brian Shackleford who was arrested at Miller Park on suspicion of third-degree sexual assault for an incident that took place in a hotel room on July 3rd.

According to a radio station in Milwaukee, Shackleford met a woman through and she claimed that something improper happened at the hotel. On one hand, the sexual assault is really bad publicity for On the other hand, is so popular that you can meet professional athletes on it!

Check out Brian Shackleford’s profile. “Im a baseball player looking to meet new people. I love to have a good time and can have fun with anyone. I like going out to eat, having a good time, having a coupel of drinks…” Except for the baseball player part, this could be any lame ass profile on match. How sad is it that a professional baseball player has to do online dating?

Before we jump to conclusions, let us remind you that allegations are not always the truth. Remember the woman who claimed she was raped by Erik Williams and Michael Irvin and then lated admitted she made it up? We’ll keep you updated on this story.

[WCPO]: Reds’ Shackelford Arrested For Sexual Assault

Cincinnati Reds

“””””Million-dollar nigger”””” uniform is up for auction”

Just what I wanted

I’m sure Cincinnati fans look back at Marge Schott with fond memories so why not get some of the baseball memorabilia from that era?

The auction is being conducted by Cowan’s Auctions Inc and there are about 450 lots of mostly Reds items, including uniforms of Pete Rose and Eric Davis.
I mean, don’t let it bother you that Schott called Eric Davis and Dave Parker “million-dollar niggers” or that she owned a Nazi armband. Also, just because she didn’t want her players to wear earrings because only “fruits wear earrings” doesn’t mean you fruits shouldn’t buy the memorabilia. And if you’re Jewish, well, how can you resist buying from the collection of someone who said Hitler “was good in the beginning, but went too far”?

Thank you Cowan Auctions, we really needed to be reminded of the Marge Schott era.

[]: Schott baseball memorabilia auction set for March

Cincinnati Reds

Did Pete Rose cheat as well as gamble?

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer (no, not a tabloid), a bat used in 1985 to hit his 159th home run is corked. The report comes from Mike Heffner, president of the auction house that is selling the bat.

There’s putty on the top of the bat (at the fat end),” Heffner said. “The putty was black but the paint has chipped away and it’s more brown now. Age has caused it (the putty) to dry out and shrivel up and pull a little bit away from the bat, and you can see that the barrel was hollowed out and something circular is jammed in there (the inside of the bat) . . . The barrel is loaded with something.

I wonder whether Rose will come out and say that he usually used the bat for batting practice and that it was an honest mistake.