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June 21, 2024 105 mins
We're live from the Holy Grail talking Reds vs Red Sox, Bengals and FC Cincinnati.
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Episode Transcript

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(00:01):
What's up. Good afternoon, MullegarESP had fifteen thirty. Thank you for
listening. Reds are playing the RedSox tonight there home. It's the end
of June. Lots of good thingshave happened with this organization, lots of
things pointing the organization in the rightdirection. They've had a huge wave of
talent come through the system and getadded to the system that has gotten to

(00:23):
the big league level, and yetthey entered this weekend in last place.
We're gonna spend some time on that. Hope your weekend is off to a
great start. We are broadcasting fromthe Holy Ground, downtown Cincinnati. This
is look. You know how muchI love this place. This place has
become a Cincinnati and very much aCincinnati sports institution. It's hot outside,

(00:46):
there's no getting around that. Somewould say, you know, it's not
the heat, it's the humidity.Regardless of what it is, it is
hot outside. It's it's really nicein here. The beer is cold.
Get a nice cold Budweiser, getanye cold michelob Ultra. Stay hydrated so
you know, big sineglass of water. And there's no better place to hang

(01:07):
out before a ballgame. No betterplace to watch a ballgame. This is
a huge weekend downtown Cincinnati and thisplace is gonna be the epicenter of it
all. We thank them for havingus out. Come on out and see
us. We're broadcasting until six o'clock, Reds and Red Sox coming up at
seven to ten this evening. Goodcrowds expected all weekend at GABBESPN fifteen thirty

(01:30):
studios are powered by Greater Cincinnatis roofingand exterior restoration experts Madewell Restoration dot com,
and we have posted the show previewvideo on x at Moeggar. Thanks
to our friends at Emory Federal CreditUnion, your credit union with hard.
I went to Emory Federal Credit Unionbefore I came here to do some banking

(01:52):
business. They've been around for eightyfive years EMERYFCU dot org. But come
a member, we we'll have thatin common. It will be awesome.
Speaking of awesome, Sam Leck Heireis gonna come by in just about twenty
five minutes, obviously getting ready fora broadcast tonight at GABP. He's gonna
come by, and he and Iusually talk a lot about pitching, and

(02:14):
the good news is there's lots ofgood things to discuss when it comes to
Red's pitching. Gotta talk about theoffense. This team's offense is not very
good. It was terrible this weekin Pittsburgh. We'll spend some time on
that here in just a few minutes. Also, we mentioned this earlier in
the week, And let me thankMike Petrellia for filling in and doing my
show on Wednesday, and Chad Brendelfor filling in and doing the show yesterday.

(02:38):
I took a couple of days off. It is awesome to be back.
But we talked about this, Ithink on Monday Hard Knocks, which
the Bengals have been a part of. Hard Knocks is gonna do this in
season AFC North version where all fourteams in the division are featured. This
is gonna debut on HBO and Maxstarting on December the third, and it's

(03:00):
gonna run clear through the playoffs.The guy in charge of this for NFL
Films, the guy who makes HardKnocks, is gonna join our show at
four h five and Kevin Egan's gonnabe with us calling the match tomorrow night.
FC Cincinnati talking about a big sportsweekend at Cincinnati FC Cincinnati is a

(03:21):
home tomorrow night. Kevin Egan hasthe Orange and Blue against New England.
He is gonna join us at fivetwenty. The last two FC Cincinnati matches
have been incredible. Lucho Acosta ismust watch. And I say that as
a guy who's still very much acasual soccer fan. Lucho Acosta is must
watch. But there's a problem withthat, which we'll get to in a

(03:44):
while. So a year ago,at this time, the Rats were surging
and entering the race and changing theconversation about whether or not they're gonna be
buyers or sellers at the deadline.And as we talked about what the Reds
might do with the deadline, youoften heard this quote, the Reds are

(04:06):
ahead of schedule. Right They wentfrom losing one hundred games in twenty twenty
two to you know, whatever wethought they would finish last season. They're
ahead of schedule. Not an inaccuratestatement by any stretch of the imagination.
I want to know this. Fivepoint three, seven, four, nine,
fifteen thirty is our phone number.If last year at this time the

(04:29):
Reds were ahead of schedule, whatare they right now beyond four under five
hundred and in last place in theNational League Central. If they were ahead
of schedule a year ago, arethey on schedule now? Are they behind
schedule? Has the schedule caught upto them? Whatever they are, They're

(04:54):
a team that I said this afew minutes ago. It's it's kind of
remarkable if you think about it.And this may change by the week and
a hot Red Sox team is goingto be at GABP. But you know,
let's be honest, the Reds havehad a lot of really good stuff
happened. The personality of this teamhas changed, the composition of the roster
has has been changed over almost entirelyover the last couple of years. The

(05:16):
starting pitching is ascending, Like howdo you not feel really good about Hunter
Green and Andrew Abbott and Nicolodolo whowas outstanding on Tuesday night. Even Graham
Ashcraft's rehab start last night went reallywell. Like the foundation of this club
that we all agreed, you know, two years ago was going to be
the basis on which everything was developed. That's been really, really good.

(05:41):
The starting pitching is good. They'vehad this wave of talent get to the
big league level. They've made somegood acquisitions, some good trades. It
feels like everybody really likes all thebaseball work the Reds have done over the
last what twenty eight to twenty ninemonths, and yet on the second to
last Friday of June, they're inlast place. It's not hard to figure

(06:05):
out why. The main reason whyis this team's offense stinks, and I
wish I had a more I don'tknow somemanically responsible way of putting it.
They're below league average in almost everymetric. Now, they've lifted themselves from
where they were maybe five or sixweeks ago, when they were, by

(06:26):
many measurements, the worst team atall of baseball offensively. But they're below
league average in every meaningful offensive metric, every meaningful one. They don't hit
for average, they don't hit forthat much power. They're a great base
stealing team. I'm still not surethey're a great base running team, and

(06:47):
there is a difference. They're scoringbelow league average and runs per game,
they're getting fewer hits per game thanleague average, league average, and on
base percentage, slugging percentage, prettymuch every meaningful offensive statistic. They've also
played basically half a season seventy fourgames, So you know, a reasonably

(07:12):
large sample size, right, seventyfour games within a week, they'll cross
over the halfway mark of the season. They've played seventy four games, reasonable
sample size. They've got eighty eightgames to go with a record of thirty
five and thirty nine. Now,I might do this, and it may
annoy you. I'm not concerned withhow many games behind the Reds are.

(07:33):
I'm concerned with hitting a certain winnumber. And I could be dead wrong
about this. I think the bareminimum is still eighty five wins to get
a wildcard. Could be dead wrongabout that. Last year, again,
it was eighty four to win eightyfive games. This season, the Reds
are gonna have to go fifty andthirty eight the rest of the way.

(07:55):
Now, you might think that's doable, and if you look around the all
our break, there's an incredibly softportion of their schedule coming up where they're
going to see a whole lot ofMiami Marlin and Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies.
And that is great, but stillfifty and thirty eight the rest of

(08:16):
the way. The question is howdo they do that with this offense?
With this offense is currently constructed.Look, noelve Marte may come back.
Is numbers in Louisville aren't necessarily good, but he may come back. I
like noelve Marte. I'm willing tosort of forgive and forget what happened with
the whole ped thing. The dudedid nothing but rake last year. But

(08:39):
boy, I think we've seen withthe team this season it's awfully hard to
make assumptions about what young players aregoing to give a team, especially one
who has missed half a season.They may get Christian and Crnassi on strand
back, they may get Matt McClainback, but neither of those things are
happening for a while. How doesthis team win of its last eighty eight

(09:01):
games with this offense? The goodnews is the pitching has been fine.
Hunter Green, despite it being blisteringout on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, was dominant.
And you're supposed to be good againstthat lineup. He did to that
Pittsburgh lineup what Paul Skens did tothe Reds lineup on Monday. But here's
the thing. As good as HunterGreen has been, and over his last

(09:24):
ten starts he's been awesome, They'vewon exactly five of them. His last
ten starts, he's been terrific.He's pitched at an all star caliber level.
They've won five of those games.Offensively, they're just not very good.
So how does it get fixed?Now? The obvious answer is gonna
be, well, Mo, theygotta fix it with a trade. They
gotta go get somebody. They gottamake something happen at the deadline. Okay,

(09:48):
why do they have to wait tillthe deadline? Like I know,
this is a very overly simplistic wayof looking at it. I know,
mentioning one guy who has his drawbacks, namely lack of availability, but Luis
Roberts out there, I think undeniablythe Chicago White Sox best player, a

(10:11):
guy that you get for a coupleof years because he's under team control for
a while, a guy who's gonnacost a pretty penny, so to speak,
but who's twenty seven years old andwould instantly be the Reds best outfielder.
If you're serious about winning this year, and if you genuinely believe you
know what, going for it hasmerit and this team does have a chance

(10:33):
to get to the postseason, whynot go jump to the front of the
line and go get Luise Robert.Look, I mean the reality is,
yes, that would cost you alot, But also the longer you wait,
the more you likely put yourself atthe mercy of what you are in
the present. That's a, Iguess, an overly complicated way of saying,

(10:54):
if you wait a month to goget a bat, who knows where
you're going to be a month fromnow because your team can't hit. So
we've identified the issue. They've hadseventy four games. They're not a good
offensive team. The starting pitching isgood enough, The starting pitching is is
is playoff caliber? The bullpen,for the most part, I think is

(11:16):
playoff caliber. If what's holding thisteam back is the offense, why do
we have to wait five weeks forthe offense to be addressed? Why do
we have to let maybe Luise Robertisn't going to be the absolute best player
traded at the deadline or close tothe deadline, but why let another team
jump to the front of the lineand snatch him before you even make an

(11:37):
offer. If you're serious about winningright now, whether it's Luise Robert or
anybody else, why do we haveto wait till July thirtieth to make what
is an abundantly clear, clearing weakness. Better, Uh, we're on remote
today, We're at the Holy ground, but our phone lines do work.
Five point three seven four nine fifteenthirty seven two three seven seven six.

(12:01):
Now understand what jumping to the frontof the line would involve. It might
involve well overpaying or not even necessarilyoverpaying, but paying more than the person
who you cut in front of,at the front of that line. At
the front of that line. Easyfor me to say, like, are

(12:24):
are we? Are we kind ofserious that this team we think it has
a chanced or or let's let thingsplay out and watch a dramatic weakness doom
them and keep them from the playoffs, which, if you remember, is
exactly what happened last year. Like, let's call it what it is,

(12:46):
not addressing your biggest weakness is exactlywhat they did last season. What happened
last season They were excruciatingly close togetting to the playoffs, but they didn't
do So we want to repeat oflast year. You can hit me up
on Twitter at Moeger thanks to DeltaDental. Delta Dental is building healthy,
smart, vibrant communities for all ofgood adulta dental h dot Com five point

(13:09):
three seven four nine, fifteen thirtyis our phone numb sam ul Keira stops
by in just about fifteen minutes.Reds and Red Sox coming up tonight at
GABP. We're broadcasting from the HolyGrail downtown Cincinnati, right across the street
from GABP. Meanwhile, FC Cincinnatiwith as dramatic a win as I think
is that franchise has had. Inthe tenth minute of extra time, Lucho

(13:35):
Acosta does Lucho Acosta things. Heis must watch TV. But there's a
problem. We'll identify it. I'mnot sure we can solve it. We'll
do that next on ESPN fifteen thirtyCincinnati Sports Station Cincinnati's three. This is
CSDN fifteen to thirty Moegar from theHoly Grail, downtown Cincinnati. Thrilled to
have you with us. Come joinus in person before the Reds and Red

(13:58):
Sox tonight, and if you're notgoing to the ball game, post up
here, watch it here, hangout here this weekend. We are here
until six o'clock. Sam Lequere isgonna come by in just a few minutes.
We do have some good news.TJ Friedel is back in the red
starting lineup tonight. He is leadingoff in centerfield, and Jamer Candelario,
who's been dealing with tendonitis, heis dhing tonight and batting third. Red's

(14:24):
also made a couple of roster moves. They have sent Jacob Herdebes to Triple
A. They have optioned, I'msorry, selected from Louisville the contract of
Austin Wynn, who's a catcher.So the Reds right now have three catchers
on their active roster and they haveDFA and outfield are Connor Caple, so
herdabies down, win up and atleast for a while, Connor Caple bye

(14:48):
bye. But the good news isFriedel and Candelario both back in the starting
lineup tonight. I think there's alot of us who feared the worst when
it came to ta J. Friedl, just because it has felt like anytime
there's something that we're told is notthat big of a deal or temporary,
it ends up being something sort oflong lasting. That is obviously not the

(15:11):
case with TJ. Friedel. Alot more on the Reds between now and
six o'clock and again, Sam Lukurein just a few minutes FC Cincinnati.
Kevin Egan's gonna join us from AppleTV. The people at Apple TV have
been awesome to our show, andMLS season past does an awesome job of

(15:35):
covering the league legitimately. Like Isay this as somebody who I wanted Channel
sixty four to keep the local rights, The Apple TV product from Major League
Soccer is awesome. Their studio showMLS three sixty is awesome. The game
coverage is terrific, The game presentationis really good. They have quality announcers

(15:58):
and and so you know, andit was free the other night if you're
not an MLS League Pass subscriber.The game on Wednesday, which oftentimes felt
like it was gonna be a reallydisappointing point blown opportunity for three points in
the chase for the supporter shield,it ends up being saved by Luco Acosta.

(16:21):
He scores in like the ninety ninthminute. Lucho Acosta is must watch,
like legitimately must watch as a singularstar. You know, there there
are a few people on the planetas good as him. And you know,
Austin was talking on since he threeto sixty today about him versus Burrow

(16:41):
and who's the best athlete in town. I don't care about that discussion.
I could tell you that Lucco Acostais awesome and he's must watch. He's
the kind of player you market,He's the kind of player you push.
He's the kind of player you tellnon fans to watch in order to gain
their interest. I just don't knowhow that happens when all the games are

(17:03):
on Apple TV. That's no knockon the product. I don't know what
the solution is. They're not leavingApple TV. And look, I'm never
gonna be the world's biggest soccer fan. But like I'm smart enough to know
greatness when I see it, I'msmart enough to tell you that, Like
if FC Cincinnati wasn't very good thisyear, I'd still watch every match just

(17:25):
to watch luch Alcosta. He ismust watch. Telling other people he is
must watch who don't have access towatch him kind of limits things, doesn't
it. And look, yes,there are a lot of cord cutters,
there's also a lot of people whoaren't. They can't see a guy who

(17:48):
has must watch TV in our owncity. Sam lek here is here.
He joins us next at the HolyGrail on ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports Station
from four o'clock ESPN fifteen thirty,Mooeggerting today from the Holy Grails Downtown Cincinnati,
Reds and Red Sox coming up atseven to ten tonight. Uh.
He is my favorite person to talkbaseball with. And I'm not just saying

(18:10):
that because he's sitting next to me, because he knows it's true. The
great Sam Lick here at the barwith me. Is this what you're not
even drinking? Is this gonna bewhat's wearing on TV tonight? That the
Connect Jersey, The Connect Jersey guys, that casual Friday. Okay, I'm
gonna take it, man, Okay, very good. Better than the suit
and top here, especially on thisseat and the Dead the Dead Reds podcast.

(18:33):
Yeah you like it? I loveit? Do you like it?
So? I I told you this. I found it on Bally's like had
it on Game Ends. There's showJimmy handling and then here's you guys,
and the same thing happened last night, Like flip on the TV late at
night and not a lot of sportsgoing on, there is you and Brian,
so here we go. I enjoyit. It's fun I mean we
have a good time, like let'sus, you know, let our hairt

(18:56):
and Brian let our hair down alittle bit. Yeah, just you know,
be a little more cash about totell some stories. And now I
think it's been fun. Yeah,it's a good time. Yeah. How
do you fix this team's offense?You know, I'm asking a picture?
Yeah right. I mean I reallythought that they played well on the road
trip. I mean, the worstgame they played, they won, but
otherwise I thought they hit a lotof balls hard. The first two games

(19:17):
in Pittsburgh. I thought the thirdgame, you know, I thought the
guy pitched really well. I meanthey all did, all the Pittsburgh guys
did. But I mean if youlook at eggs of velosses for those first
couple games, which I'm surprised,I know what that is, but you
know, it was good, andthey just kind of hit balls right at
people. So I didn't really gettoo down about it. Obviously. TJ
saw when he came back from theaisle the second time, what a difference

(19:38):
he made just his presence at thetop of the lineup. So good to
see him back in there today.No, I mean, I think you
just kind of stayed the course.I mean, it's just the way it
goes. A hot Red Sox teamcomes in, and that's the beauty about
showing up to the ballpark. Younever know what you're gonna see, right,
Yeah, it's just I think thefrustrating part is it's one thing to

(19:59):
not hit. It's something else whenyou're not hitting and you're not supporting what
is really good starting right right,Yeah, you feel like you're wasting them
a little bit. Yeah, Ifeel like that's just the ebbs and flows
of it, because they're gonna,you know, score seven runs a game
this series, and the pitching's gonnafall through, you know. I mean
that's just the way that it worksfor every hard hit ball they had,
and you know on the road tripthere's going to be a bleeder to even

(20:19):
it out, you know, justa little looper over the second basement or
something like that. So it's frustratingfor that reason. The game of baseball
is frustrating there because you can putin all the work and some days it
happens and you're smoking balls right atpeople, and you put in the work
the next day and you're blooping ballsin, you know, so you just
kind of got to stay with it. And you know, they had a
good run. I mean they hadthat nice run sure, yeah, evens

(20:41):
out with a little tough stretch,you know, and it's just kind of
kind of go at it. Soyou got to you gotta stick with it
all the way through because there's along way to go. They had a
good you know, ten days orsomething, went from the bottom to second
place in the division, and thatcould happen just as quick. They've been
aided by the fact the Candelario hasturned it on. No gives them a
good at fat every single time.Ye who's the next guy that you go

(21:02):
that that's the dude that's got toflip the switch a little bit here.
I really kind of expected a littlebit more out of and Jake Frailey Iss
probably hitting two ninety or something likethat, but it's pretty soft. Yeah,
right, Will Benson, I thinkat the bottom of the order what
he did last year, and Ithink if you start to get even closer
to a glimpse of that this year, just because you know, he was
in the ninth hole and he wasyour second leadoff man, he had one

(21:25):
of the highest ops on the teamlast year. I feel like he's a
difference maker. When he's hitting it, it's extra base. But when he's
not hitting it hand hitting it right. So I think he's a big piece
of it. I think Jonathan's playedwell lately. Ellie's just going to go
through these stretches, man, becausethere's so much going on and he's young,
that it's going to be a prolongedslump and a shorter burst of greatness.

(21:48):
But I mean, he's worth theprice of admission, right, no
question. Here's what I like aboutEllie. He looked like he saw Paul
Skings the best, yeah, right, which nobody else did, and that's
more of a credit to Skins,but like it looked like Ellie kind of
knew what he was doing, andI was hoping it would rub off.
But against a guy that good,who I'm sure he had never seen,

(22:10):
he saw him really well, right, I thought so. And I just
I love when guys just start usingthe opposite portion of the field, you
know, opposite field your left fieldfor lefties, right field for righties.
I feel like there's such a benefitbecause as a pitcher, you're trying to
shrink the field. You know,you want to keep you want to keep
him to the big side of theballpark, make him go opo, because
it's just harder to handle, rightwhen you kind of pigeonhole yourself as a

(22:32):
hitter to be one dimensional and onlypull. That's why the shift works so
well, you know, because guyswere just going to try to pull the
ball. They want to get outin front of it. That's the easiest
power position. So when you shrinkthe field as a pitcher, you put
yourself in a better position as ahitter. When you use the bigger portion
of the field, you got moremargin for air. Right, I'm out
in front of a slider a littlebit, but I've got left center,
I'm behind on the fastball a littlebit. I got the right field line,

(22:53):
you know what I mean. Sojust a bigger piece of the pie.
So when Ellie against the Schemes wasusing that side of the field,
Spencer Steer, Tyler Stevenson, Imean right, you see it and it
works, yeah, Because and thenit's frustrating as a pitcher because you get
a little leery about going inside becauseit's you kind of feel like the margin
is pitt batsman or middle end homerterritory. Paul Skeen's gonna be really good.

(23:15):
He's gonna be really good. Itwas just impressive in the fact that
a young guy comes up and hasthe ability to throw a hundred, recognizes
that that's not working for him thatday, and then goes to four other
pitches that are plus and commands themto make the adjustment within one inning.
For a guy like that and havethe command and the repertoire to do it,

(23:36):
that will impress me more than anythingabout it. A great Mound presence.
So yeah, he's he's gonna pissReds fans off for a while.
I mean, I was watching thatgame with my wife and I said,
this is his seventh big league start. I know, right, and like
this year I go no, ever, ever, I mean you talk about
Mound President, no doubt. Itreminded me a little bit. This is
maybe isn't the best comparison, butwith Amir Garrett first got here and he

(23:57):
just he just looked like a dudewho been aroun for years. Yeah,
same thing. Yeah, I agree. I mean, just trust his stuff
as a bulldog. I mean schemes. If I've just listened to some of
his interviews and whatnot, Like he'sexpecting to go out and do what he's
doing. Yeah, he's not phasedby the moment. He's not phased by
you know, the atmosphere, becauseI guess when you're have that much hype

(24:17):
coming with you, that's just anotherday at the office for him. But
I like the way he talks it. I like the way he goes about
it. So yeah, like Isaid, he's gonna be a problem.
I I never talked to you withoutreferencing Hunter Green. Yeah, and I
feel like we saw just another stepon Wednesday. They lose the game.
Yeah, but boy it was hot. He was getting no offensive run support
and was totally unfaired. Yeah,he just stayed with it. Man.

(24:38):
I thought it was kind of Idon't know, apropos. That's I tried
to throw in a big word withyou every once in a while. I
don't know what that means, butit sounds right that. You know,
he did the no hitter thing,yeah, a couple of years ago,
his first first year in the bigleagues in Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh seven and a
third no hits, one run now, hell uh, and just to see
what he was doing that stuf Artand then what he did the other day

(25:03):
from a maturity standpoint, how hekind of went about it, just stayed
on the attack. I thought hewas in a great rhythm. I love
the split mixed ten curveballs, right, I mean, he's kind of I
thought, and Brian and I talkedabout it. Maybe he watched Schemes pitch
a little bit and watch him startgoing to the other stuff, and I
thought maybe that was a light bulbfor Hunter, like, hey, we
can both throw a hundred. Doesn'thave to be that way, right,

(25:25):
There's other things that we can doto miss Beryls. So I thought watching
him go through that process, itwas kind of a full circle moment a
little bit for Hunter. But Ilove I love what he's doing this year.
Man, we've talked about him.I thought he was the X factor
because Nick Lido, I expected MartinFrankie obviously, sure, I mean because
I love him. He's to mebeen disappointing. I thought more. But

(25:48):
I mean, Nick, your aceand then you've got a one A and
a one B, and I thinkone of my slate things that they might
be one C. Like Andrew Abbott, I feel good every day about who's
towing the rubber to start the game. So for Nick Lodolo, what's what's
the next step? I don't know, I mean, because I really don't.
You know, I said this toyou. I think right before opening
day last year, I felt likehis rookie season, if you looked at

(26:10):
Ashcraft, Lodolo, and Green,Lodolo at his best was better than anybody
else. No knock on those otherguys. That's still the case the case,
and those other guys have gotten better. I agree. Ashcraft obviously is
down in Louisville, but Hunter Greenhas gotten better. Andrew Abbott's fine,
yep. And yet Nick Lodolo stillfeels like he's a pace ahead of everybody
else. If you had a wildcard game to play, who would you

(26:30):
start? He'd be the guy.There's no question. Yes, I mean,
there's no question in anybody's mind forhim. I'm not sure, like
I, you know, being onthe road trip this last time, I
get a little bit different environment totalk to some of these guys and spend
a lot of time talking with LukeMayley talking about Nick Lodolo, and he's
like, man, sometimes I'm Iget a little bit nervous to catch him
because I'm scared to screw it up. I don't want to call it the
wrong pitch and just run into theguy's back. And I think that was

(26:55):
about He hadn't caught him much thisyear. Yeah, and he called a
great game for him, obviously,But man, Nick just simplifies things.
You know so much. Ye getahead in the count and he's getting in
the head, head in the countwith three pitches, doesn't screw around strike
one and then depending on what thatis. He's still got two other plus
weapons that you haven't seen yet thatare going to factor into the about.

(27:17):
Obviously, the curve ball is athing, but his fastball location in and
at the top of the zone ispristine. I love the change up.
I feel like that's his groundball,double play pitch. He can get swings
and misses on it, but he'sI mean, I honestly don't know what
I would tell him to take thenext step? Did you care who your
catcher was? There was different thingsabout it, like the way guys set

(27:40):
up. Sometimes guys I felt,because I threw eighty poo miles an hour,
like wouldn't necessarily trust my stuff.So they'd sit off the plate a
little bit right, and I'd squarethem up and it was a ball,
right, and some guys just trustedmy ability to command the ball more on
the plate with action. So yeah, there was definitely I mean, I
love throwing to Ryan Hannigan obviously quirky. I love throwing a hand again because

(28:00):
he was probably working harder than Iwas today one not. I mean,
god, love thrown to him,right all right? Yeah, yeah,
he was great. He was workinghard back there. But uh, you
know, Meseraco, Roman Hernandez.I mean, I was pretty lucky to
have some studs, Tucker Barnhart goldglove, right right, pretty lucky to
have some study. But there isa difference, you know. Sometimes it's
a visual of the size of thebody, how the glove sits. Now

(28:22):
everybody, the catcher starts with theirglove on the ground. Yes, so
I don't think it really everybody doesthe same thing. Yeah, I see
catchers, I think you. Ithink it might have been you and John
talking about this in Milwaukee with aguy on base. Catchers are now setting
up with their knee on the ground. This is not something we did five
years ago. No, it's II don't get it. I feel like

(28:44):
it. Obviously, there's numbers thatsupport this. Everybody in the big leagues
wouldn't be doing it, but Ifeel like it, you know, in
habit your ability to to block,you know, to move because guys are
pretty erratic, right, I mean, it's not everybody just Greg Madison out
there. It's thawing one halfway upthe backstop or one fifty two feet if
you've got a Fernando Cruz splitter right, and to be able to move out

(29:04):
of that position. I don't likeit, but like I said, there's
there's numbers to do it. Tobe able to adjust from a knee.
I mean they do different setups likeonce, sometimes it's this knee and sometimes
the lake spread out a little bitwider, I guess, depending on the
situation. But the way the Redsis throwing the baseball right now, it

(29:26):
doesn't just let him do it.Yeah, let him. Then they have
two good catchers they do. Youknow, Luke mainly knows what he's doing
behind the play question, and Ifeel like that to a degree overshadows how
good Tyler is. I do too, man, I think that he deserves
a lot of credit for his workthis year. Obviously, I expect and
I think everybody does some more ofhim offensively because he's capable, but we've

(29:47):
seen him do it. But thework behind the plate's been outstanding. I
applaud him big time. I don'tthink the pitchers progress the way that they
have without him and Luke obviously,you know, just kind of the more
from the already understanding what a guylikes to do in a certain situation.
All right, it's a you know, there's a man on second base and
we're in discount. I like todo this to get to this or whatever

(30:08):
the case may be. So Ithink just working with each other more,
obviously, reps is everything. Wetalked a little bit maybe two weeks ago
when they first sent Graham down,Yeah, about how we fix in his
start. Last night was was reallyreally good. I feel like I feel
like he was close, Like hewasn't getting his teeth kicked in. No,
he wasn't leaving stuff out over theplate where you felt like, this

(30:30):
guy's not a big league caliber picture. I feel like whatever was missing,
it's not gonna take that much tofix. It's not. But I felt
like Graham was getting in his ownway a little bit just kind of we
talked about after every started with somekind of tinkering with the mechanics, and
sometimes you gotta let off the gas. I mean sometimes less is more,
right. I mean, he's gotsuch movement, he doesn't have to command

(30:51):
the ball. He's got to controlthe ball and every outing because I think
he was thinking about mechanics rather thanjust go out there. And I mean
the bulldog Graham as craft, yeahis awesome, right, I mean he's
just gonna get him down your throat, yeah right, And I think he
was just out there thinking about somethingelse rather than getting the hitter out.
So the movement on the pitches eachstart was different. You know, sometimes

(31:12):
the cutter was this, sometimes itwas this. Sometimes the sinkers you know
this, sometimes it's that. Soit is hard to control if you're not
being consistent with the mechanics. Sothere is that is a piece to it.
Or maybe he was trying to betoo fine. That was another guy
I talked with Luke about, andGraham was the guy that I kind of
had pegged as their innings eater.Yeah, you know, because he's not

(31:33):
gonna punch a ton of guys out. He gets early contact because he's just
throwing fastballs and everybody's hunting heaters andhe's gonna throw you one, but you're
gonna miss the barrel. So hopefullyhe irons it out, because I think
he could be kind of a bullpensaver. To a large degree, I
thought he was the guy in thisrotation knives like if anybody can throw two
hundred innings in this bullet and thisrotation at him, I got the Alexis

(31:55):
Das I've been waiting for all seasonon Tuesday. Yep, how do I
see that guy the rest of theyear. You just always hope there's a
light bulb, right, Yeah,Luke. Luke goes out there first batter,
I think it was a two toone count or something, and goes
out there and kind of gets geton him left right, and I think
your stuff is good, like thefeeling for it, kind of like Graham
just let this thing loose, worryabout getting the hitterru And immediately as fast

(32:17):
ball went from ninety three to ninetysix, Barrion Slider's like down in it.
I mean, I'm looking for thecatcher's reaction, like if he catches
it and like gives one of theseback, even before he puts the ball
in his hand. He's loving whatthe guy did, and I thought he
just kind of free to lex usup to again get out of his head,
attack the strikes on with the stuffbecause when it's playing up to that
level, you know, ninety fiveninety six, he's got ninety more in

(32:38):
the tank. Yeah, just letthat, Let that go, because he's
so unique with the arm angle andall that and all the ship that's going
on, you know. So Ithink that was not everybody responds to a
pad on the butt, right,sometimes need a brick in the head.
So I think hopefully the brick inthe head was good. Spiders impressed me
from this standpoint. He gives upfour early, he's on the road,

(33:00):
ode you first starting, first start, things can snow the ball. They
didn't, kept his team in thegame. Yeah, and that's impressive.
And so I'm always looking and Ithink Andrew Abbot's a guy like that.
Like I talked about Paul Skins makingthat adjustment, you know, to ending
the closer. You can get itto make an adjustment pitch to pitch,
you know, sometimes it's a gameto games ending to inning, at bat
to at bat, the closer,you can get it to pitch to pitch,

(33:21):
the better off you're going to bebecause you recognize what they're trying to
do, what you need, whatmental or physical cues you need to do
to get yourself back to where you'remost successful. And I thought that that's
what he did, and he said, he admitted after the game, I
was a little amped up. Iwas trying to throw a little bit too
much fastball. After that, Ikind of recognized it and took a deep

(33:43):
bread DJ came out and I gotback to doing what I would do what
I do, which is spin theball, mix it up, locate And
he's like, I know I haveto do that to be successful. So
I'm not scared by this because Iknow who I am. I'm comfortable with
it. And I thought he dida great job. I mean, that's
impressive to me. And it's alwaysyou know, if the lines or was
the exact same six innings, fourruns, it's what it was. If
he didn't give the exact same thingin reverse, it feels totally different,

(34:06):
right. Question, You end ona good note, and I think that
he's I think he absolutely should getanother start. No question. You you
pitched pre pitch clock and pre disengagementrule. Right, I'm watching David Cohne
on ESPN talk about you know,it's a little bit easier because if I'm
told I really can't throw it inat first base, I'm not being told

(34:27):
I can't worry about that guy.It's easier for me to focus on the
hitter. Are we seeing that there'struth to it? Yeah? I mean
I think obviously you see with anEllie, I mean, you know he's
going to go at almost is whybother he did get picked off the other
night. Yeah, he did skinsskins. Yeah, another thing that impressed
me, and he made a niceplay, like the guy just got as

(34:49):
sure as the package. Right,So if you get a guy that you
know is going to go, youcan't really vary times anymore with the pitch
clock. It's not so much thedisengagement thing. For me, it's holding
the ball for longer, let themget heavy in their legs, and then
they just kind of give up onit a little bit. Right. So
that's kind of the disadvantage to thepitcher in that regard more than the disengagements,

(35:12):
because when you're picking off, you'rereally not trying to pick the guy
off. You're trying to shorten hislead by step, but holding the ball
kind of negates the steel because theydon't know when you're gonna go. Clock's
taking three to two. He's gotto go just go right. So yeah,
I do think you're seeing that alittle bit. And I think the
I mean, it's hard to hitwith runners in score position, it's hard
to hit with runners on base becausethen those are the most important pitches,

(35:35):
and guys are bearing down and they'rekind of giving you their best shots.
So I think I would imagine thenumbers reflect And then I'm watching Hunter and
Mitch Keller on Wednesday. It's subSaharan hot though, and they fought through
it. Yeah, but you gota pitch clock, you don't have time
to catch your breath. I thinkabout it as like a video game,
you know, where you need yourNBA jam, like Ye's the turbo thing

(35:58):
goes down, and like how longis it take to refill it? And
I think that's something that guys are, you know, learning as this as
this process goes on. How doI make sure that I'm recovering in between
pitches, you know, pitch topitch, and some of that's going to
be guys recognizing that you can letoff the gas a little bit, man.
I mean, you don't have togo one hundred every time you can.

(36:19):
If you can find ways to getguys out of ninety percent or whatever
percentage that is, then do that. Then when it comes time to shine
and you need to go up toone hundred, you have it. And
it's a different look if one hundredwent out there and pitch at ninety four
ninety six, which he could andlocated a little bit more, and then
he gets to second and third oneout. I've put my body in a

(36:40):
good position to have a hundred,right, Yeah, I mean it's a
big deal, and it's just somethingan art that's been lost a little bit
because nobody's paying you to come outof the draft and nobody's to pitch.
They're paying you for your stuff exactly, So it's hard to let off the
gas. I can't thank you enough. I know you have a lot going
on. Wow, you can stickaround. I was twenty mins. Yeah.

(37:01):
Look, Chris Welsh is a Hallof Fame broadcaster. Yeah, Jeff
Brantley is a Hall of Fame broadcaster. Barry Larkins my all time favorite player,
just a strict Hall of Famer.Yeah, need you in the booth,
Moore, I appreciate it. Thatwas fun. I'm sure. I'm
sure it's a little bit did agreat job a different listeners, but we
try to so no knock on thoseother guys. Obviously, Need you in

(37:21):
the booth, Moore, I wouldlove that, all right, And I'll
see all the I'll tell him thatif you said so, please do it'll
probably happen. They'll they'll listen tome. Ball club listens to me all
the time. So yeah, Sam, thanks so much for sure, the
great Sam Lick Here. We're hereat the Holy Grail. It's seven away
from four o'clock. ESPN fifteen thirtyCincinnati Sports Station. You met with the

(37:45):
stage. What's up? Good afternoonon my way. This is ESPN fifteen
thirty. Appreciate you listening. Weare broadcasting from the Holy Grail downtown Cincinnati.
It is hot, but it isgorgeous outside. Reds and Red Sox
coming up. Reds playing a RedSox team that comes in red hot.

(38:05):
DJ Friedel is back in the startinglineup. Jamer Candelario also back in the
starting lineup. Austin Win is upfrom Louisville Reds now have three catchers.
What that maybe should mean is thatTyler Stevenson can can like d H Moore.
I guess it was inexcusable to nothim have him, to not have
him in the starting lineup on Wednesday. By the way, one other note,

(38:28):
Matt Mioska is gonna have surgery onhis knee. This has been something
that we have talked about all weeklong. Obviously a no go for tomorrow,
as ce Cincinnati's tilt against New England. No real timeline on his return.
Kevin egan from MLS season pass whenApple TV joins us at five twenty
earlier today, our buddy Austin Elmorechatted with Charlie Goldsmith of The Inquirer.

(38:52):
He did. Charlie did a Qand A with Red's president Nick Krawl.
You can go find that at Cincinnatidot com. I think one of the
answers that Nick gave Charlie is maybeinteresting is not the right word. It's
an answer that I like. Howabout that. We'll spend a few minutes
on that and perhaps discuss a Bengalsrival. Speaking of Bengals rivals, all

(39:19):
four AFC North teams will be featuredon Hard Knocks this winter, not the
typical hard Knocks that you get duringtraining camp. Hard Knocks A Season in
the AFC North premieres on Tuesday,December third. What they're going to do
is embed themselves with all four teamsin the AFC North, document their seasons,
document their head to head matchups,and spend time with these teams clear

(39:44):
through the postseason. This is goingto be awesome. I am an NFL
Films nerd. I love Hard Knocks, so it's awesome to have with us.
Keith Cossrow, who's the vice presidentand head of content for NFL Films,
I cannot wait for this. Keith, I'm so excited. You get
a lot of credit because you've donethe impossible. You have gotten Bengals,

(40:05):
Brown's, Steelers, and Ravens fansto agree on something, and that's that.
This is going to be a lotof fun starting December third. Well,
now is a done of the AFCNorth or what was back then the
AFC Central. I grew up ina fan of one of these four teams
that shall remain nameless for the purposesof this call. But anyone who loves

(40:32):
and has grown up with this division, and any one of these four teams
knows that it is one of thegreat divisions, not only in the NFL
but in all of sports. Andthe opportunity to take an approach to hard
knocks in season that is different thananything we've ever done, different than anyone's

(40:55):
ever done, and attack a wholedivision and all four teams in it.
You had to start there. Youhad to start. In the AFC North,
you have to start and what reallyis the cradle of pro football Ohio,
Western Pennsylvania and Baltimore. It's agreat division. You know, Hard
Knox has been on the air nowfor over two decades, and obviously here

(41:19):
in Cincinnati, there are a lotof people who became familiar with it when
NFL Films was embedded with the Bengalsin two thousand and nine and then again
in twenty thirteen. Give us anidea of what your access is like in
season as opposed to when you're coveringa team during training camp or like with
the Giants this year, during theoffseason. First of all, I would

(41:40):
I'm going to make a quick shamelessplug for the Giants show, which premieres
on July second, and people,if you're not sure what that is.
That we have been embedded with theGiants since January and were with their GM
Joe Shane and the entire Giants frontoffice through the whole off season, and

(42:04):
it was The things we captured inthe story we're going to tell are unlike
anything we've ever seen, and it'sreally interesting and for any football nerd,
I must watch. But for anyonewho's just interested in workplace dynamics and offices
and how it organization functions at ahigh level, that shows it's just really
really cool as far as in seasonversus that and the training camp the classic

(42:30):
version of Hard Knocks, the inseason version, which we've been doing for
three years and which we did.The precursor to that was five years of
All or Nothing on Amazon. Wetry to keep the footprint really small in
season. You know, if youremember if you were around Cincinnati and O
nine or thirteen, the footprint forthe training camp shows a little bigger and

(42:54):
pretty noticeable. We want to becompletely invisible in December, when teams are
fighting for playoff spots and so muchis online and careers and livelihoods of every
coach and player and the roster reallyare in stake, and everything for an
organization is on the line, Sowe keep the crew small. We lean

(43:17):
heavily on the unmanned, robotic camerasand meeting rooms that anyone who's ever watched
Hard Knocks is familiar with. Welean heavily on micing up players and coaches
and practices and games, and wedo everything we can just to capture what
they're already doing. And that tous is the key. You know,

(43:39):
in the summer, in August,you got a little bit more time.
It's a little bit of a loosertime, certainly for veterans, you know,
Joe Burrow and Jamar Chase. InAugust, their main objective is just
to not get injured. They justwant to get to September healthy, right,
and in December it's a very differentexperience for them. So what we
want to make sure first and foremost, and you know, I'm sure any

(44:02):
fan wants to hear this, iswe just don't want to disrupt anyone's your
team. We don't want to disruptthe team's objectives, which are to win
every Sunday, Monday or Thursday,and to win the AFC North and to
get home playoff games, and toget to and win the Super Bowl.
We just want to be there todocument it. And we've developed so many

(44:27):
techniques, innovative techniques over the yearsat NFL Films, that's the whole history
of NFL Films, so that wecan stay out of the way and still
capture this material, these sights andsounds that our fans crave and that make
these shows so special. You documenttraining camp and I think we always talk

(44:51):
about it on our show, theHard Knocks effect. No matter which team
you're watching, by the end ofcamp, you feel like, God,
these guys are going to be prettygood. Some of the d season stuff,
you know, you famous he hadthe rams and had Jeff Fisher telling
his staff and his players he hadbeen fired. You did the Arizona Cardinals
in season, and toward the endit felt like Cliff Kingsbury knew he was
going to lose his job. Whatis it like when you're covering a team

(45:13):
in season and the season has,for lack of a better term, gone
awry. That is one of themain reasons we've gone this route. We
knew after the Kingsbury season, theCardinals season where their season went sideways.
This was in twenty twenty two andeverybody was injured, including Kyler Murray and

(45:39):
Cliff Kingsbury, who was terrific toour crew and helped us make a great
show, lost his job. Wejust knew that's not something we're really interested
in documenting. Again, nobody wantsto see it death march like that to
the end of the season. Sowe just felt that there's a different model

(46:00):
to do an in season version ofHard Knocks, and that's the division model,
where by doing four teams at once, it's gonna be a lot harder.
We got to figure it out andthat'll be a process, but it
lessens the burden on each of thoseclubs. We don't have to shoot quite
as much with anyone. If somebody'sseason does go sideways, we can back

(46:23):
off a little bit. You know, we have three other teams. At
least one of them is going towin the division, and that's important.
We want to We want to showvictory, not just somebody's season ending badly,
but somebody's gonna win the NFC North, the ourst division to win in
football. I mean what I'm lookingforward to, and obviously we hope it's

(46:45):
here in Cincinnati, but you're goingto be embedded with a team as it's
preparing for playoff games, and you'regoing to be embedded with teams as they
play, get set to play teamsthat you're also embedded with, and I
think that adds an interesting dynamic.I'm curious us about this. Hard Knocks.
The franchise has a history with theBengals, and obviously the Browns have

(47:07):
been featured somewhat recently. You goback to the first year you have the
Baltimore Ravens. This will be thefirst time the Pittsburgh Steelers are involved.
Does that add a dynamic? Doyou have to did you have to compel
them to say yes to this?How did that play out? Well?
This change was voted on at theleague meetings in March. You know,

(47:28):
anything we do with Hard Knocks,that's a change. There's a you know,
everybody's familiar familiar with the Hard Knockrules, the Hard Knocks rules of
who's eligible to be on the show, and it's a fun parlor game for
fans to play. We wanted totweak that this year and expand the pool
of teams that are eligible for thesummer show, and simultaneously to open the

(47:51):
door to doing this different approach tothe end season show. We spoke to
all of the many of the teamsare on the NFL and got a lot
of feedback. We worked with theleague office, the executives in New York,
and it was put to a voteand then the owners voted over overwhelmingly

(48:14):
that this is an approach they couldget behind. So all four of the
AFC North teams voted in favor ofit, and at that point we felt
really good that this is probably wherewe're going to start. I mean,
it certainly was going to be ourpreference. And now there was no pushback
from the Steelers. There were nopushback from the Ravens, the Bengals,

(48:34):
or the Browns. I know therewere, you know, the commissioners spoke
to the owners and our president,Ross Kiddover speaks frequently with executives from all
four of the clubs, as doI with several of them, and we
have great relationships. And I thinkeverybody goes into this with eyes open.

(48:55):
We don't want to disrupt anybody's season, and we're going to figure out how
to work together to tell a greatstory. Just how cool is it?
Though? I mean to tell storiesabout Bengals and Browns games and Steelers Ravens
games and every one of these.Every game in this division is a rivalry
game. Yeah, there are nobad games on the schedule. Week sixteen
and a week eighteen, all fourteams play each other. Yeah, we

(49:21):
have there the Steelers and Ravens playingboth playing on Christmas Day on net play.
There's just so many different things we'regoing to be able to feature and
highlight and focus on. It's goingto be awesome. Do you do you
anticipate? I would imagine the ideais for this to be an every year
sort of thing. Maybe not withthe AFC North, but but is the
idea here You're going to do thiswith a particular division every single year moving

(49:44):
forward. You're starting with the bestand I think most competitive division. But
is like, can we see theAFC West next year or the nfcas How's
that going to work? Yeah,it's definitely the idea. I mean,
we got to see how it works. This is this is the year to
find out. It's everything we thinkis going to go those the way we

(50:05):
you know, it goes the waywe think it's going to go. If
it succeeds, if it proves tobe a practical answer, and the feedback
from these four teams is, yeah, you know what, that worked,
We can handle that. Then itbecomes a really equitable and fair, you
know, equitable solution where we cango to all thirty two teams and say,

(50:28):
you know, you're going to dothis once in eight years, and
everybody's going to do it, andso we don't have to talk anymore about
we're never doing this or this isn'tfair. No, it's fair. Everybody
will do it once, and it'sa great way for our fans to get
to know the players and coaches andwhat they put into this a little bit
more. There's nothing like when youwatch Hard Knocks and you gain a new

(50:52):
appreciation for how hard a particular playeror coach is working, how much they
care about the job, how muchit means to them, how much support
they have from their families. Onceyou witness that in a show like this,
it changes your connection to the team. We thought last year with the

(51:15):
Dolphins and Mike McDaniel and Tua andthat team which had a terrific season where
they kind of got banged up atthe end, but that was our first
taste of hard knocks in the playoffs, and I think it meant a lot
to Dolphins fans to experience that runin this way, and it's really intense
to experience it this way, butI think it's a lot of fun.

(51:37):
It deepens the emotional bond you feelwith your team and its players, and
I think that's a good thing forour game, for our league, for
our players and coaches, and forour fans. Yeah, I mean,
to that end, I've always feltlike in the two thousand and nine Bengals
had a good year. They wonten games. It was a year filled

(51:59):
with tragedies with Chris Henry passing andMike Zimmer, the defensive coordinator, lost
his wife. But I've always feltlike Bengals fans to this day, fifteen
years later, developed a special bondwith that team because of the stories that
were told during training camp on hardKnocks, and yet Chad Johnson was featured
prominently, but also we got toknow Tom Nelson, right, this undrafted
safety who made the club. Andso I'm always somewhat envious of the fan

(52:22):
base that gets hard Knocks because Ifeel like, especially if the team ends
up being pretty good, boy,you are going to develop an attachment that
maybe you don't get anywhere else.That I mean, of course, that
Bengals season in two thousand and ninewas incredibly special for all of us here.
We had we had rebooted the showa couple of years earlier with the

(52:45):
Kansas City season with Herm Edwards andmade it much more cinematic, and that's
when the the you know now iconicHard Knocks theme was was first brought into
the show. People don't realize thatthat Hard Knocks team wasn't there when they're
with the Ravens show. We didn't. We didn't introduce it until two thousand

(53:07):
and seven when our composer David Robodowrote it. So that two thousand and
nine season was the first time itwon the Emmy for Best Series. The
Chad part of it was incredible,Reggie, Telly's story, everything you mentioned.
It was such a special show andwe know the connection it made.
And we just saw the same thingrecently with the Detroit season. I just

(53:31):
heard yesterday that still two years later, the number one selling jersey for the
Lions was an undrafted linebacker featured inthe Lions show two years ago. And
you think about how that Dan CampbellLions team was just starting to turn the
corner when Hard Knocks aired, andI think it really helped catapult them in

(53:55):
their own city. It really helpedto find their character and and build the
love affair that they're having with thatcity, and I think it helped catapult
them into the national consciousness. WhenHard Knocks works and it's clicking on all
cylinders and the team is into itand the coach is on board, it

(54:17):
can be a really great experience foreverybody involved. And I think that's happened
on a number of occasions, andhopefully it happens this year with the entire
AFC North, because again, it'sjust a different side of the game than
we've been able to present in anyof these shows ever, to say,
hey, here's the best division,the most competitive division, the toughest division

(54:39):
in football. Let's see how theygo about it at the when it matters
most it is. It's going tobe a blast. Premiere is December third.
I cannot wait. I have beenan NFL Films nerd since I got
my NFL Crunch Course VHS tape withmy subscription to Sports Illustrate when I was

(55:00):
eight years old in nineteen eighty fiveand have been a huge fan ever since.
I cannot thank you enough for givingus some time. I hope we
can do it as Hard Knocks unfoldslater on this winter. Thank you so
much, Keith, anytime. Makesure you stop by next time you're around
Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Iknow that area well and I may take
you up on that. Thank youso much, all right though, it

(55:22):
awesome stuff. Keith Cossro is thevice president and head of content for NFL
films. Hard Knocks, a seasonwith the AFC North, will be a
big part of this twenty twenty fourBengals and NFL season at premiers on Tuesday,
December the third, on HBO andMax. I cannot wait. I

(55:42):
cannot wait to take a break becauseI am late twenty three minutes after four
o'clock. Broadcasting today from the HolyGrail Downtown on ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports
Station, Full Questions on X.Thanks to our friends at United Heartland Insurance,
the plays to go. If youwant to say, save money on
your insurance, save mo money,home insurance, car insurance, business insurance,

(56:06):
residential, you name it, theseguys can set you up offices in
Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Burlington.I've spent a lot of time over the
last month in Burlington, and I'vechecked out the United Heartland Insurance offices there
in Burlington on Route eighteen. UHINSdot com, uhi NS dot com.
We have two pole questions. Votenow. One, should the REGs jump

(56:30):
to the front of the line andgive up a lot in order to acquire
Luis Robert Junior asap? And bythe way, it is Robert asap.
Early return suggests no, which makesme wonder something. I'll tell you what
that is a little bit later on. Second question, is it the heat
or is it the humidity? Becausewhen I was walking in here today a

(56:53):
guy said to me, you know, it's not the heat, it's the
humidity. I don't know, man, I'm not sure I agree. Vote
now, most of you say it'sthe humidity. At mowing hard hitting poulp
questions thanks to United Heartland Insurance.Nick Crawl is the president of baseball operations
for the Red seated a Q andA with Charlie Goldsmith. I liked one

(57:15):
of his answers. I liked it. I'll tell you what that answer was.
Next. We're at the Holy Groundon ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports Station
Cincinnati's eight twenty two away from fiveo'clock sports headlines, or a service of
Kelsey's Chevrolet Homebo lifetime powertrain protection andguaranteed credit approval from their family to yours

(57:36):
for life, kelseyschev dot Com.First of three tonight at GABP between the
Reds and Red Sox. Boston comesin hot. They just swept the Blue
Jays in Toronto, took two outof three from the Yankees, two out
of three from the Philadelphia Phillies.Cincinnati sins Andrew Abbott to the Hill in
the series opener. Righty Cutter Crawfordthrows for Boston seven to ten tonight on

(57:59):
seven hundred wl W. Your startinglineup tonight is hopefully made well. We
give it to you thanks to ourfriends at Madewell Restoration. Your home deserves
to be made well. Check outMadewell Restoration dot com. TJ Friedel back
in the starting lineup. He isin centerfield, leading off. Elie de
la Cruz at short Candelario's back inthe starting lineup. He is batting third,

(58:20):
and DH Spencer Steer at first base. Jake Frelian Wright, Jonathan India
playing second base, Sun Thiago Espinall'splaying third base and betting seventh, Will
Benson and left, and Luke Mayleyis catching Tonight. Red's made a roster
move. Jacob Hurdabees has been sentdown to Louisville Austin, winn a catcher
called up. Reds Now have threecatchers on the roster, and Connor Caple

(58:45):
has been designated for assignment. FlorenceYaw's play on the road tonight against Joliet.
Matt Miasgo will have surgery on thatknee. Suffer that injury last Saturday
night in the win over San Jose. Won't play for FC Cincinnati tomorrow.
No timeline on his recovery. Orangeand Blue take on New England at the
Stadium on the West end of Cincinnatitomorrow evening at seven thirty. That game

(59:07):
live on ESPN fifteen thirty. HockeyTonight, NHL Stanley Cup Final Game six
Panthers Oilers Florida trying to close outthe series, up three games to two
for the first time maybe ever onSincy three sixty. Tonight's lock of the
night game six to go to otplus three forty. Now, the last

(59:29):
time we gave you that prop wasfor the Super Bowl. It's my favorite
super Bowl prop. It finally hitthis year, which was the Super Bowl
to go to overtime. Plus it'sactually now plus three sixty plus three sixty
for Game six to go to overtime. Phone calls coming up here in a
bit, Nick Krawl, President BaseballOperations for the Reds, tod the Q

(59:52):
and A with our buddy Charlie Goldsmithof Cincinnati dot com. And it's a
pretty all encompassing Q. Go readit if you want. One of the
questions was about injuries. So Charliegoes down a path where he starts to
ask questions about what the Reds mayor may not do with the deadline,

(01:00:13):
and he asked a question about separatinginjuries and what the team could use at
the deadline, because the previous questionwas about McLain and Cees and those guys
not being available and how much theteam should bank on them coming back.
Nick's answer to that question was,quote, right now, they're not here.

(01:00:34):
We've got to play with the playerswe have. Those guys need to
rehab and continue to get better.I don't want to put any stock into
what a guy's timeline is, especiallycoming back from a long term injury.
So there's the answer to that.And then the question was, and this
is the one that stood out tome, do you have to separate those
two things, injuries and what theteam could use at the deadline? And

(01:00:55):
Nick's response was, quote, thedifference between last year and this year with
where we are right now, isthis last year at the trade deadline,
you had Hunter Green and Nicklodolo ontheir rehab assignments. We had guys coming
back on those rehab assignments. Untilthat happens, it's hard to say that

(01:01:15):
you project this or that last year. That was the strategy, right Red
starting pitching stunk. They thought theywere gonna get Hunter Green back and Nick
Lodolo back. They got Hunter Greenback, and unfortunately he wasn't very effective
when Hunter Green came back as erathose last whatever they were nine to ten

(01:01:35):
starts was six point oh two.Nick Lodolo unfortunately never came back, and
so the strategy failed. The strategywas we're gonna bolster our biggest weakness by
bringing these guys off the injured listand they're gonna help. And it ended
up not being the case, andthat's the reason why they didn't make the
postseason. I like the fact thathe mentioned this because this steers us away
from the potential narrative of hurt guycoming back is going to be our best

(01:02:01):
deadline acquisition. Now. I alsoread like they're hoping that ces comes back.
There are things you hope for andthere are things you expect. I'm
hoping the Reds win tonight. Iexpect to get a beer when my show
is over. I know one ofthose things is gonna happen. That's what
I expect. What I hope for, I have no idea. So you'll

(01:02:23):
hear, well, they hope tohave cees back. Okay, there is
a difference between hope and expect.I put absolutely no faith, no stocking
to those guys coming back this year, and if they do awesome, it's
a bonus. But those guys comingback can't be a part of your strategy.
And Nick mentioning the difference between lastyear and this year tells me that

(01:02:45):
at the very least, the improvementstrategy as the deadline gets closer isn't going
to be to bank on players whoaren't here getting here staying here and producing.
I think that's a pretty big distinction. Uh. Five point three seven
four nine, fifteen thirty. KevinEgan from MLS Season Pass on Apple TV

(01:03:08):
is going to join us coming upat five twenty. And I have a
response to the response I'm getting onone of my poll questions. I'm a
little bit surprised, and it's notthe heat versus humidity thing. We'll get
to that coming up at five five. But first, Uh, I would

(01:03:28):
venture to say that our most loyalcaller and probably our most loyal listener,
is Mike. Mike was so excitedto call the show today. He actually
called in before the show went onthe air, and I believe he has
been on hold since. Mike,You're on ESPN fifteen thirty. Typically when
people call, it's to react tosomething we have said. You called before

(01:03:50):
the show began. What's on yourmind? Well, very kind of you
to take first on. Thank youso much, and Karen, thank you.
Uh uh, somebody might go ahead. I don't worry about that.
Hey, I really enjoyed the interviewwith Sam. That was nice, man.
I wish you could do that moreoften that That's a good interview.

(01:04:14):
I loved it. When he hadballplayers talk. Uh, Sam is great
and and you know, Sam hasbeen a part of our show now for
a while. I think he bringsa perspective and way of sharing it that
is unique. I think he doesa good job of educating without being overly
technical. I think he follows inthe footsteps of guys like Chris Welsh and
Jeff Brantley, who are brilliant whenit comes to talking pitching, and Sam

(01:04:40):
just I just he's got a realcalm, down to earth type of persona.
So yeah, thanks Moth for that. It was And when he did
the broadcast, he was pretty good, right, I've got so did a
nice job. Yeah, I saidthat to him off air. He did
the games in Milwaukee, and Isaid to him, I could tell,
Well, I think it's it's soimportant when you're doing a broadcast with another

(01:05:02):
person to listen to what the otherperson says. And there are broadcasts that
I think sound disjointed because you couldtell when one is not listening to the
other. And I said to Sam, I could tell you are listening to
John Sadak when you do the gameswith him. And I think there are
a lot of people in that positionnot necessarily in Red's broadcasts who don't do

(01:05:25):
that, And so I think that'sa credit to Sam. I need too,
Bob. Tonight, we have aperfect exemplification of your workless win loss
stats, and that would be forcoffer that three and pick but a three
point five twenty second and strikeouts witheighty eight as opposed to one hundred greens.

(01:05:49):
He's thirteenth with ninety eight. ButI thought it was a good perponification
of your philosophy regarding that that.I got a nasty email about this the
other day, and I invited theperson to call in and talk about this.
This guy and I'm trying to findit on my phone, was upset
about the fact that on this showwe do not reference or care about pitcher

(01:06:12):
win loss totals. I couldn't tellyou the win loss record of any Reds
pitcher. I couldn't tell you wholeads the league and wins because it is
a pointless and useless statistic. Anddon't we don't care about those things.
We don't care about what's pointless anduseless on this show. I think he
got your point across pretty vividly.The guy pitching Tomark pretty good for them

(01:06:36):
too. Well, Avid Quarantine,I we got a good guy. I
don't know about Franklin though, thevery down on this guy. But bet
it's pretty good tomorrow, not bad. E already in the three so and
let's TV deep Sunday. But Ithink it's critical a win two out of
three on this homestand though don't youwell, they got to get it going

(01:06:57):
at some point. I mean,we can keep talking about how many games
they have left on the schedule andthey're in last place. I mean,
I keep making it about the wintotal, and I like the latest thing
to do now as well. Aroundthe All Star break, the schedule softens
up. But it's true, likelike they played the Tigers, who are

(01:07:20):
very okay, the Rockies who arebad, the Marlins who are awful,
the Nationals aren't very good. Butby the way, those series are sandwiching
around a road series against the Yankees, a road series against Atlanta even without
Acunya, they're formidable. I don'tknow, man, they gotta win.
I believe fifty of their next eightyeight games, fifty of their last eighty

(01:07:41):
eight games to get to eighty fivewins. Well, that math becomes more
and more difficult the longer we waitfor them to turn it on. And
you could say, well, waita minute, moment. They just won
seven straight games. A seven gamewinning streak is only good if you build
upon it. This team has notdone that. And offensively, look,
man, we love the starting pitching. The starting pitching his postseason worthy.

(01:08:01):
If this team doesn't start to hitbetter, they're not going to go to
the playoffs. The question is howdo they find more offenses currently constructed?
Do they find offense via a trade? And if they do, is that
offensive addition going to be enough forthis team to make up a fair amount
of ground? Are you willing totrade Diaz for for a proven, solid

(01:08:28):
power hit. Yes, yes,I'm with you. Though I'm with you,
and you know who I talking aboutthe other day, Oddly enough,
I'm California Rowley Fingers. He's gota a podcast and he just doesn't like
the way Diaz looks right now.And he said that, but he doesn't
love Kruz. He loved him,and he said I would make in my

(01:08:49):
closer right now, and Diaz,go do what you want to do.
But that was his attendance. Ithink what I think would be interesting quickly,
Mike, I think what I wouldbe interesting about Diaz B two.
See, you know, he's young, there's years of team control. There's
also the fact that he's not aseffective a picture as he was a year
ago. Do teams view him asyou know what, that's an asset that

(01:09:13):
we could fix and then we gethim for years and then we'll give up
a lot for him. But ifyou're asking, and I like Alexis d
As, I had no issue withAlexis d Has. But what's more valuable
a guy who could help you everyday or a dude who's only going to
pitch the ninth inning when your teamis ahead. I'll take the everyday guy.
Go ahead, me too, thankyou, And I always go back
to the DA because you look bad. I'm really happy about the Radic appointment,

(01:09:36):
but I knew they were going topick after the Holy came up.
But that's who Lebron wanted. Jaysand super Basketball accually, no question.
But I he should have asked foran eight year gig instead of poor because
they're going to rebuild bet roster though. Yeah, I like I like that

(01:09:59):
they did it because it's interesting,right, I'm a fan of interesting JJ
Reddick taking a very non traditional pathto be a head coach, much less
the head coach of the LA Lakersis interesting. And then that team is
just interesting because it's got as soonto be forty year old Lebron James and
Anthony Davis, who did get throughevery game last year. That roster is
going to have to be turned over. But in the current version of the

(01:10:21):
NBA that turnover is occurring via thedraft more than ever. They don't have
their first rounder, I think intwo of the next four years. And
so I'm with you. If Iwas JJ Reddick, I would want some
sort of I would want some sortof confirmation that, you know what,
I'm gonna be the guy through whatever'snext post Lebron, and he didn't get

(01:10:43):
that. And he is in ajob that, for all the prestige that
coaching the LA Lakers might bring,has been one of unsteadiness. If I'm
taking a job that has been unsteady, I need some insurance. I need
assurance. I need longer than fouryears. Mike, I got a run
man, Thank you, Alan Caruso, grit pickup for OKC. Thanks Moll,

(01:11:05):
all right, very good night.Away from five o'clock five, one,
three, seven, four, nine, fifteen thirty is our phone number
worth the Holy Grail, downtown Cincinnati. I'm here till six o'clock. Uh.
Do you want the rents to beaggressive or not? It's a very
very basic question, it feels likefor a lot of people the answer is
complex. We'll get to that comingup in five oh five. And chat

(01:11:28):
with our buddy Kevin Egan from AppleTV on FC Cincinnati. But first Brediman
and Jones on baseball on ESPN fifteenthirty Cincinnati Sports Station. This is ESPN
fifteen thirty, Cincinnati Sports Station.All Right, five o five ESPN fifteen
thirty. Good afternoon, I'm aLedgar. Thank you so much for joining
us. Hopefully your weekend is offto an unbelievable start. It is the

(01:11:53):
five o'clock Happy Hour, thanks toour friends at michelob Ultra. Taran,
I wish you were here having aneye cold michelob Ultra with me on tap
in a can. Either way,on a hot day like this, there
is nothing more refreshing, nothing moresoothing, nothing that I can imagine enjoying
more than a nice cold michelob Ultra. Get one here at the Holy Ground,

(01:12:16):
come on out and hang out withus. I'm broadcasting till six o'clock.
We've got the Reds and Red Soxunderway in just about two hours and
five minutes, the rematch of thenineteen seventy five World Series. You may
know which Boston fans still think theRed Sox won in six games. So
a lot happening here at the Banks. Come on out and hang out with

(01:12:38):
us. And if you don't havetickets tonight, it is nice. It's
nice and cool. It's cooler insidethan outside. Obviously, it feels good
in here. Tons of TVs,lots happening. We love the folks here
at the Holy Grail, and ofcourse we love the folks at mikeelob Ultra.
The mikeelob Ultra five o'clock Happy Houris always happy. It's even happier

(01:12:59):
when it's here at the Holy Grown. Kevin Egan from an Apple TV MLS
season pass is gonna join us injust about fifteen minutes preview tomorrow night's match
as the Orange and Blue takes onNew England The Reds. The Reds news
mostly good today so far. Withthe game tonight. TJ Friedel is back
that's good. Jamer Kindlio is back. That's good. Jacob Herdabees has been

(01:13:25):
sent to Louisville. Austin Win isback. He's a catcher. They've also
dfa Connor Capell. Now the AustinWin thing is, I guess somewhat interesting
from this perspective. The Reds havenot carried three catchers on the active roster
all season long, something they dida lot last year with Kurt Casally.

(01:13:46):
So right now they have three catchers. You'll notice if you take a look
at the starting lineup tonight, TylerStevenson is not in it. The Reds
had an off day yesterday. Stevensondid not on Wednesday. He hasn't caught
a game since Monday, and soyou're probably wondering, like, why now
with three catchers. Well, DavidBell tells reporters across the street at GABP

(01:14:13):
that Tyler has been dealing with aninjury that makes his status day to day.
Beyond that, I have no ideawhat this means, but that is
something at least worth paying attention to. It's interesting they didn't use him on
Wednesday. The Reds had an offday yesterday, and so what he is

(01:14:33):
dealing with obviously persisted through the offday and he's I don't know if he's
unavailable for tonight, but he's notin the starting lineup. And the fact
that they have added another catcher tothe roster, I guess would lead you
to believe that they're gonna do everythingthey can to not use Tyler Stevens since
tonight, and that maybe this couldbe something that is worth paying attention to

(01:14:57):
in the long term. Reds arecoming off a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates
in which they gave up a grandtotal of six runs. Nic Loodolo,
I haven't been on the air.I was off on Wednesday, and I
was off yesterday. Nicolodolo pitched onTuesday and his defense helped him, but
he was outstanding. And Hunter Greenon Wednesday was awesome. Now that Pirate

(01:15:18):
team is not great offensively, andunfortunately Mitch Keller dance circles around that Red
starting lineup on Wednesday afternoon. HunterGreen has been terrific and he was really
good on Wednesday. Niiclodolo is outstanding, Andrew Abbot's having a good season.
Hunter Green, though, what's frustratingabout that start is they lose the ballgame,

(01:15:39):
won nothing. Hunter Green's last tenstarts, he's been terrific an era
right around three. He's been everythingthat you would want. The Reds have
only won five of those ten games. Their starting pitching is better than league
average across the board. Their startingpitching is good enough to at least contend
for a playoffs. Unfortunately, despiteall of this, the Reds enter this

(01:16:05):
weekend in the last place. Itis kind of interesting if you think about
all the different stuff that has happenedwith this team over the last even just
fifteen months, the arrival of Eliede la Cruz and the arrival of all
of these young players, and eventhis year, the ascension of the starting
pitching, the fact that it reallydoes feel like the Reds have a plan,

(01:16:27):
and that can't go discounted. Itdoes feel like the Reds have a
plan. It feels like they're atleast willing to stick with it. Despite
all of that, the more thingschange, the more they stay the same.
They enter the second to last weekendof June, they're approaching the midway
point of the season in last place. Now, one good weekend they can

(01:16:48):
be in second place. One goodweek they can be leading the Wild Card,
but it does start to feel asif time is kind of becoming of
the essence here. They've played seventyfour games offensively, this team is kind
of what it is. I knowthat's kind of cliche, but it's true.
Through seventy four games, the Redshave been a bad offensive team.

(01:17:11):
They're below league average in nearly everymetric, whether it's something old school like
batting average, something more new schoollike ops. They're not a team that
is scoring above league average and runsper game, and you can talk about,
well, there are teams that areworse in every category. I want
to be better than the league average. If this team was better than the
league average offensively, I think we'dbe talking about a team that had more

(01:17:31):
wins than losses. So the questionreally does become how do they fix this
offensively? How does this get fixed? Is it simply a matter of players
who to this point have not hitstarting to hit. Is it simply a
matter of Noelle Marte's arrival, whichcould happen as soon as next week being

(01:17:55):
the turning point? Does it happenvia a trade? And if it happened
via a trade, does the tradehappen late in the process. Does it
happen around July thirtieth? Do theyplay thirty or so more games before making
a move? If they make amove for an everyday player, if they
go and get it bad, isthat back going to be enough to propel

(01:18:16):
this team offensively to at least contentionfrom into October? All fair questions,
what's interesting to me? And youknow, Twitter poll up questions are a
very inexact way of taking a fanbase's pulse, but I do enjoy them.
Nonetheless, we have one of themtoday thanks to our friends at United

(01:18:41):
Heartland Insurance. Go to uhins dotcom three offices, one in Cincinnati,
one in Hamilton, and one inNorthern Kentucky. And one of the questions
is about Luise Robert June. TheChicago White Sox are historically bad. They've
punted on the season. They've puntedon the season before it started. Luis
rob is talented, he is expensive, He's in what should be his prime.

(01:19:06):
He's a former All Star. He'salso often hurt. He does strike
out a lot, but he couldbe had now. The trade deadline is
still a ways away, right,It's not even June thirtieth yet. The
deadline is July thirtieth. We'd liketo see the Reds be active, and
you're gonna hear this often. Wewant the Red's to be aggressive. Well.
Being aggressive isn't sitting around for thenext four to five weeks. Being

(01:19:30):
aggressive is jumping to the front ofthe line, like I'm sitting here at
the Holy Grail right now, wegot a good crowd. There are folks
waiting patiently to get their drinks.Being aggressive means you push everybody out of
the way and you go to thebartender and say pour me and michelob Ultra.
Now, we want no one todo that. We want people to
wait third turn, want people tobe orderly. But that's being aggressive.

(01:19:53):
Being aggressive isn't sitting around and waiting. Now. There are drawbacks to Louise
Robert jor, but he would easilybe their best outfield. He might be
their best player if they traded forhim today. He is he a perfect
player, No, but he's available. By the way, availability matters here,

(01:20:14):
there are probably gonna be more buyersthan sellers, which means there's only
going to be a handful of playerswho are really available. Luise Robert might
be the best of the best.Now, you might also argue jas Chisholm,
the man the Marlins is Major LeagueBaseball players would disagree because they have
called him the most overrated player inthe sport. But what's so interesting to
me this is less about an individualplayer and it's more about a mindset.

(01:20:35):
I've got the overwhelming majority of peoplevoting on this who say, no,
the red should not jump to thefront of the line and give up a
lot in order to acquire Luis RobertJunior. Now, maybe that's based on
not just not believing that Luise Robertis very good. Maybe it's based on
not wanting to give up a lot. Maybe it's based on thinking that this

(01:20:57):
team is currently constructed is gonna befine. Thing has happened through seventy four
games offensively that would would would supportthat argument. But Okay, here's what
I want to know. When wesay we want the Reds to be aggressive,
what does that mean? Because Ihear it all the time, want
them to be more aggressive? Lastlast summer, right wanted the Reds to

(01:21:17):
be more aggressive. Okay, beingaggressive might mean you overpay, might mean
you win a bidding war. Oftenmight mean you you jump in first you
go first, you make the firstsplash. Do we really want the Reds
to do that? Because if wedo, and by the way I do,

(01:21:38):
I think there'd be nothing more invigoratingthan seeing this team show some seriousness
about trying to win this season,which is still on the table. If
you want them to be aggressive,though, aggression doesn't involve trading away players
that nobody wants. It doesn't meanunderpaying. It means giving up something of

(01:22:00):
value. It means putting in frontof the Chicago White Sox or any other
team that you would do business with, an offer that, before you even
know what the other offers are,exceeds what those other offers might be.
What's interesting to me is you willfind a lot of people who would say

(01:22:20):
I want the Reds to be aggressive. In that same breath, they'll tell
you the twenty five players they don'twant the Reds to trade, or they'll
talk about how well you can't throwoff the future, or you don't want
to give up too much, orlet's just wait and see what happens between
now and July thirty. You mightbelieve that, but if you do,

(01:22:41):
you cannot say that you want theReds to be aggressive, and if they're
not, you cannot say after thefact that the Reds should have been more
aggressive. I'm the guy doing itnow. More on this later on five
point three seven four nine, fifteenthirty is our phone number. FC Cincinnati,
the Matt and the OSGA news todaynot great. We knew he wasn't
gonna play tomorrow. I think mostof us expected the knee issue to acquire

(01:23:03):
surgery. There's still no real timeline. Meanwhile, this team has just played
two insanely fun games. They getthree more points on Wednesday with that dramatic
Philadelphia fans are saying it was fixedwin over the Union. That's turned into
a really good rivalry. Tomorrow nightthey played New England Revolutionary team that was
awful for most of the season.They've played better recently. Kevin Egan has

(01:23:28):
MLS three sixty on MLS Season Passon Apple TV. Always love talking FC
Cincinnati with him. He will joinus when we come back. We're broadcasting
from the Holy Grail today on ESPNfifteen to thirty Cincinnati Sports Station, Cincinnati's
ESPN after five o'clock. This isESPN fifteen thirty on MA Legger broadcasting today
from the Holy Grail Downtown tomorrow night. FC Cincinnati, what a week it

(01:23:54):
has been, bad news involved inMatt miosga a thrilling win against San Jose.
And then I think our next guestwill be qualified to speak to this.
I can't imagine there's been a moreexciting match during the Major League Soccer
season, at least to date.Then what took place at TIQL Stadium on
Wednesday night, that victory over thePhiladelphia Union. The Orange and Blue back

(01:24:15):
at it against a rested New Englandteam, but it's playing pretty well.
Tomorrow night at seven thirty you canwatch it on Apple TV MLS Season Pass
the MLS three sixties Show, whichis their weekly wrap around the league.
It is or whip around the League, I should say, is so good,
so well done. It is hostedby Kevin Egan, who's always kind

(01:24:36):
enough to give us a few minuteswhenever we want to talk with him about
FC Cincinnati, and he's with usright now. Was that the match of
the year on Wednesday night? Kevin? Well, firstly, what a pleasure
it is joining you as always hereon the show, and yeah, yeah
it was. I mean you couldn'tscript that. I mean you could and
if you did script it, andyou came up with a phenomenal script,

(01:24:57):
it's ending with the MVP of theleague scoring in the one hundred th in
it. I think clearly Cincinnati havehad their issues. It was mentioned with
the defense, you know, andthe injuries not me Alga out, Robinson
away on international duty. So you'regonna lead goals a little bit more than
you're used to, and with that, you're going to have to score more
goals to win games. And overthe last few weeks, three of the
last four games you've seen Cincinnati haveto score four goals. There's been two

(01:25:19):
four to three wins, four towin and yeah, this this team is
now, you know, a rockand roll type team where you've got to
try and score more of the opponentbecause the opponent's going to score a few.
You know, I've asked this.Your colleagues who call these matches are
always so kind to come on withme, and I've asked nearly each one

(01:25:39):
of them about just talking about louJoe LaCosta. You know, when you
watch a great player in any sport, sometimes I think it's it's hard to
come up with new adjectants or newways to describe what it's like to watch
this guy, what it's like tocall games that this guy is involved in.
So from your perspective, where doyou even begin with the reigning league.

(01:26:00):
Where I'll begin is this, youknow, the greatest players of all
time, right when you think aboutMichael Jordan during his time with the Bulls,
they had this ability to put theirteam on their back in clutch moments,
in big time moments. Luco Acostadoes that with Cincinnati, and it's
such a phenomenal thing to witness towatch him, you know, nearly at
times walk like Linnel Messi does,scanfield three sixty visions, find the right

(01:26:25):
spaces and where he needs to pickup the ball, and then he just
says, I've got this, guys, you just just just take a step
away here, let me do mything. And he's done that so many
times for this team. The gamewinning goals, I believe it's six match
winning goals this season for luc showshe's going to in my mind, in
the next couple of seasons break landonDonovan's record. If he stays in Cincinnati

(01:26:45):
and if he stays in the league, I think he's going to break landon
Donovan's record for the all time assists. He's close to catching up with my
broadcast colleague on three sixty's Asha Kleestion, who has ninety nine assists in the
league. Lucero will catch him prettyquickly and then and then he's gonna start
honing in on the on the alltime record, I would think, all
right, so so let's talk aboutthe defense. We know, we know
what Matt Miaskitt can do, andwe know how important he's been to this

(01:27:09):
team. We also know he's goingto be out for an unknown amount of
time. We also know what MilesRobinson means to this team. A little
bit easier, I guess to wrapyour your brain around when he may come
back in the short term, whatdo they do on that area of the
field to ensure that that deficiency doesn'tcatch up to him. You know,
I think the most important thing forthis team, and I know this may

(01:27:30):
seem quite obvious, is have thefootball. If they can have the ball
and keep the ball, you're you'repreventing your opponent from really getting at you.
And I don't think Pat Noon isgoing to change his system. You
know, he still went with threeat the back of the other night with
the likes of keller And and Haglandplaying Murphy and Murphy has been a great
signing coming across from Duke from playingcollege ball. And I think if if
you can keep the ball a lotmore in games, you protect the ball

(01:27:53):
with Buca and with with Wobbedo inmidfield, and you help them because they're
not they're not elite in this league. Robinson and miasga are and you're missing
really elite defenders in Major League Soccer. So to help those guys, you've
got to keep the ball a littlebit more. And obviously the other one
I think for me is set pieces. You're Cincinnati. You can't concede from
set pieces the way they did onWednesday night against Philadelphia. It's not good

(01:28:15):
enough. And Pat now and whilehappy, I'm sure with the three points,
was fairly honest with it with hisassessment of the defending postgame Kevin Egan,
host of MLS three sixty on AppleTV, part of MLS Season Pass.
Is the Eastern Conference a two teamrace or is there somebody that you
think can join the friend you know, I will said no a few days

(01:28:36):
ago, but I think Miami's victoryover Columbus. That may that put a
major dent in Columbus's hope to winthe Shield. It really did, because
it was a six point swing game. Cincinnati have one of those six points
swing games coming up against Miami ina few weeks and you can't lose those
games. And they did, andthe Crew actually played quite well, but
they conceded two goals early and justcouldn't come back from that moment. I'd

(01:29:00):
say I would say probably, yes. I'm kind of sitting on the fence
here a little bit because NYCFC havelooked really good of late, and the
Red Bulls will rally once to gettheir players back, and I think Columbus
will probably be there thereabouts. Butmy heart and my head probably tell me,
yeah, it's a horse race.Give me a minute here on New
England last on the table, butthey played better a week off, so

(01:29:21):
they're more arrested, which could bea factor given the heat here in town.
What's turned around for the res Yeah, I think there's a really really
dangerous game for Cincinnati. The Revswere starting to look better mo in their
performances even while losing. Before theyturned it around. I've been asking my
colleagues are the revs back. Youknow, for lack of a better way

(01:29:42):
of describing, have they turned acorner? They're all so afraid to say
yes. I think they are.I think there's a mentality shift. I
think there's a window coming up inthe transfer market that Caleb Porter can strengthen
here in a few weeks time whenit opens on July eighteenth. And I
think that this team is far toogood to be on the bottom of the
Eastern Conference. So if fans don'tTeequl look at the standings and say,
well, we're playing against a teamthat are bought them least, let's go

(01:30:04):
out and hammer them. That's nottelling the true story of this matchup.
But I think it's a really dangerousone. Tomorrow night, all right,
speak to the broadcasting nerd and me. You know what you guys do as
a kin to you know, NFLRed Zone Channel, And I've talked with
both hosts of that about what it'slike to have all those games in front
of you, all this information andyou have to navigate it in real time.

(01:30:28):
You do the exact same job,and in some ways, I think
it's a little bit more difficult becauseit's not quite as easy to just put
your eyes on the screen and tellpeople what's happening if you without yard markers
and stuff like that. Walk methrough this, because this is it's extraordinarily
entertaining. It takes us through everygame going on at once. You catch
all the major moments, which obviouslyyou did on Wednesday with FC Cincinnati.

(01:30:51):
Walk me through what the what thetypical Wednesday or Saturday night is liked on
the set of MLS three sixty.Hi obtain and thank you for those kind
of words. Mo. It ishigh uptain, it's exhilarating. I've got
to somehow match the energy. Youknow. We can't go out to a
game and have a commentator be atan eight or nine out of ten and

(01:31:11):
then you come back to the studioand I'm at a three out of four
out of ten. You know,I've got to bring the energy and bring
my broadcast colleagues alongside me. We'vegot to add entertainment but also analysis and
make sure we're breaking down the gamesas well as possible. But we don't
miss a beat, like we're hittingevery single goal, like you say,
every big chance, every controversial moment, and if you're a fan of Major
League Soccer and you're looking at MLSseason past tomorrow night, you're thinking,

(01:31:33):
well, there's fourteen games tomorrow.What better way to watch it than MLS
three sixty. Sit back, You'renot going to miss anything. It's our
job to tell you the stories ofeach and every game as we dip in
and out, and hopefully you know, if you're a casual fan and you're
not sure what's going on in theWestern Conference, for example, that when
you watch, you'll come away andyou'll think, well, I know a
lot more about these things. Youguys do a great job. You're always

(01:31:55):
so kind to come on with us. Enjoy tomorrow night, enjoy the weekend,
and we'll chat. Kevin, thanksso much. You're the best.
MO. Thanks for having me.Thank you here. You got it.
Kevin Egan, the host of MLSthree sixty on MLS Season Pass on Apple
TV. FC Cincinnati hosting New Englandtomorrow, that match at seven thirty.
Of course you can hear it liveon ESPN fifteen thirty. It's twenty eight

(01:32:18):
minutes away from six o'clock. We'reat the Holy Ground downtown Cincinnati. We
are just about an hour and ahalf away, a little bit more than
an hour and a half away fromReds and Red Sox coming up tonight.
We'll give you the starting lineup,working a few other things as well.
It's the Mikelovultra five o'clock Happy Houron ESPN fifteen thirty, Cincinnati Sports Station.

(01:32:40):
We are broadcasting from the Holy GrailDowntown. It's twenty two away from
six o'clock. This is ESPN fifteenthirty. I'm mowegar. It is the
Michelo Vultra five o'clock Happy Hour.Sports Headlines a service of Kelsey Chevrolet,
home of lifetime powertrain protection and guaranteedcredit from their family to yours for live

(01:33:01):
kelseyschev dot com, Reds and RedSox tonight at GABP seven ten. Tonight's
first pitch live this evening on sevenhundred wlw Andrew Abbott will start tonight for
Cincinnati, Conor Crawford for Boston.Seven ten Tonight. Red Sox are coming
off having swept the Toronto Blue Jaysthe two series prior to that, took

(01:33:25):
two of three from the Yankees andtook two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies,
so they come in playing good ball. Your starting lineup tonight Hopefully made
well comes to you thanks to MadewellRestoration. Greater Cincinnati's roofing and exterior restoration
experts. Go to Madwell Restoration dotcom. TJ. Friedel is back after
missing a couple of games in Pittsburgh. He is in center field, leading

(01:33:49):
off. Lie De la Cruz atshortstop. Candelario's back in the starting lineup,
dhing and batting third, Spencer Steerat first. Freelian right India is
playing second base in batting seventh.Santiago Espinal is at third place third base.
He is hitting seventh, Will Bensonand leftfield bats eighth. Luke Maley

(01:34:10):
is catching and batting ninth. No. Tyler Stevenson again. David Bell says
he is dealing with an injury thatcurrently makes his status day to day.
Austin Win up from Louisville, JacobHerdebe's option to Louisville, and Connor Caple
has been designated for assignment. Florencey All is on the road tonight against

(01:34:31):
Joliet FC. Cincinnati's Matt Miasga isgonna have surgery on his knee. No
real timeline expected to be announced reallyanytime soon, at least until after the
surgery. His teammates take on NewEngland tomorrow night at seven thirty. That
game from the Soccer Stadium on theWest End of Cincinnati, will air live
on ESPN fifteen thirty. Hockey Tonight, it's a Game six of the Stanley

(01:34:55):
Cup Final series shifts to Edmonton,Florida. Panthers still lead the Oilers via
three games to two margin. Anythingyou might have missed on this show,
you can go ahead and find onthe iHeartRadio app. We'll put Sam Lequire
up there. He was with ushere at the Holy Grail earlier. He
was absolutely outstanding. I was listeningto our guy Austin today hosting since he

(01:35:18):
three sixties solo while Tony Pike hasbeen out, and he was discussing who
the best athlete in Cincinnati is.I guess, I guess we do this
now. You can't talk about Lucianoacostaand him having an MVP season last year
and turning into the MLS star thathe's turned into here in Cincinnati without dragging

(01:35:40):
other Cincinnati athletes into the conversation.If you're gonna do the whole thing with
me and make me go who's themost Who's the best athlete in Cincinnati.
I'm gonna say Joe Burrow because Ithink Joe Burrow's responsibilities are greater. He
plays the most difficult position in sports. He plays the most important position in
sports. He has been tasked withkind of rebranding an entire franchise, A

(01:36:03):
lot has been thrusted him, andhe's done it insanely well. Let you
on a costas must watch TV.I mean, I know, I know
non soccer fans, non FC Cincinnatifans who have become interested in the team,

(01:36:24):
aware of how the team is playing, and invested in them emotionally because
they want to watch lucciata Acosta.I don't really care to do the whole
who is better? Here's what Ithink is really cool at this moment in
professional sports in Cincinnati. We havean MVP caliber quarterback. Hasn't been an

(01:36:45):
MVP, he's been an MVP finalist. We got a guy. I mean
in the NFL and NFL cities,there's three types of NFL cities. Cities
where they have a quarterback, citieswhere they don't have a quarterback, and
cities where they're not sure. Imuch more would rather be in the category
of got their quarterback than unsure ordon't we got a quarterback? We have

(01:37:09):
in this city a guy who hasglobal superstar potential, not potential. Is
a global soccer superstar? Is heLionel Messi? Maybe not? Is he
Imbape maybe not? But he's aleague MVP. He's known throughout the world.
He's at the top of his game. He's got the capability of putting

(01:37:29):
that team that he plays for onhis back. That dude plays in our
town. He may win a secondconsecutive MVP. He is regarded as a
clear cut, bonafide star. Wehave that guy in the same city where
we have an MVP caliber QB andwe have Elie de la Cruz. Now,

(01:37:53):
Ellie might not be on the samelevel. He's not there yet,
He's not a star, but he'sone of the most talked about young players
in the sport. He unquestionably hasa world of potential and whether this is
premature or not, around the country, Cincinnati Reds are not mentioned without Elie

(01:38:16):
de la Cruz's name being brought intothe conversation, like it's really cool to
have all those all three of thoseguys at the same time. Burrow has
mostly arrived, Acosta has arrived,Ellie Dela Cruz is getting there, and
you know, I know, there'sa times frustration with things that he does

(01:38:39):
on the field. I wish hewould strike out less. I wish he
was a little bit more reliable inthe field. I wish he was a
finished product. I wish he wasa bonafide superstar right now having a better
season, because if he was,chances are the Reds offensively at least would
be a little bit better. ButI also think it's immensely fun to watch

(01:39:00):
him grow and and watch him.It can be frustrating, man, Watching
anything grow, watching anything developed canbe frustrating. I think it's extraordinarily fun
to watch him evolve and grow anddevelop. And what will the finished product
look like? I don't know.Neither do you, Neither do they,
Neither does Ellie, neither does doesany evaluator or coach or or general manager.

(01:39:28):
But watching him evolve and grow intothe role and get it, and
and by the way he has improvedin many respects, there's a lot to
like about his game. Statistically.I think it's really cool not to ignore
any other athlete in this town.I think it's it's really cool that at
the same time we have all threeof those guys doing their things simultaneously,

(01:39:51):
and that's that's that's that's enviable,like that's that's There are a lot of
cities where they'd like to have one. We got three, and so I
tend to that debate, if it'sreally a debate, I tend to view
from that specific standpoint. Quarter tosix, we got a few minutes here

(01:40:13):
at the Holy Grail five point threeseven, four nine, fifteen thirty here
till six o'clock, five o'clock michelobUltra Happy Hour on ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati
Sports Station michelob Old from six,This is ESPN fifteen thirty Moegger at the
Holy Grail five o'clock Happy Hour,thanks to our friends at michelob Ultra.
If you are out and about tonight, if you're coming to a game tomorrow

(01:40:39):
four to ten, First Pitch Sundayone forty uh, there's no better place
to post up before or after aReds game than the Holy Grail. By
the way, one other thing weneglected to mention. Sam Leakier and I
touched on this very briefly Graham Ashcraftpitch for Louisville last night. His first
read, or not not even arehab start, first start since he got

(01:41:00):
demoted was okay. He was betterlast night against Omaha in a road tilt
for the Bats. He threw sixinnings, gave up just a run,
five hits, had a walk,He did not give up a homer.
He had eight strikeouts in those sixinnings. Graham Ashcraft is going to pitch
again for the Reds this season,and I think the I think there's two

(01:41:24):
ways of looking at him. NumberOne, the idea two years ago,
when he kind of burst on thescene and made us feel real, really
good about his ceiling. The ideawasn't for him to be pitching for the
Louisville Bats in the middle of Junetwenty twenty four. I do think though,
if you if you went and watchedthe starts that he made, they
were frustrating. I think what wasfrustrating about him was you watched him and

(01:41:45):
thought, he's not that far awaylike he's it's we've watched pitchers who had
no business pitching in the big leaguesor totally lost in your guys who just
it looked like the hit or knewwhat was coming every time a pitch was
delivered to the plate, and consequentlythey just clubbed the pitcher to death.

(01:42:05):
I didn't that really didn't happen withGraham Ashcraft, at least not to the
extent that some at least from myperspective that someone make it out to be.
I feel like, whatever tweaks needto be made, if they're made,
I think there's still a real highend pitcher there. And I don't
think he has to go very farto go from what he was to what

(01:42:29):
we hope he can be. Andif you can get him back at some
point, and yeah, Carson Spiersdid throw well and I think earned another
start. I think Graham Ashcraft stillhas a really really bright future, really
high ceiling. Maybe not as highas Nicolodolo's, maybe not as high as
Hunter Greens, but that's okay.If that's a guy in the middle of
your rotation and you could get himback to being the guy that was reliable

(01:42:53):
enough to feel like you could getsix, maybe seven good innings from him
every time out, go ahead andsign me up for that. On our
pole question. Thanks to United HeartlandInsurance, the gap has closed a little
bit. It's now fifty four toforty six. Fifty four percent of you
do not want the Reds to jumpto the front of the line to go

(01:43:15):
get Luis Robert Junior. Look,there may be some guys who between now
in the middle of July turn thingson and offensively start to produce that to
a level that's going to take thisteam and vault them into contention. I

(01:43:35):
think from a front office perspective,we say this all the time. I'm
certainly not the only person who saysthis, hope is not a strategy.
Hope is is. It's it's basedon emotion and so merely sitting around and
hoping that a team that to thispoint in the season offensively has been below

(01:43:57):
league average across the board, hopingthat they're there's a sudden uptick in offensive
production. There may be and theremay be some guys who turn it on
here over the final eighty eight games. But if you're in the front office,
if you're in charge of the roster, if you're in charge of making
this team better, I don't knowthat the strategy could legitimately be to simply

(01:44:18):
hope for those things to happen orhope for guys who are unhealthy right now
to come back and help the team, or hope that Noelve Marte can come
back and hit at the same levelthat he did when he got called up
last year. If you want aggressiveaggressiveness, if you want aggression, if
you want them to be proactive,if you want them to jump to the

(01:44:38):
front of the line, then youwant them to maybe give up something for
someone to value. And if LuiseRobert ain't it for you, I'm gonna
be honest with you, man,I'm not sure how many I'm not sure
how many options better than him arereally going to be available from other teams.
As the trade deadline gets closer,we'll spend a lot more time on

(01:45:00):
this On Monday, obviously recap Redsand Red Sox for you the FC Cincinnati
till tomorrow as well tomorrow night,which you can hear on ESPN fifteen thirty.
I want to thank a few folks. First of all, the people
here at the Holy Grail, alwaysawesome. I want to thank my producer
here on site, Mike Mills,who I think has lost twelve pounds since
we started the show via sweat.Of course, my guy tearing back in

(01:45:23):
Kenwood. Thanks to you for listening. Thanks to everybody who came on out
to the Holy Grail. Have asafe weekend, have a fun weekend.
Thanks to michelol Vultra for supporting thefive o'clock Happy Hour, and again thanks
for listening. Have a great weekend. We are back at it Monday at
three oh five. I'm Mogar.Have a great weekend. This is ESPN

(01:45:44):
fifteen thirty, Cincinnati Sports station,

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