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June 7, 2024 108 mins
Joe Burrow rumored to be the next Madden cover athlete, Reds continue to Roll behind their pitching. Guests: Sam LeCure, Dick Jerardi and Bengal Jim
Mark as Played
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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
(00:00):
Thirty. Yes, Cincinnati's sports station. What's up kind at fornoon I Moleger,
this is ESPN fifteen thirty. Thankyou for listening. Hopefully your weekend
is off to an unbelievable start.It sort of felt like if you just
listened to the end of Sincy threesixty. Boy, it sounds like our
weekend's underway, doesn't it. Here'swhat I'm excited about. A few minutes

(00:22):
ago, I was recording the thelittle video we throw out there on X
the show preview, and as Iwas doing it, my friend Tarn Bland
this is a true friend, bringsin a skyline Chile three Way, and
so now I have to find time. I'm almost tempted to devote an entire
segment to the show to me justeating the three Way. That'd be good

(00:42):
radio. By the way, theaforementioned show preview video is up on X.
It's thanks to our friends at EmeryFederal Credit Union, your credit union
with Hart since nineteen thirty nine.Do you have, maybe in your office
or somewhere in your house, likea bunch of unwonted old personal documents,
you know, just stuff that you'vekept because you know you don't want to

(01:04):
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just stuff that you don't need anymore, personal documents. Emery Federal Credit
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Emery Federal Credit Union. Find thebranch near you at EMORYFCU dot org.
And while you're on the internet,go watch our show preview video. Sam
Liquire is gonna be with us comingup in just about fifteen minutes. The
Reds are good. A fifth consecutivewin last night, aren't you glad?

(01:49):
Eli dela Cruz didn't get sent toTriple A. Not that he was ever
going to be sent to Triple A. But you know how this works,
right, Ellie struggles and he hasbeen right eight The month of May was
not very good for Elie de laCruz. We're still in the developmental stage
of his career. We are justnow turning the page to a second Big
League season, right he got calledup and made his Reds debut a year

(02:13):
ago. Last night he celebrated byhitting a three run bomb and the Reds
win the ball game last night,the series opener against the Cubs. They've
now won five consecutive games. AndI said this often, I don't love
the somewhat unending comparisons between what theReds are doing this year and last year,

(02:34):
because let's be honest, we wantthe Reds to be better than last
year. But it is starting tofeel a little bit and just a little
bit because the dynamics are different,but it's starting to feel a little bit
like this time about a year ago, where the Reds have pulled themselves off
the mat and they have at leastplayed themselves into the large scrum of teams

(02:55):
that are trying to get above fivehundred in the National League. What I
loved most about the game last nightwas not Elie de la Cruz's home run,
which was awesome, and it wasn'tJacob heard Abisa's sacrifice bunt. I
didn't love it because sacrifice bunts arebad strategy. For the most part,
it was bad strategy last night,even though it quote worked but whatever.

(03:20):
What I loved most about last nightwas Hunter Green. One hundred and eleven
pitches. He pitched deep into theseventh inning. He wasn't awesome. He
gave up the two homers. Hisfinal pitching line is maybe not a lot
to write home about six and twothirds, four runs, five hits,

(03:42):
a couple of walks, two homers, eight strikeouts, an okay start.
I'm a big fan of asking this, how good you're good, how bad
you're bad? Right? And howbad you're bad is something we don't ask
enough, Like how bad is you'rebad? I used to say this about
Gary kl who played at UC allthe time, one of my three all
time favorite players played for the Bearcats. How bad you're bad? In four

(04:06):
years? How many really bad gamesdid he have? Unfortunately, he had
a really bad one on the SkylineChili Crosstown shoot up. But he could
play bad and he'd still have tenpoints, seven rebounds, a block or
two. He'll have done a goodjob on the guy that he's guarding.
How bad You're bad? So whatI like about Hunter Green is I think

(04:29):
we know how good his good canbe. We have seen glimpses of it,
and we've seen more recently, buthis last two starts, you know,
the start in Chicago last Saturday nightwas just weird for a lot of
different reasons. I get accused ofbeing too soft, for being a homer,
being a Hunter Green apologist. Igave him a pass for that start.
He got through six innings, thedelay of the game, the rain,

(04:53):
the weirdness of the entire night.He did struggle with his control in
the second inning, and he paidfor it, and so did the team.
But gave us team a chance towin. Like I'm a big fan
of asking how bad you're bad,we get tantalized by the upside. We
get tantalized by how good some ofthese guys can be. And I think
that's fun to do it. It'sfun to imagine how good Hunter Green might
be, and how good Nick Lodolamight be, and how good Andrew Abbott

(05:15):
might be, and and even likehow good Elliet other Cruz might be and
so many of these other guys.But what do you like when you're not
at your best? And this reallyapplies to pictures more than anything else.
You hear about it all the time. Can they still get by when they
don't have their best stuff, LikeBronson roy used to talk about this all
the time. Man, there arenights I know I don't have my best
stuff. I gotta figure out away to get through six, seven,

(05:38):
eight innings. A little bit differentera, but it's what I loved about
Bronson Royal. I've hear Johnny Quatoreference this like certain nights, Man,
I know I'm not at my best. I gotta find a way to give
my team a chance. Earlier inhis career, which wasn't that long ago,
it felt like Hunter Green's okay wasnot what it was last night.
His okay was four innings and doneand maybe not giving his team as much

(06:01):
of a chance to win as hedid last night. I could not care
less about the fact that he wascredited with a win, because that is
an irrelevant statistic. What I likeis when he was done pitching, he
had given his team a chance towin, he had worked through the couple
of homers that he had given up, and you know, he was didn't
fall apart in the first inning whenHerdabes lost a ball in the sun.

(06:24):
He benefited dramatically from the play thatSteer made it first base. In the
first inning, he got some help. His okay was good enough, and
that matters. That matters, bythe way, if you care about win
loss totals for pitchers, and Ido not, But if if you care
about such things, and you're gonnajudge a pitcher by how many wins versus

(06:45):
how many losses he has, thenwell, the ones who have the most
inflated win totals are the ones thatfigure out a way to help their team
win games like that, and theyfigure out a way to pete pitch deep
enough into the games to be creditedwith a victory. We're gonna talk about
this with Hamleck here in just afew minutes. I think David Bell is
a good manager. I get madat David Bell when he does things I

(07:08):
don't like, but I think mykids really good and I get mad at
her when she does things I don'tlike too, So you know, I
think some of the criticism of DavidBell is off base, but I like
it when his job is made easier. Last year at David Bell, I
think did a remarkable job with managingthe bullpen on a night in a night

(07:28):
out basis because how many times werethe Reds playing game like big games all
summer long, or the starting pitchingjust didn't hold up right, and in
the fourth or fifth inning he washaving to trudge out there, take the
pitcher out, and go to hisbullpen, sometimes with the Reds holding on
to a lead, sometimes with themtrying to mount a comeback. And now
he's got to use a bunch ofdifferent relievers to get through the last four

(07:51):
or five innings, to get thelast fifteen outs. Well, the more
times you have to go to yourbullpen, the greater the possibility is of
you going to the bullpen and oneof those pitchers failing. The more pitchers
you use, the higher the likelihoodof one of those guys not being very
good that night. What is sonice about what the Reds are getting right

(08:15):
now is they're getting consistent length andso now with the relievers they have,
Fernando Cruz has a pitch that isalmost unhittable. Lucas Simms has been really
good. Sam mal I think SamAll is starting the show why so many
of us got mad when they senthim to Louisville. Also, he's gone
to show why he was again agood pick up at the trade deadline last

(08:35):
year. It's becoming a lot easierfor David Bell to manage the seventh and
eighth inning and get the game toAlexis Das. Now, Alexis Daz last
night was kind of a microcosm.Right, he walks the first hitter and
then he's unhittable. I feel likewe're getting closer to what the Reds need
from Alexis Daz than maybe we werewatching about a month or so ago.

(08:56):
But you know, we had thisconversation about a Hunter Green earlier in season,
about wanting him to pitch deeper intogames, and you could apply it
to a lot of these starting pitchers. They're getting six innings, and I
know twenty twenty four baseball is different. You know, no longer our pitchers
taking them ound and you're thinking they'regonna give him nine. It doesn't work
that way anymore. I'm looking forsix, ideally, maybe seven, but

(09:20):
just make the job of the managera little bit easier, where instead of
kind of having to make it upas he goes along because he's got to
go to the bullpen in the fourthor fifth inning, he can manage the
middle innings with an eye on theseventh and eighth and start to look down
the road and figure out some matchupshe wants to exploit, or think about

(09:41):
how he's going to approach the seventhinning and then the eighth inning, and
maybe how many outs he's going toact ask Alexis to get. It makes
the job so much easier. Andagain last year, I think the thing
that David Bell did best with thatteam is figure out a way to keep
the team in the race even thoughthe start pitching stunk. Now, the

(10:01):
starting pitching doesn't stink. Even lastnight, Hunter Green gave him six and
two thirds, gave him a coupleof homers. Big deal, they win
the ball game. He did whatso many of his fellow staff mates have
done recently. He made it reallyeasy to manage the later innings. And
the good news is the Reds havea lot of options for the later innings.

(10:22):
But they've got good relievers. LucasSimsus throwing the ball pretty well.
Sam Mall has been a terrific pickup. Fernando Cruz should be an All Star.
I'm now convinced, and I stillfeel like when Alexis Das comes onto
the ninth inning that he's he's gonnaget the last three outs. So a
good Win. Last night, funnight at the ballpark, and there was

(10:43):
a sacrifice bunt that got everybody excited. We are we gonna do because I
tweet about it. I tweet aboutit because I know it bothers people who
love sacrifice bunts. I don't troll, but that's that's as close as I
come to trolling. And so youknow, I made people mad on social
media. Red's had a sacrifice buntlast night that worked. They probably still

(11:05):
would have scored the two runs theyscored in the sixth inning when Jacob Hurdaby's
laid down an ice bun. Itweeted something out there that illustrates mathematically how
bad of a strategy sacrifice bunning is, especially when you have two guys on
base and nobody out. And soif we're going to have the sack bunt
conversation today, why not five pointthree seven four nine, fifteen thirty for
anything you want to chime in oneight sixty six seven oh two three seven

(11:28):
seven six works as well. Uh, we have a lot of stuff to
get to today. I guess uh. It looks like there's a good possibility
that Joe Burrow is going to beon the cover of Madden. I'm here
for it. I love this.I love this for a few different reasons.
We'll get to that a little bitlater on, primarily because I don't
believe in jinx's or curses, soyou lose me with that stuff. But

(11:52):
first, our buddy Sam Lekeure ona thousand different Reds related issues. Next
on ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports Stationfifteen thirty. I'm Oeger thrilled that you
are with is Sam Lacuras here lovetalking with Sam. Sam's my all time
favorite, and even more so becausehe's joining us on his off day.
He's on vacation, and yet wereached out and he still said, Yes,

(12:13):
you are the man You're Let's getright to this. There's a lot
of stuff I want to ask youabout. I'm not going to do it
all because, uh itch your offday and you're not in town. Let
me ask you about Fernando Cruz though, because he has gone from a guy
who I don't know, journeyman,fringe big leaguer. However, you want
to put it to a dude whoright now, with that splitter might have

(12:35):
the most h unhittable pitch in thesport. How does that happen? That's
how I mean, that's I don'tit's a I think to myself, and
I, of course, you know, I don't like to make this about
myself. I would not have gottento the big leagues if I didn't have
that like comeback fastball like that completelychanged my trajectory of my career. Trick

(13:00):
pitch usually doesn't last that long,but his is different because he backs it
up in ninety six. He's gotmore strikeouts on June whatever today. Is
that it took me a full yearto rack that up. I mean,
it's not hitable, and it's Imean, it's awesome. He's been great
with runners in scoring position. Hehad that like four or five game stretch
where he'd get two outs and giveup a run after he got the two

(13:22):
outs. But man, he's ifI had to pick they just started the
All Star voting. Yeah, ifI had to pick a guy, I
mean, if that game still meanssomething, I don't even know if it
does. I mean, you'd haveto have him on it because he just
puts the fire out well. Andwhat's crazy about it is it's it's not
unlike Mariano Rivera, right where withthat cutter. The hitter knows it's coming

(13:43):
and yet his defense is against it. It's it's the same thing to a
degree. I'm not saying he's MariaRover, but the hitter knows it's coming
and still can't can't make contact withit. Yes, I mean if he
if he can throw strike one withanything, they have to be in their
mind thinking well, I might aswell just have back, you know.
I mean it's probably demoralizing, buthe's been outstanding. I mean I saw

(14:07):
the number the other day when theReds are leading after six innings, they're
you know, one hundred and oneor whatever. I mean it's something of
one, you know, twenty sixor something in one. They've been outstanding.
The pitching has been great. Ithink that under the radar move with
Sam Mall. Yeah, he's beenunbelievable since he's been in a Reds uniform.

(14:28):
I think I saw you. Idon't know who posted it, but
it was X amount of games.First thirty games, he has a one
thirty ERA, which is the low. I mean, he's kind of stabilized
that deal for me, because nowyou start to see a formula. It's
Fernando to get to clear the toclear inherited runners. And then there's Sam
and then there's Lucas Simsho's been throwingthe ball great for about twenty outings now,

(14:52):
and Alexis is still not the guythat the All Star, but he's
getting it done. So they gota nice formula at the back. And
when you've got your starters going,I mean they're going six innings almost every
time, So it's starting to lookreally good, isn't that. Yeah,
it looks good. And it makesit a lot easier for David Bell because
I think of last year when hewas having to go into the bullpen in

(15:13):
games that carried a lot of weightin the fourth or fifth inning. It's
just really hard to press the rightbutton every time. When you can go
into a game feeling like, God, you know what, we have a
chance to get six from our starter, and then I can kind of plan
how the seventh and eighth may goand get it to Alexis d as it.
It makes it so much easier.You mentioned Alexis, and look,
he's been better, but it's evenlike last night is sort of a microcosm

(15:37):
of the experience where he walks thefirst batter and you go okay, here
we go, and then he's dominant, and I feel like we're seeing a
little bit more of the dominance,but we're not seeing it to the degree
we were about a year ago.What's missing? What's missing? So I
look a lot for relievers at firstbatter efficiency because if you get your leadoff
man out, the odds of theopposing team scoring go way down, right.

(16:02):
So if he's not getting that,it's like he has to punch himself
in the mouth a little bit toyou know, to turn the light on.
But I don't know. I mean, I think that there's a because
the success hasn't been like it wasat the first half of last year.
He's like feeling himself out when hegets out on the mound. To some
degree, I think the physical partcan become mental. I mean, you

(16:26):
saw what just happened with the GrahamAshcraft. Gram Ashcraft is fine physically,
but I think mentally he kind oftalked himself into a rut thinking of tinkering
with his mechanics. With Alexis,there's so much going on with that delivery,
it's hard to identify exactly where thefull criment, you know, is
it where your hands are where thatleg kick is, where the timing all

(16:47):
that stuff. So there's just somuch going on with him. I think
it's hard to identify. So it'sa work in progress. I mean,
nothing happens overnight in the big leagues. It's got to take a number of
repetitions. It's going to take evenonce you identify it, it's going to
take ten fifteen opportunities to really honeit in, I think. But I
feel I still feel confident when hecomes in the game, and I think

(17:08):
everybody else does too, and Ithink he feels that. So that's why
the performance has been a little bitbetter of late. To me. Sure,
yeah, talk with me about Grahambecause you know, even like the
other day in Colorado, the firstinning is a disaster, but but he
he hangs in there, and soI feel like he's not that far off
what has to get fixed in Louisville. I think it's just a mentality kind

(17:33):
of like I was talking with Alec, I think it's his mentality because he
he is hanging in there. Hehasn't thrown the ball. I mean,
he really hasn't thrown the ball particularlywell all year, and the numbers aren't
atrocious. You know, he's still, for the most part, is going
to give you five six. Butit's the consistency of the delivery. I

(17:56):
think it's I think it's fine.I mean when I watch it, I
don't see something that is a youknow, it's like he's just talking himself
out of it a little bit tome. And the mind game in the
big leagues is it's a thing.You know, you can start to make
yourself believe that you don't have itdialed in. Oh I got to be
perfect. I gotta be perfect ratherthan I loved when he was first coming
up and he was just pitching withthe motion and it was always I'm just

(18:17):
gonna come after you, bro,because I've got a ninety seven mine hour
cutter and a ninety seven mine hoursinker and I really don't need to throw
anything else. And it's a reallyuncomfortable at bat, and I think he's
gotten away from that mindset a littlebit. So just go down there,
and they're gonna the triple A hittersare gonna react differently. He's gonna break
so many bats that within two startshe's gonna be like, geez, I'm

(18:42):
pretty nasty, Like why don't Ijust go up there and let my stuff
play. And I think he's tryingto. But you know, your head
gets in the way of your hearta little bit. So uh, I
don't expect him to be down therefor long because they he is a part
of their best team. He's theguy that I would peg of all the
guys in that rood to be ableto throw two hundred innings, which isn't

(19:03):
a big thing anymore, but tome it is because that saved your bullpen.
YadA, YadA, YadA. Imean, so he won't be down
long, I don't think, butwe'll see. Man. I just I
love like that they're they're coming togetherand he is a part of it.
I didn't buy into that so muchthe last couple of years. But it
is a thing like when he's going, it's a different feel for this team.

(19:26):
Sorry to change the subject. No, so it is. It is
my off day. But I'm noton a golf course, so you don't.
That's so here's the thing. Rightas you said that, you dropped
off. So what did you justrefer to India? Yeah, yeah,
just like it's just a different feelingwhen when he's going, it's a different
feeling. I kind of backed offit in the last couple of years,

(19:48):
like, oh, everybody's saying he'stheir leader. I don't see it,
but I am seeing it like itis a thing. When he's going,
there's just a different vibe with hiscrew, and you know, right now
it's it's going on. And Ilove the way that it feels a lot
like last year that there definitely wasgoing to be a run in them.

(20:08):
They have divisional opponents coming up.That feels like the right time for the
run. And Ellie's looking like he'sabout to do some Ellie stuff. So
yeah, I hate that. Ihate that I'm off this week. I
think it's gonna be But I did, you know, usually when i'm off,
dude, i'm off, Like Idon't really watch it, like I
look at the box score and whatnot. But I watched the fair bit of

(20:29):
the game last night and I thoughtHunter looked great. I was glad they,
you know, let his leash goa little bit, let him get
up to one hundred plus pitches.And he's been doing a great job this
year. There's obviously when it's good, it's good, and you can see
it pretty easily. But It's beena work in progress, and I'm happy
to see it paint off for theguys. Yeah, So when I have
you, I have to ask aboutHunter, and I like his start last
night. He gave up the twohomers. But but like I'm I'm a

(20:52):
big fan of asking like how goodis your good? How bad is your
bad? His bad last night washe got into the seventh in and gave
his team a chance to win thefinal line might not have been great,
but they won the ball game andthen he was in six six and two
thirds four runs, right, Sothat's pretty good dude in this day and
age. Yeah. Right, Like, if if that's his okay start,
like sign me up for that,right, Yeah? So definitely from my

(21:15):
standpoint, you could tell me ifI'm an idiot it it just feels like
he trusts a wider variety of pitches. Is that is that off pace?
Is that somewhat accurate? That down? I mean so I think it was
maybe like four or five starts ago. We did like a pitch cast thing
and it was saying the percentage ofhow often he used you know, it's
fastball, slider, splitter pretty much. I mean that curveballs, throw in

(21:37):
occasionally and the splitter was at likefour percent, and I was like,
I bet you most of that hasbeen within the last two starts, and
that's going to continue to increase becauseit's been good. I think it was
they were facing the Diamondbacks and hehad oh who was it, lords Guriel
Junior, and he tore like threeof them when one at bat and they
were good, like one of themfor a strike, one of them under

(22:00):
zone for swinging myths, one ofthem even farther under some that the guy
took. But it was a goodlike it was quality. And since then
that has been a weapon, justfor something to go down, you know
down or a fade away or inyou know into a arriety or away from
a lefty. It's more of adown or pitch down action. But I
think that that third weapon, Iwasn't on board with it in spring training.

(22:22):
I was like, he just needsto fine tune these two because when
he has fastball slider going, hecan still dominate a lineup for six innings
and try got ten. This hasgiven him an opportunity to be a pitcher,
and I think that that has beenreally important for him for this Orger
I mean, I don't want toput so much weight on his shoulders as
far as as he goes, theorganization goes. But he's a very important

(22:45):
part of what's going on here,and that pitch is going to allow him
to get into that seventh inning.And you know, maybe it's not always
pretty, maybe it's going to besix and two thirds with four runs,
but if the offense is doing itsjob, that's enough. I think with
the way the bullpens shut it down. So I'm loving what I see out

(23:06):
of him. I mean, tome, Nick Lidillo's days, but Hunter,
I mean, he's a one Bfor sure right now. I mean
he's showing his stripe's big time andthey could come into better times. Just
I mean, the pitching has beenthe foundation right sure. And to me,
like, I mean, I'm arun on sins waiting to happen.
No, I love it. ButI mean when they were struggling, and

(23:26):
I said this on the show,the reason they were worth not giving up
on was the starting pitching was okay. And if there's a part of that
team that you figured was only goingto continue to get better, it was
going to be the starting pitching.And if the bats could catch up in
time. They still have a chance, and I kind of feel like we're
they're like, I think, ifyou and I are talking a month from
now, and I'm sure we willbe barring a major health issue, the

(23:49):
starting pitching stands a very good chanceyou and I should be talking about to
be even better, right, Yeah, I think so, I do.
I love you know, it's likethe young kids came up last year and
the bats expedited more than you're usedto seeing. You never see that many

(24:10):
rookies come up and have that muchsuccess right away, you know what I
mean. And everybody was waiting forthe pitching to come around. So that's
why I was kind of iffy iffyon this year because I thought the pitching
was going to take a step forward, but I mean playing out a little
bit how I thought it would.But I think that there are too many
good like ball players. You know, we talked when Kyle Farmer was here.
I think they have a lot ofhim that have more talent than Kyle.

(24:34):
So I was surprised that that offensiveslump lasted the full month. But
you know, like a Spencer Steer, like he's too good to do that
freely he's like too good to dothat, India, you know, Stevenson.
All of a sudden, this lineuplooks, you know, pretty menacing.
Two weeks ago, I would Ithink I could have got most of
them out. But now you lookat it, and there's five or six

(24:56):
of them that are anywhere in therange from warm to hot. Know so?
And then Noel Bi Marte, whoI love, is coming back fairly
soon, and you know there's there'seven more on the horizon to come,
and I think it's it's coming ata great time. So yeah, I'm
ready to get back to work.I've been out for one day. I'm
ready to get back to work.I hear you. I gave you my
time today because I mean, I'menjoying the thing is, Yeah, what's

(25:18):
fun talking to me. You've alreadygiven me more time than than you said
you would. But there's two moreguys I want to ask about, can
I you mine? Sure? Sure? Uh as somebody who has been that
swing guy where you have started andrelieved in the same season, explain to
me why a guy like Nick Martinezlooks like the best reliever I've ever seen
when he comes out of the bullpenand when he throws the first pitch of
the game, it looks like he'sthrowing batting practice. Give me half a

(25:42):
second, I'm gonna say me pitchingout of the bullpen. I didn't like
the five days in between because orhow because I overthought it, right,
Like I thought too much about youknow, I was tinkering too much,
you know, mechanically or what I'mgonna do to this lineup for what went
wrong the last time. And Ikind of couldn't let it go, even

(26:06):
if Nick kind of knows the dayhe's going to throw. To some degree,
when you're down in the bullpen,you feel like you've got an opportunity
to pitch every day. So there'sa different kind of mindset when you come.
I mean, anytime the phone rings, you think it's you all everybody
down there kind of other than probablya Lexis hopes it's them and thinks it's
them. So it's an emotional rollercoaster down there a little bit. And

(26:29):
I think he just goes out thereexecute pitches, doesn't know who's going to
be facing what portion of the lineup. There is a thing about it,
and I hate it for him becauseI always thought after I had time in
the bullpen that if I got achance to start again, that I would
use that mentality and take it intothe rotation. And I felt like I
could have been a pretty good starter, but so I hated to see him

(26:52):
struggle in that. But what aweapon, right, Yeah, I mean
he's got a chance to shorten gamesbig time if you happen to get a
less than lengthy start from whoever itmay be, and he can give you
two, three, four and allof a sudden, you didn't have to
use Cruz Mall or Sunds and justgive Alexus to ball, you know,

(27:14):
and have a chance to win aball game. So I like him in
that role. I don't think becauseof the depth that they have. I
mean, they just sent Graham Ashcraftdown and he's pretty darn good, and
there's a Brandon Williamson waiting in thewings, so they've got plenty of depth.
I think that's the best spot forhim, and I think that's the
most valuable role that he has onthis team. Just to pitch multiplaynings,

(27:34):
you mentioned Brandon Williamson. They've broughthim back, so we're expecting to see
him here very very soon. Iliked most of what I saw from him
last year, go back to aseason ago and remember what you saw from
him at the big league level,and what does he have to build upon?
Where does he go in twenty twentyfour. He was honestly maybe one

(27:55):
of my favorite guys last year becausewhen he came up, he was he
had been horrible at Triple A.He was walking the house giving up runs.
He was pretty good. His debutwas in Colorado, I remember,
and he was pretty good. Iwas like, okay, and then the
stuff started to tick up and hestarted to get that cutter really going and
had some fastball life at the topof the zone, and I thought he
could really pitch like an Andrew Abbot, but probably with better stuff. To

(28:18):
be honest, I mean he wasgetting it up to ninety six cutter change
up he start to start, Icould see improvement each time. So he
was a guy that impressed me alot because I wasn't real high on him.
I didn't know a lot about him, and he came over and I
really liked him. Even if hewould have been healthy to begin the season,

(28:41):
he would not have been in mystarting five, but it's a pretty
good fallback option and I think he'sgoing to come up and I expect him
to kind of pick up on Hethrew the ball well in his rehab outings,
and I expect him to kind ofbe a boost. And I felt
like there was a little bit ofa lull with Graham because every reouting that
he had it was grindy, andhe's a grinder and I love that,

(29:03):
and I think that there was apart of that that the team liked.
But they knew they were gonna haveto really work on that given day.
And so I with the brand andthis is going to be a little bit
of a fresher start every five days. And uh, and I like the
way that it shapes up for them. I like lefties. They've got a
great lefty mixed with them. Imean, they've got some good ones,
right. Lodola's the habitsman, pitchinggreat. But now I'm excited to see

(29:27):
Brandon pitch. I think he wasa guy that really impressed me last year
and I expect more of the same. Sam McCarroll joining us from vacation to
podcast and I mean, what dowe say said ten minutes you gave me
nineteen seeze, my family misses meI gotta go. I understand, love
you, love you man, Thankyou your brother. There you goes Sam
looking. Not many guests in thatone, and not many guests tell me

(29:49):
they love me. We are waylate. Taran hates me. By the
way, their podcast Dead Red Cincinnatiis really good. Sam Luk here,
Brian Geesan slow and of course youcould watch him on TV. It is
twenty away from four o'clock. I'vescrewed up the clock. This is ESPN
fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports Station, Cincinnati'sathlete here. But talking to Sam like
here is always worth being late forsports headlines. The service of Kelsey Chevrolet

(30:12):
Reds and Cubs again tonight Cincinnati lookingfor a six consecutive victory. Nick Lidolo,
Justin Steele seven to ten tonight ona seven hundred wl W. Let's
hope tonight's Red starting lineup is madewell. It is a service of Madewell
Restoration. Going to Madewell Restoration dotcom. Fairchild in right, Elliott Short

(30:33):
Candelarios at third base, Spencer Steersat first, Tyler Stevenson is catching and
batting fifth. By the way,I've gotten like four this week. Four
emails from fans who they want toget rid of Luke Mailey. Biggest issue
the Reds have is apparently backup catcherJonathan Indy is dhing and batting six.
Freedol and center. Espinall's at secondbase. Blake Done is playing left field

(30:56):
and batting number nine. UH.Brandon Williamson has been returned from his rehab
assignment and again. Tonight's game isat seven ten on seven hundred wl W.
I have a poll question. Ihave just posted it. It is
Joe Burrow and Madden related at Mueggar. Thanks to our friends at United Heartland

(31:19):
Insurance, go to uchiants dot comand get all of your insurance needs taken
care of. Folks who will returna phone call. My mom's insurance company,
it's been five days and they've yetto return a phone call. She's
a pressing insurance need, which iswhy we're gonna get mom hooked up with

(31:40):
United Heartland Insurance. They will answeryour phone call, or they'll return your
phone call. Unlike my mom's insurancecompany. I'm not allowed to mention what
company that is. It is twelveminutes away from four o'clock. Our phone
numbers. I have given you nothingto respond to but nonetheless five one three
seven, fifteen thirty and at eightsix six two three seven, seven six,

(32:02):
I want to elaborate on something wesaid about David Bell, and we'll
address any concerns that might be outthere. But a Joe Burrow Madden curse
if he's on the cover of thatvideo game coming up in the four o'clock
hour, and we'll try to makesome money on the Belmont On ESPN fifteen
thirty, Cincinnati Sports Station. Thisis the story of the one. It's
seven away from four o'clock. Thisis ESPN fifteen thirty. My name's Malweger.

(32:25):
Thrilled that you are listening today.Can I can I get this to
go away? Oh? Moh,it's just the Cubs and Rockies. Yeah.
Man. Like, here's the thingabout this sport right now. The
overwhelming majority of teams that anybody inthe National League has on their schedule are
mediocre teams Like I think the Dodgersare really good. I think the Phillies

(32:47):
are really good. I think theBrewers are good. I think the Braves
are good, better than good,but maybe a tick below those other two
teams. The American League exist adifferent story. The thing about the National
League. And maybe this is areflection of just the current state of the
sport. Maybe this is an aberration. Whatever, it is, the middle

(33:10):
in the middle in all of baseball, but I'll make it about the National
League. The middle is huge.There are a ton of teams that are
really hard to distinguish from one another, a ton of them. The overwhelming
majority of teams the Reds are goingto make the playoffs or not make the
playoffs, I believe based on howthey play against bad competition or similar competition.

(33:37):
There's probably going to be a fairamount of teams in that let's say
seventy eight to eighty eight win range. My guess is the Reds are somewhere
in there, and maybe being inthere is going to be enough. But
just you know, the cub TheCubs are okay, The Reds are okay.

(34:00):
Okay might be enough. Okay wasenough for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Who
I if you look at all theokay teams in the National League, I
think Arizona would be the one thatyou kind of expect to exceed how it's
played so far. But okay wasgood enough for the Diamondbacks to get to
the postseason last year and they madethe World Series. I'm not gonna tell

(34:21):
you that the Reds are gonna goto the World Series. My money is
on them not making the playoffs.Will be honest with you, But they
will get there or not get there, not entirely, but largely on the
strength of how they fare against teamswho they either should beat or that they're
lumped in the middle with. Solook, what's the alternative. The alternative

(34:42):
is they lose more than they wentagainst Colorado. The alternative is they lose
more than they went against Chicago.By the way, they swept the Dodgers,
They've won the season series against thePhiladelphia Phillies. They're in a position
to make a move. Now.You might argue the Cardinals are two.
By the way Saint Louis lost tocolorad out last night, you might argue
the Cubs are two. Hell,if Paul Skeens pitches every day, you

(35:04):
might argue the Pirates are as well. I can't wait to watch Paul Skeens
pitch in person. Let's not dothis strength to victory thing in Major League
Baseball. Please, Let's not worryabout curses that don't exist either. That
coming up in just a few minutesat Moeger on Twitter thanks to Delta Dental.
Go to Delta DENTALOAH dot com.Four minutes away from four o'clock on

(35:29):
ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports Station.Ready for some football. Hi, This
is Dan Horr joined Dave Lapham andme for every play of every game on
the official home of the Bengals,ESPN fifteen to thirty. And what's up?
I good ad for noon on Mweger. This is ESPN fifteen thirty.

(35:52):
I appreciate you listening. Brendanman andJones on Baseball is coming up this hour.
Also Mike Greenberg Greene Greenie, whohas a show that he is occasionally
actually on on this radio station.He had an over the top reaction to
Dan Hurley maybe taking over the LALakers as their head coach. We're gonna

(36:16):
get to that ananity coming up ina bit. More on the Reds,
who are good again. They wontheir fifth consecutive game last night, eight
four winners over the Chicago Cubs.They tried to make it six straight tonight.
Nic Lodolo is on the mound forCincinnati and seven ten is tonight's first
pitch. More on that coming upin a bit Earlier this week, I

(36:37):
talked about the game in Colorado theother night where Frankie Montass took a no
header into the seventh inning, pitchgreat, Reds win the ball game.
Another really good pitching performance by aCincinnati starting pitcher. And my angle the
next day on Wednesday was, Yes, Frankie pitched very well. Yes,

(36:58):
the Reds are playing better. Yes, this team starting pitching is worth is
deserving of leading the conversation when wetalk about this team's chances in the twenty
twenty four season. But more thananything, what stood out to me during
that broadcast during that game was watchingthe TV broadcast in John Sadak, the

(37:20):
TV guy for the Reds, wasnot shy about using the term no hitter,
and he said it after the lastout of the fifth inning going to
a commercial break. Frankie Montoss isthrowing a no hitter. Now, I
know when that happens, and maybeless so than perhaps five ten years ago.
But there is a school of thoughtthat says, you're not supposed to

(37:42):
do that, it's tradition to notdo that. You're going to jinxon.
And my take was, Jinxes aren'treal. I don't believe in Jinx's curses
aren't real. I don't believe incurses. I believe in bad luck,
I believe in unfortunate coincidences, butI don't believe in curse and jinxes.
And so when the broadcaster says,well, there's a no hitter going on,

(38:07):
I think that's his responsibility or herresponsibility to treat the audience like they
can handle someone mentioning what is happeningin the game. His job is to
inform. And I said, forthose of you who are with us on
Wednesday, you know, I hadthe game on on Tuesday night and it
was really busy night in my houseand I had you know, it's one

(38:27):
of those nights where the game ison but you can't give it your full
attention. And I'm in the otherroom and I hear John Saydac say,
Frankie Montas is thrown a no hitterthat got my attention more than sort of
being cute with it would be.So I'm the curses don't exist, guy,
I'm the jinxes don't exist guy.The reason I bring this up,

(38:47):
and I'll admit to you at notreally being that locked into whatever hysteria is
out there in relation to Joe Burrowand Madden. But my guy Aaron came
in and goes, are you youknow, have you heard everybody who watched
everybody lose their mind over Joe Burrowmaybe being on the cover of Madden.
And my answer was no, becauseI was busy doing other stuff, was

(39:14):
preparing for the show, and theMadden game was not really on my radar.
Now, if you were to askme Mo name some players who would
be likely candidates to be on thecover of Madden, I would imagine Joe
Burrow would be one of those names. I would spit out. Maybe he

(39:37):
wouldn't be the first name, buthe would be one of those names,
right, I mean, it justmakes sense. He's a quarterback, one
of the best in the league.I still believe one of the faces of
the league. He is not theface. No, that's Patrick Mahomes and
that's okay. That's what comes withsuccess as the starting quarterback of a team

(39:58):
that's won three titles in five Ihave no problem saying that. But if
we're to extend it to other players, I still feel like Joe Burrow is
one of the faces of the NFL. And Lamar Jackson's one of the faces
of the NFL that there could be, There could be a few. I
think the great thing about the NBAis right now, it has a lot
of faces of the league. It'scool, and I could say the same

(40:19):
about the NFL. So we're gonnause some of the most identifiable, well
known players, some of the mostprominent players, some of the highest profile
players. Well, Joe Burrow isone of those guys. You might argue
he's not the best or the bestquarterbacker. You might debate where he falls
in the pantheon of NFL qbs.We can have those discussions, but I
certainly believe he's one of the mostidentifiable, one of the most well known,

(40:44):
and you know, yeah, athis position against most of his contemporaries,
one of the most accomplished. Andso it stands to reason if we're
talking about candidates to be on thecover of med Joe Burrow's name is going
to be thrown out there. SoI guess some Internet sleuths have pieced together

(41:04):
some things that has allowed them toarrive at the conclusion that Joe Burrow is
gonna be on the cover of Men. Tarren correct me, if I am
wrong. This hasn't been announced,like we're still speculating here, right,
Yeah, the official announcement is itsJune eleventh. June eleventh, So next
week we're gonna find out who's onthe cover of Madden. Outline for me

(41:25):
before we play this audio. Whypeople have arrived at the conclusion that Burrow
is on the cover of Men,Well, the biggest reason they come to
this conclusion is because there's an audioclip of Madden doing the photo shoot and
everything, and you Harry voice ayEA Sports is in the game which sounds
like Joe Burrow, and that's allwe're going by. Yes, okay,

(41:46):
do you have that audio? Yes, go ahead and play it. EA
Sports. It's in the game.So what they put like a voice filter
on whoever that is to make itsound like the EA Sports guy, right,

(42:07):
go ahead and give me that.It does sound like Joe Burrow.
Go ahead and give me that onemore time, Taren, thank you.
E A Sports silly. So peopleare hearing that and they're assuming that's Joe
Burrow, and if it's Joe Burrow, it stands to reason that he is
on the cover of Madden. Isthat what we're doing here. Yes,

(42:29):
and then there's like there's orange inthe video too. There's orange in the
video, but there you don't seeJoe Burrow. You just hear that and
see the color orange. Yes,uh, And so this is what people
are going by, correct, allright? So is the Madden curse still
a thing? Not as big asit once was? I mean I think

(42:50):
Brady kind of debunked ah Mahomes.Right. In recent years, we've had
Brady, We've had Mahomes. Youknow, Lamar Jackson has been on the
cover of mad Now he has hadinjuries, But I mean we've had Brady
and Maholmes on the cover of MadenMahomes correct me if I'm wrong, Since
he was last on the cover ofMadden with Tom Brady. He has won
the championship twice, correct, Yes, And I think when he's on it
by himself, I believe he wonit. Right. He was on it

(43:13):
in twenty nineteen and they won thetitle that year. So now there was
a time where like like Peyton Hillisof the Browns one year was on the
cover of Madden and then he gothurt almost instantly. Is that correct?
Yeah? And like go back ColePepper and O two VIC and O four,
like those are the bigger curses.Dante Culpepper, Yeah, Eddie George

(43:34):
and Eddie George. Eddie George waslike awesome and then suddenly wasn't. But
yeah, he was on the coverof Madden, all right. So but
that's that strikes me, and correctme if I'm wrong, sort of a
two thousands thing. Two thousand's earlytwenty tens sort of thing. Yes,
And then since then we've had likeGronk has been on it, Mahomes,
Brady, I think Odell Beckham oneyear, Yeah he was on that.

(43:59):
Ye, I'll get hurt that yearthat he was on the cover of Madden.
Do we know. I can't tellyou. Antonio Brown was on the
cover one year and then things wenthaywire, so it lost his mine.
So but it feels to me like, mainly because of Mahomes and Brady,
that the Madden curse is not somethingwe spend a lot of time on anymore.
But I guess there is a sectof Bengals fans. Sect is a

(44:23):
fun word sect of Bengals fans forwhom this is bad news. Now Number
one, we haven't confirmed that it'sJoe Burrow's voice, although I'll admit it
sounds like h number two. Wehaven't seen the picture of this year as
Madden cover. The eleventh is whatTuesday of next week? Eight? Yeah,

(44:45):
Tuesday, So we'll have this onTuesday, Joe Burrow in the cover
of Men. But perhaps because ofthe recent conversations about Joe not throwing in
his return from his wrist issue,Uh, maybe the concerns about Joe being
on the cover of Madden have beenamplified. I like this. I like

(45:07):
Joe Burrow on the cover of Maddenbecause that means he's really, really good.
I remember leading up to the twentytwenty draft, and we had a
lot of time to kill. Firstof all, there was a pandemic.
There wasn't anything else going on.Number two, we knew the Bengals were

(45:28):
gonna draft Joe Burrow. We knewthe Bengals were gonna draft Joe Burrow the
minute they lost that game against theMiami Dolphins. To secure the number one
overall pick, we had to endureall the silliness with is he gonna pull
an Lay? Is he gonna pullan Eli? Oh? Is that where
quarterbacks go to die? We knewthe Bengals were gonna draft Joe Burrow,

(45:50):
and I was thrilled about this.I think if you're a Bengals fan,
you were thrilled about this. Andwe talked about what we wanted Joe to
accomplish during his first four to fiveyears. As the idea was when while
you got him, when while he'sin his rookie contract, have him play
well enough that you are comfortable givinghim the sort of money that ultimately he
has ended up getting. I wanthim to contend for MVP Awards. That

(46:13):
has happened. I want him toturn around the franchise and reimage it.
That has happened. I want himto make at the time Paul Brown Stadium
the place to be in Cincinnati.That has happened. I want him to
make people feel good about the CincinnatiBengals and Cincinnati Sports again. That has
happened. I want him to wina championship. Okay, that hasn't happened,

(46:36):
but they've come close. And Ialso said I want at some point
for him to be on the coverof Madden because in this day and age,
there is perhaps no more tangible culturalsign that you are at the top
of your game. In the NationalFootball League and at the top of your

(46:59):
profession and a star among stars,and being on the cover of Madden.
Now, yeah, there's winning theMVP, and there's hoisting the Lombardi Trophy,
there's winning a Super Bowl ring.But culturally, like, I'm not
a video game I was never avideo game guy as a kid, so
this isn't my lane, I admitthat. But from a cultural perspective,

(47:22):
Madden's the biggest video game franchise Ithink of all time. And if I'm
wrong about that, I'm wrong aboutthat. But undeniably it's one of the
biggest video game franchises of all time. Even me as a non video game
guy. I've played some Madden inmy life, not a ton, even
me as a non video game guy, and a given the year, I
could tell you who's on the coverof Madden. If Joe Burrow is on

(47:44):
the cover of Madden, I don'town a video game console. I'll buy
it to have the memento, right, I think it's kind of cool from
a cultural perspective, And again,not outside of winning the MVP and all
that more football, these sort ofstuff. From a cultural perspective, being
on the cover of Men's a bigdeal. It means you have arrived in

(48:05):
this sport. With the exception ofa handful like Peyton Hillis, who was
a one year flash in the panfor the Browns with him and a handful
of others like the biggest star ofstars have been on the cover of that
video game. You don't get therethrough name recognition alone. You don't get
there because you are famous for beingfamous. Johnny Manziel, to the best
of my knowledge, was not onthe cover of Madden. Right. You

(48:29):
get there for being great, Youget there for having accomplished something. You
get there for being one of thefaces of the league. Well, if
the idea was for Joe Burrow tobe one of the faces of the league,
which that was my wish, thenit's not that far fetched to suggest
he's going to be on the coverof Madden. So I'm thrilled this is
happening now. If you are worriedabout a curse, I'm not your guy

(48:49):
either. I don't believe in curses. The Bengals went thirty years between playoff
victories. Why because they were abad franchise, Because they had some bad
luck in playoff games. Because typicallythey didn't have a good enough quarterback to
win playoff games. They had someinjuries in playoff games. They didn't fail

(49:12):
to advance in the postseason because ofthe Curse of bo Jackson. Was it
fun to talk about? Of courseit was. Did I put any validity
into the curse of bo Jackson?Of course I did not. By the
way, Joe Burrow has been hurta bunch, So I got to be
honest with you. I kind ofview this, if anything, if I
want to go down this road,I view this as a reverse curse,
or a curse reversal or a reversejinx. Joe Burrow's always hurt. Cool,

(49:38):
let's put him on the cover ofMadden. Maybe this will be the
impetus for him stopping getting hurt,or the impetus for the injuries to stop.
Maybe a more eloquent way of puttingit. Right, Dudes always hurt.
He's never been on the cover ofMadden, So let's put him on
the cover of Madden. Maybe he'llstop getting hurt. Seriously, like,

(50:01):
I think I could try to dothe whole are you worried about? I
did the poll question on Twitter.If you want to go vote, if
you're worried about this being a curse. First of all, I don't care
about curse. Second of all,you know, you hear sometimes like God,
you know, I wish they werea little bit off the radar.
Screw that. If you're a fanof a team, you know what you
want, at least what I want. I want them on the radar.

(50:22):
I love reading and hearing about EllieDela Cruz. I love turning on Sunday
Night Baseball, as I did thispast week in a game between the Cardinals
and the Phillies, and the announcersare talking about Ellie Dela Cruz. I
like it when the teams that Icare about and the players who play for
them are firmly on everybody's radar,firmly on everybody's radar, and firmly on

(50:44):
everybody's radar for the right reasons.Not because they're getting in trouble off the
field, not because they're making headlinesfor saying and doing dumb things, not
even because they're dating pop stars,which is obviously complete fine, but because
of what they've done, what they'veaccomplished, and how everybody feels about what

(51:06):
their future has in store. LikeI think this is awesome. If you're
a Bengals fan, Man, thisis cool as hell. Andy Dalton was
never going to be on the coverof Madden. Nothing against Andy, uh,
with the exception of Chad Johnson.Let's be honest, the Bengals since
then have had some really good players. Was aj Green ever going to be
on the cover of Madden. Probablynot. It's cool as hell. If

(51:30):
Joe Burrow's on the cover of Madden, awesome, sign me up for it.
And if the first reaction is great, here we go. They're cursed.
They've been cursed anyway. Joe Burrowhas finished two of his four seasons
on the sideline because he's gotten hurt. So if that continues, it ain't
got anything to do with Madden.And if the Bengals aren't good this year,

(51:52):
that's not gonna have anything to dowith Madden either. I love this,
like one of the fun things aboutbeing a fan of a winning ten
And let's not make the Bengals outto be, you know, the Patriots
of two thousand and two through twentynineteen. Let's not do that. But
one of the cool things about havinga team that's good. One of the
cool things about having a team thatmatters is you get more of them.

(52:14):
There's more content. You see guysmore. I mean, I like,
we've had the Kansas City Chiefs shovedown our throat every which way, and
fine, that's how it works.They're good. So yeah, Travis Kelcey
is gonna be on SNL and you'regonna see Patrick Mahomes everywhere. It's awesome
if you're a Chiefs fan. Iwant this. I think it's really cool
for Joe Burrow as one of thefaces of the league. But you don't

(52:37):
get to be one of the facesof the league just because you're famous,
or just because you had a greatyear in college, or just because you
got a great social media following.You get to be one of the faces
of the league because you're really good. Joe Burrow's really good. My hope
is this is not if he ison the cover of MAD, and that's
still not been confirmed, But ifhe is, my hope is he's on

(52:59):
the cover of Mad multiple times timeand again, like Brady, like Mahomes,
and if that happens, he willhave a career that is at least
somewhat comparable. Who wouldn't want that? What about having Jamar and Chase.
I don't think there's ever been teammateson to cover before. Gimme Joe and
Jamar? Is that being speculated?Now? How cool would that be?

(53:20):
But see, if it's Joe andJamar, then somebody will What about Tea?
I feel bad for Tea? Whatabout T? And now? What
if it's Joe, Jamar and Tthen I feel bad? What do you
feel bad for now? I don'tknow. I just gonna complain about something.
Give me Joe, Jamar and Tthat'd be awesome. What about Mike
YASICKI he hasn't played a game forhim yet? Yeah, McPherson. What

(53:40):
about having McPherson or we're just whydon't we just do voices like that for
the rest of the show? Whatabout money mac Zach Taylor first ever head
coach? What about Logan Wilson andTrey Hendrickson night he's gonna be mad as
for a trade again? Mike Brown? Ah, I don't know. I

(54:01):
don't know what's happened to this segment. Anyway, Burrow might be on the
cover of Mad and You Can.The Pole question is the most long winded
preamble into a poll question of alltime. It's thanks to a United Heartland
insurance. Your reaction to this isa excited that Bengals have a player awesome
enough to be on the cover,or be worried about a curse. Forty
percent of you are worried about acurse. It's not the majority, but

(54:22):
it's still a substantial amount of people. And you can believe the results of
any social media poll. Yeah,give me Joe and Jamar. Give me
Joe and Jamar. So we canhave that topic like, well, what
about Tea? Oh boy, doesouldTea feel left out? Could they put
Tea on a different video game?Yeah, let's let's let's let's celebrate Joe

(54:43):
and Jamar being on the cover ofMad but then invent controversy. Perfect.
I could get through next week anda chunk of the summer doing that.
Let's sign me up, all right. At twenty two minutes after four o'clock,
UH five point three thirty and eightsix six seven two three seven seven
six, Mike Greenberg says college sportsis in UH is over as we know

(55:09):
it because Dan Hurley might go tothe Lakers. He's wrong. We'll get
to that a little bit later on, and we'll preview the Belmont. We'll
make some money on the Belmont comingup on ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports Station,
Cincinnati's and fifteen thirty My name isMullegar, Brnhanim and Jones on Baseball
just about twenty five minutes away.Reds and Cubs Game two of four tonight

(55:30):
at GABP homestand continues next week withtwo against the very good Cleveland Guardians and
then Red's head to Milwaukee next Weekend'slet's look at that as maybe the first
big can we do that big seriesof the season for Cincinnati. I mean,
look, I think there are alot of reasons to be really excited

(55:51):
about how this team is playing,and and and the possibilities for entering the
race if you will, you know, it's it's interest. We talked,
I think at the beginning of theweek or maybe late next week about the
goal of being at five hundred bythe end of the month, which would

(56:12):
put him at forty two and fortytwo. They have perhaps changed that conversation
by now being just three under,and so they have what twenty one games
remaining in the month twelve and ninewould get him a five hundred, and
you know, getting the five hundredat the end of June is a big
picture perspective, not much to writehome about, but given where they were,
this team about two and a halfweeks ago was twenty and thirty,

(56:37):
and it wasn't just that they weretwenty and thirty. They were playing that
West Coast trip, which could nothave been more disastrous. And it felt
like when the Dodgers came to townMemorial Day weekend, like the season was
kind of teetering on the brink ofmaybe getting away from them. And if
that series had gone the way alot of his feared it would. Let's

(57:00):
be honest, the conversations about theReds right now are probably a lot different,
and now there's a degree of hope. And I keep accentuating this and
keep talking about it because I believeit to be true. The backbone of
what the Reds are doing, Ellie'sawesome. They have a great collection of
young guys. Some have said toomany infielders. Whatever. The backbone of

(57:23):
what the Reds you're trying to dois the group of pitchers that includes Hunter
Green, Nicolodolo, Still, GrahamAshcraft, Brandon Williamson, Andrew Abbott,
Lower in the system rut Louder like, it's the pitching, and the pitching
is starting to be not as goodas it needs to be big picture,

(57:45):
but I think it's kind of gettingto a place that we hoped it would
be at some point last year thatit never got to. And I still
think if you are to look atlike certain areas of the team in terms
of high ceilings low ceiling, thehighest ceiling ill I still believe is the

(58:06):
starting pitching. And so it's reallyto me at least fun to think about
how good that group might perform overthe course of the entire year. You
know, we had Sam lekuurroon before, and I talked to him every few
weeks. Say we have him onin the middle of July. I think
it's fun to think about the conversationswe'll be having about the red starting pitching.

(58:28):
Then it's fun to talk about winningmoney. It's fun to talk about
winning money on a Triple Crown race. We'll do that next. Cincinnati's esp
Sports Headlines and service at Kelsey Chevrolet, home of lifetime power train protection and
guarantee credit approval from their family,the Yours for Life Kelsey chef dot Com

(58:49):
Tarry and I know you're playing WillSmith ninety over there. You're okay,
fine, fine, fine. Uh. Let's see. Reds are playing the
Cubs tonight at GABP. Nick Lodolois gonna throw against Justin Steele's seven ten
tonight's first pitch. It is liveon seven hundred WLW. Do you want

(59:12):
the starting I have too many tabsopen, so I've got to get to
the right tab so I could readto you the Red starting lineup that you
would have no idea. You wouldhave no idea what the Red starting lineup
is if I didn't read it.Here we go Fairchild and right, Elliott
Short, Candelario at third base.Spencer Steer, who had a nice pick
at first base last night. Heis playing first base again and batting fourth.

(59:34):
Tyler Stevens behind the dish, India'sdhing freedom and center. Espinal's playing
second base. Blake Done. Heis in left field, batting ninth candidate
to lay down a sack bunt.White people like sack punts. Brandon Williamson
has been returned from his rehab assignment. He has not yet been added to
the active roster. Florence Yaw hasplayed tonight at home against the Evansville Otters.

(59:58):
That game starts at seven thirty.And what else did I have?
I had something else? I don'tknow. I don't know. Belmont Steaks
is this weekend by demand, youknow, we take requests on this show,
and so our legendary horse racing ridDick Girardi joins us before the Kentucky

(01:00:19):
Derby every year, and then welike to get into before the Preakness.
And I didn't really think about it, and then I gotta get a handful
of you that said you like youlike hearing from Dick Gerardi before the Triple
Crown races. And so tomorrow's Tripleground Race Belmont Stakes, although a little
bit different these this year, Dickis with us thanks to bet online.
A little bit different this year becausethe Belmont is not being held at Belmont

(01:00:43):
Park. No, no, no, they're refurbishing the remodeling. They're redoing
it. And so the Belmont Stakesis going to be run at historic Saratoga
Racecourse and Sarahtoga Springs, New York. And this is going to be the
case this year, next year andpossibly twenty twenty six. Start with that,
How does the venue change change howwe handicap this race. See,

(01:01:06):
I don't know that it's going tochange how we handicap it mode, but
what it's going to do is giveus a really cool vibe at Saratoga.
I mean, it's an awesome place, oldest sporting venue in the US.
The actually have a restaurant that theybuilt a couple of years ago on the
grounds called the eighteen sixty three Club, and the reason is that's when the
track opened, so that's how longit's been around. So a really cool

(01:01:28):
place. And their meat normally startslate July, goes to Labor Day,
and this year they're running a fourday Belmont Steaks Festival meet at Saratoga Yesterday,
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, andof course the big day is a
Saturday with the Belmont Steaks and agreat race you all weekend. So it
won't change how we handicap it,but maybe it'll change a little bit of
a feel, a little less trafficin upstate New York and it won't be

(01:01:51):
on Long Island at Belmont Park.Yeah, I think it's going to be
really cool just to watch on TV. Very pickuresque. Let's talk about the
race itself. It's the first meetingin the Belmont's Day between the Kentucky Derby
winner and the Prignus winner in overten years. And then obviously we have
Sierra Leone. We've got awesome storylinesin this race. Break it down for
me. Yeah, it's a reallyterrific finish tool. It's been a fun

(01:02:15):
triple Crown. As you said,we've got Derby Winter, Mystic Dan,
We've got Premus winner, Seize theGray, and then everybody remembers the three
horse photo in the Derby and SierraLeon was in the middle of that.
He ended up finishing second by anose. Now Mystic Dan went on the
run of the previous ran well,ran second. These actually ran on Derby
Day and another race, so thiswill be for those two third race in

(01:02:37):
five weeks where Sierra Leone has beenresting. He's got the five weeks off
and that's a big edge. Lesstwenty Belmonts, pet of them have been
won by a horse that ran inthe Derby past. The Preakness came back
in the Belmont, so it's abig deal and it's hard to win these
triple Crown races, any of them. You'll love this Stetson Justify one.

(01:02:59):
Then in twenty eighteen, we've hadseventeen different winners of triple ground races.
Nobody's even been able to win two, much less three in the last six
years. All Right, so youknow me, I love value, I
love long shots. There's no horsewith real extremely long odds. But give

(01:03:19):
me one to pay attention to.Yeah, I'm gonna give you a couple.
I'm gonna give you Honor Marie,the eight, who at the moment
is twelfth to one at bet online. There's a chance he could go even
higher. Just put a line tohis derby who's eliminated at the start.
He'll run better. Nobody's good enoughto win is another question. Fascinating new
horse in here is the ten mindFrame undefeated, but only two starts really

(01:03:43):
fast. But yeah, my bestlong shot is probably Honor Marie. And
I'm gonna give you one of thoseprops you were talking about. Been watching
the races now for a day anda half. We're midway through Friday's card.
The track surface is very fast atSaratoga. The times are really fast.
Over under on the time for themile and a quarter of the Belmont

(01:04:03):
tomorrow is two oh four. Iwould recommend it under. If this track
stays this fast, these horses willgo under two oh four. All right,
do you have another prop that standsout? I do. I'm going
to give out another one of interest. So the met Mile, which is
a great race in its own isthe tenth race tomorrow. Then the Belmont
will go is race twelve, maybeabout six forty five or so. There's

(01:04:27):
a prop that bet online has upthere. What to Barrio to Sierra Leone
both win, you get four toone. I think that's going to be
more. Four to one is goingto be more than what the parlay would
be. So if you like SierraLeone, and there's no real reason not
to like him, he's really solid, you might want to bet White a
Barrio to Sierra Leone. You getfour to one. White a Barrio,

(01:04:48):
of course, was the Breeders CubClassic winner last year and one of the
fastest hors in the country at twentytwenty three, the Great Dick Girardi Thanks
to bet online. Check out betonline for the mo up to date odds
and oops for the Belmont Stakes beingrun this year at Saratoga Saratoga Springs,
New York. Should be interesting andI think a lot of fun. Always

(01:05:10):
good to have you, Dick,Thank you so much, you got it
both. Thank you all right,There you go, Dick Girardi, bet
Online, dot AG. It's theend of college sports as we know it,
not really Next tons on baseball's comingup in just a few minutes.
We have more on the Reds HunterGreen starting last night Reds win. Ellie
hits a home run, Jacob Hurdabieslays down a sacrifice bun. Before we

(01:05:33):
do that, I guess there's beenreal no movement on the biggest story in
sports right now, which is DanHurley, the Yukon coach, being wooed
and apparently meeting with the LA Lakersfor their head coaching vacancy. And this
is obviously a major story. It'sa major pros It involves the LA Lakers,

(01:05:53):
one of the premier franchises in allof sports, and Yukon perhaps the
most premiere, most premier, thepremier college basketball program of the twenty first
century, and the two time reigningnational champions and their coach. So it's
a story that just reaches every levelof basketball and I think is a really

(01:06:14):
interesting one and more interesting depending onhow it unfolds, it will lead to
a lot of takes like this onefrom ESPN's My Greenberg. This story solidifies
that what we are witnessing is theend, the very end of collegiate sports
as we have always known them.If Dan Hurley takes this job, and

(01:06:36):
listen, I know Woje a longtime. I know him well enough to
know that if this thing wasn't,if there wasn't a very very good chance
this was going to happen, thereis going to happen. Wo does not
let me do two hours of TVon it. WOA does not make a
point of coming to the studio.He literally got here this morning. I

(01:06:57):
didn't know he was going to behere, pulls me up side in the
middle of our meeting and says,Greenny, just don't bother. Don't bother
with the stuff that you guys aretalking about and planning for your show today.
I got your a's and your b'sright here, and he just shows
me as phoney, He says,I'm tweeting this in five minutes, and
so I said, I walked backinto the meeting. I was like,
guys, stop, just stop.Our entire show is changing. So I

(01:07:19):
think the story is enormous in somany ways. But if in the same
year, Jim Harbaugh wins college football'snational championship as he did in Michigan,
and Dan Hurley wins college basketball's nationalchampionship as he did at Yukon, and

(01:07:39):
both depart to go to the pros, it will be the first time since
at minimum nineteen thirty six when thedefending national champion coaches of both college football
and men's basketball were not back withtheir following teams the same year. And
I do not think that is acoincidence. This is the end of college

(01:08:00):
sports as we know it. Thisis not Stanford being in the ACC,
not UCLA and USC being in theBig Ten. This is the end of
college sports as we know it.Well, college sports as we know it
depends on how you know it,sir. Yeah, there have been massive
wholesale changes. The end of collegesports as we know it doesn't mean that's

(01:08:24):
a bad thing. Doesn't have tobe a bad thing. Like the end
of college sports as we know it, where the players had restrictions over how
much they can move. I'm gladthat's gone, and the kids can't get
paid. I'm certainly glad that's gone. But some of it I wish was
still in place. I wish therewas some commonality geographically when it comes to
conferences. We don't have that anymore. But of all the different things that

(01:08:49):
have shown you that college sports areover as we know them, this is
it? Also? Why is thata bad thing? If it is a
bad thing. Now, again,there's a difference between this is the end
of college sports as we know itand this is the end of college sports.
Those are two entirely different things.If the take is this is the

(01:09:11):
end of college sports as we knowit, buddy, that's been happening for
a while. And the end ofcollege sports as we know it should have
ended twenty five years ago. Ittook way too long. If the take
is this is the end of collegesports, I believe something is over when
people stop caring about it. JLoo just canceled her tour. Why nobody

(01:09:32):
bought tickets. That's the end ofj Lo as a premier artist able to
sell tickets. When the college footballseason begins, the stadiums are going to
be full, the TV ratings aregoing to be insane, The conversations are
going to be about what's happening offthe field or on the field. The
college football Playoff is going to beridiculously fun. It's going to be the

(01:09:53):
biggest talking point in the month ofDecember, and the audiences are going to
be massive. The college basket ballseason gets here in the parts of the
country where that sport matters, thegyms are gonna be full, The TV
ratings are gonna be fine. Everybodyyou know will watch March Madness. I
will believe that college sports are beingruined when people stop paying attention. We

(01:10:15):
just had insane ratings for the collegefootball Playoff in a climate where all this
stuff that is supposed to ruin collegefootball is gonna ruin college football. It
didn't ruin college football. It didn'tdeter people from watching like that. That's
my my, very, my verysort of basic way of well, it's
it's gonna ruin it. Okay,people gonna stop watching, No gonna stop

(01:10:38):
going, No, stop buying tickets, No, I'm gonna stop buying merch,
no gonna stop consuming it, nogonna stop caring. No Week one
of the college football season, right, every major stadium will be sold out.

(01:11:00):
Yeah yeah, Well, ukon basketballthe first Yukon basketball is going to
have a massive following no matter what. Dan Hurley's an awesome coach, and
as a college basketball fan, sure, there's a part of me that hopes
he stays as a fan of basketball. I think it's really interesting that we
can have a whole coaching cycle takeplace during the summer, which brings college
basketball to the forefront of the conversationduring a time in which nobody usually talks

(01:11:20):
about it, like over as weknow it good. I'm glad college sports
are over as we know it forthe most part now. I think all
the conference realignments mostly stupid. Theother stuff being changed is awesome. The
end of college sports. If that'sthe take, call me when the stadiums
are empty, Call me when thegyms are empty, Call me when no

(01:11:43):
one's watching on TV. It'll bea while. Brenman and Jones on baseball
next Cincinnati's ESPN fifteen thirty. Trafficfrom the UC Health Traffic Center. The
University of Cincinnati Cancer Center is theregion's first and only provider of specialized prime
marry care services for cancer patients andsurvivors called five one three five eight five

(01:12:04):
u se CC. There's a thirtyfive minute slow down due to an earlier
vehicle fire blocking to right lane.Still on northbound seventy one at Montgomery Road.
It's stop and go from Ridge Avenue, and we have a ten minute
delay on eastbound two seventy five betweenLebanon Road and Loveland Madero Road. I'm
Nicole with traffic. This report issponsored ESPN fifteen thirty. Will love the

(01:12:30):
conversation we have with Sam LeCure comingup in just about thirty minutes on the
Reds who are surging good afterno onMoleegger. This is ESPN fifteen thirty.
Thank yous for Thank you so muchfor joining us for the most important hour
of the day, and I thinkthe most important hour of the week.
It's the five o'clock Happy Hour,which we have every day thanks to our

(01:12:50):
friends at Michael ol Ultra. Let'sbe honest, which is the only thing
we do on this show. We'rehonest. Okay, some at might rob
you the wrong way sometimes, butwe are honest. You may disagree,
but we we just we're honest.Let's be honest. The five o'clock Happy
Hour hits just a little bit differenton a Friday. It's the five o'clock

(01:13:11):
Happy Hour thanks to Michelo Ultra.We may or may not have a twelve
pack of Michelo Ultra in studio,and we may or may not have opened
it before five o'clock, but it'sstill the Mikelo Ultra five o'clock Happy Hour.
I would open a bottle in frontof the microphone, but here it's
it's already it's already open and unworthof Canan brew. When we opened it,

(01:13:33):
it was five o'clock somewhere, itwas Yeah, when we opened it,
it was it was what, what'swhere is it five point thirty when
it's three point thirty here? Idon't know the answer to that, but
it is right now, the mikeelobUltra five o'clock Happy Hour. What goes
better with summertime than michelob Ultra?What goes better with baseball? What goes

(01:13:56):
better with a round of golf?What goes better with hanging out with your
buddies outside smoking a cigar? Whatgoes better with sitting in a radio studio
when nobody else is working? MichelobUltra brood for Active living Anyways, Sam
Lackire is gonna join us in abit and our buddy Bengal Jym's going to
spend a few minutes with us aswell to talk about what is a really

(01:14:16):
cool event coming up in just abouta month and a half, just before
training camp begins. There is noreal Bengals news today. We do have
a Joe Burrow related pole question onTwitter slash x thanks to United Heartland Insurance.
Reds go for six in a rowtonight. A win last night that
was I think highlighted by Elie dela Cruz hitting a three run homer.

(01:14:40):
The Red's getting some clutch hitting,the Reds playing little ball well. I
hate Zack bunting, but when itworks, you have to acknowledge it.
It worked some outstanding bullpen help andan outing by Hunter Green that to me
was the kind of the main partof the night, so to speak.
The bullpen work gets tied into it. I we have been on this thing

(01:15:01):
for a while, going back tolast year. This team starting pitching has
to give David Bell a chance todo his job in the easiest way possible.
This was a topic earlier this seasonwhen the Reds you know, kind
of stumbled out of the gate,and we talked about it a lot with
Hunter Green, And you could haveextended this to other pitchers, But I

(01:15:25):
said about Hunter like I just Iwant him to pitch deeper into games.
That's that's not that controversial to take. And if he's pitching deeper into games
on a consistent basis, that's goingto mean he's pitching well on a consistent
basis. And if he does that, the Reds have a better chance of
winning. And not only do theReds have a better chance of winning,
they have a better chance of winningbecause the manager's job is easier in the

(01:15:47):
late innings. And I think you'veseen with the length the Reds are getting
from starting pitchers. Now, look, there's there's a huge part of me
that wishes that we we're still talkingabout starting pitchers as dudes who when they
took the bump, you thought everysingle night had a chance to go nine.
That's just not reality. You mayhate it. I don't like it,

(01:16:11):
but it's just how it is.So a sixth inning start in twenty
twenty four is like an eight inningstart in nineteen ninety four. That is
a fact. So the Reds areon a consistent basis getting six inning starts,
and what that does is it givesDavid Bell the luxury that he didn't
have last year. I think DavidBell did a marvelous job last season of

(01:16:33):
navigating close games when he had togo to his bullpen sometimes in the fourth
or fifth inning, and that's that'sreally hard to do. The more outs
you have to get with the mostamount of pitchers, boys, that's diceier
than getting six and then kind ofbeing able to play match up a little
bit in the seventh and eighth,kind of being able to manage the middle

(01:16:56):
innings, going Okay, I wantto use this guy in the seventh,
this guy in the eighth. I'mgoing to have this guy ready in case
this guy comes up. And thenyou get things to Alexis Diaz and the
ninth thinning, and the Reds havesome really good late inning options. Fernando
Cruz is one of the coolest successstories in all of baseball. A dude
who when he pitched an opening daytwo years ago or like, really,
that's the guy to now he mighthave the most unhittable splitter in the sport

(01:17:20):
today. Lucas Simms is pitching well, Sam Mall is pitching well. They've
got some options Alexis Das needs tobe better. Uh, he's still like
he walked the leadoff hitter last night, and you're being if you're like me,
you got that nervous feeling in yourstomach. He then came back and
struck out the next three dudes.But it starts with on a consistent basis,

(01:17:42):
not every single night, but ona consistent basis, they're getting six
from their starters, and not sixinnings of nine run baseball either, like
six innings where the starting pitcher hasgiven the Reds a chance to win the
ball game, whether it be tocome from behind by a runner two,
or take the lead at a tiegame, or pad the lead with runs
later on and win the game withyour bullpen. And so that's where it

(01:18:06):
starts for me. I want DavidBell's job to be easier, Like,
dude takes enough heat as it is, right Let's make his job a little
bit easier. And I think hewould be the first to admit his job
is easier right now because the Redsare getting more length and more consistency from
their starting pitchers. In relation toHunter Green specifically, I liked last night's

(01:18:28):
start Number one he pitched fairly deepinto the seventh inning. He recorded twenty
outs last night. His final linemight not have been anything to write home
about six and two thirds. Hegave up four runs, he gave up
the two homers. But we askedthis all the time about certain athletes.
How good is your good? Howbad is your bad? And there's different

(01:18:50):
examples you could use. But likeyou know, we used to talk about
this all the time with Andy Dalton. I know, as good is good,
but it's not gonna be otherworldly.I need him to raise his floor
and to be fair to Andy,there was a time when he did that.
I used this example before. Oneof my favorite all time UC basketball
players is Gary Clark. Like abad game for him usually was boy,

(01:19:13):
he didn't play great, but hescored ten points, he had eight rebounds,
and he stopped his guy on defense. He had no turnovers, you
know, he didn't make any Hehad no assignment errors. That was his
bad game. I like to askthat about like like Johnny Cuato, right,
Bronson Roy's talk about this all thetime. He talked about it with
himself and he talked about it withJohnny Aquato. Where in those nights where

(01:19:36):
I don't have maybe my best stuffwhere I give up an early homer or
I stake the other team to alead. I still got to get through
the game and give my team achance. I think Hunter Green had pretty
good stuff last night. You're seeinghim start to trust more of his pitches.
He threw that splitter a bunch,got some swings and misses on it
last night. So his only okaystarts, which earlier this season were like

(01:19:59):
four and a third inning, likehis starts at different points during his career
where it's like great first, goodsecond, terrible third, and he's gone
well before the end of the fifthinning, and you're like, well he
was okay. Now his only okaystarts, he's getting deep into games and
the Reds have a chance to winthem. That is very important. I

(01:20:21):
think we know what his upside lookslike. We know what his good can
and more frequently I hope will looklike. And we could extend that to
Abbott and Lodolo, and I stillthink we could extend it to Graham Ashcraft.
But what I'm most excited about whenI look at the starting pitchers number
one length number two, when they'renot at their best, the team still

(01:20:45):
is for the most part, beinggiven a chance. Now, every pitcher
has those clunkers where you know they'redone two winnings in. We used to
joke about this with Bronson Royal allthe time. Every year he'd have like
two killer starts and then two startswhere he was abysmal and on before the
second inning, and then he'd havelike thirty just good ones. Right,
So you're gonna have a clunker ortwo, But for the most part,

(01:21:06):
give your team a chance. Giveyour team a chance, and give your
manager a chance to not have tomake it up as he goes along,
starting in the fourth or fifth inning, and even on nights where you're not
at your best, or you giveup some runs early, or you know,
a guy hits a two run shotoff your early and maybe you give
up another one in the middle innings, it's there. You're not walking a

(01:21:29):
bunch of dudes. You're not givingup a bunch of hard contact. And
he was helped by his defense lastnight. Steer made a really nice play
in the first inning. He wasalso, you know, kind of hurt
by his defense last night when Herdebieslost that ball in left field in the
sun and looked like you had noidea where he was. He made up
for it with that awesome sacrifice pot. But that was the big takeaway for
last night's game for me. HunterGreen pitched well enough, team had a

(01:21:53):
chance to win, bullpen did itsjob, and now this team is hitting.
So a start like that, whichfive weeks ago more or less guaranteed
they lose, now at least givesthem a chance. And it is starting
to As much as I don't lovethe comparisons to last year, it is

(01:22:14):
starting to feel like it did inearly to mid June a year ago.
It ain't there yet, but it'scloser to that than it was two weeks
ago. Think about where we weretwo weeks ago. Two weeks ago,
the Reds had just had a mostlydisastrous road trip, injuries, walk off
losses, and now the Dodgers werecoming to town. The vaunted La Dodgers

(01:22:39):
were coming to town. They hadn'twon a series in over a month.
They had the hardest time ever winningconsecutive games. They're not where we hope
they would be by now, butthink of where they were two weeks ago,
where it felt like things were reallyon the verge of starting to unravel

(01:23:00):
and now, hell, if thingsgo really well, they're above five hundred,
maybe by the middle of next weekthat would require a lot. But
still, two weeks ago, itfelt like this was on the verge of
maybe getting out of hand and themath being way too difficult to imagine this
team contending for anything. To nowit's starting to feel like they could be

(01:23:25):
interesting this summer. Sam Lock herecoming up in just about twenty minutes,
a look ahead to one of thecoolest Bengals related events. One of the
coolest Bengals related events we have onthe calendar next of summer. If you're
a Bengals fan, and it's happeningagain on July the twentieth at the Megacre

(01:23:45):
Pavilion. It's the Jungle Jam featuringthe Jungle to the Hall Movement. It's
gonna be on the twentieth of JulySaturday, right before they started training camp.
It is an awesome combination of Bengalspast and future and present, all
part of a big celebration of allthings Bengals, and it's put on by

(01:24:05):
our buddy Bengal, Jim Foster.It's always good to have you. It's
awesome that you do this event.This has gotten bigger and bigger every year.
It's now moving across the river tonorth of Kentucky. For those who
have never been a part of thiskind of walk through everything that's going to
be happening on the twentieth of July. Hey no, it's a buddy you
now on it, man. It'sa celebration of Bengal legends from every decade

(01:24:29):
of Bengals football that will be atthese event July twenty and so we're excited
about it. We run it outto Maga Court Pavilion. It's an indoor
outdoor music venue. We are goingto just think of as our three ring
circus. Man. We're gonna haveabout sixty players there, former and current.
It's we've got a huge kids area, we got a charity cornhole tournament,

(01:24:51):
we got a live band. We'vegot two sessions throughout to two programs.
One is going to be a twentytwenty four season previews Zach Taylor.
We'll be there for that. DanHorde will kind of facilitate that conversation with
the fans, and then we alsowill be talking about Jungle to the Hall.
We have Anthony Munno's we think IsaacCurtis is going to be in town.
Still waiting to confirm that up.Corey Dillon has confirmed him coming in

(01:25:15):
town. We've got Dave Lapp,and we've got all these guys we've been
fighting for the for the Hall ofFame, but just going to be a
really fun advent. There's gonna beautographed sessions. We think we're going to
be able to raise about fifty thousanddollars for five different charities MO so we're
really excited about this. We've alreadysold not quite but almost two thousand tickets

(01:25:36):
for this thing, so this thingwill be selling out here probably by the
end of June. And what Ilove about this, and we'll talk about
some of the groups that you've gotteninvolved in here, but what I love
about this is it blends a celebrationfor the upcoming season, which we're all
so excited about, with this increasedappreciation and knowledge of Bengals history, which
I attribute a lot of it toyou. I attribute a lot of it

(01:25:58):
to what the Bengals have done withthe Ring of Honor, and also just
the heightened interest in the franchise hasI think heightened the interest in its history
and some of the guys you knowfrom when I grew up watching this team
and even players from before then.And so what I love about this event
is it sort of metches everything together. Yeah, one hundred ship. We've
got Kenny Anderson company, can youimagine? I mean players from late sixties,

(01:26:20):
Bob Johnson, Bob Trumpy will bethere on stage with Ken Anderson,
Anthony Munoz, Jeff Blake, CoreyDillon, Zach Taylor, and Yoshi.
And we've got a bunch of currentplayers that will be there. We're waiting
to kind of just get confirmation,but we have a lot of current players
are going to be there as well. But I just cannot wait to see

(01:26:43):
forty to sixty players on stage allthe way from the sixties all the way
to current day Bengals and gets justa group photo that's never been done before,
and we're excited as hell about it. Well, and what I like
about this because my second favorite Bengalsplayer of all time is Jeff Blake.
For those of us of a certainage, there is a very very soft
spot in our heart for Shaking Blake. And it was brief and it might

(01:27:09):
not have been as successful as wewould have liked, but I remember him
with such fondness, and it's greatto see Bengals fans wrap their arms around
him because he deserves it. Yeah, Jeff Blake, we actually booked his
flight a couple of weeks ago,so he's coming in from the actually from
I think he's coming up from Floridaswhere we flung him in from. But
he will be there all day.So there wasn't much to be to remember

(01:27:31):
that was fond memories about the ninetiesOther than Shake and Blake, Jeff Blake,
Corey Dillon and Willie Anderson and thoseguys. There wasn't in Darnay Scott.
There wasn't Carl Pickens every now andthen. But there wasn't much to
be excited about in the ninety ButJeff Blake is a true Bengal legend for
sure. Yeah, to this day, the prettiest deep ball of anybody that
I've ever seen. The Jungle tothe Hall momentum. You know, was

(01:27:53):
gravely disappointed that Ken Anderson didn't getin. You talked about Corey Dillon and
you could articulate this better than somelike he's going to be in the Bengals
Ring of Honor. Whether it happensthis offseason or not is maybe a different
conversation. I think there would befolks who would be surprised if you looked
at his overall body of work,which does include his time in New England.
If you looked at his overall bodyof work, boy, there's a

(01:28:15):
really convincing Hall of Fame case.Okay, there's a really strong case for
Corey Dillon. You know. Unfortunatelyhe just played for the Bengals during the
time that was really bad. Thatdid not help his case. I do
think I feel he was close lastyear. But I feel really confident Corey
gets into the Ring of Honor thisyear because that's going to help his case.
I don't know if he's going tobe a current day inductee. I

(01:28:35):
think he's gonna, unfortunately, haveto get to the Senior Committee before he
gets in. But I truly believeCorey Dillon belongs in the Hall of Fame
with a lot of other guys likeMax Montoya, Isaac Curtis and Ken Anderson
and Willy Anderson and these guys.So it's going to happen with his kids.
I think we're going to find outin August when the Senior Committee votes
that Ken Anderson is going to getin. And I truly feel Willy Anderson

(01:28:58):
got so close last year. Ithink will he gets in next year.
So we're gonna have a really funtime here in Cincinnati next couple of years
when we're talking about the Hall ofFame inductee. So things have changed and
finally gone in our favor, sowhich is really exciting. No question.
I was going to ask you aboutthat. You feel like the momentum is
strong enough that we should feel confidentthat Willy's going to get in. Yeah.
Yeah, Willy finished So if youremember, he was in the top
fifteen, he mad a vote andfinal vote in last year he finished in

(01:29:21):
the top ten. He finished inthe top seven, he took the top
five, so it's it makes sensethat if they take five and then the
six five before he went in.I do feel pretty confident Ken Anderson and
Willie Anderson going in and back toback years here, no doubt. All
right, July twentieth, it's aSaturday in Mega Court Pavilion. And did

(01:29:42):
you mention this If you haven't beento this venue, it's indoor and outdoor.
It is really great. It isjust a block or two away from
Newport on the Levee, just acrossthe river from the banks. It's centrally
located. Where can people go toget tickets? Yeah, so on our
social media platforms like Bengal Gym andFriends on Facebook and Twitter. Pretty easy
to find a link there. We'reannouncing a player every day, a new

(01:30:05):
coming to the event. We announcedZach Taylor, Bob Trumpy. Today,
we announced Trent Irwin. Tomorrow isgoing to be a surprise. I'm gonna
spoil it. James Brooks will bethere as well. MO so pretty excited
about that. But yeah, onour social media platforms or go right to
Maya Court Pavilion. Literally the postevent we had a live band playing,

(01:30:26):
but post event that day, theLevy is having a huge Bengal Bash,
So I think a lot of peopleare kind of heading from may Court Pavilion
after that event, heading over toLevy, having drinks and dinner and enjoying
themselves. But this is gonna bea family friendly event right now, as
of today, for every paying adults, two kids I'm sorry, two kids
twelve and hunder are free for eachpaying an adult there. So this is

(01:30:48):
going to be a family friendly eventand we're going to have a blast with
us, So stay tuned on socialmedia for more details as we get closer.
We've had a lot of sponsorships,sponsors pick up on this damn thing,
and man, I cannot believe We'vegot people cut right now coming in
from California, Wow, Florida,New Jersey, New York, Tennessee,
Texas. I'm missing some states here, but they're literally flying in from all

(01:31:10):
over the country for this event.But I would tell people if they're really
interested in going, this is amust at tend event for any Bengal fan.
But if they're looking at going,I would buy their ticket before the
end of June. Twenty bucks isall the ticket is, MO. It's
we're trying to make this reasonable forfamilies to be able to attend. Everything
so expensive nowadays, so we wentout of our way to how do we
cover our cost, you know,for twenty bucks, and then how do

(01:31:32):
we anything beyond our cost. We'llgo to five different local charities, which
we'll start posting on social media heresoon. All right, can be a
fun event. Can we roll throughthose groups if you don't mind, sure,
I'm literally at Braxton having a beerright now. So I'm going to
remember these off the top of myhead that the beer's delicious right here,
this is cold delicious. But anyway, Ken Anderson, Allon's gonna be a

(01:31:56):
big part of this village of MauriciComudio's Foundation, Revive Family Foundation, and
Ted Carris's charity is going to bepart of this, which is I think
it's called Little Town, Big Dreams. So those are the five five I
think I had them all there thatwill be Betty fans that we're hoping fifty
thousand dollars will be split between thosecharities, so it's we'll be I can

(01:32:19):
tell you Jimmy and Robin Burrough I'msorry, Joe Burrow Foundation will be part
of the six six of them,so Jimmy and Robin Burr will be there.
We're doing a check presentation to thatfoundation that day as well, So
it's gonna be fine, all forcharity and a family friendly event for everybody.
You you mentioned Ted Carris really quick, and you have you have followed
this franchise your entire life. You'vewatched a lot of players come into this

(01:32:43):
city and stay in this city oncethey're done playing and and get involved in
the community. And leave a mark. Have you ever seen somebody wrap their
arms around this town in such abrief amount of time the way Ted Carris
has. You know what's funny,I would say publicly, you don't see
you know the way Ted has donethis. I mean, this guy is
a fan favorite and he's not askilled position player, quarterback or receiver,

(01:33:08):
right, and this guy is outin public all the time. He's gonna
have a beer with you anywhere you'reat. To the guy, it's awesome.
He's done a great job. Ithink what's really cool about it,
he's you know, the social media. There's been there's a lot of players
that played for this organization that havestayed in Cincinnati, started charity, he's
working on foundations. But I thinkTed has has really taken it to another
level with the social media presidence andhim being involved in almost every event.

(01:33:30):
I mean, as a the JoeBurrow Foundation Friday, he was there,
he was at the softball game,Logan Wilson's softball game Saturday. This guy
is everywhere and he goes out ofhis way. He loves this city,
he loves the fans. It's absolutelyfun to see. And I agree with
you though, it's fun to seeJuly twentieth, Mega Corp Pavilion. This
is going to be a blast.We'll send a link out there. We'll

(01:33:51):
chat again in the days leading upto it. Congratulations, man, I
know you've been doing this for awhile. This thing gets bigger and better
every year. It should be awesome. I appreciate it as all. Yeah,
I do want to be real quickjust to let you know, guys,
it is a team of people thatputting this dam thing on, and
not one person can do this,but we've got a team of people that
are working their butts off on thisand just diehard Bengal fans that get nothing

(01:34:12):
out of this other than love seeingBengal fans come together and bringing these players
together from all the airs of allthe decades of Bengals football. This is
what it's about. Awesome stuff,my friend. Thank you so much.
Appreciate you. Mood Jungle Jam atMegacre Pavilion is going to be on July
twentieth. Tickets are available right nowthanks to Bengal Gym. You can go
to any of his social media pagesand get the link for tickets. The

(01:34:36):
always awesome Sam Lickure on a bunchof Reds, mostly pitching related topics.
Next Cincinnati's EF the Mikeelo Ultra fiveo'clock Happy Hour on ESPN fifteen thirty.
Hope your weekend is off to agreat start. Grab at Michelo Ultra this
weekend, including maybe at the ballparktonight. Sam LeCure will not be at
the ballpark tonight, but still joinsus during his day off. He's on

(01:34:59):
vacation in Missouri, that vacation hotspotknown as Missouri. I want to talk
about Fernando Cruz first. How doesa guy who, you know, not
that long ago, was kind ofa middling reliever, maybe a fringe big
leaguer turn into a dude who suddenlyhas maybe the most unhittable pitch in the
sport. That's how I mean.That's I don't it's a I think to

(01:35:21):
myself, and I, of course, you know, I don't like to
make this about myself. I wouldnot have gotten to the big leagues if
I didn't have that like comeback fastballlike that completely changed my trajectory of my
career. A trick pitch usually doesn'tlast that long, but his is different
because he backs it up in ninetysix he's got more strikeouts on June whatever

(01:35:44):
today is that it took me afull year to rack that up. I
mean, it's not hittable, andit's I mean, it's awesome. He's
been great with runners in scoring position. He had that like four or five
game stretch where he'd get two outsand give up a run after he got
the two outs. But man,he's I had to pick they just started
the All Star voting. Yeah,if I had to pick a guy,
I mean, if that game stillmeans something, I don't even know if

(01:36:06):
it does. I mean, you'dhave to have him on it, because
he just puts the fire out well. And what's crazy about it is it's
it's not unlike Mariano Rivera, rightwhere with that cutter, the hitter knows
it's coming and yet his defenseless againstit. It's it's the same thing to
a degree. I'm not saying he'sMariana Rover, but the hitter knows it's
coming and still can't can't make contactwith it. Yes, I mean,

(01:36:29):
if he if he can throw strikeone with anything, they have to be
in their mind thinking, well,I might as well just head back,
you know. I mean, it'sprobably demoralizing, but he's been outstanding.
I mean I saw the number theother day when the Reds are leading after
six innings, they're you know,one hundred and one or whatever. I
mean it's something of one, youknow, twenty six or something in one.

(01:36:51):
Uh, they've been outstanding. Thepitching has been great. I think
that under the radar move with SamMall. Yeah, he's been unbelievable since
he's been in a Reds uniform.I think I saw you. I don't
know who posted, but it wasX amount of games. First thirty games,
he has a one thirty era,which is the low. I mean

(01:37:13):
he's kind of stabilized that deal forme because now you start to see a
formula. It's Fernando to get toclear to clear inherited runners, and then
there's Sam, and then there's LucasSimsho's been throwing the ball great for about
twenty outings now, and Alexis isstill not the guy that the All Star,
but he's getting it done. Sothey've got a nice formula at the

(01:37:35):
back. And when you've got yourstarters going, I mean they're going six
innings almost every time, So itstarted to look really good. Isn't that.
Yeah, it looks good, andit makes it a lot easier for
David Bell because I think of lastyear when he was having to go into
the bullpen in games that carried alot of weight in the fourth or fifth
inning. It's just really hard topress the right button every time. When

(01:37:56):
you can go into a game feelinglike, God, you know what,
we have a chance to get sixfrom our starter, and then I can
kind of plan how the seventh andeighth may go and get it to Alexis
d as it. It makes itso much easier. You mentioned Alexis,
and look, he's been better,but it's even like last night is sort
of a microcosm of the experience wherehe walks the first batter and you go,
okay, here we go, andthen he's dominant, and I feel

(01:38:18):
like we're seeing a little bit moreof the dominance, but we're not seeing
it to the degree we were abouta year ago. What's missing? What's
missing? So I look a lotfor relievers at first batter efficiency, because
if you get your leadoff man out, the odds of the opposing team scoring
go way down, right, Soif he's not getting that, it's like

(01:38:39):
he has to punch himself in themouth a little bit to you to turn
the light on. But I don'tknow. I mean, I think that
there's a because the success hasn't beenlike it was at the first half of
last year. He's like feeling himselfout when he gets out on the mound.
To some degree, I think thephysical part can become mental. I

(01:39:00):
mean, you saw what just happenedwith the Graham Ashcraft. Graham Ashcraft is
fine physically, but I think mentallyhe kind of talked himself into a rut
thinking of tinkering with his mechanics.With Alexis, there's so much going on
with that delivery. It's hard toidentify exactly where the folk cromit, you
know, is it where your handsare, where that leg kick is,

(01:39:20):
where the timing all that stuff.So there's just so much going on with
him. I think it's hard toidentify. So it's a work in progress.
I mean, nothing happens overnight inthe big leagues. It's got to
take a number of repetitions. It'sgoing to take even once you identify it,
it's going to take ten to fifteenopportunities to really hone it in.
I think but I feel I stillfeel confident when he comes in the game,

(01:39:43):
and I think everybody else does too, and I think he feels that.
So that's why the performance has beena little bit better of late.
To me. Sure, yeah,talk with me about Graham because you know,
even like the other day in Colorado, the first inning is a disaster,
but he he hangs in there,and so I feel like he's not
that far off what has to getfixed in Louisville. I think it's just

(01:40:05):
a mentality kind of like I wastalking with Alex. I think it's his
mentality because he he is hanging inthere. He hasn't thrown the ball.
I mean, he really hasn't thrownthe ball particularly well all year. And
the numbers aren't atrocious. You know, He's still for the most part,
is going to give you five six. But it's the consistency of the delivery.

(01:40:30):
I think it's I think it's fine. I mean when I watch it,
I don't see something that is egregious. You know, it's like he's
just talking himself out of it alittle bit. To me. And the
mind game in the big leagues isit's a thing, you know, you
can start to make yourself believe thatyou don't have it dialed in. Oh,
I got to be perfect. Igot to be perfect rather than I
loved when he was first coming upand he was just pitching with the motion,

(01:40:51):
and it was always I'm just goingto come after you, bro,
because I've got a ninety seven minehour cutter and a ninety seven mine hour
sinker and I really don't need tothrow anything else. And it's a really
uncomfortable at bat, and I thinkhe's gotten away from that mindset a little
bit. So just go down there, and they're gonna the triple A hitters
are gonna react differently. He's gonnabreak so many bats that within two starts

(01:41:14):
he's gonna be like, geez,I'm pretty nasty, Like, why don't
I just go up there and letmy stuff play? And I think he's
trying to, but you know,your head gets in the way of your
heart a little bit. So Idon't expect him to be down there for
long because they he is a partof their best team. He's the guy
that I would peg of all theguys in that rotation to be able to

(01:41:34):
throw two hundred innings, which isn'ta big thing. Anymore. But to
me, it is because that savedyour bullpen. YadA, YadA, YadA.
I mean, so he won't bedown long, I don't think,
but we'll see, man. Ijust I love like that they're they're coming
together and and he is a partof it. I didn't buy into that

(01:41:54):
so much the last couple of years. But it is a thing, like
when he's going, it's a differentfe for this team. Sorry to change
the subject, so it is itis my off day, but I'm not
on a golf course, so youdon't know. So here's the thing.
Right as you said that, youdropped off. So what did you just
refer to India? Yeah, yeah, just like it's just a different feeling

(01:42:17):
when when he's going, it's adifferent feeling. I kind of backed off
it the last couple of years,like, oh, everybody's saying he's their
leader. I don't see it,but I am seeing it, Like it
is a thing when he's going,there's just a different vibe with his crew,
and you know, right now it'sit's going on and I and I
love the way that it feels alot like last year that there definitely was

(01:42:41):
going to be a run in themthey have the visional opponents coming up.
That feels like the right time forthe run. And Ellie's looking like he's
about to do some Ellie stuff.So I hate that. I hate that
I'm off this week. I thinkit's gonna be but I you know,
usually when i'm off, dude,I'm off, Like I don't really watch
it, like I'll look at thebox score and whatnot. But I watched

(01:43:01):
the fair bit of the game lastnight, and I thought Hunter looked great.
I was glad they, you know, let his leash go a little
bit, let him get up toone hundred plus pitches. And he's been
doing a great job this year.There's obviously, when it's good, it's
good, and you can see itpretty easily. But it's been a work
in progress and I'm happy to seeit paint off for the guys. Yeah,
So when I have you, Ihave to ask about Hunter, and
I like his start last night.He gave up the two homers. But

(01:43:25):
but like I'm I'm a big fanof asking, like how good is your
good? How bad is your bad? His bad last night was he got
into the seventh inning and gave usteam a chance to win the final line
might not have been great, butthey won the ball game. Then he
went in six six and two thirdsfour runs, right, so that's pretty
good dude in this day and ayeah, right, like if if that's
his okay start, like sign meup for that, right? Yeah?

(01:43:46):
So definitely from my standpoint, youcould tell me if I'm an idiot it
it just feels like he trusts awider variety of pitches. Is that is
that off pace? Is that somewhataccurate? Oh? Make that? Do
so? I think it was maybelike four or five starts ago. We
did like a pitch cast thing andit was saying the percentage of how often
he used you know, it's fastball, slider, splitter pretty much. I

(01:44:10):
mean that curveballs are throwing occasionally,and the splitter was at like four percent,
and I was like, I betyou most of that has been within
the last two starts, and that'sgoing to continue to increase because it's been
good. I think it was theywere facing the Diamondbacks and he had oh
who was it, lords Guriel Junior, and he threw it like three of
them when one at bat and theywere good, like one of them for

(01:44:32):
a strike. One of them underzone for swinging myths, one of them
even farther under some That thing Itook, but it was a good like,
it was quality, and since thenthat has been a weapon just for
something to go down, you know, down or a fade away or in
you know into a variety or awayfrom a lefty's it's more of a down
or pitch down action. But Ithink that that third weapon, I wasn't

(01:44:56):
on board with it in spring training. I was like, he just needs
to fine tune these two because whenhe has fastball slider going, he can
still dominate a lineup for six inningsand strike out ten. This has given
him an opportunity to be a pitcher, and I think that that has been
really important for him for this Orger. I mean, I don't want to
put so much weight on his shouldersas far as as he goes, the
organization goes, but he's a veryimportant part of what's going on here,

(01:45:20):
and that pitch is going to allowhim to get into that seventh inning and
you know, maybe it's not alwayspretty, maybe it's going to be six
and two thirds with four runs,but if the offense is doing its job,
that's enough. I think with theway the bullpens shut it down.
So I'm loving what I see outof him. I mean, to me,

(01:45:41):
Nick lidose days, but Hunter,I mean, he's a one B
for sure right now. I meanhe's showing his stripe's big time and they
couldn't come into better times. JustI mean, the pitching's been the foundation
right sure. And to me,like, I mean, I run I'm
a run on since waiting to happen. No, I love it. But
I mean when they were struggling,and I said this on the show,
the reason they were worth not givingup on was the starting pitching was okay.

(01:46:05):
And if there's a part of thatteam that you figured was only going
to continue to get better, itwas going to be the starting pitching.
And if the bats could catch upin time, they still have a chance.
And I kind of feel like we'rethey're like I think, if you
and I are talking a month fromnow, and I'm sure we will be
barring a major health issue, thestarting pitching stands a very good chance.

(01:46:27):
You want to actually be talking aboutto be even better? Right, Yeah?
I think so? I do.I love you know, It's like
the young kids came up last yearand the bats expedited more than you're used
to seeing. You never see thatmany rookies come up and have that much
success right away, you know whatI mean? Sure, and everybody who's

(01:46:48):
waiting for the pitching to come around. So that's why I was kind of
iffy iffy on this year because Ithought the pitching was going to take a
step forward, but I mean playingout a little bit how I thought it
would. But I think that thereare too many good like ball players.
You know, we talked when KyleFarmer was here. I think they have
a lot of him that have moretalent than Kyle. So I was surprised

(01:47:10):
that that offensive swamp lasted the fullmonth. But you know, like a
Spencer Steer, like he's too goodto do that freely. He's like too
good to do the India, youknow, Stevenson. All of a sudden,
this lineup looks, you know,pretty menacing. Two weeks ago,
I would I think I could havegot most of them out. But now
you look at it and there's fiveor six of them that are anywhere in

(01:47:31):
the range from warm to high,you know. So and then Noelbie Marte,
who I love, is coming backfairly soon, and you know there's
there's even more on the horizon tocome, and I think it's it's coming
at a great time. So yeah, I'm ready to get back to work.
I've been off for one day.I'm ready to get back to work.
Sam Carroll joining us from vacation topodcast. I mean, what do
we say said ten minutes? Yougave me nineteen seeze, my family misses

(01:47:57):
me. I gotta go. Iunderstand, love you, love you man,
Thank you. That's our guy,Sam Lequeur, usually on Bally Sports,
but well this weekend he's on vacation. We have to go. My
thanks to Tarran Bland for producing.We're back at it Monday at three oh
five. Have an awesome weekend andwe'll talk to you then. This is
ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati Sports station.When you buy Crow

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