Friday Findings: Reds draft offers fundamental trifecta

While logging another loss on the field, the Reds appeared to have a nice night at the MLB draft.

I was all set to say taking a pitcher made sense if he was the best available, but going with Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel, a college hitter who can play multiple infield positions seems, like a pretty good call to me.

Bonus: The Hall of Famer Hal McCoy approves.

A Reds official called Senzel “very polished” and perhaps the best hitter in the draft.

Of course everyone says only positive things on draft night and I haven’t seen one at-bat of this kid’s career at Tennessee or before, but “polished hitters” seem to be in short supply in the Reds’ system lately while boom/bust guys are plentiful. 

Then again there were a couple of ominous notes involved here, beginning with the mention of representative Scott Boras.

“I’m ready, but there is business to be taken care of,” Senzel said. “I’ve got the best team in the world that takes care of that. They’ll let me know when the business side is taken care of. Once it’s taken care of, I’ll be ready to go.”

And although this actually means nothing, the DDN story also makes reference to another first-round pick from the SEC: Brandon Larson. A star shortstop at LSU, Larson was a bona fide Quadruple-A player at the professional ranks who hit .179 in 109 games for the Reds.

They also added a college catcher (Clemson’s Chris Okey) who could offer some competition for last year’s top pick) and a high school outfielder (Taylor Trammell) who offers big upside even if it is long term….

I regret forgetting to mention this yesterday, but a former Ohio State All-American defensive back and Cincinnati Bengal is part of a lawsuit filed against the NCAA and the Big Ten that could grow to include six decades’ worth of players before it is over.

Ray Griffin is probably best known as the younger brother of Archie, but he had a great career in his own right.

Per the Columbus Dispatch:

The NCAA and Big Ten constituted “negligence, fraudulent concealment (of the effects of brain injuries), breach of contract (to protect players), and unjust enrichment (the burgeoning revenues generated from an increasingly popular sport),” the lawsuit states.

When he went into the Ohio State Varsity ‘O’ Hall of Fame a few years ago, I remember hearing Griffin talk about “playing through the fog” and not knowing potential consequences then. He sounded genuinely concerned about the effects on his health now.

The suit doesn’t name Ohio State as a defendant but does seek class status that would involve all players from 1952-2010.

Why 1952? The Lantern notes (presumably from the lawsuit) a New England Journal of Medicine article that year recommended players who have suffered three concussions stop playing.

I haven’t read the text of the suit so there could be more, but one published study probably isn’t enough to prove negligence in court.

Although there is very likely a case to be made the football establishment could and should have reacted more quickly to the potential far-reaching dangers of head trauma or at least been more proactive to find out more about it sooner, it feels like there is a large burden on the plaintiffs here to prove negligence, especially stretching from that early date to 2010.

That said, the power conference schools have amassed enough money now and for the future there is also a good case to be made they should be proactive and use it to help ex-players who might be struggling regardless of legalities… 

If the Ohio State basketball team is going to bounce back from a poor year on the floor and at the box office, making more shots would probably help. Could that come not only from a more consistent Kam Williams but also some of Thad Matta’s incoming freshman?

My viewpoint of Buckeye basketball is probably somewhat similar to the recent Reds runs. While both are far from ready for prime time, new faces have me more interested in what’s next than I was in the stale product of the preceding couple of seasons. (In the case of the Buckeyes, that was first true last year while the Reds are catching up now)… 

Two interesting tidbits from a Fox News presidential election poll released yesterday: Donald Trump’s controversial past week coincided with a loss of six points while Hillary Clinton remained at 42 percent. When they put Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson into the poll instead of “other,” both Clinton and Trump lost three points but her three-point lead remained. BONUS: “Don’t know” went up from four to seven percent when Johnson’s name was included…

Meanwhile, I’m sure these endorsements will fire up lots of people (who were already not going to vote for Trump anyway)…

PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’m a believer sports and politics are generally best kept separate, but there’s still lots of interesting (for better or for worse) stuff going on these days, particularly from a media watcher standpoint. I reserve the right to share if I feel like it because it’s my blog, but I don’t intend to talk much about what beliefs are “right” or “wrong.” I’ll probably spend most of my time bashing what’s usually terrible coverage of the election if we’re being honest. All views are welcome. Whichever way you lean, hopefully you’ll find it interesting, too. If not, all I can really do is follow the lead of the great Marty Brennaman and offer a big ole HWE (“Hang with ‘em.”)…

PS: In this and all cases nothing I write on this blog should be attributed to whoever might also happen to be employing me at the time. This is a personal blog…

Meanwhile, the Big 12 isn’t satisfied stupidly instituting a championship game in a couple of years despite already being able to play a round-robin schedule (a.k.a., the best way to determine a league champion).

The league is reportedly entertaining the idea of needlessly going to two five-team divisions that would change from year to year based on league standings.

Here’s a pro tip: Always be wary when a college administrator or commissioner says things like this:

“It differentiates us as a league. It keeps the league really vibrant, exciting and fresh.”

So does recruiting better and playing physical football instead of flag.

Here’s another classic:

“The information we saw from our consultants was very compelling,” commissioner Bob Bowlsby told reporters attending the meeting.

Be afraid, my southwestern brethren. Be very afraid.

Somewhere Jim Delany has to be smiling about how much less it will cost his conference to add Texas if the Longhorns don’t have a viable league anymore.

One thought on “Friday Findings: Reds draft offers fundamental trifecta

Leave a Reply