Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Emptying the notebook ...

-- It's a long way from Holquin, Cuba, but Toledo, Ohio is where 22-year old Reds right-hander Aroldis Chapman will make his American pro debut.

Chapman will make his first start for the Triple-A Louisville Bats against the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Cuban Cannon posted a 1.69 ERA in five Spring Training games, walked seven and fanned 15 in 12 2/3 innings. Back spasms ended Chapman's bid to earn the No. 5 spot in the Reds starting rotation.

Last year's No. 1 draft choice Mike Leake, who beat out Chapman for the 5th spot, likely will make his big-league debut Sunday as well, at Great American Ball Park against the Chicago Cubs.


-- Kudos to Yankees president Randy Levine who blatantly called out Brewers owner Mark Attanasio for "whining" about the Bombers' payroll.

Competitive imbalance, yeah I get it. But the Yanks have been lining the pockets of purported small-market owners for years. Hey Attanasio, don't spend your portion of the Bombers' $175 million gift and shared TV revenue all in one place.


-- Include me among those who believe Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski got it right.

Sure, his decision to intentionally miss a free throw with three seconds remaining gave Butler a chance to win the national title with a half-court heave. He could have made the free throw giving the Bulldogs an opportunity to just tie the score, but with a higher-percentage shot. Funny, nobody questions Coach K's move if Howard's attempt doesn't glance the rim.

Best-ever NCAA Tournament? It's close.

-- For freelance writers, it's all about the clips.

A last-minute decision to accept a work opportunity on Easter Sunday landed me a keeper for the portfolio.

A C1 piece on Aaron Harang's pressure-packed Opening Day start:


-- While we were waiting to speak to Dusty Baker prior to Sunday's pre-Opening Day workout, a local TV reporter and I were discussing the location of Brandon Phillips' locker. And, we're not the first to question it.

When they give tours of the Reds clubhouse, I wonder if visitors need to catch a shuttle bus to view No. 4's cubbie?

It's situated at the far end of the clubhouse with a dividing wall between Phillips and his nearest teammate. The lockers to Phillips' left are vacant, usually until September callups.

It's telling.

As was Phillips' decision to snub the Enquirer's John Fay during Spring Training with a "How come you haven't written about me?" diatribe. Phillips likes to smile for the cameras and for the fans, but when it comes to maturity and leadership ...

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