Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

July 12, 2014

REDS MADNESS: Phillips shocks Cobra off bat

ASHLAND — Sometimes, it's nice to just escape reality.

That's why we love to invest time in far-fetched movies, riveting fiction reads, and addictive fantasy football leagues.

Our sports staff felt like "Reds Madness" was the perfect way to entertain die-hard baseball fans in the oppressive heat of a dry summer.

By seeding the best Reds of the past 80 seasons and randomly placing them in four regions of a bracket with a March Madness feel, we thought it would spark both conversation and interaction.

While we received a total of just 36 ballots, it was more than enough to come up with who our readers think is the best Reds pitcher, position player and manager since 1935.

And, wow, we had some close calls! Maybe even a couple eye-catching plays at the plate!

Today, we unveil the Sweet Sixteen of the position players' and pitchers' brackets.

We asked you to rank your top 12 in each category. Extra points went to those ranked first, second or third in each ballot — they collected four, three and two points, respectively.

As you'll see when you check out the bracket, the percentages listed beside names denote the portion of total points received by a player in comparison to his "opponent" in each matchup. Opponent is in quotes because you could've voted for both in your dozen!

Basically, the number of total points advances players through each round of the bracket. The points that each player racked up will be revealed when the champion is crowned.

Most matchups played true to the seeding — which means the sports staff did a darn good job of seeding (tooting our own horn) — but there was one upset.

Four-time Gold Glover Brandon Phillips slithered right by Dave "The Cobra" Parker in a stunner!

The slick-fielding Phillips garnered 59 percent of the total votes received by both of those players.

Parker was a two-time All-Star in his four-season stint with the Reds. He came in second in MVP voting in 1985. But it wasn't enough for our readers as Phillips moves on.

Of the 16 position players remaining, Phillips and Joey Votto are the only active Reds.

There are plenty of intriguing Sweet Sixteen matchups. Teammates Barry Larkin and Eric Davis will duke it out, as will Big Red Machine staples Pete Rose and Dave Concepcion.

Tony Perez and Votto tussle in a battle of first baseman.

Could Ken Griffey Jr. pull off a shocking upset over the beloved Johnny Bench? Well, if his Mariners days factored in, it would certainly give him a better chance!

Lower-seeded pitchers had little chance of advancing past the first round.

While there were some tightly fought duels, no one seeded fifth or worse survived. The closest to clawing his way out was Pedro Borbon, who fell to John Franco by a 51-49 percentage margin.

Franco was a three-time All-Star in the late 1980s, piling up an average of 35 saves a year while consistently compiling a tidy earned run average — his best ERA was 1.57 in 1988. Also a reliever, Borbon earned double-digit wins in three different seasons.

The only other loser to get within 20 percent of his opponent was Rob Dibble, who gave Ewell "The Whip" Blackwell a run for his money.

Hometown favorite Don Gullett will square off against Clay "The Hawk" Carroll, a teammate in the '70s, in the round of 16.

Only three of the 64 total players involved received no votes — Dmitri Young, Kal Daniels and Jeff Shaw.

Come back Monday for the uncovering of the Elite Eight!

The Final Four and Championship for each of the three brackets — managers, too — will be unveiled on Tuesday.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664. Follow @DindependentQB on Twitter.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos