The Reds Hidden Treasure Playing for Their AAA Louisville Bats

The Cincinnati Reds have been truly blessed with solid prospects rising through their farm system. Nick Senzel, after having a 15+ game hitting streak in the minors, was called up and made an immediate impact. He’s solidified his place in the outfield and batting order and doesn’t look to be making a move back to Louisville any time soon. Joseph VanMeter, after hitting about one home run every game, has been called to Cincinnati now for the second time after showing his versatility on offense and defense.

But there is one other prospect that the Reds are well aware of, but won’t call up because, to put it simply, they can’t. And that prospect is Brian O’Grady of the Louisville Bats.

Take a look at the batting leaders for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2019 season:

Now look at Brian O’Grady’s batting stats as of 7/7/19:
Batting avg: .291
Home runs: 22
RBI: 55
OBP: .361
Hits: 86
All while playing 10 less games than the Reds.

Yes, he is playing against lesser competition, but shouldn’t having better stats than the guys in the majors at least warrant a chance to prove his worth? Apparently not, and here is a couple reasons why.

Brian O’Grady plays first base. That has been and always will be Joey Votto’s position until the day he leaves Great American Ballpark for good. After all, he is the pride and joy of Cincinnati with a normal hair color. Nobody, and I mean nobody, dare mess with what he has built.

But why can’t they just stick him in the outfield? Bad idea. The Reds have two good things going for them right now: their uniforms and their defense. The sleeveless uni’s from the I-words game were incredible, and the Reds have allowed the least amount of runs in the the National League and second least in the entire MLB. The outfield of Senzel, Puig, Winker, and Dietrich have been a huge part of that. It would not be smart to mess with that when the Reds have pulled to 4.5 games back in the NL Central.

How about playing O’Grady at the DH? Again, no. The only time the Reds can use a DH is when they are playing on the road against a team from the American League. I am sure you all already knew that, but it is worth pointing out since that only happens one other time for the rest of the season against Seattle. Yes, 75 games remaining and there is no room for an AL opponent. I guess fitting in a little interleague play is difficult when you have to play the teams in your own division roughly 700 times a season.

Unless something drastic happens, do not expect Brian O’Grady to be called up to Cincinnati this season. If it was going to happen, it would have happened by now. So until then, sit back and enjoy the hidden gem of the Louisville Bats and the fact that Louisville Slugger Field actually has some sluggers again.

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Louisville City FC Well Represented for Jamaica in Gold Cup Semi Final

Louisville City FC’s own Shaun Francis and Devon “Speedy” Williams started and played all 90 minutes of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Semi Final against the United States. While the Americans won the match 3-1, our boys represented Lou City phenomenally with clean performances. Pure class as per usual.

Since Jamaica gave up three goals in the loss, it is easy to place blame on the defenders for the poor result. And while I am sure Francis will accept some of that blame, he actually had a very solid performance. Sure, he could have been in a little better position for the first United States goal, but the second goal was in no way his fault. In fact, he played Jordan Morris perfectly and closed him down into taking a tough shot directly at the keeper. Unfortunately for the Raggae Boyz, the rebound dropped right to Christian Pulisic.

Wic’s match rating for Shaun Francis: 7.4

In the midfield, Speedy showed his class with smart touches and crisp passes. Williams even ignited several second half charges in an attempt to bring Jamaica level. So, basically exactly what we can expect from every Lou City game. Classic Speedy Williams performance.

Wic’s match rating for Speedy Williams: 7.9

One thing I noticed with both of the Louisville City boys, and especially with Speedy, was that they did not play like the rest of their team. I am not saying they weren’t team players, but when teams are overmatched, like Jamaica was against the US, they will do whatever they can to get ahead. Like flopping of fouling players immediately after they realize they are beat, but this is how not Speedy or Francis played.

Speedy and Francis played with true class. Even in a 2 goal loss, they still made Louisville proud.

The Takes on Louisville Pitcher Luke Smith’s “F*** You” Video Are Wild

Last night in the College World Series, Louisville took on Vanderbilt for the second time in Omaha. After losing the first matchup, the Cardinals were poised to force an elimination game with the #2 overall seed. They even took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning.

But for that to happen, Louisville ace Luke Smith needed to get out Vanderbilt’s Infante to end the top of the eighth inning. And he did just that with a nasty curveball. What happened next will go down in CWS history forever. Watch:

Not going to lie, that was awesome. But that’s just what I think. Let’s see what Twitter had to say about it. At least one person agrees with me.

Baseball purism is the worst thing in sports. I’m all for hating Louisville, but at least hate them for a good reason and not just because of one kid. And how in the world can you hate Luke Smith in particular for talking trash when almost every other athlete to ever play a sport has done it too? Don’t think for a second that Vandy didn’t have anything to say before or after.

Sure, it was a bad look being caught on ESPN saying “F*** you” to a player you just struck out. But very few people, especially the ones with negative opinions about this, have played in a game with this kind of intensity. This includes the “stay classy” crowd first and foremost. Smith’s emotions just got the best of him in a very emotional game. Bottom line is if you hate every athlete that talks trash, then it’s going to be very hard to enjoy sports with a hate list that long.

I sort of wish Louisville would have won this game so that the “stay classy” wouldn’t have gotten any vindication.

Louisville Batter Gets Hit in Helmet and Called for a Strike Thanks to New College Baseball Rule

The NCAA really does have the best intentions when it comes to player safety, but this new rule in college baseball has a classic NCAA flaw. And just like every other new rule the NCAA implements, it completely blew up in their face.

The new rule leaves it up to the umpire to decide whether or not a player leaned into a pitch that hit them. While the rule is meant to discourage players from “taking on for the team”, the critical flaw is that players who are hit in the helmet can still be called for a strike. That is exactly what happens to this Louisville batter. The ball hits his head then hit his bat resulting in a foul tip strike.

I don’t care if you lean into the pitch, if you are willing to take a 90 MPH fastball to the head just to get on base, you should be allowed to take whatever base you want. Risking a concussion or a Giancarlo Stanton style injury deserves at least a runner on first. Putting it all on the line for your team is an understatement at that point.

I understand that players should not be rewarded for leaning into pitches, so if the rule is going to stay, players should not be able to strike out by getting hit in the helmet. If the catcher had caught the ball after the foul tip on two strikes, he would have been out on the at bat instead of on first base like every other league.

Just another case of the NCAA passing the buck and making bad calls anyone else’s fault but their’s.

Louisville Receives Notice of Inquiry from NCAA

According to Louisville’s WAVE 3 News, The University of Louisville has received a notice of inquiry from the NCAA. The notice is in relation to the FBI’s bribery and corruption investigation affecting college basketball since September of 2017.

A UofL spokesperson confirmed receiving a verbal notice on March 8.

Now, the notice does not mean that Louisville is in any kind trouble. It is simply the first step the NCAA must take before announcing that Louisville is under investigation. If that investigation were to turn up evidence that Louisville has committed rule violations, they then will receive a notice of allegation which normally carries penalties.

While the FBI investigation has affected multiple programs, Louisville has no doubt been hit the hardest. When the case was initially released 17 months ago, it led to the dismissal of Head Coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich. Two other assistant coaches, Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair, were also fired for there alleged roles in the payment of recruits.

Of course, Louisville is still on probation for the Katina Powell sex/dorm rom stripper party scandal of 2012. Surely, if the investigation finds evidence of further rules violations while UofL is already on probation, it would carry stiff penalties.

Ryan McMahon’s Amount of 2PT Field Goals Is Criminal

Ryan McMahon was easily my favorite player on Louisville’s basketball team this season. The plucky yet scrappy, quintessential white shooter is everything a sports humor writer could ever ask for. That is, until he betrayed us all.

McMahon is at Louisville thanks to the charity work of Rick Pitino and Dick Vitale. He has made himself useful by having the best free throw percentage in the NCAA and having some decent ball handling skills, but above all, he is there specifically to shoot threes and only threes.

Inside the arc is basically off limits to him. This season, he decided he was going to be all big and bad and take the ball inside. In the 34 games he played in, Ryan McMahon shot a total of 31 two point field goals. Almost one per game. What the hell, Ryan?

The most two point field goals he was supposed to have was maybe 5 all season due to accidentally having a foot on the three point line. This is the last time I believe in a Louisville basketball player.

McMahon is what I like to call an anti-center. Let me explain. Ya know how when a 7-footer, who isn’t known for shooting, takes a three and the stadium noise is replaced by fans yelling “what are you doing” and “oh no”? That is exactly how everyone should feel when Ryan McMahon shoots from anywhere besides the parking lot.

He was 15/31 on the year from inside the arc and 53/150 from beyond. I hope those 31 were worth it.

Insider Louisville

ACC Tournament Quarterfinal Evening Game Predictions

Louisville vs. North Carolina

When: 7:00 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: North Carolina -7.5

Over/Under: 150

The Cards and Tar Heels split their season series 1-1. The first game they played, Louisville absolutely bitch slapped them, 83-62, at UNC. The second game, the Tar Heels got their revenge in the KFC Yum! Center, 79-69. As much as I want to say that the Cards can win this game, I don’t see them beating this UNC team twice. North Carolina is playing really, really strong right now. They are peaking at this time of the year. They have won 7 in a row with two of those games against Duke. In that stretch the least amount of points they scored was 77 against Florida St. So, Louisville is really going to have to use their good defense to force North Carolina into tough shots.

If the Cards can force them to miss shots then they might have a chance, but their offense will have to be on too. If Jordan Nwora makes his shots and they limit their turnovers, which will be tough, their is a chance. However, I think that is too much to ask, and I don’t think that it will work completely for the Cards. It may be a close game, but I don’t see anything good about this game for the Cards.

Prediction: North Carolina 79 – 74 Louisville

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Syracuse vs. Duke

When: 7:00 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: Duke -11.5

Over/Under: 144

Duke and Syracuse split their season series 1-1. The first game Duke lost in Overtime 95-91 at home, and the the second game Duke handled Syracuse pretty easily, 75-65 at Syracuse. With Zion Williamson coming back for the tournament, fully healthy, Duke has their X factor back. Zion is the biggest game changer. His absence is the sole reason for their slide at the end of the season. He didn’t play because he wanted to become fully healthy and that is what Duke is going to get, a healthy Zion. That is scary. Zion, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish are going to be firing on all cylinders. That offense is going to be on and it will not let up. Syracuse may have a decent defense, but I’m not sure. Duke is not Pittsburgh. Duke is a different animal. I think think that this will probably be Zion’s “hey, remember me” game. Duke is going to roll.

Prediction: Duke 81 – 68 – Syracuse

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-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm