Wake Up With Whitty – 10/21/2017

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. It’s Bengals/Steelers weekend so keep your head on a swivel out there.  Burfict’s going to be out there taking heads off, and I’m sure Mike Mitchell will be doing Mike Mitchell things:

It’s going to be an ugly AFC North slugfest on Sunday.  Any time these two teams get together, there’s going to be fireworks, and you can guarantee that both teams’ fans will be bitching about how dirty the other team played.  In my experience, one of the two teams’ fans have been 100% justified in their complaints and the other team should quit whining because the one time that they actually did fall victim to a dirty play it helped them Steel a playoff victory.  I won’t say which team is which though because Wake Up With Whitty is a place of love and acceptance so we should all just put aside the hate for a moment.  Ok, moment’s over: I hate Pittsburgh.  Here’s Wake Up With Whitty:
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Wake Up With Whitty – 10/14/2017

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty.  It’s finally every Bengals fan’s favorite time of year: the week that the Bengals place Tyler Eifert on season ending injured reserve.  It only took a little over 4 weeks this year, almost a record time.  Fun fact, I bought an Eifert jersey prior to the 2014 season.  He didn’t even make it through the first game that year. Since I purchased the jersey he’ll have played in 24 out of a possible 64 games for the Bengals (including the remainder of the 2017 season).  Many people are saying he’s fallen victim to the infamous Whitty Jersey Curse.  Did I contribute to his inability to stay healthy by purchasing his jersey? (Maybe.). Is it just a coincidence? (Probably.)  Should I grow up and be an adult and stop wearing sports jerseys in general? (Never.)  There’s a pretty good chance that we’ve seen him play his last game as a Bengal.  As an Eifert fan, that’s tough to swallow, but it’s hard to justify keeping a guy around when he’s on the field for less than half of the team’s games.  So instead, fans have to come to terms and do the only thing that’s reasonable: focus on other peoples’ problems to distract us from our own.  Here’s Wake Up With Whitty. Continue reading

Cup Check: Are Baseballs Ruining America’s Pastime?

As summer gives way to fall the MLB postseason is finally upon us. It was a long and grueling regular season filled with errant helmet throws, pointless rules debates, and, worst of all, the Mets. One hot button issue that has taken over the world of contact sports of late has been concussions and the risks they pose for future health concerns. While head trauma is certainly a very real and very scary threat, we witnessed another very scary moment on Tuesday night during the Yankees/Twins Wild Card matchup (at least most guys would consider it scary). I’m hear to bring your attention to another player safety issue that doesn’t get nearly as much press coverage as it deserves: dudes getting hit in the junk. Continue reading

Wake Up With Whitty – 9/30/2017

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. A lot is going on in the sports world right now. The college basketball world has been rocked by scandal, which hits particularly hard if you happen to be a Louisville fan. We’re just a day away from October, which is a huge month for sports. College football teams start to get into the bulk of their conference schedules, MLB playoffs get underway, and the NHL and NBA seasons start up (Wake me up when September ends, am I right?). So go ahead and settle in with your caffeinated beverage of choice. Maybe it’s coffee. Maybe it’s tea. Maybe it’s an energy drink. Maybe it’s something really cool that I don’t even know about. I’m accepting of all ways of life here, unlike one of my coffee-drinking elitist fellow bloggers. Unless you’re one of those people that just wake up naturally energized and don’t need caffeine to get through life. That’s weird. Get out of here with that shit.

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Wake Up With Whitty – 9/16/2017

Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you come in. I was too busy reading last week’s Wake Up With Whitty. Look at me. So young and innocent. So vibrant and happy. So optimistic and full of enthusiasm. So ignorant and naive. A lot has happened since we last met. The Buckeyes were beaten by the Sooners. Baker Mayfield planted an Oklahoma flag right through my heart. The Bengals lost. Twice. People are calling for quarterback changes on both teams. The Reds were officially eliminated from playoff contention (we knew that was coming months ago, but it still stings when it becomes official). Now I sit here, dejected. Jaded. My spirit broken. I hate sports. Here’s Wake Up With Whitty:

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Wake Up With Whitty – 8/26/2017

Hello and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty, where I recap some of the happenings from the past week. As we pointed out in the most recent episode of the Nati Boys podcast, it’s officially fall now that you can find pumpkin spice everything at your local grocery store. Football is also officially here, as a handful of college football teams kick off their seasons today. While there aren’t many matchups of particular note, I’m just happy to finally watch a football game that actually counts. If you’re as excited as I am then sip on your pumpkin spice latte, kick back and enjoy the most recent edition Wake Up With Whitty.

Nobody’s Perfect

The Dodger’s Rich Hill pitched one hell of a game Wednesday night. Hill was perfect through 8 frames, which is the closest we’ve been to a perfect game in a long time. We haven’t seen a perfect game in over 5 years, and Rich Hill was well on his way. Unfortunately for Hill, the 9th inning started off with a throwing error by Logan Forsythe. Perfect game gone.

Luckily for Hill, the no-hitter was still in tact.  He recovered and retired the next three batters, competing the full 9 innings of no-hit baseball.  There was just one problem.  His team failed to score a single run in those 9 innings, and the game went into extra innings.  After a quick 3 up and 3 down by the Dodgers, Hill trotted out to see if he could accomplish the extremely rare extra inning no-hitter.  After getting a first pitch strike, Hill fell behind Pirates’ second baseman Josh Harrison, 2-1.  On the next pitch, Harrison sent the ball over the left field wall.  No-hitter gone.  Shutout gone.  Game over.

Hill did not have of the good fortune of throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history.  He did not manage to complete the 297th no-hitter in MLB history.  But he did pull off a feat that no other pitcher in MLB history has accomplished.  Hill is the only player to ever lose a no-hitter on a walk-off home run.  Lucky him.

Many people felt bad for Hill for the way things ended up for him on Wednesday night, especially due to his lack of run support.  Personally, I think he has nobody to blame but himself.  As a National League pitcher, Hill had plenty of opportunities to generate some offense himself, but instead he turned in a dismal 0-4 performance at the plate.  In his first at bat, he failed to move a runner over on a sacrifice bunt.  He then lined out with the bases loaded and again with a man on second.  Seems to me like he had plenty of opportunity to win it himself.   I guess that’s what you get for expecting someone else to do your work for you.

Celtics/Cavs Swap In Jeopardy?

The blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isiah Thomas to Cleveland could be in jeopardy now, as the Cavs have expressed concern over Thomas’s injured hip.  The Cavs staff did not like what they saw during IT’s physical on Friday, and now the status of the trade is uncertain.  The Cavs would have the right to veto the deal based on a failed physical, meaning Kyrie could be heading back to Cleveland.  I have to imagine Irving’s feeling a lot like Michael Corleone right now: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

My hunch is that Lebron had something to do with this. He probably got word of the Isiah Thomas tweets bashing him from 2010 that some fans dug up after the trade was announced. Lebron’s poor ego probably couldn’t handle sharing a locker room with someone who openly bashed him, even if it was over 7 years ago. He probably told Gilbert to stop this thing from happening by any means necessary.

Whatever ends up happening with all of this, I just hope the jersey burning is over, because that really gets King James triggered. In all fairness, I do agree with him. Burning a player’s jersey is one of the dumbest things you can do, especially if that player was traded instead of leaving on their own volition. Unless maybe that player was a douchey former team captain that tried to fight the team’s goalie in his first game back in his former city. Then by all means, burn his jersey and every memory you ever had of the prick, hypothetically speaking.

Parting Thoughts

Thank you for joining me for another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. As always, be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out the Nati Boys podcast on iTunes. If you dropped the $100 on tonight’s Mayweather/McGregor match, I hope you get your money’s worth. Maybe we’ll even see Conor shock the world. My money’s on Floyd though. See you all next weekend!

It Turns Out Bryce Harper Isn’t Double Jointed After All

Bryce Harper is many things. Great ballplayer, fan favorite, spoiled brat with a bad attitude. Saturday night proved there’s at least one thing he isn’t, and that’s double jointed.

It’s pretty much Baseball 101 that you should step on the front end of the bag at first base. Too much can go wrong when you step on top of the bag, near the back, or side. I guess maybe Bryce missed that part of base running class while he was busy making sure his weird hair cut looked fluffy enough when he takes his helmet off.

The Washington Nationals are still awaiting the results of an MRI to determine the damage done to his knee by the poor base running and inability to look cool while falling down. Bryce is just lucky this happened when he still has a two seasons left to recover before his Unrestricted Free Agency off-season. I would’ve hated for him to have to settle for $350 million rather than the $425 million he’s probably going to ask for.

Wake Up With Whitty – 8/12/2017

Welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty.  It’s mid-August which means football season is right around the corner. Even if it is just the preseason, it’s great to see football back on TV, and it’s even more fun watching everyone overreact to how a specific player performs during two series in a meaningless game. Last night the Bengals defeated the Buccaneers 23-12. Based on that performance I think it’s safe for Bengals fans to start booking hotels in Minneapolis for that first weekend in February. At this point I don’t see any way the Bengals don’t make it to the Super Bowl this year. And once you’re done finalizing your travel arrangements, be sure to come back here and let me know what you think of this week’s Wake Up With Whitty. Continue reading

Hind Sight is 20/20: The Reds Won the 2015 Todd Frazier Trade

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There are certain things that will live forever in my memory as a Cincinnati sports fan, both good and bad.  Kenyon Martin breaking his leg at the end of his senior season.  Jay Bruce’s walk-off homer to clinch the division.  Carson Palmer launching a bomb to Chris Henry in the Bengals first playoff game in more than a decade, and then immediately being carted off the field.  Todd Frazier winning the Home Run Derby on our home field at GABP during the 2015 All-Star festivities.

Todd was a fan favorite for the Reds, and the fan outrage was real when he got flipped for a few prospects, notably Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza.  Frazier is a very likable guy, always with a smile on his face, and he really seemed to connect with the fans in Cincinnati.  I vividly remember one of the local news channels running a story about an elderly lady, who had been a Reds fan her entire life, saying that she would no longer be watching games since they traded him.

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Zack Cozart, Not Dodger Fans to Blame for Bench Warming Seager

SBNation -The rosters for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game have been released and, for the most part, there aren’t many glaring errors. Of course, you’ll have fans of various teams claiming that their underrated star player got snubbed in an egregious manner and the issue should be addressed by a very distinguished panel, but those arguments normally come and go without much of an issue. However, most of howling about any sort of snub is coming from Los Angeles after Corey Seager was only given a reserve spot as an all-star and Justin Turner was sent to the Final Vote.

Now, you might be thinking “Hey, it doesn’t matter how you get in the All-Star Game, it only matters that you get in,” right? That’s probably true for Seager, but with the way Turner has been playing so far this season, you could make the argument that he shouldn’t have to go through the Final Vote process. The person who is arguing that point the loudest is Kenley Jansen, who didn’t mince words when it came to his opinion on the matter. Jansen is going to Miami, but he told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he blames the Dodger fans for not doing a good enough job of voting for Turner.

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There was a large contingent of Dodgers fans that were upset that their second-rate (hope people can take a joke) shortstop didn’t win the All-Star Game fan vote over Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart and his donkey campaign led by Joey Votto. A lot of people were quick to point the finger at Joey and Zack for using the donkey gimmick to win the swing states. Not only did Zack win, he won in relatively convincing fashion. I’m no expert in ASG voting history, but winning by 86,117 doesn’t fit the narrative the Dodgers fans (and players, stay tuned) are trying to present as a fringe guy getting the edge on the deserving All-Star just because a future Hall of Famer promised to buy the now-All-Star a donkey.  Continue reading