The Best Day of the Year
The countdown to Cincinnati Reds Opening Day is officially in single digits and for many of you, by the time you are reading this, the Reds may have even already played a few games. Opening Day is a tradition like no other for the Queen City. It is an unofficial holiday (official in my book) and calls for many kids and adults to forget school or work for a single day and focus on the most important thing in life, Reds baseball. The Reds have begun every season at home with few exceptions since 1876. Along with Opening Day, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade has been a tradition since the early 1920s. If you consider yourself a Reds fan and haven’t been down to witness all of the Opening Day events in person, I highly recommend doing so, as there truly is not a better tradition. Cincinnati has been and always will be a baseball town with history unlike any other city in the United States. You can catch me at the ballpark all summer long and I am more than eager to continue being a part of the best tradition in baseball on Thursday. Did I forget to mention that Skyline Chili Nachos were added to the ballpark menu?
Votto’s Last Ride?
This isn’t even something I like to think about. I won’t dive into statistics or how much this is going to hurt when it happens, as I truly hope he has a healthy season and returns in 2024. If anyone is good enough to rebound at 40 years old, Joey Votto is the guy to do so. With Encarnacion-Strand eagerly waiting to take over time at first base, I think the chances of Joey being in a Reds uniform in 2024 are pretty slim, but I wouldn’t completely rule it out even with the contract stipulations.
I can remember back to Joey signing a 10-year contract for $225,000,000 and it has been one fun ride thus far. Any person who understands baseball will tell you that Joey has been worth every penny ever spent on this contract too. He is one of the best baseball players to ever play the game and he will eventually be in the Hall of Fame. Whether this is his final season in Cincinnati or not, enjoy this Opening Day and watching number 19 take the field, as it might be your last time seeing him in a Reds uniform in March.
Glass Eaters Part 2
Recently I have discussed the many free agency additions and losses to our beloved Bengals franchise. During the past two years, Cincinnati has managed to be one of the best teams in football, but have fell just shy of bringing home a Lombardi. In order for Cincinnati to win a Super Bowl, it is clear to see that the front office believes the offensive line needs to improve and have depth. With the recent addition of Orlando Brown, let’s dive into what this offensive line will currently look like in 2023:
Orlando Brown – Welcome to Cincinnati, Orlando! Cincinnati was desperate for a franchise left tackle and they hit a “homerun” with the signing of Brown.
Cordell Volson – Cordell will look to improve again in 2023 as the starting left guard.
Ted Karras – The former Super Bowl winner will run it back at the center position again in 2023. When you look up “Glass Eater” in the dictionary, a picture of Ted is right below it.
Alex Cappa – Alex Cappa will return as the right guard for Cincinnati and hopes to avoid any major injuries. Cappa was fantastic after the first few weeks of the season.
La’el Collins/Jonah Williams – This is the weak part of the offensive line in my eyes as of right now (right tackle). Jonah already wants out of Cincinnati, as he only wants to play left tackle. Collins was phenomenal at the position at one time, but his recent injury and injury history is something that the front office will certainly need to address.
While there is still room for depth and improvement, I can remember back to Joe’s rookie season playing behind Jonah Williams, Michael Jordan, Trey Hopkins, Alex Redmond, and Bobby Hart. We have come a long way!
Miles McBride joins Matt’s Take
Miles “Deuce” McBride kindly joined Matt’s Take this week for a Q&A. Miles attended Moeller during High School and was a two-sport athlete. He was the quarterback of the football team and was the star athlete on the basketball court. After an unfortunate injury, Miles decided to focus on basketball and later became a member of the West Virginia Mountaineers basketball team. Deuce quickly proved to Bob Huggins and the state of West Virginia how serious he was about taking his game to the next level and quickly became a fan favorite. After his time in Morgantown, Miles was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to the New York Knicks.
Being a star athlete runs in McBride’s blood, as his family is known for their athletic dominance. His father played basketball for Xavier University and his mother played tennis for Ohio State. His brother plays basketball in Germany and his sister plays volleyball for the Mountaineers. Miles is surely making his family and the entire city of Cincinnati proud and it has been a privilege watching him progress in his career.
Q: What was your favorite High School sports moment while attending Moeller?
A: “I would say winning two state championship were very memorable moments, but after going unbeaten my senior year and winning that state championship with some of my closest friends, it has to be my favorite high school memory at Moeller.”
Q: As you were raised in Cincinnati, do you still follow Cincinnati sports?
A: “Yes. I keep up with Cincy sports, I always rep Cincinnati no matter how the teams are playing. I’ve been following the Bengals, the Bearcats and Musketeers, and hopefully this summer I catch a few Reds games.”
Q: As you are someone from the area who has made it to the professional level, what advice would you give to those who look up to you?
A: “I would say that the love for the game, being dedicated, and being disciplined are all attributes that are going to take you to the next level. Understanding that there is a process to get better and learn from past failures, while continuing to gain confidence in your game because you know you put the work in to get better each and every day.”
Q: What are your overall career goals?
A: “To play in the NBA for as long as I can and making an impact on winning whether I’m on the court or not, while being a role model for younger players.”
Q: Do you and Bob Huggins still stay in touch?
A: “Huggs does a great job with keeping in touch with most of his former players. With my sister being at WVU, I’m still able to get to campus and support her, as well as catch up with Huggs and talk about my two years playing under him.” Q: Would you ever be interested in coaching after your playing career?
A: “I definitely have some interest in coaching/scouting/front office. I feel like I have a great basketball mind and I love sharing my knowledge with others, as well as learning more about the game. The game has taken me so far in life and it’s hard to see me being totally disconnected from it after I’m done playing.”
Q: If you could sit and watch a game with any past or present athlete, who would you choose and why?
A: “Wilt Chamberlain. I got to see the 100-point game. It truly feels that the numbers and records he put up were video-game like, so I feel like witnessing that live would be a very cool experience.” Q: I always ask this to those that I interview from the area: Is Joey Votto a Hall of Famer?
A: “I would have to say yes, I think there are stats that could back it up.”