Doc's morning line: Dodgers exemplify difference between MLB's haves and have nots

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The Reds can’t beat the Dodgers, said Johnny Obviously, while simultaneously admiring an eastern sunrise and water flowing downstream. The reasons for the futility might be less apparent.

After last night’s rote 4-8 drubbing, the Club is 0-6 v. LA, outscored 42-13. Not close, in other words. It looked like what it was: Broadway playing Peoria.

But the Pirates can beat the Dodgers. The Bucs swept them in three games three weeks ago. The Giants held them to four runs in three games two weeks back.

The Dodgers are a good example of what money can buy. They’re equally good at growing their own. But they’re 9-9 in June. Their hitters are smart and patient. They lead the NL in walks and are 2nd in on-base. But Mookie Betts, arguably their best all-around hitter, is out. And once you get past the middle of the order, the bottom half is order-nary. 

Unless they’re playing the Reds.

MLB’s split between Haves and Have Nots could not be more plain. It extends to the Reds record generally. Against current sub-.500 teams, they’re 11-11. Against everyone else? 12-34. In those 46 games, they’ve been outscored by 85 runs.

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How many Reds pitchers might the Dodgers covet? You could suggest Hunter Greene. I’d suggest their pitching depth is littered with young arms who, for the moment anyway, have better numbers than Greene. Luis Castillo? Maybe, if a current rotation member goes down with an injury.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the MLB game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the MLB game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Right now, a healthy LA can offer Buehler, Kershaw, Urias, Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin. The last two relatively unheralded guys are a combined 17-0. Andrew Heaney, fresh off the IL, is their nominal 6th starter. He’d be the Reds No.1.    For LA, Luis Castillo would be just another pearl on the necklace.     

Hitting is a slightly different story. The Dodgers wouldn’t mind India, Drury or Pham. But of those three, who gets everyday time? Point is, it’s as if the two franchises are playing on different planets.

So why not put them there?      

It’s not a new idea. It wouldn’t be relegation, though I’d be all for that. Make Reds, Bucs, Royals etc. earn that rev-share money. Incentivize owners to pull their weight. Not gonna happen.

Nor would splitting the winners from the losers, divisionally. But there’s lots of merit to the idea. Scramble the 30 teams. Divide them by winning percentages over the last decade. Half to the Champions League, half to the Cheapskates League.        

Tie their welfare revenues to their success. The more they win, the bigger their slice of rev-sharing pie. Reconfigure the leagues every five years, again based on winning percentages.

Make postseason success more lucrative for the Champions, but find incentives for the honestly striving Cheapskates. Draft order, a bonus pool of money for free-agent signings. Something.

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This might accomplish a few things. One, it might keep Cheapskates fans engaged all summer. The 11-11 Reds of 2022 would still be on the margins of a pennant race. This Rich Man/Poor Man economics that define baseball might be altered, if only slightly. The Cheapskates champion very likely would get whacked by a Champion in the World Series. But the event would come with an underdog rooting interest that could be compelling.

Who thought the Reds would beat the A’s in ’90, let alone sweep them?

It has obvious flaws. Marginal Champions could tank, for a chance to be the best Cheapskate and get a World Series opportunity they might never get otherwise. Plus, the whole notion is too crazy to earn any consideration.

But it’s a thought. One more thought than MLB has, to solve its Strong-Weak problem.

Now, then . . .

THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT is a $1 million winner-take-all, 64-team, single-elimination event starting next month. Rosters will feature players who played college ball together. Xavier will have a team. UC will, too. Essentially, it’s an old-timers event with players you might or might not recall from their college glory days.

It’s an OK idea. I wouldn’t pay to watch it -- $25 a session, $100 for all four, at Cintas Center – but I’m Johnny Thinwallet. But you might.

Here’s the problem. You might say it’s a tiny problem, or no problem at all. Given the times we’re living in, I would disagree.

The Xavier team is called Zip ‘Em Up.

This is a problem.

The Urban Dictionary defines zip ‘em up as “to violently or non-violently silence a person after being disrespected.’’

We all understand that the X team doesn’t favor violence. Some of us think that a better name could have been chosen. Probably, the people of Uvalde, Tex. – and about a thousand other places in America right now – would agree.

“We got a whole bunch of gangsters in our locker room. Not thugs, but tough guys on the court. We went out there and zipped em up at the end of the game. That’s our motto — zip ’em up.” Tu Holloway said that immediately after the ugliest incident in the history of the Crosstown Shootout. You really want your school’s name represented in that fashion again?        

Context matters, sure. But not in this case. Not with what’s going on in our country with alarming frequency. Ditch the name. You can do better.

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I WORK OUT AT PLANET FITNESS. It’s an exceptional deal ($11 a month) if you only need machines and free weights. Each aerobics machine has a small TV affixed to its frame. All the TVs have the same channels, including AMC, HGTV, a couple ESPNs and three news channels: Fox, CNN and MSNBC. It probably comes as a shock to you that I don’t watch Fox.

Well, a few weeks ago I noticed that CNN and MSNBC were no longer available, and Fox still was. This was no mistake. The two left-leaning stations still are off the air at the gym. Fox still is not.

I’m gonna ask management why this is. Depending on the answer, I might or might not be finding a new gym.          

It’s not that I need TV to use the aerobics machines. It’s that I don’t appreciate censorship, even at the gym. I’d say the same if Fox were off the viewing list. If mgmt. tells me that members complained about the agony of having to skip past “those’’ channels to get to “their’’ channel, well, YMCA here I come.

A pair of deer fawns look over their shoulders at Abilene State Park June 17, 2022.
A pair of deer fawns look over their shoulders at Abilene State Park June 17, 2022.

DEER ARE EATING MY HOUSE. At least the decorations. A few hundred dollars worth of impatiens and knockout roses, gone. I mean, Bambi comes right up to the damned window. I Googled remedies that don’t involve a license to kill. Vinegar topped the list, applied with a spray bottle.

Question, Mobsters: Does this work? Is there a better remedy?

QUOTE, UNQUOTE, from PGA commish Jay Monahan:

“The PGA Tour, an American institution, can't compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf. We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It's an irrational threat, one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game."

That said, Monahan has been forced to play catch-up.

In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, the PGA Tour detailed about $54 million in purse increases for eight existing tournaments.

Then this, from world #1 Scottie Scheffler:

"I don't know how much money I've made this year, but it's definitely more than I deserve for whacking a little white golf ball around. For me, the memories that I have playing on this tour and the dreams I have of wanting to be on this tour, it can't be replaced by anything financial.’’     

Thank you.

AND NOW . . .

Imbiber Dave lounges around.

I’m developing an impressive list of new places that I need to check out this summer, but I also have quite a few places that I simply haven’t seen in two years. It’s time to change that.

We have some amazing hotel lounges and bars here, which are perfect places to start your evening, particularly when you have guests visiting from out of town. Our evening started at D Burnham’s at the Renaissance for a tasty Sazarac or Manhattan. I couldn’t wait to host my friends at Mira’s, which you should add to your list if you’ve never been. Jose Salazar is a gifted chef, has an amazing team, and tapas are a perfect way to share a meal. My goal is to bring enough people such that we can essentially order the menu, and then double back for our favorites.

We luckily stopped just short of needing mechanical assistance to roll us back out to the street and mustered enough strength to enjoy a post dinner cocktail. It was a beautiful night, and luckily there are tons of outdoor options. Sundry & Vice and Low Spark have amazing cocktails, and there are tons of great bars like Kruegers and Mechanical Pins if the vibe is more casual.

If your crew happens to catch a second wind, you may find yourself at the finest of joints like Rhinehaus or Japps. Time to enjoy the summer!


Hey Michelle is everywhere all the time

Whatcha doing this weekend?

Soul Pocket ~ Get your dancing shoes on because one of Cincy's favorite bands is hitting the stage at Fountain Square on Friday 7-11.

Performance Dog of Ohio ~ Friday at 6:30 Paws in the Park at Tower Park in  Ft. Thomas - a pooch parade, and will showcase a unique, fun-filled show. There will also be food, beer trucks and live music. 

Hyde Park Blast ~ Saturday in Hyde Park Square from 7am-Midnight is a day packed with fun benefiting The Cure Starts Now! Starts with the 4 mile run, kid run, cycling and more ending with the block party with three great bands. This is a fantastic day. Check out the website for more details.

 Pride Weekend ~ Rainbows, music and fun all weekend with the Kick Off Party Friday on Court St. from 5-8 with food, swag, music and drinks (ticketed event). The big parade is Saturday at 11 starting downtown and ending at Sawyer Point with festivities. So either jump in the parade or line the streets for a ton of entertainment. 

New cocktails and bites in town~ Frankie’s Sips & Savories in Garfield Pl. offering tasty cocktails, good bites and a fun atmosphere with inside and outside seating. 

TUNE O’ THE DAY . . . Folks wanna know what I’m going to do with myself come July 1. Well. . .

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Paul Daugherty on the Los Angeles Dodgers and their payroll dwarfing the Cincinnati Reds MLB