Will Reds’ Bailey ever live up to contract?


By Jim Naveau - [email protected]



Fans have second-guessed athletes’ big contracts since the days when $100,000 a year was a big contract.

Mix big contracts with a lack of success and the second-guessing intensifies.

With the news last week that Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey will have yet another surgery on his pitching arm and will almost certainly start the season on the disabled list, Bailey probably doesn’t need to set his thermostat any higher. He can feel the warmth emanating from the opinions of Reds fans.

The Reds signed Bailey, who at the time had a 49-45 career record, to a six-year, $106 million contract in 2014.

Since Aug. 7, 2014, Bailey has pitched 34 innings and won two games.

While there were other factors, such as Joey Votto’s contract, his deal was a reason the Reds decided they couldn’t afford to try to keep Johnny Cueto.

Since Aug. 7, 2014, Cueto has won 36 games and pitched 503 innings. He signed with the San Francisco Giants for six years and $130 million before last season. He won 18 games in the first year of that deal.

To be fair, the only major league baseball team that has never swung and missed on a long-term contract for a pitcher would be one which has never offered one. Also, lots of mediocre starting pitchers (think Mike Leake) have gotten big money.

But it feels like Bailey has made as many comebacks from injuries in the last few years as Tiger Woods and is moving up on Kerry Wood on the all-time trips to the disabled list rankings.

A few other items:

NOT IMPRESSED: USA Today projects the Reds to win 66 games this season, which is two fewer than they won last year.

It also ranks the Cincinnati Bengals as the No. 26 team in the NFL going into next season and the Cleveland Browns last at No. 32.

IMPRESSED: The Indians were projected to win the American League Central and finish the regular season with 95 wins by USA Today.

NOT IMPRESSED: The Browns announced that they will lower season ticket prices for 40 percent of the seats for home games and for 90 percent of the upper deck seats for the 2017 season.

The announcement was, not surprisingly, met with considerable sarcasm on the internet.

My favorite was from a northeast Ohio fan: “Still way too expensive for high school football. I thought those went for about 6 bucks a ticket.”

IMPRESSED: Wilmington’s Jarron Cumberland was the best player I saw on any of the teams Lima Senior played during its postseason run to the state championship game last year.

The 6-foot, 5-inch Cumberland, who averaged 29 points a game and is Wilmington’s career scoring leader, has also been impressive during his freshman season at the University of Cincinnati.

Going into today’s game against SMU, Cumberland is averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds a game for the No. 11 Bearcats (22-2). He averages more minutes than anyone but the five starters and is shooting 47 percent on field goals and 39 percent on 3-pointers.

BUT THEY WEREN’T FIGHTING?: Fifteen players from Toledo Bowsher and Toledo Scott have been suspended for two games after an incident which caused a boys basketball game between the two schools last week to be stopped before it was over.

The trouble started when a Scott player committed a “hard foul” on a Bowsher player who was attempting a dunk.

Bench players from both teams and some fans went onto the court and the officials declared the game over.

The Scott player who tackled the Bowsher player was called for a flagrant foul and ejected, which is an automatic two-game suspension. The other 14 suspensions were imposed by Toledo Public Schools’ administration.

Toledo deputy superintendent of schools Brian Murphy told the Toledo Blade the suspensions were not the result of fighting, though. He said there were “no fights that took place that we were aware of.”

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By Jim Naveau

[email protected]

Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.

Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.

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