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Reds drop 7th straight as Finnegan struggles in season debut

Published: Saturday, April 14, 2018 @ 3:54 PM

Price on Reds’2-12 start

Brandon Finnegan’s streak of inactivity ended, but the Cincinnati Reds run of inability continued Saturday afternoon before a drizzle-drenched crowd of 19,213 at Great American Ball Park.

Pitching for the first time since June 26 last year, Finnegan allowed five runs on six hits and four walks on his 25th birthday as the Reds dropped their seventh consecutive game by falling to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1.

“It wasn’t real sharp. He had a hard time getting things going,” Reds manager Bryan Price said of Finnegan. ” I was hoping he would be a little more sharp and command the zone a little bit better and be able to pitch off his slide-step delivery. But he looked healthy and had three pitches up around the plate. I would anticipate things getting better each time.”

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Finnegan, who suffered injuries to both shoulders last season, walked the first two batters he faced and the final one, exiting after 4 1/3 innings.

St. Louis No. 8 hitter Greg Garcia hit his first two home runs of the season as part of a 3-for-4 afternoon that also included a double. Garcia launched a two-out solo shot in the second inning for a 2-0 lead and hit a two-out, two-run blast in the fourth that upped the advantage to 4-0.

“I thought I threw the ball pretty well besides the first two batters,” Finnegan said. “I definitely had a lot of jitters going. I thought I made a lot of good pitches, just two bad ones and they both got hit out. That’s the life of playing in Great American Ball Park. Sometimes when you make mistakes they’re going to capitalize on them, and he did on both of those.”

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After Tommy Pham led off the St. Louis fifth with a soft single, Jose Martinez added a run-scoring bloop double and Finnegan walked the next batter, Marcell Ozuna, prompting Reds manager Bryan Price to go to his bullpen.

“Everything that can go against right now is going against us,” Finnegan said. “It seems like everybody else is getting real lucky against us. All their weak hits are finding a hole and ours aren’t. Nobody really hit the ball hard except for those two home runs.”

Austin Brice gave up one run in 1 2/3 innings before Dylan Floro came on to make his Reds debut with a perfect seventh and eighth. Floro was the 17th pitcher the Reds have used this season.

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The Cincinnati offense continued its struggles, collecting just three hits against St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas, who is back in the majors after three seasons in Japan.

Mikolas (2-0) struck out four and walked two in seven innings, with Tucker Barnhart doing the only damage with his second home run of the season in the fifth. Scooter Gennett added a pair of singles off Mikolas to extend his GABP hitting streak to 15 games, which is tied for the fifth longest since the park opened in 2003.

Gennett delivered a third single leading off the ninth, but the Reds left the bases loaded as the Reds fell to to 2-12, their worst 14-game start to a season since 1931, when they finished 58-96.

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“It’s a tough spot to be in,” Price said. “In the same respect, you have to deal with it. We’re all adults. We’re all getting paid to do a job and that job is to go out there and do the best of our ability and perform and stay together and show some spirit, some heart, some integrity in the way we go about our business.

“We will continue to push it and continue to strive to get better every day and put a better product on the field, a better performance,” he added. “All you can do is just go out there and grind it out every day and work toward turning it around.”

The Reds will try to snap their losing streak Sunday against the Cardinals when Homer Bailey takes the mound against Carlos Martinez in a 1:10 p.m. start.

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New Bengals linebacker gets his old jersey number at surprising cost

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:18 PM


            ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Preston Brown #52 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates stopping the Atlanta Falcons on fourth and one during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Preston Brown #52 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates stopping the Atlanta Falcons on fourth and one during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

When Preston Brown walked through the Bengals locker room for the first time after signing a one-year, $5 million contract, he noticed his number — 52 — already was assigned to Brandon Bell.

“I’ll have a talk with him and see what we can work out,” Brown said.

But that conversation never happened.

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“When I showed up last week (for the start of voluntary offseason workouts), I already had it,” Brown said.

Bell was just as surprised was Brown, but he said he understood.

“It’s a veteran thing,” Bell said. “I get it. They say we’re still rookies. I don’t mind it too much. It is what it is.”

›› RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft

Bell wore 11 in college so he didn’t have an attachment to 52. This year he will wear 51, which belonged to Kevin Minter last year.

Even though Bell didn’t have a say in the swap, Brown said he still plans to thank him.

“I’m going to have to take him out to dinner or something,” Brown said.

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“I’ll take him up on that offer,” Bell said. “A nice steak would be great.”

Cordy Glenn, whom the Bengals obtained in a trade with Buffalo last month, also will wear the same No. 77 he wore with the Bills. That number, worn by Andrew Whitworth from 2008-2016, was not assigned to anyone last year.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use parrot to deliver 4th-round pick in NFL draft

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:12 PM

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use a parrot to deliver its fourth-round draft pick Saturday.
Keith Tsuji/Getty Images
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use a parrot to deliver its fourth-round draft pick Saturday.(Keith Tsuji/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be winging it during the latter stages of the NFL draft.

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The NFL announced Monday that the Bucs will have a parrot deliver its fourth-round selection from the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium to an announcer during Saturday’s televised Day 3 draft show.

The parrot, a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa, is based at the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Hudson, Florida.

The bird is not the first animal to participate in an NFL draft. Last year, an orangutan aided in the Colts announcing their fourth-round selection of offensive lineman Zach Banner, the NFL reported on its website. 

Reaction on the Buccaneers’ upcoming pick ranged from humor to squawks of surprise. One website, JoeBucsFan, posted a video of The Three Stooges’ 1936 comedy short, “Disorder in the Court,” where a parrot is figured prominently in the climactic court scene.

Undoubtedly, some fans will post the iconic parrot sketch from “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

Regardless, the Bucs will be giving the NFL the bird on Saturday.

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Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for 'joke' prom date gun photo 

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:05 AM

Former NFL Kicker Jay Feely Apologizes For Posing With Gun In Prom Photo

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely said he was trying to be funny when he posed in a Twitter photo standing between his daughter and her prom date holding a pistol, but in the wake of the Parkland shootings in February, social media posters did not appreciate the joke, WFLA reported.

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Feely, who played in the NFL from 2001 to 2014 and is an analyst for CBS Sports, apologized Sunday. 

In the photo, Feely has his left arm around his daughter and a pistol in his right hand at his side. Next to Feely is his daughter’s prom date, who is smirking. 

"Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom," Feely wrote, using the hashtag "#BadBoys."

The reaction from some on social media was swift and critical.

“Oh yay -- American dads have kicked off the season of 'let’s pretend I’m going to shoot my daughter’s date for impugning her chastity' pics," tweeted Shannon Watts, who is the founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

“The Stoneman Douglas shooting was 2 months ago,” author Geraldine DeRuiter posted on Twitter. “But sure, let's make jokes about murdering high schoolers.”

The backlash was vocal enough for Feely to issue an apology Sunday on Twitter.

“The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking," he wrote. "I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue."

Some Twitter users defended Feely’s post, noting that he was referencing the movie “Bad Boys 2.”

“He’s referencing a scene in the movie #BadBoys2,” Twitter user Mike McLeod wrote. “The kid knows it’s a joke -- it’s not pointed at anyone and barely in the picture. I’m sure there’s a picture with his daughter and just the date also. This isn’t anything to blow out of proportion.

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Bengals RB Mixon hoping Browns don’t take Baker Mayfield

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 1:25 PM


            PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after Steven Parker #10 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores a 46 yard touchdown because of a fumble by Sony Michel #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after Steven Parker #10 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores a 46 yard touchdown because of a fumble by Sony Michel #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon said he does have any insight as to where his former Oklahoma teammate, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, will get drafted this week.

But there’s one place Mixon is rooting against.

“Hell no I don’t want to play Baker twice,” he said when asked if he hopes Cleveland takes Mayfield.

›› RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft

“I want him on my team,” Mixon added. ” I mean, I know it’s not going to work like that, but at the end of the day, wherever he goes I just hope we ain’t playing him. That’s just what I’ve seen in the past. I know it’s a different level, but I’m sure wherever he ends up he’ll make an impact right away and I’m sure he’ll be that ‘it’ factor that team is looking for.”

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