Sports Today: Will the Bengals offense show up in Minnesota?

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:22 AM

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton was asked about criticism of his play during the team's 0-2 start, and coach Marvin Lewis talked about his job security.

The Cincinnati Bengals play the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. 

They probably won’t win — “they” being the Bengals, of course. 

The Vikings rank sixth in the NFL according to Football Outsiders with a top eight offense and defense. 

The Bengals are No. 20 overall — 21st on offense and 19th on defense in rankings that are adjusted for strength of opponent. 

Beyond that, this team has not shown the ability to play above itself, at least not for more than a half. 

It’s nice the Vikings bring back former Bengals like coach Mike Zimmer and cornerback Terence Newman because otherwise it would be pretty hard to drum up storylines. ›› Zimmer says Marvin Lewis should be allowed to coach Bengals as long as he wants

(Although ESPN helped with this ridiculous story ranking the Browns ahead of the Bengals in terms of desirability of the head coaching job if they come open after the season.) 

At full strength, the Bengals could certainly give the Vikings a game if not beat them. 

Still banged up, though, it’s hard to see that happening. 

The defense isn’t likely to have a very good day. 

I will be curious to see if the offense can come back with a respectable showing after that embarrassment against the Bears

This is another chance for Andy Dalton to be more than just another average quarterback. He could actually do something to overcome the various adversities his team has been facing, but history says he probably won’t. 

Score: Vikings 28, Bengals 10 

I guess it’s funny because this is the time of year we start writing a lot about guys playing for their jobs. 

All indications are there has been no time this season when Dalton’s starting status has been in jeopardy, but one has to think that will change if/when the Marvin Lewis era comes to an end. 

He’ll at least have to earn the job for a new mentor, right? 

Anyway, there’s a little intrigue for you. 

We often pretend that everything is static in sports, especially the higher levels. Once a player reaches a certain level, he can’t exceed it. He’ll just play at that level until age or injury necessitates a decline. 

I’m tempted to say Dalton is what he is. He has been better overall the last two seasons than he was before 2015, but he hasn’t been as good as he was in 2015 when everything was about as close to perfect as it gets in this league (until he got hurt). 

Maybe he can still get better. Maybe a new voice in the locker room would make a difference. 

RELATED: How the Bengals can still get something out of the end of this season

He’s good enough physically to succeed, but has he stalled out mentally? He’s not efficient enough in his decisions or his throws to overcome being just average as a passer and scrambler. 

I’d like to see him get some real competition at some point to see what that brings out. 

The nice thing about the current CBA, which has been a disaster for the on-field product, is that it allows teams to carry even a highly drafted quarterback along with a veteran without breaking the bank. 

You could take a quarterback in the first or second round two or three years in a row and see who develops without having to make a decision until rookie deals start running out. 

Not enough teams take advantage of that, whether they are pushing their aging starter or just waiting to see who might emerge from a group of young prospects… 

We got our first chance to talk to some Dayton Flyers since they lost to Penn, and there weren’t a lot of concrete answers. 

That’s probably fair, though.

I think with so many new faces, figuring out who needs to be where and when is just going to take some time. 

I’m also willing to believe with a lot of young guys getting big minutes, sometimes they think they’re playing hard and they really aren’t. 

Sometimes it takes time to learn there are some higher gears to access, and they need to be accessed for a longer period of time. 

And, of course, Anthony Grant was correct to point out some of his veterans have been inconsistent, too

The return of one of the older guys with experience — Xeyrius Williams — could help both physically and mentally, too… 

Meanwhile, the high school basketball season is starting to heat up. 

We’ve got a good group of high-scoring Division I prospects on the boys’ side and at least a pair of highly regarded freshmen in the girls game. 

Marc Pendleton featured one of the latter in a story this week: Mickayla Perdue of Springfield. 

She already broke the school single-game scoring record for the Wildcats, who are 1-2 after losing to Centerville on Wednesday night. 

Springfield fr. Mickayla Perdue has been an anticipated sensation in the rebuilding of Springfield High School girls basketball despite a decisive loss at Centerville on Wed., Dec. 13, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

She’s been offered by Detroit. 

The other freshman already making headlines is Bree Hall, who is leading Wayne in scoring at 10.6 points per game. Hall’s scholarship offers already include Ohio State and Michigan State. 

RELATED: Daughter’s request leads to coaching change at Wayne

Trotwood-Madison senior Shai McGruder is leading the GWOC in scoring at 24.5 points per game. She’s signed with New Mexico. 

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Who are the candidates to be the next Reds manager?

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 3:13 PM

Former Reds Barry Larkin (11), Eric Davis (44) and Paul O'Neill pose with the World Series trophy during a 25th anniversary celebration of the 1990 World Series championship on Friday, April 24, 2015, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff
Former Reds Barry Larkin (11), Eric Davis (44) and Paul O'Neill pose with the World Series trophy during a 25th anniversary celebration of the 1990 World Series championship on Friday, April 24, 2015, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff)

If members of the Cincinnati Reds front office read the Facebook comments during their search for the next Reds manager, they’ll look at everyone from Barry Larkin to Pete Rose to Chris Sabo, Sean Casey and even Dusty Baker.

One of those names might be a legitimate candidate, but it’s too early to tell who the Reds will hire as a replacement for Bryan Price, who was fired on Thursday in his fifth season. Reds General Manager Dick Williams did not put a timetable on when the Reds would hire their next manager.

“We will be undergoing a thorough and exhaustive process to identify the next full-time manager,” Williams said. “We have good internal candidates, but that will be a process we need to undergo, and it makes more sense to do that toward the end of the season because any internal candidates, for the most part, are not going to be available until then.”

» RELATED: Williams says players need to have a ‘sense of urgency’

Below is a glance at some of the names that might get thrown around in the coming months:

Larkin: Fans have clamored for years for the Reds to hire Larkin, who played shortstop for the Reds from 1986-2004 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. Of course, Larkin has never been a manager at any level, and according to a report, he angered some in the Reds organization about his comments about some young players in the organization saying they want to see him be the Reds manager one day. Price was still the manager at the time. Larkin is in his third season as a special assistant to the general manager.

» COMMENTARY: Marcus Hartman: Firing Bryan Price shows winning might actually matter to Cincinnati Reds

Eric Davis: If you’re throwing 1990 World Champions into the mix, you might as well mention Davis, who has been a special assistant to the GM since 2008.

Lou Piniella: And if you’re throwing Larkin and Davis into the mix, you might as well mention the manager of the 1990 Reds. He’s now a special advisor to baseball operations.

Jim Riggleman: He’ll start his stint as interim Reds manager on Friday in St. Louis. He has 12 years of experience in the big leagues but only one winning season.

» REACTION: Social media reacts to firing of Reds fire manager Bryan Price

Pat Kelly: Kelly will serve as bench coach under Riggleman. He was the manager of the Triple-A Louisville Bats and managed Double-A Pensacola the last three seasons.

Buddy Bell: Here’s another name in the Reds front office with managing experience. Bell managed the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals but had only one winning season in nine years.

» MCCOY: Firing Price won’t fix Reds’ issues

Joe Girardi: The longtime New York Yankees manager, who lost his job in 2017, likely will hear his name mentioned in connection to this job. In the category of recently-fired managers who deserve another chance, he might be the best name out there.

John Farrell: The former Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox manager, who won a World Series in 2013 with Boston, joined the Reds in March as a scout.

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White Sox pitcher in critical condition after suffering brain hemorrhage

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 2:37 PM

The jersey of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar hung on the fence of the bullpen during Saturday's game.
Jon Durr/Getty Images
The jersey of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar hung on the fence of the bullpen during Saturday's game.(Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox officials said reliever Danny Farquhar remained in critical condition Sunday after suffering a brain hemorrhage during Friday night’s game, The Chicago Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he has kept his players advised of Farquhar’s condition but did not go into too much detail out of respect for the pitcher’s family.

“We made sure they knew that he’s still in critical condition but stable and that the best thing for us to do would be to give them space,” Renteria told the Tribune. “Let the medical staff do what they can do and then at the appropriate time, everybody will let us know when it’s OK to go ahead and reach out and go see him.”

Farquhar, 31, is at Rush University Medical Center. He passed out in the dugout during the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Houston Astros, ESPN reported. He regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital.

The White Sox said Saturday that additional testing revealed the brain hemorrhage was caused by a ruptured aneurysm, ESPN reported.

“Besides him being a great teammate and part of this brotherhood, I have to be respectful of his family,” pitcher Carson Fulmer told the Tribune. “He’s a brother, he’s one of our teammates and we’re all here for him and his family.”

Renteria said Saturday that Farquhar "had a strong heartbeat, a good pulse and was breathing well'' when he left the stadium, ESPN reported."Nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens," White Sox pitcher James Shields said. “When one of your brothers goes down, it's not very fun to watch. He's such a resilient human being. We are praying for him. We hope everything goes well.

"He's got a long way to go and he's fighting. One thing we know in this clubhouse is Farky is a fighter."

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WATCH: Oakland A's Sean Manaea pitches no-hitter against Red Sox

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21:  Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea threw the first no-hitter of the 2018 season Saturday, leading the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

>> Watch the final out here

According to The Associated Press, Manaea also made history by becoming "the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years." The last one, thrown by Seattle pitcher Chris Bosio, happened April 22, 1993.

>> Read more trending news 

"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth, and I was like, 'Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'" said Manaea, who struck out 10 batters, the AP reported.


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Dunbar runs away with Edwin Moses Relays boys title

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:55 PM

            The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

All Dunbar needs to do is follow Jalani Allen’s lead in its quest to ring up yet another boys state track and field team championship.

That’s the Wolverines’ goal every spring season. The names change over the years, but the goal always remains the same.

“We hope to go for back-to-back (state championships),” said Allen during the 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. “That’s certainly the goal. It’s very exciting when it gets around to this time of the year. This will be one (team) to watch.”

Allen did his part as a member of four winning relays.

Dunbar (77 points) won six events and captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third.

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored. Reconstruction of the adjoining University of Dayton Arena parking lot has eliminated the discus area.

Allen ran on the winning 440 shuttle hurdles relay (1:02.91) and also helped Dunbar sweep the 4x100-meter (42.70), 4x200 (1:29.19) and 4x400 (3:28.46) relays.

Dunbar’s boys also were first in the 800 sprint medley relay (1:34.48) and 1,600 sprint medley relay (3:44.17).

Allen was among the Wolverines’ leaders in winning the 2017 outdoor state track title and adding another combined Divisions II-III indoor state title in February. That’s the kind of all-around talent that enabled Allen to sign with Malone University, where he’ll play football and run track.

“It felt like the wait was over,” he said when signing with the Canton-area NCAA Division II program. “All the searching and stressing was over. I’m just ready to graduate and get going.”

Also headed to Malone to play football and run track is Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, although he’s sitting out this season.

Springfield senior Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Other area boys firsts were posted by Miamisburg teammates Jason Hubbard and Tyler Johnson in the high jump (6-0), Covington’s Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-0) and Springfield Isaiah Gibson in the shot put (46-7.50).

Area girls winners were Covington in the 3,200 relay (10:21.74), Dunbar’s 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:31.00), Miamisburg’s RaMya Woodward in the high jump (5-4), Beavercreek’s Eileen Yang in the pole vault (12-0) and Lauren Christian of Covington in the shot put (40-3.25).

• Beavercreek swept the boys (191 points) and girls (175) team titles in Thursday’s Greene County track and field championships at Xenia. Bellbrook was runner-up in both.

• The Bulldog Classic was Saturday at the Milton-Union Track complex at West Milton.

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