5 things Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about Sunday’s game vs Bengals

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 12:31 PM


            CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens is seen in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens is seen in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

During a conference call with Cincinnati media this week, John Harbaugh wouldn’t speculate whether his Baltimore Ravens are dangerous enough to make a run through the playoffs.

The 10th-year Ravens head coach knows he likely has to beat the Bengals at home Sunday to even get to the playoffs, so his first focus is taking care of business this week.

»RELATED: Burfict doubtful for season finale

Cincinnati dashed the Detroit Lions’ postseason hopes on Christmas Eve and have a chance to play spoiler to the Ravens this week. Here are five things Harbaugh said about the matchup:

A better Baltimore offense

A lot has changed with these two teams since Week 1 when Baltimore handed the Bengals a 20-0 loss at home with an dominant defensive effort, but the Ravens’ offense has evolved the second half of the season.

The Ravens produced just 268 yards of offense against Cincinnati in the opener but now average 304 yards per game, and Harbaugh said a lot of that has to do with cleaning up mistakes.

»RELATED: Potential Bengals draft picks playing in Friday bowl games

“The fact we’re playing better is probably the biggest difference,” Harbaugh said when asked about his offense. “We’re not turning the ball over as much. We had some issues with turnovers midway through.”

Turnovers better on both sides of the ball

Baltimore isn’t struggling with turnovers as much on offense, and the defense is forcing a lot more of them. The Ravens have a plus-17 turnover ratio while leading the league with 22 interceptions. They also have forced 15 fumbles with 11 recovered.

»RELATED: Predicting Bengals-Ravens, all Week 17 games

“You get pressure and they force some errors sometimes in throwing in tight coverage and guys with ball skills in the back end help,’ Harbaugh said. “Pursuit is a big factor in that, but it’s been a little better for us this year than it has other years.”

Terrell Suggs gets better with age

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has played a role in those takeaway numbers.

Suggs is 35 years old, but Harbaugh said he is still just as much of a force as he was when he was younger. Suggs has 11 sacks and four forced fumbles to go along with 46 tackles this season.

»RELATED: Other games in Bengals history on New Year’s Eve

“He’s special, no question,” Harbaugh said. “Just at his age and the number of years he’s been in the league, I think he’s playing some of his best football right now, and that’s a credit to his work ethic and competitiveness and he’s been a great leader as well, so he’s really checking off the boxes.”

Bengals are different too

Cincinnati started the season 0-3, then won five of the next eight before three straight losses ended its playoff hopes. The Bengals bounced back last week but Harbaugh said it’s difficult to take much from the first meeting with them because so much has changed since then, especially with personnel.

Not only does Cincinnati have a new offensive coordinator, as Bill Lazor replaced Ken Zampese, but several key players are now out with injuries.

“A lot has changed,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously, their best players are there with Geno (Atkins), (Carlos) Dunlap, (Gio) Bernard and (Andy) Dalton and AJ (McCarron) and the different players they have. They also have an influx of younger guys. Teams evolve.”

Matchup has seen a lot of battles

When asked about what a Marvin Lewis-coached team means to Harbaugh, he noted how competitive Lewis’ teams have been against Baltimore during his time in Cincinnati.

“We’ve had incredible battles,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve been on the short end most of the time the last few years. The defense is rough and tough and plays hard and creates tons of problems for you. I think their fronts are always really disruptive, and they can cover in the back end. They always have corners, big safeties that roam around there and are physical. The offensive line and running game, Andy Dalton has become a stable precise passing game with playmakers like A.J. Green. That’s how we see them.”

SUNDAY’S GAME

Bengals at Ravens, 4:25 p.m., WHIO-TV Ch. 7, Ch. 12, 700, 1530, 102.7, 104.7

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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
            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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