COLUMN: Reds, Pete and Dinner in the Fields

Mark Huber - On The Mark

Let’s talk some baseball.

First, I love what the Reds did at the trade deadline.

Here’s hoping the ownership does the right thing going forward to help make this team competitive over the long haul.

What, you say, might that right thing be?

Well, first you don’t trade those prospects you received for Luis Castillo or Tyler Mahle, or any other player traded, until you know you are a contender. Then they can be assets to get a difference maker to put the team over the top.

Second, you go out in free agency and make a signing or two that helps your team compete in the division immediately. A veteran mixed in with all that young talent.

Third, let go of some of the veterans on the roster who simply aren’t performing to their salaries — like Mike Minor, Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas. Just let ‘em go. If you still have to pay their salary, that’s OK, at least they aren’t taking away valuable playing time from more-worthy youngsters.

A core of Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Jose Barrero, Alexis Diaz, Kyle Farmer, Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, Justin Dunn, Donovan Solano, Graham Ashcraft, Albert Almora, Daniel Duarte, Vladimir Gutierrez, Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone is a good start to a 25-player roster that can grow into a pretty good team. There might be a few more guys worthy of being retained at the Major League level but not many.

If healthy this unit can be competitive with a tweak here or there in free agency.

FOR PETE’S SAKE: Pete Rose was probably my favorite baseball player growing up.

Now, he’s a sad sack of a hero and, honestly, an embarrassment.

During a celebration of one of the Philadelphia Phillies championship teams Rose was on, he was asked about his sexual misconduct of many, many years ago. While I do think the question had little relevance — maybe the reporter is working on a story that ties sports stars to wrong-doings with women and included Rose with DeShaun Watson — it should have been handled in a much better way by Rose. Whether it was improper relations with a teenager or gambling or whatever, somebody needed to get with Rose ahead of this most recent public appearance and talk to him about how to handle any potentially uneasy questions.

Like, I’m sorry but I’m here to talk about the Phillies and this team and anything else has either already been addressed (which it has) or can wait for another time.

No babe comment.

No 1,000 autographed baseballs offered.

Just a straight forward answer that to me would be OK and not offending to anyone. Not sure, to be honest, Pete is capable of that, though. Sad.

And no, to be clear, he does not belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

TIP OF THE CAP: Allow me to get personal for a minute.

There are times in all of our lives when we see someone go above and beyond, grind out that final 200 meters in two-mile run to win the race.

Exhausted, they fall on the track just beyond the finish line. Soon they accept the laurels as best in the competition.

I’ve seen it plenty in the athletic field.

I don’t see it much outside what I do for a living.

Until last week at Dinner in the Fields. My wife, Elizabeth, and her Clinton County Leadership Institute brethren put together a heck of an event. She’s president of CCLI but had good help to make it a success.

Her vision and piranha mentality, though, is what made this event special.

There were plenty of opportunities for this to fail … maybe not fail, but certainly be much less than it was.

However, Elizabeth kept grinding and grinding. Right to the end. Dinner in the Fields raised a lot of money for CCLI, one of the highest amounts ever for this event.

She was relentless in getting this done. In the end, it showed. Her efforts were rewarded. Was anyone surprised? No. As I told someone, Elizabeth is content being in the background, sitting in that buggy just watching the scenery and offering advice from time to time.

But once she grabs the reins, the horse is gonna go. And fast.

She did just that for Dinner in the Fields. Congratulations, my dear. Well done. Now rest.

Mark Huber

On The Mark

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports