Sports Today: Reds after dark, more UD Arena thoughts, NBA conference finals set

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Sports Today: Reds after dark, more UD Arena thoughts, NBA conference finals set

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 11: Scooter Gennett #4 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by Joey Votto #19 after Gennett scored against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the eighth inning at AT&T Park on May 11, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

After a one-day hiatus because of the UD Arena renovation unveiling, we are back for one last look around the world of sports before the week is over. 

While you were probably sleeping, the Cincinnati Reds won again. 

Zack Cozart doubled in Scooter Gennett with the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning, and Raisel Iglesias got the last three outs to close out a 3-2 win in San Francisco. 

Cincinnati remains a half game out of first place in the NL Central and keeps getting winning contributions from a variety of players. 

Billy Hamilton is hot, scoring two more runs last night, while Cozart his batting .356 and Joey Votto is up to .291. The first baseman had two RBIs last night. 

Bronson Arroyo managed six innings while reliable Wandy Peralta got Drew Storen out of a jam to bridge the gap to Iglesias, who has seven saves and an ERA of 0.93. 

Gennett, the super sub, is hitting .300 with eight extra-base hits, nine runs scored and 14 RBIs. 

Not to jinx it, but it might be time to dig up some more 1999 facts for comparison’s sake…

The Dayton Dragons won again last night too.  

As for the changes coming to UD Arena, they are pretty exciting. 

It was interesting walking around the arena — from the floor to the top of the last section — looking around trying to envision how things will really look. 

I suspect the changes to the area between the 200 and 300 sections will have the most effect on just how different everything feels. Below that, nothing much changes other than replacing the seats. 

UD officials are touting this as a “transformation” more than a renovation, and they are right to a certain extent, but as far as preserving the soul of the arena I feel like they already passed a major test with the last upgrade. 

Adding the lounges at the top of either end closer to the turn of the century marked a huge step in modernizing the place, and they now look like they were there all along. That makes me think a lot of the new things coming in the next wave will fit right in, too, at least as far as the basketball-watching experience. 

A possible exception could be at the top of the 400 level on one side where there will be a new lounge. Will that let more sound escape? We’ll see… 

In another big local story, the fallout from the Dunbar-Belmont football fiasco last season continues.  

Dayton Public Schools are still facing punishment despite the changing of some language, and an OHSAA spokesman confirmed former Dunbar and Ohio State point guard Mark Baker (currently DPS director of athletics) is a major reason why. 

“The reason that all DPS schools are on probation is that the major infraction, on the suggestion of throwing the game, was from the director of athletics for DPS,” Stried said. “As long as that person is still in charge of all DPS schools (for athletics), they’re all going to be on probation.”

What’s next? 

Who knows, but hopefully this is settled sooner rather than later… 

If you weren’t able to catch the NBA playoff game last night, don’t worry — you didn’t miss much. 

James Harden and the Houston Rockets no-showed, getting blown out by a San Antonio Spurs team still missing an injured Kawhi Leonard. 

Harden’s 10-point game brought out the relentless LeBron apologists who seem incapable of letting any moment pass without talking about his legacy, but there is another theme emerging. 

With the short-handed Spurs advancing, it’s probably time to conclude neither conference was any good this year. 

That’s a change-of-pace from only the East sucking throughout this century. 

Kevin Durant’s leaving crippled Oklahoma City, and the Rockets were one of those regular-season power/postseason frauds we see from time to time. 

Perhaps the Spurs will continue to surprise, but I’m not optimistic. 

It looks like the Cavs will have a bigger challenge in the conference finals than the Warriors… relatively speaking, of course. 

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