Sweet and spicy chicken wings at Station 1. Bill Lackey/Staff
Photo: Bill Lackey
Photo: Bill Lackey

Random thoughts: Baseball is fun again, another hall of fame gets dumb, the price of chicken wings, etc.

I’ve had these kicking around for more than a week, so I thought the afternoon before a holiday was as good a time as any to clean out the notebook. 


The Reds are offering a reminder being decent can still be productive in a world when everyone acts like first and last place are the only ones worth finishing. 

They are still in last place, but it’s still been a lot of fun watching them play like they know what they’re doing rather than remain on pace to have the worst record in franchise history. I’ll take the lower draft pick. (Of course if they had just gone .500 in March and April, they might be in third place now.) 

Speaking of baseball, I’m advocating mandatory jail time for pitching coaches who let their players walk around the mound and adjust their hat, glove and shirt after every pitch. 

I didn’t think Bud Selig going into the Hall of Fame could be topped for stupidity, but Gary Bettmen getting the nod for hockey may just do it. This guy has been an absolute disaster for the NHL, stifling the league’s popularity with multiple work stoppages three different times. The salary cap has worked too well, preventing great teams from being able to stay together, and the most recent realignment screwed up the playoffs and broke up the Red Wings-Blackhawks rivalry.

Has anyone ever been called the sharpest tool in the shed?

Does anyone else find it odd Shrek is Scottish, the princess is American, the donkey has a Brooklyn accent, the king is British or something and Robin Hood is French but does the river dance?

After another contentious NBA MVP selection, I’ve decided teaching people the difference between best and most valuable is a lost cause. 

Despite Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeSclafani putting a big dent in that whole, “Pitchers are an automatic out” thing lately, there are still evil forces advocating the addition of the DH to the National League. #Resist! 

Ohio State football outgained Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State (the next three best teams in the division) by a combined 830 yards in 2017. Not bad I guess. 

I think Law and Order: SVU got SJW’d. Or maybe they just hired the writers from the last few seasons of How I Met Your Mother

I saw a national restaurant chain inviting people to come in to watch soccer and eat wings that cost $1 apiece. Imagine thinking either of those sounded like a good idea 10 years ago? There were at least “beer specials,” which are good in any era. 

Meanwhile, I will always be amused people had to create things for fans to do throughout soccer matches to be entertained while waiting for something to happen. 

Maybe if goals in the first half counted double, watching a whole soccer game would seem more appealing. 

No matter the sport, ending a game that matters with a shootout or penalty kicks is an abomination and always will be. 

That said, one of my favorite aspects of world sports competitions is how pretty much everyone in the crowd could pass for an American — and Team USA is the hardest one to identify if you’re just going by the players’ last names. 

I think I want to be the Dwight Yoakam of sportswriters. 

You can tell a lot about someone by their opinion of Guy Fieri. 

Have a happy and safe holiday!  

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About the Author

Marcus Hartman
Marcus Hartman
Marcus Hartman has been a digital sports columnist and reporter at Cox Media Group Ohio since 2016.