Sports Today: Reds start spring training (poorly); Marvin Lewis states obvious; weekend of champions; Bama comin’ for our players

Welcome back from a weekend jam-packed with news from sports world local and beyond.

We start off with the Cincinnati Reds, who have lost their first three games of spring training.

Of course wins and losses don't matter at this point, but how certain players perform does.

To that end, Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson and Tim Adleman all allowed runs in their spring debuts as they vie for a spot in the rotation. Garrett's line wasn't terrible (a run and two hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 1.2 innings Saturday against the Indians), but Stephenson (4 R, 3 H, 2 BB) and Adleman (2 R, 4 H, 2 K in 2 IP) left a lot to be desired.

Of course, this is just the beginning of a six-week slog to Opening Day, so there is no need to overreact.

The best line turned in so far is from Sal Romano, who struck out four and did not allow a run in two innings against the Giants on Friday. He did walk two and allow one hit, but it’s slim pickings. Also of note: Keury Mella pitched a perfect inning yesterday against the Giants.

HAL MCCOY: Reds rip 14 hits, still lose by six

Free agent signee Scott Feldman is set to start today against Arizona, and Cody Reed is scheduled to pitch as well.

There is also potential for the Reds bats to break out J.J. Hoover is among the Diamondbacks slated to pitch…

The NFL Scouting Combine begins this week, and the Bengals are in an interesting position.

They have a team that may still be close to competing for championships (or not) but plenty of places they can stand to improve.

Cincinnati has 11 draft picks, so there is a large opportunity to add an infusion of young talent to the roster, but there is a risk of getting too young to withstand the rigors of an NFL season.

While we continue to wonder what will happen with A.J. McCarron, Lewis reiterated the team's commitment to Pro Bowl quarterback Andy Dalton.

"Every position but quarterback," Lewis told about their considerations for the No. 9 pick in the draft. "We won't take a quarterback."

Additionally, he did not rule out selecting LSU running back Leonard Fournette (as the best player available), but he said the team is committed to Jeremy Hill after he struggled through an injury-marred 2016 season and will attempt to re-sign Rex Burkhead.

Lewis also told the team site he is not considering retirement

Related: Maybe NFL’s audience didn’t actually shrink last season

Sticking with the NFL, former Ohio State and Alter High School star Nick Mangold wants to keep playing despite being cut by the Jets over the weekend.

Although Mangold had the first injury-plagued season of his career in 2016, this looks like a salary cap move by New York...

Remember how we told you last week we could have three local women's basketball teams win their conference? Yeah, it happened.

After Dayton won a share of the Atlantic 10 title Wednesday night, Ohio State and Wright State followed suit Sunday.

The Buckeyes crushed woeful Rutgers to become Big Ten champions for the 15th time, and the Raiders downed Milwaukee 62-52 to become co-champions of the Horizon League for the first time.

Ohio State and Dayton are the No. 1 seeds in their respective conference tournaments while WSU is the No. 2 seed in the Horizon…

Our suspicion 2018 would be a huge year in college football recruiting in the area continues to play out as expected. If anything, it is exceeding our expectations.

Look for a more full look later today, but Alabama coach Nick Saban continues to show heavy interest in area players, offering two more over the weekend in Dunbar’s Joseph Scates and Malik Vann of Fairfield.

🐘💯‼️— #️⃣6️⃣......🔋 (@ScatesJoseph) February 26, 2017

Think Urban Meyer is getting nervous yet?

The Ohio State coach has talked frequently about the conundrum he faces in wanting to take as many top talents from his home state but beat the bushes nationwide for the best players available.

RELATED: Dunbar football looking to make a name for itself, too

Sometimes guys who could look good in Scarlet and Gray end up finding homes elsewhere before Meyer and his staff decide to pull the trigger with an offer.

Now he’s playing defense against not just against the next tier of Big Ten teams, West Virginia and Kentucky but Saban and the Crimson Tide – the only team to outrate the Buckeyes consistently on the national scene since Meyer arrived in Columbus.

Should be an interesting spring and summer.

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