PARTING SCOTT--This started as a pre-emptive strike blog in case a certain radio group were to greedily gut staff. Rather than be booted from an island, why not have your own?
Jan. 20,2009 Radio stations cut staff, programs...uh, welcome to my island...Mr. Rourke will greet you at the plane. And so it begins (again) Dec. 2010......
Parting Scott

Getting a big league swing on the Doc blog again

Yeah, 195 days between posts makes it kind of dumb to have this site. Most of my work with the Community Press is on www.cincinnati.com/preps, plus you can see contributions of mine on www.gobearcats.com and www.bearcatlair.com.  The tweets come via @partingscott and @cpscottspringer.

Here's some of what I use to do on this site courtesy of The Enquirer's "The Morning Line"

By Scott Springersspringer@communitypress.com

With @EnquirerDoc taking a few innings off, the fine folks at 312 Elm are letting a few replacement players scribble a few morning lines again.

I actually covered the replacement players back in 1995 and was one of the few that thoroughly enjoyed Rick Reed taking a no-no into the seventh inning when he was the only so-called "scab" that got a legitimate chance.

I remember with delight the brief spotlight that shone on Eugene "Motorboat" Jones that spring.  Who knew that Little Big Town would reference him in a song or that there would be some Nike Jordan sneaks by that name?

One-time Reds replacement player
    Pedro Borbon. (File photo)
One-time Reds replacement player Pedro Borbon. (File photo)

I hope Eugene got a little kickback because one of the saddest things I saw at the old Riverfront Stadium was "Motorboat"  walking around the turf the day before what would've been Opening Day in 1995 wondering what might have been.  Unlike the others who suited up for a workout in a pro stadium despite the baseball strike ending, Jones just meandered about the infield in his street clothes.

Enough "Motorboatin'", it's time for the "Gypsies In The Palace" to get to work.

Item No. 1: spring training in Goodyear

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I still wish it were in Florida.  Monetarily, it made all the sense in the world to go to Arizona (and strangely enough Sarasota paid the Orioles more than what the Reds would've taken to stay).

However, I was fortunate enough to cover over 20 spring trainings in the Sunshine State and I know many Reds fans looked forward to coming down to catch the team and some rays.  We're a "North-South" oriented bunch here in the Tri-State and heading out west is like asking an Elder grad to find Anderson Township or vice-versa.

Having worked in Florida between 1985-1990 and the covering the Reds from the "Sweep to the Series" through my radio career, I treasured late February and early March like no man.

I probably have fonder memories of my first spring training game at Al Lopez Field in Tampa than I do of my first games as a kid at Crosley Field or Riverfront. I was older and understood the significance.

Later, I made the drives to Plant City where I'd get the best strawberry shortcake ever at Parkesdale Farms on the way home.

It was there that Pete Rose gave me a solid 20-minute interview on a practice field after former Tampa Tribune writer Jim Selman formally introduced us.  Just me and the Hit King.

Doing some back-timing, it was the day after Commissioner Peter Ueberroth first summoned Rose to New York to discuss gambling. I think I lost the cassette when I moved back home in 1990.

As a boy who grew up loving the way No. 14 played, it was magic.  Shortly after, it was tragic as I was hired as a stringer by the AP and UPI to cover Rose relentlessly once the gambling accusations came out.  One of my saddest days was breaking in on Q105 in Tampa to report his lifetime banishment.  The song that played prior to my report was Don Henley's "End of the Innocence".

AUGUST 24, 1989: Pete Rose
    straightens his tie at the start of a press conference at Riverfront
    Stadium. Rose was given a lifetime suspension by commissioner A.
    Bartlett Giamatti with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after
    one year.
AUGUST 24, 1989: Kiana Kim's husband straightens his tie at the start of a press conference at Riverfront Stadium. Rose was given a lifetime suspension by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after one year. We know how that worked out....

No one will believe me when I say I worked long, hard hours in Florida, because it was Florida.

Still, I did radio from 5 a.m. til about 9 a.m., ate breakfast, went to the ballpark for pregame fodder, watched and reported on the game, interviewed players during and after the game and then prepared for the next morning.  I got to be decent at it.

However, in full disclosure, I should now reveal my greatest radio trick ever.  Working in Tampa, I would often sneak off for an afternoon game in Plant City.  I was a news reporter at the time, so I got a call about a big traffic back-up on I-4 near Thonotasassa (between Tampa and "The Plant").

Well, I had pretty good seats behind home and you can't let those go to waste. So, I dialed up my highway patrol connections who gave me the lowdown, then phoned in a report "live".  I was truthful.  It was "live".  I never claimed to be on the scene. It was all I could do to keep the bat cracking and umpire yelling out of my report as I crouched under a box seat.

There you go. You've got something on me now.  Knock yourself out.

My other Florida memories were meeting the late Pete Axthelm (from the original ESPN Primetime football show), Dick Vitale, Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Sparky Anderson, Al Kaline, Bo Schembechler, Ernie Harwell and Lord knows who else in those springs.  I covered anything and everything that time allowed a young guy to do.

I even did a double-dip one day when the Reds were in Winter Haven at night and the White Sox had a day game in Bradenton with the Pirates.  Chicago had a rookie outfielder of note named Jordan.

Yep, THAT Jordan.  6-foot-6 and couldn't hit a ball out of the infield.  Yet the fans roared when he made a routine catch in rightfield.

Michael Jordan part-time
    baseball player (File Photo)
Michael Jordan part-time baseball player
(File Photo)

Afterward, we were instructed there would be NO basketball talk. (And, unlike Doc, he did not call me "Sir".)

So there I am and "The Big Hurt" Frank Thomas is in the room and there's 10 of us idiots surrounding a large man who couldn't hit a curve ball with a wooden door.

That's my "Mike" story.  (One of my boys actually outdid that a couple years back when he gave Jordan a ski lesson in Utah.  He got a $100 tip and lunch out of it.)

OK...I'm rambling out of the spring training territory so I best trudge on.

Item No. 2: where are the local post players?

Not to pick on UC because it's an observation I've seen everywhere, but what happened to throwing the ball inside?

This is from an interview I did with Bob Weisenhahn of UC's first national championship team in 1961. At 74, he's 6-foot-4 (big for 1961) and at his playing weight of 220. He was the proverbial bruiser. His comments echo what I hear nearly everywhere:

"They need some more movement," he said. "They run a weave with three guards. The big kids don't want to pick across or nothing. They're pretty predictable from what I've seen."

Seemingly, the basketball is a "hot potato" to anyone in the post.  Just going through some names of UC and Xavier, if you threw it in to Danny Fortson, Kenyon Martin, Tyrone Hill or Brian Grant, it wasn't coming back.

So, after a recent frustrating UC loss to Pitt, I go to my local "B-Dubs" and watch Louisville and Notre Dame go five overtimes.  The Irish had most of their "bigs" fouled out so some dude named Garrick Sherman comes in. He's a 6-foot-10 guy out of Kenton, Ohio.

Next thing you know, he's George Mikan reincarnated.  Drop steps, hook shots, etc.  Notre Dame let "the big dog eat".  Who doesn't need a guy like that?  And where are the local Jack Cooleys or Luke Harangodys?  What has happened to the hook shot? Didn't it serve Kareem Abdul-Jabbar well?  Does anyone do the Mikan drill?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "sky
    hook" (Courtesy espn.com)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "sky hook"
(Courtesy espn.com)

Item No. 3: Bearcat football  Naturally, I can't write much without including UC football.  It's something I said would take off in the 90s and was scoffed at.  I took more you-know-what over UC football than anyone at the Metropolitan Sewer District.

As part of the radio team for about 167 games at last check, I witnessed many pivotal moments and pivotal players. No one I worked with thought it would fly and now it's pretty much the basis of all Bearcat revenue.

If someone told you 20 years ago that UC would have been to the Orange and Sugar Bowls, had an undefeated regular season, lost coaches to Michigan State, Notre Dame and Tennessee and THEN hired Tommy Tuberville, what would you have said?

Or, if you were told that three former assistants (Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh and Rex Ryan) would go on to be NFL head coaches and two would win Super Bowls, you would've called for a drug test.

Look, I understand my thinking is so far out-of-the-box that I've slipped out of the truck and down some curvy roads, but I usually wind up at my accurate destination.

Tommy Tuberville is the first UC hire in any sport that anyone had a "Wow!" reaction to.  Sure, they're a long way from a national supremacy right now, but they're making some big boys nervous.  You think there's any coincidence that Urban Meyer's squad is playing their spring game at Paul Brown?

Tommy Tuberville acknowledging
    fans at his hiring press conference (File Photo)
Tommy Tuberville acknowledging fans at his hiring press conference
(File Photo)

Item No. 4:  TV Scott watches

Yeah, John Kiesewetter doesn't call me either about my likes or dislikes, but Paul writes some of his, so here's mine.

Truthfully, the only sure-fire way to get me to the tube is a black-and-white "Andy Griffith".  However, the "Sheriff without a gun" has passed on to meet Helen Krump, Deputy Fife and Aunt Bee in the sky, so I have to get off my front porch swing in Mayberry and move on.

I like "The Following". It's downright creepy.  Plus I'm thinking if this Joe Carroll guy truly gets his followers to hack up everyone involved in the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", we're all doomed.

I like "Touch"  because it explores the possibility that everything happens for a reason and is connected, which I find interesting. Without question, for good or bad, there are a lot of folks out there with unique talents.  Then of course, there are those without the allotted 52 cards, which is scary.  The only thing about "Touch" is I keep thinking Kiefer Sutherland is going to channel "Jack Bauer" and call for back-up from "Chloe".

I also like "Vegas" and "Mad Men" because they're both set in the 60s and bring back memories of when I was a kid and people had Sputnik lamps, square TVs with three channels and silver steel Christmas trees with revolving rainbow lamps focused on them.  Of course, everyone smoked then so I'm glad we moved on.

QUICK HITS: a) I think Chapman should remain a closer. He gets more outings and more people buy tickets for the chance to see him; b) Wrestling belongs in the Olympics and Vince McMahon should get to the bottom of it!; c) College athletics needs a czar like Kennesaw Mountain Landis to stop the conference flipping that has destroyed what was Big East and ACC basketball.  Syracuse playing conference tournament games in Greensboro, NC?  Maryland to the Big Ten when they just cut a bunch of sports? Rutgers to the Big Ten (Please!)? Finally, d) Those that got on Bob Bratkowski or Jay Gruden about Bengals play calling need to know that often the head coach has the final say-so on what is called.  I'm not on the headset so I can't prove it, but it's my experience is that defensive-minded coaches that preach toughness, intensity, rope-holding, etc. are absolute cowards when it comes to running an interesting offense.

If I had a million dollars....

I'd take Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis on tour.  Seeing as three-fourths of them are dead, that's not possible.

However, "The Million Dollar Quartet" is at the Aronoff and that was my wife's Valentine's Day present. I likes me the rockabilly.

"The Million Dollar
    Quartet" as recorded by Sam Phillips (scanned photo)
"The Million Dollar Quartet" as recorded by Sam Phillips (scanned photo)

If you had a pool, who would've picked "The Killer" Jerry Lee Lewis as the last survivor?

The music in the show is great and if you watch closely you can see how many acts evolved from what they did.  I saw glimpses of Michael Jackson, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and some of more modern day artists if you watch all of the moves. Of course, Chuck Berry influenced these four greatly.

Oh well, time for Elvis to leave the building.

The great Loveland thought-provoker often leaves you with some "tunage" so I'll give you this shot of a young man I happened to catch on "The Late Show with David Letterman" one night.

This is new music, but an old style recorded with older equipment so you can hear the static in the record grooves as the good Lord intended.

Paul will have you back to your regularly scheduled programming next week.

Now for some JD McPherson:

 


Oh no, look who took over Daugherty's blog for a day!

By Scott Springersspringer@communitypress.com

Once again, The Enquirer is rolling the dice and letting me loose on the "Doc blog" again.

I did it back in February and enjoyed the opportunity to inject a little of myself into things. My day job (which I'm much appreciative of) involves covering high school sports for the Community Press/Enquirer Media where I endeavor to get the lowdown on who's signed a Division III letter to play water polo at Poughkeepsie State (hear this is their year) and things of that ilk. I also still do some things on a couple of sites related to University of Cincinnati athletics.

Back in the day I got to talk on the radio, do some Chevrolet commercials (say hey to Ben in the first office on the left) and some other things. Every now and then, someone thinks I still do. For those that remember, God bless you. Now I'm just like many of you that don't get figured into the economic statistics, those trying to climb back up the same mountains we climbed initially.

Cue the "Sound of Music" and the Von Trapp children (the first of my dated references that I try to update).

For today, I'm your guy Friday.


I'm not Paul Daugherty, who generally gets the best out of his subjects and has toasted pints with the city's finest. Doc has been to the finest venues, covered the grandest events and is top shelf. He vacations in the Fijis, I wear Fiji deodorant (from Old Spice--I smell like Jimmy Buffett). He could probably have negotiated covering the notorious Big East Clambake in Newport, Rhode Island. Closest I get is Joe's Crab Shack near Newport, Kentucky.

Before you get worked up into a lather (and isn't it early for that?) Paul will be back Monday with your regularly scheduled programming.

Meantime, let the replacement rants and raves begin....

I was privileged to work around Marty Brennaman for a number of years and I thought I'd never see him voluntarily bald. The stranger thing is I would've never guessed a packed house at Great American Ballpark would be strapped in their seats or glued to Jim Day on Fox Sports Ohio to watch it. I think the ratings must have rivaled the night Geraldo Rivera dug into Al Capone's vault or the final "Seinfeld".

The least surprising thing was how Marty pulled it off. He's a pro and his twist including the Dragonfly charity at the end with the kids was priceless. Sure, Marty can rip someone a new you-know-what at times during games (or in person), but if you want a true appreciation of him, listen to other broadcasters in other markets.


Because of my personal situation, I have XM radio. I listen to MLB games exclusively on XM and sometimes when you don't get the Reds broadcast, you get the opposition. If you hear enough of what's out there on other teams, you'll realize that Marty is outstanding and more than worthy of his Hall of Fame status.

By the way, I went to the Hall of Fame this year prior to the Barry Larkin induction as one of my kids played in a tournament in Cooperstown. That leads me to my next gripe..."select" teams.

The term "select" is abused in nearly every kids sport these days. Essentially, "select" now means that you forked over enough money to have your kid on a team at some level where they have fancy new bags every year and you get to travel out of town to any number of money-making tournaments where you hope the kids don't run in the halls at the place that gave you a group rate and you pray for a "B-Dubs".

It's a far cry from Knothole and Jim's Window Service with our baggy, flannel unis and community jug of water. Obviously, it's not just baseball, it's other sports as well.

Where "select" used to mean above average talent (and still does at some levels) they've created lower rungs of it where all it really has become is a social gathering for those that have mini-vans with video screens, stick figure decals on the back and IPhones holstered to their khakis as if the President had them on speed dial.

Let me give you a little insight here in my best Chris Farley, "You're just not that important!"


If you want to take "select" to a whole different level, go to Cooperstown and look at the alleged 12-year-olds who look like they should have shaved before they drove to the game with their latest updated birth certificate. The winning team the week my son was there was a hybrid group of California/Florida kids that won THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 27-0.

It's certainly all about the food chain, isn't it?

Another observation on oversized baseball boys:  look at a lot of pro rosters now, major or minor, if you're a pitcher below 6'3", good luck. It's all about height and velocity.  A big guy touches 90 and all of the scouts think they can teach him to find home plate. Future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux would likely not get drafted now. He hit his spots and won 355 games, that's all.

OK, I'll fess up. I've watched more Olympics this summer than in previous years. Even though I know the results, I still enjoy watching Usain "Bolt" and Michael Phelps and the gymnasts flip and feign love and affection for one another. (McKayla Maroney has one of the better stare's this side of Pat Summit.)


What about some of these events though? We can have badminton, synchronized diving, fencing and ping pong, but not baseball and softball? What gives?

If you have badminton, you open the door for lawn darts and Slip-N-Slide in my book. Perhaps even cornhole as I think there's a large West-side contingent that has secretly been in training for years.

Sychronized diving I've never heard of. I'd rather see cliff diving. "Wide World of Sports" did cliff diving from Mexico. Can't some guys flip off the Olympic rings on the bridge into the River Thames?

Fencing? Yeah, it's an old thing, but why not really go back in the "Wayback Machine" and have jousting. Let Queen Liz sit there with James Bond feasting on turkey legs while the "Knights that say 'Nee'" charge either other on horseback with pole vault sticks.

As for ping pong, that's what it is. Table tennis is how it's sold, but it's ping pong. I'm just glad the guy Doc brought up (Chinese trampolinist Dong Dong) wasn't playing ping pong. By the way, the life expectancy of a ping pong ball in any house with teens is probably the first weekend you're out as the little plastic ball is more plunked than paddled these days.

Beach volleyball is fun to watch, but let's be honest about what we're watching. It's kind of like saying you go to Hooter's for the fried chicken.

One more Olympic note:  sure am glad to see Ryan Seacrest get some airtime on NBC since they're paying him a king's ransome to wait for Matt Lauer to fall out of the key demographic.  Really spices up the coverage doesn't he? I have thoughts of Jim McKay (rolling over in his grave).

Some local quickies now (now there's a column for you).

Reds - I think the back end of the bullpen guys (Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman) have better stuff as a group than the fabled "Nasty Boys" that last brought us a World Series trophy.  On the other hand, Broxton seems to be the only one with a screw lose (Chapman's just merely from another planet).

Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers all were missing crucial cards out of the proverbial deck, which is exactly what made them "nasty".

Bengals -  Play Armon Binns! He makes catches in Pittsburgh!


Also, Hire a...(never mind, horse beaten beyond recognition).

UC football - God love Whit Babcock and Butch Jones for keeping home games at Nippert.  Also, I like Munchie Legaux, but don't discount Brendon Kay. He's got the size and agility everyone likes and can make plays. Say what you want about Brian Kelly, but he knew quarterbacks. Kay reminds me of a kid named Tony Pike who was up for the Clipboard Hall of Fame and didn't even sniff the field for years. When he finally did, he played in some of the more memorable games in the program's history.

UC basketball - I'm looking forward to seeing them play four-guard fast like they did after the Crosstown Slugout. Mick Cronin has trimmed his guys down to make them quicker and it's a style the guys like to play.  Don't look for the "picket fence".

Xavier basketball - If freshman Semaj Christon is eligible, he's worth a ticket to watch. I thought he was the best player in the city his senior year at Winton Woods and after a year at prep school he dominated the Deveroes League this summer at Woodward.

OK, word has it I'm a major Bruce Springsteen fan (28 shows). Don't always agree politically, but I have to admit there's something to be said about corporate fat-cats that claimed the souls of many in this recession.  I saw him do this at the opening show of the "Wrecking Ball" tour in Atlanta.  Then I laughed as I walked by guys with sweaters tied around their necks, $80 golf shirts and penny loafers watching. Much of the new album is about them.

Don't want to leave you on what you may perceive to be a downer, so here's another favorite band.  The Mavericks were an alt-country band that did well in the 90s and then faded as the hit factories tried to put out "prettier bands" or guys that swiped Buffett's act. They're back together now and touring.  Raul Malo has one of the best voices around and the music's catchy.  Wouldn't steer you wrong.  Thanks for the drive today.



Hoops and health update

133 days this time...a ridiculous time to be away from a blog, but when you've got a couple jobs that involve blogging, you tend to not want to do so in your spare time.

Here's the deal:  I posted something on the Deveroes Summer League that I guess school sites want to distance themselves from.  That's fine, it's their blog.

However, as a fan, the league has interest and has had interest for 20 years or so.  If you want to see the new local recruits, you go to the summer league.  If school's want to promote their guys, they let them play.

In past years, I've seen the likes of Nick Van Exel, Corie Blount, Jason Maxiell, Ruben Patterson, Brian Grant, James Posey, and countless other local basketball legends play in the summer leagues that have been at Purcell Marian, Oak Hills and Woodward.  I've seen some legendary games.

I started going when Dontonio Wingfield first hit town in the early to mid 90s and I make it a point to check out the new stars against the older legends each year.  One guy that I saw last year was Shaq Thomas of UC.  Since he didn't play last season, I thought fans would be interested in an update.

Here it is on my site, since it was removed on the other.  It's really innocent and completely positive, but in these days we all walk around afraid of our shadow.

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"> On the health angle, since I promised a medical worker I would document my condition of oromandibular dystonia, I get more shots tomorrow.

It's a routine, I get 6-10 shots of botox in various areas of my face every three months so that I might attempt to talk unimpeded. 

It's not easy.

When you've had a job that required constant talking then one day find that you can barely move your mouth to do so (January 2004) it's tough to continue along that path.  As I said before, I essentially became a "Charlie In The Box" from the Rudolph Island of Misfit Toys.  No one needed a radio guy that struggled speaking.


I currently am wearing braces with the hopes of  widening my mouth to see if that helps and I take these injections.  For some, they remove wrinkles.  For me, they deaden muscles that often force my mouth to move uncontrollably causing me to look even more goofy than I do on a regular basis.

To those that notice, I notice you noticing.  I'm used to it.  To those that don't, I intend on trying to keep fooling you without explaining an ailment that most of the planet has never heard of.

I'm an opinionated guy, but decent.  If you ever see me frustrated, I assure you there's much more to my aggravation that what you see on the surface.

OK, over and out and I'll try to update sooner the next time.

Filling big shoes on The Morning Line

(The folks at The Enquirer were kind enough to give me a shot at doing Paul Daugherty's blog today--Feb. 16. Here's what's running on www.cincinnati.com this morning)

So, it's come to this?
Less than a month before Doc returns and they're rounding out the dance card with the B-list.  You know, the "key grips" or "best boys" at the end of the movie credits.
You've had politicians, national media stars, some famous 'scribes and now TML has turned a corner into a side room where I sit with Larry Kroeger, Flounder and the rest of the Omega House rejects from "Animal House".

I'm Scott Springer, a radio sports guy in a former life who sadly met the same untimely demise at "The Death Star" as Paul Daugherty once upon a time. In radio and other lines of work, there have been many of us in that predicament.  While CEOs enjoy vacation homes and send you condescending "rah-rah" emails with smiley faces, they often are planning their next houseboat on the "blood money" they'll get from wiping out thousands of middle-aged employees who had the audacity to be loyal and earn accrued benefits.

(Ooh...coming out swinging he is!)

Bitter as a corporate whacking can make you, I was privileged to work at the one job I wanted to have in my life.  Not many can say that. 

Now, I'm trying to reinvent myself covering mainly high school sports where the press agents drive mini-vans and have those family stick figure things on their back window,  I write, shoot semi-focused photos with one good eye, do video interviews and blog. 

Naturally, the key to good blog numbers is women in swimsuits.  Knock yourself out....

Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you that Paul Daugherty was actually getting pretty good at radio before the pink slips started coming in from Texas like truckloads of ground beef.

He lost his print lab jacket and started being the engaging guy that I sat with at a spring training game in Florida once.  (Ultraviolet rays can change one's outlook in a hurry!)

Heck, he even crossed-over and put a non-sports guest on one of his shows one night that he admired!  For having the legendary Darlene Love on around Christmas, he has my undying respect.

When Paul's book on his daughter comes out, you should scoop it up immediately. Paul writes with the ease that Jordan shot the fadeaway and Phil Mickelson hits the greens.

I actually saw Paul with his daughter frolicking in a pool in Ft. Lauderdale before UC was in the Orange Bowl a few years back.  That's not to embarrass him.  I just point that out because he can be viewed as the surly, arrogant columnist that finds fault in all.

If you do your homework, you'll find that Paul's actually a pretty easygoing guy (particularly when there's an Irish pub involved).

I can recall Bob Huggins at a conference tournament pep rally declaring he was canceling his Enquirer subscription as long as "Doherty" worked there. That didn't quite work as planned did it?

However, as usually is the case, Doc tends to win over his enemies and eventually made it to a certain Loveland watering hole off and on with "Huggs".  (For the record, most of the media gathered to cross-examine after Huggins had his indiscretion also had shared a beverage with the coach.)

I know ex-Bengals coach Sam Wyche had issues with Doc, but it's ironic now that they both share their love for the mountains of the Carolinas.  Sam doesn't drink, but I'd bet he'd welcome Doc over for a front porch lemonade anytime.

Then there's Skip Prosser, arguably the most likable coach this area's had, even if his teams were pressing your team's behind off.  Put two Irishmen with "some good book learnin'" in a setting with some pints and the conversations are far more escalated than your typical tavern fare.

In other words, Paul Daugherty is a treat and you're lucky to have him here.  If he made you think, cry or flat-out honked you off, he's done his job.  To think that I'm even able to pinch-hit online for him makes me feel like Billy Bates in the on-deck circle of the 1990 World Series.

OK, the sucking up is over, it's down to business.  I'm a big Dave Letterman fan so I'll give you my Top 10 questions on sports and life that I can think off this February (sure, I have more, but I only get one shot today).

10) Spring training starts soon.  Who here wishes it were still in Florida?  I know the Reds made stupid money going to Goodyear, but to the average Cincinnatian, they might as well be holding it in Peru.  Folks here will load up the Airstream for Florida, but airline gouging and the time difference make Arizona seem like it's another planet. Plus, it's close to Area 51.


9) Why does Yancy Gates pump fake?  Give any of us blessed with Woody Harrelson disease a day at 6-9 and 260 and let's see who pump fakes under the bucket.  Kenyon Martin, Jason Maxiell, Eric Hicks...throw the ball down son!
8) What makes old men hang around naked in the locker room carrying on conversation? Without fail, if I have to make a pit stop where I work out, there's always a guy in there with more rolls than Busken shaving and talking about his weekend to the towel boy.  Disturbing.
7) Why are Xavier fans impatient?  They got so with Skip Prosser and I'm sure with every coach since.  Generally, the team wins and gets a postseason shot.  Many schools of that size play basketball that ends in February.  Patience.  As memory serves, they wanted to run Thad Matta out of town at 11-10 'til the Muskies rebounded with an Elite Eight visit.  Of course, that just allowed Matta to lie through his nose about his clandestine meetings with the Buckeyes later.
6) Why did the Cyclones ever leave the Gardens?  I'm honestly not a hockey fan, and the sprucing up of the Coliseum/Crowne/ Firstar Center/US Bank Arena was nice, but was essentially putting earrings on a pig.  The skyboxes aren't in the 513 area code and blue-collar hockey fans don't want to pay to park.  The Gardens is a smelly barn of popcorn and beer, but is a replica of Maple Leaf Gardens and reeks of hockey.  They sold the joint out playing "Hanson brothers" hockey with cheap beer and loud music.
5) Why is Starbucks considering selling beer?  And what form of crack is in the coffee that makes mini-vans flock to drive-thrus like lemmings off a cliff? Also, why "grande" and "venti" and orders with more directions than a James Bond martini?  What's wrong with "large" and "big ol'"? If a guy wants a beer, won't he hit the local Dewdrop Inn instead of the froo-froo coffee shop?
4) Why didn't Pete Rose just tell the truth to begin with?  Was it worth it to sell all of those really bad cornball books that I had to buy?  Regardless, the guy had more hits than anyone while a player.  The documented gambling evidence against him was when he was a manager. I've been to Cooperstown twice, St. Peter's not there checking names.  It's just baseball and if the 'roided up crew that Bud Selig himself oversaw gets in and Pete stays out, something's wrong. He has 4,256 reasons to be there.
3) Why does my dog insist on sniffing about and circling incessantly in the morning before she lets fly?  Exactly why would one be picky when the wind chill is well below 20?  It's ridiculous for a grown man to root and cheer for a No. 2!
2) How untouchable would Oscar Robertson's and Pete Maravich's college scoring records be if they had a three-point line and  could've played as freshmen.  Freshmen weren't eligible then and all buckets were a deuce. The Big O had 2,973 points and "Pistol Pete" had 3,667. Next time you stand to applaud someone in making the 1,000-point club for their career, keep that in mind.
And finally (do your drum rool noise)
1) Can I get me some Bruce Springsteen at Great American Ballpark?  I've seen the guy 30-some odd times, and have plans to see this latest tour.  I regret that I didn't make the Paul McCartney GABP show, but I think the Boss at the ballyard would be pretty cool. (Oddly enough, I was sitting in the left-field cheap seats last summer when I got the news of the death of his sax player Clarence Clemons. If it wasn't for Whitney Houston, the "Big Man" would've been honored at the Grammy's.)

With that said, I give you my song of the day.  While I don't always politically agree with Bruce, I understand and have been in the lines that make this song hit home.  You can call it "Daddy Rock" all you want.  Take the best show you've ever seen, tack an hour and change onto it and you've got what Bruce and the E Street Band did in their prime. 

See you at a show if you're so inclined.  In the meantime, you can find me @partingscott (personal twitter); @cpscottspringer (work Twitter) and on www.cincinnati.com/blogs/preps with my high school coverage.  If you're really nosey or intrigued about my personal ailments or displeasures, I have a site www.partingscott.com.  I don't post much on it since I've been back working, but there's a plethora of work there that served as my daily coping diary for awhile.


Now, one for the road, a little obscure. When you're lonely, there's always that place that's "Open All Night" (Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming)

On the passing of Bearcat and Bengal legend Greg Cook

I posted this on the UC site I contribute to, so we'll duplicate it here. 
I've been fortunate in life to have met a lot of my childhood idols in sports.  I've met and interviewed most of the Big Red Machine, many UC and Bengal greats and countless people you dream of meeting as a kid.

One I remember as a eight-year-old was Greg Cook, who had lit up the UC record book and was drafted No. 1 by the Bengals in 1969.  Cook was the AFL Rookie of the Year and led the Bengals to a 3-0 start that year after beating the Kansas City Chiefs (who went on to win the Super Bowl).

I had no idea that 25 years later, I would work with Greg Cook on UC football broadcasts in 1994.

Here's the link.

Parting Scott still around, just busy in other areas

I again apologize for not posting on here more frequently.  Honestly, it's increasingly difficult when you're posting for two other jobs.
I keep it mainly for the previous material I've written and because I promised a caretaker I'd blog about my health condition.
However, if you wanted to hear about poor health, you could probably hit the local early-bird special at any breakfast joint (as they gorge themselves on gravy, eggs and bacon--all of those healthy foods).

So, I give you here something I wrote about UC keeping coach Butch Jones around for football....

And, should you desire to see me attempt to flap my jaws about local high school football, there's this gem.  (Actually, in terms of my speech along with my botox and braces treatment, I'm fairly tolerable at this stage. Next shots come in late March.)
Video killed the newspaper star(s).

For you old-time MTV fans, enjoy The Buggles

Things to do with down time

I have a couple vacation days here, so I figured I'd get to the blog I've virtually ignored for the past 157 days.

(Thanks to christmasvacationcollectibles.com)

 Again, to get you up to speed, my work requires me to blog on two other sites, in addition to writing print articles, shooting semi-focused photographs, videos and a number of other things that used to be done by multiple people.

Quite honestly, at the end of the day, writing a stream-of-consciousness personal blog gets put to the side in favor of crashing for a few minutes before bed in front of some satellite TV silliness like "Hillbilly Handfishin'" or "Lizard Lick Towing". (Can't find many black and white "Andy Griffith" shows any more, so I get my trailerhood video fix elsewhere.)

Perhaps, I could start posting some of my other stories here, but there's always the distinct  possibility that you might not care for high school sports or the UC Bearcats.

We'll see.

The other use of this blog, as requested by my caretakers was to document my attempt to overcome the supposedly incurable, neurological disorder I have called oromandibular dystonia.

The Cliff's Notes:  I've had it since January 2004, when one day at my radio job, my mouth and jaw stopped cooperating with me and made it difficult to form my words.

Since then, I've tried many remedies.  Currently, I have braces for the second time (nothing defines middle-aged sexy like a mouthful of wire) and I receive quarterly botox injections to deaden the muscles that work against me.

Tomorrow, I get shot up again.

The upside is I'll get a month or so of easier speech.  The downside is, the injections can make pronunciation difficult if given near the lips, or can cause temporarily paralysis if given in the wrong area.

It's pretty much Russian roulette with a poison every three months.

What I have learned from it is to sympathize with those that have a visible disorder. From my own experience, during difficult spells, I've had people look at me and judge me as if I were a completely clueless and helpless idiot.

Truth be told, I probably have more education than  many of them and lifetime of experience that would make my book better than theirs. (At least mine would take more than one trip to the porcelain convenience.)

Anyway, that's the update health-wise.

Job-wise, I'm working and I'm decent at what I do based on my experience.

I just got a raise.

If I get the same raise for the next 20 years, I'll be making what I made when a group of number crunchers in Texas left me at a payphone at BP after nearly 19 years of hard work.

Oh well, if I can tell anyone anything about survival, it goes back to my teenage baseball practices...learn to hit the curve ball!

Nothing in life comes at you straight and in the same spot with predicted regularity.  At some point, whether you're up or down in the count,"Uncle Charlie" is coming!

It's entirely a guessing game.

Now, a little holiday cheer from my family to yours....

WHILE I WAS AWAY (AGAIN)

Yeah, I'm getting really irresponsible about posting on this blog.  When I'm required to post on two other blogs as part of my job, in my off time I'm not really inspired to post more.

But, this blog has allowed me freedom to do things that I can't do on the others, so when I can, I shall continue.

Coming off the end of my vacation from the Community Press/Enquirer Media (my work can sometimes be found at www.cincinnati.com/pressprepsblog) I have a second to explain a thing or two.

Our vacation these days consists of attending our youngest sons' baseball tournaments. Last weekend, we were in Louisville, then had three days at the Redneck Riviera (Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg) and another five in Columbus, Indiana.

In Louisville, we went to a Bats game and my 13-year-old got to stand next to Paul Janish on his first day back in the minors.  Fortunately, he didn't ask him what it was like to get sent back to the scrubs.

The 11-year-old patiently watched a couple of his older brother's coaches scramble for a liner from Yonder Alonso and then calmly walked in the aisle to secure the ball.  Successful night at the yard.

My wife and I went to the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs.  Nice tour and all, but based on the neighborhood, lack of roads and what looks like a zoo atmosphere, I believe I'll watch the remaining Derby's at home or at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

In Gatlinburg, I was 0-3 at the big wooden, three-tiered go cart track and could only putt my way to one win out of umpteen miniature golf rounds.  Not my week to put it in the clown's mouth.

The highlight was our rafting trip on the Little Pigeon River.  With the younger two older now, we booked a more exciting trip.  Unfortunately, so did a couple elderly ladies from Saint Louis who were pasty white and slathered in sunscreen that looked like Crisco.

I guess they thought they signed up for the lazy river.  One cringed when she found she had to walk into the water to get in, then both took an unplanned dip when we hid our first serious rapids.

So did my boys and myself.  The wife managed to stay in.

Actually, after the backward flip and going to the bottom and losing my glasses, it was kind of fun and refreshing to be in the water on a 90-degree day.  Once I secured my youngest and saw his older brother was safe, we paddled back to the boat where our 120-pound female guide hauled us back in.

The two women wanted out, but rapids tend to go just one way.  From that point on they were passengers, but we managed to keep them in.

Perhaps they are curious from the "Show Me State", but I think these two might stick to quilting and antiquing from here on out.

The baseball in Columbus, Indiana didn't go as planned, but we did  visit a cool ice cream parlor with player pianos and old-style soda machines,etc.  We also had a pool, so kids and a pool and nice surrounding area for the adults can often overcome the most bitter defeats.

(courtesy poolcenter.com)

Now, I'm back to the grind.  I have an Ipad, an Android, a HD video camera and another camera I'm not so sure of.

What I am sure of is I know how to find people and tell stories.  The money's not what it was and the glamor gone, but I get to tell people I have a job which is better than many people in this crappy economy.

While the vacation wasn't quite what we've been fortunate enough to do in the past, we did fun things and we got home safely.

In the end, your old bed and a swig of sweet tea out of your own fridge ain't all that bad.

Just wish the 21-year-old could've cut my grass while I was gone.

THE ONGOING STRUGGLE (WE TRY)

Here's the latest video from my day job as a sports reporter covering high schools in Greater Cincinnati.

I give you this not for web hits, but to update my oromandibular dystonia condition. For those that know of this, it may be old news. For those that don't, it may be too much information. Either way, I'm honest to a fault and I like to keep people up to date.

Having dealt with this for seven-plus years, I'm no longer as embarrassed or frustrated by it. It certainly put a damper on my career, but I still have a lot to say and I'm going to figure out how to say it.

Currently, I'm wearing braces as I explore an orthodontic avenue to my condition. This causes my mouth to dry which then sometimes can make it difficult for me to form words when combined with the ailment that wants to force my jaws such as I speak.

I also take botox shots which are hit or miss and far from an exact science.  Too much and I'm have no facial expression or movement at all. As it is, smiling is difficult (I'm not nearly the curmudgeon you may think).

Too little and I may struggle at times as the dose wears off. No botox and I would eventually revert back to seven years ago when one day I slurred and couldn't move my mouth and spoke as if I had a stroke.

Currently, I can be understood, but visually may look a little odd at times when speaking (in addition to my other visual disadvantages caused by nature). I hope in time to reduce the issue.

In the meantime, I'm back to the orthodontist next week for some metallic manipulations. 49 and braces--I'm thinking of asking for a pocket protector and some high-waist trousers for my birthday in July for the full effect.

The orthodontist's office wants me to record /write about my treatment, so that's why you get this post rather than my usual ranting drivel.

WHILE I WAS AWAY

Wow...30 days between posts is a long time.

What this means is I've been busy at work and busy trying to get kids to practices, games, and other events that have usually been rained out in April. 

If you're hankering to know what I've been up to.  Here's a couple videos from the Community Press that we shoot on Mondays talking about our particular high school beats.  No, it's not as glamorous as covering the Reds or Bengals or traveling to spring training or NCAA tournament games like I've done in the past, but it's sports and those I cover are typically appreciative.

If high school baseball's your thing, click here.
If you like girls fast-pitch softball, this is your spot.

If you like strapping, handsome young gentlemen--my apologies.

Which leads to the next topic...I just saw a picture taken of me at work.  Because my glasses turn dark outside, I was asked to take them off.   The result is you see me squinting, plus I have a really difficult time smiling because of my condition that I've talked about from time to time. 

Part of my attempt to remedy my oromandibular dystonia (in addition to quarterly botox shots to jaw muscles and lips) is my recent braces.  An attorney in California went this route and had some success, so I'm trying it.
The downside is in addition to the disorder, I now have enough metal in my mouth to cause a delay with TSA at the airport.

So, in the picture, I'm squinting and I look like I just finished sucking on a lemon.  Plus, I just had what hair I have cut and it's far from flattering.

This is the shot before I took my glasses off.  Community Press reporters Tony Meale and James Weber are in front, Nick Dudukovich is in the back and I'm in the back, far right. (And yes, I'm older than them for those of you more visually impaired than me.)


Well, since then I've taken it upon myself to chisel and groom myself a tad better. Besides, there's a lot of age discrimination out there (ask me about it sometime when you have a day to waste away) and I need to reach a younger demographic (in the hopes that I can rise above the wage I made 20-plus years ago).

Therefore, I plan to update my profile with this recent shot.

The hair growth has been nothing short of amazing, and you can hardly detect the braces.

Sorry for the length of time in between posts, I'll try to do better (in between romance novel photo shoots).

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