No names, no traveling and no fish!


Once again it appears that Southwest Ohio’s favorite baseball team is going to struggle this season. Coming out of spring training the Reds seemed poised to have a legitimate shot at NL Central honors. However, now that the campaign is a quarter over, doubts have arisen as to whether this year’s version is anything but a .500 ball club.

Inconsistency has been a trademark of the pitching staff, particularly in the bullpen. Can you name four Reds’ relievers? They move in and out of the roster so quickly that the clubhouse manager has trouble sewing their names on the back of their game jerseys by game time!

Meanwhile, other than Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, the lineup has been challenged offensively—they’ll score 8 or 9 runs two games in a row, then score a total of 4 or 5 over the next 3 games.

Joey Votto’s injured, Eugenio Suarez is missing in action so far, and Nick Senzel shows only occasional glimpses of his supposed immense potential while rookie Jonathan India is adjusting to major league pitching.

Fans can only hope that the team puts together a win streak or two over the next six weeks or it will be another long season along the banks of the Ohio!

One program not having problems again this spring is the always powerful Lady Wave softball team. As this is written, the Green and White sport a 29-1 record, advancing to yet another district championship game, outscoring three playoff opponents 45-0. Only long-time archrival Hamilton Ross stands between the girls and a trip to the “Sweet Sixteen”.

A secret to the program’s success, besides talent and tradition, is the outstanding feeder program that Coach Jerrod Newland, his staff, and volunteers have developed over the years. From the youth program through middle school, excellence is expected, fundamentals drilled, and enthusiasm high as everyone wants to someday wear a Lady Wave varsity uniform.

Congratulations also to the MVL championship middle school team and their coaches—the beat goes on! Speaking of girls sports, hats off to several individual MVL champions in track and field at last week’s league meet.

The GHS ladies finished third of ten overall, bested only by a dominant Troy team and Tipp City. Taking top honors were Isabelle Rammel in the 1600 with a time of 5:23.01, double medalist Harley West in the disc with a throw of 126’-01” and the shot with a toss of 39’-06”, and Grace Conway in the pole vault with a height of 12’-06”.

Good luck to all county track athletes in district meets this week; let’s move on to regional competition next week!

WNBA play got underway last week for the 25th year. Great players, great competitive games, yet how many of you reading this award-winning column can name even six of the twelve teams in the league? For various reasons, outside of the teams’ cities, the general public just hasn’t gotten involved in the sport to any great extent. It’s too bad as the quality of play is outstanding—trust me, no YMCA mens’ pickup team would stand a chance against these ladies!

The NBA playoffs got started this week with a “play-in” tournament, the format know only to a chosen few and God himself. Playoff basketball is a notch or two above regular season play —can anyone in Darke County explain what constitutes “traveling” in the NBA? Seems like a lot of players can dunk without taking a dribble from the three-point line!

Well, I’m still a fish-catching virgin after returning from an outing on the Gulf of Mexico last week. Seems like water conditions and a low barometric pressure system coming ashore kept the fish deep and satisfied as every charter boat returned to the marina empty. However, I had a great time with several fraternity brothers from Miami University—the water and weather didn’t affect our socializing!

By the way, the Naples-Ft. Myers area is a new favorite of mine; I’d highly recommend it! Until next time, stay healthy and active!

By Dr. Alex Warner

Shots in the Darke

Dr. Alex Warner is a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate

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