The Futures Game roster is out. Two Reds prospects made the team:
SP Robert Stephenson Stats
OF Jesse Winker Stats

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6:05, Sports Talk, 700 WLW
7:05, Inside Pitch, 700 WLW

Programming note: ESPN 1530 will air USA vs Germany World Cup on Thursday.
Air time 11:30 AM. Match begins at Noon.

US midfielder Jermaine Jones (L) celebrates after he scored his team's first goal during a Group G match between USA and Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 22, 2014. FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)



Well, you said the Reds needed to get above .500 before you could take them seriously. They did it. Notes HERE on Monday's 6-1 win.

Let's get it started
The Reds have scored first in 11 of their last 12 games.
They have scored in the 1st inning of 9 of those 12 games.

Piling it on
Reds have score 2 or more runs in an inning 18 times in last 12 games:
2 run inning: 7 times
3 run inning: 5 times
4 run inning: 2 times
5 run inning: 2 times
7 run inning: 1 time
8 run inning: 1 time


CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Starting pitcher Alfredo Simon #31 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 23, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Doing it with defense
We continue to see the advantage the Reds have over the opposite when it comes to defense. Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup Monday night. Skip Schumaker filled in and made this play to end the 7th inning.
The Reds have committed just 30 errors, fewest in MLB. They have made 8 fewer errors than the next closest team, Angels (38). The ML average for errors per team this year is 47.

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds hits an RBI single scoring Chris Heisey during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 23, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Billy Jumpstart
Billy Hamilton is riding an 11 game hitting streak, covering 13 games.
He had a sacrifice bunt in one appearance and came in as a defensive replacement in another. During his hit streak: .385-.418-.615-1.034.
He is 20 for 52, 6 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, reached twice on an error and is 8 of 10 SB.
He has a higher slugging percentage for the season (.400) than Jay Bruce (.395) or Brandon Phillips (.393).
PS....check out the picture above. It was a seven pitch AB. Here is the hit, right back up the middle.
Hamilton vs Choo 2014
Hamilton: .276-.311-.400-.711, 31 SB, 2.0 WAR, OPS+ 96
Choo:      .248-.377-.386-.763,   3 SB, 1.0 WAR, OPS +112
(WAR from Baseball-Reference)
Don't forget to factor in defense, where Hamilton not only has a clear advantage over Choo, but is rated best among CF in MLB.
Choo: 7 years, $130M
2014: $14M (Age 31)
2015: $14M
2016: $20M
2017: $20M
2018: $20M
2019: $21M
2020: $21M (Age 37)
2014: $500K, Arbitration eligible 2017, Free agent 2020

It's All-Star projection time
Yahoo Sports
5. Devin Mesoraco warrants a particular shout-out here first, because barring injury he has next to zero chance of making it. 

Lutz a solid utility option for Price 
When I watched Lutz that fall, several factors intrigued me. First, he showed some raw power from a well-conditioned 6-foot-3, 250-pound frame. In addition, Lutz flashed first-step quickness out of the batter's box and on the bases. He runs very well and surprises teams with his ability to steal bases and take an extra base on the outfielders.

On this date: June 24, 1990
Reds-Dodgers, Riverfront Stadium, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
First time Reds played a regularly scheduled home night game on a Sunday in franchise history.
Bottom 7th inning: Reds leading Dodgers 10-4.
Norm Charlton blew past Reds 3B coach Sam Perlozzo and scored from 1st base on a double by Joe Oliver. John Erardi wrote about the moment  in 2010. 
Boxscore HERE 

Down on the Farm

(Photo: Bakersfield Blaze)

Reds pitching prospect Ben Lively made his Double-A debut Monday night.
He lasted 3.2 IN, allowing 3 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 8 K, throwing 98 pitches/52 strikes.
Lively dominated a High-A Bakersfield this year: 10-1 2.28 with 95 K in 79 IN.
The Pensacola News Journal had a nice feature on Lively in Monday's edition.


Lighten up, All-Star ad was harmless fun
The Sporting News
It's harmless fun, acknowledging that Molina is excellent, but encouraging Brewers fans to support their player over a talismanic player from a division rival. The only basis for degrading Molina is the uniform he wears, and nothing bad about the Cardinals is said except that they are the Cardinals, who are not the Brewers, and yes, the Cardinals tend to have a lot of All-Stars — good teams usually do.
So, of course, this became a source of controversy.

Comparing World Cup teams to MLB teams
The Sporting News
Uruguay: Early powerhouse in the game's history, still widely considered a contender, but really too reliant on one lightning-rod star to succeed. Reds.

Bengals: Single-game tickets on sale Saturday

            Single-game tickets for the Bengals’ first eight home games in 2014 (including preseason) will be available to purchase beginningSaturday, June 28. Sales will begin at 10 a.m. and initially will be available in three ways: (1) online via, (2) by phone through the Bengals’ Ticket Hotline at 866-621-8383 or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or (3) in person at Ticketmaster outlets (visit for information about locations).
          Beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, June 30, single-game tickets also will be available in person at the Paul Brown Stadium ticket office.
           Single-game ticket prices begin at $44 and are available on all three levels of the stadium.
           Single-game tickets for the Bengals’ final two regular-season home games -- Dec. 7 vs. Pittsburgh and Dec. 22 vs. Denver -- will go on sale at a later date yet to be determined. However, tickets for those two games already are available as full-season tickets or multi-game ticket packs through all of the options listed above.
           The Bengals’ 2014 home lineup includes two national prime-time games -- just the third such instance in franchise history -- on Nov. 6 vs. Cleveland (Thursday night on NFL Network) and on Dec. 22 vs. Denver (Monday night on ESPN). The only other seasons in which the Bengals had two prime-time regular-season home games were 2004 and ’07. This season’s two prime-time home games are fixed, not subject to flexible scheduling. 

UC basketball

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 20: Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats talks to his team during their game against the Harvard Crimson in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 20, 2014 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

The Enquirer has a copy of Mick Cronin's contract:
Among the details found while combing through it...
$400,000 for Radio/TV show
Golf Club Membership
Use of automobile on a loaned basis or stipend in the amount of $10,000  year for an automobile
$10,000 for 21 regular season wins
$25,000 for Conference (to be named) Regular Season Champions
$15,000 Conference Coach of Year
$25,000 National Coach of Year
$20,000 for appearances in both 1st/2nd rounds of NCAA tournament
$100,000 Final Four appearance
$100,00 Winning National Championship
12 complimentary season tickets for basketball home games.
4 complimentary ticket for football home games
Right of Renegotiation: Should the University become a member of a Power  Conference: SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-12) during the term, Coach reserves the right to request a renegotiation of his agreement.
Increase in budget: $25,000 over the 2013-14 budget....then $15,000 over each year for term of contract.
Annual salary/bonus pool of at least $670,000 in each year for Men's Basketball program's coaching staff and non-coaching staff, including Director Basketball Operations. 

USA Basketball
Franklin's Luke Kennard scored 11 points and added 2 steals in Team USA's 90-56 win over the Dominican Republic in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship medal semifinal Monday night. Team USA advances to the gold medal game Tuesday vs Canada at 5:30. Luke will go for gold on his birthday.

 Chad Johnson

On this date: 1970