You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Springfield income tax increase back to polls in May

Ask Hal: Keeping Rose quiet was cruel

Hall-of-fame baseball writer Hal McCoy knows a thing or two about America’s pastime. If you’d like to tap into that knowledge, send a question to

Q: Did the Reds convert Billy Hamilton from shortstop to center field to ease the pain of the horrific trade of another center fielder named Hamilton? — DAVE, MIAMISBURG/CENTERVILLE/BEAVERCREEK

A: Are you referring to that guy in Los Angeles who is hitting .238 with a .299 on-base average with 62 RBIs and 136 strikeouts in 130 games? That Hamilton? Josh Hamilton, the guy making $17 million this year who will make $32 million the last two years of his contract? But he does look good in those hair product commercials.

Q: How was Pete Rose allowed to participate in the Great Eight celebration (this weekend) if he is banned from baseball? — MIKE, KETTERING

A: The Reds received dispensation from Commissioner Bud Selig for Rose to participate. Would it have been a complete celebration without one of the top players? Would they have formed a missing-man formation on the field. Rose was not allowed to do any media interviews and it surprised me that he didn’t appear with a piece of duct tape across his mouth. Telling Pete he can’t talk is cruel and unusual punishment.

Q: Can the Reds just go ahead and pencil in Tony Cingrani as a starter next season? — ANDREW, CINCINNATI

A: They won’t say it, but believe it. How can they not? What a competitor. What a pitcher. And he’s left-handed — a rare commodity for the Reds in recent years. Maybe it might stop them from doing the unthinkable and continuing their insane idea of converting Aroldis Chapman into a starter. There is uncertainty about the return of Bronson Arroyo and will Johnny Cueto ever be healthy? Write Cingrani’s name in ink, not in pencil.

Q: The Reds are so inconsistent in their hitting, like two guys going 0 for 7 in one game. Do you think they should bring Casey in to show these guys what they are doing wrong? — SHARON, MIDDLETOWN

A: Casey? Hey, Mighty Casey struck out in the big game. Oh, you mean Sean Casey. I know he can’t understand the present-day acceptance of the big swing and the strikeouts. I’d be amenable to that only if they told Sean he couldn’t teach them to go through 13 different gyrations at the plate between pitches.

Q: Colorado’s Jim Tracy was voted manager of the year and then a couple of years later is out of baseball. Is too much credit given to managers in successful years and too much criticism in a bad year? — MIKEY, GREENVILLE

A: No doubt about that. A manager is the captain of the ship and it goes down if the sailors under him don’t do their jobs. If all goes well, things are ship-shape. If they don’t the skipper goes down with the ship. I always liked what manager Davey Johnson said: “You are never as good as you think you are when everything goes right and you are never as bad as you think you are when everything goes bad.” Managers are only as good as their players.

Q: The Reds didn’t get much return on the Ken Griffey Jr. contract but it is starting to look very profitable compared to the long-term deal with Joey Votto. Would you agree the early returns are not very good? — MARK, BLOOMINGTON, IND.

A: No, I wouldn’t agree. If the Reds offered to give Votto’s contract to any team that wanted him the line outside Walt Jocketty’s door would stretch to Fountain Square. Is Votto having a stellar year? No. Is he having an awful year? No. Is he slumping now? Yes. Will it be a career slump? Absolutely not. The Angels would take him right now to replace Albert Pujols.

Q: What is it that makes Great American Ball Park a hitter’s paradise, the dimensions, prevailing winds or that the ball travels farther when it is hot and humid? — ALLEN, BEAVERCREEK

A: All of the above. It is a small outfield with short gaps and there seems to be a jet stream between left center and right center and on humid days every fly ball either goes to the warning track or over the wall. If I’m a free-agent pitcher I hide when the Reds come calling and if I’m a free-agent hitter I say, “Where do I sign? We’ll talk money later.”

Q: Do you think a more effective punishment besides suspension would be to wipe out all the records of the PED users and to knock the salaries of those still active back to minimum rookie salary? — ED, DAYTON

A: So you’re saying act as if Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa never existed? Ghosts. Figments of our imagination. They did what they did on the field and they did what they did off the field. They won’t get in the Hall of Fame. Punishment enough. Public humiliation. As for the salary issue, the Players Association would laugh the owners all the way out the door and to the nearest bank to make deposits to pay those millions and millions.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

UD Arena ranks among nation’s top venues
UD Arena ranks among nation’s top venues

Writers at’s Stadium Journey ranked the stadium experiences at 761 venues across the nation in 2016, and UD Arena finished in the top five percent, No. 37 to be exact. “Among the impressive college basketball history, incredible game atmospheres, and enjoyable and affordable fan experience, Dayton’s UD Arena should be on...
Shauna Green says Dayton Flyers turned the corner over winter break
Shauna Green says Dayton Flyers turned the corner over winter break

With a new coach at the helm and not much time to get used to her system, the Dayton Flyers faced a tall challenge in the opening month of the season, and from a win-loss standpoint, it proved to be too tall. Shauna Green started her UD career with a 3-6 record. That’s where the Flyers stood on Dec. 9 after a 76-72 loss at home to Toledo. They...
NBA considers changing game over millennials’ short attention spans
NBA considers changing game over millennials’ short attention spans

“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said to’s Tom Hamilton. “Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we...
Brawl breaks out during college basketball game in Memphis
Brawl breaks out during college basketball game in Memphis

 Police said no ambulances were called to the scene nor was a police report filed.  No one was taken into custody.  Both colleges are investigating. 
Pair of Wright State players selected in MLS Draft
Pair of Wright State players selected in MLS Draft

The Horizon League champion Wright State soccer team has produced a pair of MLS draft picks. The Seattle Sounders chose Jake Stovall in the third round while the Colorado Rapids picked Peguy Ngatcha in the fourth round. Stovall is from Centerville and was an All-Horizon League first-teamer while Ngatcha was the HL Player of the Year and named the conference&rsquo...
More Stories