Jim’s Journal, March 28th, 2024

It’s finally here–  opening day of the 2024 baseball season!  The Reds open at home, against the Washington Nationals.  But only after a day full of festivities around Cincinnati, including a big parade, downtown block parties, and more.  Some of the greats in Reds history always return, so today Hall of Famers will be there at Great American Ballpark-  George Foster delivering the official game ball, and Sean Casey throwing the ceremonial first pitch, and Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman will be an honorary Captain, marking his half-century on Reds games.  Be sure to join Tommy Thrall and the rest of the crew, probably with a guest appearance from Marty, for the first official game of 2024, the Nats visiting the Reds, all starting at 3:40 today, only on the Sports Voice, 103.9 WRBI.


Cincinnati did have a roster spot to fill, so they brought outfielder Bubba Thompson on board Wednesday.  Bubba was recalled after having been optioned to the Triple-A Louisville Bats a couple weeks ago.  He fills a gap among outfielders, since TJ Friedl’s going to be recovering from that broken wrist for a while.  Manager David Bell says he likes Thompson’s experience, and loves his defense in the outfield.  He adds that Thompson made good strides on offense the hitting coaches are liking, and overall had a good camp.  He’s 25, and batted .269 with a home run over 15 Cactus League games.  Your 26th Red is Bubba Thompson.


Men’s college hoops in the NIT now has that tournament’s Final Four set…  as second-seeded Utah beat VCU last night, 74-64, and 1 seed Seton Hall beat down UNLV, 91-68.  That means the semi-final games coming up Tuesday at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will feature three of the tournament’s top 4 seeds…  Number 1 Seton Hall facing Number 4 Georgia, and Number 1 Indiana State taking on Number 2 Utah.  In the quarterfinals earlier this week, ISU narrowly knocked out Cincinnati, and Georgia edged Ohio State.


Remember the NCAA tournaments, also with some local men’s interest, as top seed Purdue faces Gonzaga Friday, and the Indiana women go up against Number 1 South Carolina.


The Pacers had a rough NBA go in Chicago last night, getting belted by the Bulls, 125 to 99.  Tomorrow night, Indiana will be back home, welcoming the Lakers.