John Clay's notes: Revere in the running; redshirt for Barker?

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistAugust 19, 2014 

APTOPIX Phillies Mets Baseball

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere entered Tuesday's game with a .315 batting average.

FRANK FRANKLIN II — AP

Random notes:

■ Could a former Lexington high school baseball star actually win a Major League batting title?

Philadelphia Phillies' center fielder and former Lexington Catholic star Ben Revere is certainly in the hunt. He entered Tuesday ranked second in the NL with a batting average of .315, just behind Colorado's Justin Morneau, who is hitting .321.

Plus, Revere is red-hot. Since June 26, he leads the majors in hits with 72. He's batting .360 in August. Heading into Tuesday's game at Seattle, the 26-year-old Revere was 9-for-15 over his last three games.

The last Phillie to win a batting title? Richie Ashburn in 1958.

■ Mark Stoops would not tip his hand Monday, but you would have to think that true freshman quarterback Drew Barker would be a redshirt candidate.

Redshirt freshman Reese Phillips would appear to be a capable backup behind starter Patrick Towles.

Plus, you have senior Maxwell Smith as an emergency option. Smith is still working his shoulder back into shape after offseason surgery.

■ Watching UK's open practices, the secondary appears much better than a year ago.

You know last year's poor showing had to rile Stoops, who cut his teeth in the profession coaching the secondary before becoming a defensive coordinator.

■ With Towles being named starting quarterback at UK, preceded by Kenny Hill getting the nod at Texas A&M and Justin Worley tabbed at Tennessee, the only SEC schools who have yet to choose a starter are Vanderbilt, LSU and Alabama.

■ Reports say former Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller is working on a book about sex, drugs and parties in college basketball. Tentative title: Below the Rim. Sex, drugs and parties? At Vanderbilt?

■ Highly recommend Tim Layden's profile in Sports Illustrated of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino, which lays everything out on the table and was preceded by a long negotiation between SI and the school over, among other things, whether the story was going to be "positive."

One of the more interesting tidbits is the alleged gun culture among the football players at U of L under Petrino, which was cleaned up by Charlie Strong.

■ Meanwhile, Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans of SI claim Petrino is already clashing with his defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, who was hired away from Georgia at a cost of $1 million a year.

■ Kentucky fans loathe Thamel and Evans — unless they are reporting negative doings at Louisville, of course.

■ Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson told Texas Monthly magazine, "It is too easy for those in the sports press to say, 'You are manipulating and using these kids. You are giving them nothing.' We are not giving them nothing."

That is true. College athletic departments are giving the student-athletes what is required for the student-athletes to make coaches, administrators and athletic departments millions of dollars.

■ Note to Johnny Manziel: To be an NFL quarterback, you have to act like an NFL quarterback.

■ The best part of the SEC Network, so far, is all those old football games in which the screen shrinks because it was broadcast before HD. I had almost forgotten that Ara Parseghian was a game analyst.

■ The worst part is that Rudy commercial for the College Football Playoff which has been shown more times on the SEC Network than the Real Housewives of New Jersey is shown on Bravo.

■ In case you haven't noticed, the Reds are done. Sunday's doubleheader loss to Colorado, in which the Deadlegs blew a 9-5 lead in the ninth in the first game and a 5-2 lead in the seventh in the second game, was the final nail.

■ Hopefully, Kentucky left those blue/white basketball uniforms in the Bahamas.

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com.

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