▪ Vince Marrow is unhappy. Strike that, Kentucky football’s recruiting coordinator is more than unhappy.
“I’m knocking down the doors to national media because these guys are really p------ me off,” Marrow said Tuesday while appearing on Kentucky Sports Radio. “It’s p------ me off.”
Marrow’s complaint? After a 10-3 season and Citrus Bowl win, Kentucky isn’t getting the respect it deserves, says Marrow. Phil Steele’s College Football Yearbook has the Cats finishing sixth in the SEC East in 2019. Athlon’s preseason yearbook has Mark Stoops’ team finishing 6-6.
Of course, UK did lose four players taken in the first four rounds in the NFL Draft, including No. 7 overall pick Josh Allen. Still, the perceived lack of respect will no doubt serve as a chip on the shoulder for this year’s Cats. And Marrow is not about to let them forget it.
▪ David Bell is his own man. And good for him. The new manager may have some Reds’ fans scratching their heads and Reds’ broadcasters perplexed, but he’s sticking to his analytics-based, outside-the-box approach.
Example: Monday night against visiting Houston. Reds up 3-2, Bell brought in closer Raisel Iglesias with one out in the eighth inning. That was nothing new for the Reds’ skipper. He has used Iglesias for more than one inning before. This time, however, after Iglesias walked a batter in the eighth, then opened the ninth with a walk before getting a pop-up, Bell replaced Iglesias with another right-handed reliever, Michael Lorenzen, who picked up his third save.
Though he had complained about his usage before, Iglesias said he understood. Bell said he wanted to give his team the best chance to win. He said he wouldn’t shy away from using Iglesias in future save situations. Good for the manager. These days, baseball is full of against-the-grain thinkers who are successful. About time the Reds joined the club.
▪ To say horse racing’s 3-year-old division sits wide open is an understatement. You might call it a mess.
Declared Kentucky Derby winner Country House is not expected to race the rest of the year. Maximum Security, who hit the finish line first in the Derby, finished second in Sunday’s Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park. It was his first race post-Derby. And Santa Anita Derby winner Roadster finished second in Saturday’s Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes.
Just around the corner: The Iowa Derby is Sunday, July 7. The Indiana Derby is Saturday, July 13. The Haskell Invitational is Saturday, July 20.
▪ Word out of Pittsburgh is that the Steelers want to lighten running back James Conner’s load — 215 carries last season — by spreading the carries between Conner, Jaylen Samuels and ex-UK star Benny Snell, the team’s fourth-round pick.
▪ Speaking of ex-Cats in the NFL, Odell Beckham skipping the Browns’ OTA, plus some other Cleveland wide receiver injuries in mini-camp, allowed Dorian Baker to get more of a look. By all accounts, the Cleveland native fared well.
▪ The New Orleans Pelicans did the best they could do while being forced to trade Anthony Davis. Getting Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and a slew of first-round draft picks, including No. 4 overall on Thursday, from the Lakers. Still, I’d rather have Anthony Davis.
▪ Former ESPN analyst Andy Katz, now working for NCAA.com, wrote recently that UK point guard Ashton Hagans is the most important player in the SEC next season.
Katz’s next four: Florida point guard Andrew Nembhard, Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards, LSU senior Skylar Mays and Auburn center Austin Wiley.
▪ Vanderbilt might win the College World Series, but the so-called “Vandy Whistler,” who whistles during games, has got to go.