I am a Cincinnati Reds fan and have been for a long time. The Reds will break your heart. They never seem to get all of the pieces put together as Dusty Baker bounces his line-up around. However, they are managing to stay atop their division for the most of the first half of the season. It is very seldom a team without a .300 hitter in the line-up can be competitive.

Joey Votto is currently on the disabled list and will be out of the lineup for about three or four weeks. Votto is a big hitter and a Gold Glove defender. My favorite player is Brandon Phillips. Phillips is the best fielding second baseman I have ever seen. My all time favorite is Tony Perez.

The recruiting trail

As we make our way through the dog days of summer, Coach John Calipari is through with coaching the Dominican Republic. I am sure Coach Cal has turned his attention to preparing his young Wildcats for what he hopes will be another championship season.

Coach Cal is probably leading the country in frequent flyer miles. I would assume his recruiting is complete for the upcoming 2012-’13 season. The players for the 2013-’14 seem to have more top-notch five-star prospects available than the other years.

The Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron are certainly high on the list for Coach Cal and his staff. The twins are out of Richmond, Texas. One is a point guard and the other is a shooting guard. Aaron is 6’4” and Andrew is 6’5”.

Troy Williams at 6’9” would remind you of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Williams is from Hampton, VA.

Jabari Parker is high on Calipari’s list. Parker is considered the most promising player in his class. The Cats are also very high on Jules Randle, another player from the state of Texas.

Quite a player

I am hearing some news from Barbourville of a young phenom. Tucker Holland from what I hear has hit close to 40 home runs this summer and the Knox Central Little League team has won their region play and will now play in the state tournament in Prestonsburg. Tucker is 11 years old and stands around 5’9” and weighs about 170 pounds.

Tucker also is an all-around athlete as he plays football and basketball. Tucker’s grandfather and grandmother are Jim Fuson and Pat Fuson. I am sure the next few years will be very exciting for Jim and Pat.

Back to the field

The dead period in the Kentucky High School athletics is over and everyone is excited as football season draws near.

The Redhounds open the season August 17th against George Rogers Clark. Last season Clark County was much quicker that the Redhounds and they may be this year as well.

Over the years, the Redhounds have been known as a power running team and this year appears to be no different. I look for a big year from Matt Jewell, Tanner Powers and Jake Coppock. I feel the Redhounds will throw the ball to Josh Jewell and Hunter Grubb.

I was pleased to hear Travis Smith has signed to play basketball. Travis will join Isaac Wilson as they hope to bring the success they enjoyed as team with the Redhounds to the Eagles of Alice Lloyd.

The Eagles inside game is bolstered by 6’10” Terry Muse of Pulaski County High School. Muse has really stepped up his game.