September 22, 2011; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Andrew Brackman pitches during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. The Rays won 15-8. Credit: Michael L. Stein-US PRESSWIRE

Final Four Tale of the Tape: Cincinnati Reds Spring Training Edition

The Final Four teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association annual basketball tournament have been decided on the court.  I am not particularly a fan of basketball but the tournament format lends itself to luring in the casual fan as flypaper lures in hungry flies.  I can honestly say I have not watched a single college basketball game in 5 years from beginning to end.  But like I said I am a casual fan with an overwhelming baseball addiction.

So this evening as I was driving down the gauntlet affectionately known in Pennsylvania as Interstate 70 I was on the phone speculating as I often do, “How do the Cincinnati Reds measure up?”  Not in reference to their offense, defense or even relief pitching; I literally want to know how do the 5 tallest members of this team of giants measure up to the Final Four competitors.

Is this subject silly?  Of course it is.  I just want to know and as I begin this blog entry I have absolutely no idea.  So here goes.

First, we must establish the teams participating.  As three of them are in a giant circle using I-71 and I-75 as the spokes of the wheel.  The Number 1 team in the nation hales from just south of the Queen City in Lexington, Kentucky.  They will face their cross state rivals at the University of Louisville.  I have arbitrarily decided that since I love underdogs and Louisville is the home of our own beloved Bats, I must support Louisville over Kentucky.  The third spoke is The Ohio State Buckeyes.  I did not go to school at OSU but aside from my alma mater Miami University, the Buckeyes are my favorite collegiate program.  The final entry into the competition is straight west on that accursed I-70 that I drive on daily just 900 miles west of me in Lawrence, Kansas where the University of Kansas main campus exists.  So these are the contestants lets follow the tale of the tape.


  1. Jeff Withey, University of Kansas Jayhawks
  2. Amir Williams, The Ohio State University Buckeyes
  3. Andrew Brackman, Cincinnati Reds (so what he was sent to AAA today, he is still on the 40 man!)
  4. Anthony Davis, University of Kentucky Wildcats
  5. Gorgui Dieng, University of Louisville Cardinals


  1. Terrence Jones, University of Kentucky Wildcats
  2. Thomas Robinson, University of Kansas Jayhawks
  3. Jared Sullinger, The Ohio State University Buckeyes
  4. Logan Ondrusek, Cincinnati Reds
  5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, University of Kentucky Wildcats
  6. Sean Marshall, Cincinnati Reds
  7. Deshaun Thomas, The Ohio State University Buckeyes
  8. Chane Behanon, University of Louisville Cardinals
  9. Travis Releford, University of Kansas Jayhawks
  10. Kyle Kuric, University of Louisville Cardinals


  1. William Buford, The Ohio State University Buckeyes
  2. Mat Latos, Cincinnati Reds
  3. Elijah Johnson, University of Kansas Jayhawks
  4. Doron Lamb, University of Kentucky Wildcats
  5. Nick Masset, Cincinnati Reds
  6. Chris Smith, University of Louisville Cardinals
  7. Tyshawn Taylor, University of Kansas Jayhawks
  8. Aaron Craft, The Ohio State University Buckeyes
  9. Marquis Teague, University of Kentucky Wildcats
  10. Peyton Siva, University of Louisville Cardinals


The teams and their starting lineups are listed.  The way I have decided to conduct my fantasy Final Four is to play out the games and the winner takes on our own Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds suffered a setback yesterday in the loss of Ryan Madson and Nick Masset was required to fill his shoes in this monumental competition.  We will see how this affects the eventual outcome.

The opening game pits the two Kentucky rivals.  The hype surrounding this game will be oppressive so we want to get it out of the way first.  It is a close game but in the end Peyton Siva comes up … short.  Kentucky wins by 11.

Game 2 featuring the Kansas Jayhaws versus The Ohio State Buckeyes is neck and neck but in the end William Buford rises above the competition and leads the Buckeyes to a narrow two point victory.

The NCAA championship game pits Kentucky against our Buckeyes (well mine at least).  In another nail biter Withey and Taylor are strong but Deshaun and William are tougher.  The Ohio State Buckeyes win by a single … point.

Now the Blog Red Machine Championship is at hand and the might Buckeyes take on the home team and play to a 107-107 tie.  What might have been before Ryan Madson tore his elbow apart.

Obviously this article is all in fun but it does highlight a valid point.  The Cincinnati Reds are loaded with statuesque competitors.  Not sure if that matters in any way but it is a fact.  For purposes of this I used the Reds 40 man roster where the Reds have 13 players 6’4″ and above.  By comparison, the Reds NLC opponents have fewer with their heads in the clouds.

NL Central Players Taller than 6’4″ on 40 man rosters:

  1. Cincinnati Reds, 13
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates, 11
  3. Chicago Cubs, 9
  4. St. Louis Cardinals, 9
  5. Houston Astros, 7
  6. Milwaukee Brewers, 7


As expected the majority of these players are pitchers building off the downhill throwing advantage their height avails but I have to note Astros catcher Chris Snyder, who is the tallest catcher in the division at 6’4″.  That has to make his job a bit more challenging, and painful.

Finally I will close this silly post with the method to my madness.  I added up the height of each of the starting rosters listed above and then filled in the 5 tallest Reds players.  On the advice of a trusted compadre, I selected Nick Masset as the point guard over Bronson Arroyo, Aroldis Chapman, Josh Judy, Kyle Lotzkar, Henry Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Jordan Smith, and Drew Stubbs who are all 6′ 4″ to fill in for the fallen Ryan Madson.

Here are the totals for the starting 5 of each team:

  1. Cincinnati Reds, 395 inches tall.
  2. The Ohio State Buckeyes, 395 inches tall.
  3. Kentucky Wildcats, 394 inches tall.
  4. Kansas Jayhawks, 393 inches tall.
  5. Louisville Cardinals, 383 inches tall.


Follow me on Twitter for Reds talk and occasional silliness like this @JohnHeitz

Tags: Andrew Brackman Aroldis Chapman Bronson Arroyo Chris Snyder Cincinnati Reds Drew Stubbs Final Four Henry Rodriguez Jordan Smith Josh Judy Kyle Lotzkar Logan Ondrusek Mat Latos NCAA Nick Masset Ryan Madson Scott Rolen Sean Marshall The Ohio State University University Of Kansas University Of Kentucky University Of Louisville

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