Sports Extra with Dave Ross: Major soccer player has ties to Botkins

Sports Extra - With Dave Ross

The Columbus Crew is a long standing member of Major League Soccer. Midfielder Isaiah Parente is listed on their current roster and has seen action in two games. The Wake Forest product grew up in Medina (OH) and is the son of the former Danielle Koenig who hails from Botkins. Her parents are Ken and Violet Koenig, and they still reside there.

The Crew took a 3-2-2 record into a three weak break that ends on June 19. On July 3 the team will move from their longtime state fairgrounds location to a modern downtown venue.

Reds notes

I’ve enjoyed Cincinnati radio sportstalk host Lance McAlister for many years. His shows have nice pace and are very informative. Lance was recently analyzing the Cincinnati Reds numerous injuries including the ongoing misfortunes of infielder/outfielder Nick Senzel who frequently exhibits signs of brilliance when able to play for any length of time.

McAlister researched Senzel’s injury history from his three seasons at the University of Tennessee Turns out that the Volunteers played 161 games during that period with Senzel appearing in 160 of them.

The Reds top two offensive threats are outfielders Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos and both are possible candidates for National League MVP. Winker, 27, is under team control (arbitration) through 2023 with a current salary of $3.15 million. Castellanos, 29, is almost halfway through a four year $64 million deal that allows him to become a free agent after this season. At this point he’s in line for both more money per year and more years. I feel the Reds will try to keep him but may not be able to.

Common name

Wright State product Joe Smith recently appeared in his 800th major league game for a total of six clubs. Several years ago I saw him pitch spring training for the Cleveland Indians. When he entered the game I was asked who was going to pitch. I responded “Joe Smith,” and the inquisitor thought I’d made up the name. “Ann, I can’t help it. He’s from Wright State and his name is Joe Smith.”

Ann might be interested to know that the current version marks only the second time that a Joe Smith has played in the majors. There have been a dozen in the minors.

He’s now 37, the same age as San Diego reliever Craig Stammen (UD) who will eclipse 500 career appearances this summer. Stammen’s MLB career began as a starting pitcher while Smith is 100% relief. They did pitch against each other in college but neither remembers it since it wasn’t notable at the time, Craig told me earlier this week.

Stammen has just over 10 years in the big leagues while Smith is in his 15th season. Stammen went to Versailles HS while Smith attended Amelia HS near Cincinnati.

Craig’s friend, Fort Loramie outfielder Jared Hoying, is continuing to work at the Toronto Blue Jays extended spring training in Dunedin, Florida and hopes to be assigned to their top farm club any day now.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has spent 45 years working in local radio, TV, and newspaper. His columns have received statewide recognition.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has spent 45 years working in local radio, TV, and newspaper. His columns have received statewide recognition.