Do what you have to do to visit Ironman Raceway this weekend.
Dig for some spare change in your couch, do some cartwheels to release those coins in your pockets or look under your car seats for any loose bills.
Or you could just go to an ATM.
Yes, that would probably be easier.
For only $40 one can experience what is the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series. Saturday features two events, the 250 moto class and the 450 moto class, so it’s really two races for the price of one.
Actually, each race is divided into two, so four races for the price of one!
Friday will be when all the trucks and the racers get in. It’s also a time for tech inspection. Friday also features the amateurs, who practice that day and race on Sunday.
Then on Saturday, the professionals practice, qualify and race. Qualifying is actually a race in its own. The athletes don’t go one by one but compete for spots.
The opening ceremonies will take place around 12:30 p.m., and the racing begins shortly after that at 1 p.m.
I personally have been out to Tom’s Marine more than my fair share of times and have enjoyed myself immensely. And in those times there hadn’t even been a race!
Thursday was the second time I had been out to the track to watch actual practicing. The first time was earlier this summer. It was very casual and had maybe 10 or so riders giving the course its first test run.
On Thursday there were bigger names, more riders and a more finished track. In short, it was exciting then, and I can’t wait to see what the race will be like.
More importantly, I can’t wait see how Ironman Raceway holds up. It was two years ago the Shavers and crew started clearing the woods and getting the track ready. Now the riders are here, news affiliates are here from all over and Crawfordsville is about to be displayed all over the world on MAVTV and NBC Sports.
Yes, you could stay home and watch it on MAVTV, but that’s if you have MAVTV. NBC Sports, a more well-known network, will also show the race, but on a tape delay at 5 p.m. when everything live will be all over.
So it’s your choice. Do you really want to miss out on what’s bringing so many people to Crawfordsville?
People from the Shavers to their crew to Tim Cotter, the MX Sports Event Director, have put a lot of time and effort over the past two years to bring this event here, and it’s time for the people here to show their appreciation.
We’ve done our best here at the Journal Review to inform you about the track, the racers coming to town and how the community to getting involved. Now, it’s your turn to come out and witness it.
Matt Anderson is the sports editor at the Journal Review. His column appears on Fridays.
My interest in the NBA fluctuates from time to time but more so than naught it’s been caught in a downward trajectory.
For instance, if I had the choice to watch an NBA game over an MLB, NHL or NFL game, 10 years ago I would have said yes, but today I’d have to decline that offer.
No matter my interest though I have always followed what the Indiana Pacers were doing.
When I heard about Paul George’s season-ending injury late one night last week, my interest in the NBA next season plummeted. Because without George, the Pacers are no longer contenders, and if the Pacers are no longer contenders, why should I even bother watching?
However, I will watch the first few games the Pacers participate in just to see how they look. Currently they field a starting five of Roy Hibbert, David West, CJ Miles, Ronald Stuckey and George Hill. At least, that’s what I’m assuming the starting five will be, unless they make a late addition or decide to promote either Solomon Hill or Chris Copeland into the starting three spot.
Apparently, the Pacers are trying to get the league to improve their disable players exception request. It would give the Pacers about $5 million to spend to replace George through free agency. The most common name going around the rumor mill is Shawn Marion.
Here’s my take on the situation . . . why? The addition of Marion is not going to make this a championship winning team.
Wouldn’t it be best to, for a lack of a better word, tank?
The Pacers window to win a championship has officially closed with the injury to George. They had the best opportunity to do so last year and blew it. Now there is no George, Danny Granger or Lance Stephenson.
What we do have is a questionable starting center in Hibbert, a questionable guard in Hill and two aging 34-year old power forwards in Luis Scola and David West.
There’s no point in the Pacers being stubborn and trying to look the other way. When, or if, George comes back by next season, West and Scola will be another year older and most likely see their production
suffer due to age.
West has been so great to the Pacers organization since he signed from free agency in 2011 that he doesn’t deserve to be on a losing team in his final years of competing in the NBA. He’s one of the better power forwards in the league, and the Pacers really need to consider trading him while he still has value to other organizations.
The Pacers must make moves soon to ensure they are not in the bottom of the NBA cellar for years to come. This season is lost. Get a decent draft pick because it’s time to build for the future.
Matt Anderson is the sports
editor of the Journal Review. His column appears on Fridays.
Now that’s what I call a trade deadline.
Aces moved and superstars switched teams merely hours, minutes before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline came to a close at 4 p.m. Thursday.
John Lackey is now a St. Louis Cardinal, Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes are now members of the Red Sox and Jon Lester is an Athletic.
However, the biggest move of the day, in my opinion, was Detroit acquiring David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays. Austin Jackson goes to Seattle and Drew Smyly and Nick Franklin heads to the Rays.
All in all, it was an exciting few hours that saw 12 different trades go down.
The favorites in the American League has to be the Tigers and the Athletics. While in the National League, it looks like the Dodgers’ race to lose.
National League teams made small changes, as the race there is still wide open. St. Louis definitely made the most noise, picking up Lackey and Justin Masterson, but did not address its hitting needs.
But focusing on the NL Central, the first place Brewers made a solid acquisition getting Gerado Parra from Arizona for two minor leaguers. Parra is a two-time Gold Glove winner in the outfield and is currently hitting .259 on the season.
The second place Pirates, who have been known for making some noise in previous deadline years, decided to stay put. It’s an interesting strategy for a team two games back in the Central and a half game back in the Wild Card race. They will be relying on their strong farm system, some they’ve already called to the show and other still playing for the Indians in Indianapolis.
The third place Cardinals, like I said, are going all in for pitching. Masterson is currently on the disabled list but when he gets back, they will have a solid starting five. I expect the Cardinals to be active looking for another bat before the waiver trade deadline at the end of August.
Now we get to the final team still in contention for the title (sorry Chicago), the fourth place Cincinnati Reds, who have a 53-54 record and are six games back from the lead. This is a team who has gone 2-10 since the All-Star Break.
That streak caused the Reds to do absolutely nothing at the deadline, and it’s really the best move for the team. With the way they’ve been hitting the ball, having not scored more than four runs in a game since the break, and the injuries amounting, there’s no way they will catch the Brewers, Pirates or Cardinals.
A part of me wishes they would have sold something to booster the farm system, but it looks like the Reds will take another crack at the title with its current lineup and will add a bat in the winter.
Their fatal flaw was signing Homer Bailey to a big money extension in the offseason. That most likely signifies the departure of either/or Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto. Cueto and Latos are the two pitchers the Reds should have made a priority.
So, this season is a waste for the club, but that was the expectation from me at the beginning of the season. I can’t wait to see how many people show up to watch a team who can barely score a run in a game in September.
The joys of baseball.
Matt Anderson is the sports editor of the Journal Review. His column appears on Fridays.
Things were looking so good for the Cincinnati Reds entering the All-Star Break.
Once 8 1/2 games behind the first place Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds won eight of their last 11 games entering the break to find themselves in third place with a 51-44 record and 1 1/2 games out.
I’ll admit, that 51-44 record was better than I expected, especially with the number of injuries that have hurt the Reds. Jay Bruce, Matt Latos and Aroldis Chapman all spent time on the DL. While they’re all back, now Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto both find themselves on the 15-day DL.
But thanks to the emergence of Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton, Devin Mesoraco and Alfredo Simon, the Reds at the break were still in the postseason mix.
And then they got back to playing baseball. And I saw the Reds team I expected out of training camp.
They’ve played six games since the break and have lost every one, getting swept in a three game series against the New York Yankees and a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
While they’re still plagued with injuries, the numbers before the break and after the break have come from the same players.
For instance, in the 11 games before the break, the Reds averaged just over 4.7 runs per game, scoring 52 runs total. In the six games after, they’ve scored a whopping 12 runs in six games for half of that
They’re batting .183 overall and .050 (2-for-40) with runners in scoring position.
In the last six games Bruce was 2-for-18, Mesoraco was 1-for-15, Frazier was 4-for-20 and Hamilton was 5-for-23.
The starters had just one quality start on the trip and went 0-4 with a 4.75 ERA.
You want to know another reason why the Reds were so good before the All Star Break? Because five of those games they played the Chicago Cubs.
And play before All-Star Break has people thinking the team should be buyers when the July 31st non waiver trade deadline hits.
Then let me ask those people, how much do you want to buy? Because one bat will not fix this meddling offense.
This is just not a great offensive team, especially with Phillips and Votto out. The positions Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty has to fix are first base, second base, shortstop and left field. One trade isn’t going to do it.
And to get a quality bat, that means the Reds will probably have to part with one of their starting pitchers. And while they do have Tony Cingrani with major league experience waiting in the minors, he’s a downgrade from the current five the Reds are currently throwing out in Simon, Latos, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey.
There is one name I like that I’ve been hearing in the rumors and that’s infielder Ben Zobrist from the Tampa Bay Rays. Zobrist is currently batting .257 on the season with 7 HR and 27 RBI.
Of course, now the Rays are considering keeping the utility man in part to their current seven game winning streak which has possibly gotten them back into the postseason hunt.
Cincinnati is still a game over .500 at 51-50 and in fifth place in the Wild Card standings.
However, they’re fourth place in the Central Division and behind the Brewers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals – all teams I believe are better than the Reds, and will get only better at the trade deadline.
So, it’s really a no-brainer for Jocketty. Don’t blow up the already weak farm system for what you would consider a fix.
It won’t help this season, and it will only hurt the farm system in the long run.
The Reds begin a series today against the National League East leading Washington Nationals. How that series goes should be an indicator of what the Reds do come next week at the trade deadline.
Matt Anderson is the sports editor at the Journal Review. His column appears on Fridays.
Bryceton Fortner prepares for a throw as Terre Haute Post 346 scores a run on Thursday.
After last season’s disastrous ending for the Indiana Pacers, something drastic needed to change for its 2014-15 roster.
Well, that something drastic happened this week.
The Charlotte Hornets, formally of the Bobcat persona, signed Lance Stephenson to a three-year deal worth $27.5 million. The value of the deal is $9 million in the first two seasons and $9.5 million in the final year.
The Pacers originally offered the 23-year-old shooting guard a contract worth five years at $44 million, meaning Stephenson is taking fewer years and less money, but the average annual value is slightly greater.
Between the two contracts, Charlotte’s first year will end up paying Stephenson about $1.3 million more.
Once the Pacers presented their offer, or offers, to Stephenson, word was that Stephenson wanted more money. While that was true, the real kicker was the length of the contract.
Stephenson did not want to be stuck with a five-year contract, especially as he hits his prime. If it goes according plan, Stephenson will be a bona-fide All-Star when his contract expires and can go through this whole process again expecting a bigger payday.
Additionally, a new CBA in two years could generate far bigger money if Stephenson continues to improve.
So, congratulations Lance. You got your payday. I hope the extra million was worth a few extra losses.
Let’s face it. The Charlotte Hornets are not a contender for the NBA title. The Pacers still are.
Even with the loss of Stephenson, Indiana still has most of its roster intact, and, with some guidance and improvement this offseason, they can get back to playing at a high level for one of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.
On Wednesday the Pacers reached an agreement with Rodney Stuckey on a veteran’s minimum salary. Stuckey is a 28-year-old guard who spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with Detroit.
He comes off last year with averages of 13.9 ppg, 2.1 apg and 2.3 rpg. Most likely, Stuckey will be the starting point guard for the Pacers, moving George Hill to the two-spot.
That leaves the rest of the rotation intact with Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert.
Luis Scola will again be a sixth man for the Pacers, along with new addition C.J. Miles, a guard the Pacers signed during free agency. Miles comes from Cleveland and is known to be a solid shooter.
C.J. Watson is the back-up point guard, Ian Mahinmi is the back-up center and, hopefully, Chris Copeland will be used as the back-up small-forward.
So, that’s a solid 10 guys right there in the rotation. The Pacers also have prospect Solomon Hill, Lavoy Allen and another free-agent pickup in Damjan Rudez for depth.
The Pacers could have made the moves to retain Stephenson. They could have traded some guys away, freed up some cash and signed him.
Stephenson wanted more money and a smaller contract, but the Pacers never budged from the five-year offer.
I think the Pacers and Larry Bird saw Stephenson’s antics act up at the end of last season and thought, he may be more trouble than he is valuable.
So, now without having to babysit and fear that Stephenson is going to pull a ‘Rob Artest,’ the Pacers can get back to playing basketball. Coach Frank Vogel, who I critcized plenty late last season, needs to put some direction with this team.
Because without that, this team will struggle, just like we saw last season.
But I like the moves the Pacers have made given their cap limit. I think losing a talent like Stephenson will hurt, but I don’t think it will hurt as much as people think.
I, for one, am excited to see how next season will play out.
Matt Anderson is the sports editor at the Journal Review. His column appears on Fridays.
I had a flashback experience last week that has continued to trigger a lot of good memories of my time coaching youth baseball in Waynetown from 1978 to 1998. While in my garage just the other day, 12-year old, Tanner, noticed I have a large collection of baseball gear stored in the loft of my garage. I had not thought about the three duffel bags and two boxes of equipment for a long time, but watching Tanner’s enthusiasm with his find was fun. It did not take long for him to grab my ladder and start poking through the equipment. At first I was not too excited about someone poking through all the dust covered gear, but as Tanner started to pull out items from the collection and holding them up, I found myself flooded with memories.
Tanner continued to rummage through what he considered a treasure chest. He found one of the complete sets of catcher’s gear, including a darn good catchers glove. Tanner played catcher on the Waynetown summer team for 11 and 12-year-olds this summer and it was not long before he was putting on the chest protector, shin guards and face mask while holding onto the glove.
As I watched Tanner parade around the garage in the catchers garb and pounding his fist into the glove, I thought of several of the young baseball players who had probably worn the very same equipment, or had caught for me in the past. I imagine the set he was wearing was probably worn by B.J. Schlicher, who was eventually drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. I thought of Tyler Fuller, who as an adult today, is an active runner who has overcome adversity and is now a great father for his son. I recalled a former catcher named Brad McCormick. Brad is a successful business man today, but during college wore the Ball State University Cardinal mascot uniform and later became the man inside the first Indianapolis Colts mascot named Blue. Brad recovered from a broken neck as junior at North Montgomery High. He overcame the injury to continue his life and do the things he wanted to do.
I thought of Michael Snyder, who just recently moved to Denver to a great job. A funny memory of Michael took place on a team road trip that included spending a little sightseeing time at the famous French Lick Hotel. It seems for a whole $4 Michael was convinced by his teammates to jump into the well of mineral water on the hotel grounds. The smell of mineral water on Michael’s clothes stunk up my vehicle the entire two-hour drive home. At the time I did not find much amusement in Michael’s antics, but today I still get a laugh out of telling his story.
These memories are just a few that have bombarded me recently.
Later in the day, another friend of mine suggested we go to my back room, which is my ‘almost organized’ junk room, and look for some old baseball uniforms he knew I had saved. We found red, white and gray uniforms, and Tanner started trying them on. Even though Tanner has played summer baseball for seven years, I still had to explain to him what baseball stirrups were. Before long, Tanner was the replica of a fully dressed Waynetown Babe Ruth baseball player from the late 1980’s standing in my living room. I admit, the red pinstriped uniform looked pretty good even today.
Being someone who is active on Facebook, it did not take me long to post the pictures of Tanner on my social media account. I tagged several of my former players and their parents. The “Likes” started rolling in almost immediately. Former players started posting comments dealing with their fond memories of playing the game in my small town. Five days later there is still plenty of conversation going on between my former players, parents and assistant coaches on my Facebook, and I am loving every comment.
Seeing the names associated with a very fun time in my life appear on my Facebook account has made me realize how lucky I was to be associated with summer baseball. The vast majority of my former players are now living successful adult lives. I am so glad they allowed me to be a part of their lives on a baseball diamond with a dirt infield in my hometown. I am so glad Tanner climbed up in my garage loft last week and pulled out those old containers full of so many fond memories. By the way, I am hoping the old cathers mit will stop collecting dust because I gave it to Tanner.
Bob Cox is a reporter at the Journal Review. His column appears on Monday.
Montgomery County, it is getting closer. Are you ready for the weekend of Aug. 14-17?
Those are the dates the eyes of the motocross world are going to be focused on Crawfordsville when the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Racing Series comes to our community. There is an estimated 30,000 fans headed our way to witness the event.
With all the buzz about the Indiana National, which is the name of the event, we had better be ready.
The Journal Review has tried to help Montgomery County’s awareness of the sport by running weekly articles dealing with the pro motocross scene. We want you to know the names of the drivers and what the racing series is all about.
We have published the point standings of the series from time to time, and every time something newsworthy has happened out at the track at Tom’s Marine, we have been on the scene to report it to our readers.
The Journal Review was out at the track last week. Publisher Shawn Storie, sports editor Matt Anderson and I got to see first-hand how Tom and Ken Shaver continue to tweak the track to get it ready for the largest sporting event to ever hit Montgomery County. The track was open to some of the MX pro athletes who had raced in Tennessee and were headed to this past weekend’s race in Michigan.
I was pleased to hear MX Sports Event Director, Tim Cotter, give the Journal Review a big compliment while we were with him in the track’s pagoda.
“Your paper has been doing your job, now we have to make sure we are doing ours,” Cotter said. “I have seen how your paper has been trying to educate your readers about our sport and we appreciate it.”
Tim has been to Crawfordsville several times and is always a joy to be around. He is a hard worker and a good family man. I believe his West Virginia roots and personality makes him someone who is right at home in Montgomery County.
Tim was highly involved with last week’s practice session at the track. He watched every athlete travel along with master track builder Marc Peters and MX Sports track director Jeff Russell.
Peters and Russell were taking advantage of being in town as they were doing a lot of physical work on the track. Peters is considered one of the top track builders in the world and, believe me, he can handle a bulldozer like few others. Both Peters and Russell wear work clothes when they come to town. They are hands-on when working at the track.
I took a moment to chat with Peters. We both remembered standing on the Shaver property before the first tree fell nearly three years ago. He told me his plan that cold October day, and it was great to stand next to the man last week and look down at the track as he envisioned it.
By the way, we no longer have to say “that track out at Tom’s Marine.” It has a name now – Ironman Raceway.
A lot of hard work has been completed and continues at the track. The MX Pro racing world is coming folks. Get ready for a great ride Montgomery County!
Bob Cox is a news/sports reporter for the Journal Review
Well, in what was expected to be a busy NBA Draft night, turned out to be just that. However, many of the lottery teams stayed with their pick, didn't make a trade and decided to gamble with one of the prospects in the rich draft.
For the first 15 picks or so, there weren't too many surprises. Then the trades started to roll in.
One of those trades, actually one of the final trades, came via the Indiana Pacers. They traded their 57th pick overall to the New York Knicks for a few coins from under the cushion.
Hopefully, Lance Stephenson appreciates it.
But of the draft, I really liked two things. Canada's involvement in it, and the boys of the Big Ten going.
For the second year in a row, a Canadian was drafted first overall! Can you believe that? Basketball is suppose to be USA's sport, no?
Maybe Cleveland just knows something we don't. For the second straight year the Cavs picked a Canadian. Wiggins will join Anthony Bennett in Ohio.
But look at all the Big Ten players that went: No. 8 Nik Stauskas (Michigan), No. 9 Noah Vonleh (Indiana), No. 15 Adreian Payne (Michigan St.), No. 19 Gary Harris (Michigan St.), No. 21 Mitch McGary (Michigan) and that was just in the first round.
The second round saw some as well.
Indiana's own Gary Harris will be a Denver Nugget. As someone who has seen him play first hand, I wish him all the luck.
San Antonio always knows who to draft, so it will be interesting to see how UCLA guard Kyle Anderson turns out.
Chicago gets Creighton's Doug McDermott. They actually had two picks in the first round, but traded both to move up to get McDermott. It was also a chance to cut whatever salaries they would have made with the two picks. Carmelo Anthony as a Bull seems like more of a possibility now more than ever.
Overall, it was a good draft. No big blockbuster stuff happening either. I was waiting for the Pacers to trade up or do something stupid but it didn't happen.
Given the Pacers' luck, the pick New York made at No. 57, Paris-Levallois from France, will end up being a star.
But that would have to be some really bad luck.
The spring sports season came and did not go away quickly thanks to the Southmont softball team.
The Mounties were so close obtaining a state championship title but just could not quite get it done. Nevertheless, it was a great season for them and a great season to cover for Jeff Nelson and myself at the Journal Review.
You know when I got to talk to our four cover athletes before the season for the softball preview magazine, McKenzi Jordan had four goals.
Hit five home runs.
Double check plus one (she hit 11).
Pitch a perfect game.
Jordan could not fulfill her last goal, and I know it has been a goal of hers even beyond this year. She had a number of no-hitters but was always a walk or an error away from being truly perfect.
There were certainly games she could have gotten it (like against Turkey Run, where teammate Morgan Laws did it in five innings), but you can’t throw her out there for every contest.
I was hoping it would happen in the state championship game. I mean come on, a lifelong goal and you finally get it in the state championship game? Who wouldn’t want to write that story?
But she’ll be fine, and she will luckily have many more chances to try for that goal at Southern Indiana.
The end of another sports season also means another time to select player of the years and all-county teams. We finished up our last shoot today with Caleb White. We have two more to run, softball and baseball, so be on the look out for those within the next couple of issues.
I always enjoy doing the player of the year features. Most of the time it’s a senior, and then it’s just one final chat and a chance to say goodbye and good luck.
Other times I can really get to know the player. I can figure out what made them so good and what struggled they had to overcome.
So I need to thank all the athletes were chosen because they took time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions and to get their photos taken.
I also need to thank our photographer Kevin Seale, who helped with the majority of the shoots (whether he was there or his equipment was) and John Dykstra, who signs up for anything if asked.
But really, Dykstra has saved me a couple of times with these shoots. The last thing a Player of the Year shoot needs is me trying to take a portrait shot with one of the company cameras.
Anyways, now that summer is here, I have to find some stories to write.
Easier said than done.