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Friday, March 07, 2008

Portune says he'll pitch well or not at all

Here's what Portune says about being asked to throw the first pitch:

"It’s very exciting, it’s a great honor," Portune said. "I pledge to do it well or not do it at all. It’s a good thing. It’s a neat thing."

He said Bob Castellini asked him to throw the first pitch "some time" ago but Portune kept it a secret until the Reds were ready to announce it.

He says he's not sure why he was asked but guesses it might have been one of the following reasons:

1) Portune is president of the county commission. The county commission oversaw the construction of the Great American Ball Park which was built on time and under budget.

2) Also, Portune has been an important player in getting The Banks riverfront development moving. Groundbreaking is set April 2. Castellini is head of the Banks Working Group and he, too, has wanted to get it done more than anyone. So he surely appreciates Portune's help.

3) Portune and Castellini have gotten to know each other pretty well in the past year and Castellini respects the way Portune has handled his disability, Portune said. "I don’t complain about it or draw attention to it. I just go about my work and don’t let it interfere with anything I try to do," Portune said. "Just that whole not letting it define you. He's seemed really impressed by it."

Portune was quite athletic in high school and college. He played knothole and baseball through his sophomore year in high school, then switched to football, track and cross country in college. He was even inducted into his college hall of fame for sports, he said.

"The arm is still good," Portune said. But he has other challenges now. Five years ago tumors on his spine paralyzed him from the chest down. Although he has progressed better than expected, graduating in 2006 from a wheelchair to a walker, he's not sure what kind of impact it will have on his ability to get one over the plate.

"I still have a more pronounced deficit in feeling in my left leg and very pronounced problems in my abdomen and back. I’m a right handed thrower, so the left leg is your lead leg and support leg when you through so having problems there, that eliminates my ability to step intio the pitch. With lower back and abdomen deficit, you need those areas," he said. "It (the pitch) will be all-arm for me. Which makes it much more difficult to do. "

Portune said he plans to get out to Great American Ball Park and practice to make sure he can do it.

"I recognize its important to do this right or not do it at all. I will practice and work out to make sure it works out."


at 6:59 PM, March 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't he incredible? Like Roosevelt (was it him?), noone would know that he has this disability or how bad it was at one time. Can you imagine running the county business from a hospital bed at Drake Hospital for months? And standing up for what you believe in even when you literally can't stand up. Showing you have guts and a spine when your actual spine is imploding.

at 7:49 PM, March 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 9:24 PM, March 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 10:32 PM, March 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admire him & Castellini for this - just hope it works.

at 7:44 AM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Republican Party opposition!

at 8:59 AM, March 08, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

Oh yea of short memories...

OpPortune had NOTHING to do with the great pro-sport money grab of the '90s......

Hey, put down the Obammy cool-aid and try to recall the OpPortunist rhetoric that threw Beddinghaus out and brought Todd in!!!!



at 10:15 AM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Edgar Allen Portune write a poem about the pitch? Quote the voters: "Nevermore".

at 5:10 PM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Portune would give up this opportunity so that Kim Nuxhall could throw it instead, he'd stay in office for life in this city. This opening day should belong to the Nuxhalls.

at 6:37 PM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:10pm, you are absolutely correct. No slight to Portune, but this was not the year, after everything that had happened with Nux this offseason (and even Bob Howsam, the guy who built the Big Red Machine, who also died this winter)

at 9:25 PM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd forgot one thing when he was fawning all over himself:

4) After the pitch, he will go down to the river and walk across it.

Everything good in Cincinnati is because of Todd Portune. Just wish I knew what that was. Maybe our high taxes and high crime rate?

at 10:00 PM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

In that case Opportune might as well decline the offer. He'll drop the ball on the mound just like he's dropped the ball on crime and the county budget.

at 11:39 PM, March 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Isn't he incredible? Like Roosevelt (was it him?),"

You are actually comparing him to Roosevelt?

at 1:37 AM, March 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we went George HW Bush to George W. Bush to Mark Mallory now to Todd Portune. Curious. They should have invited Ted Strickland.

at 5:44 PM, March 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should definitely be a member of the Nuxhall family. The decision not to do that is Bob Castellini's fault, not Todd Portune's.

at 12:09 AM, March 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a defining moment for Portune - either do the right thing and defer to Kim Nuxhall or become a part of the good-old-boy publicity machine.
My money's on the Machine. Please prove me wrong, Todd.

at 12:32 PM, March 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd may want to check on the first reason that he has indicated. Todd check with your own County Departments about the GAP coming in on Budget. I think if you look, that's really not true. But then again what's 10 to 15 million among friends. I guess if it's that's close it doesn't count. Bottom like, Todd's running this year and we need the publicity so he can keep his seat on the County Commission. Thank God, I'm sorry Todd, has Tim Burke and George Vincent in his back pocket. Otherwise, the GOP might really have a candidate to challenge Todd.

at 8:04 AM, March 11, 2008 Blogger Hamilton County Voter said...

And why is this important to Hamilton County and Cincinnati?
Nuxhall all the way.

at 12:22 AM, March 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Todd Portune is a pitcher, guess that makes Mayor Mallory a catcher.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

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