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Bengals Banter: Alejandro Villanueva Talks About the Future in Store for Him In Afghanistan

Even though Dusty Baker let Homer Bailey pitch into the seventh inning with over 100 pitches of a 1-1 tie against the St. Louis Cardinals, I can't help but like Baker's confidence in his pitcher with first base open, a guy on second and allowing Bailey to pitch to Albert Pujols.

Pujols hit a double to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead and eventually the win, snapping the Reds five-game winning streak. However, liking Baker's confidence in Bailey to pitch against the game's best hitter doesn't mean it was a smart move. If first base is open in a 1-1 game with a running in scoring position and the game's best hitter at the plate, you have to give him first base.

+ The Enquirer's Joe Reedy briefly touched on the growing headline of the weekend with the future that's in store for Tight End Alejandro Villanueva. C Trent Rosecrans knocked it out of the park.

Villanueva was 12 when the attacks on New York happened. Since then, he knew he wanted to go into the Army and do something to help. As he grew up around the world, he had a chance to play football or basketball at other schools, but the offer to go to West Point was too much to pass up when he graduated from SHAPE American School in Belgium.

"I just wanted to do something. You want to go get that guy. That was one of the things I had in the back of my head... I want to get that guy, I want to get that guy. We still haven't found him," Villanueva said. "And, you see, you hear the stories of all the soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and what they're doing out there, and the only thing you want to do is do your part. The last thing you worry about is what's going to happen to you. Everyone's got to do their job and go through it."

His job will be leading 34 soldiers into combat in Afghanistan. That's different than just about anything his new teammates can imagine going through.

+ Speaking of Linebacker Caleb Campbell who "was the toast of the 2008 NFL Draft", he was invited back to the Detroit Lions camp this weekend.

Campbell has signed a one-year contract. After graduating from officer school in July, he can buy out the remaining three years of his military commitment in exchange for six years in the reserves.

"My chain of command is really working with me allowing me to be here and there kind of at the same time," Campbell said. "I'm meeting all the requirements to graduate that school. In early July, I'll be clear. ... From what I know, it's been approved pending my graduation from this course."

+ We pointed this out during draft weekend. Bengals rookie linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy left such an impression with Jeff Fitzgerald that the linebackers coach gave a recommendation to draft the Longhorn.

"The thing I was impressed with was the fact that when I interviewed him at the combine, we were talking football and I was trying to get a feel for his football knowledge," said FitzGerald, who also can be talkative. "And that really lit him up. He was really excited.

"All I had to do was ask a couple of questions and then it was, 'Hey, time's up.' He went on and on, and told me about how the defense worked at Texas and the calls he made and what he was responsible for. He laid it out pretty completely."

In my opinion, Muckelroy could be a hell of a sleep pick that will be with the Bengals defense for a long time.

+ If this doesn't make you feel old, nothing will. Dez Briscoe and Carlos Dunlap were born the same year that the Cincinnati Bengals went to their last Super Bowl.

+ We wrote yesterday on a story by about Dez Briscoe's problems possibly being a catalyst into the NFL with the potential of a decent career. Geoff Hobson followed that up.