Archive for the ‘Indians’ Category

Bradley plays for Indians Class A Advanced affiliate Lynchburg.

 

Click the link below to read the entire story.

http://m.indians.mlb.com/news/article/175782562/prospect-team-of-week-led-by-dansby-swanson

 

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  1. Sure D’Angelo Russell violated the ‘Bro Code,’ but Nick Young is a soulless creep. Congrats on the soap opera Lakers. Why is Nick Young on your roster anyway?

 

  1. Five years ago Buddy Hield, the Naismith player of the year, would have had a tough time being more than a role player in the NBA. Fast forward to now, however, and Hield will be able to fit into the threecentric era that the league is currently in just fine.

 

  1. The Indians home opener has a chance to be the coldest in history. The forecast at the time of the first pitch is calling for a temperature of 34 degrees. All the way back in 1907, the coldest on record, the temperature was 36 degrees. No, I didn’t forget 2007, when it was 28 degrees and featured a blizzard. The game was actually cancelled and played in Milwaukee three day later.

 

  1. Speaking of the Indians, there will be a new scoreboard above the left field bleachers this year. The previous scoreboard had been in existence since 2004.

 

  1. Because I’m a fan of food, just as much as sports, I figured I should let you know the new food options available. The Indians have continued to add more local flavors to the Progressive Field lineup. After adding Barrio, Melt Bar and Grilled, Sweet Moses, and Happy Dog last year, Momocho, Fat Head’s Brewery, Dante’s Inferno, the Brew Kettle, Cleveland Pickle, Happy Dog, and Ohio City Burrito are new this year.

 

  1. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a team as focused from start to finish as Villanova was in their 44 point thrashing of Oklahoma. While up 20, the Wildcats were playing like it was a single possession game. When up 30, they were playing as if they were down by five. Even when they led by 40, the effort level by the players was as if they were down by bucket with seconds left. Impressive to say the least.

 

  1. Michael Brantley AKA “Dr. Smooth,” will begin the season on the disabled list, meaning he will not be in the opening day lineup for the first time in seven years. Brantley normally is the No. 3 hitter, but that spot will be kept warm by super sophomore and rookie of the year runner up Francisco Lindor, while playing Brantley’s spot in left field will be veteran newcomer Marlon Byrd. The 14 year veteran Byrd hit .247 with 23 home runs last year with the Reds and Giants.

 

  1. Did you miss the knockouts that the “Sweet Science” provided this weekend? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

 

 

 

  1. Speaking of boxing, on this day, April 3rd in 1998, a 25 year old Felix “Tito” Trinidad knocked out Mahenge Zulu to retain the Welterweight Championship of the World.

 

  1. Also on this day in boxing history, Marco Antonio Barrera stopped Paul Lloyd in the first round to retain his Super Bantanmweight title, in 1999.

 

  1. Speaking of world titles, Cleveland’s Willie “The Great” Nelson will be one step closer to achieving a shot at one, as the top contender is scheduled to take on undefeated Demetrius Andrade on June 11th at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. Andrade was a member of the 2008 USA Olympic boxing team. Nelson is coming off a 2nd round knockout victory on March 25th at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

 

  1. Speaking of USA Olympians, congratulations are in order for Cleveland’s Charles Conwell, who qualified for the Olympics after winning a Gold Medal at the Americas qualifier in Buenos Aires on March 18th. Conwell is the fourth straight Cleveland boxer to make the USA Boxing Olympic team joining Terrell Gausha (2012), Raynell Williams (2008), and Mickey Bey (2004).

 

  1. The show I look forward to watching the most every week is Dr. Ken. If you like to laugh, I highly recommend it.

  1. With all the news that made the rounds this week, the best was undoubtedly the fact that Cleveland Browns team president Alec Scheiner will be stepping down on March 31st. Scheiner was supposedly in charge of the business decisions and oversaw the recent renovations to the stadium, but for some reason he needed to be included in how to conduct film study, which was baffling to say the least. Scheiner was also one of the many behind the scene voices demanding that the undersized frat boy got on the field, regardless or not if he was ready.

 

  1. Speaking of the spoiled, undersized frat boy, he was in Vegas this weekend taking in the UFC fights and who was with him, none other than the Browns other often troubled player, wide-receiver Josh Gordon.

 

  1. Gordon, currently suspended by the NFL due to drugs, is trying to regain the Browns trust. While he hasn’t had any mishaps during his current time away, hanging with the troubled quarterback should be the last thing on his priority list. Gordon, unlike the frat boy, doesn’t come from oil money and needs NFL paychecks to live the life of luxury he so desires.

josh-gordon-porsche-panamera

 

  1. Is anyone else growing tired of the cryptic messages Lebron James continues to tweet out?

 

  1. I mean, just say what you mean already or just stay silent. All this does is bring unwanted and unneeded attention to an underachieving team that consistently plays to the level of their opposition while finishing 2-5 against the Warriors, Spurs, and Raptors.

 

  1. Speaking of the Cavaliers and Lebron, maybe being the underdog is just what they need. Then again, they were the underdog against the Spurs in 2007 and against the Warriors last year after Kyrie went down and we all know how those series turned out, with both winning the deciding game at the Q. Ouch.

spurs warriors

 

  1. Spring training has begun which means baseball season is right around the corner. Opening day is less than a month away as the Indians will take on the Boston Red Sox. The pitching matchup will be fantastic with former Cy Young winners facing off in Cleveland’s Korey “KluBot” Kluber taking on David Price. Sure the Tribe didn’t sign a major name to help with its lack of power in the lineup, but I, for one, am looking forward to the development of shortstop Francisco Lindor, who just missed out on being named the American League rookie of the year last season. Lindor is a future star that the city will no doubt get behind.

 

  1. It will take some longer than others when it comes to watching soccer, but it is growing significantly both in terms of involvement and television ratings. And why wouldn’t it be? With all the rule changes, player antics, as well as 2.5-3.5 hours of game time from the “Big 3” sports, soccer games last a mere 2 hours and provide plenty of excitement. Plus there is a major league team just two hours away from us. Pipo Higuain, who plays for the nearby Columbus Crew, had the early contender for goal of the year on the season’s opening day!

 

  1. Sure there was a big time UFC pay-per-view this weekend, but let’s not forget about the great knockouts that boxing provides. Here’s what this weekend brought us in the squared circle of the “sweet science.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Speaking of boxing, on this day, March 6th in 1976, future Hall of Famer Wilfred Benitez became the youngest World Champion in history at just 17 years old when he defeated Antonio Cervantes for the WBA Super Lightweight championship of the World.
  1. Also on this day in boxing history, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker became the WBC Welterweight Champion of the World after defeating James Buddy McGirt in 1993.

 

  1. Speaking of Pernell Whitaker, he will be one of many retired boxers that will be in attendance during the Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend June 9th thru the 12th. If you have never been, I recommend taking the easy drive to Canastota, NY. You can find all the information you need here: http://www.ibhof.com/index.html

 

  1. Living in northeast Ohio, I try to take advantage of every clear and warm day. I came across this waterfall right by my house in South Lorain just last week. Never knew one was so close.

waterfall

1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for the second time in team history and I’ve got one piece of advice for everyone out there. Enjoy it! No matter the outcome. Enjoy it! Sure I want to see them bring a championship to my city, but in the process of doing so, I’m going to soak in the entire atmosphere that being in the Finals bring. Most of you aren’t going to pay the steep price for playoff tickets (myself included) so do what I’m going to do. Buy a $5 ticket and go watch one of the road games at the Q with 20,000 other fans. While you won’t actually ‘be’ at the game, it’ll create a memory that you won’t forget. And it’s much more affordable!

2. Speaking of the Cavaliers, you know it’s a good thing when President Lincoln is also #AllinCle

3. I shared a video about Cavalier’s center Timofey Mozgov in an earlier blog and now here is a video about JR Smith. Grab a cigar and some cognac.

 

4. The MLB All-Star game is six weeks away and there are two Cleveland Indian position players that are worthy of All-Star consideration.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis is coming off one of the greatest months in not just team history, but also MLB history and his .340 batting average is second best in the entire American League. He is in the top 10 in the AL in the following categories: Hits (2nd), runs (4th), doubles (3rd), triples (2nd), total bases (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (9th) and OPS (6th). When it comes to the All-Star voting, however, Kipnis ranks a distant 4th, over 1.5 million votes behind the leader, Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros.

Left fielder Michael Brantley, who finished third in last years MVP voting, is hitting .302, fifth best among AL outfielders. He is in the top 10 among outfielders in the following categories: Hits (5th), doubles (1st), RBI (4th), walks (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (7th), and OPS (5th). Brantley is currently 7th in the All-Star voting  among outfielders, over 1 million votes behind 3rd place Alex Gordon of the Royals.

Do what I did and vote for these two as they both deserve to be on the team.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG15_mlb_leftrailpromo

5. Speaking of the Tribe, remember when I said that reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber would be just fine? Over his last four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with 50 strikeouts and  miniscule 1.41 ERA. He’s looking every bit like the Cy Young winner that we saw last season.

6. I recently heard there is a remake of one of my all time favorite movies, ‘Point Break.’  No, I’m not joking. Patrick Swayze has to be turning in his grave over this one. Why redo a movie that was already a classic and featured an ex Ohio State quarterback turned FBI agent chasing a group of bank robbing surfers? Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis says in this scene, “That would be a waste of time.”

 

7. The latest addition to my guilty pleasure.

breds

8. I’m still a beginning smoker but I’m really enjoying it. The latest thing I smoked was St. Louis style ribs. The difference between these and baby backs are the St Louis style has more fat, which provides more flavor. I used apple wood to smoke and they turned out pretty good. I went 5 hours at 250 degrees, which was just a little too long, so I’m going to shorten them up next time.

ribs

9. Okay, back to sports. The College football season is less than 100 days away and the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season according to the Vegas odds is Ohio State Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliot. He’s even got his own hype video. Check it out.

 

10. Speaking of college football, we recently wrapped up the 2015 Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine, AKA the college football bible. That also means we’ve released our pre-season All-American teams. Notre Dame led the way with three 1st team All-Americans. To see the entire four team list click the link below.

http://philsteele.com/All_Conference/2015/2015%20Preseason/All-American.html

11. Floyd Mayweather is expected to return to the ring in September and many are wondering who his next opponent or vitctim will be. There has been plenty of talk about England’s Amir Khan getting the next shot at the pound for pound king but after his lackluster performance last week against Chris Algieri, he’ll likely be removed from the discussion. Why not give Miguel Cotto, who fights this weekend on HBO, a rematch? He gave Mayweather a good fight when the two shared the ring in 2012. Here’s his greatest hits for those that aren’t aware of what he brings to the table.

 

12. I haven’t written since the NFL draft took place and heading into the draft I was worried about the incompetence that the Cleveland Browns were likely going to show. Well I was relieved during the first round as I turned to my cousin and brother-in-law, who were with me at the Cleveland Convention Center for the draft party, and told them that this draft proves the team is trying to win games and not sell jersey’s like last season. I think the Browns hit a home run with this draft and will start seeing immediate dividends on the field.

13. Speaking of the Browns, the odds in Vegas have the Browns over/under at 6 1/2 wins. The Browns will win more than six games this season. Those that know me know first hand that I am not a homer in any way, shape, or form so for me to come out and write this is a change in the way that I’ve thought about my hometown team for some time. They won seven games last season, have improved every position group on the roster, and competed with every team in their division last year. Yes, I know the schedule is tougher, but splitting with our division isn’t out of the question and the Browns should be able to beat teams qb’d by the Geno Smith (Jets) and Marcus Mariota/Zach Mettenberger (Titans) while also getting past the 49ers at home in December. That’s seven wins right there.

1. In last week’s column I wrote that the Cavaliers would bring the city Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. I should of prefaced that by adding, ‘barring injury.’ Now that Kevin Love is done for what appears to be the remainder of the season, the Cavs will more than likely get beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the next round (Yes, the Bulls will get by the Bucks). Fans and media alike have ‘loved’ to pile on Love this season unnecessarily, as those that truly understand the game of basketball were aware of his importance and what his role was with this team.  In his absence, the Cavaliers won’t be able to space the floor as they had been doing, and the open lanes that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had been accustomed to will be gone. Tristan Thompson was valuable in his role coming off the bench, but his flaws will become much more glaring now that he will be forced to play more minutes. To use a phrase that my former colleague Kenny Roda coined long ago, OIC (only in Cleveland).

2. It’s truly a shame that Kevin Love was taken out by a dude that cannot even grow facial hair, instead opting for the peach fuzz look. In hockey there’s a term for mediocre players that are just put on the ice to get physical with the opposition. They’re called a goon. That’s exactly what Kelly Olynyk is. There’s a difference between setting a hard screen with a push like what Kendrick Perkins did to Jae Crowder and putting a guy in an arm bar and pulling his shoulder out of its socket. Truly a bush league play.

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

3. For those that are worried about reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber, don’t be. Kluber AKA Klubot will be just fine. Here is a look at his numbers from last April compared to this April.

2014: 2 W, 3 L, 37 IP, 35 K, 10 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.14 ERA, 1.51 WHIP

2015: 0 W, 3 L, 34 IP, 36 K, 7 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Nearly an identical start from last season, look for Kluber to start dominating hitters in the near future and hopefully the Tribe will start giving him some run support.

4. One player who could help the Indians with their hitting woes is their top prospect, Francisco Lindor. Current starting shortstop Jose Ramirez is hitting a paltry .186 and the Indians as a team are hitting just .234 which is third worst in the American League. Lindor recently went on a 10-16 stretch and appears to have come out of his own early season slump. He’s hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games. The time is right for Lindor to get promoted to the ‘Big Show.’

5. The NFL draft is here which means it’s the time of year that the Cleveland Browns usually waste their picks on garbage players. There’s a report that the Browns are attempting to move up in the draft to take Oregon quarterback Marcus Marriota. That would be a mistake. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was a great college quarterback, but his talents favor that game, not of the NFL variety. Marriota ran an up-tempo, no huddle, spread option offense taking snaps from the shotgun in college. In the NFL he will be huddling every play, taking snaps from under center, and won’t be able to leave the pocket as frequently as he did at Oregon. He was also injury prone, and while he was never hurt in a major way, that’s sure to change when he’s hit game in and game out by NFL players. This guy has bust written all over him.

6. A lot of Browns fans want to take a wide receiver in the first round. This is another foolish option. The rules in the NFL so highly favor receivers now that an average receiver can be a good receiver while a good receiver can become a great receiver. This was proven just last year when two of the Browns undersized receivers (Andrew Hawkins & Taylor Gabriel) both had successful seasons and proved that they could make plays despite their physical appearance.  There are an abundance of receivers in the college game nowadays that enter the NFL much more ready than previously due to the spread offenses that are being run. The Browns shouldn’t take a receiver in the first or second round when they can still find value in that position later in the draft. It would be a waste of a pick to do so early. Besides, take a look at this years Super Bowl combatants. Neither the Patriots nor the Seahawks have what you would call a playmaking wide receiver. The fact is, you don’t need one to succeed in this day’s NFL. If the Browns are smart (a HUGE if there) and stay where they’re currently sloted to pick in the first round (numbers 12 and 19) they should get NT Danny Shelton, who should be there for them at twelve and if DE Shane Ray falls to them at 19, they should run to the podium and take him.

7. Speaking of Shane Ray, yeah I know he just got pulled over and the officer found weed on him. So what? Marijuana is now legal in over 30 states and will soon be legal in all 50. The majority of NFL players smoke it and it’s really not a big deal. Hell, I’m sure more than half the people reading this column are doing so while puffing on a joint right now. If Ray were a QB, that would be different. You don’t want your quarterback smoking out. But a defensive player that partakes is fine by me. There have been plenty of NFL players that were busted for weed that were among the games elite. Ray has the talent to be among the best DE’s in the league and if other GM’s are afraid to draft him, hopefully Browns GM Ray Farmer won’t be.

8. Another name being thrown out there for the Browns is running back Todd Gurley. That is an absolute joke. If the Browns would draft him, or any other RB in the first or second round, I would seriously consider jumping off the 480 bridge. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are set up for the quarterbacks and receivers to succeed. Running backs are a dime a dozen. There are no ‘featured’ backs anymore with the exception of maybe a few guys. Nearly every team has a RB by committee approach and the Browns should be no different. Why should the browns take a RB that may carry the ball 10-15 times a game in the first or second round? That makes absolutely no sense! And I didn’t even get into the fact that Gurley was hurt twice getting hit by pimple faced college kids. What’s going to happen when he gets hit by grown men? I’ll pass on that option. Besides, the Browns already have two young running backs that complement each other very well.

9. It’s fight week for one of the most anticipated boxing matches in years. Floyd Mayweather is taking on Manny Pacquiao in a fight that is five years in the making. Some people are discouraged that the fight took so long to take place but the fact of the matter is that the fight will be much more competitive and entertaining now then it would have been had they fought five years ago. Mayweather is a defensive wizard, and he’s spent the majority of his career as a ‘hit and not get hit’ defensive minded fighter. Many of his fights have been lackluster due to the fact that he has simply outboxed his foes with tremendous hand speed and perfect foot work to escape without taking any real damage. Mayweather would have taken Pacquiao to school five years ago. Now though, Mayweather isn’t as fleet a foot as he once was and has taken more and more punches in the ring over the last two years. Pacquiao still has that blazing hand speed and with his non stop aggression and constant punches coming from a variety of angles, has a chance to land some shots on Mayweather. I don’t anticipate an upset here (Mayweather is a heavy betting favorite in Vegas) but I do think these two will offer an entertaining fight that will give the fans their money’s worth ($99 on PPV).

10. My dude Casey Kulas has made it official. It’s the ‘Summer of Brisket!’

I’m up for the challenge. If you start to smell the smoke in South Lorain, just follow your nose to La Casa De Castro. I’ll probably have enough to share.

11. There are just 126 days until the college football season begins! Pre-order the Phil Steele College Football Preview aka the College football Bible here:

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

12. Shoe pick of the week. I don’t have these but word on the street is these are the shoes that Manny Pacquiao will be wearing during the Mayweather fight.

pac shoes

13. I know most of you reading this don’t like soccer but so what. This is my column and I do. The Columbus Crew are on fire as they’ve outscored their last two opponents by a 7-1 margin! That’s like 118-3 if you were watching football lol. Oh and Kei Kamara is tied for the lead with the most goals in the MLS this season!

1. The Cleveland Indians were featured on one of the regional covers of the Sports Illustrated MLB preview edition. Naturally, Cleveland fans panicked and brought up the dreaded SI cover jinx. Relax folks. There have been plenty of examples that defunct that so called jinx. Here’s one such example.

russell-wilson-sports-illustrated-cover

 

2. Speaking of the Tribe, they’ve announced their starting rotation. Taking the mound for the home opener next Friday will be Zach McAlister, who earned the number 4 spot. So far this Spring McAlister has a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings pitched with 24 strikeouts and just four walks. While McAlister had a 5.23 ERA in 2014, he did finish strong, posting just a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings in the month of September.

3. The best marketing department among the Cleveland professional sports teams easily belongs to the Indians. Their latest “Mean Tweets” video is priceless. If you haven’t seen it by now, check it out!

 

4. We are down to the Final four in college hoops. The baseball season is about to start. The two month long NBA playoff season is about to start. But you know what I’m really excited about? The start of college football season! Yes, I’m aware we’re still about five months away but I get the privilege to work on the “Bible” of college football. Of course I’m talking about Phil Steele’s College Football Preview. The official “on sale” date is July 1st, but there is a way to get it three weeks sooner! How, you ask? We are accepting pre-orders right now by clicking the link below.

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

5. Speaking of College Football, spring practices are underway. Want to get a heads up on the season? Well we at the lovely offices of Phil Steele have put together our annual Spring Preview and it’s available for free.

http://philsteele.com/Pdf/SpringGuide/2015/2015_Spring_Guide1.pdf

6. Time to recognize some Cleveland hoop stars doing big things. Former Shaker Heights High standout & current Louisville Cardinals point guard Terry Rozier has announced his decision to turn pro after two seasons in the college game. The 6-1 Rozier led the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 17.1 points/game. He is projected as a late first round/early second round pick. Hmmm. I know of a particular pro team that plays its home games at Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland that could use a backup point guard.

Louisville may not have to look that far for a replacement as former Garfield Heights High star and current Cleveland State Viking guard Trey Lewis is exploring his options as a graduate transfer and the Cardinals, among many others, have shown interest according to his high school coach and former Ohio Mr. Basketball winner Sonny Johnson.

Lewis set the Viking single season three point record with 93 while averaging a team high 16.3 points/game en route to being named to the Horizon League first team. He played two seasons at CSU after transferring from Penn State after his freshman year following a coaching change there. He will be eligible to play right away because he will have graduated already. To clear up any confusion, it’s the exact same thing Russell Wilson did when he transferred to Wisconsin from NC State for his final year of college eligibility. I have no issue with Lewis transferring at all. I wish him the best. If you never went down to the Wolstein Center to see him play, shame on you.

7. Speaking of amateur hoops, anyone catch the McDonalds All American skills challenge on ESPN? Note to girls that think they belong in a dunk contest with a bunch of dudes. Stop it. Just stop it. I may sound like a chauvinist here, but so what. These are my thoughts and I’m surely not alone in thinking this. This girl for some reason thought it was a good idea to enter the dunk contest and proceeded to miss EVERY SINGLE one of her attempts. I can’t make this up. Every time I see girls on the basketball court I think of this greatly thought about video game concept.

 

8. Those of you who know me or even those of you who don’t but are among the privileged to be among my Facebook friends (I’m being sarcastic here folks, relax, I really don’t take myself that seriously) are aware of my dislike for one Lebron James AKA ‘LeQuit’. That being said, there is no doubt whatsoever that he is the MVP this season. He won’t win it, which is a disgrace, but can you name another player in the NBA that can make his team among the elite in the game, leave and the aforementioned team sucks so bad that they win the draft lottery THREE times while failing to make the playoffs for four straight years, then come back to make the same team among the elite once again? No you cannot. Also remember, the MVP is a regular season award, so you can bet come crunch time in the playoffs or NBA finals, something will come up with LeQuit that will cost the Cavaliers a championship. Mark it down. It WILL happen.

lebron-james-carried-off-court-leg-cramp-nba-finals

9. The Browns were of course in the news again this week but the news wasn’t that bad for fans of the team. The NFL handed down its punishment from the result of GM Ray Farmer sending text messages to coaches during games. The team wasn’t docked any draft picks, but Farmer will be suspended for the first four games of the season and the team was hit with a $250K fine. The punishment was fair. They shouldn’t have lost any draft picks. What Farmer did had absolutely no bearing on the outcome of any games. Now let’s hope the team can get some solid contributors in the draft. Here’s a hint. GO INTERIOR DL WITH YOUR FIRST PICK!

10. Boxing is once again on Free network TV this weekend! This time it will be on CBS. Like the March 7th NBC telecast that featured some of the top fighters in the world, this weekend will be no different. The Light Heavyweight division will be the focal point as the main event features the lineal Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Adonis Stevenson against Sakio Bika. The opening bout will be between a battle of legit top 10 contenders in the same division as Ring Magazine #9 ranked Gabriel Campillo takes on #10 ranked Artur Beterbiev. Don’t miss it as there will surly be fireworks. The broadcast starts at 3PM ET.

 

11. Speaking of boxing, Cleveland’s Mickey Bey, the IBF World Lightweight titlist, is making the first defense of his title on April 30th in Las Vegas against Denis Shafikov in a fight that will be televised on ESPN2. Bey is a former US Olympian and is a slick boxer with great footwork and defense to go along with excellent hand speed. He is rated as the #4 Lightweight in the world by The Ring and is a member of Floyd Mayweather’s famed TMT.
***Update 4/3. The fight is now off as the two promoters, Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank couldn’t compromise. Instead the fight will be promoted by the highest bidder. Stay tuned for more details.

12. Okay enough about sports. When I do find time to relax and watch something on TV non sports related, it usually consists of something comedy related. I’ll admit, I am a bit of a sitcom guy. Right now there are two shows that I am extremely enjoying. Broad City and Fresh off the Boat. If you enjoy laughing and want to take the edge off, I suggest these two silly shows. Below is the trailer for one of the shows.

 

13. And finally I’m a bit of a sneaker head. Don’t judge me. Picked up a fresh pair of Kyrie 1’s last week. If you want to be cool like me go cop yourself a pair as well.

My new Kyrie's

My new Kyrie’s

1. One of the games I charted two weeks ago was the Tulsa vs Tulane matchup. While the game went entirely Tulsa’s way, Devon Walker, a DB from from Tulane suffered a broken neck on the last play of the first half. It was reported that he actually stopped breathing before being revived. I ask that you all pray for Devon, a former walk-on, who worked his tail off to become a scholarship athlete. Tulane has also set up a Devon Walker fund at: http://www.tulane.edu/devonwalker

2. That leads me to a game that I charted last week between Nebraska and Arkansas State. After having his pulse checked during the first half, Bo Pelini was taken to the hospital during halftime as a precaution. While he checked out fine, it served as a reminder of the grind these coaches go through. I know most of them make a TON of money, but still, it shouldn’t be at the benefit of your health. Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy health.

3. The Texas Longhorns may be ranked #12 in the latest AP poll, but in no way are they the 12th best team in the country. Yes, they defeated an overmatched Ole Miss squad by the score of 66-31, but their defense gave up way too many big plays, coupled with a 100 yd kickoff return on special teams.

4. The most underrated coach in College Football is WKU’s Willie Taggert. And it’s not even close. He’s turned the Hilltoppers completely around and he doesn’t need to use the gimmicky uptempo, spread offenses that so many college coaches use these days. He is doing it with a smashmouth, westcoast, run orientated brand of football taught to him first by Jack Harbaugh, and then by Jim Harbaugh. After his playing days were over at WKU, Taggert was an assistant under Jack at his alma mater, then an assistant under Jim at Stanford. And i’m not saying it because of his win over Kentucky. I was more impressed with his ability to hang with LSU last year and Bama this year. The 35-0 loss to Bama was completely misleading. WKU was only outgained by 100 total yards. The score was so lopsided due to Bama forcing 4 turnovers. Oh yeah, and then there’s this. WKU had 6 sacks on the so called “greatest OL in college football!” I can see Taggert taking over for Derek Dooley at Tennessee in the very near future.

5. The Cleveland Browns are heading in the right direction. I know they are 0-2, but they have had a legitimate chance to win each game. This is a team that was considered by many as one of the 5 worst in the league this year. While many were upset after the opening loss to the Eagles, I wasn’t. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the fact that they lost, but come on and be realistic. Did you even think they were going to make it a game leading into the season? The fact that they hung with one of the upper echelon teams in the NFL shows that they aren’t the pushovers they have been. They then answered that with a game on the road against the Bengals where they were an onside recovery from a final drive to tie the ball game.

6. The Cleveland Indians must have new ownership if they are ever going to compete for a World Series Championship. I really don’t need to expand on that point at all.

7. My beloved Ohio State Buckeyes will finish with the best record in the Legends division of the B10 this year. I know they didn’t look so hot versus Cal last week, but Urb will right the ship and their real only competition, Wisconsin, is not the Wisconsin team that you are used to seeing. If you think the Buckeyes have struggled, look at the Badgers barely escaping with wins at home against Northern Iowa & Utah State, and losing at a not so talented Oregon State squad.

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona was named the opening day starter following his spring training debut by manager Manny Acta. 

Carmona went 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA in 210.1 innings last year.  He led the Indians starters in wins, ERA, innings pitched, and games started.  It was his best season since 2007 when he went 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA.  For his career, Carmona has started 118 of the 149 games he has pitched in and has a record of 46-51, with a 4.43 ERA. 

Four of the Indians five rotation spots are expected to be filled by Carmona, along with Justin Masterson, Mitch Talbot, and Carlos Carrasco.  Vying for the fifth spot is Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, and Anthony Reyes.  

Opening day is April 1st at Progressive Field in Cleveland against the Chicago White Sox.  This will be Carmona’s first opening day start.

Cleveland Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe has been shut down with what the team is calling right rotator cuff soreness in his shoulder.  There is no timetable on his return and the team is hoping a little rest will cure the problem.

Crowe, who can play all three outfield positions, played in 122 games last year and hit .251 with two home runs and 36 runs batted in.  He was second on the team with 20 stolen bases.

The projected starting outfield for the Indians this season is Grady Sizemore in center, Shin-Soo Choo in right, and Michael Brantley in left.  Austin Kearns is projected to be the first outfielder to come off the bench.

1.  I told you last week, to take a Cleveland Browns win, no matter how ugly it is or was.  Memo to Browns offensive coordinator Brian Dabol, when you are facing the worst rush defense in the entire NFL, like you were last week, Peyton Hillis has to have more than 21 carries.  I know, Hillis had three fumbles, but I’d much rather take my chances feeding Hillis the rock, then relying on Jake Dellhome and his three yard passes.  There were two different drives in the second half, in which the Browns went three and out, that drove me freaking nuts.  Can you guess what the play calls were for those drives?  I’ll fill you in.  First down – Pass.  Second down – Pass.  Third down – Pass.  I’ll just fill you in on what happened on fourth down.  Punt. 

2.  Has anyone regresses more rapidly than JJ Hickson of the Cleveland Cavaliers?  I mean, at the beginning of the season he was one of the few bright spots on the team.  He seemed like a guy that was “untouchable” when talking about players to trade.  Now, the guy seems lost on the court and isn’t even making plays on the offensive end.  I don’t think the Cavs should give up on him just yet, however.  He’s still a young player that is learning a new system.  I think he can still be a solid offensive NBA player.

3.  Bernard Hopkins will become the oldest boxer to ever win a true championship when he defeats Jean Pascal this weekend for the Lineal Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.  The odds are stacked against Hopkins; He’s nearly 46 years old, will be fighting on Pascal’s home Canadian turf, and is coming off a lackluster performance over Roy Jones Jr in April.  It doesn’t matter.  Hopkins is at his best when people start counting him out.  I think this will be his last great performance in the ring.  Showtime is televising it.   

4.  It’s funny that Terrelle Pryor said that if he were playing in the spread offense, he would “dominate.”  Here’s an idea Terrelle, stop shot putting the ball, make better decisions, and dominate in a pro-style offense so you can improve your draft status.  And while you’re at it, give another Rose Bowl type performance against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.  Do that, and many of the “Haters” will start supporting you again.

5.  We will get to see just how good Cleveland State is when they go on the road to take on West Virginia on Saturday.  This will be the best team that Cleveland State will have played this season and it is on the road.  Head coach Gary Waters will have his team ready and in years past, where Cleveland State has sometimes gone into games like this with “Big Eyes,” I don’t think that will be the case.  The most significant matchup will be in the paint between Aaron Pogue and Kevin Jones.  If Pogue can control that matchup, CSU will remain unbeaten.

6.  When Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball great Bob Feller was taken into hospice care last week, I knew the time was coming, but didn’t want to think about it.  After learning of Fellers passing last night I was in shock.  This is a man that I’ve personally spoken to before and is a living legend.  Please go and read all of the articles on this great man.  Go to every major sports website and read about him.  He’s an all time great who lost nearly four years of his prime while serving America during World War II.  A great pitcher, but an even greater American.  And he had to pass away while Larry Dolan owned the Indians.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

There isn't a better player that will ever put on a Cleveland Indians uniform

7.  I still think it’s crazy that freshman are for the most part the best players in college basketball.  Ohio State’s Fabulous Frosh Jared Sullinger earned his second Big Ten Player of the week award in the first four weeks of the season.  He leads the second ranked team in the nation in scoring and doesn’t seem to mind the adjustment from high school to college ball.  He will win the Big Ten Player of the Year award.

8.  Arrive to Christmas concerts and recitals early.  If you are just a tad late, you are stuck in the back and won’t see anything.  My son had his Christmas concert last night at St. Anthony’s and I got there about 5 minutes before it started.  I was stuck in a pew in the back of the cathedral and missed out.  Couldn’t even see him. 

9.  Colt McCoy should be the starter for the rest of the season and I’m happy to see that Eric Mangini has listed his as such.  Despite improvement in the team, it appears that Mangini is going to be on the outside looking in when the coaching reviews happen after the season. Mangini should be coaching the Cleveland Browns after this season.  The team is headed in the right direction and this organization needs some stability in the worst way.

10.  There are some Cleveland Boxers in action.  Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha are fighting tonight in World Series of Boxing matches.  Both won their first bouts two weeks ago.  Heavyweight Ray Austin is going up against former Olympic Gold medalist Odlanier Solis from Cuba on Saturday in Miami.  The winner gets a shot at titlist Vitali Klitschko.  Michael Moore improved to 6-0, 4 KO’s after a first round knockout Tuesday night in Texas.   

11.  Go see “The Fighter” which hits theatres this week.  It’s the true story about “Irish” Mickey Ward and the struggles he had to endure while also being a damn good professional prizefighter.  You will be amazed if you don’t know the story behind this man.  The only bad thing about it is it doesn’t go into the epic trilogy that Ward had with the late Arturo Gatti.  SMDH.  Why are you still reading this?  Go see it!! 

12.  Amir Kahn and Marcos Maidana put on what essentially will be voted as the fight of the year this past Saturday on HBO.  What an epic back and forth battle featuring everything you look for in a prizefight; knockdowns, drama, blood, and of course excitement!  If you missed it and have HBO, go check it out on the HBO On Demand channel.  Hopefully it will turn you into a boxing fan, if you aren’t one already.

13.  Congrats to The University of Akron Zips soccer team as they won the College Cup and were crowned National Champs!!  Ohio featured the High School National and College National Champions in Soccer this year!!  If you have kids, you understand my excitement for soccer.