Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Indians’

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

 

  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. 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.

1.  When the Cleveland Browns win a game, no matter what it looked like, take it.  Don’t complain about it.  Don’t say they didn’t deserve it.  Don’t say they were lucky.  Again, take it.  The Browns have lost so many games over the years that left us fans in disbelief so just take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that the Cleveland Browns won a game. 

2.  The Cleveland Cavalier fans have more heart than any of the players that play on the squad.  What a bunch of bitches those players are.  Every single one of them.  Instead of playing grab ass with players on the opposing team, mix in a physical foul once in a while.  The Cavs are obviously one of the less talented teams in the NBA, so they have to make up for it in heart and playing physical.  The problem is they have no heart, and the players don’t know how to be physical.  There is a difference between being physical and being dirty.  I’m saying to play physical.

3.  Wladimir Klitschko was set to defend the Heavyweight Championship of the World this weekend.  That was until he tore a pectoral muscle earlier this week.  Reports say he tore it while working the punching mitts.  I don’t buy it.  I’m going to say that he and his girlfriend Hayden Panettiere were practicing cheers to revive her Hollywood career and he hurt himself after they did some crazy acrobatic maneuver. 

These two don't look akward together do they?

4.  The biggest surprise players on The Ohio State University Buckeyes this football season were Boom Herron and Brian Rolle.  Sure, both players were well-known coming into the season, but had underachieved in prior years.  Herron proved to be a tough player inside the tackles and was the most consistent offensive player of the season.  Rolle, an undersized linebacker, stepped up and showed the playmaking abilities that the Buckeyes were looking for when they recruited him out of Florida.  Herron will be one of the top running backs in the country next season.  The most disapointing players?  Terrelle Pryor and Cameron Hayward.  Pryor continued to be inconsistent as a quarterback and didn’t capitalize on his near perfect Rose Bowl game from last year.  Heading into the season he was the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, however, he failed to even make first or second team quarterback in his own conference.  Cameron Hayward passed up first round riches to play in the NFL last year to come back and play his senior year.  A commendable act no doubt, but he should have dominated this year.  There were games when you didn’t even hear the announcers mention his name.  Sure, he was double and triple teamed much of the year, but if your Cameron Hayward, you’ve gotta find a way to make plays.  I’m being extremely critical here, because Heyward still had a solid year, but a player of his stature didn’t have the type of dominating season that was expected.

5.  I’ve said it before, and i’m going to continue to preach it.  THE BEST BASKETBALL IN THE CITY CONTINUES TO BE PLAYED BY THE CLEVELAND STATE VIKINGS!  They are 11-0 and are on the cusp of being ranked in the top 25.  Don’t get caught up in their ranking.  Just know that head coach Gary Waters and his staff are concentrating on getting them ready for postseason play.  Also Norris Cole, who has already been named athlete of the week twice in the Horizon League this season, is more fun to watch than anyone on the Cleveland Cavalier roster.

http://www.horizonleague.org/blog/cole-collects-second-horizon-league-mens-basketball-player-of-the-week-accolade-of-season.html?types[]=2&sport_id=2

6.  It’s great to be a Cleveland Indians fan right now.  I mean, while Boston is picking up Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, and the Yankees on the verge of signing Cliff Lee, the Indians are promoting Snow Days at progressive field and getting close to signing Nick Punto.  Nick Punto!!  Punto is a stud at 33 years old and coming off a monster year in which injuries limited him to playing 48 games, but he hit an astounding .238!!  I’m camping out for my Tribe tickets already.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  While Jared Sullinger, Jon Diebler, and William Buford get most of the attention and accolades for The Ohio State University Buckeye basketball team, the heart and soul of the team is David Lighty.  The Cleveland native leads the team in scoring, and is averaging career highs in assists and steals.  What you won’t see in the box score is the defensive intensity he brings as well as the hustle plays that he makes on the court by tipping balls and frustrating opposing players.

8.  If you have a bad lower back like I do, get an inversion table.  The thing works wonders. Takes every ounce of pressure and removes it from your back.  Simply amazing. 

9.  I know its early, but TJ Ward and Joe Haden remind me an awful lot of the Frank Minnifield and Felix Wright combination.  What a backfield.  Keep it up guys.

10.  There are two Cleveland boxers that are participating in the World Series of Boxing.  For those that don’t know, the World Series of Boxing is an amateur boxing league that follows professional rules.  There is no headgear, no shirts, and rounds are scored on a ten point must system.  The fights last five rounds.  The two Cleveland boxers are Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha.  They both participate on the Team from Memphis called the Memphis Force.  Both were victorious in their opening bouts.  The bouts are televised on Versus. 

Raynell Williams during his first bout with Memphis.

11.  I heard that there is going to be a new Top Gun movie coming out.  Please say it isn’t so!!  First The Karate Kid was remade, and now Top Gun?  SMDH.

12.  There is excellent boxing on this weekend.  Both Showtime and HBO are giving fans their money’s worth.  Showtime is showing its Bantamweight tournament bouts, featuring four of the top six bantamweights in the World against each other, while HBO is focusing on the Jr Welterweight division, with three of the top ten Jr Welterweights in action.

13.  The University of Akron Zips soccer team has made it to the Final Four of the College Cup.  They are on their way to back-to-back National Championships!

1.  I’m getting tired of every so called “expert” talk about second half adjustments and play calling every time the Cleveland Browns lose a game.  I’ve got an idea, how about the other team just made more plays at more crucial moments? 

2.  If no one showed up to the Q to witness “Quitness” on Thursday, wouldn’t that be the ultimate bitch slap back?  I mean, I don’t want to be anywhere near that Arena during the game.  If everyone followed suit, LePrick would notice just how important he really is.

3.  There isn’t a classier boxer in the world than Ring Magazine number 1 ranked Super Middleweight and former USA Olympic Gold Medal winner Andre Ward.  He wore trunks dedicated to Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles as he battled cancer earlier this year, and after his hard fought decision over Sakio Bika on Saturday, he gave a shout out to North East Ohio Native Kelly Pavlik to let him know that he was in Ward’s prayers as the former Middleweight Champion is undergoing alcohol rehabilitation.   

4.  Certain things in life are undeniable.  Death.  Taxes.  And of course The Ohio State University Buckeyes beating Michigan while winning another Big Ten Championship and securing another BCS Bowl bid.

5.  The best basketball in the City continues to be played by the Cleveland State Vikings and it’s not even close.  They are off to the best start in School history at 8-0, and begin Horizon League play this week.  I’m shocked that the Wolstein Center crowds have been non-exhistant.  Truly embarrassing if you ask me.

6.  I’m dropping down $25 to play in the snow at Progressive Field.  There will be more sounds of joy this winter in that ballpark then what was heard all year during the baseball season.   Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  Jared Sullinger has continued to impress me despite being double and triple teamed continuously down on the block.  He has three double-doubles already, which is the second most by a Freshman behind UK’s Terrence Jones.  Can I get a Buckeye versus Wildcat matchup in the tourney this year??

8.  It’s simply not worth staking out overnight to get Black Friday deals.  Wait it out and you will find deals that are just as good on Cyber Monday from the comforts of your own home. 

9.  Jake Delhomme should put the football down and pick the clipboard back up.  As much of a veteran as he is, I’m still astonished at the decision he makes with the football.  INT after INT.  He’s like a poor man’s JaMarcus Russell.

10.  Kelly Pavlik was reportedly in rehab ten days before his fight with Sergio Mora.  Ten days.  Pavlik was winning the fight before suffering his second cut over his eye and therefore, unable to see punch’s coming his way.  This is astonishing given how much Martinez’s stock has risen.  Had Pavlik been on the straight and narrow, he would have destroyed Martinez and would be on everyone’s pound for pound list.  Sad story about Pavlik.  Knowing him personally makes it even more difficult for me.  I wish him the best and hope he comes back. 

11.  The biggest pet peeve in the world is getting ready to park in a parking space at the grocery store and when you’re just about to pull in, there’s a empty shopping cart in the way.  SMDH.

12.  Manny Pacquiao isn’t fighting Juan Manuel Marquez again.  At least not next.  The reason?  Marquez will beat him.

13.  Despite not scoring a goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid, my boy Lio Messi set up David Villa for two perfect goals and was the Man of the Match, drawing six fouls and controlling the middle of the pitch

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