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Rough outing for Sipp, Tribe falls 11-2: “With one out and two runners onboard, and Cleveland trailing by only one run, it was the perfect time to turn to lefty Tony Sipp. The percentages were in the Tribe’s favor, but fate was not. A strategically sound call to the bullpen led to a meltdown, and the Indians were dealt a stunning 11-2 loss.
The defeat — helped by an overpowering performance by Texas right-hander Alexi Ogando — continued a rough string of games for the Tribe.
Dating back to May 3, when the Indians were 20-8, Cleveland has gone 13-14. More recently, the Tribe has dropped seven games in a stretch of 10, suffering a handful of blowout losses of 14-2, 7-0 and 11-1 before Friday’s debacle. Cleveland has also lost four in a row at home for the first time this year.
Enter manager Manny Acta — the eternal optimist.
“I feel good,” Acta said. “Hey, we’ve won two out of the last four — .500. Not bad. That’s the way I look at it.”
The fact that the Indians’ remain atop the American League Central with a 33-22 ledger makes the losses easier to shoulder. Even after this latest loss, the Tribe remains 4 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Tigers in the division. That is the same advantage Cleveland had a month ago.” [Jordan Bastian / MLB.com]
On Terelle Pryor ever playing another game for the Buckeyes: “Though Pryor isn’t responsible for Tressel’s demise, his role as a root cause for the birth of this mess has triggered much of the fanbase to turn on him. It’s also fair to surmise the locker room is divided as few have come to his specific defense with most seemingly electing not to touch the subject either via twitter. Influential former players in the media have taken their shots with Herbie and Spielman leading the charge.
With all the chatter about TP’s career in scarlet and gray all but over, one has to wonder if Ohio State won’t be more than willing to play along and do whatever they can to appease the NCAA which could come in the form of suspending Pryor for the rest of the season assuming the Pryor-specific portion of the investigations causes the NCAA to postpone the currently scheduled August 12th hearing or if any new evidence comes to light ahead of the hearing prompting OSU to take proactive action in hopes of gaining points with the infractions committee. Certainly they’d never advertise such a plan but there are worse ideas than distancing themselves from Pryor should the opportunity arise after having already cut ties with Tressel.
Trying to look at this as unbiased as possible, I just don’t see how Pryor can get back on the field in Ohio Stadium if he actually regains eligibility (despite statements out of legal guardians or any other entity). It would look awful for the university to see him out there with more than half the stadium showering the field with boos in front of a national TV audience.” [Chris / Eleven Warriors]
Talk of teams trying to trade up for Derrick Williams: “The 2011 NBA Draft is widely regarded as a two-player class. While Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving is a lock to go to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick, speculation continues to circle around the No. 2 pick, held by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
University of Arizona forward Derrick Williams is the clear favorite to be drafted second overall but his fit is questionable in Minnesota. A combo-forward, Williams shares the scoring ability and versatility of Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley and doesn’t really address Minnesota’s biggest needs: help in the backcourt and in the middle.
Last week, we noted a report that the Cavaliers were interested in trading up for the No. 2 selection.
On Thursday, DraftExpress.com reported that the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards are also in the mix, nothing that the two teams “have been the most active teams trying to trade up for Derrick Williams.” The site also reported that the Timberwolves are seeking a “veteran big man” in return.
For reference: The Wizards hold the No. 6 selection and the Suns hold the No. 13 selection. [Ben Golliver / CBSSports]
On Shaq’s retirement press conference yesterday, from his house: ”Shaquille O’Neal took a seat in front of a microphone, welcomed everyone to his retirement press conference and began to discuss his decision to leave the game.
“I never thought this day would come,” he said. “Father Time has finally caught up with Shaquille O’Neal.”
Twenty-five seconds into his heartfelt speech, one of O’Neal’s friends approached the stage with a cell phone. Shaq was confused, but hesitantly answered the phone call.
“Who is this? Yes. For real? You want me to come up and apply for the New York Knicks’ general manager job? Okay, sure. I’ll be there right after the press conference. Sure, thank you. That was the President of the New York Knicks,” O’Neal said before breaking his straight face and cracking up with the assembled media.
O’Neal isn’t hiding the fact that he’s searching for his next job. While the Knicks aren’t courting him, he and his agent have already started to receive offers from various networks. ESPN has made it clear that they would welcome O’Neal with open arms, and TNT also appears to be interested in his services.” [Alex Kennedy / Hoopsworld]
Remembering Shaq’s stop through Cleveland: “He was the most dominant player I’d ever seen play in my life, but it was much more than that. He wasn’t the best in the sense that MJ was the best, or Russell was the best, or Larry was the best either. More of the classic sense; like you’re talking to your buddy who’s telling you a story about Shaq and you reply with - Shaq did that? Haha. That dude is the best!
That’s how I’ll remember Shaq, and I’m glad he stopped through Cleveland along the way.
Sure Shaq’s body didn’t hold up while a member of the Cavaliers, and he wasn’t able to deliver on that mission of winning the ring for that one guy that he talked doing so for at his introductory press conference either. But that press conference was great nonetheless. It was cool to have Shaq in Cleveland, and we’d be lying if we didn’t look back and admit it was a fun time in Cleveland sports history when he was here. If only he’d arrived about five or six years earlier.” [Stepien Rules]