April 17, 2014

TD’s Ten For Tuesday

It’s Tuesday…. The Browns are bad and not interesting….The Cavs season still hasn’t started and we still don’t know when free agency and training camp will begin…. The Indians offseason is in full swing, but no games are being played….Sure, their is plenty of things Buckeye to chat about, but this is a slow time right now….so here are 10 quick thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon to chew on.

1. I’m no Ohio State fan, but if you are, you have to look back on the 2011 season and realize this was a GREAT thing for your program. Sure, you were dragged through the mud, you lost your legendary coach, and you finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, but it all happened for a reason and you will come out ahead and better for it. 

Think about what would have happened if Luke Fickell’s bunch had gone say, 10-2 and won the Big Ten. There may have been a string groundswell to keep him on as the Head Coach. Their last unheralded guy turned out pretty well. As I told so many of my Buckeye loving friends – the 6-6 record was the best thing that could have happened to your team because there was no way Fickell would stay at the top.

Instead, you ended up with the Grand Slam of Home Run hires, Urban Meyer, the Ohio native, with two National Championships under his belt.

2. Lost in all of the Meyer hoopla is the fact that the OSU Men’s Basketball team plays in a monster game tonight in Columbus. The #2 Buckeyes take on the #3 Duke Blue Devils at 9:30 on ESPN. It is one of three marquee early games that Thad Matta has scheduled. On November 15th, they took down fellow top 10 team Florida 81-74 and coming up December 10th, OSU goes to Lawrence for another power matchup with Kansas.

But tonight’s game is must see TV if you are a basketball fan. It will be interesting to see how Aaron Craft and company defend Duke perimeter shooters Andre Dawkins, Seth Curry, and Tyler Thornton. They hit 11 threes in their win over Kansas in the title game of the Maui Invitational last Wednesday. Watch out for Duke Freshman Austin Rivers – he can get to the basket essentially whenever he wants off the dribble. Expect to see the longer William Buford man up on Rivers.

3. The Free Agency period in the NBA will be fast and furious whenever the O.K. is given to start. As many of you know, I am officially NBA free. However, I have one piece of advice for Cavs GM Chris Grant – stand pat and do nothing. If there was ever a time to tank a season, it’s now. If the NBA draft age stays at 19 years old, the 2012 draft will be as deep as it’s been in a decade. Guys like UNC’s Harrison Barnes, Kentucky’s talented trio of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Terrance Jones, Baylor’s Perry Jones, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, and UConn’s Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb are all expected to make themselves eligible.

If the draft age moves to 20, as some have speculated, ending up in the top three is even more important than ever.

4. One more sliver for you, Chris Grant. No need to be a hero here. You have the amnesty clause available – use it to rid yourself of the Baron Davis contract. Its got two years left and while he said and did all the right things here in his brief time last season, is that really going to continue? His history would suggest otherwise. Cut him loose and let him walk to the Lakers, where he can be happy back at home in LA.

5. Let up on Greg Little, people. He had one bad game where he had the dropsies. I think he is a keeper and he has impressed me being thrust into the number one receiver role. He will be fine. Meanwhile, does anyone think that GM Tom Heckert will go another offseason without bringing in a legit, veteran wideout?

6. December 5th-8th are Baseball’s Winter Meetings where the General Managers, owners, team presidents, and player agents get together and talk shop. Lots of deals, both trades and free agency, are launched during this time period. Tribe GM Chris Antonetti must come out of the meetings with some sense of what he is going to do in his vast search for a right-handed bat.

A guy that is rumored to be out their and available for trade is the White Sox OF Carlos Quentin. He has never played first base and is probably best suited as a DH. But with the always iffy status of Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, the at-bats will probably be there. That said, I can’t see White Sox GM Kenny Williams dealing Quentin in the division.

7. Speaking of Sizemore, I was out last week when the Indians made their move to re-sign the oft-injured CF to a one year, $5 million contract plus incentives. I want to go on record – I think bringing back Grady is a mistake.

Sure, he will be very motivated to play for another contract elsewhere, but I think their were more creative ways to spend that $5 million dollars. I’d have made a trade for a right-handed outfielder and let Carlos Santana play more first base with Lou Marson getting most of the run behind the plate.

Mostly, I am against the move because I think Grady is finished as a player. The multiple surgeries have robbed him of what made him great – his speed and reckless abandon style of play. He strikes out way too much for my liking and is another left-handed bat.

I was ready to move on. Apparantly the Indians were not.

8. The move to get that right-handed bat is to deal one of the two established left-handed relievers – Tony Sipp or Rafael Perez – in a package with a prospect or two. Hard-throwing Nick Hagadone is ready to take a major league spot. Hagadone is the second fruit to bare from the Victor Martinez trade. The first one. Justin Masterson, has turned out pretty good I’d say.

9. Anyone else annoyed that the Browns/Ravens game this Sunday has been moved to 4:05 PM from 1 PM? Will be dark, damp, and cold AND we get to watch that Ravens D completely shut the Browns offense down.

10. The 6-1 Cleveland State Vikings were on the cusp of the top 25, before their unexpected loss to Hofstra 63-53 in Kingston, Rhode Island over the weekend. They recovered a day later, beating Rhode Island 67-45 on the road. Center Aaron Pogue led the way with 20 points and eight boards. Now comes Horizon League play, starting Thursday night at 2-4 Wright State. Saturday they take on the preseason choice to win the league, 3-4 Detroit on the road as well.

UDM’s already thin front court took a big hit last week when the lost starting PF Nick Minnerath to a torn ACL. All-league Center Eli Holman is still suspended indefinitely. With Butler in a down year and UDM battling to stay healthy, all of a sudden, Cleveland State looks like the odds on favorite to win the Horizon League.

  • Harv 21

    Fully agree about Davis. Like his guts to take pressure shots but his first years in a place are generally rosy before things go south. Given his salary, the next few weeks may be the last time you can get something for him

  • Vengeful Pat

    Glad you said something about Little… because I still think he’s terrible (at least for now… I’m not saying he can’t get better, but right now I don’t think he deserves criticism). He has the lowest Yards-After-Catch per completion on the team other than Evan Moore, who has only caught 19 passes (2 of which were touchdowns, so you can’t have any YAC on a TD). Little was supposed to be a guy who could break tackles and make people miss in the open field… the stats seem to say that he can’t do this, at least at this point in his career. He is still more of a project than anything.

  • Vengeful Pat

    wow, butchered that first sentence. I obviously think Little does deserve criticism.

  • Vengeful Pat

    Little also has the worst percentage for 1st Down per completion on the team. Sorry, piling on.

  • MrCleaveland

    Hey, Greg, Roberto Duran called. He wants his hands of stone back.

  • Chip

    tss, yeah Roberto also said he’s hungry like a wolf so sumpthin. tss tss

  • Chip

    tss, I meant “or”. I crack everyone up. tss tss

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    @ Vengeful Pat: You can get YAC on a TD as long as you do not catch the ball in the endzone, if you make the catch on the 5 and run in that is 5 yards of YAC

    although in your defense I am pretty sure both Moore’s TDs were jump balls in the endzone

  • Vengeful Pat

    @8, you are absolutely correct. My fault, but you’re right both of his TD catches were in the endzone. And I botched my 1st Down comment earlier. Little’s percentage is bad, but not the worst on the team.

    @Chip, whenever I read your comments I read them like John Travolta in the movie Grease… which makes me laugh.

  • Tim

    I know you saw Duke play against Kansas, TD, but wouldn’t you think Craft will guard Rivers? Craft has better lateral quickness and quicker hands than Buford, even if Buford is a few inches taller. Craft has made his mark shutting down guards like Jordan Taylor, Talor Battle, Brandon Knight, etc. No reason he can’t do the same to Rivers.

  • kev

    I know people are losing patience, but give a break to little, before the start of the season he hadn’t played competitive ball in more than a year, and nobody expected something out of him.

    Results? He has more catches than anybody on the team. Ok the receiving corps is not impressive, but I must say I’ve been impressed with his acomplishments this season, and I’m looking forward seeing how he develops.

    Also I agree that a veteran and big time receiver (Desean Jackson? Everybody can dream rite?) and a high draft pick on a WR a la AJ Green would do wonders to this team. Add a starting linebacker and a right tackle, and this team could go somewhere….

  • Joe H

    You forgot to mention that the Ohio Bobcats go for the MAC Championship on Friday in Detroit….. just sayin.

  • Ghost

    Go Bobcats!! O-H-I-O!

  • Shamrock

    Here’s hoping the Cadavers sign a decent free agent or two.

  • 5KMD

    Just picking some nits on this one TD:

    “The #2 Buckeyes take on the #3 Duke Blue Devils at 9:30 on ESPN. It is one of three marquee early games that Thad Matta has scheduled.”

    This game is/was part of the ACC/Big 10 challenge so I don’t think either coach has anything to do with scheduling the specific matchups. Feel free to correct if I am wrong. And nice win for the Buckeyes.

    #’s 12 and 13: Let’s go Cats! (year 2000 graduate).

  • Vengeful Pat

    @kev, no deal. Little has, by far, the most targets on the team so you would also expect him to have the most receptions. All that proves is that Shurmur wants to throw the ball to him. His drop rate and low YAC/reception is what lets you know that he hasn’t done a good job. I freely admit that I’m bashing Little because I hated drafting him. He’s a guy who got moved to running back in college after starting off as a wide receiver. Yes, his coach was Butch Davis, but you have to think that there’s something to that. You wouldn’t move your best receiver or a guy with tremendous receiver potential to another position unless you thought he’d be better at another position. I’m cheering for this guy to get better just like I am cheering for Colt McCoy to improve, and I want him to succeed, but I’m just pointing out that right now, he is not good and we shouldn’t pretend like he’s had a great rookie season. He needs to improve.

  • Jeremy

    Pat maybe I’m wrong, but I am pretty sure they moved Little to WR from RB not the other way around.