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“Asked by one reporter if the team could go back and analyze that 30-15 start to find out what was working for the club, Acta cut off the question and replied: “We’re talented. We have some talent here. It wasn’t anything different that we did in Spring Training or anything like that. Our focus is to win and when you’re in a rebuilding process you can see it from year to year. We’re talented. It’s not a fluke when you spend as long as we did in first place.”
Injuries or not — and that certainly took a toll on the Tribe in 2011 — Acta would’ve preferred to see more consistency over the course of the entire season. That is what the manager is hoping to witness in 2012. “Everybody would like to win right off the bat,” Acta said. “It’s what comes after that. How many teams start 30-15? You’re not going to see that very often. We’d still like to have a goodstart — that sets the tone. But it’s such a long season. That’s why we downplayed allthat all the time. It’s 162 games.” [Bastian/MLB.com]
“While we are still intrigued by the idea of the Browns weakening Pittsburgh by signing restricted free agent Mike Wallace, we have to admit to having some reservations after reading Ed Bouchette’s latest in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bouchette points out that Wallace caught 43 passes for 800 yards in the first eight games of last season, but only had 29 receptions for 393 yards in the final eight games. He closed out the year with three receptions for 26 yards in the Steelers playoff loss to Denver. Was that just a slump or did defenses figure something out?” [Red Right 88]
No surprises here- “A half-century later, Brown’s devastating combination of speed and power remains arguably the best in NFL history. For his career, Brown averaged 5.2 yards per carry, and his 12,312 career yards in just 118 career games still ranks ninth all-time (as of the end of the 2011 season). Remember, the NFL regular season was only 12 GAMES for four of Brown’s nine years.
In all Brown only carried the ball 2,359 times while all-time leader Emmitt Smith had 4,409 carries, and Brown is the only runner to AVERAGE 100 yards per game during a career. Retiring for good at just age 29, Brown is ranked No. 1 on the Pro Football Reference EloRater, No. 2 on the NFL Network’s list of the top 100 players ever, and No. 4 on ESPN’s SportsCentury list (all athletes) in 1999.” [Allen/Midwest Sports Fan]
“So what has happened? While points were certainly hard to come by in the loss to Michigan State, Buford had 4 points in 36 minutes, shooting 2-12 from the field. In the loss to Michigan on Saturday he had 6 points in 40 minutes, shooting 3-12 from the field. Yes, these are just a couple of select and alarming stats but it does help put into perspective what this team faces when he struggles. Personally, the only thing that I can see from a fan standpoint is that he rushes shots all too often, but the same can be said about the entire Ohio State offense. He tends to have a bad shot selection and, coupled with that, he oftentimes shoots very early into the shot clock instead of letting plays develop and come to him. We can be spoiled because, when he hits those shots and gets hot, all is forgiven as it is a thing of beauty to watch and see develop. Unfortunately, those games seem to be far a few between for one reason or another this season as he’s averaging less than 9 points per game against the top four B1G teams.” [Buckeye Battle Cry]
“On a cinder-block wall adjacent to the front entrance of the Indians’ training complex, a large script “I” has been replaced this year by a block “C,” which, of course, stands for Cleveland. The Indians would like to believe it also symbolizes that they’re contenders.
However, just being in the hunt or near the top won’t be enough for closer Chris Perez, sporting a full beard and longer hair this spring. He’s done with rebuilding, second-place and any talk about waiting until next year. Perez wants more for the Indians in 2012.” [Withers/Yahoo.com]