I had a dream last night that the Cavaliers got into the playoffs and beat the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs. It was one of those ultra-realistic dreams, too. Like, the kind where even when you wake up and you know it was a dream, you still think it might have been real and you check your phone to see if was actually reality. Well, it wasn’t reality……yet? I guess it depends on what time the dream took place. If it was before midnight, it was still March 31st and I think it was a prophecy. If it came after midnight, though, it would have been April 1st and thus just a cruel April Fool’s prank my body and mind played on me. I guess in a couple weeks we’ll find out if I am a prophet or a fool.
Oh, hey, there was Indians baseball on last night! Too bad I missed most of it….
It’s completely ridiculous for MLB to make an EST team open the season at 10:00 pm – I am absolutely furious about this. I can’t remember the last time I missed an Indians’ opening day game, but I had to miss last night’s opener. My alarm goes off at 5:00 am and there’s just no way I can stay up after 1:00 am on a Monday night. I realize some people can and do, but it just seems like an absolute slap in the face from MLB to make the Indians play their first game at 10:00 on the east coast. If you’re going to make an east coast team open the season on the west coast, at least have the game played at 1:00 or 4:00 local time so all fans can enjoy the game.
Now, having said all that, there’s really nothing like opening day in baseball. Yeah, I love opening night in the NBA, and the first NFL games are always fun. But there’s just something special about the start of the baseball season. It announces the arrival of spring with authority and the romanticized nature of the sport lends itself perfectly to the pomp and circumstance of the moment.
So who gets Joe’s old office? When Joe Banner was let go by Jimmy Haslam, it obviously opened a huge office vacuum. It’s kind of like in nature, when one dominant species leaves an area, there’s a power struggles as competing predators try to exert their dominance over everyone to stake their claim to the territory. So the fight for Banner’s office was probably especially brutal, right? Well, maybe not. From an interview with Jimmy Haslam by Mary Kay Cabot in the Plain Dealer:
It’s very clear and I’m very happy with those three. They’re very smart, and here’s the most important thing: they work extremely well together and what I really like about these guys is they’re driven, they want to win, they don’t care who gets the credit. It’s all about turning around the Cleveland Browns and that’s all we talk about and that’s all they talk about and semantics are a small thing, but when Joe (Banner) left the building, Mike Pettine came to me and said, ‘what are you going to do with Joe’s office?’ I said I hadn’t thought about it and he said, ‘do you mind if I move in there?….that will put me right by Ray, right across from the draft room, right next to you and I’d rather be back there than kind of back in that hole.’ You’ve all been around a lot of football coaches. Most of them like to be back in the hole and I think that shows how important Mike views working with Ray. It’s a small thing, but I think it’s a big thing.
I guess that’s a good thing. I have no problem admitting that I like the current setup of the Browns’ front office. I loved what Marla Ridenour wrote back in January about why the Browns should get rid of Mike Lombardi and promote Ray Farmer from within. I really like Alec Scheiner. I think Jimmy Haslam got rid of some of the chaos when he cleared the front office. But still, at the end of the day, you just gotta win football games.
One man returns, another takes his place. Kyrie Irving has been fully cleared to return to practice for the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Anderson Varejao was diagnosed with a right AC joint sprain and will miss at least the next game (and with AV injuries, you know it’s probably going to be more).
Injuries are frustrating in all sports. But man is this getting old. Whenever someone comes back from injury, another Cavalier goes down. This team just cannot get everyone healthy at the same time. While I still feel the playoffs are a pretty big long shot (but certainly not impossible), it would sure be nice to just once finish out the season at full strength and make as much of a playoff run as possible.
But playoffs or no, injured or healthy, I just continue to be thoroughly impressed with the way the Cavs are finishing out this season. With the big win over Indiana on Sunday, the Cavaliers finished 6-9 in the “Month of Death”. I thought 3-12 was very possible, but the team regrouped and played so well in March. Yeah, sure, the Cavs shot themselves in the foot in November and December, but for a young team, this is the kind of development I had been begging for the last couple years with Byron Scott. Those teams more or less gave up in the final 2 months. Mike Brown’s team is competing and playing hard, and it’s just nice to see.
People really seem to hate the How I Met Your Mother finale. I stayed with the show out of loyalty. I wanted to see how it ended. But I haven’t really enjoyed the show in years. The most annoying aspect to me was that despite their obvious chemistry, we already knew Robin wasn’t the mother. But as season after season went by with Ted Mosby telling his kids how much he loved “Aunt Robin” and all the things he did for her and how hard it was to let her go and move on from her, it just seemed more and more clear that (***SPOILER ALERT***) even if Robin wasn’t their mother, she was the one Ted was destined to wind up with.
So why is everyone so mad that more or less that’s exactly what happened? My biggest frustration was that after wasting the entire final season on Barney and Robin’s wedding weekend, the writers threw that marriage away in about 5 minutes. Nothing meaningful came out of that relationship. The first post-wedding thing we saw of Barney and Robin was Barney complaining that Robin was never home. So we knew right away what was coming.
But still, other than that, I thought it was a decent finale. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been emotionally invested in the show for years. But whatever the case, I just find some of the anger and outrage I’ve seen to be confusing. I really don’t know what people wanted. The reaction of the kids was obviously filmed sometime very early, in the first couple seasons. So the writers obviously knew all along where the story was going. It is what it is. I guess maybe I’m just glad I don’t have to watch the show out of a sense of duty anymore. I’m free!
Album of the week? What do you expect here? Today is a really, really good week for music. You have to check out the new Manchester Orchestra album, “Cope”. Kaiser Chiefs have a new album out today called “Education, Education, Education & War”. Band of Skulls’ newest album “Himalayan” is out. For those looking for a classic album re-issues, you can get the re-release of the amazing 90s album “Rubberneck” by the Toadies. If you’re a fan of more mainstream rock, there are new albums from Chevelle and The Used.
But the most important release today is the new album from Cleveland’s own Cloud Nothings, “Here and Nowhere Else”. Just yesterday Pitchfork reviewed the album and gave it the coveted “Best New Music” tag. The album certainly deserves it.
The first time I listened to this album, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I didn’t love the production, first and foremost. But the biggest thing is that Cloud Nothings are such a jarring band. They do things their own way and when listening to their music, it can sometimes take a few listens to come to grips with what they’re doing.
So I listened again. I liked it a little more. I listed again. I liked it even more. By about listen number six or seven, I was in love. The production, under the watch of indie producer John Congleton, may not have the same visceral feel of Steve Albini, who produced Cloud Nothing’s previous album, my favorite album of 2012, “Attack on Memory”. But the ferocity of these songs lie in the songwriting, the vocals, and perhaps above all else, the drumming. But no matter how vicious of a sound the band achieves, there’s simply no way to hide or to contain the infectious pop hooks of frontman Dylan Baldi.
And that’s maybe my favorite thing about Cloud Nothings….that dynamic struggle between the band’s primal sound and Baldi’s unrelenting hooks. The more you listen to the album, the more the hooks rise to the top of the mix without diminishing any of tireless energy of the band’s unforgiving rock sound. Quite simply, this is a brilliant band making some of the most impressive rock music in the world right now. This album at first felt like a step backwards for the band, but the more I listened the more I realized this was forward trajectory. This is a band moving in the direction they were always meant to, making the music they were born to make.