The Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron and Kevin Love, Browns thoughts and Death Cab… While We’re Waiting

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Happy Friday folks. Here’re my weekly week-ending sports thoughts. Enjoy the GLC tonight!

Results aren’t guaranteed but…

Last week while on vacation I was a negative Nelly. Coming off what I consider to be a pretty miserable MLB trade deadline, that’s just where my head was. This week, things are very different. I’m still disappointed in the Tribe’s general direction, but I just finished looking at pics of LeBron James at Browns camp while soaking into the Woj bomb that Kevin Love is joining the Cavaliers soon via trade. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but it’s time to really start enjoying these uneniably good things. Say it out loud a few times. “LeBron James and Kevin Love are going to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers this year … with Kyrie Irving.”

I was reading an article by Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune in Minnesota where he was talking about all the winners and losers in this Kevin Love situation. He took a small shot at Cleveland sports fans, calling us “whiners,” but that’s not important. The fact is that there’s a perspective out there that Cleveland fans have become giant whiners on the level of pre-World-Series-winning Boston. That perspective exists because at least some outward-projecting version of Cleveland sports fans do come across that way.

In this scenario, fair or not, like the burning of LeBron jerseys back after The Decision, perception is reality. We don’t have a ton of control over that, of course. Except that I think we do have at least a modicum of control. We can keep repeating what we know to be true. Cleveland Cavaliers fans have been absolutely treated in this off-season in a way that is so non-Cleveland that it might be time to start rejoicing in it. I know it’s easy to slip into woe-is-me Cleveland tropes, but what did all that worrying do for the pre-Decision Cavaliers?

In the end, nobody can guarantee results. All anyone can do is guarantee the effort of the attempt. This forthcoming attempt by the Cavaliers is a good one. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s a fact. Go ahead and say it out loud.

“LeBron James and Kevin Love are going to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers this year … with Kyrie Irving.” You’ll feel better.

I was down on the Browns a bit last week too but…

I haven’t been quite this geeked for a Browns pre-season game in quite some time. I’m always a bit geeked because I’m a Browns-first kind of guy, but this year is far more exciting. Here are a couple of reasons.

  • I’m not wishing on a star that Brandon Weeden is better than what I thought he already was. I’m wishing for a new superstar rookie named Johnny Manziel – who unlike Weeden, I actually wanted on the Browns – while also rooting for a potential starter with experience and a decent track record.
  • Instead of hoping for Trent Richardson to not get hurt while also hoping Brandon Jackson still had something left in the tank, I’m rooting for Ben Tate and Terrance West while being cautiously optimistic about Dion Lewis, Edwin Baker and Isaiah Crowell.
  • And those guys will be running behind Joel Bitonio and John Greco at the newly cemented guard spots that were question marks a year ago.

There are plenty of other reasons too, but most of all, I can’t wait to see what the jumping off point is for a Ray Farmer-built team. It’s been a painful time in Browns history, but even before they log a single real NFL play in the pre-season box score, this team has exorcised an awful lot of demons.

I still believe the process might be a bit painful in the W category this season, but my conversation with Zac Jackson this week made me feel safe to believe what my eyes are telling me. The Browns are finally on a realatively healthy organizational path. Just because I feel a residual distrust of anything orange and brown doesn’t mean that my eyes are lying to me when I see a night and day improvement in organizational leadership with Farmer, Scheiner and even Pettine.

I started watching this season of Hard Knocks and Thomas Dimitroff looks like the third Corey

Enjoy the rest of this season of Hard Knocks now that I’ve made this comparison!

Thomas Dimitroff is a Corey

And now a Death Cab for Cutie playlist…

This is “a” playlist. It’s not “the” playlist. It’s not a list of the best DCfC songs ever. It’s simply what I would consider a really cool Death Cab compilation for this fine summer August day. I’ll have to make one this winter too. Anyway, I hand-picked it specifically to be a little bit more upbeat and free from sorrow and angst than the Death Cab possibilities might normally create.

  • boomhauertjs

    I’m not as down on the Tribe as everyone else. The Swisher/Bourn contracts are potential anchors and the starting pitching (outside Kluber and maybe Bauer) is a big question mark, but there’s a lot of talent in the lineup. A couple of bounce back years from the likes of Kipnis and Swisher or Bourn and the development of at least 1 more good starting pitcher (and Lindor making a big difference for the infield defense) and I think they’ll be a contender again next year. I feel pretty safe that they won’t bottom out like the Acta Era teams.

  • JNeids

    So Greg Oden just got himself suspended for the first 2 games of the 2014-15 season.
    …too soon?

  • mgbode

    I think the Indians are trending up. I also think we are a little locked into what we will be the next 2-3 years (we are sort of in 2006 of that 2005-2008 run). The biggest question will be where we find the starting pitching.

    Kluber is a lock. Bauer I hope is a lock. Salazar is a fringe guy right now getting by on his stuff (hope he figures it out). And, then we have a bunch of backend rotation filler (including House, McAllister, Tomlin, Carrasco, and our AAA staff). It’ll be interesting to see how we address the rotation in the offseason.

    Note: Marcum just got activated (oh please let his shoulder be okay as that would be a HUGE gain for the 2015 rotation).

    as for the position players:

    I’m hoping Lindor has a residual effect on Kipnis’ defense as well. He has really taken a step back this season and I hope that playing with a plus-defender helps take him back to where he was (or better).

    Sort of seem like we are hoping on hope for Bourn to stay healthy as I don’t want anyone else in CF, but he has had a relatively healthy career, so hopefully he has a couple more years of health. I’ve pretty much given up on him being a SB merchant for us though.

    Also have given up on Swisher providing anything more than average offense and bad defense. That is, I am hoping that next year he provides average offense.

    Chisenhall & Santana seem to have settled into their roles as plus-bats and minus-defenders. Much more comfortable with Santana as a hitter (longer track record and better success too), but both seem to be good MLB bats. It’d be great for them to be average defenders out there too.

    Yan is great. Love having him and he’s been our best 2-way player this year (offense & defense). Brantley has been great with his bat as well. Still makes some curious plays in the OF, but I have no issues with him at all if he keeps hitting the way he does and takes LF.

    RF is a giant black hole presently. I actually like Raburn and Murphy to a degree, but the first statement still persists.

  • mgbode

    that would be 10-11 games of a NBA season (NFL standard). let’s see if the NBA suspends him for more than that length. also, let’s see if it even matters as Greg Oden may not be able to serve his NBA suspension anyway (if noone bothers to pick him up).

  • JNeids
  • mgbode

    it was either that or…

    Greg Oden was just taking another self portrait and he turned too quickly when his girlfriend walked into the room.

  • JNeids
  • mgbode

    so, I must have been living under a rock, but I did not realize that the Mike Love of the Beach Boys was, in fact, the uncle of Kevin Love. You know, the guy who wrote “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “California Girls” and “Good Vibrations” among others.

  • nj0

    Yesterday while reading Deadspin’s reasons why the Colts suck, I realized why I’m excited for this Browns season – for the first time in a long time, I’m not completely annoyed/hateful by our players at the skill positions.

    Watching Weeden, Richardson, Little, Hillis, McCoy, Quinn, Massaquoi, Braylon, Winslow… it just automatically put me in a bad mood. And I liked some of those guys – they were just extremely frustrating watching. I either a.) didn’t like them as players or b.) was disappointed by their on-field performance for one reason or another.

    That’s not to say that Hoyer and company won’t be frustrating. But for the first time in a long time, annoyed won’t be my default setting starting the season.

  • Denny

    After thinking about it for seven seconds, I have decided 405 and Cath… are my favorite DCFC songs. And a big part of why I ran Big Sur was because I learned about the Bixby Creek Bridge based on the Death Cab song title.

    Cool Story, Bro.

  • nj0

    This is where I have to go against my nature and complain about Indians spending. It’d be so great if we could go out and sign two quality starting pitchers this off-season. Our lineup is good enough to keep the same and still win (plus the farm system is more likely to produce a few more every day players).

    But pitching? We’re just boned. And we won’t be able to go get anyone worth getting. It’s all very depressing – being stuck in mediocrity with no way to move up.

  • cmm13

    This forthcoming attempt by the Cavaliers is a good one

  • nj0

    If we don’t address our starting pitching, we won’t go anywhere. I can see improvement from Bauer, but I don’t see any of our other bucket of arms doing anything.

    Tomlin is done. House hasn’t been horrible, but he reminds me of Tomlin, McAllister, or Talbot – some early not-sucking until teams see enough of him. Carrasco, for all my cheerleading, seems to be the same pitcher. Salazar looks like the reliever everyone had him pegged as.

    So that leaves us with a #1 in Kluber and a back end guy in Bauer. Basically, our starting pitching sucks and I don’t see any easy way to address it.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    I would love to see Salazar closing games.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Reminds me of….

  • mgbode

    Weeden played last night and was unsurprisingly not terrible against a completely vanilla defense that wasn’t bothering to put a rush on him. He also wasn’t good.

    It was funny seeing how absolutely terrible the Dallas defense was though. I mean, they also were playing vanilla defense and not rushing much, but SD QB’s went 14/16 with a 15.2YPA and those numbers were 9/9 with a 21.6 YPA before the 3rd stringers in mop-up duty came in.

    The Cowboys may have the worst defensive team ever assembled in the NFL.

  • cmm13

    You win.

  • nj0

    Yeah. They were historically terrible last year and somehow regressed this season.

    And of course, it’ll all be Romo’s fault.

  • nj0

    We basically have two starting pitchers and like a dozen relievers. Maybe the Indians should revolutionize the game and go with a bunch of guys pitching three innings each.

  • RGB

    Is he even on a roster?

  • mgbode

    that’s what we have been doing lately (though 4IP, not 3)