April 20, 2014

Clowney will not hold private workouts before NFL Draft

photo

What’s the down side in not attending a draft prospects Pro Day? The Cleveland Browns may soon find out.

In the wake of an injury sustained by Clemson’s Brandon Thomas, potential first-overall draft selection Jadveon Clowney will not be participating in any private workouts heading into May’s NFL Draft. “He still will visit teams and interview with coaches and GMs,” writes SI’s Peter King, “but his next show-and-tell football performance will be after the draft in a mini-camp, with whichever team picks him.”

The Browns were the only team to not have front office members present at Clowney’s (incredibly impressive) Pro Day two weeks back, citing that “being in charge of that workout is different than being at a Pro Day where it’s orchestrated and scripted.” Unfortunately for Cleveland, they’ll now see neither.

This (bound to be controversial) decision by Clowney will only serve to add to the talented pass-rusher’s mystique while making the monocles pop out of the eyes of schoolmarms like this “personnel man” throughout the league. Remember, this was the same player who was accused of milking injuries to not hinder his draft stock just weeks after being the subject of glowing columns and feature-length stories.

Isn’t anonymous character assassination delightful?

(Photo: Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports)

Browns adding former Bengal fullback Chris Pressley?

Thomas PressleyIf Chris Pressley can return to form from a knee injury that cost him the 2013 season, he could be in for a treat in Cleveland.

This town loves them some fullbacks.

According to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com (who by the way, does a really good job covering Browns news for the Beacon Journal) the Browns have signed the free agent fullback. Pressley was cut by the Bengals back in December. Pressley began the season on the PUP list after suffering a season ending knee injury back in 2012.

Pressley was a college teammate of Browns Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas at Wisconsin. Thomas’ senior year was Pressley’s sophomore season. Pressley was signed by the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

The Browns offense under Kyle Shanahan will likely use more of a traditional fullback than the offense used last season under Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner.

[Related: Nate's room now resides in Cleveland]

Month-long pranks, Colbert’s move and Bubba’s big win: While We’re Waiting

WFNYBanner www

Say something! I struggle to think of many environments—especially work-enviroments where individuals are there by chance more than choice—where any sort of prank can carry on for a full month, but such was the case with cup-of-coffee Cleveland Indian Jeff Francouer. If you’re somehow unaware of this masterpiece, let’s take a step back: Since being granted his exit from the Indians’ minor league system, Francouer caught on with the El Paso Chihuahuas. In his month with the team, the Chihuahuas, from the top down, had the long-time outfielder convinced that one of his teammates was deaf—when he most definitely is not. Even better: They created this mockumentary.

Be sure to watch all the way through—from the over annunciation all the way to the end as Frenchy finds out he’s been fooled. It’s seven minutes that are well worth your time. Hand signals.

***

Congrats, Bubba. For the second time in three years, Bubba Watson took the Green Jacket home from Augusta, capping off an excellent weekend with a 3-under in Sunday’s final round. The story, at least in the short term, may be the play of Jordan Spieth who, at age 20, was leading by two shots at the eighth tee. This kid’s future will instantly be put under a microscope as the golf world looks for the next big star stemming from the same tournament that may have simultaneously signaled the end for it’s biggest in Tiger Woods. For Watson, however, to birdie both eith eighth and ninth holes just a few hours after holding a triva contest on Twitter—well, the game may not need Spieth at all. For all that he gets criticized, Watson was nails. With a three-stroke lead on 15, Watson could have let up and played it safe, giving back a stroke or two. Instead, he took a 6-iron 190 yards, through a hole in a tree, over water and onto the green on the par-5 15th—he got there in two. Watson is quirky in a game that typically rewards stoic, emotionless behavior. He rarely plays by the book, both on and off of the course. His caddy even thinks he’s a bit crazy.

It wasn’t all that long ago when Rory McIlroy, then at age 23, was the perceived heir to the throne. So rather than searching for the next big name, maybe we should see the forest for the trees—pun, fully intended. Hell, Watson already owns Woods’ old house, fire hydrant and all.

***

The Nation goes Network. Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’re aware that Stephen Colbert has been tabbed as the replacement for David Letterman following his impending retirement in 2015. As a huge fan of Colbert, I couldn’t be more excited for myself as a fan of entertaining television, but more so for Colbert who will finally be able to shed the character he’s played for most of the last decade over at Comedy Central. When the announcement was made and took Twitter by storm, it was met with positivity from the majority of individuals whose opinion I value. Then there are those who simply pan everything—they’re just the worst type of humans imaginable. In between, however, were those who thought it was a poor decision because they didn’t enjoy “The Colbert Report.” This is a—for lack of a better term—silly way to look at this. Sure, you can feel left in the dust when network talk shows are angling themselves toward younger crowds1, but let’s not pretend that Letterman and Jay Leno were always dinosaurs; these guys were the next big thing—30 years ago. Juding Colbert on the merits of his political-based COMEDY show is akin to saying LeBron James isn’t an All-World basketball player because the movie he was supposed to be in got shelved. This Ben Collins piece sums it up perfectly: “Now he’ll get to be himself. And he’ll be the best in the world at it.”

***

Speaking of late night. I couldn’t stay up through all of Mad Men last night. Man, is 10 p.m. is tough on a Sunday. This, however, won’t stop me from reading all about it this morning. I recommend Molly Lambert’s weekly column which should hit Grantland sometime later today.

***

And just because: Some people just can’t take a hint.

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. The Roots are still one of the greatest things to happen to late night in a LONG time. []

The Browns could have been trading with the Jets in Draft Day movie

Draft DayI’m not spoiling Draft Day when I say that it involves some wheeling and dealing for draft picks in and around the NFL Draft. I’m also not spoiling anything when I say that the Seattle Seahawks were the trade partner with Kevin Costner and the Browns regarding a presumed number one draft pick quarterback. What I found out today, though, is that originally the Browns were supposed to be fictionally trading with the New York Jets instead of the Seattle Seahawks.

“They were having something of a quarterback dispute, and the team said that this is just going to incite our fans a little more to criticize us, even though it’s all fictional,” director Ivan Reitman said.

So let me get this straight. The team that continually gets booed live and in person every single year no matter who they draft has a thin skin about how a fictional movie about the NFL draft could impact real world criticism of their team? Seems a little bit thin-skinned for a group of professionals who work in the NFL.

Then again, I don’t know what I’d be like if I had to go through this kind of reaction every time I did anything at my job. See how Radio City Music Hall reacted to the Jets trading up with the Browns and subsequently drafting Mark Sanchez.

Gotta love the Mike Mayock quote on the broadcast too. “We don’t yet know what they (the Jets) gave up to get here, but I’m pretty much willing to bet ultimately it’s going to be worth it.” Well, the Browns just signed Alex Mack to a new deal and the Jets cut Mark Sanchez. What do you think now Mr. Mayock?

Alex Mack saying the right things about Browns matching his deal

Alex Mack is saying all the right things about his new contract and his relationship with the Cleveland Browns. If you expected anything less, well you haven’t paid much attention to Mack’s career.

Talking with Cleveland.com on Saturday, Mack said he is happy to still be in Cleveland.

“It’s been a long, hard road, but I’m here and I’m happy, I’m excited. I’m fired up. There’s no bad blood. Now that it’s done, I’m happy.”

When asked about the reports that he wanted out of Cleveland, Mack said “I don’t believe I ever said that.”

“Contracts are tough. It’s the business side of things and as a player my job is to play football, something I’m good at. I have agents (Marvin Demoff and Tim Younger) to do the business side of things, and it’s not always easy, but I’m happy with where I’m at.”

Alex Mack is a smart person and a smart player. This negotiating period was all about money and options. If I were a betting man, I would bet that Mack’s camp wanted the opt-out after two years but Cleveland was reluctant to include it. Once Jacksonville made the offer, the Browns were quick to match however.

That’s my guess. Not reporting it as fact.

[Related: Details of Jaguars offer to Mack]

Mack is back as Browns match Jaguars offer

So, you remember that whole Alex Mack contract situation? You see the Browns used the “transition tag” which means…

Oh never mind. I’m not going back through all this again. Alex Mack is back. He’ll be back for at least two years and probably three. He’ll be the highest paid center too at $42 million over five years. If you want to know any more, search our archives.

Your move, Browns – Alex Mack signs Jacksonville offer sheet

Who else would report it, but Adam Schefter? Alex Mack’s deal has reportedly been signed and it’s all pretty straight-forward.

So the Browns are on the clock even before the NFL draft. I have no idea how long they’ll take, but I think this is probably a pretty palatable deal if they were true to their word they wanted him back. It gives Mack a good amount of guaranteed money and also the right level of flexibility for a guy who was drafted by Mangini under Randy Lerner before coming up for renewal under Jimmy Haslam and Ray Farmer. Think of it this way, to keep it in perspective. Alex Mack was in the building at the same (very short) time as George Kokinis.

This is certainly far from as bad a deal as what many Browns expected. It also continues to show how silly Mack’s agent was when he said he thought he could create a deal that the Browns would have difficulty signing. The Browns aren’t guaranteed to sign this deal, of course, but it’s not the team killer anyone would have imagined in light of the agent’s posturing.

Hopefully shortly, we can just put this to bed.

Also see TD’s excellent work on new Cleveland Browns receiver Nate Burleson.

Draft Day, Hawk Harrelson, Alex Mack, Super Tall High School Kid and Mansions live at the Grog Shop… While We’re Waiting

WFNYBanner www

I set a Google Calendar reminder so that I wouldn’t forget to do WWW this week. Let’s hope that works from here on out. Now on with the WWW.

*****

I saw Draft Day last night, and here are my initial thoughts. Don’t worry. I will save you any and all spoilers. This isn’t a great achievement in cinema, but sports movies and summer popcorn flicks don’t have to be. This movie would be a full on failure if it was about any other topic but sports. Sports movies always have a special license and leeway because they’re about a topic that many of us are already pre-disposed to enjoy. Even still, Draft Day isn’t a great sports movie. It’s alright. Here in Cleveland because it’s about our team it’s like a B+. In the rest of the country where it’s not about other NFL fans’ teams it’s a C-.

There were a few jokes and light moments that mostly fell flat. Some of the quirky characters that were supposed to provide relief, really didn’t achieve it. I thought Denis Leary was probably the best part and even with my criticisms, every Browns fan should see it and will probably enjoy it. Come on. It’s about the NFL draft. That’s our annual Super Bowl, you know other than that real Super Bowl that other teams seem to compete for on occasion.

*****

Finally, we can talk about the Cleveland Indians and race and it has nothing to do with Chief Wahoo. As Deadspin pointed out in their post with video, White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson had some pretty interesting things to say about the Tribe’s reliever, C.C. Lee after he entered the game last night.

After Lee threw a “nasty slider,” Harrelson called it a “typical Asian motion” before tagging it with, “Deception involved.”

Can you imagine either the Indians’ radio or TV crews saying anything like that? Yes, Tom Hamilton was in the spotlight after a brush back pitch at Nick Swisher by Aroldis Chapman last year, but it’s hard to imagine just the same.

*****

Of course the talk of the day here in Cleveland will be Alex Mack. It might be too much talk for the topic. Andy Baskin has been quite level-headed on the topic on 92.3 the Fan. His sentiments have included that as soon as this reaches its conclusion nobody will talk about it anymore and he’s exactly right. NFL center is one of those positions that nobody knows anything about unless the guy is tossing the ball over his QB’s head all the time or committing penalties. Nearly nobody I know would know whether Alex Mack had a good season or not without the benefit of Pro Football Focus.

On top of all that, we need to remember what we don’t know. The Browns were all set to pay Mack just over $10 million for 2014 with the transition tag. The deal makes Alex Mack the league’s top paid center. That can be misleading though. There are so many different variables at play here. Most notably, the salary cap has grown and is expected to continue to grow. So, while $18 million is always going to be $18 million, it shrinks in impact on the team as the salary cap increases.

We’ll just have to wait and see whether the Browns decide to match the deal or not. Only they know via their longer range projections whether this is a good idea for them. Only they know their own confidence level in replacing Alex Mack if he were to depart. Even the most plugged in Browns fans with extensive cap knowledge can go so far as to say if it’s a “good” idea or not.

I think my preference would still be for the Browns to bring Mack back, but absent that extra layer of intel, that preference isn’t worth a whole lot. My preferences are also based on the fact that I have no idea whether John Greco can play center at a fraction of the price or not. I suspect the Browns have a better feeling for that matter, among others.

*****

It might not seem fair, but it makes for a heck of a YouTube highlight video. I bring you the 7’5″ tall high school player highlight mix tape including sweet croakies to hold on his glasses. He’s everything that State Farm wanted their stupid commercial to be with Chris Paul, except the guy with glasses is awkward and plays basketball.

*****

Last, but certainly not least, I’m really excited to go see Mansions again live next week. This time instead of road-tripping to Pittsburgh I get to see them play live and in the comfortable confines of the Grog Shop. They are opening up for La Dispute, who are also sure to be good. Still, I’m only in that door because of Mansions. Here’s my favorite song from their newest album Doom Loop. It’s a live version.

Have a really nice weekend everyone and stay tuned for a podcast with @sportsyelling that I’ll be recording soon!

Details of Jaguars offer to Alex Mack reported

According to numerous reports, but first by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Alex Mack is about to become the highest paid center in the NFL.

Whether he plays for the Jaguars or Browns is still undetermined.

What we can gather is that Jacksonville’s offer includes $18 million guaranteed over the first two years of the deal. After 2015 there is an option for Mack to void the rest of the deal. If he does void the remaining contract, he cannot be tagged with the transition or franchise player designation no matter whether he plays for the Jaguars or if the Browns match the deal.

The 2016 season is worth $8 million according to FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo.

The total of the deal is believed to be $42 million dollars. That averages out to $8.4 million and makes Mack the highest paid center in the league. He is 28 years old and has never missed a snap in his NFL career.

The Browns will have five days to match when he signs the offer sheet, believed to be tomorrow.

[Related: Browns reportedly ready to match whatever offer for Mack]

McShay’s latest mock: Bortles falls to Browns at No. 4; Carr still on the board after two rounds

photo

Are pundits souring on the quarterbacks? After having the “Big 3″ being taken within the first few picks, ESPN’s Todd McShay still has Blake Bortles being the first quarterback to be selected, but not until the fourth-overall pick as used by your Cleveland Browns.

Conceding to his Big Board, McShay has Houston selecting All-Universe defensive lineman Jadaveon Clowney with the first-overall pick. From there, Auburn’s Greg Robinson goes to St. Louis and Buffalo’s Khalil Mack gets nabbed by Jacksonville at No. 3.

I think this pick would come down to Bortles or WR Sammy Watkins. I’m going with Bortles. While he isn’t a perfect prospect at QB, he has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this class. He has some improving to do with his mechanics, but he showed clear progress in that area during his pro-day workout, and he checks all the boxes in terms of his size (6-foot-5, 232 pounds), intangibles, character, mental makeup and leadership ability. He can also make plays with his legs and is more creative than he gets credit for.

McShay has Watkins going fifth to Oakland, Mike Evans going seventh to Tampa Bay, Johnny Manziel (who he had going fourth-overall last month) going eighth to Minnesota, and Teddy Bridgewater falling to Tennessee at No. 11.

Choosing Bortles over Watkins at No. 4, McShay once again pegs the Browns as selecting a wide receiver with the 26th-overall pick. This time, the receiver du jour is Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, the 6-foot-5-inch giant who was hauling in passes from Jameis Winston.1

This pair of picks would give Cleveland a young and potentially explosive passing attack to develop (TE Jordan Cameron and WR Andrew Hawkins would help round out an impressive receiving corps). Benjamin has a lot of developing to do as a route-runner and is inconsistent catching the ball on tape, but he is a red-zone nightmare who does a great job of coming down with 50-50 balls.

Fans of size will also like that McShay has pegged Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the second round. The 6-foot-3-inch corner would presumably step and provide size across from Joe Haden.

Derek Carr, a player recently linked to the Browns at No. 4, does not get selected in either of the first two projected rounds.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. “It seemed like every time I looked up I had picked another wide receiver. There are a lot of teams with needs at the position, and a lot of good receiver prospects in this draft.” — McShay []

Browns reportedly ready to match Mack’s offer “in no time at all”

Mack

Sad Alex.

Less than 24 hours after reporting that the Jacksonville Jaguars may have themselves a shiny new Pro Bowl center, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has hedged his bets with a report that the Cleveland Browns will match the Jags’ offer in “no time at all.”

Jacksonville’s offer was reportedly designed to make it as difficult as possible for the Browns to match. Also a factor is that Mack appears to desire any NFL city aside from Cleveland. But much to the center’s chagrin, Ray Farmer’s front office has the most cap space in the entire league and appears willing to use it in order to retain one of the game’s best centers. Per ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi, the team is well aware of Mack’s feelings, but is not about to set a precedent about disgruntled players getting to take their talents elsewhere. Not to mention: Mack is a stud.

FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo reports Alex Mack’s five-year offer sheet with the Jaguars will make him the NFL’s highest paid center. Specific terms still haven’t been released, but Carolina’s Ryan Kalil is currently the NFL’s richest center, recently inking a six-year, $49 million contract. That deal contained $28 million guaranteed, including an $18 million signing bonus.

Joe Haden, Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron (among others) are going to command a raise at some point, but the Browns appear willing to cross those bridges upon arrival. By all accounts, Mack is going to cost the Browns at least $18 million in guarantees over the next two seasons, making him the game’s highest-paid center. How the fans react to his off-season antics, however, may be a completely different story.

Photo: Candice Vlcek/WFNY

Lonnie Chisenhall placed on paternity leave

Lonnie Chisenhall

Someone let Boomer Esiason know that Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall’s wife, Meredith, had the gall to have their second child while the team is set to begin a west coast swing.

Major League Baseball couldn’t get through their first weekend without controversy, the first bout spilling over regarding it’s paternity leave rules. Esiason, a former NFL quarterback, stirred the pot by saying Daniel Murphy (from the Mets) should have forced his wife to have a c-section so that he could be ready for Opening Day. Esiason later apologized folllowing the subsequent uproar.

The 25-year-old Chisenhall can take up to three days off which should put him back on the active roster at some point over the weekend. Justin Sellers, a shortstop, was called up in a corresponding move. He’s provided a  .199/.278/.301 career slashline in the majors. Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Francisco Lindor is off to a quick start for Double-A Akron, hitting .308/.333/.462 through his first six games.

Babies and baseball. Get excited, folks.

NFL Draft, RubberDucks opener and Blue Jackets playoffs … While We’re Waiting

WWW_BrownsClock_Yellow1

DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT: Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer writes a defense of Teddy Bridgewater, everyone’s new favorite punching bag. I’ve stated before how much I badly want a young QB. It has to be a no-brainer if he’s miraculously there at No. 4 for the Browns.

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples also has a detailed look at Carlos Hyde’s training regimen as he works to improve his 40-yard dash time. It’s amazing how much effort and energy goes into these silly combine workouts. But Hyde was a monster at Ohio State; I’d expect him to be the first back taken, although that won’t be until the second round. [Read more...]

Jaguars to sign Alex Mack to a five-year offer sheet

Alex Mack

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Jacksonville Jaguars will sign highly-discussed transition-tagged center Alex Mack to a five-year offer sheet by Friday.

Per Schefter, Mack badly wants to play the five-year contract with the Jaguars and doesn’t want to return to Cleveland—this, of course, despite all of the posturing being done on the side of the Browns and their “feelings” about the situtation. As promised, Mack’s agent and the Jaguars will likely structure the deal in a way that will make it as difficult as possible for the Browns to match it, even though Cleveland is rife with cap space and possess the desire to retain Mack who is arguably the game’s best center.

For the Browns to pass, the Jaguars would allegedly have to make the first three years of any offer pay out somewhere between $22 and $25 million guaranteed loaded with roster and workout bonuses. While Cleveland has plenty of cap space, he issue for the Browns begin in 2015 and 2016, when some other players (Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, etc.) are in line for new deals.

The Browns will have five days to make a decision if and when a deal is officially signed.

[Related: Alex Mack may have missed the free agent party]

(Photo: Larry French/Getty Images North America)

John Axford finally recieves his Rolaids Relief Award…from 2011

Axford Rolaids (Custom)Indians closer John Axford is off to a good start. He is four for four in save opportunities after getting the save in the first half of the Tribe doubleheader on Wednesday. He is trying to bounce back from a bad 2013.

Axford’s best season by far came in 2011 when he saved 46 games while posting a 1.95 ERA. He allowed only four home runs in over 73 innings pitched for the Brewers and was rewarded with the National League Rolaids Relief Man award.

Except he never got the trophy. Until Tuesday morning in Cleveland.

FOX Sports’ Rob Neyer reports that the famous Rolaids trophies with the fireman helmets have been hard to come by since the Rolaids product went through two recalls stemming from consumer reports investigations.

“After those two recalls, Johnson & Johnson drastically reduced its distribution of Rolaids-brand products, and the attendant promotion of those products. Without Rolaids on store shelves, there was obviously little incentive to spend any money at all on those nifty trophies … and so none was spent, at all. Bell and Rafael Soriano, the winners in 2010, didn’t get their trophies. José Valverde and John Axford, the winners in 2011, didn’t get theirs, either.”

The players union apparently fought to get the awards made, and on Tuesday, Axford finally got to hold the silver trophy that he earned back in 2011.

Indians option Vinnie Pestano to Columbus, recall C.C. Lee

Vinne Pestano

Fresh off of a ninth inning that left a lot to be desired, the Cleveland Indians have optioned relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano to Columbus and recalled C.C. Lee.

Pestano, who had (by all accounts) regained the velocity which had escaped him a year prior, will leave the big league club with a 13.50 ERA in three relief appearances. With a fastball that has been clocked in the high-80s, Pestano has allowed eight hits and six runs (four earned) after opening the season on the Major League roster.

Lee, 27, will be making his second stint at the Major League level in 2014, spending one day with the club on April 2 as the “26th man”.  He has made two relief appearances for Columbus, going 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA and four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

The team has also formally announced the recalling of Trevor Bauer who will start the second game of Wednesday’s traditional doubleheader. He’s coming off of a six-inning start with the Clippers wherein he allowed just two hits and struck out nine.

Jimmy Haslam stops just short of guaranteeing Alex Mack will be back

DSCN0900

The Cleveland Browns are in the news today because many associated with the team were on the “orange carpet” last night for a local premier of Kevin Costner’s Draft Day movie. Mary Kay Cabot was there as well and she got some comments from Jimmy Haslam that back up much of what we’ve all been thinking recently about Alex Mack and his situation as a transition tag-ee.

“We remain optimistic that Alex Mack will be a Cleveland Brown for a long time,” Haslam said on the “orange carpet” at the local premiere of Draft Day at Cinemark Valley View theaters. “We want him to be. I think we’ve made it very clear that he’s the kind of person, the kind of player we want in our organization.’

Asked specifically if he’d match any offer the Jaguars concoct, he smiled and said, “We want Alex to be a Cleveland Brown.”

Obviously that last sentence isn’t a guarantee that he’ll match any offer, but it’s characteristically confident for Jimmy Haslam and indicates to me that he agrees with the rest of us. There’s very little possibility of Alex Mack signing an offer sheet that would be unpalatable to the Cleveland Browns. The bottom line is that Alex Mack can’t get a team to sign up for something that they wouldn’t also be prepared to live with themselves. This is the beauty of a salary-capped world. There’s no Yankees offer out there that’s 30% higher because a team can just afford more than the Browns.

And for that reduced flexibility and lack of free will, Alex Mack guarantees that he’ll get paid at least $10 million. We’re talking about a man who has made somewhere around $14.5 million over the first five years of his career. Of course he wants more guaranteed money and maybe even a chance to play somewhere else, but the trade-off isn’t that much of a hostage situation with the transition tag compensation.

[Related : Alex Mack wants to play for a passionate fan base, visits Jacksonville]

Blocking the King and honoring a Chagrin Falls native …While We’re Waiting

WFNYBanner www

I was in bed a good portion of Tuesday with stomache issues, which is never fun. I did get to watch something that I’ve been wanting to watch for a while but never pulled the trigger on it. It isn’t sports related, but it is Cleveland related. I watched the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, which is about Chagrin Falls native Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, my favorite comic.

If you are a fan of boy and his tiger, I recommend watching it. The documentary is an hour and a half long and very well done. Many interesting topics covered including his staunch refusal to allow any licensing for Calvin. None. Those stickers of Calvin peeing on various logos on the back of cars? Big surprise, they are not licensed.

Calvin and Hobbes (Custom)Remind you of the Tribe game last night?

****

Braxton Miller has a habit of missing a few quarters, or games for that matter. He takes a lot of hits because of his carries. This past season Kenny Guiton was the back-up and a really good one. Guiton is gone. The man who is one step away from taking meaningful snaps for the Buckeyes? Cardale Jones. You know, the guy who once questioned why football players had to actually go to class.

If stories are to be believed, Jones has grown up. He credits Guiton for a lot of it, and Meyer.

****

The RubberDucks home opener is on Thursday night. It’s supposed to be nice from what I’ve seen in the forecast. They have made a ton of changes around Canal Park. I’d recommend stopping by and checking it out. You can see the SS of the future there. Lindor is batting .333, with an OPS of .840. If he keeps hitting, hard to imagine him being in Akron longer than a month and a half or so. Plus, you will get to see the new mascot Webster unveiled.

****

You will probably be seeing this all over the web today, but it is worth it. Big time block by Mason Plumlee at the rim on LeBron attempting a game winning dunk. Best part? LBJ was sporting the King James jersey. Awesome.

 

Cavs fans, brace yourself for the Joe Dumars rumors

The wheels are officially in motion. With news coming out that Joe Dumars will resign from his position as Detroit Pistons team president, it shouldn’t be too long before the long-time Detroit native starts to see his name turning up more frequently with regard to (fellow Detroiter) Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers are currently being run by David Griffin, who assumed the position of acting general manager following the firing of Chris Grant earlier this season. Not long thereafter, ESPN.com writer Brian Windhorst was a guest on Detroit Sports 105.1 with Matt Dery and mentioned that Dumars and Gilbert are neighbors and show a lot of “mutual respect” for one another. In what could serve as a bit of corroboration, HoopsHype tweeted that Dumars was “rumored to be in the mix” for the Cavs’ GM job, while also mentioning how awful he was in Detroit.

Dumars has spent 29 years with the Pistons franchise, as both a player and an executive, and has had a hand in every Detroit title. Conversely, Dumars drafted Darko Milicic in 2003, gave $90 million to Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon in 2009, and signed high-priced free agents Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings this past offseason, all leading to a 28-49 record in a dreadful Eastern Conference. This was once the guy who was going to land LeBron in 2010—he “had it all figured out.”

Things could be worse. After all, Windhorst also linked Cleveland to…Isiah Thomas.

(Photo: Clarence Tabb, Jr./Detroit News)

Trevor Bauer could be in line for first start of 2014

bauer acab

With Monday’s game against the San Diego Padres washed out by Mother Nature, Tribe pitching prospect Trevor Bauer could be in line for his first start of 2014 when the two teams lock up in a traditional double-header on Wednesday. Zach McAllister (who wound up with a no-decision last week) is scheduled to start one of the games of the doubleheader, with the Indians expected to promote a pitcher from Columbus to start the other. Bauer, who fresh off of a two-hit gem late last week, would be in line to take the bump.

In his debut for the Clippers, the heady Bauer frequently saw his fastball settle in around 95 miles-per-hour, fanning nine and walking just two in six innings of work. The kid’s struggles are well-documented, but at just 23 years old, things may finally be clicking for the former highly touted prospect.

The Indians could certainly use some clarity at the bottom of the rotation as Carlos Carrasco was anything but solid in his 2014 debut this past weekend. Similarly, Josh Tomlin had a debut to forget, allowing five hits and four earned runs (walking three) in just six innings in a loss to Indianapolis.