April 16, 2014

Late Opening Night, Joe Banner’s Office, HIMYM, and Cloud Nothings: While We’re Waiting

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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. [Read more...]

Kyrie’s injury, Browns draft thoughts, and The War on Drugs: While We’re Waiting

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Kyrie Irving out at least two weeks. It’s that time of year. The season is down to the final month, the Cavaliers are slipping out of playoff position, and the injuries are piling up. The latest victim is Kyrie Irving, who left Sunday night’s game with an injured bicep. After an MRI revealed a strain in the long head tendon of his left bicep, Kyrie has been ruled out at least two weeks.

It could very well be more than that, though. The two week period is merely the rest period. After that, he will be “re-evaluated” and then the Cavaliers will decide how to proceed. Without Irving over these next two weeks, an already difficult schedule looks insurmountable. If the Cavaliers are out of the playoff hunt and chasing the bottom of the lottery, it makes you wonder if they would just hold him out for the rest of the season. We’ll see.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers respond to Kyrie being out. Many Cavs fans have been anti-Kyrie all season long, placing the majority of the blame for this season on his shoulders. If there’s truth to that, will the Cavaliers play better without Kyrie? Will Dion Waiters step up to fill the scoring void that Kyrie is leaving behind? If nothing else, these next two weeks will be interesting from that standpoint, just to see what affect Kyrie’s absence has on the team and whether its a positive or a negative.  [Read more...]

Video: Dion Waiters’ monster dunk on 76ers

On Tuesday night the Cavaliers extended their winning streak to five with a dominating performance on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Dion Waiters threw down a monster dunk during the second quarter and hyper-extended his knee in the process.

Dion did not return to the game, but did tweet afterwards that there was nothing torn.

[Related: Cavs vs 76ers Beyond the Boxscore]

 

 

Cavs’ Anthony Bennett leaves game with shoulder injury, does not return

As Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” The saying couldn’t hold any truer for the start of number one pick Anthony Bennett’s career.

After struggling to score just one field goal through the team’s first five games, Bennett left Friday’s game vs. Philadelphia with an apparent shoulder injury.

Bennett caught the ball on the wing with 9 minutes left in the second quarter, slipped on his first step, but kept his dribble. Bennett then collided his shoulder into the leg of the 76ers’ Brandon Davies before passing the ball back out to Jarrett Jack.

As soon as he gave up the ball, the number one pick grabbed for his right shoulder, the opposite shoulder from which he had surgery on this off season.

Bennett immediately headed into the locker room after coming off the floor where he reportedly underwent an x-ray and did not return to the game. Fox Sports Ohio’s sideline reporter Allie Clifton reported Bennett’s x-ray revealed a sprained right shoulder.

Bennett recorded one rebound in just under six minutes of action in the Cavs’ 94-79 loss.

[Related: Game 6: Cavaliers vs. 76ers Beyond The Box Score]

 

NBA News: Cavs’ Tyler Zeller has appendectomy

The Cavaliers  have announced second year center Tyler Zeller  underwent an appendectomy Friday to treat his acute appendicitis.

“Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller was diagnosed with acute appendicitis yesterday in Cleveland and subsequently had an appendectomy at the Cleveland Clinic. He is now recovering at the Cleveland Clinic after the successful procedure and will undergo a period of additional recovery and re-evaluation before a timetable is established for his return to basketball activity. His status will be updated as appropriate.”

Zeller looked strong and aggressive in the Cavs’ Wine and Gold scrimmage scoring 13 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in 21 minutes of action before landing awkwardly on a wet spot. The fall left Zeller with a strained hip that caused him to stay back in Cleveland as the team traveled to Orlando for their second game of the preseason.

The Cavs beat the Magic 110-105 on Friday to improve to 2-0 on the preseason.

[Related: Bennett breaks out in Cavaliers’ come from behind preseason win]

Cleveland Cavaliers’ C Tyler Zeller out for first preseason game

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Monday afternoon that 2nd year center Tyler Zeller has suffered a left hip flexor strain and will miss Tuesday’s preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavaliers describe the decision to hold out Zeller from the first preseason game as “precautionary”.

Zeller injured the hip when he slipped on the slick court and fell in the 3rd quarter of Saturday’s Wine and Gold Scrimmage. Due to the unseasonably warm weather and unusually high humidity for October, condensation was an issue for much of the scrimmage and when Zeller went down, coach Mike Brown called off the rest of the scrimmage.

Zeller was given an MRI at the Cleveland Clinic which confirmed the hip flexor strain. Zeller is being treated and limited to non-contact drills in practice. Zeller averaged 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game in his rookie season with the Cavaliers.

[Related: CJ the Great, Masfresco the Mentor]

NFL News: Browns LB Sheard doubtful for Week 4, could miss several weeks

In week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns DE-turned-LB Jabaal Sheard was having yet another strong game before having to leave with a leg injury. Now his sprained knee may not only keep him out of week 4′s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, but it could also see him missing a couple weeks.

From the AP’s Tom Withers:

With Sheard likely missing the Bengals game, Browns rookie LB Barkevious Mingo could make his first NFL start. Sheard has 13 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble on the season. Mingo comes in with 6 tackles and 2 sacks.

Withers also reported that QB Brandon Weeden, LB Quentin Groves, and DL Billy Winn are all out for Week 4 as well.

[Related: Joe Thomas sets the bar for offensive line with 100th consecutive start]

Asdrubal injured; Masterson roughed up in 7-4 loss in New York

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This one wasn’t pretty.

There are really two stories coming out of Cleveland’s 7-4 loss against the Yankees. The biggest will likely be the sprained quad suffered by Asdrubal Cabrera running to first in the fifth inning.

Asdrubal has been nursing a sore right quad for weeks, choosing to try and play through the discomfort. Half-way down the line in the fifth, Cabrera stumbled and winced as he re-injured that quad. He nearly plowed into the first baseman Mark Teixeira going past the bag. He was helped off the field by manager Terry Francona and Lonnie Soloff. He was not able to put weight on the right leg walking back to the dugout.

The initial diagnosis is a sprained quad, but of course they will do tests to see if there is further damage. I think the consensus of everyone watching was that the injury will likely be more severe.

[Read more...]

Indians Closer Chris Perez Will Miss WBC With Strained Shoulder

About an hour ago the Indians scratched closer Chris Perez from his scheduled appearance today. Then Tribe beat reporters were tweeting in a frenzy that an announcement would be made by the club, but that manager Terry Francona was mum about it when talking to them earlier today. What occurred over the next 20 minutes was a mix of rumors and speculation.

According to Indians.com’s Jordan Bastian, the PD’s Paul Hoynes, and WTAM’s Nick Camino, Perez left the Tribe complex in his car and said out his window “I’m not saying anything.”

The Indians then tweeted out the following:

 

 

Missing games for “three to four weeks” would put Perez’s status for opening day up in the air. Perez also was very much looking forward to pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, calling it the biggest honor of his career. The injury won’t allow him to do so.

If Perez does miss time to start the regular season, expect set up man Vinnie Pestano to assume the closer’s role.

UPDATE: Perez just tweeted out the following:

 

Michael Brantley injury update

The Indians revealed that Michael Brantley required fifteen stitches in his forearm following his clash at third base. He will miss at least the next ten days.

Bud Shaw reports that Brantley will rest the next three days and then start with lower body work leading up to playing again in spring training.

Brantley was off to a great start this spring going 5 for 6 with 4 doubles, 3 runs scored and a pair of RBI. He was also learning to play left field alongside Michael Bourn.

If there is any good news here, it is that there was no (reported) ligament damage and the injury shouldn’t affect Brantley once the season begins.

[Related: Michael Brantley leaves game with laceration]

Silver lining on the Varejao injury, the rebuild moves forward

Anderson VarejaoIt’s hard not to feel some pain for Anderson Varejao after hearing the news that his knee contusion was in fact a torn muscle in his leg. Memories of Andy winning the game with a buzzer beating 3-pointer against Atlanta, and giving Ray Allen the business during a national televised game against the Celtics are two of my favorite moments I’ve enjoyed at the Q. I’ve really never enjoyed watching basketball more than watching Andy and LeBron fly around the court together.

That being said, Andy’s injury increases the Cavs’ chances of completing a successful rebuild.

The longer Andy is off the court, the worse this team is.

The worse this team is, the more ping pong balls they have in the lottery.1

The more ping pong balls in the lottery, the better chance of landing a superstar.

[Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. The lottery is won with a winning four ball combination. For simplicity’s sake let’s use ping pong balls as the example instead of how many four ball combinations a team has. []

Scott hopeful Waiters & Irving will return Tuesday vs. LAL

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweeted that Cavaliers coach Byron Scott is hopefull both guards Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving will return to action Tuesday against the Lakers.

Waiters has been day to day with ankle injury, missing the Cavs last 3 games.

Irving has been out since November 21 and a Tuesday return would bring the Cavs star back almost two weeks ahead of schedule.

 

Browns Injury Report: Joe Haden misses practice with oblique injury

As Daryl Ruiter reports, the hits keep on coming for the Browns-

“Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden has been sidelined with an oblique injury. The severity of the injury, whether or not he will be able to play against the Cowboys Sunday and how long it will keep him out is unknown. Haden was listed as limited Wednesday on the Browns’ injury report but he missed Thursday’s practice.”

Will Burge of ESPN 850 tweeted this following practice-

“Talked to someone who said Joe Haden’s oblique injury is fairly serious, has limited him mightily, but he still plans on playing Sun”

So there you go. Sounds like another tough blow for the defense.

[Related: Browns vs Cowboys reader survey]

Kyrie Irving Injury Update

From the Cavaliers-

“Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving experienced a fractured bone in his right hand during a summer league practice in Las Vegas Saturday. He traveled back to Cleveland on Sunday with Cavaliers Head Athletic Trainer Max Benton and was seen by Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker and Dr. Thomas Graham at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health today. The results of the exam today confirmed the injury. Irving will undergo a surgical procedure Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic to address the fracture. His status will be updated as appropriate and he is still projected to be ready for the start of training camp at the end of September. “

The rest of the Cavaliers summer league team is in ‘action’ against a D-League collaboration tonight.

[Related: Zeller shines in summer league opener]

Report: Kyrie Irving Breaks Hand, Will Need Surgery And Miss 6-8 Weeks

The WFNY staff has been processing this tweet for the last half hour or so, and has decided to post it to the site. This latest report comes via SLAM’s Tzvi Twersky ‏and it doesn’t appear too good:

Twersky later posted an article to SLAM’s site, citing sources that report the injury took place during a Cleveland Cavaliers summer league practice. They said that the injury is likely a broken bone, but didn’t provide specific details of what occurred.

We’ll have the latest when we actually know some more details in this peculiar late-night story from Las Vegas. No local beat writers have commented yet on Irving’s possible injury.

10:47 p.m. Updates: And finally, we have confirmation from the local Cavs writers. Let’s start off with Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s duo of Mary Schmitt Boyer and Josie Valade also tweeted similar details.

Yikes, yikes. There ya have it, folks. Not really some great news to get on a late Saturday night for all of you Cavs fans out there.

Update #2: Lloyd of the ABJ followed up his initial report by adding some details on just how exactly Irving broke his hand. Apparently, Kyrie slammed his hand against a thinly padded wall in frustration after turning the ball over in practice today. He continued to practice but then came out and was seen with ice on the hand. X-rays later revealed the fracture, which will require surgery and six to eight weeks on the shelf. Here’s what Irving had to tell Lloyd about the accident:

“I’m a little disappointed for a freak accident like that. I have to be more responsible about my health. It was crazy. It happened so fast. That thing I did, hitting the padding on the wall, I’ve done it so many times. This time it was just a freak accident.”

That’s twice in the past two weeks that a Cleveland athlete has been injured taking their frustrations out on insentient objects.

[Related: NBA Trade Rumor: Cavs Discussing Trade to Land Andrew Bynum in Magic-Lakers Deal]

Report: Grady Sizemore’s Rehab Hits Setback

In what is becoming something of a recurring theme lately for the Cleveland Indians, physically fit-challenged OF Grady Sizemore, who is currently rehabbing his injured knees and back, has hit a setback in his bid to return to the Tribe.

Jordan Bastian tweeted the news from trainer Lonnie Soloff:

Acta & Soloff (trainer) note that Sizemore (back/knees) has slowed down in his rehab. Backed off some running activities last couple weeks.

According to Bastian, Soloff did add that he was still confident Sizemore would contribute in 2012, but he declined to set any kind of definitive time table.

It would have been foolish for the Indians to count on much production from Sizemore, who just hasn’t been able to stay healthy over the last several years. But evidently they did just that when they decided to give Sizemore a contract to return to the team. Now both sides must continue to preach patience while keeping fingers crossed that some version of a productive Sizemore can eventually get back on the diamond.

[Related: Is Michael Brantley Figuring It Out?]

MLB Report: Hafner not with team in Chicago; having knee examined

Obviously there was too much excitement surrounding the Indians. Just as soon as the nation (much less Cleveland) starting paying attention to the Indians, Travis Hafner had to stay behind for examinations to his swollen knee-

“Lonnie Soloff, Indians head athletic trainer, said Hafner complained of right knee soreness Wednesday while being treated for a bruised right shin after fouling a ball off the shin during 4-2 victory over Detroit.”

If you watched the game, you probably noticed Hafner hobbling around second base, prompting Rick Manning to remark and me to tweet the following-

“Anyone else think we’re headed for a Hafner shutdown soon?”

Hafner received a cortisone shot in the knee on Thursday.

“We’re hopeful that the medication (shot) and rest is sufficient for full resolution of the symptoms,” said Soloff. Soloff said Hafner irritated the medial meniscus cartilage in his right knee. The meniscus acts as a “shock absorber’ in the knee.

Hafner told Soloff that his right knee was sore when he went to Progressive Field before Wednesday’s game, but he didn’t think it was serious. Asked about the possibility of surgery, Soloff said, “In the event that the medication and rest isn’t sufficient, that introduces a different scenario and we’d provide an update on that early next week if it went that route.”

Yep.

This makes me mad. Not that Hafner is hurt, but more that once again I got sucked into the “if Hafner stays healthy” trap.

Kudos to Paul Hoynes for being the first I saw with the story.

[Related: Scott's excellent bio of Tribe hurler Justin Masterson]

Report: Browns DT Phil Taylor injured

John Telich is reporting that Cleveland’s DT Phil Taylor is getting an MRI to determine if he has a torn pectoral muscle. The injury apparently happened today at the team facility, during off season workouts.

If it is a muscle tear, it could be a six-month-to-a-year injury. Taylor recorded 59 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble in his rookie season.

More details as they become available.

UPDATE: From the Browns PR Dan Murphy:

“#Browns DT Phil Taylor injured his left pectoral today lifting weights as part of the club’s offseason program. Further evaluated Monday”

[Related: What could Trent Richardson’s contract look like?]

Kyrie Irving hurt in ugly loss; Dan Gilbert takes to twitter again

First the bad news- Cavaliers Uber-Rookie Kyrie Irving suffered what the team is calling a sprained shoulder in the second quarter. He hit the ground with his shoulder (the same shoulder he separated in high school) but played through the pain and finished the game with 29 points, shooting a perfect 6-6 from behind the arc. Irving did not play in the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers said he will travel with the team to New York tonight and will be re-evaluated. His status for tomorrow night’s game is very much up in the air. I would anticipate the Cavaliers erring on the side of caution with the young star.

Apparently, seeing “The Diff” of -37 blazing on the final scoreboard didn’t sit well with owner Dan Gilbert-

Tweet text: “One of those nights where I can’t find the words to match the emotions (at least non-profane words). Cavs fans deserve better. Much better.”

Not only did Gilbert tweet his frustration to the fans, but he met with GM Chris Grant and Head Coach Byron Scott after the loss. Asked about Gilbert’s words, Coach Scott said he agreed 100%.

Report: Former Buckeye Greg Oden Undergoes Additional Microfracture Surgery

Undergoing what was supposed to be a procedure to clear debris resulted in yet another microfracture surgery in the left knee of former Ohio State center Greg Oden.

Reported by the Associated Press, the procedure performed in Vail, Colorado established that there had been additional damage sustained by the 7-footer’s left knee. The first-overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden has now had three microfracture surgeries, this latest being the second on this specific knee. The selection, and subsequent misfortune, of Oden will likely go down along side the Blazers selecting Kentucky center Sam Bowie ahead of North Carolina’s Michael Jordan in 1984.

Agreeing to a one-year deal prior to the 2011-12 season, it was hoped that Oden could see the floor for the Portland Trailblazers, but two separate set-backs have derailed his return. Oden, who has not played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009, has appeared in 82 career games for the Blazers, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.

[Related: Varejao’s Injury Changes Cavs Outlook]