Thursday, July 22, 2010

Browns, McCoy close to contract

The Browns are close to a contract with third-round draft pick Colt McCoy, according to league sources.

The former standout Texas quarterback is expected to get a contract for four years, worth about $5 million, more than $1 million more than the 85th overall pick typically signs for.

This shows the Browns are determined he will be what Brady Quinn was not, a long-term answer at quarterback.

McCoy is not expected to play this season, watching as veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace battle for the starting job. Although, I'd guess he would be better off sneaking off to watch Colts, Saints, Packers or Patriot games instead of watching Delhomme throw pick after pick after pick week after week after week.

I have a lot of confidence in McCoy as a player given his clutch performances in college with the Longhorns. Some believe he is too small or can't throw far or accurate enough, but McCoy, as a true competitor, will likely want to prove his detractors wrong.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cabrera returning to Indians

Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will return to the leadoff spot in team's lineup tonight against the Twins.

Out since May 17 with a right forearm fracture, Cabrera returns to Cleveland ahead of schedule after going 7-for-20 in six Minor League rehab games with Class-A Mahoning Valley and Class-AA Akron with three doubles and a home run.

He was expected to be activated on Friday along with Shin-Soo Choo.

Reliever Jensen Lewis, who had a 4.18 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in 22 games out of the bullpen, was designated for assignment to make room for Cabrera on the active roster. He is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Columbus tomorrow.

Cabrera's return could cause a small roster controversy for Cleveland. While he was on the DL, rookie Jason Donald admirably filled in for Cabrera at shortstop, and veteran Jayson Nix was claimed off waivers to play second. Nix, however, became a power threat and a key cog in the team's recent resurgence.

Manager Manny Acta had two options: keep both on the roster and use Nix as a utility man so Donald continues getting regular at-bats or demote Donald to Columbus and keep Nix as the everyday second baseman.

With Nix penciled in at left field and Donald at second base for tonight's game, it appears Acta decided with the latter.

Nix is batting .227 but has seven home runs and a .301 on-base percentage. Donald, meanwhile, is hitting .276 with 17 RBI and a .326 on-base percentage.

July 20 -- AL Central Roundup

Links to results from last night's AL Central games:

-Cleveland 10, Minnesota 4 | Lorain Morning-Journal
-Chicago 6, Seattle 1 | Chicago Tribune
-Texas 8, Detroit 6 (F/14) | Detroit Free-Press
-Kansas City 5, Toronto 4 (F/10) | Kansas City Star


Team W L GB
Chicago 51 41 --
Detroit 48 43 2.5
Minnesota 49 44 2.5
Kansas City 40 52 11
Cleveland 39 54 12.5

Monday, July 19, 2010

Indians cruise to fifth straight win

The Cleveland Indians pit on a hitting clinic at Target Field, downing the Minnesota Twins 10-4 on the strength of 20 hits.

Led by Trevor Crowe's 4-for-5 performance, the Indians broke the game open in the fifth, scoring five runs and chasing Twins starter Scott Baker from the game.

Crowe has impressed of late, hitting in five of his last six games, three of which were multi-hit performances. He has recorded five RBI during the same span.

Now hitting .263, Crowe has opened the argument for his playing every day. The problem is that there will be a glutton of outfielders next season, including Crowe, Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore and Austin Kearns (possibly) as well as youngsters Jordan Brown, Ezequiel Carrera and Nick Weglarz.

Most likely though, Crowe will battle Brantley for the third outfield spot.

One problem could arise because educated fans will want to see Brantley so the C.C. Sabathia trade can finally pay off for the team. But, Crowe has clearly been the better player this season (Crowe's .263 average, 24 RBI and .317 on-base percentage vs. Brantley's .151 average, six RBI and .202 on-base percentage).

But that's a debate for next spring. Let's enjoy tonight's moment while it's here.

Tonight, each Indians starter - with the exception of Kearns, who left the game in the fourth inning with a sore knee - recorded one hit. His replacement Shelly Duncan did record two hits though.

The only player without multiple hits was Jhonny Peralta, who was 1-for-3.

Kearns, Shelly Duncan and Matt LaPorta was the only hitters to not record an RBI.

Still in the AL Central cellar, the Indians are likely too far out of the playoff hunt, but if they can string together a White Soxesque run (they were something like 25-5 lately), there's nothing saying the Tribe can't make a late season run. Games like tonight's give fans a small sliver of hope for a magical run.

It's highly improbable, but if Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera do return to the lineup on Friday, Cleveland's offense should be improved.

Both players had hits at Akron in the first games of their rehab assignments tonight.

The Cleveland offense has scored 31 runs in the five games since the All-Star break.

Even if the team stalls and sluggishly fights to the finish, it will be beneficial in the long run, as so many of the team's prospects will get at-bats at the Major League level.

AP image via

MJ and Barkley diss Miami Heat's new trio

The greatest basketball player of all-time has spoken out against the decision of LeBron James to join forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan said after a golf event in Las Vegas that he would never had tried to be on the same team as rivals Larry Bird or Magic Johnson during his career, but realizes the rules today have signaled a new era for today's players.

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said. "But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."

It took Jordan seven years before he won his first title, but he stuck with the Bulls instead of ring-chasing like James now has.

James has been severely criticized nationwide since announcing on live TV that he was leaving the Cavs to become a member of the Miami Heat because the move showed that instead of trying to beat today's superstars on his own, he would rather join forces with other superstars to win his titles.

Former star and current TV analyst Charles Barkley made it very clear how he thought the move would affect James' legacy.

"He'll never be Jordan," Barkley said to a Miami radio station this week. "This clearly takes him out of the conversation. He can win as much as he wants to.

"There would have been something honorable about staying in Cleveland and trying to win it as 'The Man' ... LeBron, if he would've in Cleveland, and if he could've got a championship there, it would have been over the top for his legacy, just one in Cleveland. No matter how many he wins in Miami, it clearly is Dwyane Wade's team."

Gomez another sign toward promising future

Indians prospect Jeanmar Gomez impressed in a spot start yesterday, tossing seven innings during a 7-2 win that completed a four-game sweep of the Tigers.

He allowed two runs in the sixth, but neither were earned after a throwing error by Andy Marte, his seventh of the season.

Gomez allowed five hits and struck out four before surrendered the game to another promising rookie, Hector Ambriz.

I don't expect Gomez to ever become the ace of Cleveland's staff, but he should make a solid No. 2 or No. 3 option for the team someday. Showing excellent pitch placement, Gomez threw 60 of 93 pitches for strikes. For comparison, the last time Fausto Carmona pitched, he threw just 64 of 116 pitches for strikes.

His command is not that of a top-tier starter, but with proper pitch placement, he could be a similar player to Jamie Moyer.

After the game, he was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus in exchange for reliever Jess Todd.

Nonetheless, a strong start does make the Tribe's future look a little bit brighter.

Image via

Friday, July 9, 2010

LeBron did Cleveland a favor by leaving

Cleveland Cavalier fans, myself included, were blinded by the bright light of having the city's first superstar athlete since Jim Brown and ignored signs that said LeBron James' continued talk of loyalty was all smoke and mirrors.

Now that the truth has come out and he's gone off to Miami, Cleveland fans should be grateful and here's two big reasons why.

1. James was clearly not interested in winning an NBA championship as his team's go-to player, so instead of sucking it up and finding a way to handle the pressures with his hometown team, he took the easy way out and joined Dwayne Wade, who has already won an NBA title as his team's go-to player, in Miami

Hey LeBron, have you ever heard the story of a guy named Scottie Pippen? If not, you might want to read up on him because that's the role you're about to play. Chris Bosh will play the role of Dennis Rodman, minus the crazy antics I'm sure.

2. If Dan Gilbert's comments to The Associated Press last night are true and James never returned any phone messages to Gilbert since the season ended, he clearly didn't want to be in Cleveland any longer.

And a Cavs team without a superstar who doesn't want to be in town has a better chance of winning an NBA title than a Cavs team that has that superstar.

"LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship," Gilbert said to the AP. "We will win a championship before [the Heat] do."

3. James' leaving will give the current Cavs roster the best motivation it could possibly ask for.

Former teammate Mo Williams tweeted last night, "I gotta be honest. I'm sick as a dog. I feel like my heart has been pulled out." But he later posted, "We got to step it up now that's all. We will be good next year. And hearing our owner keeps me convinced."

What Williams heard his owner say was this, part of an open letter to fans.

"If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our 'motivation' to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels," Gilbert wrote.

Gilbert also personally guaranteed Cleveland will win an NBA title before Miami will in his letter.

Image via

Cleveland Plain Dealer tells the story...beautifully

The front page of today's edition of The Cleveland Plain Dealer tells the story of LeBron James' decision in simple, yet telling, terms.

The large headline of "Gone." told the news simply and the small print that states "7 years, $62 million, no rings" with a line pointing toward his hand explains exactly why Cleveland fans are bitter he bolted for Miami.

Using a four-page wrap-around, The Plain Dealer showed great determination in reporting the news, writing stories about the fans and a column comparing James to former Browns owner Art Modell, often credited as being the most vilified man in Cleveland since moving the Browns to Baltimore in 1995.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cavs owner rips LeBron in open letter

Below is the text of an open letter Cavs owner Dan Gilbert sent to fans tonight regarding LeBron James' decision.

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight,

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:


You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBummer: LeBron shuns Cleveland

Two-time NBA MVP LeBron James shunned loyalty and his hometown by announcing he would sign with the Miami Heat during a televised special tonight.

Miami likely will offer a 5-year contract worth $99 million. LeBron could have signed for six years and $128 million in Cleveland.

With the Heat, LeBron will join superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, who committed to the team earlier this week.

The decision, which was supposed to be announced within the first 10 minutes of the 9 p.m. special, was not made until 9:27. ESPN didn't even go live to a visibly nervous LeBron until a little after 9:20.

LeBron's announcement to dedicate himself to winning instead of being loyal came at The Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn.

Shortly after, Bosh tweeted his pleasure of LeBron's decision. Wade later welcomed LeBron and Bosh to Miami.

The Akron native is the latest Cleveland sports star to leave the city after failing to win a championship. He joins Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle and Jim Thome. Other stars, such as Bernie Kosar, C.C. Sabathia, Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, have been released or traded away during rebuilds.

But losing LeBron hurts more than any of the city's other losses, including the loss of the Cleveland Browns franchise in 1995. Some believe LeBron will replace Art Modell as the most hated man in Cleveland.

Just a few weeks ago, LeBron proclaimed that everything he does in his career is for the city Akron, but how does bolting for a team 1,200 miles away benefit Akron?

When asked about Cleveland, LeBron had a vague, emotionless response.

"It's hard to explain," LeBron said, later adding, "I never wanted to leave Cleveland."

No explanation would even cut it for Cavs fans, people who LeBron said he is "not sure" of what their reaction will be. Consider everything he did, and it's not hard to expect what most fans' reactions will be.

He had brought the city hope that it would win its first major sports championship since 1964.

He had brought the city to the NBA Finals in 2007.

He had brought the city an identity.

He had brought the city its first true superstar since Jim Brown in the 1960s.

Now, that is all gone, and the Cavs are left reeling, hoping to scrounge up a trade or sign a significant free agent in hopes of making the playoffs in the 2010-11 season.

All the while, the lasting image of its greatest superstar will be him ripping off his jersey after he virtually gave up on his team against Boston in the 2010 playoffs.

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