Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to business...Cleveland sports notes

Sorry I have been away for a few days. Hopefully that will be the last time for awhile that I'll be away for that many days in a row.

Below are my thoughts on some of the recent Cleveland sports headlines.

Fausto Carmona is an All-Star...but should be be?

Cleveland's lone representative in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is pitcher Fausto Carmona.

In my opinion, he was the third best candidate for that role on the Indians. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was my first choice to be the Tribe's All-Star (even after he got hurt) and pitcher Mitch Talbot (8-7, 3.86 ERA, 50 SO) has numbers equally impressive as Carmona (7-7, 3.69 ERA, 57 SO).

Carmona's selection does make for a good story because at this time last season, he was pitching at Triple-A. He made his final start of the season's first half on June 4, an 11-3 loss to Minnesota, leaving him at 2-6 with a 7.42 ERA. He returned to the team at the end of July and has been a different pitcher ever since.

He has never made the All-Star team, and if he loses on Friday against Tampa Bay, he will go to the game with a sub-.500 record, leaving other AL starters Jered Weaver (8-3, 2.82 ERA) and Justin Verlander (10-5, 3.85 ERA) to scratch their heads over the selection process that left them off the roster.

Weaver would have been on the team if there was not a rule in place that says every team must be represented at the game. While I love the Indians, I truly believe the team should not have an All-Star this season.

More injuries

Injuries have been a popular theme for the Indians this season.

Shin-Soo Choo injured his thumb on Friday diving to make a catch against Oakland, but he doesn't likely need surgery and should be back on the field before September as was initially reported.

Losing Choo is a blow to Cleveland's lineup, but it also gives Michael Brantley a chance to earn regular at-bats. Since he is a piece of the Tribe's future, I'm alright with seeing him on the field, even at Choo's expense. This is a lost season for Cleveland, so they might as well give everybody they can at-bats whenever they can get them.

The injury I'm more concerned with is Matt LaPorta's. Although he is not expected to miss significant time after being struck by Elvis Andrus' elbow at first base last night, any setback for the future clean-up hitter is not welcomed.

There was not concussion sustained on the play, which would have been the second of LaPorta's young career, but he is not in tonight's lineup. There is no word on whether he will play tomorrow.

LaPorta has hit in seven of the nine games since he was recalled. In that same time, he has four home runs and nine RBIs.

What would a notes column be without LeBron?

1. LeBron James has still not made a decision about where he will play for the 2010-11 season and beyond, but he may make the announcement via Twitter.

He set up an account this afternoon after being convinced to do so by close friend Chris Paul.

2. It was reported by ESPN that Toronto would be open to a sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers regarding free agent Chris Bosh.

Bosh, however, reportedly does not have any interest in playing in Cleveland. Like LeBron, Bosh likely wants to be the premiere player on his team, which would be impossible playing alongside LeBron in Cleveland.

But at this time of year, rumors and erroneous/unconfirmed reports have been rampant in many outlets' NBA coverage, so anything is possible until it becomes official.

3. LeBron has made two appearances at his basketball camp in Akron.

The camp would make a good place for LeBron to announce his intentions to resign with the Cavaliers, but it does not appear that will happen. He has not given any indication of his plans whatsoever.

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