We'll see how long this lasts. I've decided to do a weekly sports column that will, naturally focus on the Cavaliers, the Indians and the Browns. I'm not sure if it will actually qualify as an "extravaganza," but I like the sound of it.
So, let's kick this off with the obvious: the NBA draft that took place last night. Predictably the Cavs did nothing. I hope that nothing does not constitute the entirety of their off-season plans, but draft day came and went without so much as a murmur from the Cavaliers. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because they sure as heck weren't getting their hands on any of the players who will help them immediately. This is a team trying to get over the hump in the NBA finals, not building for the future. That said, it's always a little deflating to be left out of the fun, especially for Jiri Welsch, and it's always good to have young talent on hand.
The Blazers got Greg Oden. Blah. He'd look much nicer in a Cavs uniform.
Speaking of the Blazers, how the hell do they get four picks every year? Do they have any players over 22?
Boston just made themselves a playoff team by adding Ray Allen, who chose to stay with the shitty Sonics two years ago instead of signing with the Cavs. That cost both him and the Cavs an NBA title this year.
After much reflecting, I think the Cavs had better sign Anderson Varejao, but Sasha Pavlovic may very well not be wearing the Wine and Gold for long. As much as I love the guy, as much as I'd like to see him stay, I don't see the Cavs breaking the bank if he gets a big offer. Varejao is the greater asset.
How lovely, how beautiful a sight it is to see: Cleveland Indians: 46-32, New York Yankees: 36-39. Everything is sunshine and flowers.
I guess if the Indians make the playoffs, people will start going to games. I'm off the hook, because I live in France. GO TO THE JAKE, PEOPLE.
I have a good feeling about this Indians team. The most encouraging thing is seeing their record, good enough for a wild-card spot in the playoffs, and knowing that Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner haven't swung the bat so well yet. If Pronk has a really hot second half, it will be a very interesting race in the AL central.
The bullpen is a big worry though. I do believe that I called it right when I said their off-season aquisitions were crap at best. Borowski has been good. Fultz is mediocre. Hernandez was a bust. Foulke never played. If only baseball's biggest nerd, Matt Miller, could stay healthy! I've always had a thing for baseball players who wear glasses. See: Ron Kittle, Alex Cole, Eric Plunk and now Miller.
I love Josh Barfield. He's made some Alomar-esque plays at second, and he's starting to hit too.
I do not, do not like Franklin Gutierrez' swing.
I'm guessing that we won't see Andy Marte till September. That's good. I'm guessing the same about Shin-Soo Choo. That's bad. (Never mind. I just found out Choo is on the DL, dammit).
I really like Casey Blake, but only Casey Blake could have such a cold 26-game hitting streak. There were a lot of 1-4 nights in there. I think his average only went up about 10 points the whole time.
Cheers to the Indians for installing solar panels at Jacobs field. McBone endorses the use of renewable resources.
Jeers to the Indians for continuing to use Chief Wahoo.
The Browns have made some really nice moves this offseason. I liked the draft, especially Joe Thomas to bolster the OL. I liked their signings, too. My prediction for this season? An optimistic 6-10. Since it is impossible to have 3 good teams at one time in Cleveland, the Browns will maintain their stranglehold on the title, Most Depressing Team in Sports.
Let's hope Brady Quinn is not the starting QB this year, or you can go ahead and chuck him on the pile with Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, (doesn't it seem that everyone's given up on him a bit too soon?) Jeff Garcia, and others who have been put in front of the firing squad and told to dodge the bullets.
Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week:
The Cavs will trade Ira Newble for Tony Parker and cash.