Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Even for Cleveland, it was a weird day

Even by the abnormal standards of the Cleveland sports world, it was an interesting day today.

First off, the Indians pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity.

Turns out Carmona’s real name is allegedly Roberto Hernandez Heredia and he is allegedly 31, not 28 as originally believed.

He was arrested while he was leaving the American consulate in Santo Domingo, where he had gone to renew his visa so that he could return to the United States, police spokesman Maximo Baez Aybar told The Associated Press.

“This arrest is part of the measures taken by the National Police (NP), in coordination with the American Consulate. The NP invited Dominican prospects not to be misled by those who sell fake illusions based on illegality,” Baez said on Twitter.

“We were recently made aware of the situation that occurred today in the Dominican Republic and are currently in the process of gathering information,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement. “We are not prepared to make any additional comment at this time.”

“This took us by complete surprise,” Carmona/Heredia’s agent Jay Alou said. “What we have to do now is wait to find out the process that has to be done with the consulate with this new identity in order to see if he can get a new work visa.”

Carmona/Heredia was 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts in 2011. In November, the Tribe picked up a $7 million club option on the right-hander.

There is some speculation that the Indians could release Carmona/Heredia over this, but that seems unlikely. After all, if the Indians are willing to pay 38-year-old Derek Lowe $5 million to pitch this year, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think they would pay $7 million to a 31-year-old Carmona/Heredia.

However, we could see his age coming into play when the team has to make a decision on club options in 2013 and again in 2014.

Not to be outdone by that news, turns out Plain Dealer beat reporter Tony Grossi called Browns owner Randy Lerner a “pathetic figure” and the most “irrelevant billionaire in the world” in a now-deleted tweet.

Grossi was reacting to criticism from fans on Twitter as to why Grossi, the primary Browns beat reporter for the largest newspaper in Ohio, was not reporting on Lerner’s appearance Wednesday afternoon on a local radio show.

Seems like a reasonable request to us; maybe Grossi was crabby because he won’t get any playoff tickets from Browns team president Mike Holmgren.

Grossi issued an apology at Cleveland.com:

“Last night there was a comment attributed to me on my Twitter account. It was inadvertent, it was inappropriate, and I do apologize for it. I’ve reached out to Randy Lerner to apologize to him for it and we’ll just leave it at that. It was inappropriate and not meant to be tweeted, but it was inappropriate nonetheless.”

Maybe the management at the paper will make Grossi go to Lerner’s estate to apologize and Lerner can release the hounds, Montgomery Burns style.

Although, if we were a billionaire we wouldn’t really care what people called us because, you know, we’d be a billionaire.

Finally, definitive proof that that Browns will trade up to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Major hat tip to Cleveland Frowns for that one.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

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