Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

If it walks like a dog and barks like a dog …

We certainly don’t watch as much college basketball as we used to back in the day when we actually had time, so we’re not here to tell anyone who the Cleveland Cavaliers should select with the fourth pick in the upcoming draft.

But this we do know: under no circumstance should they draft North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes.

Shane Ryan at Grantland lays out the case against Barnes pretty well:

When I was asked to do a blurb about the three worst possible destinations for Harrison Barnes, a.k.a. “The Black Falcon,” a.k.a. “The Most Overrated College Basketball Player in History,” my initial thought was, “a room without mirrors, a humility convention, and the induction ceremony at the top-secret Two Coreys Club for failed child stars.” But this is a lottery post, so I’m guessing he meant the three worst teams. Fair enough, because I have the perfect answer. But before that, I have to revisit the (somewhat biased) highlights of Barnes’s two years at North Carolina.

Announced his college decision over Sykpe, ushering in an era of inflated self-importance and cringe-inducing announcements among high school recruits, already a self-important and cringe-inducing bunch. Somehow, Barnes’s ceremony remains the most repellent. (Also, he burned Duke bad.)

Became the first ever freshman preseason All-American. Really digest that one. Consider everyone who has ever played college basketball, and consider that of that group, only Barnes earned this recognition. That’s why I’m completely comfortable calling him the most overrated player in history.

Disappointed everyone, did not earn even third-team All-American status.

Was named a preseason All-American for his sophomore year. (Say what you will, whoever runs the hype machine is a major Barnes loyalist.)

Disappointed everyone, did not earn even third-team All-American status. Was, in fact, the fourth-best player on his own team.

Obessed about his “brand” and even designed a Black Falcon logo. FOR HIMSELF, presumably.

Left school with a 2-3 record against Duke. (I had to.)

You see the pattern? Barnes masters the hype machine, suckers everyone in, and then can’t live up to it. So, what’s the worst possible scenario for Barnes? Or the best, if you want to see him fail? Easy. Of the 1,000 lottery Ping-Pong balls, one of Charlotte’s 998 is plucked first. The ‘Cats get the coveted pick, but instead of making the obvious choice with Anthony Davis, Michael Jordan comes out publicly and says that Harrison Barnes is the next … well, him. They nab Barnes, who remains in North Carolina among the hordes of Charlotte-based UNC fans he’s already been burned twice. The hype escalates, and then Barnes does what Barnes does best — mediocrity in the face of promised greatness.

Like we said, we don’t follow college basketball as much as some people do, but if even 10 percent of what Ryan wrote is true, the Cavs should run as far away as possible.

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Thank goodness for the Twins

Remember how we were happy that the Royals were coming to town?

Yeah … never mind.

The Cleveland Indians head into a much-needed day off on Thursday having lost five of their last six games to close out the month of May.

During that streak, the Tribe’s starting rotation has worked 28 innings and given up 37 earned runs. That’s an ERA of 11.89.

Yikes!

“This was not a good series,” Indians manager Manny Acta said in published reports. “It’s been a rough week for us. Pitching sets the tone, and were not setting the (right) tone.”

Travis Hafner is on the disabled list and is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday and will most likely miss at least four to six weeks … Jack Hannahan is on the disabled list … Carlos Santana is still out with concussion symptoms … Rafael Perez was moved to the 60-day disabled list over the weekend … Acta will skip Ubaldo Jimenez’ turn in the rotation on Saturday so he can make his next start on the road against Detroit, even though Jimenez has a road ERA of 9.00 this year (compared to 3.38 at home) … anything we missed?

At least the last-place Twins are coming to town this weekend. That has to be a good thing, right?

Wait, don’t answer that.

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Thank goodness for the Royals

We thought it was odd at first that the Indians won’t see the White Sox again this season until Sept. 24, but after the weekend the Tribe just had in Chicago that’s probably a blessing.

In giving up 35 runs in the three-game series, everything that went right during the series went wrong for the Tribe against the White Sox.

Chicago was able to expose one of the Tribe’s biggest weaknesses – if the starters can’t get to the seventh inning, the Indians are cooked. While Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez are adept at handling the eight and ninth innings, things are dicey if the Tribe has to go to the bullpen too early.

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Can money buy a division title?

Heading into the 2012 Major League Baseball season, many believed the Detroit Tigers had won the American League Central Division title during the off-season, when they signed megabucks free agent Prince Fielder and pushed the team’s payroll to the fifth highest in baseball.

Now that we’ve had our first look at the Tigers, we are left to wonder what they got for their money other than headlines.

It’s not just that, in sweeping the three-game series from the Tigers, the Tribe won for the eighth time in 10 games, opening a six-game lead over third-place Detroit. It’s the way they did it against a team with a $132 million payroll.

Head over to The Cleveland Fan for the rest of the story.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

Mr. Holmgren? HBO is on line one for you

Turns out, HBO is having a problem finding a team for this season’s version of the popular series, Hard Knocks.

According to The New York Post, the cable channel expects to have a team in place by June 1. The Jets, Broncos, Falcons, Texans, 49ers and Redskins have all reportedly turned down a chance to appear on the show.

Well, how about the Cleveland Browns?

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Time to take it easy, champ

Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown, with the help of the local media, continued to grind his axe against Mike Holmgren on Thursday.

ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi gave Brown the opportunity to continue to talk down the team’s top pick, running back Trent Richardson.

“I haven’t heard anyone say anything special about (Richardson). Have you?” Brown said. “I think Richardson is a fine young man. I think he’s a good all-around football player. But from my standpoint, that’s ordinary. You talk about someone that’s going to move or light up the franchise or create a certain kind of thing, that’s what I’m talking about. I’m not trying to be mean. There are certain people you look at and there’s something special about them. I don’t see it.

“When you think of greatness and the great backs, they all had some individual traits that you can identify – quickness, balance, power, speed,” Brown said. “I think the kid is a good working back, and if you’ve got everything else around him he can play his role. But when it comes to outstanding, I don’t see anything outstanding about him. It’s not said in a cruel manner. He’s very efficient, and that’s what you want.”

Like everyone else, Brown is entitled to his opinion. While it’s not clear what the end game is to his comments, we have a pretty good idea about his motivation.

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K2 a true Only in Cleveland story

We weren’t that surprised when we heard the news that Tampa Bay traded former Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow to Seattle

After all, the Bucs have a new coach and when you can get someone like Greg Schiano, who took Rutgers to the middle of the all-powerful Big East, well you just have to let him call the shots.

“(Schiano) said he was kind of upset that I wasn’t there working with the team in the offseason and for the first week of OTAs,” Winslow told the hosts of the The Opening Drive on Sirius NFL Radio.

“But look, I’ve been there the last three years and I’ve had a successful career so far. You don’t just get rid of one of your best players like that. I have nothing bad to say about Coach Schiano. It was just a disagreement on why I’m not there yet.”

Tampa likely shares the same concern the Browns did when they traded Winslow following the 2008 season – while he is talented and only 28, Winslow has the knee of an 80-year-old, and the thought of paying him base salaries of $3.3 million, $4.5 million, and $5.5 million over the next three years is more of a risk than Tampa probably wants to take.

Winslow is one of those Only in Cleveland stories that fans have come to know all too well over the years. Hugely talented when he was drafted out of Miami in the first round of the 2004 draft, Winslow broke his leg two games into his rookie season (during the Jeff Garcia 0.0 game, talk about an OIC moment) and missed the rest of the year.

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Pure Rage and The Fans Right to Boo

Cleveland Indians reliever Chris Perez really did it this time with his comments after Saturday’s win against Miami.

Or did he?

You’ll nead to head to The Cleveland Fan to find out.

***

It’s no surprise that people had a lot to say about Perez and his comments. Here’s a good sampling:

Tribe Weekend Wrap: The Pure Rage Edition at WFNY

Indians closer Chris Perez tells working stiffs of Cleveland to suck it up and spend more money on Major League Baseball and $8 beers at Cleveland Frowns

No Need To Boo Perez, He’s Just Like Us at Did the Tribe Win Last Night?

Chris Perez’ comments offer harsh does of reality to Cleveland fans at WFNY

Chris Perez is a good closer, good teammate without much perspective by Terry Pluto

Sorry, Columbus, not our problem

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman made headlines over the weekend by going public with his desire to bring an NBA team to Ohio’s capital city.

We normally wouldn’t care about this – we don’t live in Columbus after all – but then we saw some chatter on Twitter about an idea for the Blue Jackets to play 10 games a year in Cleveland and the Cavaliers to play a like number of games in Columbus.

We’re going to be nice here, so we’ll say that is one of the most unappealing ideas we’ve heard in a while.

To learn why, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

King Kenny exits the castle

Kenny Dalglish is out as manager of Liverpool, just 16 months into his second stint in charge of the club that he once starred for.

John Henry, Liverpool’s principal owner and chairman Tom Werner made the decision after meeting with Dalglish in Boston earlier this week.

“Kenny came into the club as manager at our request at a time when Liverpool Football Club really needed him,” Werner said. “He didn’t ask to be manager; he was asked to assume the role. He did so because he knew the club needed him. He did more than anyone else to stabilise Liverpool over the past year and a half and to get us once again looking forward. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

“However, results in the Premier League have been disappointing and we believe to build on the progress that has already been made, we need to make a change.”

In some ways it is not that surprising, as Liverpool finished the season in eighth in the Premier League, four points behind in-town rival Everton, 17 points behind fourth place Tottenham Hotspur (the final Champions League spot) and a whopping 37 points behind league champion Manchester City. It was their worst finish in 18 years and the lowest point total since the 1953-54 season.

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