Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Blame Homgrem or Shermen?

Welcome to Cleveland, John Hughes. Are you ready to start?

The Cleveland Browns better hope Hughes, the team’s third-round draft pick, is ready for his close-up because it looks like they will need him this fall after starting defensive tackle Phil Taylor injured a pectoral muscle while working out on Thursday.

Of course he did.

“We’re awaiting results of the MRI,” Peter Schaffer, Taylor’s agent, told The Plain Dealer. “He’s staying positive. He’s got a great attitude. He’ll either be 100 percent or come back 100 percent.

Obviously this is an indictment of the lax attitude installed in Berea by team president Mike Holmgren. Or the lack of preparation on coach Pat Shurmur’s part. Or a referendum on owner Randy Lerner’s lack of involvement. Or it could just be that injuries happen.

We’re pretty sure it’s one of those things.

Look, these things happen – just look at Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay’s Da’Quan Bowers, who both have suffered torn Achilles tendons.

As it turns out, it’s fortunate the Browns selected Hughes, even if the original plan was to have him provide depth as a rotational player. Now he’s going to need to step up and play big-boy minutes.

Let’s hope he’s up to the challenge.

***

While the Browns were once again bad against the rush last season, finishing 30th in the NFL giving up an average of 147.4 yards per game, turns out they were not historically bad.

Before the 2011 season, there were just 19 defenses in NFL history that gave up more than 5.0 yards per rush for an entire season. Last year, four teams gave up five yards or more each time the opposing team ran the ball – Oakland, Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

As bad as the Browns were, they finished 19th in the league with an average of 4.4 yards per rush allowed.

Not sure what that means – after all, it’s not just how many yards you give up but when you give them up – but thought it was worth pointing out.

***

Major League Baseball is reportedly ready to make the ridiculous fake-to-third, throw-to-first pick off play that never works and is one of the things that makes baseball increasingly irritating.

According to The New York Times: The Playing Rules Committee has approved a proposal to make it a balk, with MLB executives and umpires in agreement. The players’ union vetoed the plan for this season to discuss it further. MLB is allowed to implement the change after a one-year wait — no telling whether that would happen if players strongly object. 

 Under the new wording, a pitcher could not fake to third unless he first stepped off the rubber. If he stayed on the rubber, it would be a balk.

Works for us.

***

Sunday is the end of the Premier League season and all 10 games will be shown live in some fashion on Fox’s family of networks and ESPN2.

FX’s live coverage of Sunderland’s match with Manchester United (who are tied for the top spot with Manchester City) will feature in-game highlights (shown in the corner of the screen) of all the goals scored in the other match’s of the day. (h/t EPL Talk)

(Photo by Getty Images)

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