Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Be thankful for what we have, Cleveland

We were in Chicago through the weekend which means we were exposed to a variety of Chicago sports announcers during the opening weekend of the baseball season.

Oh my.

With the Tribe taking on the White Sox we caught much of Friday’s and Saturday’s games; trust us when we say Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone are extremely difficult to listen to.

They openly root for the White Sox and took every opportunity to put down the Indians, at one point claiming that, “when the Indians have their fire sale this season, there really aren’t any players other teams will want.”

Sure, no one would want Carlos Santana, Shin-Soo Choo or Chris Perez, just to name a few, if the Indians were to put them on the market (which they obviously are not going to do).

As we were staying with Cubs fans, we watched some of the Cubs as well. While nothing to get excited about, Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were passable, probably because Brenly has some experience on the national level and hasn’t been infected yet with homerism.

Friday night brought the Bulls, with Neil Funk and Stacey King. While Fred McCleod and Austin Carr can play favorites at times, they could learn a thing from Funk and King about backing the home squad.

Although dinner at Portillo’s almost made up for the bad announcing.

The strange part is, you would think the bigger the market the more professional people would be. Big cities, like Chicago and New York, get a rep for being tough places for athletes but you’d never be able to tell from the fawning announcers.

We lived in North Jersey for most of the ’90s and it was just as bad, especially the nightmare pairing of John Sterling and Michael Kay on the radio doing Yankee games. We’ve never been able to confirm it, but we’re convinced we heard Sterling weeping on the air when the Indians beat the Yankees during the 1997 playoffs.

The trip just reconfirmed what we said last summer, that we really are spoiled with the announcers we have (and had) in Cleveland. From Joe Tait on the radio with the Cavs, to Tom Hamilton (radio) and Rick Manning (TV) for the Indians and Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken on radio for the Browns, we think we have it pretty good around here.

For an alternative take on the White Sox announcers, check out this post at Waiting for Next Year. Writer Mark Leonard watched the same games and came away with a different perspective. It’s a good read.

***

Nice work by Elton Alexander at The PD on the coaching carousel that is Kent State men’s basketball.

According to the article:

  • Kent struggles on practically every level, beginning with its inability to pay competitive salaries – Geno Ford more than doubled his salary with his move last week to Butler.
  • Kent State plays in M.A.C. Center, which at nearly 60 years old, is the oldest facility in the MAC.
  • There is no basketball practice facility.
  • Coaches share an office with the women’s basketball team. Both teams share a secretary.
  • Two assistant coaches share a converted 4×10 hallway for a workspace.
  • Basketball budgets have been cut for at least the last three seasons.
  • Marketing efforts are practically nil.

While the athletic department has a system in place that keeps working, we can’t help but wonder how much longer they can keep making the right call when it comes to hiring a coach.

We’re also worried that in the school’s efforts to try and pump up the football program – which hasn’t been relevant since Jack Lambert was a Golden Flash in the early ’70s – they are going to screw up the basketball team.

When athletic director Joel Nielsen hired former Ohio State assistant coach Darrell Hazell in December, Nielsen gave Hazell a significant raise over the salary of former coach Doug Martin. That apparently left little money for the basketball team.

The fact that Ford left Kent for Bradley – a school without a football program – says a lot about the current situation at KSU.

***

Sticking with our alma mater, congratulations to the women’s gymnastics team, which qualified for the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, which will be hosted by Kent State at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center, April 15-17.

Not only is this the first time the Golden Flashes have qualified for the NCAA Championships, they are also the first women’s gymnastics program in MAC history to qualify.

Well done.

***

Tottenham Hotspur is in deep trouble in the Champions League.

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One thought on “Be thankful for what we have, Cleveland

  1. Portillos. I see it in my dreams. Yum.

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