Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Year in Review – Third Quarter

As we enter the last few days of 2011, it’s time to take a look at the past year in sports.

While it was another year without a title from any of Cleveland’s teams, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting.

For the First Quarter, check here.

For the Second Quarter, check here.

July started on a high note for the Indians, as Austin Kearns’ three-run homer helped beat the Yankees on the Fourth of July. But injuries started to catch up with the team and a lack of offense dropped the team down the standings culminating in the inevitable – a no-hitter at the hands of Ervin Santana.

The front office shocked everyone though, trading for starting pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez at the end of the month. The Tribe gave up both Drew Pomeranz and Alex White – the top two pitching prospects in the organization – in the deal.

The NFL lockout ended in July, bringing the return of the Browns and the official start of the Pat Shurmur era as coach.

Just before the end of the month the U.S. Soccer team named Jürgen Klinsmann as head coach of the national team.

And we had an excellent time at Waiting for Next Year’s gathering at Canal Park.

In August, the Tribe made one last run at Detroit for the division lead as they took 2-of-3 from the Tigers. But a sweep at the hands of Detroit late in the month effectively ended the Tribe’s season.

After falling out of the pennant race, and needing something to draw fans to the games with the start of the NFL season on the horizon, the Indians brought Jim Thome home for a cameo.

Even though the Tribe faded in the second half of the season, it was fun while it lasted.

Browns camp opened with second-year defensive backs Joe Haden and T.J. Ward expressing their excitement for new defensive coordinator Dick Jauron’s 4-3 defense.

We were also left asking, not for the first time, what the Browns were doing at the wide receiver position.

This being the Browns they couldn’t get through training camp without losing a key player, as Eric Steinbach was lost for the year with a back injury.

And the release of the documentary Senna reminded us of the artistry of Formula One driver Aryton Senna.

September brought about the official end of the Indians season, but the team gave fans plenty to cheer about in 2011 and plenty to look forward to next year.

And the Browns were back for the 2011 NFL season with Colt McCoy in his first full season as starting quarterback.

Things got off to a rocky start in Week 1 as the Browns fell to the Bengals following a defensive breakdown. It was only one game but, this being Cleveland, plenty of fans were already on the ledge.

Week 2 saw the team give Pat Shurmur his first victory as an NFL head coach. It wasn’t surprising the team did well, as the game against the Colts was the last with a healthy Peyton Hillis for quite a while.

The Browns followed that win with a late victory over the Dolphins in Week 3 as the defense helped save the day.

General manager Tom Heckert also made the right decision to take it slow when it came to a contract extension with Hillis.

Coming Friday: Injuries help the Browns season take a turn for the worse, the team continues to prune the dead wood left from the Eric Mangini era, and Colt McCoy’s concussion turns into a manufactured controversy.

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