Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

It’s your turn now, Josh

Josh Tomlin takes the mound for the Indians tonight against Chicago looking to follow the lead of his fellow starting pitchers.

Despite losing two-of-three to Toronto over the weekend, Tribe starters Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Derek Lowe combined to give up just three earned runs in 22 innings of work (a tidy 1.23 ERA).

All three starters have gone at least seven innings, with Lowe hitting that mark Sunday on the way to giving up five hits and zero earned runs.

“When Lowe is on, it’s pretty hard for guys to lift the ball,” manager Manny Acta said in published reports. “And he did a fantastic job of getting ahead of hitters.”

Now it’s Tomlin’s turn to play “anything you can do I can do better.” The pitchers’ performance during the opening weekend is reminiscent of last year as the Indians rode solid starting pitching in building an early division lead.

After a rough opener last season, the Indians went 12-2 including an 11-game stretch where the starters threw 74 innings and gave up just 15 earned runs – a 1.82 ERA. They’ve also went an average of 6.2 innings in their starts.

If they can repeat that over the next couple of weeks it will help the team buy time until the offense (hopefully) decides to join the rest of the team in the regular season.


The NFL Draft is always a popular time for Cleveland Browns fans, mainly because, with general manager Tom Heckert in charge, there is little chance the team will mess up (unlike on game days in recent years).

The drafting over the five-year period before Heckert came to town (2005 to 2009) shows just how important it is to draft right – and it’s hard to underestimate how much the team needs to get it right in the first two rounds of this year’s draft.

We don’t need to go into all the missed picks from past years, check out this link at Pro Football Focus that grades the team’s selections from 2008 to 2010, but the four years that Phil Savage was in charge of the draft, along with the one year Eric Mangini ran it, put this team in a hole that they are still digging out of.

It’s those drafts – not team president Mike Holmgren “stealing” Randy Lerner’s money, not Pat Shurmur’s struggles in his first year as head coach, not Bob Lamonte – that is the reason the Browns are where they are today.

Just as it takes longer to unlearn a bad habit than it does to learn it right the first time, it takes more than one or two drafts to fix the glaring mistakes of the past.

Although the current regime can start accelerating the process any time now.

(Oh, and look at how bad the Redskins have been over the same time period. Now remember that the next time someone tries to tell you that Washington wants to “win now.”)


Finally, Fulham’s Clint Dempsey scored a goal on Monday against Chelsea – he netted two on Saturday against Bolton – to give him 22 goals on the season and a team-record 16 in team play.

According to the Associated Press, his performance this season has Dempsey wondering if it is time to leave the comforts of Craven Cottage for a bigger stage in England (he still has one year left on his current contract).

While, on the surface, it would be nice to see Dempsey on a bigger club, we have to wonder if he is better off playing full-time at Fulham rather than potentially being a bench player on a larger club.

(Photo by the Associated Press)

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