Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Never underestimate the power of a good day in Cleveland

Steven GerrardIt’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day – U2

When we woke up this morning we were afraid that Tuesday’s blockbuster news from the Cleveland Browns had only been some beautiful dream.

But then we realized that it was true, Jimmy Haslam really had rid the Browns of general manager Mike Lombardi (and CEO Joe Banner) and we knew it was going to be a beautiful day.

The day only got better with the news that new general manager Ray Farmer is not only talking with Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden about a contract extension, but Farmer may also value Pro Bowl centers and Pro Bowl safeties more than Banner.

The news was so positive surrounding the Browns that the good vibes spread far beyond the walls of 76 Lou Groza Blvd. in Berea.

How else to explain the night Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Anthony Bennett had on Tuesday against Sacramento? Bennett had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Cavs beat the Kings, and is averaging 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in his last eight games.

“(Anthony’s) going to get it,” forward Luol Deng said of Bennett. “These kind of games are going to come more often. He’s always working hard, staying after practice. I went to the gym a few times late and he’s in there. From the outside looking in, you could see he was struggling a little bit. But the only way to get out of that is by working hard and that’s what he’s doing. He’s going to have more games like this.”

The good vibes can be felt in Arizona, where the Cleveland Indians are prepared to sign left fielder Michael Brantley to a four-year, $25 million contract extension that includes a club option for a fifth year.

“(Michael’s) a prime example of everything that made us good,” Tribe manager Terry Francona said. “His ability to change positions. His ability to move around in the batting order. His two-out hitting. That’s part of what made us good last year, was our versatility and guys’ willingness to do whatever it took to try to win. That’s really appreciated.”

The good news even extended all the way across the Atlantic, where Liverpool came back from a goal down not once, but twice, to beat Fulham as Steven Gerrard nailed a penalty kick in stoppage time at Craven Cottage. The Reds now sit just four points back of Chelsea for the top spot in the Premier League.

“We know we can go to any ground and get goals,” manager Brendan Rodgers told The Guardian. “That got us the three points tonight rather than our defending … We’d have lost that game in my first four or five months here, but we’ve built spirit and camaraderie that saw us fight to the very end.”

It was a beautiful day in Cleveland.

Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait very long for another one.

(Photo courtesy of Corbis Images)


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