Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Hey everyone, I just started writing this week at Sports Blog Nation Cleveland. You can check out my first Browns post here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Top 5 List: Greatest Cleveland Pro Athletes of All-Time

Earlier this week, Sports Blog Nation launched a good new site called SBNation Cleveland. While checking out the place, I came across a post by John Bena that counted down Cleveland’s most popular athletes. Naturally, LeBron James was at the top of the list.

While reading Bena’s top 5 list, I couldn’t help but wonder what LeBron James’ proper place is among Cleveland’s all-time pro athletes (major sports only). Is he greater than Bob Feller? What about Otto Graham? Don’t tell me he’s ahead of Jim Brown…is he?

I think you know where this one is going. So without further adieu, here are my rankings of the top-5 Cleveland Pro Athletes of All-Time. Time to break it down, Rob Gordon style.

5. Tris Speaker – Indians – CF (1916-1926)

Wow, you know this is going to be a pretty loaded list when one of the greatest center fielders in the history of baseball barely cracks the top 5. I have to admit, I'm holding Speaker back a little due to fact that half of baseball's talent pool wasn't allowed to participate during the duration of his entire career due to segregation. Speaker is the owner of the fifth highest career batting average (.345) in MLB history and hit .354 in his eleven years with the Tribe. He’s a member of the 3,000 hit club and is also baseball’s career leader in doubles. Speaker was player-manager for the 1920 Indians team that won the franchise’s first World Series. Speaker entered the Hall of Fame in 1937.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All About LeBron

A couple years back, I set ablaze an in-house squabble among WFNY commenter, fans, and writers alike when I went off LeBron James for rocking Cowboys gear at a Browns game less than a year after the Yankee hat incident in an anger filled post. I even used the catchy title of “Bend over Cleveland…LeBron is at it again!” It wasn’t exactly the feel good story of the fall. Back then I was so filled with anger that the only conclusion I could really draw on James is that he obviously didn’t have the same loyalties to the city of Cleveland that even remotely matches the adulation the fans have for him. More than anything, it just seemed like another athlete in this town showing a lack of respect for our proud city while we are on a national stage.

Today, I have to admit my feelings have not changed and recent events have only reinforced that opinion.

Let’s start with the Tom Izzo debacle. Granted, while I admit LeBron doesn’t owe us any real clue of how he spends his free agency tour, the least the guy could have done was send any kind of signal to Izzo while he and the Cavaliers organization twisted in the wind for nearly a week while waiting for any kind of hint from James on his future so Izzo could declare a decision. Naturally, Izzo couldn’t wait anymore and wisely chose to stay at Michigan State. Cleveland, on the other hand, is caught in another embarrassing moment of rejection.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dawg Pound: Get Ready for the Montario Hardesty Era

It should be no wonder why Jerome Harrison recently signed an injury waiver and decided to finally show up for OTA's.

Yes, Harrison did rush for 561 yards over the final three games of 2009 and has some momentum for 2010. However, those opponents Harrison ran over were Kansas City (31st), Oakland (29th), and Jacksonville (19th). We're not exactly talking running against the 2000 Ravens here. The Browns last game against a good rush defense, a 13-6 victory over Pittsburgh (3rd), Harrison only managed 7 carries for 9 yards.

Dispite the successes against lesser opponents down the stretch, there is much to be improved in the Browns running attack. Thankfully, new Browns G.M. Tom Heckert, along with Eric Mangini, haven't let this slip past them. Enter University of Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty.

On the second day of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Browns traded three picks to the Eagles in order to move up and draft Hardesty in the second round (59th overall). This was an important addition to the Browns offense and here is why.

Hardesty is a running back with the size (5-11, 225lb.), speed (4.49), and toughness to handle himself versus the defenses of the AFC North.  Just watch his highlight video at the end of the post to see his physical, yet elusive, style of running. He's also a pretty good receiving back to boot.

The following were the final rankings against the run for the AFC North defenses...Pittsburgh 3rd, Baltimore 5th, and Cincinatti 7th. What was the Browns final division record last year? 1-5. Wonderful.

Granted, while it is still only June, but Hardesty's promotion to the first team offense sends many messages. One is the coaching staff has faith in the rookie to carry the load of the offense and is rewarding his hard work. Two is the Browns still have concerns that *Harrison's offensive explosion last December was likely more due to playing teams that were below average rather than Jerome Harrison turning into the second coming of Earnest Byner overnight. Three, trusting second year running back James Davis with handling a bulk of the rushing attack is just too much of a risk this year.

(*I don't consider Harrison's contract status into the equation right now. Nobody on the Browns, including Matt Roth, is going to sit out the season and leave the money on the table in 2010. You can take that to the blood bank.)

To win in the AFC North you have to be able to run the football at will, late in the season especially, against playoff caliber opponents and play physical defense. Thankfully, for the first time in about two decades, the Browns seem to finally have both a coaching staff and management team that have come to agree on that.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: WFNY reports Tom Izzo tells MSU players he intends to take Cleveland job

According to sources close to WaitingForNextyear, Tom Izzo has told his players that he intends to take the Cavaliers head coaching job. Click the link for more info.

Something tells me Coach Izzo must either be really confident in LeBron James staying in town for a few more years...or he can't resist Dan Gilbert's $6 million-per-year offer. As the guys at WFNY has said in their post, anything can happen until an announcement is official, but they are confident enough in their sources to run with this. Of course, more to come later.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where in the hell is Carlos Santana?

Can someone tell me what the hell the Indians management is thinking right now when it comes to the development of catching uber-prospect Carlos Santana? For three years now this guy has been tearing up minor league pitching at every level he's played at. He's won back-to-back league MVP's and, the way he is playing right now, is on his way to his third in a row at the Indians AAA affiliate in Columbus.

The fact that he's on his way toward the AAA MVP is actually a problem right now.

Heading into tonight's game against the Boston Red Sox, Indians poo-poo platter of a catching duo Lou Marson (.195/.261/.271) and Mike Redmond (.208/.250/.283) are performing about as bad as any Indians catching duo in recent memory.

You don't believe me? Take at look at the 1987 duo of Andy Allanson and Chris Bando. They were actually better than what we have right now. I'll wait patiently while you go throw up.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Could Tom Izzo really be coming to Cleveland?

Well, it looks like there is some fire to the smoke signals coming out of Quicken Loans arena after all. The Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst is now reporting that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is preparing a $6 million a year offer to the Michigan State head coach. While this potential hire would be a splash among many fans and media alike, there is always risk in bringing a college coach.

Recent college hires to the NBA over the last decade-plus have included John Calipari, P.J. Carlisimo, Tim Floyd, Mike Montgomery, and Rick Pitino. None were considered successes. However, in their defense, none took over a team that had a good roster. In fact, all took over rudderless franchises with no hope and had even more bad luck in the lottery after their hires.

In the NBA, more than any other pro sport, coaches need players to win. This isn't the NFL where Bill Parcells can turn chicken shit into chicken salad in a year's time. Put Red Aurbach or John Wooden in charge of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets and they are still picking in the top five of this months draft. That's just how the NBA is. One star can really make all the difference while a great coach can only do so much in the pro game.

So how would Tom Izzo do in Cleveland with LeBron James and a roster that has had back-to-back 60 win seasons? It would be interesting to say the least.

Friday, June 4, 2010

New York is lagging behind when it comes to annoying LeBron videos

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but New York has launched an official website hellbent on bringing LeBron James to the Big Apple. They even have a hip slogan and video staring Mayor Bloomberg titled "C'mon LeBron."

I have to admit, after watching the very lame Cleveland song parody titled We Are LeBron (naturally in homage to this), I was gleefully hoping the New York video titled C'mon LeBron would also follow suit. Wouldn't that have been something to see Bloomberg wearing overalls like he's straight out of Dexy's Midnight Runners ??? I say hell yes. Instead, we get treated to some video that looks like it has the same production team of something we had to watch in drivers ed. Thanks for ruining my weekend New York.

videos after the jump. enjoy.

You Want LeBron to Stay in Cleveland, Mr. Prez? Sure You Do...

Terrific. It had been only a few hours since a politician or celebrity last shamelessly campaigned for LeBron  James to come and play in their NBA city next season. Now that President Obama is back to being a bullshitting politician and  pretending that he would like to see James stay in Cleveland...we can all rest easy.

Now go scrub some oil off a seagull in the Gulf or something. We're used to seeing our athletes flee this town as fast as they can for greener pastures. Trust me, they don't need your help.

No Decision is a Perfect Decision

If MLB revises history and gives Galarraga the perfect game, that would more or less reduce the game to a kids soccer match in which the parents tell the kids not to worry about the score. To me, Galarraga's corrected "perfect game" would have as much merit.

Thankfully, we will be spared revisionist history invading the sports world.

Hey, at least Galarraga got a car for his troubles. Trust me, he'll sleep ok this week.