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Monday, July 23, 2012

Tribe may now be sellers at the deadline

7/23/12

Well this stinks. Over the past month or so the Tribe has looked just awful. They've managed to keep their heads above water (in terms of still being in the race) for a lot longer than most people expected by the way they were playing, but things are looking grimmer by the day. Amazing how quickly the whole outlook can change.

At this rate, depending on the next handful of games, the Tribe could now find themselves doing a complete 180° from what we all thought they'd be doing as the trade deadline approaches. We've all expected them to be buyers or if not then at least we figured they'd try to push forward with what they have. However, if Shapiro and Antonetti decide that this team just isn't close enough talent-wise and won't be able to compete down the stretch then they could be deadline sellers. Any number of guys could be on their way out of town.

Its unfortunate that this team finds themselves in this situation after such a promising start, but nonetheless with they way they have played lately they have definitely made this into a real possibility. The offense is just unbearable to watch as of late. Not that's it was outstanding at any point this year but, early in the year, they were at least getting some timely hits and a few guys were playing consistent baseball. Now, though, they look just terrible pretty much top to bottom. No one seems to be able to consistently get the job done and its starting to seem like they won't be able to get it going in time before they completely sink.

Their rivals are making bold moves to get better (the WhiteSox acquired Kevin Youkilis a few weeks ago and the Tigers just got Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez) I realize the Tribe is a little short-handed when it comes to prospects, but its tough to see your division foes pushing forward while you are starting to feel like its time to hang it up. There's still an outside chance that they pick it up and sweep this next series and give the Indians executives a little motivation to keep thinking about buying. At this point, though, it doesn't seem like the more likely scenario.

Obviously, as a Tribe fan, I still hope for a miracle, but again, as a Tribe fan, I don't expect it. We'll see what happens this week, but my advice is to hope for them to be buyers, but prepare for them to be sellers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Browns Eyeing Gordon in Supplemental Draft

7/10/12


The buzz around town is that the Browns have significant interest in former Baylor wide-out Josh Gordon. Gordon, who was kicked off of the Baylor team for a marijuana incident in 2010, petitioned the NFL to enter the supplemental draft which will be held on Thursday.

This kid is a great physical specimen, standing 6'3" and weighing 220lbs. while having 4.4 speed. Those sort of numbers are extremely appealing to any NFL scout. Throw into the mix that the Browns have, in my opinion, the absolute worst receiving core in the league, and that has to have the organization taking a long hard look at this guy.

Obviously, his past transgressions raise some justified concern about whether or not he would "buy-in" to the Holmgren/Heckert/Shurmur system (they say they prefer high character guys). Still, they took a similar chance on Greg Little before last season and he kept his nose clean in his rookie season while showing some potential to be a contributor. Perhaps Gordon could do the same.

To take a positive outlook, consider that sometimes guys who find themselves in trouble in their early years can take it as a lesson and build character for the future. It is possible that he could have learned from his mistakes. Now, of course, there are also guys who have career and life long character issues and, yes, Gordon could end up falling into that category instead. That's where your scouting department and executives just have to use their best judgement. Just like they'll have to decide if he fits the franchise on-the-field they will have to decide if they believe he will fit it off-the-field. Its like a mathematical equation. They have to analyze athleticism, work ethic, upside, downside, personality, and all sorts of other indicators to decide whether or not he is worth the risk.

If they do decide he is worth it, which all indications are they already have, then they need to decide just how large a risk he is worth. With his physical attributes, I'm sure there will be other teams with interest, some of which will be less concerned about the character of guys in their locker room (some organization place higher value on that than others, see The Cincinnati Bengals). The Browns will need to decide if they believe he won't be a problem and if they want him bad enough to go for him early before anyone else.

The supplemental draft uses a weighted lottery system to choose the order. Thanks, in large part, to the Browns tactics used to get Bernie Loser in the 1985 supplemental, where they made a controversial trade to get Bernie Kosar. I won't pretend to know exactly how it works, but I will explain it quickly and basically, as I understand it. The order is decided by the lottery and the NFL informs teams of the order only an hour or so before the draft. The teams inform the league if they want to select a player in a certain round. Whichever round you select a player in is the round in which a team must give up their pick in the next NFL draft in April. If more than one team selects the same player in a round, the player is awarded to the Team who chose him highest. I may be explaining that poorly, but basically, if the Browns want to secure Gordon, they will need to select him in a higher round than anyone else or, at least, in the same round and hope they have a higher choice than whichever other team selects him. Nothing is guaranteed, but the higher they go the better their chance. Of course, you have to be willing to sacrifice a pick in the next draft so you have to be sure.

I haven't done a ton of research on this kids background besides his issues at Baylor but, given the Browns need at WR, I think they need to strongly consider going for him aggressively. All indications are that they believe his past issues aren't too bad to consider him and that's good enough for me. I don't want a team full of guys with character issues, but a few young guys with a little trouble in the past don't scare me as much as picking up players who have been repeat offenders at the pro level. I tend to think that if you have good character veterans they will keep the young whippersnappers in line. So, my concern about any issues he might present maturity-wise are far outweighed by my desire for this franchise to get a WR with big time potential. If they go for him in the 2nd round and have to give up a 2nd in next years draft, at this point I think its worth a try. He might not contribute a ton immediately, but pairing him and Little would be a nice young core to build on.

I say go for it. Get another piece that you can start grooming right now. Worry about later on later on. Be aggressive. Thats the kind of attitude I'd like to start seeing from all our hometown teams. Who knows? Could find a diamond in the rough.

Keep up the grind Cleveland.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 Tribe: Repeat of Last Year or Legit Contenders?

 7/5/12

They've been up, they've been down, they've been sideways and slants-ways and long-ways and back-ways. The Indians season, thus far, has been like a Wonka-vator of good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. Its had a little of everything. From hot streaks to cold streaks, outstanding comeback victories to terrible meltdowns. The Tribe has been rather unpredictable so far.

Having just officially crossed over the halfway point yesterday, I thought it was a good time to update you on my thoughts and reevaluate the state of the franchise at the present time. So, here goes:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cavs Draft Reaction

6/29/12

First and foremost let me just say it "WHAT?!?!?!?!"

OK, now that we got that out of the way let's get down to business. The Waiters pick, quite frankly, left me dumfounded when I first heard it. There had been some rumblings throughout the past few days that the Cavs had some interest in the 6' 4" G out of Syracuse but many believed, myself included, that #4 was too high to take him and he would be more of a 7-15 range pick. However, after MKG and Beal went 2 and 3, I started to get a bit worried that he would be a serious consideration for Chris Grant. I said to myself, though, "No, they won't pass on Harrison Barnes, the guy would have been #1 or #2 in last years draft." Boy was I wrong.


Cavs Draft preview part 2

6/26/12

OK guys, after a long absence (took a little cruise to Bermuda) I'm back in town and getting back into the swing of things. I apologize for leaving you hanging.

As we all know, the NBA draft is now only a couple of days away and, in honor of that, I wanted to do a quick blurb on my feelings as we have drawn closer to it. So, here it is:

My rankings from the last post (see article "Cavs draft 2012: What to do at #4") remain pretty much the same. However, there's always updated information and new theories and chatter to be analyzed. Bradley Beal is still my #1 choice, hands down. I still definitely like MKG as #2 on my board and Andre Drummond is still a guy that I believe might be worth taking a shot on depending on how things shake out ahead of the Cavs pick at 4, though he may not be my #3 anymore...



Monday, June 11, 2012

TRich: A blue-collar RB for a blue-collar city

6/11/12

With their 1st pick in the 2012 NFL (3rd overall) draft the Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson, RB Alabama.

I will admit, right off, that I was not one of the original riders of the TRich bandwagon. When I did my first analysis of what the Browns needed, compared to what would be available to them where they were picking, I did not have him as the #1 guy on my board. At the time, I thought 4 was too high to take a RB, given their shorter shelf-life compared to other skill positions and the fact that the Browns are trying to implement some version of the west coast offense and pass about 60% of the time.

My first thought was WR. I liked Justin Blackmon out of OK-state and, even though I thought #4 was a bit of a stretch for someone of his size and talent level, I thought he was the best option. This was, more than anything else, based on the Browns enormous need at the WR position, a spot where I think they were (and likely still are because they didn't address it much) the worst in the league.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cavs draft 2012: What to do at #4

6/5/12

The 2012 NBA draft will be held on Thursday June 28th and our Cleveland Cavaliers drew the 4th overall pick when they participated in this years draft lottery. Not exactly what we were all hoping for, but still a high pick with a good chance of turning into an effective addition.

A few days before the lottery I tweeted that I firmly believed that if the Cavs could somehow strike gold for a second year in a row and pull the #1 overall pick, thus guaranteeing that they would get Anthony Davis, they would be a playoff team next season. Now that the dust has settled and we now know that we have the 4th overall pick, which was slightly disappointing considering our odds were 3rd best, where can we expect to go from here? Well, it won't be as cut-and-dry as I believe it would've been with A.D. on the roster, but I still believe playoffs could be within grasp this upcoming season. Here's why: