Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Weekend in Review

"I can't think of a good subtitle" Edition

Miscellaneous Ramblings

  • Hey, what do Ellen and David Wright now have in common? Matching bruises from the seats at Shea. Seriously, though, that was a great catch. It was the only way anyone could beat Casey Blake's tarp walk catch for top Web Gem that night.

  • I got last-minute tickets to the Indians game Monday night, thanks to my cousin. It was a hard-fought 10-9 loss to the Red Sox. Between this game and one I went to last year (Jake Westbrook beat Curt Schilling 2-1), I've had my fill of Red Sox fans for a while. No offense, Pete.

  • It really was quite a game. A six run fourth by Boston made the score 9-4, but the Tribe kept battling back. Back-to-back homers by Travis Hafner and Vic Martinez made the score 9-7 going into the ninth, and a Johnny Damon solo shot in the top of the night increased the lead to 10-7. That run proved to be the difference as the Indians were able to scrape together two runs - but no more - in the bottom of the ninth. A tough loss, but you have to love it when your starter gives up 9 runs (ok, you don't have to love that part) and a scrappy group of kids who are still "a year away" battle back to take the World Champions down to the final out. (OK, so next day's 9-2 loss wasn't great, but still.

  • The bleachers started a "Get a haircut!" chant to honor Damon while he was in center. At the end of the inning, Damon turned, graciously removed his hat, and bowed to the bleachers. I'm sure there might have been a few words in there, too.

  • Apparently, before the game, some Cleveland sportswriter or radio talk personality suggested the fans boo Manny Ramirez every time he came up to bat. So, each time it was Manny's turn in the lineup, he glared in the direction of the press box as he walked from the first base dugout to the right-handed batter's box. Unfortunately, as another Cleveland radio personality feared, the boos only served to fire up Manny. He's had two homers in the first two games of the series, and appeared to actually be trying on defense. On a personal note, I hope it was a writer who suggested the booing. If that was the case, then we should all congratulate Manny on learning how to read - as there were many rumors during his early days in Cleveland that he was illiterate.

  • Ramirez staring into the press box reminds me of another story I've heard a few times. Hal Lebovitz is a respected Cleveland sportswriter and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame (as a writer). He loves to tell this story: One time, when the Red Sox were in town, Hal blasted Ted Williams for brushing off his teammates as they came to congratulate him at home plate after a home run. The very next day, Williams homers again. After he crosses home, he shakes the hands of every teammate standing there, and the bat boy. But he didn't stop there. He also surprised the opposing catcher and home plate umpire by shaking their hands as well! After doing this, Williams looked up to Lebovitz in the press box and pointed at him. Hal could easily read his lips: "How was that, you S.O.B.?!"

Transaction Wire

  • Browns claim Nick Setta off waivers. Ooh, Ellen, I think this means you have to move here now! A serious look at Setta's chances isn't too promising. Browns place kicker Phil Dawson has been consistent year in and year out. (Unless you count the Jets game last year.) He has only missed three games due to injury in his career, all coming at the end of 2003. Can he make noise at punter, though? Last year, Butch Davis didn't want to spend money on a punter, so he went with the no-name Derrick Frost. That didn't turn out too well (go figure), so this offseason the new Browns regime signed veteran Kyle Richardson. As I see it, only an offseason injury to Richardson and a strong showing at punter by Setta will get him on the team. Yes, if they do agree to let him try punting, I can see him beating out Frost with a good preseason performance. Side note: I came across this news when I checked my site logs and found several people had hit KankaNation by Googling "Nick Setta Cleveland Browns." I Googled it myself, and that's how I found out about the signing.

  • Torin Francis withdraws from the NBA draft on the last day possible. I know you all have your own opinions on him, so I'll leave it at that.

  • Carl Krauser withdraws from the NBA draft. Apparently, "random 35 year old guy" is a huge need in that program. I wonder if I'll still have eligibility left in 12 years.

  • Larry Brown isn't the only reason why the Cavs can't wait for the NBA Finals to finish. Reportedly, there's also a very strong chance that they will offer the GM position to Spurs Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ferry. Ferry says he wants to wait until the Cavs and Brown have contract details worked out before making his own decision. Brown would become team president, but it remains to be seen how much control he would have (or want to have) over personnel decisions. Ferry, who played for 10 years with Cleveland, has also said that he is happy in San Antonio and wouldn't mind keeping his current job.

Here's Looking at You

On the left, that's Tribe rookie sensation Grady Sizemore. On the right, next to a certain F-Bomb, that's Sarah Paulson. I think it would be best if I let you make your own comments about this one.

Well, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I haven't had much time to write lately. I'm working on a piece on potential World Baseball Classic lineups, which I may or may not deliver in installments. Look for that tomorrow or next week.