Cleveland Sports Insiders

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The Sunday Drive with Bynum trades, New Coaches and BASEBALL!!!

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: an Andrew Bynum for Pau Gasol trade makes zero sense unless you foolishly believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers can either be a factor in the playoffs or sign Gasol long-term. If you honestly believe that the Cavaliers can do either, than I have a bridge to sell you.

I am not saying that the Cavaliers should call it a season and just start losing basketball games for the sake of losing. What I am saying is that every team needs to weigh how much one player can improve a team in the short-term, vs. the long haul.

What will it cost to get Gasol? If it were just Bynum, I’d be all in. The move saves the Lakers money, and it would give the Cavs a player to keep Anderson Varejao‘s minutes down. That would be a win-win for the Cavs and the Lakers.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, a proposed straight up trade can’t be made since the Cavaliers would have to add another player to it to make it work monetarily. It’s been reported that the Lakers want Sergei Karasev in the deal to give them a piece that they can use in the future, but Bynum and Karasev still wouldn’t get the trade done.

The Cavaliers would have to include one other player along with Bynum and Karasev to make the deal work, and that player would likely be a throw-in, such as Henry Sims. Some wouldn’t consider that a throw-in, some may not. Either way, what short-term or long term goal does this achieve for the Cavs?

Nothing positive.

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The Sunday Drive with Bynum, Ubaldo, JRam and Wendle

Jose Ramirez (photo courtesy of Lianna Holub)

Jose Ramirez (photo courtesy of Lianna Holub)

I’m stuck in the holiday lull.

Christmas is over, and I feel like I’m in a holding pattern for New Year’s Eve. One group of family has left for home, and another group is heading North for more fun and spirits.

I’m in need of some meaningful sports, and I’m not talking about NBA theatrics with a known enigma like Andrew Bynum.

I’m talking about games that mean something. Perhaps there’s a rivalry game in which the Browns could knock the aforementioned rival out of the playoffs. Oh wait, the Browns have to lose that game.

Thanks goodness for Ohio State football, and that game this coming Friday against Clemson. Fortunately for the Tigers, Woody Hayes won’t be patrolling the sidelines. Unfortunately for Clemson Urban Meyer will be there in his stead.

The Buckeyes will be agitated. The Buckeyes will be angry. The Buckeyes will be set to make a statement. Clemson will score their points for sure, but I really think we’re going to see why Urban Meyer is the best coach in the country. Look for Carlos Hyde to have his best day as a Buckeye, and look for Braxton Miller to go over 100 yards rushing, and 200 yards passing.

The Bucks defense will be more than good enough.

What are my predictions for this game?

Ohio State 48, Clemson 24. I don’t know that it’ll be that close.

Next week, while basking in the victory, we’ll take a look at what the Buckeyes look like heading into 2014. They’ll be better than this year if Braxton Miller comes back, and they’ll have a chip on their shoulder….but for next week…

…for today…let’s get driving…
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The Sunday Drive with a Santana shift, MLB Money and a Waiters surge

The Sunday Drive is generally a co-op piece between the writers here at C.S.I. On occasion, one of us will write the entire piece, or the majority of the piece, but the fun of it for us is that we try and connect them between all the writers. This is clearly still a work in progress, but I promise you that it will continue to be better, and hopefully turn into something that you’ll keep coming back to on Sunday morning, while your eating your Sunday brunch and drinking your morning coffee. We aren’t trying to become something we’re not…

…we’re fans, the guys next door, the guys sitting at the corner of the bar talking sports, just like you…

…let’s get driving.

The offseason has been an interesting one, even if the Cleveland Indians haven’t really done a whole lot to excite the North Coast. It’s a tough sell to a group of fans that were spoiled heading into the 2013 season with not one, but two multi-year, multi-million dollar deals. The Indians managed to re-image and re-invigorate their baseball team in one offseason, by bringing in the right manager, and supplementing him with the right mix of players.

They were aggressive with their approach, and they were aggressive with their money.Perhaps they were equally aggressive prior to 2007 in theory, although there weren’t any MAJOR additions to the 2006 club that disappointed a bit after a phenomenal 2005 campaign.

The Indians traded for Josh Barfield that year, and signed the real Roberto Hernandez as a potential set-up guy at the tail of his career. They signed Joe Borowski to be their closer, and David Dellucci to play in the outfield. They signed Keith Foulke as a potential closer option, and Trot Nixon to play some outfield and to DH a bit. At the trade deadline, they traded for Kenny Lofton

They weren’t splashy moves, but they weren’t cheap ones either. They all obviously didn’t work out, but the Indians were clearly trying to regain their footing after 2006.

It worked. Maybe not because of all those moves, but the approach was certainly there.
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Ohio State vs. Michigan ramblings at halftime

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Marcus Hall flips the Bird

There really is nothing like Ohio State-Michigan. There are few sporting events that register to me any more prior to the match-up, but this is the one exception. My heart was screaming for a 40-point blowout, but my brain always tells me that the game is going to be a close one.

Here are some thoughts about Ohio State at the half:

  • Let’s call the past few weeks a suspension of disbelief. Ohio State’s defense has played pretty well against some decent offenses. Here’s what I can say about that at this point. Michigan’s offense has been crap this year, but they have talent. You combine that with a defense in Ohio State that isn’t elite, and enter it all into a rivalry like this, then play that game in Ann Arbor…you get what you get. The key with Ohio State at this point will be what they do at halftime to counteract the Michigan game plan, combined what Brady Hoke has in store for the second half.
  • I love Coach Fickell, but you have to wonder if it’s time for him to test his wares at Florida Atlantic. I do think he’s a great coach, and he’s an unquestioned recruiting juggernaut, but this defense, with all the talent that they have, just doesn’t step up in big moments.
  • Carlos Hyde is a top two or three back in the country. While I’m typing this, he’s lying on the ground after hopefully only having the wind knocked out of him, but he has 115 yards on 15 carries in the first half, and my bet is that by the end of this game, he’ll have 30-plus carries, a couple more touchdowns, and close to 300 yards.
  • Special players play at their own speed. Watch Braxton Miller play football. Sure, he can blow past everyone on the field, but that’s not what I’m talking about. He never looks flustered. He never looks rushed. He is always under control. That’s why Ohio State will win this game.
  • Don’t forget, Ohio State’s offense are the best players on this field, and that will showcase itself in the second half. If only they could play defense.
  • Dontre Wilson threw a punch. Here’s the thing. Did you notice that he was surrounded by Michigan players? The refs absolutely blew that by not protecting the freshman from bush league antics by the Wolverine players. I get why he threw the punch. I also get why he was ejected. That was garbage though on the refs. They allowed that to get out of hand.
  • Marcus Bush? No clue what he was thinking. He was surely trying to protect his player, and it got outta hand. Yeah, it shouldn’t have happened, but if I could have climbed through my TV screen and gotten involved in that garbage, I would have. I just hope that I would have thought it through like Hall and flipped the entire state of Michigan off. As I tweeted, hall will never…ever…pay for a beer in Columbus again. Of course, yahoo and ESPN probably just read that, and are preparing a “Free Beer” story about Ohio State.
  • I don’t like Michigan. I don’t like Brady Hoke. I don’t like a quarterback wearing #98, even if it’s in honor of a fellow player. I don’t like the Pig House. I don’t like Ann Arbor. I don’t like Maize. I don’t like Blue. I don’t like any of it. You know what I miss though? I miss the soup drinker and his shoestrings. How’s he doing this year? What was his name again?
  • Ohio State is getting roasted by screen passes and quick passes to the receivers. If they get after Gardner, and they make tackles, they’ll win by multiple scores. It will be interest
  • This is the first time I’ve seen Urban Meyer stressed since Florida. Deep breaths coach…deep breaths. Still going to Blow Out Michigan in the Big House.
  • Think about it: Ohio State couldn’t play any worse defensively, and Michigan couldn’t play any better…and the game is tied. Ohio State is going to win by 21.
  • Ohio State has been living by the big play in the first half, but watch them control the ball in the second half. They already have a five-minute advantage, and it will be 10-plus by the end of the game. Michigan’s defense will be gassed by the fourth quarter, and it’s going to be fun to watch.

See you after the half.

Here’s the fight, enjoy watching the refs allow seven Wolverines surround Wilson, courtesy of http://www.elevenwarriors.com, the best in the business (from their Youtube channel):


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I Hate Michigan

I’m supposed to worry about the Michigan Wolverines this week.

I’m supposed to ignore the fact that Ohio State hasn’t lost a game since Coach Urban Meyer took the reigns of two years ago yesterday, and I’m supposed to understand that rivalry games are much more than the obvious.

I’m supposed to fear playing in the Big House, in front of a whole bunch of screaming and whelping Maize and Blue fans, who will be screaming profanities that little kids should never hear.

I’m supposed to be wary.

I’m supposed to be worried about Jinxing things.

But I’m not.

This is Urban Meyer’s team, and they are going to be ready to play.l

Perhaps I’m throwing caution to the wind, or perhaps I just have a brain, but I firmly believe…no…I KNOW…that THE Ohio State Buckeyes are going to roll over Michigan.

A good friend of mine, who just happens to be a Michigan fan told me two years ago that I was going to regret the Meyer signing.

He wasn’t going to be able to commit, the way he did in Florida.

He wasn’t going to stay healthy.

He was going to get outrecruited by the Wolverines

He was going to be half the coach that Brady Hoke would be.

Well, that last comment turned out to be true, but for different reasons.

Urban has gone 23-0 since joining the Bucks. Brady Hoke is 15-9 over that same stretch.

Michigan has had great recruiting classes, but Meyer has beat him out every year.

Ohio State is thriving, with a healthy Meyer, while Michigan is struggling, and Hoke is in trouble.

It’s good to be an Ohio State fan.

Let the beating commence.


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The Sunday Drive with Josh Gordon, Chris Grant and Carlos Beltran

Gordon (AP Photo/David Richard)

Gordon (AP Photo/David Richard)

This weekend was a horrific mess of circumstances here in my little slice of Cleveland away from home. We had playdates and birthday parties and sleepovers and horses and dinner dates to contend with. When you toss in the biggest East Coast parade not located in New York City or Orlando, you have one massive conundrum of hoopla, sleep, running around, crying and did I mention sleep?

Okay..sleep deprivation is more like it.

As crazy as things were here in my own version of the North Coast Carolina, they were relatively silent back in Cleveland with regards to the Browns, the Indians and the Cavaliers.

Seriously.

Unless you throw in the fact that it’s Pittsburgh Steelers week, or the fact that the Indians made their first move of the offseason, or that the Cavs are in a spiral of struggle after getting rolled by San Antonio on Sunday night.

Yeah, it can only mean that it’s the holiday season, and with Thanksgiving and Michigan Week about to take over here, let’s get driving, before I fall asleep from the Turkey.

It’s Steelers’ week, and while that has generally meant a lot more to the Browns in recent years than the Steelers, it’s still the Browns’ top rival. I’ve been to many, many games at Cleveland Stadium involving these two teams, and I’ve seen some of the most amusing exchanges between fans. My favorite memory is of a ‘Terrible Towel’ waving fan sitting in front of me during halftime of a 1984 game between the two teams. The Steelers were up 7-0 at that point, and he was taking particular glee in waving the towel as though the Steelers had won the Super Bowl that very afternoon. Several minutes later, he was literally carried off by a contingent of pre-Dawg Pound Browns’ fans. He never returned. The Browns went on to win 20-10.

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The Sunday Drive with playoff implications, fights and rumors

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

I’ve never gotten used to November weather here in North Carolina since I moved here from the North Coast nearly fifteen years ago. There’s always a constant battle of Summer, Fall and sometimes Winter that always leaves me a bit off balance.

I mean seriously, it snowed here this past Thursday night, then climbed up to 70 on Saturday.

It’s November.

There should be no mixing of shorts and jeans, t-shirts and coats, ice scrapers and air conditioning.

It’s nearly as off-putting as Cleveland sports, to be honest. You have the Browns at 4-5, who either have two potential quarterbacks for 2014, or none, depending on who you talk to. Of course, there’s 2013, and a legit chance at winning the division, or getting into the playoffs.

Or not.

There’s the Cavaliers, who are either beating the tar outta each other in players-meetings, or not. They had the #1 pick in the NBA, and he’s been playing like a D-League player. Dion is awesome with the ball, but bad without it. Kyrie is better without the ball, than with it. The Cavaliers will be an exciting playoff contender this year.

Or not.

Then there’s the Indians. They rebuild their team in a season and motor into the playoffs with a ten-game win streak, only to lose the one-game playoff that was instituted for the first time ever last season. They seem ready to make a few moves to take them over the top, but may not have the money to do it. They are ready to make the next move to become better.

Or not.

North Carolina weather and Cleveland Sports…hot and cold.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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