Travis Hafner officially activated from 15-day DL. Batting 4th tonight. OF Travis Buck optioned to AAA Columbus.— Cleveland Indians (@tribeinsider) June 17, 2011
Travis Hafner was activated from the DL today and is batting 4th tonight against the Pirates. Travis Buck sent down to Columbus to make room. Hopefully this will be the boost that our offense needs to get going. Acta has said that Hafner won't be playing first base, so after this 6-game homestand he'll see only pinch-hitting duties while the Tribe plays nine games in NL parks.
The PD is reporting that Cord Phelps was told after tonight's Clippers game that he will be called up to the Indians tomorrow. No announcement on what roster move will be made but hopefully this is the last we've seen of Orlando. UPDATE: To make room for Phelps on the 40-man roster, Alex White was moved to the 60-day Disabled List. To make room on the 25-man roster, Shelley Duncan was optioned to Columbus. (Ryan)
Fangraphs has a funny interview with Masterson and Perez on how they would pitch if they were facing various hitters from Indians history. Both guys have fun with the questions and show that they know their baseball history along with having a good sense of humor.
Manny Acta has been named as one of the AL's All-Star coaches by Rangers manager Ron Washington, not surprising given that the Indians currently hold the best record in baseball. The other AL coach is John Farrell of the Blue Jays, so both coaches will have Cleveland connections. It will be interesting to see how many Indians players get support for the All-Star game this year. I'm sure there won't be any voted in by the fans, given the lack of a popular player (except Grady, who has been on the DL twice already this year), but there should certainly be some Indians selected by the coaches as backups or on the pitching staff.
According to Adam Shefter, the NFL designed this year's schedule so that they could miss 3 weeks of the season and not lose any games. All the matchups in week 3 are between teams with the same bye week so they could move those games to the team's bye week. They would also skip the extra week off between the Championship games and the Super Bowl so the SB would only be moved back one week. Also, none of the week 4 games are division games. Schefter said that there has never been a week in an NFL season without a single divisional game so that would obviously be done on purpose; if the lockout went further and the NFL had to cancel some games then they could lose week 4 and not miss any divisional games. This might also explain why the Browns' schedule is so odd, that they play five divisional games in the last six games. The NFL wanted to have most of those games in the second half of the season so they wouldn't miss those games if any were cancelled because of an extended lockout.
Randy Lerner, who grew up in Cleveland but has been living in Long Island, said he is moving back to Cleveland so that his son may attend St. Ignatius next year when he begins high school. Lerner currently spends about two days a week in Cleveland but that will increase with this move, although he'll still spend time in Long Island with his other kids (who live with his ex-wife) and in England with his soccer team. Lerner says, however, that this move will not result in him taking on more responsibility with the team or being more involved in team operations. He said that he's very happy with the job Holmgren and Heckert have been doing running the team and he's more involved in league operations than the day-to-day operations of the Browns.
Hoynes is reporting that the Indians traded Jayson Nix to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. The Indians were going to try to work a trade for him when he didn't make the 25-man roster so this isn't a surprise. I don't assume they're getting much in return.
It's time for the greatest three weeks in sports, the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Even though this is a football site we know there are many college hoops fans here, and with Ohio State...
Hardball Talk posted a sportsbook's over/under for regular season wins of AL teams and the Indians check in at 71, third lowest in the AL ahead of the Mariners and Royals. That's only two wins more than 2010 so the over looks like a pretty good bet, but that could just be my optimistic thinking. The Red Sox lead the AL at 95 followed by the Yankees at 91.5. The Twins are the top Central team with 86.5 wins.
Mel Kiper's second mock draft (Insider only) has the Browns take Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt with their sixth pick, which would be quite a reach based on the other mock drafts I've been seeing. He may be moving up people's boards, and things can certainly change a lot with the combine and pro days coming up, but most mock drafts I've seen have Watt being picked in the high teens or 20's. He certainly fits an area of need for the Browns, but Kiper has the Browns picking him over other defensive lineman like Marcel Darius and Robert Quinn as well as CB's Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. I remember Watt wrecking havok on the Buckeyes in Wisconsin's win over OSU, so I've been interested in him ever since that game. We'll have to see if the Browns show much interest in him and how his workouts compare to the other lineman projected to go high in the first round. Kiper is either reaching or he's way ahead of the curve on this one.
The Canton Rep has an article about Bruce Arians, the Steelers' OC and former Browns OC, at the Super Bowl discussing the Browns-Steelers playoff game in 2003. I'm sure I don't have to remind most of you, but that was the game when the Browns had a big lead in the second half and blew it in the fourth quarter to lose 33-28. Many Browns fans, including me, have always blamed Dennis Northcutt for dropping an easy pass that would have given the Browns a first down in the fourth quarter. But Arians said it was Butch Davis' fault for changing defensive schemes at halftime. Foge Fazio, the Browns' DC at the time, was blitzing often in the first half and it work against Tommy Maddux and the Steelers offense. But with a 24-7 lead early in the 3rd, Davis took over defensive play calling and went to a soft "prevent" defense which enable Maddox to lead the Steelers back in to the game. The article says that Arians was still upset at Davis when he spoke about the game, even 8 years later. He says that Hines Ward reminds him about that Northcutt drop many times and says it cost Arians a chance to be a head coach. Davis fired Fazio after that game. Arians also said that Tim Couch wasn't a bust and was better than most Browns fans remember. He led the Browns to the playoffs that year but broke his leg in the last regular season game which led to Holcomb playing in the playoff game. But that broken leg, combined with the other injuries that Couch had already suffered, meant that he would never play that well again.
Luke Winn at SI.com has an excellent article about Ohio State's great defense and, most notably, their lack of fouls. He details the approach Matta uses to teach players not to foul and the players watch tape of every foul called on them to see what they did wrong. And it's not just this year -- Matta's teams have always been great at not fouling, but they still play tough defense while doing it. The article is a very worthwhile read.
The Browns today did what almost everyone expected and fired Eric Mangini after two 5-11 seasons as head coach. Mike Holmgren will meet the media today at 1:00 to discuss the coaching situation.
I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO...Tweet from Bills WR Steve Johnson evidently putting the blame on God for making him drop that overtime TD pass against PIttsburgh
Last week was a good week for almost everyone as there were many matchups that seemed one-sided. davus finished with the best record at 13-2 (since he forgot to pick one game) while a couple...
Mangini today confirmed the news that we've feared since Sunday -- Colt McCoy has a high ankle sprain and will miss at least this week's game against Carolina. Mangini wouldn't say how long he'd be out but did say that the injury wasn't as bad as the sprains suffered by Delhomme and Wallace. Those injuries kept both players out 4 to 6 weeks, so we may not see McCoy again until the last couple weeks of the season. Mangini didn't announce a starter for Sunday's game but said that he's leaning towards starting Delhomme because of his familiarity with Carolina.
According to ESPN, a Venezuelan reporter says that Victor Martinez is leaving Boston to sign a 4 year, $50 million contract with the Tigers. His report says that the Orioles and White Sox were also trying to sign Martinez but were outbid by Detroit. So it looks like we'll be facing Victor 19 times a year now.
After an impressive 9-4 showing my first two weeks of doing these picks I only went 7-7 last week, needing wins Sunday and Monday nights just to break even. That puts me at 25-15 for the season...
I went 9-4 again with my picks last week which puts me at 18-8 overall through these two weeks. Hey, at least I'm consistant! We start with the Thursday night games this week so I'm posting...
I'm pretty satisfied with my first week of picks, finishing with a record of 9-4. The winner for the week was BrutalMovement at 11-2 with two others at 10-3, so I'm fourth right now (tied with...
Peter King gives his midseason awards and All-Pro teams at SI.com. No Joe Thomas, which isn't surprising since he's had a couple bad games, but Alex Mack does make his All-Pro team at center. He wrote this about Mack: "some thought the 21st pick was too high for Mack in 2009. Now, he's a franchise player." Here are his awards: Tom Brady -- MVP Roddy White -- Offensive POY Haloti Ngata -- Defensive POY Markice Pouncey -- Offensive ROY Ndamkung Suh -- Defensive ROY Bill Belichick -- Coach Scott Pioli -- Executive
Last week, while members of this community were having a discussion about how we could get more content on this blog, I thought of the idea of having a picks contest for the NFL games every...
Let's hold on to this lead . . . Go Browns! Let's hold on to this lead . . . Go Browns! Let's hold on to this lead . . . Go Browns! Let's hold on to this lead . . . Go Browns! Let's hold on to...
Interesting story from the PD about a guy from Connecticut who grew up a huge Browns fan (through his dad) even though he never lived in Cleveland. He's had season tickets for the past few years and drove from Connecticut for every home game, but he's always wanted to live in Cleveland closer to the team. So he quit his job, sold all his furniture, and moved to Berea where he now lives in an apartment and sleeps on a air mattress while he looks for a job. That is one dedicated fan. He make us all look like weaklings.
Michigan and Alabama have agreed to open the 2012 season against each other in a game in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium. This will be the first regular season meeting between the two teams but they've met three times in bowl games with Michigan having a 2-1 advantage. Michigan already has road games at Notre Dame, Nebraska, and OSU that season so it looks like they'll have a pretty tough schedule in 2012.
The OSU student newspaper The Lantern has an article today in which AD Gene Smith says that the Big Ten is done pursuing expansion now that they have 12 teams. He said they would consider adding schools if they approach the league for membership but the league wouldn't be actively seeking to expand futher. But he expects other schools to have interest in joining the Big Ten because of the financial success of the Big Ten Network and the money it could bring new members.
So we've got that going for us, which is nice.
In a press release tonight, the Big Ten confirmed that the new divisional alignment will match what was widely reported by ESPN this afternoon: 1 - OSU, PSU, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin 2 - Michigan, MSU, NW, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska So it's basically an east/west split with the two Michigan schools switching sides with Wisconsin and Illinois. ESPN also says they will use those division for basketball as well, and play a 16-game schedule with each team playing two games within their division and one game across divisions. There is no word on whether or not OSU-MIchigan will remain at the end of the season.
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