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Indians Indians Archive The Pre-Weekend Wrap
Written by Brian McPeek

Brian McPeek

Wrap copyIt’s been a crazy couple of weeks in the McPeek residence. Soccer galore, volleyball galore and a newly graduated high school senior have dominated the time that would have otherwise been devoted to condensing all the Cleveland sports action into a weekly column for the past two weeks. This weekend will be no different as the previously aforementioned recent graduate gets a party in her honor. But there are a few things I wanted to talk about and touch on so, with all due respect to the legendary Hal Lebovitz, here’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that before the weekend actually arrives…

I’m Calling Bullshit…

…on both Josh Gordon and Chris Perez and their explanations over recent drug issues.

And I really hope I’m right in doing so because if their explanations and stories are true they have far bigger issues than just drugs. Specifically, if Gordon took a prescription medicine without clearing it through the NFL and Perez has a pot-smoking dog, they’re really stupid and that’s probably not treatable and is likely a chronic condition, pun intended.

Truth be told, I’m more concerned about Gordon than with Perez. I really don’t care what Perez does on his own time as long as the side effects don’t cause him to eat his way out of already poor physical condition or bleed over into his day job. There are literally a million things Perez could do that would cause me more concern than his recreational marijuana use. But he’s a self-made lightning rod already and this is just more bad PR for the Indians closer. The good news is that the Indians haven’t missed him much over the past couple weeks while he’s been on the disabled list and “Up in Smoke” has been more or less the Indians approach to baseball games in that timeframe than it has been Perez’s approach to life.

Gordon’s situation is more concerning, mostly because I don’t believe him.

He says a doctor prescribed him codeine for his strep throat and that was caught the attention of the NFL. But he has a history of marijuana infractions in college (three of them to be exact) and it boggles the mind that a guy with his history would be so cavalier about what he’s taking that he doesn’t get it cleared with the league if he has a prescription from a physician.

Why wouldn’t Gordon go through the Browns doctors so that there was no issue? And if he did, who dropped the ball in the organization? Does it raise any antennae that the league is prohibited from announcing what drug the player ingested and that the player can say it was whatever they want us to believe? Does the ‘Purple Drink’ craze have anything to do with Gordon’s infraction?

This is a player who has tweeted pictures of himself smoking tobacco through a hookah, after all, and who rides around town in a camouflage Porsche and claiming he’s undefeated when challenged by other motorists to race. He’s not exactly the picture of responsibility, health and well-being.

The Browns need Gordon like the Indians need Perez to put their best team on the field and make the players around them stronger. The fact that Perez’s dog is apparently Brian Griffin from ‘The Family Guy’ and that Gordon treats his body like an amusement park is a huge cause for concern going forward. The fact that they expect us to believe the stories they’ve put forth to explain their situations is laughable.

Shut Up and Show Up…

LeBron James bores me. Worse than that, all of the media attention devoted to James and the Heat drives me closer to hop on the Josh Gordon and Chris Perez boat in dealing with it.

Can we please put a stop to the “LeBron vs. Michael Jordan” talk? Jordan never lost a Finals in his six visits to the NBA title series while James and his teams are something close to 6-12 in Finals games and have lost two of three series that James has played. And LeBron may well be on his way to another title series loss if the Heat continue to struggle against San Antonio.

For all the discussions about James and his inabilities to lead his teams to championships (and apparently last season’s magnificent series from James doesn’t count) the simple fact may be that James is incapable of single-handedly willing and scoring his team to the championship. It might simply be a case that he’s not selfish enough or respected enough by his teammates to get that job done by himself. James’ greatest gift, his court vision and passing, may be his Achilles heel on the floor. He simply gives the ball up too often to open guys.

I believe the fact that James sought out a situation like the one he has in Miami speaks volumes about his mindset. For all his immense talent and ability, and despite his every interview indicating otherwise, James doesn’t deal well with the pressure of having to be the main man. His ego is better served by being able to say he made the right pass or the right play and someone else let him down when they didn’t cash in on the opportunity he created. He did it in high school in title games and he basically shrugged his massive shoulders and rolled his eyes in the direction of Mo Williams and his Cavaliers teammates when he couldn’t get it done here.

What makes James fascinating to me is that he won’t ever admit that that’s his modus operandi or how he’s wired. Every interview is a mix of “my team” and “as a leader” and other such clichés. He’s simply not that guy no matter how many interviews he bombs with those words.

James is fully capable of going rogue and carrying the Heat to a title. He basically did it last season and he certainly has the ability over a series to do so again. But it’s not in his personality to do it year in and year out. That was fine before Dwyane Wade’s career suddenly died and he became Just a Guy but it’s not going to work with the way the Heat is currently constituted.

James is going to have to do the majority of the scoring for the Heat to win this series. And then he’ll look for another organization when his Miami contract ends that will put him in another situation where he can be the beneficiary of the perfect complementary cast.

I don’t blame James for being, in essence, Scottie Pippen. I blame him for saying he’s someone other than that. And I blame the media for lapping it up.

In Case You Missed It…

I’m not a regular season hockey fanatic. To me it lacks the intensity that I enjoy night in and night out that playoff hockey presents. In fact, playoff hockey is so good and so intense that it spoils me in terms of watching the regular season, much like the NBA season does. But with the NBA Cleveland has a team (allegedly) that I’ve grown up following so I pay far more attention and watch far more regular season action than is probably healthy.

But if you weren’t watching Wednesday night’s Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 between Boston and Chicago you missed sports at its finest. A triple-overtime 4-3 Chicago win in which the home Blackhawks trailed 3-1 with about ten minutes left in regulation before rallying to send the game to overtime was an instant classic.

That’s simply sport at its finest and, as I’ve said before, I’ll watch any competitive sport when its being played at its highest level. It seems every month I say this is the best sporting time of the year but when you can watch Spurs-Heat one night and Blackhawks-Bruins the next, well, that’s some pretty good sports viewing right there.


~ If Carlos Carrasco’s career path follows that of the Dodger’s Zack Greinke his teammates should arrive in the batter’s box in full body armor. There have been two major brawls and episodes in MLB this season and Greinke has been in the middle of both. Tuesday night’s melee involving the Dodgers and Diamondbacks featured Greinke on the hill for LA just as April’s mound-charging by Carlos Quentin resulted from a Greinke pitch.

Tuesday wasn’t even Greinke’s fault. Ian Kennedy of Arizona was more to blame.

But that’s the point. Even when Greinke isn’t at fault he’s involved somehow, some way.

Ex-Indian pitcher tweeted the following moments after the brawl in Los Angeles:

“greg swindell @GregSwindell 7h
Grienke is a punk. He really is. Always has been.”

That’s the issue and that’s the reputation that Carrasco is (or has) developed. And when you get to that point your value as a teammate begins to drop no matter how good a player you may be. You better be a perennial Cy Young candidate to overcome that kind of reputation and neither Greinke nor Carrasco is that.


I wanted to say “Congratulations” to my oldest daughter, Danielle on her graduation. You’ve grown into a terrific young lady with a world full of opportunities in front of you. You make me proud for many reasons, not least of which is a full understanding of the infield-fly rule.

I love you and look forward to many more accomplishments and proud moments.

Now, any idea when you’ll be moving out and freeing up a room in the house?

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