Soto1 800x533Indians farmhand Giovanni Soto, a 21-year-old left hander with the Akron Aeros, threw a no-hitter today against the Altoona Curve in a 2-1 Aeros win. It took Soto 104 pitches to complete the masterpiece, in which he walked three, gave up an unearned run, and struck out six. Soto, one of the better pitching prospects remaining in the Indians farm system, is now 6-6 with a 3.73 ERA for the season.

The Indians acquired then 19-year-old Giovanni Soto at the end of July 2010 in the trade that sent Jhonny Peralta to the Detroit Tigers.

2012 07 kyrie handA week after Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Nick Hagadone suffered a broken forearm in a "self-inflicted" injury from hitting something in the Tribe's clubhouse, comes word that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving suffered a broken hand after hitting a wall.

What is going on around here?

Irving fractured a bone in his right hand during a Saturday morning practice with the Cavs Summer League team. He reportedly was upset about a turnover and smacked his hand into a padded wall that didn't have as much padding as he expected.

He is reportedly flying back to Cleveland today for surgery and is expected to miss six to eight weeks, but should be OK for the start of training camp.

“I’m a little disappointed for a freak accident like that,” Irving told The Beacon Journal. “I have to be more responsible about my health. It was crazy. It happened so fast. That thing I did, hitting the padding on the wall, I’ve done it so many times. This time it was just a freak accident.”

“It’s not bad luck. I’ve done a few things in that time between me getting hurt. It’s not bad luck, it just happens. Plays happen. They’re uncontrollable.” 

Well, sort of. Players can't control some injuries but they can control hitting things - especially hard objects like walls. 

Luckily it was just Irving's hand, which shouldn't really hurt him heading into the season. The worst part of the injury is Cavs fans won't get a look at Irving playing with first-round picks Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller in the Summer League.

Just another fun day in Cleveland sports.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Music has always been a big part of my life, and this was a fun way that I could share that passion with my fans,” James said in a press release.

During the show, James will talk about his search for “uncontainable” amateur basketball superstars in Las Vegas (wonder if he is searching at Tao?), training for the Olympic Games in London, and his feelings about the 2012-13 NBA season.


“Sports and music fans will enjoy LeBron getting behind the mic and playing the music that motivates him when he plays and when he relaxes,” said Scott Greenstein president and chief content officer at SiriusXM. “This is a first for LeBron and we know our listeners will hear a different side to the NBA champion and the man leading USA’s quest for Gold at the Olympics.”

Sure they will.

We love Sirius radio more than just about anybody, primarily because it means we don’t have to listen to Cleveland radio. But things like this make us seriously want to call up and ask for a partial refund on our subscription.

2012 07 raffy perezCleveland Indians relief pitcher Rafael Perez is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with the Akron Aeros.

If he doesn’t have any setbacks, Perez could rejoin the club in about a week or so, according to The Plain Dealer.

That’s good news for the team as the bullpen can use another left-hander now that Nick Hagadone is finished for the season.

Perez hasn’t pitched for the Indians since going on the disabled list on April 26 with a strained left lat muscle – an injury that at the time the team believed would sideline him for six weeks. Prior to his injury, Perez posted a 3.52 ERA in eight games, covering 7.2 innings of work.

There’s no telling how long it will take Perez to regain his form, or if he even will this season. But if he can come close to being the pitcher he was in the first half of last year – when he appeared in 40 games (covering 37.2 innings of work) and posted an ERA of 1.91 – that could go a long way toward helping Tribe manager Manny Acta bridge the gap between the starting rotation and the Vinnie Pestano/Chris Perez combo at the back end of the bullpen.

(Photo by Getty Images)

nickhagadoneIt remains to be seen exactly how much money Nick Hagadone cost himself by hitting something in the Indians clubhouse following his most recent bad outing, last Friday against Tampa Bay, but we now know how long he'll be out. Cleveland-based Associated Press writer Tom Withers tweeted today that Hagadone had a screw inserted into his broken left forearm at the Cleveland Clinic and will miss the next 8-10 weeks. Factoring in rehab, and the fact that there are about 10 weeks left in the season, that will effectively end Hagadone's 2012 season.

Hagadone, acquired from Boston in the Victor Martinez trade back in 2010, showed minor flashes of what he's capable of, but ultimately struggled with his emotions and command en route to posting a 6.39 ERA in 25.1 innings of work. He struck out 26 and walked 15, gave up 26 hits, and four home runs. Hagadone did notch his first career save on May 7, about the only highlight for him this season.

The 26-year-old Idaho native will likely have an inside track for one of the Indians bullpen spots next season in Spring Training, assuming his rehab goes well and he is still on the Indians 40-man roster next spring.

Josh Gordon02The Cleveland Browns sacrificed a 2013 2nd round pick in order to pick former Baylor WR Josh Gordon today.  The 6'3, 225 lb WR ran a 4.52 forty at his Pro Day earlier this week, but that involved a pulled quad and is seen as more of a 4.4-speed type guy.  Comparisons put Josh Gordon in the same area as Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill, who is the same type of raw physical talent and was picked at #43 in the 2nd round.  Most gave him a 2-3 round grade.

Gordon was a big play Receiver at Baylor, catching 42 passes for 714 yards and 7 TD's in 2010 (a 17 yard per catch average).  However, he was suspended indefinitely from that school for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, then transferred to Utah where he sat out the 2011 season.

The move can be seen as possibly overpaying for a work in progress, or it can be seen as an aggressive move to get more WR talent now rather than later.

One thing that can't be disputed is that the Browns have gone to great lengths to strengthen their offensive firepower this offseason.  To provide a vast understatement - It should be mildly interesting to see how this completely revamped offense looks this year.

antawn-jamison-cavsMark Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday night that the Cavs have had talks with the Brooklyn Nets.  The discussions have not been about Kris Humphries and Dwight Howard.  These talks are surrounding Cavalier PF Antawn Jamison.  The 36 year old big man was selected 4th overall by the Toronto Raptors in 1998 and traded to the Warriors during the draft.

Like his shooting, Jamison's tenure with the Cavs was streaky.  He was traded to Cleveland at the trade deadline in 2010 and was supposed to be one final offensive piece to take pressure off LeBron James.  He did not fit in with the team and played like he was out of place.  Expectations were high and for a miriad of reasons, he and the rest of the Cavs could not deliver a deep playoff run.  

Antawn Jamison spent a little over two years of his career in Cleveland.  His scoring has been consistent but his shooting has had a steep decline since arriving.  Jamison shot at 48.5% in his first season with Cleveland and dipped down to 40.3% last year.  Antawn Jamison was a bit of a disappointment on his high-priced contract that he came with from Washington, but he could be a valuable player if the price is right.  Other than his decreased shooting percentage, his game has not had that much of a statistical decrease.  Jamison has always been a liability on defense and that isn't changing with age, but he could be a decent acquisition for the right team.


2012 07 kyrie olympicsCleveland Cavalier point guard Kyrie Irving is making quite a splash in Las Vegas as a member of USA Basketball’s Select Team.

The squad of younger players is on hand to allow the U.S. Olympic basketball team to practice against some tough competition before heading off to London to defend its Gold Medal at the Summer Olympics in August.

In a scrimmage last week, the Select Team won, 14-11, with Irving scoring 11 of his team’s 14 points. Read that again: Irving scored almost all of his side’s points against a team that includes Kevin Durant, LeBron James and a host of other NBA stars.

According to Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! Sports, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo may be wishing he had included Irving on this year’s Olympic team.

"Kyrie Irving is a player that literally you could move from one court to the other court," Colangelo told the site, referring to shooting drills that have the Olympic team and the select team practicing on different courts.

"He's that far advanced in terms of his talent, it appears. He's made a good showing here. He had a terrific rookie season in the NBA and certainly he will be one of the leading candidates going forward."

Irving may have been passed over for the Olympic team this year, but there is little chance of that happening in 2016. And while that is a nice honor for Irving, it makes us a little nervous. The Cavs really don’t get anything from having their players participate with their national teams, but they do run the risk of having someone get injured (see Anderson Varajeo, Brazil).

But that is a discussion for another day. For now, the experience that Irving is gaining in a Las Vegas gym should only help him next season with the Cavs.

Former Utah and Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon is holding his pro day workout in Houston Tuesday, and members of the Browns coaching staff will be in attendance. This not only shows the Browns are interested in the 6-4, 220 pound wideout, it also indicates that they’re considering selecting him in the upcoming supplemental draft.

Gordon is a physical, long-striding receiver that has the ability to break a play open if he gets enough room. During his sophomore season at Baylor, Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. He was suspended the August going into his junior season after a marijuana arrest, and later left Baylor to join the Utah Utes. After sitting out last year, Gordon opted for the NFL’s supplemental draft for financial reasons.

If the Browns are interested, they might have to go as early the second round to select Gordon. Other teams like the Cowboys and Bills have shown interest, and most think the wideout won’t last past the third. If the Browns do select him, they will forfeit whatever pick they use to draft him in the 2013 draft. So, for instance, if Holmgren and Co. decide to select Gordon in the second round of the supplemental draft, they will not have a second round selection in next year’s draft.

What are your thoughts on Gordon? Is he worth a gamble?

MikeFlorioSuper Football genius Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com started his preseason rankings today, placing the Cleveland Browns in last place.  The article is filled with analytical gems such as this:

Beyond quarterback, the offense features plenty of potential weak spots and, at a minimum, question marks.  Can second-round rookie Mitchell Schwartz step right in and take over for Tony Pashos at right tackle?

As if replacing the immortal Tony Pashos is a huge challenge.

Basically, the ranking reasons that somehow the Browns improved (we hope) noticeably at QB, RB, and RT to go along with their 10th ranked Defense and still got worse.

Somehow Cleveland was leapfrogged by truly pathetic rosters such as the Colts and Rams and Vikings and Jaguars.

Somehow a team that was competitive in all but 3 games last year is subject to this assumption:

It’s unlikely, however, that the Browns will be able to consistently compete in the first season of the Trent Richardson-Brandon Weeden offense.

Didn't they just consistently compete with the hellish Montario Hardesty-Colt McCoy duo???... sigh.  

It's unworthy of arguing.  Teams like the Browns will be subject to this type of lazy analysis - even by their own fans - until they turn it around.  If you put, say, the Colts at #32, then their fans would complain that they shouldn't be below the Browns/Jags/Vikes/Rams.  It's simple to look at the previous season's results and assume that this year will be a carbon copy.  And knowing the Browns, they'll probably live down to these un-lofty expectations.

So bring it on, Mike Florios of the world.  I'm sure even some people that know what they're talking about will preach the same thing.

670 topstory_summerleague_120709The Orlando Pro Summer League is already underway, which means that the Las Vegas Summer League is just around the corner.  The latter is of a higher-profile than the Orlando League.  There will be 20 games played between the Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder Indiana Pacer and Detroit Pistons.  Of all of those teams, the Pistons picked the highest with the 9th overall selection.  There simply is not as much intrigue in Orlando as there will be in Las Vegas.  The standout players in Orlando are Andre Drummond, Perry Jones III And Jared Sullinger.  The fact that John Stockton's son, Michael Stockton, plays for the Utah Jazz is interesting, but Las Vegas is where the really good players will be.

It is questionable if top pick Anthony Davis will lace up for the New Orleans Hornets because he sustained an ankle injury.  Whether he plays or not will have a major impact on the entertainment value of the Las Vegas league, but there are plenty of other reasons to watch.  Charlotte will be getting a look at Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for the first time as a professional and the Washington Wizards fans will be able to see how Bradley Beal does.


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