2013 03 steve breaston kneeIt looks like the Cleveland Browns may have dodged a bullet with free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston.

The Browns hosted the five-year veteran this week but Breaston left town without a contract and headed to Pittsburgh, where it was assumed he would sign a contract and reunite with Todd Haley, his former coach in Kansas City and the Steelers current offensive coordinator. (Interestingly, no rumors about Breaston wanting to reunite with Brian Daboll; one year with him in KC was enough).

Turns out that not only does it look like Breaston won’t be signing with the Browns or the Steelers, he may not be playing at all in 2013 as ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Breaston will be traveling to Germany to undergo Regenokine treatment to repair knee inflammation and early arthritic symptoms.



MastersonDepending on what your definition of suspense is, Terry Francona isn't a fan of it.  In a town where the media had to infiltrate Berea to learn of who Eric Mangini would be starting the season at QB with in 2009, Cleveland likes to be in the know of who's who and what's what when the season starts.  What we didn't know yesterday, we do know today; Justin Masterson will be on the hill when the Tribe travels to Toronto to start the 2013 season against the Blue Jays.

Masterson was the Opening Day guy for Manny Acta a year ago.  He was brilliant in eight innings of work, allowing a run on two hits and striking out ten, but taking the No Decision in an extra inning loss to a Blue Jays team that won't look anything like the team that John Farrell brought to Progressive Field last April.  Masterson started a league high 34 games a year, going 11-15 with a 4.93 ERA.  In two 2012 starts against the Blue Jays, Masterson was 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA.

In his one appearance this spring, Masterson got the win in Phoenix against the A's in two perfect innings of work that included a strikeout and 5 groundouts.

joe-banner-Cleveland Browns Grand Poobah Joe Banner - affectionately known by most Browns Fans as He Who Looks Like He Just Ate Some Rotten Tilapia - held a press conference on Saturday at the annual NFL Combine in Indy.  Since everything that occurs at the Combine is completely overanalyzed and blown out of proportion, it would feel neglectful not to do it for Banner.

This statement leads me to believe that the Browns will look closely at boom-or-bust candidates like BYU DE/OLB Ziggy Ansah or Oregon DE/OLB Dion Jordan at #6 overall:

"There will be no whims, there will be no flying by the seat of our pants. So the idea of having a team that's aggressive, the players we bring in will be aggressive attacking competitive, mad as hell when we lose type of people. We're going to have an offensive and coordinator who are going to call a game with that kind of aggressiveness that we want our opponents to be on the defensive. We never want to be on the defensive. They're willing to take chances, which will occasionally blow up in our faces, but overall we think over time will prove to be successful. That will be true by the way on the player personnel front as well as the coaching front. That will be the mentality of the of the organization. So we're hiring people that will fit that culture, whether they be players, marketing people or coaches.”

He said this when asked if #6 was too high to draft a Guard:

“I mean if you knew he was John Hannah I guess maybe not but it wouldn’t fit. Again I wouldn’t rule anything out but it wouldn’t philosophically fit with how we’re approaching the priorities and how we’re building the team. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t exception or unusual situation or a player that’s so special that you wouldn’t look at.”

So don't look for the Browns to take Chance Warmack (G - Alabama) in the 1st.  Also don't look for them to take a QB early:

"So I’m not telling you we would or wouldn’t pick a quarterback in the first round or the second round, I’m just not doing that. But I’m also kind of I think implying that that’s not what I expect to have happen."


And we don't have to take any of these statements with a grain of salt because Joe told us he wouldn't lie to us.

"I will not lie to anybody here. I will not mislead you. I may not answer you. I may be incomplete in my answer. You may be frustrated sometimes that you wish I would say more, I could be guilty of that. But if I answer a question directly, I’m telling you the truth to the best of my knowledge.”

This sounds like one of those things you promise on your wedding day and then find impossible to achieve in actuality, but, hey, you go Joe!

FranconaSTReds - 10 | Indians - 11


That Terry Francona, sure knows how to win games!

It looked bleak early in the Indians first game of the spring, a 11-10 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Starter Gio Soto gave up five runs, couldn't finish the first, and put the Tribe in a hole before they could even get to hit.

But the Indians came roaring back, not only scoring three in the bottom of the frame, but putting up four more in the following two innings to take a 7-5 lead. The Reds came back, to eventually take a strong 10-8 lead hearing into the bottom of the ninth, before Mike McDade ended the first game on a positive, and winning, note. 

A walk-off? The first game of spring training? How do you react to that?

"I just don't know if everybody knew it was a walk-off," Indians manager Terry Francona said with a laugh. "Everybody was kind of looking around. Nobody knew how to act. Yeah, today was good. [The starters] got three innings just like we wanted. Everybody got an at-bat or two to kind of shake off the rust a little bit."

The win is nice, but let's dig a little deeper into the box-score. 

Tribe Debuts: Michael Bourn was 0-for-1 with a walk, Nick Swisher was 1-for-2 with a run scored and a run batted in, Mark Reynolds was 1-for-2 with a run scored, and Drew Stubbs was 1-for-2. Other at-bats included Jason Giambi, who popped out, Ryan Raburn hitting a solo home run and scoring a pair, and Mike Aviles going 0-for-1. The Tribe's new-look speedy outfield had a mix up early on, but are very aware that's why spring training exists.

Cincy Debuts: Let's not forget that it was Shin-Soo Choo who led off the game, but he did it in an unfamiliar Red uniform. Choo, acquired in the Indians/Reds deal this offseason, was 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Also seeing time at second was Jason Donald who went 1-for-2. 

Mike McDade?: Yeah it was Mike McDade who had the lasting hit, a three-run bases-clearing double off Drew Hayes in the bottom of the ninth. It was the only hitter that Hayes faced as Carlos Contreras loaded the bases to get yanked.


BMyers02STIndians - 13 | Reds 10


I think it is safe to say what most have been saying.

If the Indians have some pitching, look out. This new-look offense has taken off. Granted it is the confines of Arizona, the Indians are mashing in their first two games.

From the outset, both teams started piling on the runs, with not a single inning going by without either team scoring a run. The Indians scored in all but the third, fifth, and eighth. If there was another inning, who knows what the outcome might have been.

And for a lot of these guys, specifically the ones coming in off the bench in these games, it's about competing and showing what you have.

"You've got to respect that this is like the regular season for these guys," Indians manager Terry Francona said after Saturday's game. "[Raburn] understands that. It's the second game, but it's still nice to see. He's taken a couple of nice swings. It's fun to watch."

He mentions Raburn, because he was the one who likely had the best day of anyone.

Rakin' Raburn: It's been two games, but the former Tiger already has three home runs. Ryan Raburn hit two, two-run homers one in the seventh and another in the ninth to pad the Indians late lead. What a few games he's had already. Inside track to a bench job?

More Runs: Asdrubal Cabrera was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs batted in, and yesterday's hero Mike McDade also knocked in another run. Cord Phelps scored twice and hit a solo home run. Adding a RBI was Juan Diaz who scored a pair and was 2-for-2. Michael Brantley and Jesus Aguilar both had two hits and Lonnie Chisenhall knocked in a run for the second straight game.

Myers goes two: Brett Myers made his debut for the Indians and said he felt fine. He mainly worked on his fastball and changeup, trying to establish those before he incorporates everything else. He noted that the changeup is his fourth pitch, so he's trying to work on it, something he probably didn't need as a reliever the past few years. He went two innings giving up an earned run (two total) off three hits and a walk. He struck out a pair.


csuThe Cleveland State men's basketball team never got its offense on track on Wednesday night at the Wolstein Center, as the Vikings were held to a season-low in points in a 50-41 loss to Wright State.

CSU's previous season low for points was 47 at Michigan on Nov. 13.

"We defended well enough to win, but we didn't hit any shots," said Vikings head coach Gary Waters. "When you go 16-for-61 [from the floor], you can't beat anybody."

CSU (13-16, 5-10 Horizon League) shot just 26.2 percent for the game and were 4-of-22 on three-pointers. They also missed 10 layups.

"We couldn't get anything going offensively," said Charlie Lee, who led the Vikings with 12 points, but struggled from the floor shooting 4-of-15. "We just couldn't execute on offense." 

Freshman Bryn Forbes, CSU's leading scorer at 12.6 points per game, was held to six points on 2-of-12 shooting.

Despite the loss, CSU still has an outside chance to host a first round game in next month's Horizon League tournament because of Illinois-Chicago's 64-53 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.

If UIC (6-8 HL) losses its two remaining conference games, then CSU could get the No. 6 seed, if the Vikings win at Loyola of Chicago on March 2.

WSU (18-9, 9-5 HL), who played without Cole Darling (foot) and Reggie Arceneaux (concussion), weren't much better offensively, as they made the same amount of field goals (16) and three-pointers (four) as the Vikings. But the Raiders held a huge advantage at the line, going 14-of-17 (82.4 percent), while CSU went 5-of-10 (50 percent).

The Vikings were consistently bad in both halves. CSU made just nine of 35 shots (25.7 percent) in the first half and were seven of 26 (26.9 percent) in the second half.

CSU only managed to score 13 points in the game's final 15:38.

"What really hurt us was our bench," said Waters. "Our bench has been averaging 25 points over the last five games, but today we only got two points from our bench."

CSU's bench shot a combined 1-of-13 from the field and were out-scored by their counterparts 19-2.

Waters said what hurt the Vikings was having Marlin Mason in foul trouble.

Mason, CSU's top reserve, fouled out after playing only 11 minutes. He went scoreless.

WSU scored the final four points of the opening half and took a 25-21 lead at the intermission.

A pair of free throws from Lee gave CSU its only lead of the second half 32-31.

With 7:12 left and WSU leading 36-35, the Raiders would start to pull away, using a 11-2 run over the next four minutes to take control of the game.

With Mason sitting on the bench in foul trouble, WSU's bigs took advantage, as juniors AJ Pacher (10 points) and Matt Vest (12 points) stepped back and knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to extend the lead to 47-37 with 3:27 left.

"I got to give [WSU] coach [Billy Donlon] credit because he did a good job of isolating our four and five," said Waters. "They put the four and fives in a position where they can step back and they knew our big kid couldn't get out to guard them." 

CSU would answer back with a four-point play from Forbes to cut it to 47-41 with 2:08 left, but it was too little, too late.

Junior forward Devon Long was the only other Viking in double-figures with 10.

The Raiders also got 11 points from junior forward Jerran Young.

2013 02 carlos baergaThe Cleveland Indians will induct former second baseman Carlos Baerga and former general manager John Hart into the team's Hall of Fame this summer.

The duo were chosen on Wednesday by a 17-member committee of Cleveland baseball historians, the team announced on its website.

"Carlos and John are responsible for some of the best memories in Cleveland Indians history, and we're proud to honor their contributions," Indians president Mark Shapiro said in a release.

Hart built the Indians team into what for many fans was the franchise's golden era of the late 1990s. He took over as general manager of the team in September 1991 and, over the next 10 years, the Tribe went 870-681, won the A.L. Central Division from 1995 to 1999 and again in 2001, and made the World Series in 1995 and 1997 (no need to remind everyone how that worked out).

If only Hart had been willing to include Jaret Wright in a deal for Pedro Martinez, or been able to land Roger Clemens or Curt Schilling when they were available, there's no doubt the Tribe would have had at least a couple of championships to celebrate.

It's fitting that Baerga and Hart are honored together, as Hart was part of the front office when the Indians traded Joe Carter to San Diego for Baerga, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Chris James following the 1989 season, a deal that finally jump started a long dormant franchise.


2013 02 kyrie threeWith visions of Horseshoe Casino chips dancing in his head, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will reportedly ask the NBA to bring the All-Star Game to Cleveland in a couple of years.

According to a report in The Beacon Journal, Gilbert will submit a proposal to have the game at Quicken Loans Arena in either 2016 or 2017.

Adam Silver, the NBA’s deputy commissioner, was in town recently looking to see if Cleveland would be a realistic host and he gave Gilbert the thumb’s up to submit a bid.

“The league is very receptive and open to it,” Gilbert told the paper. “As soon as this (weekend) is over, we’ll start talking more seriously about it. The city would be unreal. It would be a great weekend.”

Especially for the bottom line of the casino, no doubt, which would be filled with plenty of high rollers from out of town. And if those out-of-towners don’t get to see anything else about Cleveland in the middle of winter? Well, that’s the way it goes.

Seriously, though, this would obviously be a good thing for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. So much has changed in the region since the Cavs last played host to the game in 1997 and it would be nice to share that with a national audience.


Terrell Owens has made a lot of bad decisions in his life. This is an unfortunate and incontrovertable fact. He has the mental stability of a North Korean dictator, and possesses the intelligence and wisdom of a medium-sized turnip. He once cried because someone was insulting his quarterback, insults that proved to be definitively true, and insults that were suspected to be true when Mr. Owens so emotively denied them. These qualities led Govbarney to select him with the #3 overall pick in the 1st Annual Misconduct Pool Draft.

So imagine the Govbarney's excitement as he lay awake listening to his police scanner (as all of us do these days) when he heard the LAPD were being called at 4:30 AM to remove one Terrell Owens from the porch of a yet-unknown woman. Was Mr. Owens drunk? High? About to commit a crime? In the process of a crime? Running from a crime? The drama was as thick as Bernie Kosar's lisp.

Apparently Mr. Owens has been on said woman's porch for approximately three hours, banging on her door with a yet unknown purpose. Was he longing for a lost love, or had he squandered all his NFL riches and was attempting to get this woman her double pepperoni and anchovy pie, demonstrating the commitment to excellence in customer service he demonstrated as an NFL wide receiver? We may never know.

What we do know is that knocking on someone's door in Los Angeles from 1:30 to 4:30 AM is apparently such a normal occurance that it is not an arrestable offense. The officers asked Mr. Owens to leave, and he did, peacefully, which in itself was a bit of an upset. And just like that, Govbarney's 20 point arrest, and the assured 20 point bonus for resisting arrest went poof into the morning smog of L.A. like Kayser Sose.

The pool still remains scoreless, but this situation merits watching in the near future...

JH3Per the PD:

Just weeks after installing new leadership at the Cleveland Browns, Jimmy Haslam -- envisioned by many as an active and hands-on NFL owner -- is returning to the helm of the family business in Knoxville, Tenn.

Haslam said he misses running the nation's largest chain of truck stops and travel centers more than he expected.

The Browns, meanwhile, emphasized that Haslam remains a rabid sports fan committed to producing a winner in Cleveland.

"This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job," [Haslam said].

Let's be honest - this really shouldn't upset us.  So what if his first love is a truck stop and our football team is somewhere behind/below that?  I mean, he's been Owner of the Browns a couple months now, more than enough time to have a firm understanding of the job.  

So what if he's displaying wishy-washiness by first stating he will remain CEO, then resigning as CEO to spend more time with the Browns, then going back on that a little later to become CEO again (somewhat unfairly displacing the guy that he brought in to replace him)?  We don't really want the Owner running the football show in Berea anyway, right?

Really, Jimmy, the only issue is the impression that you're leaving Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi the keys to the Maserati (well, Minivan in the Browns' case) without really knowing if they can drive.

Apparently, you're assuming they can drive since the NFL told you they can drive, and why would the NFL steer you wrong?  But it seems that some fans are wary of a guy that drops the running of his billion dollar business into the hands of guys that you don't know that well.  These fans think they'll just joyride that Minivan around town until they wreck it into a McDonald's drive thru somewhere near Independence.

Kind of like Mike Holmgren did when Randy Lerner gave him the keys.

Yes, most NFL Owners leave the running of matters to their football people and spend plenty of time on their other business affairs.  But most NFL Owners have also been Owners a while and know their football people inside and out.

In the end, it really doesn't matter if you're around or not, Jimmy.  You hired your "team" - you will sink or swim with them now.  But blindly trusting these guys the way you blindly trusted the NFL when you hired Banner or when you blindly trusted Banner when he hired Lombardi... it's not what I'd expect a savvy businessman to do.  

And we've done the bad-businessman-as-Owner-of-the-Browns thing a couple times already.

Gary Waters

Valparaiso continues to have Cleveland State's number on the basketball court.

The Crusaders' 80-72 victory Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center was their fourth straight over the Vikings. Valpo has won six of the last eight games against CSU.

"They didn't beat us today. We beat ourselves," CSU head coach Gary Waters said. "We scored 72 points. If we score 72 on anybody, we win. We didn't play any defense. That junk I seen today was the worst I've seen in history. And I'll put that on me."

Waters said he will take the blame for the defense because they were playing the "wrong defense."

"We could've guarded this team much easier," Waters said. "We were so concerned with them shooting threes. But, what you have to do is take away their layups and make them beat you."

The Crusaders (19-6, 9-2 Horizon League) shot 55.1 percent from the field and held advantages in points in the paint (36-28) and points off turnovers (27-13).

"I felt we didn't play disciplined defense," freshman guard Bryn Forbes said, who led the Vikings with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. "We didn't have enough energy today."

Senior guard Ryan Broekhoff led a balanced scoring attack for Valparaiso with 15 points. The Crusaders also got double-digit scoring from Kevin Van Wijk (14 points), Bobby Capobianco (13 points), Will Bogan (11 points) and Erik Buggs (11 points, eight assists).

"I thought Buggs was the reason they won today," Waters said. "I thought he did a great job of executing their offense and getting great penetration."


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