Jim Tressel will be in the Horseshoe for the Nov 24 Ohio State-Michigan game. The former OSU head coach will take part in the recognition of the 2002 National Championship OSU team commemorating the 10th anniversary of the title. Tressel confirmed that he'll be there in an interview with Dom Tiberi of Columbus' Channel 10 TV.

Shazier Ill2Ryan Shazier won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Award for the second consecutive week for his 14 tackle performance against Illinois Saturday. Shazier also broke up a pass against the Illini, and recorded 11 solo tackles.

OSU running back Bri'onte Dunn was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his 13 carry, 73 yard, 1 touchdown showing against the Illini.

The full text of the OSU release on Shazier's honor follows:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 14-tackle performance, including a career-best 11 solo tackles and two tackles-for-loss, has earned Ohio State sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier the Big Ten Conference’s defensive player of the week award.

 This is the second consecutive week that Shazier has been honored by the Big Ten. He was co-defensive player of the week after recording eight tackles, two sacks and intercepting a pass for a touchdown in the Buckeyes’ win over Penn State two weeks ago.

 Shazier’s play in the Buckeyes’ 52-22 win over Illinois marked his fifth double-digit tackling game of the season and leaves him two shy of becoming the first sophomore at Ohio State since James Laurinaitis in 2006 to top 100 tackles in a season. Shazier leads the team with 98 tackles, a total that ranks third in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally.

 Shazier was back to his typical jersey No. 10 vs. the Illini after honoring a late friend during the Penn State game by wearing jersey No. 48.

 The 10-0 and No. 5 (Associated Press) ranked Buckeyes are off this week. They play at Wisconsin Nov. 17 in a 3:30 p.m. EST game that will be televised by ABC and ESPN2.

2012 10 browns like coachesThe Travel Channel will feature the Cleveland Browns on a new series that, according to a press release, promises to “pull back the curtain” on the Browns current 2012 season.

Boy, wait until America gets a look at just how difficult it can be at times to be a Browns fan.

NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns will premiere on Dec. 4 at 10 p.m. NFL Films will provide “unprecedented access” to show what it takes to transport the 150-person squad 20,000 miles a season. From feeding an entire team (how much do guys like Phil Taylor and John Hughes eat?) , to clothing and housing them, to how a stadium prepares and deals with “more than 70,000 rabid fans,” the cameras will capture this “massive undertaking.”

No word on whether or not they will show the “massive undertaking” that takes place each week when coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress put together the offensive game plan.


The full text of the release from Jerry Emig, Football SID at OSU Athletics Communications follows, including the full revised 2013 schedule:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s 2013 football schedule has been finalized with the addition of a home game Sept. 7 against San Diego State University, director of athletics Gene Smith announced today.

 “San Diego State has a fine football program and we are happy to be able to add them to our schedule,” Smith said. “We have had an excellent relationship with SDSU over the years with three exciting, competitive games since 2001.”

 The Aztecs are currently 6-3 on the season and 4-1 in the Mountain West with a game at Boise State this weekend. Next year, both San Diego State and Boise State will become a member of the Big East Conference.

 Ohio State has won the three previous meetings between the teams (all in Ohio Stadium): 27-12 in 2001; 16-13 in 2003; and 27-6 in 2005.

 Game Changers II

The order of the 2013 non-conference home games had to be altered during the process of scheduling the Aztecs, and so game dates with Florida A&M and Buffalo were changed. The Sept. 7 game against Florida A&M will now be played Sept. 21, and the initially scheduled Sept. 21 game vs. Buffalo will now be the season opener on Aug. 31.

 “We are very appreciative that Buffalo and Florida A&M had some flexibility and were open to changing game dates,” Smith said.

 2013 Schedule

Aug. 31 – Buffalo

Sept. 7 – San Diego State

Sept. 14 – at California

Sept. 21 – Florida A&M

Sept. 28 – Wisconsin

Oct. 5 – at Northwestern

Oct. 12 – Open

Oct. 19 – Iowa

Oct. 26 – Penn State

Nov. 2 – at Purdue

Nov. 9 – Open

Nov. 16 – at Illinois

Nov. 23 – Indiana

Nov. 30 – at Michigan

2012 11 browns ronnie cameronThe Cleveland Browns placed defensive lineman Brian Sanford on season-ending injured reserve on Friday.

Sanford is the second defensive lineman the Browns have placed on IR this week, following Emmanuel Stephens; at this rate they may not have anyone left.

Sanford spent the first seven weeks on the Browns’ practice squad before seeing action and subsequently injuring himself against San Diego.

The Browns filled the vacated roster spots by activating defensive tackle Phil Taylor off the Reserve Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and signing defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron off the practice squad.

Cameron was originally signed by Chicago as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in one preseason game for the Bears before the Browns claimed him on waivers. Cameron played in three preseason games with Cleveland before being placed on the practice squad.

“I was just happy, happy to have an opportunity to help this team,” Cameron said on the Browns’ website. “That’s all I’ve been waiting for, an opportunity to help this team get some wins, especially, this week. It’s a big week coming up and playing Baltimore. Whatever I can do, whatever capacity I could be in to help, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.

“I’m a guy that can get up the field and, hopefully, cause some havoc, definitely help against the run game, especially this week. I’m ready and I’m available. If they include me in it, I’m ready to go.”

Welcome to Cleveland, Ronnie. Don’t hurt yourself.

(Photo courtesy of ClevelandBrowns.com)

mikeavilesWith Terry Francona now in the fold, the Indians were expected to be aggressive this offseason and make some moves to improve the ballclub. On Saturday, they added some experienced infield depth by trading Esmil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles and Triple-A player Yan Gomes.

Aviles, 31, has 478 games of Major League experience under his belt, having played second base, third base, shortstop, and a handful of appearances in the outfield with Boston in 2011. Aviles has a career slash line of .277/.308/.408/.715. Aviles hit 13 home runs for Boston in 2011 over 136 games, a career high. Gomes, 25, has batted .287/.344/.484/.828 in 301 minor league games. A lot of his damage has come in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League with the Las Vegas 51's. Gomes batted .204 in 98 at bats with the Blue Jays this past season.

The Indians picked up Esmil Rogers from the Colorado Rockies in June via trade. The Indians gave the Rockies cash considerations to complete the deal. Rogers made 44 appearances for the Indians, posting a 3.09 ERA and striking out 54 batters in 53 innings. The emergence of 2011 draft pick Cody Allen made Rogers expendable. Also, the Indians may have sold high on Rogers, who is still a bit of an unknown. He struggled in Colorado, posting a 6.77 ERA in 70 appearances, but, pitchers obviously have difficult conditions to deal with in the high altitude.

Overall, the Indians got some insurance behind Asdrubal Cabrera, who has worn down late in the season the last couple of years. Aviles also gives the Indians a right-handed option, with a  career .295 average and a .797 OPS against left handers. 

OHSAAIn college football, many will agree that the BCS is flawed.  The truth is that it's setup in a way that offers no perfect solution to properly crown a champion from its 120+ team pool of learning institutions.  The premise behind the Bowl Championship Series is to determine who the top two teams are, then put them on the field for a Championship game of sorts.  If there is debate between who should be #1 and #2, it is argued very quietly because sixty minutes of football can settle that debate, but the drama comes with #2 and #3; only one gets a seat at the table.

Speaking strictly in hypotheticals, what if we agreed that Alabama is the undisputed #1 team in the country at the end of the season, but the second and third spots come down to complicated math.  Suddenly, we're looking at games that felt so meaningless, like Oregon vs. Akransas State and Kansas State versus North Texas.  What if it ended up being so close that the winner of Saturday's contest between the Mean Green of North Texas and the Red Wolves of Arkansas State tipped the scale towards Alabama's Championship opponent?

Pretty wild, huh?  Now, imgaine the result of that early November Sun Belt game is changed after the Championship game is scheduled.  We've got Alabama angry after spending a month preparing for the wrong opponent, plus the schools and fan bases in a frenzy, making or canceling travel plans.  Of course, that would never happen; that's the type of thing that could only happen in Ohio, and it's happening right now.

It's not the billion dollar industry that is the BCS, but we now have six schools in Northeast Ohio affected by this chaos.  There are a lot of things still up in the air, as the clock strikes midnight on the North Coast Friday morning, but we do know that Trumbull's County's Brookfield and Lakewood's St. Edward hold #1 seeds in their region, and hope to host the #8 seeds in the first round of the 2012 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Playoffs this weekend.

This is a simple timeline of the events that have shaped the chaos that has put Opening Round games in Division I and Division IV in jeopardy, but more importantly, created controversy over the respective #8 seeds in those regions.

  • August 31 - Cleveland Heights defeats Cleveland John Adams
  • October 18 - Cleveland John F Kennedy (JFK) defeats Cleveland John Adams 14-8 on the field
  • October 24 - The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that JFK forfeited the October 18 game to Adams because they used a player that ineligible, per the school district guidlines, but not ineligible per OHSAA standards
  • October 26 - Ashtabula County's Edgewood defeats JFK
  • October 28 - Playoff pairings are announced. Mayfield gets the #8 seed in Division I, and is set to play at St. Edward on Saturday; Edgewood clinches their first playoff berth ever, and is scheduled to play at Brookfield on Friday. (These pairings were based on the on-field result of the JFK win over John Adams, ignoring the foreit).
  • November 1 - Cleveland Heights, who finished behind Mayfield in Division I, successfully files suit; the JFK forfeit is now recognized, and they are now the #8 seed.  The appeal also affects Division IV, where Edgewood, who is printing t-shirts for their playoff appearance, loses enough computer points to fall out of the playoffs because their win over JFK is not as strong.  So, it's Beachwood in the #8 seed, now getting ready to play Brookfield in a little more than 24 hours.  However, Edgewood didn't take the announcement lying down, and filed a suit of their own in Ashtabula County.  The court ruled in their favor.  So, in two different Ohio courts, Edgewood was legally bumped and legally put back into the playoffs.


If there were more sense to be made of it, I would offer a clearer picture, but this is where it stands.  There might be football in Brookfield on Friday night, and there might not be, but one thing is for certain.  Brookfield and St. Edward will wake up on Friday morning without a clear picture of who their next opponent will be.

Friday is going to be a long day; stay tuned.


Update (Friday, November 2nd 14:30)

ubaldo copyThe Cleveland Indians, as expected, have declined the options of Travis Hafner and Roberto Hernandez. Instead of picking Hafner's up, they'll pay him a $2.75 million dollar buyout. They've decided to pick up the $5.75 option on Ubaldo Jimenez. 

Hernandez, or Fausto Carmona, whichever you prefer, was scheduled to make $6 million while Hafner would have raked in $13 million. 

Both moves were expected, especially with Carmona not impressing much since his return from banishment. Jimenez's pick up was not a surprise considering that much was invested in him and if he exceeds expectations, he'd be well worth the price tag.

The decision to not pick up Fausto's option is intriguing, as it shows the Indians are either A)Comfortable with their current rotation options or B)They can potentially bring Fauxberto back on a lesser deal. Would another team out there pay around $6 million? Doubtful. 

Now that Travis Hafner is a free agent, it will also be interesting to see what kind of interest he garners. Certainly there will be teams out there that would take a shot on him in a one-year deal knowing full-well what they will be getting. But the Indians could be one of those teams that takes a shot on him and he may be more partial to returning to Cleveland, even at a lower price tag than somewhere else. 

He lives in Cleveland, his family is in Cleveland, the organization has treated him well, and if there is a spot for him, the Indians would probably like to have him around. So it is decision time for both sides. First with the Indians if they want to take up a roster spot with Hafner (and more than half of the games at the DH spot) and then secondly if Hafner wants to play ball with the Tribe both at the negotiating table and on the field.

Needless to say, the declining of both options now opens up the more intriguing pathway for both Fausto Hernandez and Travis Hafner, where as the journey with Ubaldo Jimenez is just beginning.

For more rationale on the subject, check out my pre-decision edition of the Offseason Rundown.

FranconaMillsThe Indians have completed their coaching staff and released the names of who've they hired to accompany Terry Francona in the dugout in 2013. Baring of course Sandy Alomar Jr. getting a managerial job elsewhere of course, but that looks to be very unlikely at this point with teams bringing in their favorite candidates and Sandy not really garnering much interest.

Mickey Callaway has been named the team's new pitching coach, replacing interim coach Ruben Niebla. Former catcher Kevin Cash will be the bullpen coach while to no one's surprise Brad Mills will coach third base and Mike Sarbaugh will be at first. Ty Van Burkleo will be the team's hitting coach.

Callaway will be the name other than Mills and Sarbaugh that Indians fans should be most aware of. Callaway has been in the Indians system for a few seasons now, most recently as the team's pitching coordinator for the minor leagues in 2012. He's been with Lake County and Kinston and pitched as recently as 2009, including a stint with the 2002 champion Angels. He has some high regard in the organization and has quickly moved up the ranks as a pitching instructor.

Rounding out the pitching staff is Kevin Cash, a former catcher for Toronto, Boston and Houston. He has actually played for both Francona and Mills as a player, most recently in 2010 for the Astros. He was Tim Wakefield's catcher back in 2008 and Boston's full-time backup, so clearly there is already a good relationship between Francona/Mills and Cash and that this was a hire that you could estimate Francona made himself.

We all know about the success of Mike Sarbaugh in the minor leagues and that his inclusion on the major league staff is a long time coming. He should be an asset for the club as he is gets some valuable experience on the major league diamond. He should be a major league manager one day and the fact that the Indians have him, a former manager and long-time bench coach in Brad Mills at third, and a manager-in-waiting in Sandy Alomar Jr. all on their staff under Francona is a huge plus.

Rounding out the entire staff is new hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, who replaces Bruce Fields at the major league level. He seems to be not only more of a Brad Mills guy, but just a nice fresh face from outside the organization or the Francona tree. He spent time last season as the interim hitting coach for the Astros taking over when Mills' staff was released. He was the hitting coordinator for Houston for several years after being a bench coach in Seattle under Don Wakamatsu and a hitting coach for the Oakland Athletics from 2007 to 2008. He has just five major league hits to his name, but an extensive coaching resume since 2001.

wahoo-logo2The Indians have signed an outfielder!

Simmer down now, it isn't what you think.

The Tribe is going into International waters once again, jumping over to Asia to ink 18-year-old outfielder Takuya Tsuchida to a deal. He's a faster guy with athleticism who can apparantely also play second base. Perhaps he's a possible answer to the left field hole. With more room in the international spending cap, the Indians signed their second Asian player this offseason.

You remember the last time the Indians ventuerd down the Japanese path. It didn't go so well in signing Masahide Kobayashi. But he was a more established veteran who was expected to make an immediate impact. Where as the Indians have had more success with their young signings out of Asia. Currently Chun Chen is moving up the ladder and if not for an injury this past season, CC Lee might have made some sort of impact out of the bullpen. 

But let's not also forget the famed Kaz Tadano. Let's not forget, but let's just not go there.

Tsuchida joins fellow Japanese signing Naoki Hashimoto, who is a pitcher, in prospects the Indians have signed this year out of the international pool.

Other notes about Tsuchida include that he is a left-handed hitter and will be in spring training with the minor leaguers. He's very much a high school signing at this point and it will be years before he is even close to contributing, if he even makes it that far.

2012 10 emmanuel stephensAnother week, another Cleveland Browns player placed on season-ending injured reserve.

This time it is defensive lineman Emmanuel Stephens, who was placed on IR on Tuesday with a neck injury suffered in Sunday's win against San Diego.

Stephens joins linebacker Scott Fujita and left guard Jason Pinkston on the list of Browns players who are done for the season with injuries.

Stephens played in all eight games for the Browns this year, getting nine tackles. His biggest play was a strip-sack of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton that helped preserve the Browns first win of the season.

This is the second year in a row that Stephens has wound up on the IR list. Last year, a torn pectoral muscle knocked him out after 11 games.

(Photo by ClevelandBrowns.com)


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