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Category Archives: ZH. September 2013

Cleveland Sports Weekly: Time to be optimistic in Cleveland (9.25.13)

The baseball playoff push remains in full swing with Cleveland currently in the driver’s seat for one of the two wild card spots.

The Browns are riding high after a road win in Minnesota no one expected.

Is it possible the fans of Cleveland can finally just be happy?

Regardless of how September ends, no one should feel disappointed with the job Terry Francona’s crew did. Cleveland picked fifth in this past June’s draft thanks to finishing with the fifth-worst record in baseball in 2012. Now, a winning record is in the bag and the playoffs are within reach.

Despite how much it would sting to see Cleveland fall short of the playoffs, this year has already been a success. Any trips to the one-game wild card playoff, the American League Divisional Series or beyond is just icing on the cake.

The Browns’ low moment was more recent than a poor 2012 campaign. The trade of Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts last week following an 0-2 start pointed to yet another complete teardown and rebuild of the Browns.

The trade is absolutely defensible from the Browns’ perspective. Richardson’s poor 3.5 yards per carry in his Browns career could indicate he was not as good as he seemed. Plus, after only 35 yards on 13 carries in his Colts’ debut (good for an even lower 2.7 yards per carry), it is not as if Richardson is immediately making the Browns regret dealing him. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, September 25, 2013

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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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Cleveland Sports Weekly: The September playoff push reaches its fever pitch (9.18.13)

Based on the recent attendance at Progressive Field, Northeast Ohio might not realize baseball’s playoff race is in full effect.

Yet, here we stand on Sept. 18 with Cleveland in the thick of the wild-card race. In fact, Fangraphs’ playoff projections have Cleveland’s chances of making the playoffs around 50 percent. That’s a simple coin flip! Take a coin out, flip it, and call it in the air.

Of course, baseball doesn’t work that way. But following last year’s 68-94 debacle, any fan would have been thrilled to know Cleveland would have a coin flip’s chance at the playoffs in mid-September. Barring some kind of historic collapse, this will be Cleveland’s first winning season since 2007 and will erase some of the bad memories formed over the last five seasons.

Even more importantly for the future, this Cleveland team is built to last. The three best position players this season are second baseman Jason Kipnis, catcher/first baseman Carlos Santana, and catcher Yan Gomes. Kipnis, Santana, and Gomes are all just entering their prime.

The typical baseball player peaks in his late-20s, and all three of these players are just hitting that age. That, plus the fact that they are under contract until 2017, gives Cleveland a strong base to build on. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, September 18, 2013

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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(9.10.13) Cleveland Sports Weekly: Browns lose in week one, again

The Cleveland Browns have lost 14 of their 15 opening games since their return in 1999. Amazingly, in every year except 2004, the Browns started 0-1 and immediately gotten off on the wrong foot.

One game does not make a season, but it is hard not to be discouraged after yet another loss in the first week of the season. The Browns were a popular sleeper pick amongst the national media before the season, and while the Dolphins are not considered a bad team, many expected Cleveland to get a win Sunday.

Yet they didn’t. Just like always.

It’s not as if everything was bad Sunday. There were some pretty good takeaways from the loss. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, September 10, 2013

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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(9.5.13) Around The Farm: September 4, 2013

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game. 

Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 E

This game was a microcosm of Rodriguez’s time in Mahoning Valley. A little bit of power, a little bit of on-base ability, and some strikeouts. There is no denying that Rodriguez’s time with the Scrappers went a long way toward rebuilding his value after a rough start in Lake County. Rodriguez’s .287/.366/.452 line with 16 doubles, nine home runs, and a 61:29 SO:BB shows what he is capable of, though he still has a ways to go before he can make designs on starting in Cleveland. The next step for Rodriguez will be erasing his Lake County stats from this year (.194/.305/.256 line in 47 games), something he will look to do out of the gate in 2014. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, September 5, 2013

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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(9.3.13) Launching off with the Aeros: The 2013 season in review

On the surface, calling a 68-73 season a success — especially when that season follows a championship campaign — would be ludicrous. In the case of the 2013 Akron Aeros, however, it would be true.

While last year brought Akron an Eastern League championship, 2013 saw the arrival of numerous top prospects and brought the future one step closer to Cleveland. The ultimate goal of the minor leagues is development and graduating players to the major leagues, something Akron excelled at this season.

If you made it out to Canal Park this year, you saw the future of Cleveland. To recap that future and everything that happened in 2013, join me for one last time and go Launching off with the Aeros. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, September 3, 2013

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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(9.3.13) Cleveland Sports Weekly: Don’t forget about baseball

School is back in session, fall is in the air and football season is underway. Fans all over Northeast Ohio celebrated wins for the Kent State Golden Flashes and Ohio State Buckeyes while anxiously awaiting the Cleveland Browns’ opener this Sunday.

But what about what’s going on at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario?

Sure, Cleveland is a football town that routinely fills Cleveland Browns (now FirstEnergy) Stadium while Progressive Field is often half-empty. Fans feel burned from Larry Dolan not spending much money on payroll since becoming the team’s owner, the historic collapse last August and the lack of winning baseball in Cleveland since 2007.

But it is not like the Browns have played any better. During that same timeframe the Browns have not won more than five games in a single season. The common line of thinking is that the baseball team will always let you down, but if that is the case, why keep going back to the Browns?

There is promise with this year’s Browns, but why invest in promise when you already have a team in contention? Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, September 3, 2013

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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(9.1.13) Ranking the 2013 Cleveland Indians’ roster at the stretch run

With the calendar turning to September, Cleveland remains in playoff contention with a 71-64 record. Sure, the team has its issues, but anyone would have taken this before the season. It is September 1 and Cleveland could make the playoffs. That’s amazing considering where the team was last August.

I previously ranked the roster before the season, at the 40-game mark, and at the All-Star break, so click on those links if you want to check them out. If not, here are the current roster ranks: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, September 1, 2013

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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