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Archive for February, 2008

Today is a great day

What a glorious day!!! The Indians beat up the Clemens-less Houston Astros, it looks like the Browns will get a first- and third-round draft pick for Derek Anderson in addition to trade talk about sending a second-round pick to the Green Bay Packers for defensive tackle Corey Williams, the Cavs have a winnable game tonight against Minnesota, I’m going to the Cavs game Sunday to watch them play Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden and the Bulls, it’s Friday, the sun is shining (well not really, it’s snowing like crazy) and best of all, Sean Salisbury is gone from ESPN. Hip, hip, hurray!!! Dig dong the witch is dead!!! Rejoice and be glad!!! This could be the greatest day in ESPN history. In addition to the crappiest quarterback turned crappiest analyst, the world wide leader will bring in Bob Knight as a guest analyst through the rest of the college basketball season. I feel like I have died and gone to heaven. I can finally watch NFL Live again and have a great reason to watch ESPN College Gameday. Great moves by ESPN. I don’t even care who they get to replace Salisbury. Cris Carter is coming in and that’s like upgrading from Troy Brown to Randy Moss as your number one receiver. 

 

I never understood how Salisbury got to be the lead NFL analyst. He was a horrible quarterback in his day and he brought nothing to the table on TV. He was annoying, loud and thought he was the greatest thing to happen to the NFL since the two-point conversion. Basically he was the white Steven A. Smith. Now if only ESPN would get rid of SAS. 

 

As for the Browns, I hope they do just want it looks like they’ll do. Getting a first- and third-round pick for DA would be great. Like I said yesterday, it will probably be a top eight pick and they can get one of the four defensive linemen that will be gone by pick eight. Then to trade their second-round pick for a above quality d-lineman who is probably better than anyone they could draft in the second-round would be a great move. 

 

The Cavs need a win tonight. Minnesota is about as crappy as Memphis so hopefully it will be a game like last Sunday. But the big game this weekend is against Chicago. Now we have even more reason to hate the Bulls with Gooden and Hughes, especially. I don’t know how to react to Hughes. Should we booo the hell out of him or should we cheer him for not being on the team any more? I think we should do a little bit of both. But every time he takes a shoot we should cheer wildly because that will be the best defense for the Cavs. Shoot, Larry, shoot. Now that that greatest site of all time, heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com is out of business, maybe Larry will go back to taking bad shots (every shot he takes is a bad shot). 

 

As good as it will be to see Hughes suck it up for some other team, what I’m looking forward to the most is seeing Billy Thomas. Please, Mike Brown, if you have a soul and care for the fans of the Cavs, you will play Billy. Even if he doesn’t get in, there’s a good chance I’ll wait for him outside the arena to get his autograph. PLEASE PUT IN BILLY THOMAS.

 

At the very least it should be an interesting weekend with Cleveland teams. In addition to all that, the college is down to its final two regular season weekends. March Madness is right around the corner. Anyone else getting a little excited about that?

 

Enjoy the weekend.

 

 

Fratello

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Hitting all three Cleveland teams

I have to apologize to loyal reader/commenter Frank. Yesterday was his 38th birthday (I think) and I didn’t even mention it on J Beanie. I’m sorry Frank. Please forgive me, I know not what I do… Please forgive me, I can’t stop lovin’ you… Don’t deny me, this pain I’m going through… Please forgive me, I need ya like I do… Please believe me, every word I say is true… Please forgive me, I can’t stop loving you.

 

Thought everyone might like some Bryan Adams this morning (Strangely enough, I did that without looking up the lyrics). It’s dedicated to Frankie, I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I’m sorry you had to get drunk and eat sushi by yourself. I’m sorry you had to have Veal join you so you didn’t kill yourself (although I’d kill myself if I had to resort to hanging out with Veal). I only hope, in time, you’ll accept my apology.

 

OK, enough nonsense, let’s get serious. If you aren’t a Cleveland fan, you’re not going to like today’s post. I’ll be quickly hitting up all three major professional sports teams.  

 

First up, the Cavs…

 

The Memphis game seems like ages ago. Maybe that was just a tease, maybe not, but the Cavs have looked horrible in their last two games, including a gawd awful effort last night in Boston. Their offense has no rhythm, no flow. It’s obvious the guys don’t know each other or how to play off each other. Mike Brown has to figure out the rotation (Here a hint Mike: don’t play Andy and Ben at the same time). I don’t think the Cavs are as good as they looked against Memphis or as bad as they looked last night. It’s just going to take some time but they don’t have a lot of time. They’ll be okay in the end.

 

You knew it was going to be a strange game with the way the broadcast started. As soon as I turned on the TV (no sound yet), I saw Austin Carr start waving his finger a la Mutombo. Without the sound, one can only imagine what a wordsmith like AC was saying. When I turned the sound and went back to the finger waving moment, Fred McLoud said “No nap for this guy.” The poetic Carr answered “No, nap, nooooooo naaappppp for me” while waving his finger around. Only Carr. Would someone please go find Scott Williams and Michael Righi?

 

And I’ll say it everyday, WHY DIDN’T BILLY THOMAS PLAY. Wally still can’t hit a shot. Let’s see what Billy can do. Today is day eight of ten on Thomas’s contract. Let’s hope Sunday, when the new Cavs play the old Cavs (the Bulls), Thomas is still on the team.

 

On to the Browns…

 

Reports say the Browns and Derek Anderson are close to signing a contract. It’s suppose to be a three-year deal worth around $20 million. The hold up is the guaranteed money. Seems like a fair deal to both sides. DA was never going to get Romo money like he wanted and the Browns don’t need a long term contract to hold them, or Brady Quinn, back. I was kind of hoping the Browns would give him the high tender contract. That way they’d either get him for one more year or get a first- and third-round draft pick. Getting draft picks would be great. Especially if it was a team in the top eight so they could get one of the three top defensive linemen. That would be ideal but you can’t argue with going into the season with two quality, although not great, quarterbacks to battle it for the starting job. 

 

The Browns released Orpheus Roye. That’s kind of a shame since the name Orpheus is the coolest name in the world. But Roye is old and more useless than having pet fish. This gives the Browns $37 million in cap room for the free agent market. Some will be taken up by DA’s deal but it should leave enough room to go sign a few quality defensive linemen. 

 

And finally, the Indians…

 

The first spring training game is today at 1 p.m. As meaningless as games are, it’s nice to know that spring, and summer, aren’t that far away. In case you were wondering, Jeff Harris will start for the Tribe. Who you ask? I’ll say it again, Jeff Harris (I have no idea either). Luckily, well know names follow him on the mound; Scott Elarton, Jensen Lewis, Jorge Julio, Rick Bauer (son of Jack? I sure hope so), Matt Ginter, Reid Santos, Rich Rundles, JD Martin, Chuck Lofgren and Edward Mujica. Yeah, pretty meaningless, but it’s a start. Go Tribe!

 


Fratello

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Damn you Mike Redd

Sorry for the late post, I’ve been actually doing stuff all morning and haven’t been by a computer. In addition to a late post, this will probably be a short post seeing as, gulp, I actually have work to do today.

 

I hate you Michael Redd. I can’t believe he made that shot to beat the Cavs last night. Wally played it as well as he could have. He even made Redd travel but there was no way the Cavs were going to get that call. They didn’t get a call all game, why get one when it counts. But why didn’t they put 0.4 seconds back on the clock? That’s how much time was left when the ball went through the hoop. But it was a great shot regardless. I sat on my basement floor with the same expression and gesture as Damon Jones; in awe and with my hands on my head saying “no way.”

 

A couple quick thoughts;

 

Andy was way off his game.

 

Wally needs to hit those open shots in clutch time.

 

When did Devin Brown become a good shooter.

 

Damon Jones is on fire right now and there can never been too many “three’s on the tray,” (but why does he have to stand and look around at everyone after he makes a three? He just stands there for like two seconds, then takes two slow steps before jogging back on defense. We know you don’t like to play defense but at least get back. He’s like Mutombo who has to wiggle his finger after a block no matter what the situation is, and he looked like an idiot last night [both DJ and Mutombo]. But Jones hit a huge shot and he’s on a roll right now.

 

I like how LeBron has stopped the dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-come-off-pick-force-a-fade-a-way-shot when it comes to game-tying or game-winning shots and has starting taking it to the hole like we have said he should do for the longest time. Just wish he didn’t leave so much time on the clock.

 

How does someone not pick up Redd before he is ready to shoot? There should have been someone on him from the moment LBJ scored.

 

Not having Z last night hurt because the Cavs had to play Wallace and Andy. The Cavs need to get healthy and then they’ll be a very deep and talented team.

 

So much for Graig’s prediction of not losing another game, but 26-1 with these group isn’t too bad either.

 

WHY IN THE WORLD DID BILLY THOMAS NOT PLAY!!!!

 

Big game tonight in Boston. This could be a second round playoff match up and the Cavs need a big win with this new team to let Boston (and Detroit) know they are the team to beat in the East. Key to tonight’s game; Billy Thomas playing 10 minutes (that would be about 8 three’s, making three or four of them).

 

 

Fratello

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Guess what day it is…

Not much on the agenda so we’ll make today everyone’s favorite day… Grab Bag Day. Hip, hip, hooray!!!

 

>>> The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are possibly interested in signing Barry Bonds. I say go for it. A lot of people are sick of seeing Bonds play baseball and no one see the Rays play. 

 

>>> Floyd Mayweather is going to wrestle in the WWE’s WrestleMania. The 5’8”, 150 pounder is going up against The Big Show, a supposed 7 foot, 500 pound man. I’m not even sure what to expect here. I haven’t watch the WWF in about eight years. But at the “press conference” Mayweather needed to stand on a chair just to get in the face of The Big Show (and by face I mean mid chest, neck area). This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t even know what to make of it or to make a joke of it but I felt like you people should know the WWE is still out there and you still aren’t missing anything.

 

>>> The ugliest man in college basketball, Ohio State’s Kosta Koufos, is not only the ugliest man in college basketball, but the biggest mama’s boy too. Here’s a brief part of a story about this in the Akron Beacon Journal this morning. 

 

When center Kosta Koufos hits the hardwood at Value City Arena, his eyes invariably look to the stands for his mother.

He also seeks out his mother after games so she can critique his performances, a practice she resisted at first, but eventually agreed to.

 

My goodness Kosta. You’re a college man now. You shouldn’t need your mom to tell you how to play basketball. For god sake she named you Kosta. She obviously takes bad advice so what makes you think she could give you good advice. No wonder why Big Ten basketball sucks. Moms are telling them how to play.

 

>>> Rumors out of the best run franchise in the NBA have James Dolan ready to fire Isiah Thomas. The straw has finally broke the camel’s back. No it wasn’t the sexual harassment case. No, it was the horrible team for four years. No, it wasn’t Isiah taking on overpaid player after overplayed player. No, it wasn’t even the fact that they are more of a laughing stock than the Clippers were in the early 90s. The final reason was Thomas isn’t playing Eddy Curry enough. Yes, Eddy Curry. I think more people would rather see Eddy Winslow on the floor over Eddy Curry.

 

>>> The Cavs play at Milwaukee tonight. Andy Varejao is expected to be back. That will give the Cavs their full front line. Z, Wallace, Joe Smith and Andy. It will be interesting to see how Mike Brown rotates them. It could take a few games to find the right combinations. You can’t really have Wallace and Andy on the floor at the same time. That would be like playing 3-on-5 offensively and the Cavs might never score. But on the flip side, they are the two best defenders the Cavs have so maybe the other team would never score either. I think with Z and Wallace starting, Smith and Andy will come in and take over towards the end of the first quarter. Brown will get a feel to who is having the better game and use those two down the stretch. As hard as it might be to get them all minutes and get the right guys on the floor, I’d rather have this problem then deciding between Donyell Marshall, Ira Newble or Drew Gooden to put in the game. When in doubt, just put in Billy Thomas and let him shoot.

 

 

Fratello

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Good weekend for the Cavs

It was a great weekend to be a Cavs fan. It was about as good of a weekend for the Cavs as it was for ‘No Country For Old Men’ at the Academy Awards. The Cavs won two games with basically two different teams. In fact, that’s now three wins in a row and the active roster looked totally different in each of them.

 

Last nights blowout win over the Grizzlies was awesome but it wasn’t even the best game of the weekend. For me, Friday night’s win over Washington was the highlight of the weekend. The Cavs were down to six players thanks to injuries and the trade. Despite advice from J Beanie, the Cavs signed two NBDL players, not Team River City Players. (Thank Rosie for introducing us two those two players early on Friday afternoon) The Cavs really had no business winning that game. Here’s just a quick list of reasons why other than the fact they had only six NBA players: Eric Snow played 32 minutes. That’s about as impressive of a list there is to have to overcome to win a professional basketball game. I forgot how bad Snow really is. My god, I’ve seen better basketball shots in a second-grade girls game. 

 

This was Damon Jones’s dream game. He got to play 44 minutes and was basically the Cavs only shooter and second option. He knew he could shoot as much as he wanted without consequences. Maybe that’s how he should play every game. He lit it up with 27 points and 7 three’s. It was great to see the ‘Three on the Trey’ hand gesture back. 

 

Of course, with LeBron James the Cavs will always have a chance to win. It could be LBJ, Rosie, Frank, new commenter Wes and Graig out on the floor and I wouldn’t count them out of the game even with the fact those four have about as much basketball ability as a pirate with two wooden peg legs and two hooks for hands (by the way, if I ever lose my hand, I’m definitely going with a hook as a replacement). LeBron almost got another triple-double, missing it by just two assists. For him to get eight assist with Damon Jones as your wing man, that’s even more impressive than a triple-double with a real NBA Team. And, of course, LBJ took over when he had to, making two free throws with seven seconds left to win the game.

 

But my favorite part of the whole game was Billy Thomas. The NBDL didn’t take his NBA moment for granted. He fired up 11 three-point attempts. That’s pretty impressive especially since he only played 19 minutes. I love it. He only made three but that didn’t stop him from shooting. He said, I know I shouldn’t be playing right now but I also know I may never get to play meaningful NBA minutes again, I’m going for it. Good for him. Keep shooting, Billy, where ever you may be.

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Billy, always shoot f or the stars. 

 

 

Yesterday’s game against Memphis was just plan fun. I know Memphis is awful and it was just the team the Cavs needed to play with their new team. The blowout gave the four new guys a chance to play with LeBron, without much pressure, and gave Mike Brown a chance to work different lineups and see what will work. Again, I know Memphis isn’t that good, but you could see just how Ben Wallace will fit into the offense. That is, by getting open dunks from LBJ and Delonte West drives. Wally did what everyone thought he would, hit some outside shots and Joe Smith was great off the bench. West was off shooting the ball but still played a good point guard game and solid defense. Oh, and LeBron almost got another triple-double.

 

My favorite part about yesterday’s game didn’t even come from the Cavs game. After it was over, I flipped over to ESPN because the Bulls were on and I wanted to see all the former Cavs and how they were doing. What was the first play I saw? Well, you can probably guess it if you remember that Larry Hughes is on their team now. It was a Hughes air ball from just inside the three-point line. Good to see that the uniform changes but the shot remains the same. Have fun Chi-town.

 

The win over Memphis was just one game but one game that was a lot of fun and showed a lot of promise. If they can play this good (albeit against a bad team) after just one practice, then only good things can come when they actually become familiar with each other. Any question about weather this trade was a risk worth taking should be gone. The final verdict won’t come in until after the playoffs but last night’s game has to make Cavs fans feel better about their chances in the playoffs than any game before the trade.

 


Fratello

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More trade talk

Of course, today, we have to talk more about the Cavs trade. In any trade, you have to look at what you gave up. The Cavs gave up…

 

Larry Hughes. We’ve been trying to get rid of him for two years and the only problem, he has been the sources of so many creative jabs that now we have no one to hate.

 

Drew Gooden. A good player but never played in the fourth quarter because the game was twice as long as his attention span.

 

Donyell Marshall. Old droopy eyes hasn’t been able to make a shot this year.

 

Ira Newble. May be the biggest lost in the trade but come on, it’s Ira Newble.

 

Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown. Two young players who have talent and could become good players somewhere else but they weren’t going to play in Cleveland. 

 

So they gave up six players, three starters, but really they didn’t give up anyone that makes you say “I wish we could have done the trade without giving up him.”

 

Now let’s look at what we got. 

 

Joe Smith. The journeyman who almost single-handedly brought down the Minnesota Timberwolves organization a few years ago but has always been a solid player and is average 11 ppg this year, his best in five years. He will be a solid guy with the second unit with Andy, LBJ, Boobie and Damon Jones or who ever takes the other  guard spot off the bench.

 

Wally Szczerbiak. First, I probably won’t type Szczerbiak ever again. In fact I used copy and past for that one. He will simply be Wally. He is the spot-up shooter the Cavs have never had. Sure he’s old and slow but he can shoot. Remember all those times LBJ drove and found Larry or Marshall open for three only for you to think “my goodness we need someone other than those guys taking the shot”? Well, now they do. 

 

Ben Wallace. His contract is just slightly more money than Larry’s but the same amount of years so that’s not a problem. The Cavs will lose a little bit of offense with him instead of Gooden but those shots/points will easily be made up by Z, LBJ or Wally. Wallace’s impact will be on the defensive end and on the glass, obviously. Wallace is the Larry Hughes of Chicago and trading them for each other makes sense. Hopefully, a new place will get Wallace back to playing like he did in Detroit. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to since I hated him for so long because he was on the Pistons but if he plays like he did as a Piston, I can easily get over hating him.

 

Delonte West. He was the key to the whole thing I believe. Ferry loves him and the Cavs needed a point guard. He hasn’t played that well this year in Seattle but it’s Seattle and it’s hard to put up good numbers as a point guard when your best player is putting up 56 shots a game and only averaging 19 ppg. West was pretty solid with Boston last year and Boston was horrible. I’ve liked him since he played with Jameer Nelson at St. Joe’s (I think I only liked him because St. Joe’s was this little A-10 school going for a perfect record but whatever, I still liked him and Nelson). West can play defense and make outside shots. It will be interesting to see what the Cavs offense can do with a true point guard.

 

Right now, I’ll call this a good deal. The final verdict will come in playoff time when we see how they all play together. It may or may not work out but the day after feeling is the Cavs made the right move. And by right move, that is any move. Ferry needed to pull something off to show he was trying to improve the team and to show LeBron he wasn’t going to just let nothing happen. That’s the best part. That Ferry actually did something. Now these guys are going to have to some how come together and learn to play with one another. That could take some time, especially with all the injuries. I think going 21-9 in the last 30 games to get to 50 wins is out of the question. With Daniel Gibson now hurt and out for 4-6 weeks, Sasha still out a few more  the team won’t be hole until just before playoff time. Andy hopefully will return next week. It’s going to take a while but the good news is, the Cavs will at the worst be the fifth seed in the East. That’s where they are right now. That matches them up with the Raptors. That doesn’t worry me. Next would be the Celtics and I really think the Cavs can beat Boston in a seven game series. I think they have a better chance against Boston than they do against Detroit. So that gives the Cavs some time to play together without having to worry that much about where they are in the standings. 

 

The trade isn’t one of those trades that make people around the NBA say “wow, the Cavs are now the team to beat,” but that’s OK. The Cavs didn’t need that kind of trade. This trade makes the Cavs better simply because the players they got are better than the players they gave up. Can they win the East with this team? Of course. But they could have with the other guys too. Simply because they have LeBron James. He’s another reason why the transition to get everyone on the same page will be easier. He wanted a trade, any kind of trade (like most of us) and he is a leader that will make sure all four new guys feel welcome. Plus, he is the kind of player that anyone would be happy to play with and the kind of player who makes it easy to play with. The Cavs are a better team today than they were yesterday.

 

Now, they just need to get healthy. That’s a bigger problem than getting the new guys incorporated into the system. With Gibson out (damn you basketball Gods!!! Why?!?!?!), Sasha out and Andy still out at least one more game and these four guys not being able to play tonight, the Cavs have six active/healthy players. If Danny Ferry reads this blog (and he might since I’m sure he is looking for compliments today in the cyber space world) or if someone reading this knows him, give him this message: Instead of signing NBDL players, sign a few of us from Team River City. We are coming off an emotional third place finish and have all the momentum in the world to help the Cavs beat the Wizards tonight. Thank you.

 

 

Fratello

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The trades happened

No sooner do I finish writing that last post as I get word from one of my sources that both trades should be officially announced soon. After I posed my “this won’t happen” I checked Fatty Windmill’s blog and he said both are a go. 

 

Here’s what he says:

 

“After working on it practically through the night, the Cavs appear to be close to finalizing a major trade. A solid source said the Cavs have agreed to bring Ben Wallace and Joe Smith in from Chicago for Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden. 

 

“The second complimentary  trade is apparently with the Seattle SuperSonics. The Cavs likely going to get Wally Szczerbiak to be their new shooting guard in addition to Delonte West, a point guard they have wanted for quite some time. Donyell Marshall, Ira Newble and perhaps Shannon Brown are expected to be in this deal.”

 

I think both these are good. They might not really be but the Cavs needed to shake things but and Ferry needed to do something to prove he was working at improving the roster. Wallace and Gooden are basically a wash with Wallace the much better rebounder and defender but Gooden better on the offensive end. Joe Smith will be a decent role player and he takes Larry Hughes out of the Cleveland and that’s something everyone has longed for way to long, so no one that ripped Larry should have anything bad to say about this one.

 

The other trade is even better. Bringing West in with Wally is great. Finally a true point guard. Losing Ira, D-Marsh an Shannon don’t hurt Cleveland at all and they are bringing in two guys who will have a much bigger impact than the guys leaving. I like it right now because Ferry actually did something. To know how I really feel I’ll have to let it all marinate and get back to you tomorrow.

 

 

Fratello

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