A case (or four six-packs) of mistaken identity: Cleveland sports predictions, part 3
Venturing onward with predictions that make even a guy like Nostradamus look inept, 'tis with bated breath – or is it just early-onset COPD? – we gaze eagerly upon the third quarter of 2012...
July: The Indians are still in full damage control mode, dodging negative fallout from the January revelation that pitcher (formerly known as) Fausto Carmona was, in reality, some guy named Roberto Hernandez Heredia. Mercifully, the Indians finally conclude and release the results of a three-month-long investigation into the background of every employee of the entire Cleveland Indians organization.
The good news is that they didn't find any more players with phony Dominican identities. The bad news is that the investigation reveals the organization has been – unknowingly – employing three illegal aliens, two actual aliens, and a female impersonator named "Trixy."
Even more disturbing news is revealed later in the month when the third-party firm hired to do the background checks on everyone in the organization turns out to be a eight-year-old Westlake kid operating out of his basement. Red-faced Tribe officials vow to recoup the $430,000 paid to the suspect – known only as "Billy" to the media because of his age – but admit getting the money back might be difficult as apparently Billy did a "pretty good job of hiding his piggy bank."
(Personal comment here: Is anyone really all that surprised at phony Fausto (or should I say Faust-OH-NO)? The guy only had one good year, and that was way back in '07. For comparison's sake, I've only written one good column, and that accident occurred much farther back than 2007. If I could go back and do it all over again, you think I'd be using my real name? I feel your pain, brother.)
August: The Indians finally resolve their off-the-field issues, and it becomes apparent, in retrospect, that they probably would have been smarter to let those issues linger a while longer. A quick perusal of the AL Central standings indicates the Tribe is 37 games behind the Prince Fielder-led Tigers on August 1. With some 60-odd games to play, skipper Manny Acta maintains that "Anything can happen!" and sure enough, anything does! Acta is fired on the fifth of August, replaced by some guy named Roberto Hernandez Heredia.
September: The Browns home opener is played to a less-than-enthusiastic crowd on a warm afternoon at Browns Stadium. At halftime, they are trailing Kansas City 17-0 and Browns GM Mike Holmgren, stating he's looking for "more consistency in the team" stuns the football world – but absolutely no one in Cleveland – when he fires Pat Shurmur and replaces him with Offensive (and I do mean offensive) Coordinator Brad Childress. Childress delivers the consistency by also being outscored 17-0 in the second half of the 34-0 loss. "I think we're on the right track," a pleased Holmgren spouts afterwords.
Well, kids, that's three more months in the proverbial can. We'll wrap up this whole prognosticating thing next issue, after which I can concentrate on the more "serious" issues facing us collectively as a Cleveland-sports-loving race.
Speaking of races, if anyone else is going to participate in the Chili Bowl Classic 5K race at Tower City Center on Feb. 18, stop and say hi if you get the chance. Most likely, I'll be the one the priest is administering last rites to. Let's just say my recuperation from a stress fracture in my left leg last summer took a bit longer than anticipated to heal, and I'm totally out of shape!
Jeff welcomes all feedback and suggestions, pro or con, which may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!