Checking in on the local sports teams

With the Browns having recently completed their season, the Cavs halfway through theirs, and the Tribe’s equipment truck about to embark on its annual pilgrimage to Goodyear, perhaps now is a good time to give the three franchises a good look.

The Cleveland Browns: Well, don’t look too hard at these guys; it might trigger a migraine. Unfortunately, the jury is still out on the latest management team, since their first draft has brought mixed reviews. And while it appears they have drafted a few guys who might actually become serviceable NFL players, my guess is that the majority of them are destined to be nothing more than the answers to trivia questions a few years from now. And that’s not good. Another lackluster draft this spring and Jimmy Haslam will have no choice but to call in the demolition boys to blow up yet another front office.

Some of you will recall I predicted this team would go 0-16 before last season began. I also said that if they stood a chance to win a game, it most likely would be San Diego. Man, I hate it when I’m right. San Diego went out of their way to lose that game. Thanks, guys; we had a shot at something special.

The Cleveland Cavaliers: As of this writing, the Cavs were exactly halfway through their 82-game exhibition schedule in preparation for the playoffs. They are on pace to win 60 games, which will easily give them the No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. I certainly hope Kyle Korver delivers as hoped, since the Cavs will need help in the playoffs. The bench isn’t nearly as strong as last year. The fact that the Cavs can’t win (much) without LeBron in the lineup is also unsettling, and I sometimes wonder if the other two players who comprise the “Big Three” (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) are worthy of that praise. Not even sure they could make it out of the East if LeBron went down for any period of time.

The Cleveland Indians: Seriously now, who out there really, really thought the Tribe would pony up the bucks to sign Edwin Encarnacion? Have to admit, I wasn’t one of them, and for all the grief I’ve given to the Dolans over the years for not investing enough in the team (which I still believe, by the way), I have to give them props for getting a bona fide slugger this past offseason. I ripped them pretty good for not resigning Mike Napoli, but – as much as I like Napoli – Encarnacion is a clear upgrade. That being said, I would still sign Napoli and trade Carlos Santana, since I think Santana had a career year in 2016 and will revert back to “old Carlos” in 2017. However, Carlos is younger and cheaper, and the Indians apparently feel they will get enough from Santana to justify keeping him. (Remember, though, you read it here first…)

Stay warm, gang.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:36 AM, 01.24.2017