Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

At least the Yanks are bad too

Random thoughts from the world of sports.
What is more beautiful, the Yankees in last place in May or Steinbrenner’s horse for the ages not even finishing in the money? Sure, it would feel better if the Indians were above .500, Winslow had bought a boat instead and the Cavs had a coach, but any New York sports misery is good misery.
Maybe it is just me, but after being in the sun all day at the SWC tennis tournament, the sound of opening a tennis ball can sounds a lot like opening a nice cold beverage.
As cool as it would be to be in high school and dig in at the plate or stand in the outfield grass at Jacobs Field, I was more jealous of the St. Ignatius players that got to hang out in the bullpen all game. If you are not going to get in the game, at least you get to look cool.
It is a great event that the Indians put on for local high school teams. For two years in a row now, St. Edward and St. Ignatius delivered a great game as well. The fans can come in and pick out any seat they want. But you have to be pretty brave to sit that close to the action with the gas those pitchers were throwing to hitters with metal bats. If the majors used metal bats, then people would die on a monthly basis.
For me, the best news of the weekend was the report that LeBron James is considering getting rid of his agent and not looking for some other high-powered piranha. It appears the kid looked around and said if I am guaranteed the NBA maximum salary, what again do I need you for?
There is no truth to the rumor that when Phil Savage visited Kellen Winslow Jr. in his hospital room, K2 told Savage he had good news, “I just saved a bunch on my car insurance.”
If the Cavs let Z go, someone better have a plan. Sure, we all know the big guy’s limitations and the risks of paying him the league maximum. And while it doesn’t hurt he loves the city and he has been a loyal soldier over the years — let’s not forget that he is 7’2 and can put the ball in the hole. He may not be perfect, but what is the alternative.
I am not a soccer guy. I can appreciate the skill it takes to play. I can enjoy watching a SWC battle between North Olmsted and Bay… (oops, not anymore) but indoor soccer seems like Arena football to me. I know some people love it, but I can do something else while I wait for the real thing.
So you have a sport that is struggling for attendance and ratings and the plan for your championship is to play a two — game series at predetermined neutral sites. That’s right, a two — game series! (Math doesn’t seem right, does it?) Most teams can’t get a crowd for a home game but fans are going to flock to see two teams that aren’t from their town. So the Force (which plays here in town — apparently they are in the finals) plays game one against Milwaukee which happened to already host the “neutral” site. (I am reminded of the movie Princess Bride — I don’t think that word means what you think it means) Then game two is to be played a week later in St. Louis. If the games are split, then a golden goal overtime will decide the title. For all this they get to be on ESPN2. The loyal fan base be damned.
I know you are way ahead of me but allow me, to sum up. That would be like the Browns playing the Steelers at Pittspuke. Then they would travel to Philadelphia and if each team won a game, the title would be decided by whoever scores first in overtime. Mmmmmm, this sport hasn’t caught on. Go figure.
To be fair, the Force’s season is right out of the movie “Major League” except of course that instead of filming the home game of the movie’s finale elsewhere with non-home fan extras, the final game will actually be played elsewhere in front of, well, no one.
Seems just a few weeks ago, the Force was in last place. The front office got slashed and the team was put up for sale. There was little hope of a post season. No word on if there is a risqué photo of the owner in the locker room, but the team rallied together and has a chance to win a title.
It is a credit to the coach and the players. I commend them. I won’t be watching as it is sort of like when Avon Lake played for the state title. You are happy someone from the SWC is having success, but it isn’t worth standing in the cold to watch.
So now on TV, there is always a hold’em game on. I think there are four versions of celebrities playing poker. There are football players trying to golf and pro athletes bowling all in prime-time. Yet RealProWrestling is on in the middle of the day when no one is home to watch it. I guess that says a lot about the American public — we would rather watch someone famous try something they are not an expert at rather than the best the country has to offer. I am just as guilty. Watching Brad Garrett of “Everyone Loves Raymond” humiliate Curt Schilling is lot more entertaining than an arm bar takedown.
I had my first ever experience of watching NASCAR in a NASCAR bar this weekend. Strange to be in an establishment and not have the Tribe and the NBA screaming from every set. Not sure what he did, but that Greg Biffle really got everyone excited off that final restart. Not something I would do every weekend, but it is a lot like an NBA game. You watch replays of wrecks rather than dunks and then use it as background until the final laps rather than the last two minutes.
It takes all kinds, At least there isn’t a local NASCAR to break our hearts each week. That’s something, right?