Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Glad to be wrong

I have never been so happy to be wrong.

During the second round, I looked so right. A lesser referee would have stopped the fight during that round. Kelly Pavlik was knocked silly. His survial was Rocky-like. He went to the canvas after a barrage from Jermain Taylor and even after he got up, it looked doubtful he would survive the round. The fight looked to be over as exactly as I expected.

Credit being from Youngstown. Honestly it is something of a lost city. A city built on steel mills. A city that took its identity from steel mills. And it is now a city that has no working steel mills. Leaving it a bit broken. Yet it survives.

And so did Pavlik.

He doesn't look like a fighter. He appears skinny. He even looks a little like the fictional Cleveland fighter Terry Conklin from the movie The Great White Hype.

Pavlik turned out to be the real deal. I was wrong.

He survived his beatdown. He got up from the mat and keep moving forward.

If I got to keep a card. Pavilk won round one. His knockdown made round two a 10-8 round for Taylor. He rebounded to win round three. He lost four, won five and lost six. Before knocking out Taylor with a barrage in the seventh.

His knockout punch was as brutal as they come. Taylor was hurt by a right and then finished by a left uppercut. Pavlik threw several more punches but for all intents and purposes Taylor was finished.

Youngstown go crazy.

Pavlik showed ultimate guts and brought praise and pride to his hometown.

But I stand by my belief, it has nothing to do with Cleveland. We can appriecate what he did. We can enjoy what he did. But we can take no credit.

Pavlik's knockout turned out to be bigger than first thought. From the perspective of some, Taylor stole two decisons from Bernard Hopkins and one from Winky Wright. Despite what I saw, the three judges at ringside had Taylor way ahead on the scorecard.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sizemore has something to prove

Everyone loves Grady Sizemore. Everyone.

And what is not to like? He runs hard to first base, he crashes into walls, dives for balls, hits homers, steals bases and has the smile of a four-year old. He also has the best pick-up line in the world, "Hi, I am Grady Sizemore."

He is one of the best young baseball players in the league, destined to be a superstar.

Yet for me he is the one of the Indians with the most to prove this October. If you asked most Tribe fans, I am sure there list of worries start with our closer JoBO and maybe continue with Jhonny's defense since our second baseman Cabrera has looked like Omar the few times he has started at short.

But Grady's pickoff at third base to end the game when he was the tying run was another example of his occassional lack of focus. Recently he was doubled off third on a weak liner to the pitcher and his unreal number of strikeouts cause some concern. The pickoff brought back bad memories of 2005. Everyone remembers the homestand from hell that cost us the playoffs but that road to ruin started in Kansas City when Sizemore dropped an easy fly ball to cost us an important game.

I guess I would not even mention it but I was struck how Paul Hoynes from the PD and the AP both buried Sizemore's snafu in their game stories. How it wasn't the lead is beyond me. If that had been Peralta or Manny back in the day, there would have been a call for a public flogging. Sizemore did something unforgivable. You can't get picked off by the catcher with two outs when you are the tying run. And he got a free pass. During this September run, Sizemore has been missing for a great deal of it.

Now I am not saying he should be benched or fined but for the Indians to win a World Series this year, the Tribe needs his full attention. He is a difference maker. I know everyone loves Grady Sizemore but when he screws up he should be held under the fire as well.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday morning

Just a few quick thoughts...

The Browns lost a game in Browns-like fashion and I didn't even get mad. I didn't swear. I didn't throw anything. It didn't even ruin my evening let alone my week. I am still debating what that means.

While it is interesting that Cleveland is adopting a Youngstown native as its own, Kelly Palvik is going to take a beating on Saturday. I hope I am wrong. But whether he wins a championship or not-- it has nothing to do with Cleveland.

On one hand, I am glad the stress of making the playoffs are over. This is going to be longest week ever. Seven games with little real impact. Yes, you still want and need home field but not at the risk of pushing starters too far. Rest and health is more important. And as a fan, you have save up on the intensity for the month of October.