Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Your guide to who to root for in the MLB playoffs

So the playoffs start today. Cliff Lee starts game one and CC starts game two. Old friends Ronnie Belliard, Casey Blake, Manny Ramirez and that bum Jim Thome play in the night cap. Tomorrow Victor suits up.

Oh great.

So who do I root for this post-season. Now I am not buying any new gear and jumping on a bandwagon. If this team wins I will no joy. But watching baseball is easier with a rooting interest.

Let's look at the candidates:

New York Yankees: Yes I would like to see CC win a title. But not as much as I never want ARod to win one. I hate the Yankees obviously but there was one week when I pulled for them. It was in 2001. I was caught up in the emotions of that time. I remember Jeter and Brosius hitting those home runs and thinking wow this what happens when you have ghosts on your side. It seemed ordained. I was at peace with the Yankees winning it all. So naturally the best closer in history blows a ninth inning lead and they haven't won a World Series since. Your welcome.

Boston Red Sox: Yes I would like to see Victor win a title. But not this year and not in Boston. I so sick of these guys and more importantly sick of their dirt bag fans. No way I can pull for the Red Sox.

Minnesota Twins: Did you know that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire who is universally loved every where is sort of despised by the die hard Twin fan. I guess you watch anyone manage 162 or more games a year over and over and you find something to hate. I get the Twins are a feel good story. I get they play the right way. But they play in a dome. And that dome already stole two World Series. I couldn't bear three.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: They lose me with the douchey name. I like Mike Scioscia but I despise the Rally Monkey more. They don't have any ex-Indians and frankly they don't have any players that inspire me to pay attention. Boring.

Philadelphia Phillies: Cliff Lee is one ex-Indian I have no real feelings for. Sure he was decent most of the time and he was excellent last year and this year but Lee wasn't really that likable. He worked hard to hide his disgust of us fans but you could see it seethe through. I don't hate him. But I don't have any Ray Bourque emotions about him winning a title now he is gone. And the Phillies won last year. Charlie Manuel winning back to back titles would just add to my misery.

St. Louis Cardinals: Mark DeRosa we hardly knew ya. I don't worship at the altar of Tony LaRussa so I have no allegiance to the Cards. Pujols is awesome but again the Cardinals just won and that is boring.

Colorado Rockies: This seems like the no-brainer right. They had the same record as the Indians when they fired their 2007 manager of the year. They rallied to make the post-season. They grind and the team of destiny. Screw Denver. That wound will never heal.

Los Angeles Dodgers: I loved Ronnie Belliard when he played for the Tribe. He jiggled and wiggled and got the job done. I grew to really respect Casey Blake. Manny is one of my all-time favorite Indians. Part of me thinks it would be cool to see Joe Torre win a title after being forced out in New York. But then they had to trade for my irrational object of hate that bum Jim Thome. I have written this before. Manny never proclaimed his loyalty to me. I knew he would follow the money. Jim lied to me. And I can't forgive that.

So to sum up. This sucks. I guess there is always beer.

Quick thoughts on trade

You can't cross LeBron in this town and stick around. Seriously I get Braylon is talented. I get he was getting double teamed and his absence will make it even harder for a challenged offense to move the ball. But there are no tears being shed on Edwards being shipped out of town. I hear people complaining about what the Browns got back but frankly they got more than I thought they could. If the Browns ever win again, Edwards wasn't going to be here when that happened. I think getting his prima donna butt out of the locker room and away from our younger players was something that had to be done. The Browns may be less talented today but I think it is a step in the right direction. I want to fall in love with this team again. Edwards being gone helps with that. I want to win but before that happens I want a team that will scrap and fight. Edwards can now do his modeling in New York.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Seven seconds from a tie

So this morning I got a call asking if I wanted a free ticket to the Browns game. I declined. The thought of spending close quarters with a bunch of angry drunks did not seem all that appealing. Instead I watched from the relative safety of my couch.

And what did we learn from our Browns today:

1. That didn't look like a team that quit on its coach to me
2. #11 jerseys are going to sell out this week
3. Shaun Rogers is the man.
4. Josh Cribbs is the man 1a.
5. Braylon Edwards is not the man.

As far as the quarterback situation we learned pretty much we knew all along. That if Brady Quinn could not beat out Derek Anderson we were in trouble. It is pretty apparent that Anderson gives the Browns the best chance to move the ball and score. It is also pretty apparent that Anderson is what he is. He has a gun. If his first read is open he can be pretty good. If his first read is covered, trouble is lurking. You have to take the good Derek with the bad Derek. While it seems Brady is afraid to take chances, Derek is not. It just happens that Derek isn't the best decision maker. But Anderson confirmed he is the guy for at least right now.

The defense played well. Carson Palmer made a veteran play scrambling on the third and long and that was the difference maker.

From home it is hard to tell if one of the reasons Massaquoi was able to catch so many balls was because Edwards was drawing so much coverage. But regardless Edwards had no catches. Yet he did do one thing today, he confirmed my passion for this team. I sat quietly in the first half. Watched the Browns go down 14-0. I never got mad. I never cursed. However I saw that penalty Edwards committed coming several seconds before he did it. In fact I started talking to the television. It went like this:

"Nice run. Hold the ball. Ohhh nice hit. Get away Edwards. Get AWAY EDWARDS! PLEASE DON'T! NONONONONONONO! YOU STUPID @#$%&#$% @#$%&#@ #$@#%&%"

I went storming into the kitchen. Ready to bust stuff. Nearly gave myself a heart attack. Had no idea the penalty was off-setting for a good while. I get the guy is talented. But I don't want to hear he was helping a teammate. He wasn't. That was a selfish and stupid move. But he did rekick start my passion for this team. My expectations have been so severely lowered that I wasn't even getting mad. Seriously I am excited that the Browns competed. They played hard and I will take that.

Wow barely losing to a fraud team like the Bengals has me slightly optimistic. Hopefully this is rock bottom.