Monday, December 31, 2007

The same old refrain

There's no crying in baseball, or football for that matter. But there is a lot of whining, at least in Cleveland.

The Browns came up short in their bid for the playoffs, and they did it all on their own - last week in Cincinnati. That is when the season was blown. So please save all the whining about how this kind of stuff (a playoff-bound team playing its scrubs to keep the first-stringers healthy) only happens to Cleveland sports fans.

Once the whining stops, probably by sometime late Monday, the next phase will begin. The "well they did better than we ever thought they would," and "it was a good season and we should be happy with what they accomplished" phase.

It happened when the Indians let a pennant, and a very doable World Series win, slip out of their hands. It will happen with the Browns fans, as I said, sometime late Monday night. Tuesday at the latest.

Having lived the first 27 1/2 of my 51 years in Cleveland, I know the scenario all too well, and I find myself falling into the same old habits myself.

But having lived in New York for the past 23 1/2 years I know what would happen if the Browns or the Tribe played there.

The fans would be merciless and the media would pounce. There would be endless talk about choking, or at least letting a good opportunity slip away.

The fans and the media demand winners in New York, and they get them.

Here in Cleveland, after the initial whining is over, pretty good becomes good enough. And that is why "this keeps happening to us over and over again."

If you want a winning team, don't let the owners think that pretty good will do.

If you want a winner, say so.


The Beaver County (Pa.) Times reported Sunday the Indians and Pirates appear to be at the top Matt Clement's list as the once-dominant pitcher-turned -reclamation project looks for a place to play next season.

It seems Clement, who missed last year rehabbing from shoulder surgery, has built a new home in Butler, Pa. and would like to stay close to home if possible, according to the report.

Clement would be a classic Tribe signing, much like the Kevin Millwood signing in 2005. Clement has a lot of upside and may not even fetch himself a major league contract heading into spring training. If the Tribe were to offer him a major league deal, it wouldn't be for a whole lot of money. He's worth the gamble, whether he takes off after one year or not.


We haven't quite rung in the New Year yet, but Yahoo Sports' Steve Henson has his new power rankings out for MLB. You might think the Tigers would have leapfrogged the Tribe and possibly unseated the Red Sox with their big-time acquisitions this off-season.

But Hensen, who's top five are all from the American League, has the Tribe ranked second, a tiny bit ahead of the Tigers, who are third. Boston is ranked No.1, while the Yanks are No. 4 and the Angles No. 5.

Of course all that can change with Johan Santana still on the block and three months-plus to go for pre-season deal-making.


moose said...


happy new year to all - only 90 days to open day in cleveland - wonde if it will snow ?

moose said...

any comments about the swisher trade - Ohio boy bet he would have liked to play in Ohio