Weekend Thoughts

“Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest”

n       The Green Fields of France (Dropkick Murphys)

 

Since this is the weekend posting, a belated thank you to all of our veterans and that gave what they needed to for the greatest country in the world.  And a special thanks to those who paid the ultimate price, for they will never hear our thanks, and they did it not because of glory or fame, but because of the strongest of traits (at least in my opinion):  Loyalty.

 

Another blow to the credibility of Gold Gloves:  Adam Jones over Franklin Gutierrez.

 

Player   Dewan +/- Runs Saved
Jones 2009 -20 -11
Gutierrez 2009 +43 24
Jones Career -6 -2
Gutierrez Career +107 61

 

This is why managers and coaches shouldn’t vote for awards.  Then again, if they didn’t vote, maybe Ozzie, Omar, Pudge, Robbie, and Palmeiro don’t win as many awards.

 

Somebody asked me what happened to 2007 for the Browns.  Well:

 

Wins
Opp. rec. coming into game 31-51, .378
Teams over .500 coming into game 4
Teams over .500 for the season 1
Opp. rec. for the season 50-94, .347

 

 

Losses
Opp. rec. coming into game 21-19, .525
Teams over .500 coming into game 2
Teams over .500 for the season 2
Opp. rec. for the season 45-35, .563

 

 

Overall
Opp. rec. coming into game 52-70, .426
Teams over .500 coming into game 6
Teams over .500 for the season 3
Opp. rec. for the season 88-120, .423

 

Oh, and those 4 teams over .500 that the Browns beat:  Cincinnati (1-0), Baltimore (2-1), Seattle (4-3), and Buffalo (7-6).  The teams over .500 that the Browns lost to:  Pittsburgh (6-2) and New England (4-0).  The only team they beat that finished over .500 was Seattle, who finished 10-6 thanks to a 5-1 record against the NFC West (other three teams’ combined record:  16-32).  Let’s just say that their schedule wasn’t the NFL equivalent to what Mentor High School went through this season.

 

Speaking of the Reincarnated Ones, in three different Power Polls (SI.com, the National Football Post, and ESPN.com), they are ranked 32.  Hey, at least we got to keep the colors, team name, and tradition, right?

 

I love when people make statements like my uncle did last weekend.  In a rant about the Indians one of his complaints was that they got rid of Ben Francisco, who was “Good enough to start Game One of the World Series.”  Now, call me crazy, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was because Philly’s roster plain and simply wasn’t deep enough to keep him on the bench.  Both games he started in left field in the series were against left-handed starters in Yankee Stadium, meaning ole’ Charlie needed a DH.  Naturally, Charlie out thought himself and decided, “You know, instead of keeping the guy in left who’s been out there for 129 games and 1124 innings, I’ll put him at the DH slot and put in the guy with barely 900 innings in the entire outfield for his career in there.”  The total innings is not the point and even then they’re about equal defensively.  The point is that you have had Raul Ibanez out there in left field all season but now you feel compelled to change it up.  I just don’t get that.  Anyway, looking at Charlie’s other options, you would feel better about putting Francisco in over any of the other ones.  Not that you would feel good.  Of course, when the series shifted to Philly, Ibanez was in left and Francisco back on the bench.  It wasn’t that he was good enough, just that he was the best option they had.

 

Allow me to start speculating:  LeBron changing his number from 23 to 6 means that he’s leaving for Chicago, since Jordan’s number is already retired there.  You can also twist it to mean that 2 X 3 = 6, which means that he won’t end up in Boston, since that number’s retired.  Twist at you own leisure!

 

Congratulations to the Lake Catholic Boys’ Soccer team, who reached the state semi-finals and came up just short to Bay Village, 1-0 in a shoot out.  Also, congratulations to the Lake Catholic Girls’ Volleyball team, who was the runner-up in the Division II state finals.  Hold your heads high, you have represented the school and yourselves well.

 

One thing I was wondering is this:  Since I have no faith in the polls (since so much is based on where you ranked in the beginning of the season and when you lose), and no one seems to like the computers (you know, because they didn’t see anyone play), I was wondering if the Harbin system – the one used for the Ohio high school football playoffs – could work in college.  Assign the BCS conferences a point value, the non-BCS schools a lower value, and I-AA an even lower one.  I wonder how these would come out.  I’ll get back to you on this.

 

They announced the attendence at UC’s game against West Virginia as a stadium record and to be honest, I wasn’t impressed.  Their crowd – which did fill the stadium – was smaller than a Jacob’s Field sellout (I still call it Jacob’s Field).

 

I would not be surprised if UC head coach Brian Kelly is coaching Notre Dame sometime soon.

 

Just saw a score and missed the teams, mostly because 102-31 just kind of stuck out.  The college basketball season is essentially meaningless because the NCAA tournament puts too many teams in, but this game had to feature a Kansas/Duke/UNC/UConn type of team against the Washington Generals.  Their should be rules preventing this from happening.  There should be more set ups like the ACC/Big Ten challenge.  You’re a top end college basketball program, play more top end college basketball programs!

 

Moving on to Saturday, the early games did not provide much to talk about.  The 3:30 games, though?  There was some interest there.  North Carolina seems to be moving up the ranks, and Miami is falling rapidly.  Butch Davis is probably in the right place.  Fans in the state of North Carolina care more about the orange ball that you bounce on the hardwood, so he won’t get as much heat as he would elsewhere, and it looks like he’s making them a solid team.  After watching what he did in Cleveland and witnessing this now, I’m going to gauge my eyes out with a spork.  I’ll be back.

 

All I can really tell you about the Buckeyes is that all of the excitement and big plays were overshadowed by Tressel and Ferentz doing their damnedest to blow the game.  After Tressel goes ultra conservative – and I hate it when he does this; if I keep building up on my lead I don’t have to play field position – Kirk Ferentz decides not to take a chance at the end of regulation and go to overtime.  Why?  Let’s consider everything here:

 

  1. You have a freshman quarterback who has thrown two bad picks.
  2. Said QB has also just led you down the field for a game tying drive.
  3. Ohio State’s kicker last attempted a field goal that went so far to the left it was almost off the screen.
  4. You have 52 seconds on the clock.
  5. You’re on your own 33 yard line, so you’ll need about 40 yards for a legitamate field goal attempt.
  6. You’re in Columbus, so overtime will just extend your stay there.

 

So I guess you could make a case for Ferentz folding like a lawn chair at the end of regulation, but here’s my case:  You have 52 seconds to get about 40 yards, at least try on the first play to get somewhere, then by all means do whatever you feel like.  Instead, you breathed new life into the Buckeyes who went out in overtime and allowed the Hawkeyes to have about -356 yards on those four downs.  Of course, Tressel clams up again and sets up a 40-yard field goal attempt by a kicker who actually had a pro contract in MLS.  I love the way football and basketball can circumvent certain rules of amateurism while if the kid was a swimmer they would be done.  Oh well, the point is that I really feel that Tressel owes Ferentz a blow job after that one.

 

How’s this one for a field goal:  Mayfield executes a rarely used option of attempting a field goal attempt via a free kick after accepting a fair catch on a punt.  Casey Spear of Mayfield then drills a 61-yard field goal to bring Mayfield to within a touchdown right before half.  This game ended up being a terrific defensive struggle, with Solon edging Mayfield 13-10 in overtime.

 

How many of St. Ignatius’s eight turnovers do you think the Wildcats would want back?  The killer was midway through the third when the Wildcats were looking to make a game out of it – a touchdown would have made it 23-20 with just under 20 minutes to play – when a Glenville DB darted in front of a potential TD pass and ran it back the distance for a massive swing.

 

You got the sense that Glenville felt like they finally got over the hump.  Ginn called a timeout during a drive when the game wasn’t quite out of reach, and you could tell that he sensed the tide turning.  Considering all the turnovers and the Wildcats were still in it, he had every reason to be concerned.  There was one late interception where the Glenville defensive player absolutely erupted after the play and I didn’t see it as showboating:  You could sense him letting out all of the frustrations.  Congratulations to the Glenville team and staff.  Next week’s reagional final versus Solon should be terrific.

 

Here are some numbers that stick out for me from the NFL on Sunday:

 

3/31 – This was the combined third down conversion rate for the Oakland/Kansas City game.  The NFL is loaded with bad teams this year.

 

33.6 – Jay Cutler’s passer rating versus the 49ers.  The sick part was that on the last play the Bears had a chance to win the game.

 

232 – Total yards from scrimmage for the Titans’ Chris Johnson.  His “gettin’ away from the cops speed” is something to behold.

 

101.67 – Rushing yards per game for the Rams’ Stephen Jackson.  He’s doing this on a team that is every bit as bad, if not worse, than the Browns.

 

51.5 – Big Ben’s QB rating on Sunday.  This just in:  The Cincinnati Bengals are good.

 

Am I the only one rooting for Indy and New Orleans to go undefeated completely through to the Super Bowl, just to see if the arrogant old-time f&^%s from the 1972 Dolphins slit their throats?

 

It’s been 2,186 days since Michigan last beat Ohio State.  Since that day, we’ve had 2 presidential elections, 1 economic crisis, approximately 100,246,184 debates over health care, 25 wins by the Browns, 413 wins by the Indians, 1 arena football team appear and fold, 1 soccer championship in Cleveland (City Stars), 2 National title game appearances by the Buckeyes, 3 head coaches for the Browns, 350 wins for the Lake County Captains, 1 baseball championship in Cleveland (Lake Erie Crushers), and 251 points scored in the 5 games played between the 2 school since.

 

For fun, let’s translate 2,186:

 

Numeral:  2,186

 

English:  Two Thousand one hundred eighty-six

 

Spanish:  Dos mil cien ochenta y seis

 

German:  Zwei Tausende ein Hundert sechsundachtzig

 

French:  deux millier cent quatre-vingt-six

 

Brazilian Portuguese:  dois mil cem oitenta e seis

 

Swedish:  två tusen en hundra åttio-sex

 

Norwegian:  to tusen ett hundre åttiseks

 

Dutch:  Twee duizend een honderd zesentachtig

 

Italian:  due mila cento ottanta-sei

 

Romanian:  Doua mii o suta optzeci de ani-sase

 

Aren’t numbers fun?!

 

Dan Boyce is the Sports Editor for TheSportsHole.com.  Along with his “Lord of the Stats” blog, Dan does frequent front page columns and his podcast, “The Boyce of the People”.  Anyone with any thoughts or comments can reach Dan here.

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