Saturday, April 28, 2007

Phil Shocks The World!!! Or Cleveland At The Very Least!


Stunned. Shocked. Flabbergasted. Befuddled. Utterly Amazed.

In an absolutely incredible, unanticipated series of moves Phil Savage and the Browns surprised everyone by taking Wisconsin OT Joe Thomas at #3 and then trading up to draft free-falling Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn at #22 and then trading up again in the 2nd Round to grab UNLV CB Eric Wright, who's past character issues caused him slip to #53.

I don't think anyone in Cleveland or the NFL saw this coming. The Browns ended up with 2 of the players they had rated in their Top 5 and another player that would have been a mid-1st Round pick if it weren't for his off the field issues.

So the Browns finally have what appears to be:
1. The final piece to what might actually be the first legitimate offensive line since their reincarnation in 1999.
2. Potentially the franchise QB that has avoided them since Bernie Kosar.
3. A shut-down CB to solidify a position that has been snake-bitten the past two years.

It did come at a price. Both trades were consummated with the Dallas Cowboys.
1. To get Quinn (Round 1, #22) the Browns traded their 2nd Round pick in 2007 (#36) and their 1st Round pick in 2008.
2. To get Wright (Round 2, #53) the Browns traded their 2007 3rd (#67), 4th (#104) and 6th Round (#179) picks. The Browns also received Dallas' 2007 6th Round pick (#196) tomorrow as part of the trade.

This leaves the Browns with a 5th, 6th and 7th Round pick tomorrow.

Was the price too steep? We'll know in the Fall of 2007 and in 2008. All 3 guys could ended up to be busts, you never know. But right now, personally, I am estatic. The Browns got 3 first round talents by giving up an additional 1st and 4th Round picks. (I will consider the 3rd Round pick a wash since we still got 3 players on Day 1 of the 2007 Draft and the 6th Round pick a wash since we swapped it with Dallas' 6th Round pick.)

Thomas. Wow. Think about it... Thomas, Steinbach, Fraley, McKinney, Shaffer. It actually looks like a good offensive line on paper. We haven't been able to say it looks good ON PAPER since 1995! And if Bentley and Tucker come back and replace Fraley and Shaffer?!? Sweet Jesus.

Quinn. Even though they have an O-line the Browns need to follow the model of the 2006 Draft. Vince Young, Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler all sat to start the year and looked good by the end of the season. Carson Palmer and Steve McNair sat entire seasons. Is he worth the extra 1st Round pick? Time will tell. But I would take him over Brian Brohm of Louisville or Colt Brennan of Hawaii who are the only two big name QBs coming out in 2008. Sometimes you have to roll the dice and make a move if you think its right. I hope the Browns are.

Wright. I am going to assume they did their homework. As everyone probably knows by now he was accused (while attending USC) of slipping an 18 year old girl a date rape drug and subsequently police found over 130 pills of Ecstasy in his dorm room. He was never charged with anything but was kicked out of USC and transferred to UNLV. A legitimate 1st Round talent. Can he keep his nose clean? He's got a second chance. Let see what he makes of it.

One of THE most important drafts since the Browns return in 1999 and they did not disappoint. They filled three HUGE holes and did it in dramatic fashion. We'll see how they do tomorrow on Day 2 but an amazing start on Day 1. I said I wanted them to keep stockpiling talent via the draft and Day 1 in 2007 looks like a great beginning!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Doctor's Draft Scenarios

Well the NFL Draft is tomorrow and the Browns sit #3 on the board behind the Raiders and the Lions. Here are my scenarios of what I could see going down based on TV, newspaper, Internet speculation and my gut feeling.

The Raiders are considering these three guys in this order at #1:
JaMarcus Russell, Calvin Johnson, Brady Quinn

The Lions are considering these three guys in this order at #1:
Russell, Johnson
(note that Johnson is for trade value, either they pick him at #2 and then trade him or someone trades up to get him, I don't see the Lions keeping him even if they draft him)

So based on the Raiders and Lions order of preferences this leaves the Browns three scenarios of what will happen before them:
A. OAK - Russell, DET - Johnson
B. OAK - Johnson, DET - Russell
C. OAK - Quinn, DET - Russell

So, in scenarios A and B this leaves the Browns their choice of Brady Quinn, Adrian Peterson, Joe Thomas or trying to trade down. (Unless they pull a total Butch Davis/Pete Garcia-esque surprise on us.)

In scenario C, Calvin Johnson falls into the picture, increasing the possibility of trading down, or the Browns have their choice of Peterson, Johnson or Thomas.

So what do I think will happen?

I think the Browns are scared of Adrian Peterson. With his injury history (and the phantom "Cleveland Curse" douche bags believe in) they are peeing their pants wondering if he can take a beating in the NFL. I don't think they take the risk. The safest pick is Joe Thomas, but I think they have plans on trading up in the latter part of Round 1 to get Joe Staley from Central Michigan and I don't seeing them spend more money on the OL (despite how much it would MAKE SENSE) after spending top dollar for Eric Steinbach and LeCharles Bentley unless he's got everyone totally fooled. That leaves us with Golden Domer QB Brady Quinn. This is who I see the Browns selecting at #3.

But what if they don't pick #3... What's that? The Doc is f'n nuts? For the Browns' sake I hope I am. So hear me out.

Ponder the things rattling around in my brain....
Tampa Bay (Pick #4) wants Brady Quinn, Calvin Johnson or Gaines Adams (for a trade to DET for Johnson).

Arizona (5) apparently Levi Brown more than Joe Thomas, so they could grab either of the two.

If Washington (6) doesn't trade up for Johnson they will take either LaRon Landry or a defensive lineman.

Minnesota (7) is wavering between trading up for Quinn or Peterson but has more pressing needs on defense.

Miami (9) wants Quinn.

Atlanta (8) is not going to take Quinn, Peterson or Thomas. They would only trade up to get Johnson.

Houston (10) is praying Peterson's falls to them.

If, and it's a big if, we could entice Washington (6), Minnesota (7) or Miami (9) into trading up and pick up some extra second and third round draft picks I could see this following scenarios possibly playing out

1. If we swap with Washington we could still get Quinn (unless TB takes him), Thomas (if AZ takes Levi Brown) or Peterson is still there at #6. Plus we got the additional draft picks.

2. If we swap with Minnesota, they will take either Quinn or Peterson which leaves us with the other one, Joe Thomas or Levi Brown (whoever AZ doesn't pick) at #7. Plus we got the additional draft picks.

3. If we swap with Miami, they take Quinn, Arizona takes Thomas (or Brown) and Minnesota takes Peterson (or a defensive player) and we end up with either Peterson, Thomas or Brown at #9. Plus we got the additional draft picks.

We need more talent, period. I am hoping and praying Phil is f'n with everybody's head on purpose. I actually heard an ESPN Radio comment on the state of the "perpetual early first round drafters": Oakland, Detroit and Cleveland which is due to them having such a poorly run organization (Doc Poove's #1 complaint about our beloved Browns). They actually said that while Oakland and Detroit have idiots (their word not mine) running the talent evaluation, they feel Phil Savage is taking the right steps to fix the "grease fire" (their word not mine) he inherited but that it will be a long process. I hope they are right about Phil having a clue. If he pulls off a draft like 2006 and picks up the the guy he's wanted from Day 1 in addition to the extra first day picks we desperately need, I might start to believe it.

Godspeed, Phil Savage.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tribe Wins 5th in a Row, Sweeps Texas

Suck on it, Chuck Norris!

The Indians won their fifth game in a row and their third series in a row to remain atop of the AL Central standings. The Indians now stand at 12-7 and have won every series they have played this year except for the 3 game ass whooping at the hands of the Yankees.

After hanging on to an 8-7 victory in 11 innings last night the Tribe took advantage on the quick turnaround for an afternoon game today an knocked out the Rangers to the tune of a 9-4 clip.

Wednesday's game was low lighted by a bad sixth inning for C. C. and a worse ninth inning for Joe Borowski. But the Indians hung in there and pulled out the win. A solid, yet unspectacular outing by Paul Byrd this afternoon allowed the Tribe to secure their second consecutive 2 game series sweep.

Despite Wednesday's late inning hiccups this is a game the Indians always found a way to lose last year. Also, a good showing for the day game after a night game as Texas was never really in it.

Up next, a 3 game visit at The Jake from the Baltiwhore Orioles. Can the Tribe stay on fire?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tribe Sweeps 2 Game Series From Twins

Is it an anomaly or a sign of good things to come?

The Indians swept the hated Minnesota Twins as they won 7-3 in 12 innings on Monday and 5-3 Tuesday jumping them into a virtual tie with White Sox for first place in the AL Central.

Monday's victory was highlighted by tremendous pitching from Jeremy Sowers and the bullpen. Sowers pitched 6 scoreless innings to start off before giving up 3 in the 7th to knot the score 3-3. The bullpen responded by throwing 5 innings of no hit (1 walk) baseball from the eighth inning until the bats awoke in the 12th inning. Travis Hafner went 4-4, Victor Martinez hit a 3-run jack and Ryan Garko, Jason Michaels and the freshly recalled Shin-Soo Choo contributed RBIs in the decisive 12th inning.

Tuesday's victory was a bit sweeter as it came at the expense of Johan Santana and gave Fausto Carmona his first Major League victory since his Major League debut. Pronk contributed a solo BOMB (431 feet) in the first and the Tribe managed to push two more across in the forth. Then they got RBIs in the 7th and 8th from, and I am serious, Casey Blake and Mike Rouse. Waa... Waa... Waa?!? Yes, those two guys. The story is however Carmona out-dueling Santana. A great line (7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and working through some trouble in the 4th. Aaron Fultz pitching his patented 1/3 inning of relief (just 1 pitch) and a third straight solid save opportunity converted for Joe Borowski (even though he did give up a run).

So it's a good start after a less than stellar showing versus the DEvil Rays over the weekend. Next up, another 2 gmaes series, this time at home against the Texas Rangers.

Go Tribe!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Indians Take Series From D-Rays 2-1, Look Awful Doing So

Get out the Flying DeLorean and the Flux Capacitor! In what can only be described as a flashback to 2006 the Indians played excessively bad baseball but somehow managed to take 2 of 3 from the putrid Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Bad defense, Victor Martinez throwing the ball into the outfield on a regular basis and strikeout after strikeout by Tribe hitters that plagued the Indians in 2006 have returned in 2007.

In Game 1 Friday, Victor ruined C. C. Sabathia's chance to start the season 4-0 by throwing a ball into left field while trying to throw a runner out at third. This allowed the Rays to tie the game at 3. Thanks to 1-2-3 eight inning courtesy of Roberto Hernandez, a clutch hit by Pronk in the top of the ninth and a 1-2-3 ninth from Job Borowski. The Tribe managed to escape with a 4-3 victory.

They weren't so lucky on Saturday. Behind a shaky outing by Paul Byrd the Indians fell 6-5 that was earmarked by Kelly Shoppach throwing a ball into center field on a stolen base which allowed the runner to advance to third and eventually scored on a ground out for the decisive run. A 3 run Tampa Bay third inning was highlighted (low-lighted) by Trot Nixon and Josh Barfield running into each other in RF on a dying quail and giving the D-Rays 2 runs to extend the lead to 5-2. Pronk crushed a mammoth (442 feet) home run to tie it at 5 but the Indians were done in by themselves.

Sunday was not as bad as the first two games but still wasn't pretty. Behind the first quality start by Jake Westbrook this year and a 2-run homer by Jhonny Perlata the Tribe looked primed to bounce back. Until Victor gave the Rays a free run in the 4th by not tagging out a runner on a third strike. He threw another ball into the outfield on an attempted steal and Tom Mastny threw TWO wild pitches in the 8th inning to let the Rays take a 4-2 lead. Thankfully, the Tampa closer was unavailable and the Indians bats awoke in the top of the 9th capped off by a three run JACK by Ryan Garko to secure a 6-4 win. Joe Borowski pitched his second consecutive 1-2-3 ninth for his 7th save.

Not all gloom and doom as Pronk is ON FIRE, the middle relief (sans Mr. Mastny) looked good and Borowski bounced back from the Yankees debacle nicely. But the Indians were lucky to win one game let alone 2. They travel to Minnesota to face the Twins in a brief 2 game series and need a much better showing if they want to make an impact in the AL Central.