Thursday, July 17, 2008

Filling the void

As I've said, this is the part of summer that sucks the most. The Browns won't start camp for another 6 days. The Tribe doesn't resume play until tomorrow night in Seattle. And the Cavaliers summer league team is playing some trivial games out in Vegas, but at least those provide us with a possible glimpse of what's to come. Last night the team fell to the Rockets 73-72, but J.J. Hickson had another solid outing, leading all scorers with 18 points and adding 6 rebounds. In two games he's poured in 44 points and grabbed 15 boards, while going 18-for-30 (60%) from the floor. Obviously we can't get too excited, given that this is just the summer league and a lot of these guys will end up in the D-League or overseas. But his two games have been encouraging so far. Here's a brief interview with Hickson after his summer league debut.

Two solid outing in Vegas so far for J.J.

In other Cavalier news, Daniel Gibson explains why he wanted to remain in Cleveland. And here's the audio from yesterday's conference call. It's nice to hear how much Boobie wanted to stay here alongside LeBron and I'm looking forward to watching him grow as a player. He'll only be 27 when this contract is up...

Now the Cavs can move onto other business, with the top priority being the handling of Delonte West's possible contract extension. And here's a look at the remaining free agents out there. With the full mid-level exception still at their disposal, expect the Cavs to sign someone at some point given owner Dan Gilbert's willingness to keep going way above the luxury tax threshold.

And this is a nice story I stumbled upon today, with the King giving a big assist to the Akron Zips program. Yet another sign he's ready to bolt from Ohio for Brooklyn! ;)

Tribe Update: As painful as it is, it's time to recap the first half of 2008 campaign. Paul Hoynes and Terry Pluto go over the agonizing details of a broken season. And when things go this wrong, it's always nice to look ahead to what the future has in store for Tribe fans.

My personal thoughts on how things came unglued for the Indians could go on for pages. But I'll spare you all the details. I think it comes down to the bullpen first and foremost. There are a lot of other large factors (poor hitting, injuries to key players, no big free agent acquisitions, the weight of enormous expectations, etc., etc.) but the bullpen's performance will usually make or break a team. This year the 'pen has just not been anywhere near where it was last year. Then when you add in all the other problems, everything begins to be magnified, losses start to pile up, and things just spiral out of control. I'm not going to use Wedge or Shapiro as a scapegoat. They were the darlings of MLB last year for good reason. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. But I don't think this team is nearly as bad as its record. And I expect them to be back in '09.

As for now, we found out yesterday that two of our guys will represent Team USA in the Olympics in a couple weeks. I really like what I'm hearing from this LaPorta kid...

LaPorta will be on his way to China soon
"Just the chance to represent my country and bring back a gold medal, it would mean so much," said Indians prospect Matt LaPorta.
*Update - 3:00pm* The Indians are set to recall Asdrubal Cabrera from Buffalo. He will join the team in Seattle tomorrow. To make room, Jorge Velandia was sent back to Buffalo. I'm glad to see Asdrubal getting another shot up here. His defense is outstanding and he needs to regain his confidence at the plate. Hopefully with less pressure on him now he will relax and start hitting...


rick@waitingfornextyear said...

Just found your site. Looks nice...noticed we have something in common other than a love for Cleveland sports- December 26th. Being born the day after Christmas seems somewhat appropriate for following Cleveland sports doesn't it?

chiefwahoo56 said...

Nice, a fellow 12/26er! I'm a huge fan of your site and have had it linked here for a while. And I saw you got some nice recognition from Terry Pluto on Sunday. Keep up the good work over there!