Mel Kiper has some interesting projections on his updated draft board (from ESPN Insider). He projects Ashton Youboty to go to the Dolphins with the 16th pick, two picks higher than Santonio Holmes. I guess that means his decision to leave early wasn’t such a bad choice. Also, and this one makes me sick to think about it, he has Bobby Carpenter going late in the first round the the Steelers. That would be great for Carpenter, but it would suck for Browns fans. He still has the Browns selecting Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway with the #12 pick.
Junior college linebacker Larry Grant decided to commit to Ohio State. Grant is ready to play right now so this could be a big boost to the Ohio State defense that is losing nine starters, including all three starting linebackers. Grant acknowledged this when he discussed his decision:
Let’s see if Tressel can sneak in some more players before tomorrow’s deadline.
Lebron James scored 30 points in three quarters as the Cleveland Cavaliers finished the game with James on the bench. Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished with 19 points, Donyell Marshall had 14 and Drew Gooden had 12 rebounds as Cleveland buried the Charlotte Bobcats 103 -91.
The Buckeyes ran into Iowa at the wrong time and fell 67-62 to the Hawkeyes. Iowa won this game with their defense, which ranks fourth in the country. They held Ohio State to only 35% from the field. Still, the Buckeyes had a good shot to come away with the win late in the game against a veteran and talented team. I think this quote by head coach Thad Matta sums things up best-
“It’s another one of those games where we’re there, but we just have got to find a way to get over the hump, and win the damn game,” Matta said to the AP.
This is becoming a recurring theme for this Ohio State team. They have the talent to play with anyone and make no mistake, they are a good team. But just a good team. Can they be great? Maybe, but like Matta said, they are going to have to find a way to get over the hump and finish teams off. At the end, it just becomes a battle of wills and who wants it more. On Saturday, it was Iowa.
The Ohio State Football program followed its “high mark” for grades by removing a scholarship offered to Josh Chichester of Lakota West High School. The rumor is that Josh is having academic difficulty. The Buckeyes, who are unable to comment on prospective recruits, did verify that Josh will not be attending Ohio State. It appears that Josh will be heading to Louisville to play football.
As Bob pointed out in a previous post, the Indians are reportedly talking to the Reds once again about an Austin Kearns/Jake Westbrook trade. At first glance, it’s easy to say, as Bob did:
But then I read this:
Now, there’s no way you can trade Jake Westbrook without getting a competent replacement for him. I agree wholeheartedly. But Weaver is Jake Westbrook, or a damn fine clone:
You may be tempted to say that Weaver’s older, and he is, but only by one year (29-28). So if Shapiro’s able to land a power-hitting outfielder, albeit one with some issues but one with a lot of potential too, without losing anything in terms of starting pitching, would that be such a bad thing?
Everybody likes Westbrook, just like everybody loves Coco, but again, Westbrook’s not a great pitcher, nor will he ever be one. He was so erratic last season that he often wasn’t even a very good pitcher. Granted, you’re not getting someone with Andy Marte’s potential in return, but Kearns is still just 25 (younger than Coco, by the way) and he’s got GOBS of power. And by trading Westbrook, Dolan would then open up his wallet for Weaver, which is what we all want to see him do, right? Start spending. Well, he may do just that soon.
And for everyone accusing the Indians of not trying to compete, think again. Shapiro’s gearing this team up for a playoff run, but in the process he’s also solidified the future of the franchise. Without question, we’re talking about one of the best general managers in baseball. It’s a shame so many Cleveland fans don’t recognize it yet. But they will soon.
So after blogging about all the rumors and failed physicals and three-team possibilities, I’m late getting the actual story up. I apologize. I was busy and I figured you all knew anyway.
If you missed it, here. Tribe gets Andy Marte, Guillermo Mota, Kelly Shoppach and Jason Michaels, gives Coco Crisp, David Riske, Josh Bard and Arthur Rhodes (in separate deals, of course). I still wish they could’ve hung on to Rhodes somehow, but at least it’s done.
The hardest part is losing Coco, of course. Still, it amazes me how many fans out there refuse to look at this objectively. Coco is a good player. In fact, a friend of mine said the other day that he was an “average ballplayer.” That’s selling the guy short. He’s a 20/20 threat and a doubles machine who plays solid defensively. Coco Crisp is no superstar, but he is a good player.
But the thing is, Andy Marte has the chance to be a great player. No matter how long he stays and how much money you pay him, Coco will not be a great player. Said Shapiro of his newest acquisition:
I couldn’t agree more. This is a fantastic move by Shapiro, because while Jason Michaels isn’t as dynamic as Coco, he’ll certainly be a useful player. He can play all three outfield positions, he hit .304 last year and he gets on base. Compare Crisp’s OB% the last two years — .344 and .345 — to Michaels’ — .364 and .399 — and you’ll see why Michaels is a prime candidate to bat second. Crisp to Michaels is a step down, for sure, but not as steep of a step as the casual fan may think.
And, folks, Guillermo Mota ain’t no slouch. Sure, we’re all now worried about his health but he passed his Boston physical a couple months ago and, rumor has it, he didn’t even fail his physical with the Tribe. Instead, they were “concerned” with the results of some of the tests. Let’s assume we get 50 innings from him, though Shapiro and Wedge would prefer 70. Well, for those 50 innings you’ve got your Bob Howry replacement, a power arm in the ninth who can also spell Wickman when the big guy needs a breather. Oh no, Mota wasn’t just a throw-in. Shapiro wanted him.
But the real gem here is Marte. Look, you don’t get a chance on a kid like this very often. Yes, the people who are saying that he may not even pan out are absolutely right. But you know what? Sometimes, the risk is worth it. If Marte does develop the way so many people believe he will, then you’ve got one of the premier third basemen in the game for the next eight or 10 years. You’ve got to roll the dice on talent like that.
Shapiro’s done this before, and while everyone keeps churning out the Brandon Phillips comparison, don’t conveniently forget about Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Cliff Lee and Coco Crisp. Shapiro traded veterans for these guys and look how those deals turned out. It’s time to have some faith in this guy. He knows what he’s doing.
Five years from now, this will be remembered as the Andy Marte trade, not the Coco Crisp trade.
The Cleveland Indians are quietly working on another trade. This time it’s pitcher Jake Westbrook to Cincinnati for power hitting outfielder Austin Kearns. The trade was originally turned down the first time by previous Reds GM Dan O’Brien. The new management has taken a different opinion and opened talks with the Tribe. The Indians management continues to make risky moves and break up a very successful team from a year ago. I think that Mr. Dolan needs to understand that keeping a nucleus together is critical for success, even if it means spending money.
Jim Tressel continues to make The Ohio State Football program one of the most successful in the country both on and off the field. Tressel has always stated that discipline and ability were equally important. One of the most popular statements by this years incoming recruits is that “Coach Tressel cares about us as people”. He continues to support his point by having a record 56 players have a GPA of 3.0 or better. This is why Jim Tressel continues to be a winner and why the Buckeyes continue to have successful recruiting during his tenure.
There’s been a lot of talk the past couple days about the much-rumored Coco Crisp/Andy Marte trade between the Indians and Red Sox falling apart, being reworked and falling apart again, so much so that I’ve chosen not to blog about it again until something appeared immenent, one way or another.
Well, that time has come. Many media outlets are reporting that the Tribe and Phillies have completed the Jason Michaels/Arthur Rhodes swap, which would seem to indicate that the Coco trade is back on as well. Otherwise, the Indians have absolutely no need to pick up Michaels.
Ken Rosenthal from FoxSports.com seems to back this sentiment up by reporting that the Sox and Indians are moving closer to completing the Crisp/Marte deal, though he’s not sure yet who else may or may not be included. One rumor I’ve heard is the Indians may still be getting Marte and Mota back, but Boston may have agreed to send more compensation to the Tribe if Mota spends a specified amount of time on the DL this season with arm problems. Interesting.
So it’s not official just yet, but it looks like we’re close.