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Baxter still ailing

Cornerback Gary Baxter will miss his second consecutive game this Sunday with a pectoral strain.

“My arm feels kind of weak, like it’s not a part of my body sometimes,” he said. “I’m doing everything I can to rehab, lift weights and get some strength.”

Cosey Coleman and Brian Russell were upgraded to probable and several others remained questionable but still participated in all the drills. Willie McGinest and Kellen Winslow, Jr. were held out parts of the team practice. Crennel has said in regards to those two that he wants to take it easy with them and make sure they are ready for Sundays and not do too much with them during the week. It would undoubtedly be a huge loss if Winslow and McGinest are unable to go but I hope the coaching staff is just being extra cautious with them.

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BUCKEYE NATION ARRIVES

The Ohio State Buckeyes continue to be the hottest ticket in town. The Buckeye faithful invaded Austin, Texas in week two, raising ticket prices, filling hotels and even renting out the Longhorn basketball arena. This type of hoopla is expected in Iowa City, Iowa this weekend.

The game between Iowa and Ohio State is the biggest game of the week and everyone in the nation will be watching. College Game day is there and the game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff.

This weekend is why college football is so exciting and why Buckeye Nation leads the country in supporting THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.

Is Laurinaitis as good as Hawk?

James Laurinaitis is finally in the spotlight. During his childhood years, Jim was known as the son of an “action hero”. Joe “the animal” Laurinaitis is his father and one half of the “Legion of Doom”. Jim was a major recruit for most colleges, but you couldn’t read an article without reference to his father.

Laurinaitis’s first season at Ohio State, he played behind a trio of linebackers that may go down as the best in Buckeye history. The focal point of the season came when Jim had to fill in for Bobby Carpenter, who broke his ankle on the first play of the Michigan game. He played well and set up high expectations for this season.

The Ohio State defense is playing well, but Laurinaitis has started the year with numbers already drawing comparisons to superstar A. J. Hawk. He lead the Buckeyes with 13 tackles against Texas, and has a couple interceptions. If the Buckeyes want to make it to the National Championship, they will need Laurinaitis to continue to have an All American season. If he does continue at this pace, he won’t be the son of an “action hero”; Joe will be the father of a superstar.

Indians walk to victory

The Tribe barely had to take the bat off of their shoulders to win this one. With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the ninth, all the Indians had to do was watch as two Tampa Bay relievers combined to walk four batters to give the Tribe a 2-1 win. Jhonny Peralta let ball four pass with the bases loaded for his second RBI of the night.

“That was a professional at-bat by Jhonny,” Michaels said. “That was a tough situation. With one out and that guy throwing 175 mph, it was a good at-bat.”

In his second major league start, Indians pitcher Brian Slocum got the win as he struck out five in six innings. The Tribe only managed five hits but it was all they would need as they won for the sixth time in their last seven games. It wasn’t your typical last at-bat dramatic victory, but the Tribe will take what they can get. They have put together a nice string of wins here at the end of the season and have a chance to finish on a very positive note.

Byrd wins, but frustrated with himself

Paul Byrd was able to salvage a bad month by winning his last start of the season Thursday. Despite the win, Byrd was clearly unhappy and disappointed with the way he has pitched this season and wants to do all he can to fix whatever was wrong. He finished the season 10-9 with a 4.88 ERA.

“It feels good to win, but it’s just a small feel-good,” said Byrd, who expressed appreciation for fan support despite a disappointing season by flinging his jersey to a youngster sitting behind the Indians’ dugout after the game.

“The Cleveland fans have been great,” said Byrd, who was signed to a two-year, $14.25 million contract as a free agent last December by general manager Mark Shapiro.

“Shapiro put his confidence in me and I felt like I couldn’t answer,” Byrd said. “I have to figure out why and that starts tomorrow, so I can get it done next season.”

With an ERA near 5, Byrd did not pitch up to expectations this season and he has a right to be a little upset with himself. He is a veteran pitcher and hopefully will be able to work through some of his problems because the Indians are going to need him next season.

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