Indians sign Nick Swisher

From my perspective, the Indians have been a mess since they traded Cliff Lee for a bag of beans. Last year was a mess with the idiotic re-signing of Grady Sizemore and the miserly approach of the Dolans.

But since they added Terry Francona as the new manager, I have to say I’m impressed with the approach of the front office. The signing of Nick Swisher is excellent news, as he rounds out a lineup that has a legitimate bat at every spot in the order. Yes, a couple of them are strikeout machines, but now they can be parked later in the batting order where their power will be a plus.

I’m still hoping the Tribe moves Chris Perez, not because I have anything against him, but just because closers are overvalued, and they should be able to get real value in return while handing the closer job to Vinnie Pestano.

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5 Tips for Kicking Your Online Poker Game Into High Gear

If you love poker but you know your online game isn’t at its best yet, there are many different things you can do to improve your odds of winning. Aside from practicing, which is something you need to do for everything you want to master, there are some tricks used by novices and seasoned poker players alike that can really jumpstart your online game.

Begin with Low-Stakes Games

Even if you’re used to playing high-stakes games in the casino, it’s best to start off with lower stakes when you begin playing online. This gives you the chance to get the feel of the game and to get accustomed to playing online. Even for some seasoned poker players, the difference between live poker and online poker can take a little while to get used to. Start small, be cautious and in no time you’ll be winning big.

Avoid Multi-Tabling

This is something a lot of online poker players want to do, because they can increase their odds of winning a lot of money in a short amount of time. However, for many, multi-tabling is a distraction and prevents players from being able to learn the idiosyncracies of their fellow players. This can take away the skill factor of poker, which can really decrease your chances of winning.

Carve Out Poker Time

While many people believe they can play poker at any time, they won’t experience the benefits of creating time specifically for playing poker online. When you’re playing while watching television, taking phone calls or reading the newspaper, you’re distracted and unable to use your true poker skill. If you’re focused on only the game, you will notice patterns in the other players’ game that will enable you to make wiser decisions in your own game.

Download the Software

If you want to play poker in USA online, you often have the option of playing on your web browser or downloading the software. The difference is huge, as the downloaded software provides a rich user experience, faster loading, and better graphics. It allows you to truly get inside the game in a way you’re unable to by playing via your web browser.

Diversify Your Game

If you’re playing at a table and you notice one player always bluffs, you’re more likely to call him out and win. If you notice a player who is more conservative and never bluffs, you’re going to take him seriously when he raises. The same can be said for you. If you use the same patterns over and over, the other players are going to pick your moves apart and use it to their advantage. Diversify the game and don’t be afraid to take risks or play conservatively. If possible, avoid developing a pattern that can be tracked.

Overall, the most important thing you can do for your poker game is practice. Practice playing against new players, against seasoned players, at low-stakes games and high-stakes games, and any other situation you can imagine. The more you practice playing online poker, the better you’ll be.

The emergence of Josh Gordon

Photo source: Browns Facebook page

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future for this young Browns team, and Josh Gordon certainly has emerged as a real weapon on offense. Tony Grossi elaborates on this in his latest column, where he also takes the opportunity to repeat his opposition to the absurd notion of having Mike Lombardi replace Tom Heckert.

Grossi points out that Lombardi mocked Heckert’s selection of Gordon in the supplemental draft, and Grossi is leading the charge for those of us who believe that Heckert has done an excellent job of rebuilding the Browns roster.

It will be fascinating to see if the reactions of Grossi, other writers in Cleveland and the fans will have any impact on decisions made by Joe Banner and new owner Jimmy Haslam regarding Heckert’s future. I’m taking them at their word, and assuming they will in fact wait until the end of the season to evaluate Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur.

Grossi has argued that there is little Heckert can do at this point to affect his status, and thus Banner and Haslam should have stated their intentions regarding the GM. I don’t buy that. First, they don’t want to treat Heckert any differently than Pat Shurmur in terms of deciding his future before the end of the season, so I don’t read anything into their silence. Also, Heckert is preparing for next year’s draft and free agency, so they are observing how he works in that lead role. And finally, Heckert’s resume evolves as young players like Gordon improve their performance through the season.

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