Roda Ramblings

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Tribe woes

If you feel like you had a rough week or a not so good weekend, then this should make you feel good. Put yourself in Fausto Carmona’s shoes, or spikes in this case. The Indians’ 22-year-old closer, for now, went 0-4 with 3 blown saves and an ERA of 37.08. And three of the losses were walk-off wins for the opposition. Which was more devastating, Big Papi’s three-run walk-off homer to dead center at Fenway Park or Pudge’s two-run rocket in Detroit? After seeing Carmona’s reaction after Pudge’s ball left the yard, I would say that’s the winner. Here’s hoping this doesn’t ruin Carmona for good. And here’s hoping the Indians take him out of the closer’s role immediately so, if his head isn’t totally fried already, they can do something he couldn’t…save something. Save what is left of a career for this kid for the future!

By the way, Jason Davis should take Carmona’s place. In his last four outings, he’s picked up one win, one save (the only one the Tribe has since they traded Wickman), and hasn’t given up a run in eight innings of work. He also picked up his teammates after they made errors behind him on defense in Detroit. The 26-year-old right-hander didn’t wilt under the pressure and rose to the challenge. Unlike C.C, Cliff Lee and others on the staff, Davis made the pitch to get out of the inning and showed great emotion walking off the field. Give him the ball in the ninth!

Indians GM Mark Shapiro told me last week on my radio show that he still thinks Eric Wedge is part of the solution and not part of the problem for the Indians. Shapiro, who I respect a great deal, and I disagree on this. Maybe it’s because of the team’s slow starts over the last four years. Or their poor base running night in and night out. Or their inability to play small ball. Or, I don’t know, maybe the fact that, counting Sunday’s loss at Detroit, in the last two years the Indians are a combined 31-55 in one-run games. That’s right, a winning percentage of just .360 in tight games where a manager does make a difference!

At 47-63, the fourth place Indians are a season worst 27.5 games behind first-place Detroit in the Central Division. By the way, all three losses in the Motor City this past weekend were by one-run (7-6), (4-3) and (1-0). Last year after 110 games the Indians were 58-52, good for second place in the division, 13 games behind first-place Chicago. But only 4.5 games out of the wild card.

Wright’s new deal

A few blogs ago we told you we thought All-Star third baseman David Wright could be to the Mets what Derek Jeter is to the Yankees, both on and off the field. While Wright still has a long way to go to accomplish that, he’s off to a good start. At last check, he’s hitting .308 with 22 homers and 82 RBI. The Mets obviously agree with us about the 23-year-old stud because they just signed him to a 6-year, $55 million contract. Now with the pressure on after inking a big deal, let’s see if David can be like Derek and produce the Wright stuff!

Browns’ first preseason game

Players I’ll be watching during Thursday’s exhibition game between the Browns and Eagles in Philadelphia. Rookie linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and D’Qwell Jackson. Center Bob Hallen, if he returns in time from his back injury, and right tackle Kirk Chambers. Mr. “Even at 90% I’m still better than any tight end in the league” Kellen Winlsow Jr. It’s time to shut up and put up for him. And last but not least, quarterback Charlie Frye. It recently came out that he suffered an apparent thumb injury which was why he exited early in the scrimmage Friday night. We’ll see how it affects him Thursday night in the city of Brotherly Love as number 9 is supposed to play about one quarter.

Strong start for LBJ and the USA

LeBron and Team USA was impressive the other nite in Las Vegas as they destroyed
Puerto Rico 114-69 in an exhibition game as they’re tuning up for the World Championships and down the road for the 2008 Olympics. LBJ’s linescore: 10 pts, 5 ast, 4 rebs in limited playing time. I love the fact that he’s finally getting some good coaching (sorry Mike Brown) from Duke’s Coach K!

Tiger

Congrats to Tiger Woods, the greatest sports star on the planet. All he did was record career PGA Tour win number 50 at the Buick Open on Sunday, becoming the youngest to reach such a mark. Sam Snead holds the all-time PGA record (for now) of 82 tour wins. When it’s all said and done, Tiger will break that and the record he covets most, the 18 major wins set by Jack Nicklaus. Tiger is at 11 majors with one more to play this year after winning the British Open.

Bucks #1

No surprise here. The USA Today coaches pre-season poll has Ohio St. ranked as its #1 team. Should the Buckeyes win the national title this season, they’ll be deserving champions considering they have regular season matchups at Texas and Iowa along with home contests against Penn St. and Michigan. All four teams are pre-season top 20 teams with the defending national champion Longhorns ranked #2. This year’s title game is Ohio State’s home away from home, the Fiesta Bowl, where they won their last national title five years ago and beat Notre Dame last year.

Talledega Nights

And finally…Went to see Talledega Nights this weekend. I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan and couldn’t wait to see him as NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby. Problem is I felt like I had already seen the movie. From all of his appearances on talk shows and with the trailers being played everywhere, when I went to the theater to watch, I had already witnessed all the funny scenes. Well, with the exception of his potty-mouthed sons Walker and Texas Ranger. Don’t get me wrong, it was still funny and I enjoyed the movie, but not as much as I thought I would. Sorry, Ricky Bobby. As you like to say, “If you’re not first you’re last!” So in this case, you’re last and the checkered flag for first place goes to Ron Burgundy!

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