Weekend observations

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!

Memo to Dolan: Look at Leyland

While the Indians continue to believe (why I have no idea) that Eric Wedge is the right guy for their team, the Tigers went out and hired a proven manager this off-season in Jim Leyland, and I think it’s safe to say that a manager can make a difference. Leyland has taken a Tigers team that lost 91 games a year ago to the World Series in one season. In the previous three years “BL” (before Leyland), Detroit posted a combined 186-300 record, for a winning percentage of (.383). In one year “WL” (with Leyland) calling the shots, the Tigers went 95-67, for a winning percentage of (.586). Now try and tell me a manager or a coach can’t make a difference with professional athletes!

Leyland has now taken three different teams (Pirates, Marlins & Tigers) to the League Championship Series and two of those teams (Marlins & Tigers) have moved on to the World Series. Of course, we all know how the Marlins did in 1997 and who they beat.

We’ll see if Leyland and the “Cats” can get it done this year. If they do, and I hope Tribe owner Larry Dolan is paying attention, it’ll be the second straight year that a team not named the Indians has won the World Series coming out of the American League’s Central Division!

Buckeyes #1 in BCS

A good weekend for Northeast Ohio football fans. The Ohio State Buckeyes went into
East Lansing, Michigan and kicked the crap out of Michigan State 38-7 and the
Cleveland Browns didn’t lose. What a perfect weekend!

Speaking of the Buckeyes. The first BCS Poll is out and Ohio State is ranked #1 in the standings. USC is 2nd, while Michigan is 3rd. Should both the Buckeyes and Wolverines run the table and have identical (11-0) records, then the winner of that game on November 18th down in Columbus would mean a trip to Glendale, Arizona to play for the National Championship.

By the way, if you’re wondering, has it ever happened before that the Buckeyes and Wolverines have played a game where they were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation? The answer is no. While the Wolverines are 3rd in the BCS poll this week, they are ranked #2 in the AP Poll. The last time these two teams met as undefeateds was back in 1973 in Ann Arbor. The last time they met with perfect records in Columbus was back in 1970. In 1973 the two teams tied 10-10, while in 1970 the Buckeyes won 20-9.

Peterson lands on collarbone, season done

Hopefully all pro, college and high school football players learned a lesson this weekend thanks to Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma. Peterson broke his collarbone at the end of a 53-yard touchdown run. No, he wasn’t blindsided at the goaline. Nobody dragged him down from behind to force him to land awkwardly. He broke his collarbone because he decided to dive into the endzone unnecessarily so he would look good and make all the highlight shows that day. Now his season is probably over, unless he can recover and play in a bowl game. And instead of maybe making history, his chance to win the Heisman Trophy is definitely history. The lesson is learned here, hopefully. If you’re going in for the touchdown, and it is not necessary to dive…DON”T! Act like you’ve been there before.

Miami/FIU brawl

And last but not least. The brawl that happened in the Miami and Florida International game was a disgrace to college football. Players using helmets as weapons, another injured player who wasn’t even dressed for the game swinging his crutch at players and players kicking and stomping on defenseless players laying on the ground. While 31 players were suspended, it sounds like they will be out for only one game. If that’s the penalty issued by the teams and conferences involved, it’s a joke. The NCAA, who doesn’t want a playoff system in part because they are worried about the health of their student athletes, needs to step in and send a message here if they really are concerned about their student athletes’ health. Suspend all the players involved for the rest of the season and let it be known throughout college football that this type of behavior will not be tolerated at any level. Anything short of that tells me the NCAA is full of it!

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