Observed about the NFL, based on reading my twitter feed: no one likes any team. I swear, the number of tweets I saw this weekend that were basically “God, I can’t stand Team X,” or “Is it possible for both teams to lose this game?” or “I hate Team X, but I hate Team Y more, so I suppose I hope Team X wins I guess,” was staggering. For every on basic “Go team!” tweet, there were 50 of the others.
Is following the NFL really that negative an experience? Is it all “you suck!”? Because I really don’t think I could handle that at all. Aside from the occasional eye-roll at yet another hyped-up Yankees-Red Sox series, you never see that in baseball. And even then, the ire is directed more at the network for forcing coverage than it is the teams.
Oh well. Different strokes for different, vastly different sports, one of which is awesome and the other of which seems to bring out the worst in humanity. Now, the links you missed:
- The Yankees would consider trading Joba Chamberlain for a starter. Imagine how much more they’d get for him if they hadn’t run his value straight into the ground.
- FOX is lending Frank McCourt money to keep the Dodgers afloat. Imagine how much more awesome that team would be if he hadn’t run its value straight into the ground.
- 119 players filed for arbitration. Only a dozen or so will actually go through an arbitration hearing. Please, think of all of the attorneys who have had their time wasted drafting unnecessary documents and preparing unused arguments.
- News about Red Sox shortstops is like news about Spinal Tap drummers.
- Ron Santo is going to get a statue at Wrigley Field. The Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee will hold a vote about whether they like it and ultimately will say, no, they do not.
- Jim Thome left money on the table to stay with the Twins. I didn’t read the article, but I bet if Thome commented on it, the comment started with “Gosh, I …” Even if it didn’t make the article you know he said it and the reporter just dropped that part of the quote.
- Brian Cashman has the Steinbrenners’ full confidence. Observed: whenever something good happens with the Yankees, Cashman is praised as a genius. Whenever something bad happens, it’s “Cashman’s hands are being tied by ownership.” We worry about him sometimes, but it’s actually a pretty sweet gig to be Brian Cashman.
- Ozzie Canseco got a DUI. Watch: Jose will get one next, and it will be way, way better.
- Pablo Sandoval is in the best shape of his life. Or not. Look, I don’t want to hate on Sandoval, but I remember when Oprah went on that crash diet and looked pretty awesome too and that didn’t work out so well. Hell, I remember last winter when people were talking about him being in better shape post-Camp Panda. Yes, the picture is impressive, but I’ll believe the Panda has gotten into great shape when he looks the same in September that he looks in January and when it doesn’t seem like he’s sweating gravy when he goes after a ball at third.
- Joey Votto gets a three-year, $38 million extension from the Reds. Seems like a great deal for the Reds.
- Astros prospoect Delino DeShields Jr. got a DUI. Watch: his dad will get one next, and it will be way, way better.
- Drew Silva is an educated Cardinals fan, and he breaks down the Albert Pujols negotiations for those of us who are neither of those things.
- I used to think that Jim Hendry had pictures of the Cubs’ owners engaged in some scandalous behavior in order to keep his job. Now that he’s had such inexplicable job security across two ownership regimes, I need to think of another explanation.
- The Cardinals wisely decide that having one outfielder out of position is enough.
Now, let us begin a week of people saying why the Bears, Packers, Jets and Steelers all suck.
In a show of good sportsmanship, the Cleveland Cavaliers have moved their championship ring ceremony start time back to 7 PM EDT to avoid conflicting with the start of the World Series opener on Tuesday. The Indians are set to host Game 1 at Progressive Field on October 25, while the Cavs will open the 2016-17 NBA season against the New York Knicks at the nearby Quicken Loans Arena, preceded by a ceremony recognizing their first franchise title.
In the event that the Indians clinch a World Series title, it’ll be the first time Cleveland has seen two championships in the same calendar year since 1948, when the Indians’ last Series title came on the back of the Cleveland Browns’ All-American Football Conference championship against the Buffalo Bills. The same was true for the Dodgers in 1988, when their World Series win against the Athletics coincided with the Los Angeles Lakers’ 11th championship, while Chicago has yet to see a multi-title year among their NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB franchises.
Regardless of the Series’ outcome, Cleveland fans will get the chance to revel in one long-awaited championship win on Tuesday before watching the beginning of a nail-biting conclusion to another long-awaited playoff run. The Cavaliers are scheduled for 7 PM EDT on October 25, while the Indians will take the field at 8 PM EDT.
If any team can turn a six-day rest period into an advantage, it’s the Indians. The club polished off their pennant race with another injured starter and an overtaxed bullpen, as Trevor Bauer exited in Game 3 of the ALCS with a laceration on his right pinky finger, leaving the bullpen to shoulder 16 innings through the last three games of the series. On Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reported that injured starter Danny Salazar could rejoin the rotation in the World Series, though he’ll need at least one more simulated game before Terry Francona determines whether or not he’s fit to return for the team’s last postseason push.
Bauer, who has been under the close watch of hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, told the press that he feels confident that he’ll be ready for a World Series start when the final showdown commences on Tuesday. Keeping the wound bandaged is not an option during games, and Bauer said that Dr. Graham decided against additional stitches to keep the laceration from re-opening. Instead, they’re banking on extra days of rest to heal the cut naturally. Should Francona pencil the right-hander into the lineup for Game 3 or 4, he’ll have had 10-11 days to rest his finger between starts — just a hair under the seven games Bauer said he was prepared to pitch.
Salazar, too, has been preparing for a World Series showdown. He’s scheduled to pitch three innings of a simulated game this weekend, and if it goes well, it could land him a spot in the starting rotation alongside Bauer, Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin, and newcomer Ryan Merritt. Salazar has been sidelined since September 9 with a right forearm strain, and even after undergoing a rigorous throwing program over the last several weeks, any kind of comeback is expected to be curbed by a strict innings limit. Francona has been understandably tight-lipped about his World Series roster, but he hasn’t yet nixed the idea of utilizing Salazar out of the rotation, provided the right-hander remains healthy for another week or so.
The Indians have had to remain flexible throughout their seven-game playoff run after weathering injuries to Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, pushing their rotation through several games on short rest and relying heavily on Andrew Miller and Cody Allen‘s one-two punch in the ‘pen to clinch more than a few postseason victories. While history doesn’t always favor the first team to secure their league’s pennant race, an extra week of rest should only benefit Cleveland’s beleaguered pitching staff.