This has been a great week in Cleveland sports, hasn't it?
- The Indians lost four straight one-run games before beating the Angels 4-0 tonight. Jake Westbrook, after allowing seven hits in the first three innings and tottering like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, showed some resilience and yielded only two more hits the rest of the game. We should have scored about ten runs off Angels ace John Lackey but managed only four. Still, it was a well played game by the Tribe, some nice defensive plays by Joe Inglett in left, Andy Marte at third and - gasp! - Jhonny Peralta at short. Sadly, this is what I've been forced to doing with the Tribe, looking for some positives one game at a time.
("We're talking baseball, Indians baseball - we're talking Tribe!")
- Cleveland's starting lineup included Inglett in left, Shin-Soo "Big League" Choo in right, Marte at third, Hector Marinnaro Luna at second and Ryan Garko at first. Yeah, this is definitely the lineup we expected to have in August after winning 93 games the previous year.
- Todd Hollandsworth was traded to the Reds for a player to be named later. Maybe it will be Brandon Phillips.
- Browns center Bob Hallen, pressed into the starting lineup after the LeCharles Situation, injured his back Monday morning, then apparently left to go to San Diego for "personal reasons". One problem: Hallen didn't tell anyone he was leaving. He eventually did talk to coach Romeo Crennel, who said in an article on clevelandbrowns.com that "He [Hallen] gave me good enough reason to have some concern on my part.”
The Plain Dealer reported that Hallen left to get a second opinion about his injury. Now, Hallen is a Mentor native, and while I've certainly taken my (well-deserved) shots at that city, is he too stupid to realize that the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are about the best in the nation? Say what you will about Cleveland, but don't knock our hospitals - when you got shot after a botched robbery, you've got a good chance to live.
- Michael Reghi is out as the Cavs announcer. Unbelievable. Reghi provided solid and entertaining commentary for the team's broadcast. If the team played well, he was a great cheerleader. If the team stunk, he wasn't afraid to point it out. Dan Gilbert, in his ongoing quest to change the team into the Detroit Cavaliers (or Cleveland Pistons), brought in Detroit's announcer Fred McLeod to handle the mic. Get excited, because Fred is a local guy! Only problem is, he hasn't worked here for over 20 years.
I will mis Reghi's steady voice, the "Flight 23!" exclamations, the way he gave precise distances for desperation last-second heaves ("Snow, from about 67 feet"), how long three's were "launched from Shaker Heights" and just his general passion for his profession. If I ever make enough money to get NBA TV, I'll be tuning into Reghi's broadcasts frequently.
(Good news though - Ronnie Duncan is out as the PA announcer! I liked Ronnie when he did the sports on WUAB and WOIO, but he became insufferable doing the PA. "Eric let it Snow, let it Snow, let it Snow"? The first game I went to this year, people spent more time complaining about Duncan's style then paying attention to the game - myself included.)
- In a developing story, LeBron James contracted the bird flu while in China. Coach K said the team stopped at a KFC after their exhibition game with China's national team, and...
OK, I made that last one up. But it sure makes you feel better about Bob Hallen, right?