Currently, there are two big questions in the Cleveland sports scene: Who the heck is going to play quarterback for the Browns, and what the heck happened to the once-potent Indians offense?
In my last column, I briefly addressed the first situation. Basically, you can win games with any old bum under center who has a pulse and can tell the difference between a Cover Two and a man-to-man defense. You don’t have to put up gaudy numbers to get to and win the Super Bowl – ask Dan Marino about that. You have to run the ball, don’t make turnovers, and play solid defense.
Now, I hate to pass judgment after one meaningless preseason game…but dear God, did Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye look awful Saturday night. Absolutely awful. Frye’s numbers looked good at the end of the night, but he made three dumb plays: his first pass of the night should have been picked off; that backwards pass/lateral to Jerome Harrison (whom I don’t think would have gotten to the ball even if he tried); and his gallop to the end zone before halftime with no timeouts left.
In the NFL, you can probably get away with one dumb play per game – look at Brett Favre’s career. But Frye is nowhere near the caliber of quarterback as Favre, and he stunk Saturday. And Anderson was just as bad, completing a low percentage of passes and throwing a few balls that should have been picked. Ken Dorsey – Ken Freaking Dorsey – was the bright spot at QB, albeit against the Chiefs freshman squad at the end of the game.
(I wonder what Brady Quinn was thinking on the sidelines during the game. Probably one of two things: “Gosh, if only I’d signed earlier, I’d be starting over these idiots by now.” Or, “I should have held out until after this game…Phil Savage would have given me $50 million to come in.” I also think it would have been hilarious, and an absolute slap to Quinn’s face, if Romeo Crennel put him in the game to take a knee at the end.)
Again, I think stats put up in preseason and exhibition games, regardless of the sport, are worthless. The games bear little semblance to the real action. But you still want your guys to play well and show some glimpses of what they can do in the regular season. Saturday night, we saw no real glimpses of positive play from the quarterbacks, and that could mean (another) long season for Browns fans.
Sportswriters and broadcasters across the North Shore have worn out their thesauruses trying to describe how poorly the Tribe’s offense has performed the past few weeks. I am particular to “anemic”, though “putrid” and “insipid” are also strong candidates.
Or as my dad, who has been an Indians fan since the womb, put it: “I haven’t seen the team hit this bad, for this long, in a long, long time.”
Basically, if you haven’t been paying attention, we stink right now.
I was trying to think of a way to approach this topic in a different manner than what everyone sees in the local papers and hears on the local sports talk shows. Of course, here at Jack City, we pride ourselves on giving you the reader a totally different perspective, so you know what that means – it’s poetry time!
(And ignore the fact that the last time we presented this perspective, Ohio State got spanked by Florida in the BCS championship game. Thanks.)
Can't Buy A Hit
We’re in the dog days of August
And our bats are showing signs of rust.
No one knows when our lumber
Will break out of this month-long slumber.
Not much contact, not much power
The pennant race has turned quite sour.
Can the offense, mired in such a terrible state,
Turn it around before it’s too late?
Everyone’s stuck in a long and nasty slump
We’re playing like some Little League chump.
Who’ll give the stern kick in the rump
To get us out of this offensive dump?
Grady Sizemore really whiffs a lot
Hafner’s been tied up in a knot.
Victor’s struggled, but overall he’s great
Trot Nixon can barely hit his weight.
Peralta still can’t hit the curve
Heaven forbid they throw him the slurve.
All year, Blake’s been up and down,
At least we’re done with that Rouse clown.
Michaels already reached his peak.
Barfield’s starting to really reek.
Can’t believe we’ve gotten this meek
Batting average dropping as we speak.
Still unsure on Kenny Lofton,
Forty years old, but he can still run.
Kelly Shoppach’s returned to Earth
Ryan Garko’s still proving his worth.
Wedge insists that nothing’s wrong -
Wonder who’s passing him the bong?
According to him, our hitting is strong.
But we haven’t scored any runs in oh-so-long.
If anyone out there can hit the ball
Please give Mark Shapiro a call.
I’d hate to waste another chance
To reach the October Baseball Dance.