The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The Last Days of Summer


August has fallen into a nice predictable rhythm here in NE Ohio.  It has become the same every year, and it’s nice to have things you can count on.  The Indians fall out of contention when their key needs are not addressed by team ownership.  Browns fans confusingly become optimistic for the Browns chances once again, despite there being no tangible reason for them to do so.  Ohio State guy is itching to get out of his special golf shirts he wears while drinking Coors Light at the country club, and instead get into his special Ohio State golf shirt to drink Coors Light at an Ohio State tailgate party.  All the boxes can be checked again this year.


1.   The Indians needed a right handed hitting bat and pitching.  They didn’t do anything about it though.  How could they?  The problem was that the only way they could trade for pitching was to give up Choo, one of their only legit hitters.  If they wanted hitting, they would have to give up Perez or Pestano, one of their only trustworthy pitchers.  Bit of a Catch-22, wouldn’t you say?  It’s tough to work a trade when you only have three or four guys other teams want.  “Larry… Think out of the box on this thing.  You send us Josh Willingham, and we will send you a couple low mileage Chevy Blazers and buy your team pizza anytime they are on the road.  I’m talking large with multiple toppings from national chains.  No sheet pizza.  Now you don’t have to answer this second…  Think about it tonight, and I will call you back tomorrow.”

They thought they had this thing licked.  Ideally Travis Hafner would have been raking the ball all over the yard, but oddly enough a guy that gets paid $13 million a year to step up and swing a bat at a ball about 24 times a week can’t stay healthy enough to do that.  And he hasn’t for years. I’m not sure what job could be lower impact than swinging a bat a few times a day.  I mean, where do you go from there?  To be the guy that drives morbidly obese people to their gate at the airport in that modified golf cart with the cushy seat?  Security guard with a video monitor?  I will tell you what, Hafner is sure is lucky he’s getting paid all that dough.  Imagine if he worked a real job, like being a “sandwich artist” at Subway.  “Boss!  It’s Travis on the phone!  He can’t come in again today!  He says he blew out his back making a Chicken Bacon Ranch melt yesterday around close.  He wants you to keep sending his paycheck to his mom though.  And he says he will probably be back to work around Halloween, so don’t worry.”

That Grady Sizemore thing didn’t work out either.  I don’t know why the only people that didn’t know that Grady Sizemore was going to spend 2012 in a cast and jacking off watching Game of Thrones re-runs were the people the Indians pay to evaluate players, but that’s what happened.  Even the Oakland A’s, who love signing broken down guys on a whim were like “no fucking way”.  Don’t forget, the A’s said “Yes!” to Manny Ramirez and “Um, I don’t think so” to Sizemore.  Must be that Moneyball shit.  Or common sense.  True story, I had a Pakistani cab driver in New York find out I was from Cleveland and tell me in a heavy accent “Grady Sizemore used to be good, but he never healthy.  Why do they give him money?  Why?  Why?”   That guy knew. We all did.

I have said it before and I will say it again, the Indians will NEVER be an elite team because you have to spend money to contend.  There is no indication that will ever happen while the Dolans own the team unless they hit that Powerball Lottery that everyone keeps talking about.  “Paul, it’s your dad.  Don’t forget to pick up a lottery ticket on your way home.  Oh, and get me some Chex Mix.  The spicy one. I like it with some zip!” The team needs to live in reality.  They should radically decrease beer prices, rely on sales volume, and make Progressive Field a good place to tie one on and yell shit at Prince Fielder.  They won’t though, and welcome to 1977 Indians baseball all over again. See you at Shelly Duncan bobblehead day in 2013!


2.   The Browns have probably improved from last year.  The key word there is “probably”.  They have not remarkably improved.  Let’s put it this way…  They didn’t go 4-12 by accident last year.  Vegas doesn’t have the win total at over/under 5 by accident either.  They are still going to suck.  It’s good news that they have a new owner, but that good old boy can’t block or tackle.  He can however sell Oak Ridge Boys cassettes and sweatshirts with American Indian motifs on them at high volumes with great markups, I guess.  How else do you explain a guy that owns truckstops being able to buy an NFL franchise?  Who knew there was that much money in roller dogs and mini thins?

The real question Browns fans should have is 4-12 or 5-11?  If you are a fan, jump on that over five and cheer your guts out.  It will give you something to look forward to while you piss in the weeds by the railroad tracks at the Muni Lot on a rainy November morning before the Ravens game.  The Playoffs are out of the question, so it’s all about managing expectations and creating a game that you can win.  Personally, I’d wait to see if it goes to over/under 4.5, but you’re the one that renewed their overpriced season tickets (again) and has somehow convinced himself they are going 8-8.  Might as well take the “over five”.


3.   Ohio State Guy is very excited to begin the Urban Meyer regime.  I would imagine everyone in Columbus is expecting to lose potentially two games over the next decade, and both of those will be due to lousy officiating.  Ohio State Guy thinks it is God’s Will that OSU Football is good every year, and I agree with him.  That is assuming that by “God’s Will” you mean “paying football players and fixing grades”.  Ohio State realistically may lose 3-4 games this year, and lots of guys in OSU polo shirts are going to be pissed off.  This is then of course going to lead to angry suburban sex for some poor little dyed blonde wives with bob haircuts after the Wisconsin game when Papa comes home from BW-3’s all beered up. The season high point?  Look for lots of insensitive Penn State mocking in late October as Ohio State Guy assumes the (shaky) Moral High Ground vacated by Penn State Guy.

When Meyer loses his first game, opportunity does knock for one man. Tressel should send in an application with a nice cover letter.  Who cares about those tattoos now?  Now that the smoke has cleared, that guy looks like a saint.  I bet he still has those sweater vests too.


It would be exciting if just one of our sports franchises in NE Ohio was a contender on a regular basis.  The Indians won’t be again unless Gilbert buys the team and goes on a crazy spending spree after realizing that NBA free agents won’t ever come to Cleveland.  And the Browns will need two-three years to clean house and churn the problems out of the organization to even begin thinking about winning anything. So here we go again. The sun is out a little less every day. The mornings have a bit of a chill to them. September is close and that means Indians-AAA call ups and Browns football.

It’s pretty bleak.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Aug 14 2012. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “The Last Days of Summer”

  1. Mike Steranka

    “Roller Dogs and Mini Thins” has gotta be the title of a new Whiskey Daredevils song… it’s just gotta!

  2. Bushwik

    “papa comes home from BW-3 all beered up”!!!!! ROMFLMAO

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