Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rock out with no Lockout! Bernie, Larry David, Jason Kipnis, and a Chi-town Dawg Pound.

Steve Manheim/ Chronicle
The end is nigh! Of the lockout that is. Yes kids, NFL football will be played this fall. You will see plaintiffs players like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning lighting up the sky again. Colt McCoy won't have to run his receivers through their routes by making them hitch at the fire hydrant and cross at Mrs. Smith's driveway. The Hall of Fame game is the only casualty, and nobody except Canton hotel and restaurant owners are for the worse for it. All is right in the world.

Well, for some teams, perhaps. The conventional wisdom seems to be that the lockout has hurt the Browns as much as any other team. They obviously are going through wholesale changes this year with a first-year head coach, and a ton of players who need to learn a new offense, including a couple rookies they will be depending pretty heavily on, the Sporting News writes. There's a bunch of holes on D. And of course, there's the Phil Dawson situation. With this limited time to prepare, ESPN's James Walker says they could be the team hardest hit by the lockout. Football Outsiders says the Browns' first move should be to sign DE Ray Edwards, although they use the term "big money" in the same sentence. (ESPN Insider article-no link available).

I don't know if I stole the headline "Rock out with no lockout" from the Chicago Red Eye's blogger Danny Cox (@DannyCox) or he stole it from somewhere else, but he pens a love letter to the best place to catch a Browns game in Chicago. There are no shortages of places you can throw down a couple pints with some orange-and-brown clad friends each Sunday, from Vaughn's to Mickey's to Cubby Bear and more. But for the wide open spaces, open windows in fall, plentiful big screens, and nude poster of Jim Brown, the Red Ivy Chi-town Dawg Pound (Facebook link here) is where it's at. And hopefully with Christmas Ale on tap this season, it should be a good one.

Jake and Dave know how to bring it on Sundays
at Red Ivy in Chicago.
When it comes to the Indians, what's not to like about Jason Kipnis? Or a question more apt for the 2011 Indians, "What If?" Despite recent stumbles, the Indians snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Monday with a bases-loaded, game-winning first hit by the Indians rookie second baseman. Let's see if this leads to an equitable platoon with our good friend Orlando. On another bright note, perhaps the trip to the DL was just what Fausto Carmona needed. In his two starts since his return, he has allowed only two ER in 12 IP. A strong second half for Carmona would be an obvious boost to the Tribe's chances in the central.

A right handed bat wouldn't hurt either. The Indians seem to link to a lot of news on Facebook, and I catch it when I glance in the morning on the way to work. Normally the links are to ESPN or some other coverage of the AL Central or the Tribe, but sometimes it's only loosely related news. I swear last week they linked to this article suggesting that the Cubs would be willing to eat a majority of Alfonso Soriano's salary in a trade. Say what you will about Alfonso, I think that would be a pretty decent addition to the team...although if he is relegated to DH, that wouldn't work too well. But he's a serviceable OF, and despite some troubles at the plate, still has an OPS of .907 vs. LH pitching this year. (Also, he has an OPS 140 points higher at night than during the day--maybe a shift away from the Friendly Confines is what he needs.) With Detroit's loss Monday, the Indians are again within spitting distance of first place.

And finally, when listening to the Rich Eisen NFL podcast, I heard a snippet from the opener where Larry David opined that there is "no question" he could be an offensive coordinator in the NFL, and that he had that "Dan Marino fake spike" years before the play happened. And nary a mention of the man who had it years before that, I'm sure, and called it that very day. As usual. Bernie J. Kosar.