A Sporting Viewpoint: A volatile time in C-Town
By Jim Horvath
How many times have we all heard this before?
You gotta be tough to be a Cleveland sports fan.
Too many times, without doubt. All three of our teams find themselves at that proverbial fork in the road. And each of them is sitting there with similar, yet unique situations as they prepare to make their choices.
That’s tough on them, and even tougher on us. We’re the ones, after all, who are sitting there in the passenger seat hoping the driver makes the correct turn.
We all know what taking the wrong turn means. We’ve seen it too many times.
Let’s start with the Cavaliers.
For one thing, I go on record in saying that I love Charles Barkley. Why? Because he can’t stand all this nonsensical talk about LeBron James either.
“I wish he would just make up his mind already so I don’t have to hear about it anymore,” Sir Charles said on a radio show recently. Ditto. And to thing, James isn’t even officially a free agent yet. How many more rumors are we going to be subjected to over the weeks – and possibly months – to come?
I’m already at the point where I turn off the radio or switch the channel. But once you get past all those rumors, there’s still the very real problem of how the Cavaliers move forward, with or without their 25-year old mega star.
That’s a very complex problem. So is the problem facing the Indians.
Already thin on major league-ready talent, the Tribe had a disastrous week with Asdrubal Cabrera breaking his arm (thanks, Jhonny) and Grady Sizemore placed on the disabled list. After getting swept by Kansas City – at home, no less – things don’t look good at the corner of Ontario and Carnegie.
So, what do the Indians do? What can they do? They have plenty of prospects, but they’re not yet ready for the day-to-day rigors of a major league season. And interest in the team is at lows not seen since the 70s and 80s.
Right now, the Indians are third on the depth chart.
I was OK with the way they were playing so far this season because I felt the offense would continue to improve enough to keep the team competitive. I never felt like the Indians were the worst team in baseball.
But another injury or two, and any more lost grounders in the sun by Luis Valbuena (really?), and we’re looking at a sure-fire disaster.
Our best bet – and we never would have said this a few months ago – lies with the Browns.
Maybe I’m too much of an optimist, but I like the way things are going out in Berea. Mike Holmgren and Company seem to have stabilized a listing ship (OK, sinking ship) and have put their plan to work.
We need that plan to work. If LeBron leaves and the Indians keep spiraling into oblivion, the Brownies are all we have left. They’ve always been No. 1 in town, and a turnaround in their performance could prove the tonic to what ails us.
So there you have it.
Which fork in the road are you taking?