Thursday, July 30, 2015

Indians trade Brandon Moss...

The Cleveland Indians made what appears to be a nice value addition today in trading Brandon Moss,who has been less than a strong acquisition since being brought in from Oakland for highly thought of pitcher Rob Kaminsky from the Cardinals.

Moss leaves Lake Erie hitting just .217 albeit with 15 homers,but was arbitration eligible at season's end and judging by the performance that I saw,I'd guess that the Indians would more likely than not have been willing to allow Moss to walk away from an already expensive paycheck.
The Cardinals usually aren't the type to hit the panic button in a trade like this,but the recent injury to Matt Holliday may have put them in a situation that they felt forced to make a move while they still could.

Much more excited about Rob Kaminsky,who was ranked as the Cardinals fifth rated prospect by Baseball America entering the season and likely was moving up the charts after a season at High A Palm Beach.
Kaminsky notched a tiny 2.09 ERA in 17 Florida State League starts and is reported to have "Plus Plus" curve with a low 90's fastball that can touch the mid 90's.
The 5'11 Kaminsky will likely be assigned to High A Lynchburg,although the team could decide to challenge him a bit after his FSL performance and try AA Akron.
Kaminsky was the Cardinals first round pick in 2013 (Turns 21 after the season) and frankly seems to be above the return that I would have expected for a Brandon Moss after the season that Moss has put together.
I'm often critical of the Indians and their thinking and I was pretty disappointed with the Eric Stamets for David Murphy,but this is more than I would have expected for Brandon Moss,so I suppose it's a wash.

Hope to be back later with a look on the Devils continuing to get younger and faster with the contract extension to Adam Larsson and buyout of the contract of Dainius Zubrus and maybe some thoughts on our trip to Binghamton New York!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cleveland trades! Cavaliers and Indians!

On the morning that my vacation truly begins (as in I get to start doing things!),I wanted to get a quick post in.

Two trades from Northeast Ohio as both the Cavaliers and Indians have made a move..

The Cavaliers decided to pass on the available player options with their soon to expire Brendan Haywood exception and chose to bank the dollars for future use.
Cleveland sent Haywood and in a mild surprise Mike Miller,along with two second round draft picks to the Portland Trail Blazers.
In return,the Cavaliers add two trade exceptions of 10.5 million and 2.94 million respectively.
The exceptions cannot be used together,but this increases the chances of the team being able to make a trade in season and that is a huge help for a team straining against the roof of the cap.
Neither Haywood or Miller were a help last season,but Miller picked up his player option and between that and his well-known friendship with LeBron James,Miller looked to be safely on the team.
At least,the Cavaliers bought themselves some more time to use money that could have been lost,so that's something....

The Indians are a disappointing team to many (I thought their lineup wasn't as strong as thought,though I liked the arms) and when you disappoint,you become sellers not buyers.
The problem is that Cleveland has little to trade without disrupting a core that is needed to compete next year.
The result is trading spare parts and David Murphy was the first to go as the Tribe sent Murphy to thr Angels for a less than overwhelming result in AA shortstop Eric Stamets.
Stamets hit just .248 in his second year at AA Arkansas and reported to be an excellent glove with struggles at the plate.
The numbers bear that out and one would think that the upside for Stamets,a Dublin,Ohio native,is as a glove first utility infielder.
In other words,nothing to get excited about.
The Indians are in a tough spot and I'm not really sure what they can do,what I do know is this-trades like this aren't going to do much to help anyone....

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jessica Rosales Interview-Part Two

Our interview with Jessica Rosales of Fox Sports One continues with today's part two!

TRS:You also spend time on TVG (a Horse Racing Network),did you have any background in horse racing?

JR:Absolutely not! Luckily I had some great mentors at TVG that took me under their wings and helped out beyond anything I could have ever asked for. Everyone there was great and did their best to make sure I was comfortable and it was fun learning a new sport at that level. I got to do a lot of really fun things, I covered the Belmont Stakes in NY and attended opening day at Del Mar and even though I no longer cover the sport for TVG I’ve really learned to love it. My mom and I still make wagers on our TVG app at home and watch the races when we can! I also think getting to see American Pharaoh win the triple crown this year meant more to me even though I wasn’t working because I had that background and understanding of the sport and just what it meant.

 TRS: I've always thought that boxing and horse racing are often two sports that networks seem to believe that almost anyone can do and as a result has had many ill-prepared broadcasters. Would you agree and if so,what can be done about it?

 JR: I believe as a reporter, the best way to be prepared is always do your research. You are considered the “expert” on what it is you’re talking about, whether it is boxing, horse racing or any other topic you can think of. It all comes down to preparation…and when the moment comes, the fans and those watching will know whether you’re faking it or not and thats when I'll preparation catches up to you. So just always be prepared and know your stuff. No matter what the topic is!

 TRS: You also have done some work in entertainment,such as the American Music Awards. Do you see yourself in the future as an entertainment reporter or a sports reporter,if you would be forced to make a choice?

 JR: I would be really torn if someone said I had to pick just one. They are two very different experiences, for me, and what I’ve been given the opportunity to do. But I do hope that one day in the future I can do some entertainment stuff again. but right now, I am very happy covering sports and continuing on the path I’m on and you never know what can happen in the future!

TRS: Were there any special high points as an entertainment reporter?

JR: Yes! SO many! Top moments I'd have to say were getting an exclusive live interview with Martin Scorsese and making him laugh like we were best of buds, interviewing one of my idols, Tim Burton (had I not become a reporter i would have worked in animation) getting to spend a week in London covering the Fast and Furious 6 movie and top number one can not beat moment that I will talk about from now until forever and ever…i hosted the Red Carpet for The Lone Ranger for Disney and TWC And got a kiss from Johnny Depp. i have a photo from the moment it happened and it is framed in my home office because to this day I still can’t believe that happened!

TRS: Hypothetically-If there was an assignment in the entertainment industry,a big horse race and a big boxing match and all was equal-what assignment would you take and why?

 JR: Ha! well I guess it depends on the details…can’t I do all 3?! If the entertainment thing was a morning thing I could run and do that, make it for the big race…and then cover the main event in boxing! Ha! Wishful thinking! Guess I’ll know which I would pick if it actually happened.

 Stay tuned for part three of our interview with Jessica Rosales,when we move to her time covering boxing for Golden Boy Promotions...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Krushing in the Boxing Challenge

I didn't have time to post my picks in the boxing challenge yesterday,but the dullest fight enabled me to take a two point lead in the boxing challenge over R.L Malpica.

We each earned two points for Sergey "the Krusher" Kovalev's three round destruction over top rated (by the IBF anyway) Najib Mohammedi to retain his WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight titles.
Kovalev sent Mohammedi to the floor in round two and finished him in round three.
I picked Kovalev to win in two rounds,Ramon liked him in four,so by winning in three,Kovalev split the difference.
Kovalev will fight in his native Russia in November against an unnamed opponent.
Reportedly,the fight will offered to former Russian Olympian ( and Kovalev amateur conqueror) Artur Beterbiev in what might be the toughest test for the Krusher,although promotional issues might make it a difficult bout to be made.
However,there is a chance despite those problems because being in Russia,both fighters could make a career high purse and solidify the winner's brand in their home country.
I'm a huge Kovalev fan,but something nags at me about him.
I have this funny feeling that he has a little Sonny Liston or Mike Tyson in him that when someone stands up to him,that he might have major problems.
Hope I'm wrong because he is a fun fighter to watch and I'd love to see a potential battle of wrecking balls against Beterbiev.

The undercard featured Jean Pascal,who lost to Kovalev last out in a good fight in a bout against unbeaten Cuban Yuneski Gonzalez in what was another exciting bout.
Problem was they picked the wrong winner as Pascal won a unanimous decision that earned R.L and I each two points,but was disappointing in the facts.
I had Gonzalez winning 97-93 and if there is any justice (boxing justice! HA!),Gonzalez would get the next shot vs Kovalev,if Beterbiev cannot be available as the next opponent.

On what could best be called a throwaway PBC card and worst a garbage card on NBC Sports Network,former WBA Lt.Heavyweight champ Beibut Shumenov won a unanimous decision over cruiserweight (and sometimes PBC commentator) B.J. Flores in a forgettable bout.
I agreed with all three judges that scored Shumenov a 116-112 winner.
I earned two points for a Shumenov unanimous win,while Ramon picked Flores and that made the difference in the boxing challenge as I currently hold a 96-94 lead.

Vacation has started so I'm not sure how much time I'll have for here.
I'll try to make time to keep things (and you) updated and I think I'll have the second part of our Jessica Rosales interview up tomorrow!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Braxton Miller to Receiver.OSU QB Derby Down to Two

The three way race for the Ohio State quarterback position was trimmed to two when Braxton Miller announced that he was going to play H-Back,Wide receiver along with returning some kicks for the 2015 season.

Miller said his torn labrum ( a muscle in his shoulder)had not returned to 100 percent and couldn't compete at a top level as a passer.
Whether or not that is true or not,I wouldn't know,but it does create a convenient excuse for Miller not to add to a clear quarterback controversy.
The decision also gives Urban Meyer so many more choices offensively as Miller adds to the playmakers and weapons,along with giving the Buckeyes options with Miller throwing the ball that must give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares.
Miller also adds to his NFL value by being able to prove that he can catch the football as his physical size and skills makes him a very viable wideout at the next level.
In addition with Miller playing multiple positions,Ohio State has a potential weapon that is second to few with the football in his hands.
Miller as a return man is interesting because of the presence of Jalen Marshall,but in certain scenarios,Ohio State could put both players back and refuse to allow teams to kick away from the gamebreaking potential in both players.

What Braxton Miller may have done most is take care of his future after football with this decision.
Braxton Miller is an Ohio native-He's from here,he lives here and he'll likely return here after any NFL career and in a state with a massive amount of alumni in business,Miller's decision to put the OSU program first on two different occasions (coming back for 2014 and this team first decision) will keep him as a beloved figure in Ohio State football history.
Miller will be remembered for such and he'll have no problems finding jobs,endorsements,speaking engagements etc for the rest of his post OSU days.

Now the battle is down to J.T,Barrett vs Cardale Jones and each have compelling arguments.
Barrett set many records and put the Buckeyes in a position to have a chance to reach the postseason.
Barrett also would be a multi-year quarterback and would allow the stability at the position to allow incoming players to develop slowly.
Jones won the three biggest games for the Buckeyes in the last 10 years,brought a national title to the program and might deserve a chance to be the man in his final year in Columbus.
I don't think that Urban Meyer can go wrong with either guy,but the main issue will be this-Can the Buckeyes avoid a divided locker room and they afford a quick hook or a quarterback shuffle?
Interesting things to think about....

Cavaliers ink Richard Jefferson,trade Rakeem Christmas

The Cleveland Cavaliers looked to improve their bench with needed shooting and preferably with a veteran background.
Cleveland did both with the addition of well traveled Richard Jefferson to the veteran minimum contract for a one year.

Jefferson isn't the slashing player that he was in his prime,but what the 35 year old has done is change his game to become a knockdown three point shooter.

I discussed this in yesterday's podcast and what I see Jefferson becoming in the Cleveland offense is exactly what the team hoped that they would be able to bring with the long hype which was unrewarded for Ray Allen-A three point shooter that can bolster the second team in offense and when he plays with the number one unit,Jefferson can command the respect of defenders and not allow them to play inside the paint exclusively.
Jefferson shot 42 percent last season from three point range and is a 38 percent shooter for his career.
Looks to me that Richard Jefferson is going to easily fill the slot vacated by J.R. Smith and perhaps even more....

Cleveland also re-signed veteran James Jones to a one year deal to provide his long range shooting from the deeper part of the bench,
Jones shouldn't be counted on every night,but could be an occasional help on the odd night.
Cleveland also traded their top draft pick in second rounder Raheem Christmas to the Indiana Pacers for a 2019 second round pick.
I wrote when the Cavaliers drafted Christmas that he could have helped as a rebounder/shot blocker,but would need development time at best and might have struggled to see time off the bench.
Christmas could be much better off in finding court time as a Pacer with Indiana losing big men David West and Roy Hibbert as Indiana continues to rebuild.

I hope to be back with a few Braxton Miller thoughts and part two of our interview with Jessica Rosales soon!