Trade Reaction

The news has just come out that the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded 1 time all-star guard Mo Williams and former dunk  contest participant Jamario Moon to the Los Angeles Clippers for 2 time all-star and 2004 All-NBA Third Team guard Baron Davis, and an unprotected 1st round pick in the 2011 NBA draft.

Newest Cavalier Baron Davis

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SuperBowl Picks

As the NFL season winds to a close it brings our NFL Picks competition to an end with it. Zach has an unimaginable 20 point lead heading into the final week or the season, making this pick all but a formality. He has won the trade, and the slap bet. Now the trade will not go through until several months from now, much closer to the 2011 NFL season, and the slap will not be administered until then, unless Zach decides to cash it in sooner. Whatever the case may be, we will now give you our final picks for the 2010 season, the picks for the SuperBowl.

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Conference Championship Picks

Zach: Steelers over Jets.

Packers over Bears.

Dustin: Steelers over Jets.

Packers over Bears.

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Sorting it Out

SS Asdrubal Cabrera needs to get back on track offensively, and stay healthy, to anchor the Tribe's questionable infield.

Let’s just be honest. The Tribe has issues. Many, many issues. Those issues will hopefully be solved quickly so that the team can re-enter the race for the American League Central sooner rather than later. The biggest, most gaping holes on the roster heading into the 2011 season are 2nd base and 3rd base. Almost every other spot on the roster is more or less spoken for, but that does not mean that there is no room for improvement. Coming off of the 2010 season the team’s injuries and poor performances of “Top Prospects” exposed the team as being farther away from contending than many believed. I, however, am a perpetual optimist and I think that if the team stays healthy and the players play to the potential and the expectations, than the Tribe could be a surprise contender in the tough AL Central. We will cover some of the other position battles and issues as we move closer, such as who will fill out the Tribe’s rotation and bullpen, and backup Outfield and Infield roles. Today I’ll just stick to looking at the 2nd and 3rd base spots, running down the main competitors and talking a little about the 1st base job and Short Stop Asdrubal Cabrera. Continue reading

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NFL Playoff Picks – Week 2

So as the playoffs continue and we keep making picks, Zach has extended his lead.

Zach: Pittsburgh I think narrowly pulls this one out.

Dustin: Baltimore over Pittsburgh.

Z: Patriots. I’m not gonna give the the Super Bowl trophy yet, but I think it is theirs for the taking.

D: Patriots over Jets. Cromrartie gets crushed by brady and the pats.

Z: I am really tempted to pick the Falcons at home because of Matty Ice, but the Packers are my Super Bowl pick from the pre-season, so I have to stick with the Cheese Heads.

D: Packers over Falcons. Rodgers just outclasses Ryan.

Z: Chicago, I don’t think the Seahawks can catch the Bears off guard like they did the Saints.

D: Chicago over Seattle. The likliness of Seattle going into beastmode again is unlikely.

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Thinking About Trades…

The Cavaliers will be trying to make some things happen at this year's trade deadline.

January in the NBA is when trade talk starts to fly around from all over the place, and as always the Cavaliers are in the middle of almost all of that talk. This year, however, is much different. Rather than looking to add the final piece that might finally push the team over the top and give the Cavs the edge in the playoffs, they are looking to tackle the trade deadline and possible trades from a different stand point. This year the Cavs will be looking to make moves that enhance the future of the team, rather than using young players, expiring contracts and draft picks to acquire players, they will be looking to add some of those things to help them moving forward. If you look at the players that are currently on the Cavs roster, there are really only 2 that stick out as players that us as fans really want to see stay, Daniel Gibson and Andy Varajao. The rest of the team might be movable, JJ Hickson has quickly fallen out of favor with the head coach Byron Scott. Mo Williams has said many times he wants to stay in Cleveland, but if a team is willing to give up draft picks or young players for him he is a piece the team will be willing to part with. Atawn Jamison and Anthony Parker are two players I think the team should really try to move, Parker would have to be an add-on to any trade involving Jamison, Williams or anyone else because he has just been BAD this year. Antawn Jamison is the name that draws the most interest and he is playing better than the rest of the team at this point in time. If Jamison were to be moved, I am not sure what the Cavs would be able to get for the aging Forward, but he could come in handy for a playoff bound team looking to add a scorer (sounds like why the Cavs got him last year). Continue reading

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How Good is Shin-Soo Choo?

Shin-Soo Choo's five tool talents made him the #2 ranked Right Fielder on MLB Networks Top 10 show.

The Cleveland Indians Right Fielder Shin-Soo Choo is a stud. All of us Indians fans know this, and he is quickly garnering that reputation around the league and from different baseball news outlets. January 6th marked the start of MLB Networks Top 10 players Right Now show running down the top ten players at each position. They started off their series with 1st base and then the 2nd episode tonight was RF. I expected Shin-Soo Choo to make the list, maybe around 6 or 7 since not many people outside of Cleveland really know much about the South Korean outfielder. Well, turns out I was wrong on that one. The back-to-back 20-20 man didn’t register on their list from 10th through 3rd. I was getting worried that I wouldn’t even see his name pop up at all, but then to my surprise he was revealed as MLB Network’s #2 Right Fielder, falling behind Ichiro. There isn’t any argument that Ichiro should be ranked first, but it kind of surprised me and made me very happy that our own Big League Choo was recognized as the 2nd best at his position.¬† Continue reading

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An Eye on the Draft

Casey Matthews, son of former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr and Brother of current Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, would be a good fit for the Browns in the 4th or 5th round.

In the past we have been pretty intent on running down a list of potential people the Browns should look to draft in each early round of the NFL’s draft in April. We are going to do things a little different this year, instead of throwing out a long list of guys for each round we’d like to see come to Cleveland, we’ll kind of go through one at a time with shorter posts with a little info on the guy we think would be a good player to bring to the improving Browns. We all know what the Brown’s needs are, playmakers on both sides of the ball, offensive line support for the right side, Wide Receivers and more depth and ability in the front 7. Joe Haden and TJ Ward showed this year that they should be pivotal parts of the Browns secondary in the future, and Matt Roth and Marcus Bernard had good years up front, but the Browns certainly need help there. My focus today is on someone who the Browns could potentially select in the 4th, or maybe the 5th round. He has some ties to the Browns already because of family, and he has just about the best NFL bloodlines you could ask for. Casey Matthews. His father, Clay Matthews Jr, used to play for the Browns, and was one of the better linebackers to ever play football, his uncle is the best offensive lineman to ever play, and his brother Clay the third, is quickly becoming one of the best linebackers in football. Continue reading

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The Picks Live On! – Week 18

SO with the NFL regular season behind us, the final tally for our picks competition has ended up Zach 160-151 Dustin. But there is a chance at redemption and a chance for Dustin to avoid the humiliation of the slap bet, and the challenge of losing one of my players at the start of next years NFL season in our keeper league. We have decided to keep picking games right on through the Super Bowl this season. There will be a tweak to our usual scoring. Instead of each game being worth 1 point, we have upped the ante. Each correct game is worth 5 points. With that in mind, lets pick the Wild Card Week.

Saturday:

New Orleans Saints (11-5) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-9)

Dustin: New Orleans. It will be closer than people think, but it still won’t be the biggest challenge for Brees and the Saints.

Zach: Who Dat?!?! Seems logical to go with the Saints in this one.

New York Jets (11-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

Dustin: Indianapolis. I think that Manning can do to the Jets D, what the Pats did to them a few weeks ago, especially since the Colts just got Addai back.

Zach: This one really could go either way, I can’t pick against Peyton Manning. Colts.

Sunday:

Baltimore Ravens (12-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

Dustin: Baltimore. I think that the Chiefs won’t be able to defend their home turf from the black birds.

Zach: Ravens, I like the Chiefs but I think they will be overwhelmed.

Green Bay Packers (10-6) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

Dustin: This is the toughest game to pick, I really don’t know which team holds the advantage. But I am going to go with the Eagles.

Zach: Packers. They are probably the hottest team right now coming off of that huge win to get into the playoffs against the Bears, I think they make a run.

 

Enjoy the playoffs everyone.

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Examining Colt McCoy’s Rookie Season

McCoy went 2-6 as a rookie in 2010, but was better than the record suggests.

The Browns drafted Colt McCoy in April of last year because Mike Holmgren and company knew how good he could be, and they were shocked that he fell to them late on the first day of the draft. McCoy was a constant winner at the University of Texas, as he ended his career there as a 4 year starter, originally starting as a true freshman to fill the void left there by the departure of Vince Young. All McCoy did was become the winningest QB in the NCAA’s long history. The fact that McCoy fell to the Browns in the 3rd round is actually pretty surprising. The Browns had no intentions of playing the rookie this season since they picked up veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace to make sure that the youngster could just sit back and learn his rookie season. Well they should have known that this is the Browns we are talking about and that regardless of who the rookie QB was he would be pressed into action at some point this season. The Browns lost both Delhomme and Wallace to high ankle sprains and McCoy became the man in Cleveland. Continue reading

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Early look at the Tribe

2011 is a make or break year for the Big Gator

2011 has only just started, but after another lackluster season from the Cleveland Browns and a very hard to watch season going on from the Cleveland Cavaliers, my focus has quickly switched to counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report. February 13th for those who are keeping track. Sure, 2010 was a hard year for the Indians, falling farther away from where we all want the team to be as they look to rebuild and make another run at contention. 2011 should be better, all of the young players will be one year older and one year more experienced, while the veterans who were hurt, and those who were not, will hopefully be ready to go. The Travis Hafners, Grady Sizemores and Carlos Santanas have been mending and will hopefully be ready to produce to the fullest of their abilities come opening day. I know it is foolish to think that Travis Hafner may be consistent and healthy, but most people would say that it is foolish to be an Indians fan in the first place. So while January is only just beginning and pitchers and catchers reporting is still over a month away, I have been thinking about key story lines or things to watch for throughout the year. Continue reading

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NFL Weekly Picks – Week 17

With the final week of the NFL regular season upon us, the NFL Weekly Picks here at TLES is coming to an end for the 2010-2011 NFL season, with that in mind lets get to the picks, and the winner of the 2010-2011 Picks competition will be announced following this weeks slate of NFL games, and the winners prize will also be announced.

 

Sunday:

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) @ Cleveland Browns (5-10)

D: Browns. We beat the Steelers late last season, maybe the Browns could pull one out at home against the Steelers.

Z: Steelers. Its just obvious.

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Chiming in on the Mangini Debate

Is he staying or is he going? We'll find out soonIn the past few months we have been struggling to pump out any sort of consistent writing on the blog, but there are a few things that really need to be talked about. The growing debate in Cleveland is surrounding the Cleveland Browns coach, Eric Mangini. The Browns have had an up and down season, losing a lot of impactful players to injury and struggling to put their best team on the field, regardless the Browns had some incredible stretches during the season. With one game left the Browns face a playoff bound Pittsburgh Steelers while our beloved Brownies limp to the end of the 2011 season. The Browns played so well in the middle of the year that it made a 7-9 or 8-8 season feel very possible, but they have limped through the last few weeks on their way to finishing with, most likely, a 5-11 record. The entire season has seen a very heavy focus on the Mangini and weather or not he will be back for the 2011 season, he was given this year by Team President Mike Holmgren to show his stuff and see if he could improve on the team’s 2009 performance. While the team’s win-loss record may end up the same as last year, the performance on the field has been obviously better. The question is, has Mangini done enough to warrant another season as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. It could end up being the case that, like the Jets, al the work that he put into building the team might end up paying off for the next coach more than it does him. Not to say that Rex Ryan has not done a great job in New York, I am just saying that a lot of that personnel that is playing so well for him was put together by Mangini. No one knows what Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert are feeling and thinking about the Mangini situation heading into the last game of the season, but I have a feeling that his fate might ultimately be decided by this Sunday’s game. It is also being reported that the announcement on whether he is the coach moving forward will be made by Monday following the game. Continue reading

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NFL Weekly Picks – Week 16

Two more weeks remain in what has been an entertaining year in the NFL. The Browns host the Baltimore Ravens while trying to avenge a close early season loss. As far as the pick totals go, it looks like Zach is still in front for the year.

Thursday

Carolina Panthers (2-12) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4)

Zach: Steelers win and get to think about resting guys going into the playoffs.

Dustin: Steelers

Saturday

Dallas Cowboys (5-9) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-10)

Z: Cowboys win as they make the case for Jason Garret to get the job for next year.

D: Cowboys

Sunday

Tennessee Titans (6-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)

Z: Chiefs, I think they are making a case to be in the playoffs and take care of business Sunday.

D: Chiefs

Baltimore Ravens (10-4) @ Cleveland Browns (5-9)

Z: Ravens. I really don’t think the Browns will play spoiler in this one, but I think they will play tough.

D: Ravens

New England Patriots (12-2) @ Bufallo Bills (4-10)

Z: Patriots, but it won’t be too easy.

D: Patriots

San Francisco Giants (5-9) @ St Louis Rams (6-8)

Z: Rams. They need it if they want to make the playoffs and have a chance at .500

D: Rams

Detroit Lions (4-10) @ Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Z: Dolphins, they win and make the wild card chase in the AFC interesting.

D: Lions

Washington Redskins (5-9) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6)

Z: Jaguars, they needed a win last week but need one more this week.

D: Jaguars

New York Jets  (10-4) @ Chicago Bears (10-4)

Z: Da Bears. I think they out defense the Jets.

D: Jets, it’ll be close but the Jets are better suited to win close low scoring games.

Houston Texans (5-9) @ Denver Broncos (3-11)

Z: The Texans looked so promising early, and are looking to make the year look like less of a failure, I think they beat the TeBoners.

D: Texans

Indianapolis Colts (8-6) @ Oakland Raiders (7-7)

Z: Colts, I think they will be picking up speed heading into the playoffs.

D: Colts

San Diego Chargers (8-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-11)

Z: Chargers win and make their case for the playoffs.

D: Chargers

Seattle Seahawks (6-8) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6)

Z: Bucs, Freeman leads them on their playoff push.

D: Buccaneers

New York Giants (9-5) @ Green Bay Packers (8-6)

Z: Packers. The Giants are looking to rebound from a horrible come back, and the Packers are looking to try and make the playoffs, will be a fun matchup.

D: Packers

Minnesota Vikings (5-9) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)

Z: Eagles all the way, after last week I think they have a shot at an NFC Title.

D: Eagles

Monday

New Orleans Saints (10-4) @ Atlanta Falcons (12-2)

Z: HUGE GAME. I think the Saints get the win, but we’ll see how it goes come playoff time.

D: Falcons

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NFL Weekly Picks – Week 15

Just 3 more weeks left in the NFL season, the Browns have a chance to finish 8-8 if they win out, wow that is something I never thought I’d say. Regardless, lets get back to the picks.

Thursday

San Francisco 49ers (5-8) @ San Diego Chargers (7-6)

Zach: Chargers take this one and continue their run to the playoffs.

Dustin: Chargers win easy.

Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) @ St. Louis Rams (6-7)

Z: This one could go either way, both teams have a playoff chance, I think the Chiefs win this one.

D: Chiefs. It’ll be a tough game but I think the Chiefs pull it out.

Arizona Cardinals (4-9) @ Carolina Panthers (1-12)

Z: Arizona wins, riding the surprising good perfomance from last week of Rookie QB John Skelton.

D: Panthers. Yes, really. I’m picking the 1-12 Panthers, because I think the Cards are actually a worse team.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) @ New York Giants (9-4)

Z: The battle for the NFC East. Eagles win today and take the division.

D: Eagles. Vick soars and Eli struggles.

Detroit Lions (3-10) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)

Z: Bucs, lets hope they don’t play down to their competition again this week.

D: Buccaneers. They should be able to handle the Lions at home, but it shouldn’t be a walk in the park.

Cleveland Browns (5-8) @ Cincinatti Bengals (2-11)

Z: Browns, I don’t know how they are the underdog in this one, but I think McCoy’s return means a W for the Brownies.

D: Browns. It’ll be an interesting game, I think McCoy’s ankle will be the determining factor.

Buffalo Bills (3-10) @ Miami Dolphins (7-6)

Z: Dolphins. They have a chance at the playoffs and I don’t think they will let the Bills stand in their way.

D: Dolphins. This is another tough close game, but I think the ‘Phins can take the Bills.

Washington Redskins (5-8) @ Dallas Cowboys (4-9)

Z: Dallas, and it will be an ugly day for Rex Grossman

D: Cowboys. Grossman sucks and the poorly coached Redskins will be reduced to getting whipped by Dallas.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Z: This is tough, huge game. Colts pull it out.

D: Jaguars. This decides the division, and I think MoJoDrew takes the Jags to the next level.

New Orleans Saints (10-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (9-4)

Z: Another huge game. I think the Saints pull it out.

D: Saints, should be a good game, but I think the Saints pull it out late.

Houston Texans (5-8) @ Tennessee Titans (5-8)

Z: Playing for Draft position now, Texans win.

D: Texans, the Titans have been a huge disappointment since Moss joined the team, not his fault, but still.

Atlanta Falcons (11-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-7)

Z: Falcons, there really is not much argument either way.

D: Falcons. It’s a pretty easy choice, the Seahawks can’t beat Matty Ice.

New York Jets (9-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)

Z: Big game for both teams, I think the Steelers seal the deal on the AFC North today.

D: Steelers. The Jets struggles continue.

Denver Broncos (3-10) @ Oakland Raiders (6-7)

Z: It won’t be a pretty game, Raiders win.

D: Raiders, Tebows first start won’t do enough to make the Broncos any good.

Green Bay Packers (8-5) @ New England Patriots (11-2)

Z: Packers playing without Aaron Rogers, Patriots win it easy.

D: Pats, with no Rodgers the Pack has no chance.

Monday

Chicago Bears (9-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (5-8)

Z: Da Bears. They need a win after last week’s embarrasment, and who better to beat then the Vikings.

D: Bears. The Vikings might just be on track to lose out.

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