Each of us has a lifetime of Cleveland sports memories engrained in our heads and hearts. With those memories come the realizations that certain things can only happen here. Nothing is off the radar as a possibility of what might happen to a Cleveland sports team (except a championship, of course).
As is customary for now the third year, I take a look at how I see 2007 playing out for the Cleveland Indians. For good measure, I have added a peek into the immediate future of the Browns and Cavs as well.
Here is what we can expect for the remainder of 2007:
March 8th- Indians sign the San Diego Chicken to platoon with Slider.
March 15th- Larry Hughes injured in bizarre tattooing accident. LeBron’s “sidekick” will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2006-07 season.
March 16th- Just weeks after returning from an extended injury, Carlos Boozer misses Utah’s team flight to Cleveland. Cavalier fans miss their third opportunity to welcome him back.
March 20th- After improving to 5-1 in spring training one-run games, manager Eric Wedge is given a lifetime extension (with the usual club option for the year after his lifetime). “This was really the only area he has struggled in,” announced GM Mark Shapiro, grinning ear to ear at a Winter Haven press conference.
March 23rd- Ryan Garko settles up with Paul Dolan on $10 owed on last year’s NCAA March Madness Pool; finally allowed to start at 1st base.
March 30th- Despite averaging 17 points per game, Sasha Pavlovic finds his way out of Coach Mike Brown’s rotation after being called for a first quarter illegal defense.
“It’s all about stops,” Brown tells the PD.
April 1st- Just prior to Opening Day and before throwing a pitch in an Indians uniform, Roberto Hernandez follows Keith Foulke’s lead and announces his retirement due to early onsets of dementia.
April 7th- Fred McLeod sets a Cleveland play-by-play record by using catch-phrase “rubber rim” for the 211th time. The new record eclipses the old mark of 210 set by Michael Reghi’s (2002) “lift and lace” and Jack Corrigan’s (1992) “touch ‘em all time.”
April 28th- The Cleveland Browns are elated as JaMarcus Russell falls to them. Phil Savage and Company pick up their franchise QB.
May 10th- Cavs eliminated in disappointing playoff series with Indiana.
June 5th- Indians fall to 4th place and a distant 14 games behind the Central leading Detroit Tigers. While local reaction is brutal, GM Mark Shapiro points out the realities of the market during several media interviews.
June 8th- Browns place franchise tag on punter Dave Zastudil.
July 15th- GM Mark Shapiro talks frankly with ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, saying the Indians may be buyers OR sellers at this year’s trade deadline.
July 16th-July 30th- Indians trade C.C. Sabathia, Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook, Victor Martinez, and Cliff Lee.
August 18th- JaMarcus Russell receives a small cut that requires five stitches and is sent to the Cleveland Clinic. A few days and one staph infecton later, the #1 pick is out for two months.
October 2nd- Indians finish season at 77-85, but through use of various Sabermetrics programs, argue that the team really played at a 92-70 clip.
October 4th- Randy Lerner emerges after a six-month hiatus. After an 0-4 start, reporters eagerly gather in Berea for a press conference. Everyone leaves unsatisfied when learning the only reason for the event was to announce Lerner’s purchase of the New Delhi Buddhists, a little known cricket franchise in India.
November 20th- Indians management “overwhelmed” at the state of this year’s free agent market.
November 22nd- Ira Newble moved next to Milton in Storage Room B.
December 30th- After finishing 0-16, the Browns ask for patience while a new GM and head coach are hired and given ample time to rebuild the franchise.