We’re also busy right now frantically shoveling the dirt off of the Ohio State Buckeyes and their NCAA tournament hopes.
Nearly dead and buried at this time last week the Buckeyes jumped up to beat two Top-20 ranked Big 10 teams in the past five days. #15 Purdue and #18 Michigan State each walked into the Value City Arena and limped out with losses. OSU took down the Boilermakers in overtime and came from 10 points down with 10 minutes to play to shock MSU 63-54.
We’re still going to just remove the dirt from the grave and pile it close by because the Buckeyes still have some work to do. They’re 10-8 in the Big 10 and 19-12 overall. We still believe they’re firmly on the bubble to get to the big tournament when pairings are announced next Sunday. That makes Friday’s Big 10 tournament game (a rematch with Michigan State) as big or bigger than this past Sunday’s game against the Spartans.
Regardless of what happens this Friday, one has to have a lot of respect for Ohio State senior guard Jamar Butler. The senior from Lima, OH led OSU in scoring in both the Purdue and Michigan State games, scoring 25 and 20 respectively. Butler was a perfect 8-8 from the line against the Spartans and set up teammate Othello Hunter with a great dish for huge hoop late in the game.
Butler has chafed at the lack of development shown by some of his teammates during the season but has elevated his game when he’s been most needed. He’s returned to the point guard position this season after the early departure of last year’s PG Mike Conley. Butler has little of Conley’s quickness or penetrating ability but he has range on the jump shot and can carry a club when he’s on a heater from long range.
It’d be disappointing if the senior didn’t get to end his career in the NCAA tournament. But at least for another week the Buckeyes have a chance to get there and Butler will have the ball in his hands to help make it possible. That was an unlikely scenario just a week ago.
And Then They Rested
No earth shattering moves out of Berea this week. The few frantic days after the start of free agency were like those ‘Day after Thanksgiving’ sales that department stores run. If you want the products they are offering then you better get there early and load up the cart. The Browns did that last weekend.
What you’re left with now are those item that’d be nice to have but that you might be able to find a better price on later on. As it stands the Browns are content to wait and see what remains after everyone else picks through the racks before filling any perceived holes they may determine that they have.
Stay tuned though. Could be some more shopping to do when teams start trimming the fat.***The Wrap is a bit confused about one thing with the Browns and Browns fans. No, it’s not the never-ending debate regarding the quarterback position. That story has been beaten to death here and everywhere else.
The Wrap is wondering why anyone in the fan base is holding out hope for LeCharles Bentley to line up at center for the Browns this coming season or at any other point in the future. This man is done in this city before ever snapping a football.
We all know the sad story. Bentley is signed to a lucrative free agent deal to come home to Cleveland and lead a revamped offensive line. He’s paid a boatload of cash and the incumbent center, Jeff Faine, is sent packing to New Orleans in exchange for a draft choice. Bentley goes down in a heap in his first drill as a Brown, his knee is shredded and then he is ravaged by a staph infection and requires multiple surgeries to remove that. Meanwhile, Faine anchors the New Orleans line for two years before leaving for Miami and his own huge free agent deal a week or so ago.
What we haven’t been told is what the hell is going on with Bentley and the Browns and we probably never will. No one is talking about this situation including Bentley or the Browns. His deal was re-done last year to make his salary more team friendly but you haven’t heard hide nor hair from Bentley in regard to the 2007 season or his place on the 2008 roster.
That strikes us as odd. There has got to be some bad blood between Bentley and the Browns regarding either the care he received here or something else. But with all the media resources in this town we’re left wondering just what is going on. The Wrap has stated previously that Bentley will never play a snap for the Browns and the chances aren’t good he’ll play again period. But why the mystery and the unwillingness for either side to discuss the relationship? HIPPA and medical privacy issues aside, you’d expect a guy that came here with great fanfare, returning as the prodigal son, to be paraded in the media, with every development in his rehab documented and followed.
That’s not the case here. And the silence of both sides is deafening.Ready, Set, SnowLook out the window again Clevelanders. What do you see? Do you see baseball being played at Progressive Field three weeks from now?
This is Cleveland. On March 31st it could very well be 62 degrees and sunny and the opener between the Indians and the White Sox could go off without a hitch. But you shouldn’t count on it.
Every year the question begs to be asked as to why MLB chooses to open the season in cold weather cities. Why are we starting the season in March in Cleveland? Has MLB, like every other business, decided to rely on scheduling software developed and run in India to plot the season?
To open this 2008 season Toronto is at New York, Kansas City at Detroit, Chicago at Cleveland, Tampa Bay is at Baltimore, Arizona is at Cincinnati, Texas is at Seattle and the Angels are in Minnesota. Now, I’m no climatologist, but why in the name of God is the schedule set that way?
Why can’t MLB see the logic in placing cold weather teams in warm weather or dome cities to start the season? I understand teams prefer to play the bulk of their home games when kids are out of school, etc. But all of these warm weather teams are going to eventually open their season before schools are let out for summer. Why not have Baltimore in Tampa Bay where the weather is typically decent AND THEY PLAY IN A DOME? Why is a warm weather team with a dome like Houston traveling to warm weather San Diego while Arizona, another dome team from (as the name should tell you) a warm climate, is traveling to Cincinnati to start the year? The Yankees and Blue Jays wouldn’t have a better chance of playing a series in Toronto’s domed stadium?