Andy Borowitz might be the nation's No.1 clown. Writing in the Huffington Post last week, he dreamt of "a mob of irate Cleveland Indians fans pouring onto the diamond at Progressive Field to demand that their team take steroids."
In part, here's what the tongue-in-cheek article said:
"Displeasure with the championship-starved squad reached a boiling point with the news that slugger Manny Ramirez took performance-enhancing drugs -- but only after leaving the Indians. When asked by ESPN if he ingested the banned medication while playing for Cleveland, Mr. Ramirez shrugged his shoulders and replied, ‘What would be the point of that?'"
Borowitz also "quoted" Jose Canseco as admitting that, "on more than 40 occasions, I sneaked into the Cleveland clubhouse, offering to shoot those guys up with 'roids. No takers."
Item #2: Drinking Kool-Aid?
Atlanta Hawks forward Mo Evans must have been drunk after his team lost by "only" 10 points Monday night to the Cavaliers. After four blow-out losses, he told Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"You show up to the fight like that and who knows, this series goes six or seven games. It's going to be hard not to wonder what might have been."
Item #3: Grady ‘Slipping'?
According to an Associated Press article, Indians manager Eric Wedge met with general manager Mark Shapiro and the coaching staff to discuss dropping leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore down in the lineup.
"Just me saying I've thought about it tells you where we are," Wedge told the AP. "Grady is struggling."
Eric Wedge: master of understatement. A 3-for-21 streak sent Sizemore's average tumbling to .227. He hasn't homered in 15 games and scored just twice in his last 12. He is third in the A.L. in strikeouts (37), and his on-base percentage is a miserable .310.
Item #4: We All Stink
Loquacious, controversial White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says the Indians have plenty of company in American League's Central Division.
"Everybody is struggling," Guillen says. "We stink, and we're only three games out. The Tigers and Kansas City are in first place, and they haven't played that good at all. Nobody in this division is playing good right now."
Ozzie Guillen: master of understatement.
Item #5: Mangini a No-Show
New Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini did not address the Hall of Fame Luncheon Club in Canton on Monday afternoon. According to the Massillon Independent, the first audience question that Browns President Mike Keenan took was from an irate fan wondering why Mangini had snubbed the club.
"Keenan danced around Mangini's absence with aplomb," the Independent said, "pointing out that the former New York Jets head coach has been extremely busy and hopes to be a guest of the HOF Club this time next year."
Next year? Haven't we heard that somewhere before?
Item #6: ‘The Catch'
Last week, Detroit Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson saved a 2-1 Tigers victory over the Indians with a ninth-inning, over-the-fence catch of a Grady Sizemore fly ball. Here's what Granderson said about that catch in a blog for Yahoo Sports Canada:
"From a defensive perspective, I had to back up and respect his power. I also had to play deeper to keep him -- the winning run -- from getting to second in case he did get a hit. Before the play even started, I was already much deeper than I would normally play. Still, if Grady hits the ball to the left, right or a foot further or a foot shorter, this play never happens.
"[Pitcher Justin] Verlander said he was going to buy me dinner that night, but his pitching performance was good enough for me. But, of course, everyone knows I can never turn down a free dinner."
Item #7: Kudos, C-Town
At least one Atlanta Hawks fan was surprised by the city of Cleveland -- beyond its NBA team. Here's what he posted on an Atlanta sports Website:
"I'm here in C-Town for the game and I would not hate on Cleveland. Great restaurants, nice downtown -- nothing like dangerous Atlanta downtown. Condos all over, the lake, great restaurants, good public transportation. It feels like a city, not plastic like Atlanta. You see tons of people walking around; you don't see that in Atlanta."
"I've been here four days and have been to OC, Tremont, Detroit-City, Chinatown, and have eaten at some amazing restaurants -- no Cheesecake Factories or ESPN Zone places like you'll see in Atlanta. I went to their museum district, blows away anything I've seen; it's like going to Europe.
"Here in the Q, the crowd is insane. It's unreal; I see why the Cavs only lost two games at home."
Item #8: A LeBron Legacy
Four years ago, Cavalier LeBron James provided some start-help for the Southern Kings' Atlanta-area AAU basketball team. The team's director, Morris Gordon, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Steve Hummer that:
"We try to tell players that like LeBron on the court, you can do it the right way. His athleticism is stressed so much, we forget that LeBron has not been in jail, not out messing around, not out acting the fool.
"We want to walk in that same image. We want to walk in the image of having good grades in school. Walk in the image of not cussing on the court. Walk in the same image of not sagging, looking neat, looking professional.
"And, oh, by the way, we want to win. We win a lot, too."