Thursday, September 6, 2012

Boomer Report: Votto Returns, Indians play spoiler, & Modell dies

Votto made his return, to the line-up vs. the Phillies yesterday.
Corey Kluber got the W for the Tribe on Labor Day.

Cincinnati Reds 83-55 (1st in the NL Central by 8.5 games; 2 GB of ML-leading Nationals)
43-26 Home 40-29 Away RS: 598 RA: 517 DIFF: +81

VOTTO RETURNS! After being on the DL for seven weeks recovering from knee surgery, Joey Votto made his long awaited return back to the Reds starting lineup. All be it, in a 6-2 loss to those darn Philadelphia Phillies (in which the Reds dropped 2 out of 3 in Cincinnati), Votto went 2 for 3 with a BB. With the return of Votto, Reds manager, Dusty Baker has some tough decisions to make during this last month of play heading towards the NL playoffs. With the Reds holding a 8.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals the NL Central is basically locked up (hey, if they blow it its not my faint, see 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, it has happened). However, during the last couple of days they have slipped behind the Washington Nationals who have a 2 game lead over the Reds for the best record in baseball. Hey, let the Nats get that top seed in the playoffs and take on either the Cardinals or Braves, the Reds will be happy with facing whomever comes out of the NL West. With Votto back, the Reds have a lineup that should give opposing NL pitching a headache or two (if it hasn't already), with the likes of Votto, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce, Scott Rolen, and Todd Frazier. At 83 wins, with 24 games left on the schedule, I see the Reds finishing around the 95-97 win mark, and with all that has happened with Votto being out since basically the All-Star Break, if you would have told a Reds fan that then, they would have taken it in a heartbeat. Let's Go Reds! Finish strong!

Cleveland Indians 58-79 (4th place in the AL Central, 16.5 GB of 1st place)
32-37 Home 26-42 Away RS: 549 RA: 711 DIFF: -162

Oh yes! The role of spoiler. I think we all as Cleveland fans know that role. Usually around this time of the season for respective teams, we tend to hear the word "spoiler" thrown around a lot. Well, that's what the Indians will be playing, during this final month of the MLB season. As the Tribe, got off to a pretty good start this week in that role. After a horrible home stand, in which the Indians went 2-8 all be it vs. the Yankees, A's and Rangers, the Tribe somehow took two out of three up in the Motor City vs. the Tigers earlier this week. Now with three-games left vs. the Tigers and six-games vs. White Sox, the Indians will have a lot to say about who wins the AL Central division, in their role as the "Spoiler". With 25 games remaining on the schedule, the Indians sit at 58 wins on the season, and with nothing to lose, you would like to think they finish around the 70 win mark. However, the way this 2nd half has went its more realistic that they shoot for the 65 win mark (they got a tough remaining schedule). Oh well, maybe one of these days, the Indians will be playing a different role in the month of September, a role that they have rarely ever played in the last decade, "Contender". What If?

Browns Note:

The guy, that took the Browns from Cleveland.
I often wondered what I would feel like, when the news of Art Modell's death broke. The man, that broke the hearts of a lot of Clevelanders and Browns fans across the world, when he announced he was moving the franchise out of Cleveland to Baltimore, November 6, 1995. For the next three-long years, Browns fans were left with no SUNDAY FUNDAY'S to watch their team, that for most of them, they had followed since they were led by Paul Brown, Jim Brown, Otto Graham, etc. With a new season beginning up on the lake come Sunday afternoon at 1PM, the Browns in the years after returning to the league in 1999, have been anywhere but close to the teams that Modell owned. Say what you want about the man, I know, for most people (heck, maybe everyone) will never be able to forgive Modell for what he did, the man has passed and now (maybe!) a new chapter begins this Sunday for the Browns as they host the Philadelphia Eagles in their home/season opener for the 2012 season. With another new guy under center (B. Weeden), along with a weapon behind him (T. Richardson) and out wide (J. Gordon), the Browns offense should finally be able to put points up on the board. The Eagles with Michael Vick will be a huge test for the Browns to open up with, but if Richardson is able to run the ball (missed the preseason due to knee surgery) and Weeden can keep the first down marker moving, the Browns might be able to keep it closer, then the expects predict. Its good to have Browns football back, where they are always striving for that 6-7 win season. RIP Art.

Check back in tomorrow, for Week 2 of Urban Renewal, as I discuss college football, the Buckeyes Game vs. UCF, and I give you a few predictions/picks for this upcoming weekend of football.