Happy Tuesday, WFNY!
It’s a great Tuesday for those of you who didn’t give up on the Cleveland Indians after three and a half innings last night. With the Tribe trailing 9-2, nobody would have blamed you, of course. But by the end of the sixth inning, the Indians had turned that 9-2 deficit into a 12-9 lead. They would go on to add three more runs for good measure to secure the bizarre 15-9 win. Lonnie Chisenhall called it the team’s “best game of the year”, and who am I to argue with that? Well done, Indians.
The Indians are still a pretty enigmatic team this season. What are they? Every time you think they have things figured out and are primed to go on a big run to put some separation between themselves and the rest of the division, they slide back and give back all their previous gains. In many ways, they resemble the Cleveland Cavaliers of last season.
Both teams were riding the emotions of a long and intense postseason run. Both teams came into this season with sky-high expectations. Both teams are equal parts immense frustration and joyous fun. Both teams seem to ease up whenever they’re in an advantageous position, but as soon as their backs are back up against the wall, they come out fighting. Last year these mirror image teams had opposite end results. Hopefully, that will be the case again this season and the Indians will bring the World Series trophy back to Cleveland, a city the title has not seen in a very, very long time. It’s due.
October is a long way away, though. As we’ll see in the comments below, we are still 40-some days away from the Cleveland Browns start to preseason1. I was talking with a friend at work yesterday about this, but we are officially into the annual sports grind. With the anti-climactic NBA Awards show last night (Congrats, Russ!) and the NBA Draft last week, we just have NBA free agency left to take care of. We’ll have some excitement in early July with that, and the Summer Leagues are always kind of fun (especially for teams that actually have draft picks to see play for the first time), but that’s it. The NFL is still more than a month away. We pretty much have baseball, golf, and tennis, which is fine, but with baseball in the middle part of their season, the part that I personally find to be a little slower and dull than the beginning and end to the season, it can be hard for me to find good topics to talk about for While We’re Waiting.
Do you guys want to talk about Chauncey Billups? Where is Chauncey Billups? A guy with zero front office experience gets offered the job that an NBA Championship winning GM like David Griffin wanted, and he waits a week to respond to the offer? What gives?
I’ve heard the conspiracy theories. Sure, maybe this is all Dan Gilbert and Chauncey Billups’ evil plan to let Billups talk to free agents now already and have it not be collusion since he hasn’t formally accepted the job, or whatever. I’ll admit, it’s definitely strange that we haven’t heard anything from Chauncey yet, especially when it was considered something of a foregone conclusion that he would take the job. Because we prefer corruption over incompetence, that conspiracy theory sounds pretty good. Or maybe it’s as WFNY’s Jeff Nomina theorized, that LeBron is pulling the strings to get Billups this job. If that’s the case, maybe the delay is another power struggle between Gilbert and LeBron. Or maybe it’s something as boring as Chauncey simply doesn’t know if he wants to work for Dan Gilbert.
It's almost as if highly successful basketball people don't want to be micromanaged by an over-bearing, fire-happy, meddling owner. Crazy!
— Andrew Schnitkey (@RockWFNY) June 22, 2017
Whatever the case, this has been a trying couple of week for Cavs fans. And, if I’m being brutally honest here, Cavs fans haven’t exactly been handling it well. Which is to be expected, of course. There’s nothing worse as a fan than to know that the owner of your team is proving to be short-tempered with a quick trigger finger and someone who doesn’t value stability, competence, and leadership at the top of the front office. If he did, David Griffin would still be running the Cavaliers and we would all find comfort in that. Instead, we have this huge unknown and it sucks.
Hopefully, the on-court product will be fine, though. The team should still be really, really great this season and they should be back in the NBA Finals and they should be able to compete for another Championship. Losing Griff doesn’t change those things. It’s just the future beyond this next season that is cloudy and up in the air. And without stability and leadership in place, it’s easy to project LeBron James leaving. And that sucks for Cavs fans.
With free agency right around the corner, hopefully a President and/or GM will be in place soon. Hopefully, the right guy gets the job, the guy who can do the best possible job until Dan Gilbert inevitably lets him go so he doesn’t have to keep an experienced guy around. Whoever that person is, I say good luck to you.
And that’s all I really have today. I’m all out of sports things to talk about. So I turn it over to the comments section. Take us away, folks. And as always, enjoy the rest of your week here at WFNY.
- I’d tell you the exact number, but I don’t feel the need to look it up since I know it will be readily available in the comments. You’re doing the Lord’s work, RGB. [↩]