Christmastime is here with all of the joy and trappings of the season. Whether you plan to go to Christmas Eve mass, are waiting for your children to rip apart the wrapping of those presents under the tree, or simply looking for a way to avoid relatives for a few moments, WFNY is here to help provide the list of the real gifts every sports fan on the North coast is desiring.
No socks, bunny pajamas, or useless trinkets here. Nor will you need to wait in anticipation for a decoder ring just to find out that the decoded message is a crummy commercial for Ovaltine. Instead, we have the best ways each of the Cleveland professional sporting teams can show their appreciation for their fans.
No. 5: Indians – Give us a real logo.
Chief Wahoo is semi-retired as the need to end controversy and attempt to unite the fanbase won out. Fine. No worries. The Block-C is the standard insignia for the ballcaps, which is a tad on the boring side– but also fine.
What the Block-C cannot be though is the only logo for the franchise. No other team has such a lack of interesting imagery for all of their apparel. The New York Yankees have the top hat, the Boston Red Sox have red sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the script onset with a home run baseball, and even the Chicago White Sox have the 8-bit video game batter.
If the franchise believes it would be too disruptive to change the name or colors, then don’t. Just please, please, please purchase the Feller logo. Use it as a patch on uniforms, create a ballcap version, and put it on shirts. Tribe fans will buy it up, and maybe push enough merchandise coin to go and look at an upper 90 mile per hour reliever.
No. 4: Browns – Extend youthful talent.
The Cleveland Browns will enter the 2019 offseason once again having Top 5 cap space among NFL teams. While the franchise cannot start using that space on players outside the organization until March, one of the benefits of drafting well is signing second contracts with more than one player from a draft.
The 2016 draftees have completed their third NFL season, which means the Browns should show those players they are expected to help build a consistent contender by extending those contracts. Emmanual Ogbah, Joe Schobert, Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis, Derrick Kindred, and Seth Devalve fall into this bucket. Not all of them will get extended, but it would be a nice indicator for the fans if the team aggressively locked down the best of the bunch early.
No. 3: Cavs – Find good homes for the remaining veteran players.
Let’s be clear, the true gift is for the organization to find a way to draft Zion Williamson. However, such cannot happen until June with the fate of the ping-pong balls not known until sometime in May. Until then, the Cavs must acquire as good of odds as possible, while keeping useful players to build around Williamson1 — playing an entertaining brand of basketball during the losing won’t hurt either.
Trading out George Hill and Kyle Korver was a good start, but there are other veterans who require new homes. J.R. Smith, Rodney Hood, Channing Frye, and Jordan Clarkson are all players who can be dangled. Somewhat newly acquired John Henson is fine as well. Kevin Love’s situation is complicated but moving him shouldn’t be off the table.
Just don’t trade Matthew Dellavedova. He just arrived back home for the holidays, and, well, Delly it’s cold outside.
No. 2: Indians – Bolster the lineup.
This offseason has seen Yan Gomes, Michael Brantley, Brandon Guyer, Josh Donaldson, Andrew Miller, Edwin Encarnacion, Yandy Diaz, Yonder Alonso, and Cody Allen all depart from a team that was swept in the ALDS. Top prospect Bradley Zimmer had shoulder surgery in July and might miss the entire 2019 season. Leonys Martin is rehabilitating from a near deadly infection. Tyler Naquin had hip surgery in August. Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Jason Kipnis have all been rumored to be available in trade, as well.
The fans could use something to re-invigorate their hope that the 2019 season will be the first since 1948 to see the Cleveland Indians obtain the last win of the MLB season. Re-acquiring Carlos Santana and extending Carlos Carrasco was a nice start, but the team needs to do more.
Sign a competent outfielder. If they must trade either Bauer or Kluber, then obtain a player who can star in MLB this season. Do something to embolden the fanbase rather than relying on lottery tickets.
Gage Will of WFNY has even offered some suggestions:
- Indians Holiday Wishlist: Jed Lowrie
- Indians Holiday Wishlist: David Robertson
- Indians Holiday Wishlist: Derek Dietrich
No. 1: Browns – Hire a capable head coach.
Fans have been waiting since the late 80s to be confident in a team wearing the Brown and Orange with a franchise quarterback at the helm. Finally, after two horrific seasons, the Browns have arrived with Baker Mayfield in town for hopefully 15 more years of electric offenses.
The ownership just has to not screw up the next hire, which could push the team back into one of the reliable contenders for years. No pressure.
- Basically, Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr., and Tristan Thompson. [↩]