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ESPN: Cavs Shopping Dion Waiters

According to ESPN, the Cleveland Cavs are talking to the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Chicago Bulls about a trading Dion Waiters.  The Knicks have indicated that they would trade Iman Shumpert, so for now, that is the most likely scenario.

Waiters was drafted #4 overall in 2012 and, according to some sources, has had a contentious relationship with some of his team. He has met with Mike Brown and Chris Grant and is said to be “open to being traded”, but did not ask to be moved outright. It seems that all this came to a head during the Cavs players only meeting last week.

From the ESPN article: “Irving called the meeting after the game and every player spoke. When Waiters was given the floor, he criticized Thompson and Irving, accusing them of playing “buddy ball” and often refusing to pass to him. Thompson took umbrage with Waiters’ words and went back at him verbally. The two confronted each other but teammates intervened before it could escalate into a fight.”

Trading Waiters this early in his career makes me think that there is no fixing the relationship between him and his teammates. It has been made very clear that this is Kyrie‘s team, whether Waiters likes that or not.

Tonight is a big game: Cavs vs Heat 7:30pm

Beer Review: Epic Brewing Hopulent IPA

I know what you all are thinking – where’s the GL Christmas Ale? The 12 Dogs of Christmas? Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale?

Well, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and even thought my fridge is stocked full of different Christmas ales, I wanted to do one more IPA before we get to the Christmas Ales next week.

Epic Brewing Company is the brainchild of David Cole & Peter Erickson.  They have two locations – one in Denver and the other in Salt Lake City.  They have won numerous awards and the one we are reviewing today took home the gold medal at Denver International Beer Competition for American IPA.

Hopulant IPA 8.4% – Release #37(batches vary – see side of bottle for release #)

EpicBrewing.com

Per their website: “Hopulent IPA is a big beer with lots of complex malt flavor and excessive hops. This beer will have changes to the grain bill and seasonal hop changes. The character of Hopulent IPA is over the top, too much of everything—a real HOP HEADS DELIGHT!”

They don’t lie in the description, this beer is truly for hop heads. When poured, the color is very orange.  I had to do a double take because I thought I had poured my wife’s orange shandy beer. It has a thin white head and is very cloudy. I get strong pine notes with a hint of citrus.  The taste of this brew is very hop forward – pine and bitterness is up front with a little citrus and honey on the back end. The bitterness does not last and the citrus is balanced very well with the hops.

This beer is worth trying if you like lots of hops!

Also – if you happen to live in the Salt Lake area, Epic Brewing is offering “beer brine and wort glaze recipes”.  You can pick up some of their wort for $10 for use on Thanksgiving!

BREAKING: Browns Sign QB Alex Tanney

The Browns have signed former “trick-shot” QB Alex Tanney to their active roster. See his YouTube video here.

He was formerly on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.  During one preseason game with Dallas he completed 17-of-31 passes for 177 yards with an interception.   He was undrafted in 2012 and signed with KC Chiefs soon after and was cut this past May only to sign with Dallas soon after.  He was a great Division III QB, but is most known for his “trick-shot” videos.

Browns vs Steelers Preview

There’s a bit of revenge on Big Ben’s mind when coming to Cleveland.  He’s an Ohio native drafted #11 overall in the 2004 draft.  It was Cleveland who moved up one spot to take TE Kellen Winslow at the six spot in that year’s draft. The Browns are just 5-24 against Pittsburgh since 1999 and Ben Roethlisberger holds a 15-1 record against the team. Even though the Browns split the series last year with the Steelers, Big Ben was sidelined with injuries while third string quarterback Charlie Batch . This year will be a big test for them – they took down Joe Flacco earlier in the year and beat Andy Dalton once already, now it’s time to focus on Big Ben.

Cleveland Browns – Photo by John H. Reid III

“Who wouldn’t be tired of 15-1?” says DT Phil Taylor to the Plain Dealer. “It’s just like with the Ravens. People are going to say what they want to say about the records – him vs. us – but we’re going to take it one game at a time. This game is on Sunday and we’re going to handle it.”

“When you talk about all the personnel, I don’t think there’s a weakness in the defense,” Roethlisberger said. “I don’t think that there’s one specific spot that you can say, ‘We’ve got to attack,’ because every single area on that defense is a strength for them, in my eyes and in our opinion.”

One area Cleveland will have to focus on is their pass rush. The Steelers have the one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, they have allowed 37 sacks so far during the season which puts them in the top three for sacks allowed.  The only quarterback that has more than Roethlisberger is Miami’s Ryan Tannehill who has 41. Kruger and Mingo will have to step up this game. Paul Kruger only has 2.5 sacks on the season and Mingo, who leads the team with four, has only one in the past six games.

We may be ranked #4 in overall defense, but the Browns have allowed 19 touchdowns in 28 possessions in the red zone, enough to make sure they are in last place in that area.  Jerricho Cotchery is Big Ben’s red zone target receiver and the one to watch when they get close to the end zone.

For the Browns to have any playoff aspirations, they will need to find a way to come away with a win.  Otherwise, they’re record against Big Ben will fall to 16-1.

Bennett Struggles Continue

So far #1 draft pick Anthony Bennett has played 110 minutes in 10 games and is averaging 1.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and is shooting 13.5 percent from the field.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

From Cleveland.com: “I’m just thinking too much,” Bennett said after Friday’s shoot around at the New Orleans Arena. “That’s what it is right now. I try not to mess up. There’s a lot of plays, a lot of things thrown at me. It’s not the same as college. One mistake is kind of crucial.”

He’s been booed at home, he sat on the bench while undrafted rookie Matthew Dellavedova got the start last night, and there were rumors that he may be sent to the D-League in Canton.  I know that Cavs fans are getting frustrated, but it’s way too early to give up on this rookie.

Take a look at his 16pt performance against Orlando earlier this pre-season, there is still reason to be excited about our #1 draft pick.

Mike Brown: “We had one guy who competed”

It was an ugly loss last night at home for the Cavs.  The final score was 98-91 after undrafted rookie Matthew Delladova helped to close the gap in the fourth quarter.

Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer

From FoxSportsOH: “I’m not trying to be funny,” Brown continued. “[The effort] is a concern. That’s a concern for anybody when you don’t go out there and compete and play hard. You’re going to tell me the five guys I put in the game can close a 30-point game by going out there and getting stops? Didn’t play hard.”

It was not a great night for the Cavs starting five.  Kyrie Erving still finished the game with 28 points, but his point differential while on the court was -20. In contrast, Dellavedova finished at +21. In fact, four out of our starting five (CJ Miles left the game in the first quarter with a calf strain and did not return) finished with a negative point differential.

The shooting by our starting five was awful. Waiters missed his first 11-12 shots, Thompson 0-5 from the field, Earl Clark was 1-6.  Sixteen turnovers by the Cavs cost them a total of 21 points during the game.  There was no intensity on the floor and that’s what had Mike Brown so riled up after the game.

See the full game recap here from NBATV:

 

 

David Murphy finishing $12 mil deal with Tribe

The Indians are in the final stages of a 2 year, $12 million deal with Texas Rangers outfielder David Murphy pending a physical.

ManginPhotography.net

Murphy hit a paltry .220 last season with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 142 games.  Last year’s average was a career low for the 32 year old outfielder. The outfield in Cleveland has become very crowded. We have Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, Ryan Raburn and Drew Stubbs in addition to Murphy and Swisher who looks to play more outfield next season.

Who gets traded?  

There are some rumors that Cleveland will move Michael Bourn to create salary space, but I’m not sure that’s in the best interest for the ball club, Bourn is just too valuable.  Tyler Naquin was named as a potential lead off hitter and replacement for Bourn and has been hitting very well in the Arizona League, but I’m still not convinced he’s ready.

The other rumor floating around is that Drew Stubbs will get traded for either a bullpen arm or a prospect or two. Stubbs has a high strikeout ratio, but also has a lot of speed and great defense that will draw interest from more than a few teams. If Stubbs could bring an upgrade to the bullpen I wouldn’t be opposed to this trade.

BREAKING: Browns ask City for $42 million

Browns stadium was built with taxpayer money and then awarded to the team in 1998.  The city pays around $850,000 per year for upkeep.  CEO Joe Banner & Owner Jimmy Haslam announced their $120 million plan last week.

Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam has gone to Cleveland City Council and asked for $42 million from the city – they want $2 million per year for 15 years. The Browns will be receiving a loan from the NFL for $62.5 million. That leaves around $12 million for the Browns organization to pay upfront.

Still developing…