Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Daily Take: Indians Lose Ground and is Plaxico Coming to Cleveland?

First off, game 5 of the Finals is coming up.  I said that to win, Dallas had to get big performances out of their supporting cast.  Well, they did.  Kidd didn't do a lot of scoring, but played good D.  Marion, Barea, and Terry combined to score 41 points and shot 47% from the field.  The big storyline was how Dirk had a fever but still played his heart out.  Its clear that his teammates realized they needed to step it up because of the illness.  Even Chandler got in on the action, scoring 13 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

This game has swung the momentum back into Dallas' favor.  If they lost last night, they would be down 3-1 with little hope to win the series.  Now it is 2-2 and they have the Heat on their heels.  This may surprise some, but this is a more important game for the Heat.  If Dallas wins tonight, that may be the series.  They would have won 2 in a row and are an excellent road team (whereas the Heat are not dominant at home) and they would likely swing the momentum for a 3rd straight win.  I wouldn't put it past them to win 2 in a row on the road either and I see it more likely of a scenario for them to win down 3-2 than for the Heat.

Unfortunately for the Indians, while they have been struggling, Detroit is on a hot streak.  Detroit has now won 8 of their last 10 and is only 1.5 games behind the Indians.  Granted, this includes sweeping the last place Twins (who since have won 6 of 7) and winning 2 of 3 against the White Sox who are below .500.  The Indians meanwhile have run through the gauntlet of challenging teams.  They did lose the series to the Twins, but you will eventually lose a series.  They lost 2 close games, including one that went into extra innings.  They are struggling but there is some hope.  This team still desperately needs a bat because only Brantley and Asdrubal are hitting over .260 right now.  

Thankfully, the Indians have gotten 2 great starts in a row from Carrasco and Masterson but you can't survive on 1-2 runs a game for a long time even with the best pitching rotation.  This road trip will be key.  They are facing the always tough Yankees and after that they will play in Detroit to possibly decide the division leader.  The hitters need to step up their game soon or else a move will have to be made.  They seem to have faith Nick Johnson will be up soon and healthy, but they need more than him.  Cord Phelps would be nice too and if neither work out, they have to hit free agency because these offensive showings have been pretty bad.

There have been rumors that the Browns should go after Plaxico Burress.  I think its a bad move. The Browns may not have an elite Wide Receiver but they have lots of young potential.  Massaquoi could certainly benefit from having a #1 WR nest to him but Plaxico may not be that guy anymore.  Even in '08, he was putting up the numbers of only a solid #2 in a passing offense and he was only 31.  Now, he'll be 34 by the time the season starts and he would not have played for close to 3 years. People will compare this to Vick, but he was not yet 30 when the Eagles signed him.  Maybe if Burress was a clear upgrade, he would be worth signing but I am not convinced.  I would much rather let Massaquoi, Robiskie, Greg Little, and Carlton Mitchell get reps than a 34 year old Plaxico.  Recently, Mary Kay Cabot stated that the Browns are not interested.  I guess they have faith in their WRs.  

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