Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flashseats vs Ticketmaster

The Cavs and Flashseats are taking Ticketbastard to court. Delightful:

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, claims Ticketmaster is engaged in an "ongoing campaign to utilize its substantial market power . . . to exclude actual and potential competition."

At issue is an item in Ticketmaster's contract with the Cavs requiring season ticketholders who want to resell their seats to use Ticketmaster's own resale operation, TicketExchange.

Earlier this month, Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against the Cavs and Flash Seats in federal court in California to defend that obligation. Ticketmaster has sold Cavs tickets on the primary market since 1993.

But Len Komoroski, president of the Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena, said the paperless Flash Seats is preferable to TicketExchange, which allows paper tickets to remain in existence.

Denying season ticketholders the right to use Flash Seats reduces the value and attractiveness of a season ticket, he said. "It's really all about our fans. They're speaking loud and clear that this has been a superior service."

Flash Seats, meanwhile, claims that Ticketmaster is keeping it from expanding.

Sam Gerace, chief executive of the Cleveland-based company - closely affiliated with the Cavs through some common ownership - said Flash Seats has attempted to sell its services to other sports teams, only to be blocked by existing contracts with Ticketmaster.

"A great many teams have indicated their interest . . . but they've indicated they are prohibited from doing business with us," he said. "That's the reason we have to take action."

Flashseats is a pretty neat idea (which Brian Windhorst says that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert bought from some local guys. So if you got any neat Cavs ideas....) and I've used it here and there. It can be kinda expensive (but so can scalping) but the nice part is that you're sure you are getting real tickets. You know you're not getting screwed.

I haven't used Ticketmaster's resale service before but it probably blows. Ticketmaster sucks, plain and simple.

I just bought a ticket to the Reel Big Fish-Less Than Jake show (it'll be like 1997 all over again!) for August 16th at the Agora. Face value of the tickets? $21.00. I paid: $32.55. Ticketmaster charged me $6.95 for a Convenience Charge and another $4.60 as a Order Processing Fee (and it could've been worse, I opted to have the ticket sent to me, which was free. Lord knows what kind of fee I'd have to pay for the privilege to use my own printer). $11.55 added on for using an automated service; basically a third of the total price is complete bullshit.

Good for the Cavs. I have no idea what will even happen if they win this suit, all I know is, anyone who sues Ticketmaster wins points in my book. If it happens to be my favorite sports franchise, even better.

Friday, July 27, 2007

All is right in the world

Kenny Lofton is again an Indian.

Quite frankly, it's been too long. They traded catcher Max Ramirez for Kenny.... which basically makes this a Bob Wickman for Lofton deal. Not sure how I feel about letting go Ramirez... but hey, why not?

Can Carlos Baerga come back too?

Random Thoughts

1. Again, sorry for the lack of posts. I'm better than that.

2. I'm taking summer courses at Kent State (I'm doing the Ohio colleges tour apparently) and I'll be taking more grad classes this fall (speaking of school, a guy in my class showed up with a Trot Nixon Indians jersey. Talk about a waste of $50). I'm not sure how that's going to play out during the Cavs season, but we shall see...

3. Sure, there's been work and grad school, but there's also been a Harry Potter book and a new Civ IV expansion. I love me some Civ IV....

4. This past weekend I watched the Planet Earth series on DVD and well... it is awesome. And weird. I can't stress that enough. It is weird as hell. You sit there and watch this stuff and you're just like "Nope. No way is that real. I can't be sharing a planet with that thing." It's basically one giant infomercial for evolution.

5. Speaking of metaphorical commercials, I attended the Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest this past weekend and it was basically one giant condom commercial. The crowd was huge and the entire time we're there (and while we're getting there and while we're trying to leave) we're making way for miserable people pushing baby strollers through this massive crowd (and these baby strollers were everywhere).

6. OK, it was either a condom commercial or PSA on why you don't take babies to outdoor festivals. Either way, it did not look fun.

7. This NBA ref business. Surprisingly, I don't really have a whole lot of thoughts. Obviously, this is terrible for the league. I basically echo Bill Simmons's comments (but with less sucking up to Suns fans).

8. As for the other major sports controversy, Michael Vick... what can ya say? It doesn't look good, does it? I guess the lesson learned here is: don't breed dogs to fight each other. This was not how his career was supposed to go...

9. And as for which story is bigger or worse, things are much worse personally for Vick than they are for Tim Donaghy (well, except for that whole death threat business). But for the leagues, this is just another controversy for the NFL (which will get away untainted. If this was Stephen Jackson, I'd be reading columns by Bud Shaw about how the NBA is full of thugs) but Donaghy could have big implications on the NBA.

10. Well, biggish. I don't think the league is any serious jeopardy, but they really need to open up their reffing grade book and grading system. The less secrecy the better. Basically, listen to Mark Cuban.

11. Browns training camp starts today, and well... I'm not as pumped as a lot of people are. I dunno, I love the Browns, watch 'em every Sunday... but I can't exactly get myself excited for the season. I mean, best case scenario is.... 8-8? I dunno, we got a baseball team seemingly headed for the post season, a Cavs team coming off a trip to the Finals and my alma mater challenging for a BCS bid every season. I'll spend extra energy on the Browns when they deserve it.

12. I know we're all excited that the Browns had a great draft, but we still remember the schedule right? Needless to say, I'm not expecting much from this team.

13. Peter King has them ranked 32nd in his power rankings. Now, I don't know if they are that bad, but it wasn't like they were drafting 3rd in April because of some mistake. They weren't a good football team.

14. Some good news is that Joe Thomas and Eric Wright signed and will be in camp. This is good.

15. Brady Quinn looks like he'll be a holdout and the ABJ was even talking up the prospect of a year-long holdout with a trade in 2008. Now, I knew that these negotiations were tricky, but we're talking next year trade scenarios already? That's no good.

16. Gary Baxter is attempting to 'make history'. Good for him, but I wouldn't hold my breath. He blew out both of his knees (one of those, 'only in Cleveland' type injuries) and the odds are against him.

17. Terry Pluto says (among other things) don't count on LeCharles Bentley. I want Bentley to come back as much as the next guy and an offensive line featuring a healthy LeCharles, Eric Steinbach and Joe Thomas would be a beautiful thing to see. Let's take a wait and see approach, shall we?

18. Cliff Lee stunk it up last night. He's stunk it up all season. He also tipped his cap to the booing fans last night (yup, giving up 7 runs in each of your last 3 starts gives the fans no reason to boo). Well done, Cliff (best left-hander in baseball). You're done here.

19. We could see the return of Jeremy Sowers pretty soon.

20. I'd really (really really really really) like to see the Tribe go out and make a move before Tuesday's trading deadline. But there are no rumors at all. Well, there aren't any rumors anywhere.

21. Um... new Pat Tillman news...

22. Ya... not good... but not surprising...

23. Complete bullshit Cavs rumor! (somehow the Cavs get Mike Bibby AND Shawn Marion while giving up Gooden, Hughes, Snow, Wesley, Shannon Brown and two future #1)

24. When the 10 best remaining free agents include two Cavaliers and 3 Milwaukee Bucks... that is not a good crop of players.

25. Dajuan Wagner keeps plugging away.

26. Cavs vs Heat on Christmas day. Not sure how I feel about this... except that LeBron needs to move to a bigger market to get his name out there... National Christmas games... hosting the ESPYs.... hosting SNL... the man needs NYC!

27. I've gotten into disc golf recently, and I have to say, I'm quite enjoying it. Hudson has a pretty nice course and, best of all, it is free. I'm not that good but I do enjoy free fun.

28. Quick album reviews:

Reel Big Fish - Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free: A- (much like their first two albums, more 'ska' rather than 'rock with horns')

O.A.R. - Live in Madison Square Garden: B- (kinda boring and I don't care much for their new versions of old songs)

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela: A+ (how to describe their sound... flamenco, acoustic metal)

Paolo Nuntini - These Streets: B+ (took me a bit to get into, but I really dig 'These Streets', 'New Shoes', 'Loving You' and 'Alloway Grove')

Rooney - Call the World: B (not great, not bad either)

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger: B

The National - The Boxer: A- (really dark voice. I like it)

29. Zach Galifianakis + tractor + Kanye West. Enjoy.

30. The National - Fake Empire (Live on Letterman):

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lo Siento

Sorry the blog has been silent the past week or so. I've had grad school, work and some Real Life to deal with (plus, I haven't had much to say).

I'll have a long post tomorrow at sometime.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eventful Weekend

Me: "Did I fall asleep during the cab ride home? Cause I don't remember the ride at all, I just remember getting out of the car"

Andrew: "We took a van"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Don't Tell Bill Livingston

I've said it before and I'll say it again, people love slamming infants through hoops:
Live from New York, it's LeBron!

Cavaliers All-Star forward LeBron James, fresh off co-hosting the ESPY Awards earlier this month, will host the season premiere of 'Saturday Night Live in September, an NBC spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

Livingston will probably get a weeks worth of columns out of this.

(and honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I definitely enjoy the fact that someone from the Cleveland Cavaliers is hosting SNL. That is neat. However, I'd like to more news reports of intensive free throw and post move workouts. But hosting SNL only takes up a week and it's not like he's doing it in the season. And it's probably less work/less tiring than the USA basketball stuff he has to do)

Random Thought

While listening to the new Marc Broussard album, I began thinking about former Indian Ben Broussard.

You know what I'm going to miss about him? Ben's yearly late season grand slam that helps the Tribe win a big game which makes us all think "Yah, he's been so-so all year, but he just hit that huge clutch HR... I know he doesn't have power numbers to justify a starting job, but maybe this slam is the first sign of him 'getting it'" Then Broussard would proceed to put up mediocre numbers for another season and right when we're about to get sick of him... BAM! He hits another huge clutch HR late in the year...

(this is my second favorite 'Indian home run trend' after Kenny Lofton's "HR to lead off the game followed by Kenny swinging for the fences his next 4 ABs" Good times...)

All that being said, me gusta Ryan Garko

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why Haven't I Heard About This?


The Indians have had a season-long obsession with "RBI Baseball," the old-school Nintendo video game popular in the 1980s. Since Sunday, players and clubhouse staffers have been competing in a 16-team tournament, complete with seedings. "Guys are really into it," said pitcher Jake Westbrook, tourney director and resident trash talker, who isn't playing and has spent the past few days hearing teammates grumble about their seeds. "I'm brutal," he said. "The worst.
sorry for the lack of postings... grad school.... work... lack of interesting stuff (well, interesting Cavs stuff). I plan on bringing back the Random Thoughts from the Weekend weekly post at sometime, so be on the lookout for non-Cleveland centric related opinions at some time

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bibby deal back on?

Both Windhorst and the Sacramento Bee are reporting that a potential trade for Mike Bibby fell though yesterday:

A version of the deal was close to happening Thursday, sources said, in a three-way move with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Cavs were believed to be after the rights to Argentine center Luis Scola as well, which the Spurs own. When the talks broke down, the Spurs dealt Scola and reserve forward Jackie Butler to the Houston Rockets.

In exchange, the Spurs received point guard Vassilis Spanoulis and a future second-round pick.

There are expectations the Kings and Cavs will continue to have discussions directly and with other teams.

The Kings, looking to add more scoring to their front line, have been interested in Drew Gooden. According to a source, Damon Jones also might have been included in the potential deal.

I'm still not sure how I feel about this trade for Bibby. At first glance, the Cavs are getting a quality point guard with playoff experience for Drew Gooden. This I like.

But he's coming off a terrible season, filled with nagging injuries and he gets paid $13.5 million next year. That worries me just a tad.

Plus, with Bibby, Hughes, Z and LeBron's contract now kicking in, the Cavs would be paying four guys eight figures, with only one of 'em being an all-star.

And finally, if this trade does happen, I'd like to hope that some other deals would be in the works. The Cavs will have a backcourt of Bibby, Hughes, Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic, Shannon Brown and Ira Newble and something will have to give.

Would Pavlovic be let go? Would Gibson and Brown be the sole guards off the bench (I like 'em both, a lot actually, but two second year guys, neither of whom is very tall...)? How would the shot selection break down between LeBron, Bibby and Hughes (nevermind Zydrunas)?

I wasn't expecting a Bibby deal to happen (and it still hasn't), so this is somewhat of a shock to me. Again, I'm not sure a guard 30 year old guard, making $13.5 million, coming off an injury plagued season is the best fit.

But part of me feels, after two seasons with practically the identical roster, that this team just needs some kind of shakeup. At this point, any move is a welcome move (apparently, they are also battling three other teams for James Posey).

Though I'm still waiting for them to hire a Tex Winter/Pete Carril type coach to whisper plays into Mike Brown's ears....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thanks, Orlando

Seriously, thank you.

You signed Rashard Lewis to an insane contract ($127 million!). It's a terrible deal. The Sports Guy is calling him the worst max player in NBA history. And because you signed Lewis (to a terrible deal), you had to let Darko Milicic walk away.

Thank you. You not only tied up your cap space for years to come, but you let a promising big man walk away in the process.

Now, to Darko. He just signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. There was talk of Milicic getting a $10 million deal. But alas, he signed a very reasonable 3-year, $21 million deal with the Grizzlies. This means that Memphis is no longer looking at Anderson Varejao.

The Grizzlies, the Bobcats and the Bucks were the only teams with the cap space available to make Varejao a big offer. But now Memphis is out due to Darko, Charlotte spent their cash keeping Matt Carroll and Gerald Wallace and Milwaukee isn't interested (plus, they have more pressing issues to deal with).

With Memphis out of the running, Danny Ferry can pull a Drew Gooden and simply wait Varejao and his agent out. There's no need to rush things now, there is no market for Andy any more. Plus, because Orlando signed Lewis to a crazy deal and Memphis signed Darko to a reasonable one, the Cavs will save a few million bucks a season on Varejao.

If Darko is getting $7 million per and Gooden is getting between $6-7 million per, there is no way Andy is going to convince the Cavs to give him $8 million plus. This works for everybody.

So thank you, Orlando. Thanks for signing Rashard Lewis. Thanks for letting Darko go. Because of this, you saved the Danny Ferry a lot of trouble and the Cavs a lot of money.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It begins Wednesday

NBA free agents can start inking deals tomorrow. Will Varejao sign an offer sheet? Will the Cavs go after anyone? Is it just this guy?

Derek Fisher could be interested in Cleveland, but he could also be sign with the Knicks or Lakers.

Mo Peterson looks to be set on the Jazz. Mo Williams looked like he was resigning with the Buck, but could take less money to join the Heat(?!).

I don't know what's going on, but if a young talented point guard is taking less money to join a winner, why isn't Danny Ferry stalking this guy?

Things I'm on the look out for:

- trade rumors. I don't see the Cavs making any major moves in free agency, mostly because none of the free agents are that attractive. Plus, I'd like to see them stand pat rather than throw money at a guy simply because he's a better PG than Larry Hughes and Eric Snow.

- At this point they need to sign the right players, not simply the 'best available'. This is how Larry Hughes came into our lives.

- If the Cavs do match Varejao, be on the look out for Drew Gooden trade rumors. If Andy is making more than $8 million a year, I don't expect him to be backing up Drew Gooden.

- If Varejao gets more than $9 million a season, you let him walk. $7-8 million... meh, I'd rather not, but you're always going to overpay for quality big men. But anything over $9 million is simply insane.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Tribe and the (lack of) Attendance

It seems recently that everyone in Cleveland is talking about the Tribe and their poor attendance figures. Tony Rizzo has devoted a lot of time to the topic, Paul Cousineau and Gary Benz wrote about on the Cleveland Fan and Terry Pluto has also penned an article. The short story is that the Indians are 25th in the majors in home game attendance. That is not good.

Everyone has their own reasons for this, from Cleveland's economy, to Cleveland fans being spoiled with the 90s and (of course) the Dolan's low payroll (you may have heard that it's below Kansas City's!).

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the lack of fan participation isn't simply one single thing but a combination of many forces. That being said, I am a bit surprised that no one has mentioned what I think is one of the main factors in the unwillingness to get behind this Indians team.

The trade of Coco Crisp.

Now, I have no way to prove this, but I think the trade of Coco to the Red Sox for minor league 3rd baseman Andy Marte hurt the Tribe much more than they could've imagined.

After barely missing out of the playoffs in 2005, the Indians come into 2006 by... trading a popular outfielder for a minor league 3rd baseman who no one has heard of. From a baseball stand point, was it a good deal? Meh, neither Crisp nor Marte has lit it up, but the Tribe had Grady Sizemore ready to step in for Crisp. It may not have been the best deal but, from a baseball side, it was defendable.

But not from a public relations side. Tribe fans had just spent the past few seasons watching the team trade away veterans for minor leaguers (when they weren't walking away for more money). This was simply the worst time to trade away a popular figure. The team was starting to come back around and form its own identity and the Tribe trades away a young veteran (with a neat name!) for yet another minor league prospect.

They said it wasn't a cost cutting move, but one believed it. For better or worse, it looked like that the Tribe, again, couldn't afford it's own players and would trade them away for that perpetual 'next year'.

Why should fans come out for this team? They'll fall in love with the regulars but by the time the team is set to make a move, they'll just trade them away because "Dolan is cheap".

Dolan has said that he'll spend the money when the time is right and, from where I'm sitting, that time is now. I've been saying for awhile now, if the Tribe came out tomorrow and offered CC and Hafner fair market deals (just biting the bullet) that Tribe fans would begin to come out to the ballpark.

Is that too simple? Maybe. But I really do think that fans simply don't trust management to do what it has to do in order to win. They see Coco traded away, they see the Tigers trade for Gary Sheffield while the Tribe shops for pitchers off the scrap heap year after year and they see a payroll at the near the bottom of the majors. This team is one of the best teams in baseball, the payroll is, if nothing else, "thrifty" and yet they're still shopping for tainted goods? They can't afford real talent? They're signing guys coming off of surgeries, guys who retire before the year starts?

Do you trust the Dolans to make that signing that puts the team over the top? Do you trust Shapiro to go get that right handed bat? Aren't we all expecting some kind of Matt Lawton/Trot Nixon type deal?

Is it fair? Probably not. Can I prove my little theory? No. But, for whatever reason, the fans don't trust this team.

I can't blame them.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer League Signings

I know, not a big deal, but I still find this stuff interesting (especially the local flavor). The Cavs added former Ohio State center Terence Dials, West Virginia forward Kevin Pittsnogle and Akron star forward Romeo Travis (who went to St. Vincent-St. Mary with that LeBron fellow).

Do I expect any of these guys to make the final roster? Not really. But seeing these guys on the roster is intriguing, especially Pittsnogle (Dials and Travis are both kinda undersized).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Anderson Varejao

So somebody offered Anderson Varejao a contract. We don't know who, though smart people are saying Memphis. But it could be someone else, Memphis GM Chris Wallace has reportedly visited Argentina, but that could be to talk to Andres Nocioni rather than Andy (and it could involve a sign-and-trade sending Pau Gasol to Chicago).

Brian Windhorst says that if the Memphis (or whoever) offer is somewhere around $7-8 million a season, the Cavs will match (as Varejao, like Nocioni, is a restricted free agent). But, he says, if that deal is in the $10 million range, the Cavs will most likely pass. This seems like pretty sound reasoning to me.

$10 million a year for a part time role player is pretty ridiculous. I love Varejao and what he brings to the table, but he is not worth $10 million a year. Hell, I'm not even sure he's worth $7-8 million.

First of all, if the Cavs match the offer for Varejao at $7 million a year (which is likely the lowest we'd be looking at) they'd basically be forced to trade away Drew Gooden. Gooden is scheduled to make $6.4 million next season and $7.1 the year after, I can't see a scenario where he'd be cool with his backup being paid more than him. Trading Gooden isn't necessarily a bad thing; he has a team friendly deal and he could bring in something of value (like a Shawn Marion? The Suns want to cut payroll and they really wanted Drew Gooden last summer). So if you think the Cavs have to resign Varejao because they need to keep their front court intact, you're wrong. If the Cavs keep Varejao and he's paid more than $7 million per year, Drew Gooden won't be around much longer.

Second of all, I know we all love Varejao's feistiness and hustle, but I'm not sure you throw a lot of money at that type of player. His offense is extremely raw and he often makes bonehead plays at the offensive end (like the end of Game 3). He's not a particularly great defender either; sure, he draws a lot of charges and offensive fouls, but he's not a shot blocker or physical presence. He's scrappy and annoying (don't get me wrong, I love that, but I don't this scrappy and annoying should net you $8-10 million per).

Plus, if the NBA changes their flopping rules, Varejao's biggest strength is negated and the Cavs are stuck paying at least $7 million to a big man with no offense and no defense. And with his offense, I know he's young and he's got time to improve his O, but does anyone think that Varejao is ever going to be as polished offensively as Drew Gooden is right now? How long do we wait for that? The Cavs offense stinks as it is, they definitely don't need this 35 minutes a night (that commentary is sweet by the way).

I guess it's obvious I'd let Varejao walk. Maybe it's the bad taste leftover from Game 3, I dunno. But I just don't see this guy being worth that much money. I'm not sure how he'd hold up playing starters minutes over 82 games (he takes a lot of contact and his wild style could lead to injury). The Cavs have a team full of overpaid defensive minded guys who can't shoot (Eric Snow, Larry Hughes, Ira Newble) and one guy who's overpaid, isn't defensive minded and can't shoot (hi Donyell Marshall!), I'm not sure paying Anderson Varejao big bucks is the way to go.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I must say, that game was pretty badass, however..... kudos to Sports Time Ohio and their full inning blackout of the 11th (well, the top half of the 11th... so that makes it a full half inning blackout?)

I mean, I'm glad I watched that entire game only to miss the go ahead home run. Well done everyone!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Anderson Varejao to Memphis?

The Grizzlies are one of the teams that could be interested in the Cavalier big man and Tony Rizzo is saying (on his radio show) that Varejao has spoken with the Grizzlies.

He also was saying that they're talking $7+ million a year.

Um, I love me some Varejao, but I'm not sure I love a $7-10 million Varejao. Don't get me wrong, Andy hustles, plays well with LeBron and the fans love the guy. I'm not saying he's a bad player. But, he's raw offensively (and he doesn't seem to know it, like at the end of Game 3 in the Finals....) and I don't see him starting anytime soon (especially if the Cavs still have 'marksmen' like Larry Hughes and Eric Snow playing major minutes).

Varejao can't sign any deal until July 11th and once he does sign a deal, the Cavs have 15 days to match. Of the Cavs two restricted free agents (the other being Sasha Pavlovic), Varejao is the one that I think the Cavs can afford to let go (or maybe sign-and-trade). I like the guy, but I can't see a reason why the Cavs should pay $8 million to a guy who can't shoot (well, a third guy...)