Speed Read: Cleveland Is A Hot Mess Right Now

It was an incredibly tumultuous night in Cleveland, and the Cavaliers losing to the Wizards was the least shocking news of the night. (Although as the WASHINGTON POST’s Michael Lee points out, Washington joins the Lakers and Celtics as the only teams to beat Cleveland twice this season.) Yes, it’s not often that the best team in the league loses to the worst team in the league, but the Wizards are a unique case, with Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood finally back playing after missing almost all of the season with injuries.

Jay Cutler Brady Quinn Jason Campbell

No, most of the evening drama in Cleveland involved the Browns. First came some fallout from Jay Cutler’s trade to the Bears, specifically reports that Cleveland had tried to work out a three-way deal with the Broncos and Redskins that would have sent Brady Quinn to Denver and Jason Campbell to Cleveland. Browns coach Eric Mangini spent Thursday night denying these reports; expect Quinn to demand a trade because the Browns tried to trade him sometime within the next week.

Donte Stallworth

And later in the evening, there was news in the DUI manslaughter case against Browns WR Donte Stallworth, and it was more than just his first appearance at a court hearing. It turns out that Stallworth was already in the NFL’s substance abuse program at the time of his arrest, which opens him up to a whole range of punishment from the league. Of course, he’s facing charges that could land him in jail for at least eight years, and having a history of substance abuse issues is not going to help his case, so I’d say that Roger Goodell is the least of Stallworth’s problems right now.

Bernie Williams

Meanwhile, there were no problems at the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium yesterday, just a lot of unintentional comedy as reported by MLB.COM. What do I mean? How about Yankees’ Executive Vice President Hal “The Pretty One” Steinbrenner joining rock stars/C-list celebs with nothing better to do Ace Frehley of KISS, Scott Ian and Frank Bello of Anthrax, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Bernie Williams and members of the Seminole Nation to smash guitars instead of cutting a ribbon. And yes, this means rock and roll is officially¬†dead.

(Oh yeah, “Late Show With David Letterman” band drummer Anton Fig was there, which only means one thing: even Paul Shaffer had too much dignity to show up to this thing.)

Other news while you were rioting in the streets of State College to celebrate Penn State’s NIT victory:

  • As PUCK DADDY notes, it must be like getting their hearts ripped out all over again for Hartford Whalers fans to see a Hurricanes jersey with the Whalers’ logo (and a God awful color combination). Although I’d love it if the Ravens wore Browns jerseys for “Turn Back The Clock” day against Cleveland.
  • Whalers jersey

  • While the Jay Cutler trade solved one long-running NFL saga, the Anquan Boldin/Arizona Cardinals mess continues to fester. The latest comes from NFL.COM which reports that Boldin told a Florida radio station that he would “love to” play in his home city of Miami.
  • I had hoped that the America’s Cup had gone the way of 1980s fads like The Lambada, Swatches and The California Raisins. But apparently it’s still happening, and it’s now the focus of lawsuits involving people with more money than they know what to do with. The AP has the latest news, as software tycoon Larry Ellison and his boat “Oracle” have won the right to challenge the current Cup holders, Judge Elihu Smails and his boat “The Flying Wasp” (seen below at its coronation):

  • It looks like things are going anything but “perfect” for former Cincinnati ace Tom Browning: THE NEWS & OBSERVER reports the Reds have dropped him as the pitching coach for the Carolina Mudhens after he was arrested on Friday for failure to pay child support.
  • If you’re a former NFL player who gets arrested on drug charges, you would hope that the headlines wouldn’t call you “forgettable.” But that’s just how NBC DALLAS FORT WORTH described former Cowboy Leonardo Carson, arrested yesterday on intent to sell charges, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t right.
  • Now that Tim Floyd has turned down Arizona, TUCSON CITIZEN columnist Anthony Gimino wants to know if there’s anyone left who wants the Wildcats’ coaching job. May I make a suggestion: Former Baylor coach Dave Bliss is available and ready to talk. Sure, he’s got a checkered past, but the guy knows how to win. Barring that, perhaps Jerry Tarkanian is available.
  • Sports is creeping its way into politics in Los Angeles, as the LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS reports that City Attorney candidate Carmen Trutanich is being ripped by his opponent and NOW for successfully representing former USC defensive back Eric Wright on rape charges in 2005.
  • I can’t imagine why parents in Shenendehowa, NY are upset to find out that a part-time track coach had his teaching license revoked 11 years ago after an alleged sexual abuse case. WTEN-TV says that while Don Paretta was not convicted, he admitted to giving a former student a note at graduation saying he would “miss the student’s face and body.” And this guy coached pole vaulting: let the jokes commence.
  • According to the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER, Boston College DT B.J. Raji - a projected Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft - committed a crime worse than scoring single digits on the Wonderlic test: he reportedly flunked a drug test at the NFL Combine.
  • Finally, HOME RUN DERBY sends a hearty congratulations to Manatee Community College, which defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 yesterday. Yes, those Pittsburgh Pirates, as in the “allegedly major league Pirates.” Bill Mazeroski would be rolling in his grave, if he were dead.

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Hal Steinbrenner Admits Yankees Tix ‘Overpriced’

Only a few more days before the new Yankee Stadium officially opens for business! Well, actually, it’s only one more day until the Yanks host the Cubs in an exhibition game at the brand new ballpark. But the real season at the Stadium doesn’t start until April 16 - before that, the Yankees must visit Baltimore, Kansas City & Tampa Bay.

Yankee Stadium inside NY logo

That means there’s still plenty of time to buy tickets. And luckily there are still plenty of seats available - because the prices are too damn high. (Unless you think an average price of $237 per seat is reasonable. How about a one-game suite for $2,625? Or $320 for an obstructed-view seat? And who would build stadiums with obstructed views anyway these days? It’s 2009, not 1909.)

But don’t worry - Hal Steinbrenner feels your pain. The Yankees’ general partner admits some amounts they’re charging may be a bit excessive.

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