PD sports guru Terry Pluto (the precious chap pictured to your right) published 20 predictions for the 2013 Cleveland Indians in this morning's paper. And folks, they were pretty lame. Pretty non-assertive there, Terry! I mean a few of them weren't even predictions.
I've decided to include my own predictions below to establish a sort of opposite extreme, and to keep Mr. Terry Pluto accountable.
Matter of fact, to that end, I'd like to hereby challenge Mr. Terry Pluto to a PREDICTION BATTLE. Please comment below on what the awards/punishments should be in this epic prediction battle. No award is too extravagant nor punishment too severe. This prediction battle will rock the greater Great Lakes sports media landscape.
For example, re: punishments, I'm thinking that if more of my predictions come true, the PD should be required to publish a photo spread of Terry Pluto in every historical Cleveland baseball uniform to date. If more of Pluto's predictions come true, I will subject myself to a punishment equal in humiliation and public exposure. I await your creativity with eagerness and terror.
Off we go:
1. PLUTO: Nick Swisher will hit 24 homers, drive in 88 runs and the fans will love the guy. In other words, he’ll have his typical Nick Swisher season, making it nine years in a row of at least 20 homers.
1. @SceneSallard: Nick Swisher will hit 29 homers, drive in 99 runs and fans will hate him during what will be two significant slumps.
WINNER: Terry Pluto; Pretty daggone close, thanks to a Swisher late-season surge.
2. PLUTO: By June, only one of these three will still be in the rotation: Scott Kazmir, Brett Myers and Zach McAllister. While all the attention has been on Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez at the top of the rotation, the bottom three also worry me. Kazmir hasn’t won a big league game since 2010. Myers was in the bullpen last season. McAllister is 6-9 with a 4.47 ERA in 26 big league starts and still has a lot to prove.
2: @SceneSallard: Zach McAllister will be the Indians' leader in wins this year. Bam! I said it. He'll go 16-9. Myers will be a bust. Kazmir's abdominal strain will turn into an abdominal cyst or intestinal smear and he'll be cheering for his team from various specialty units in the Cleveland Clinic. BUT I LOVE KAZMIR AND I WANT SO BADLY FOR HIM TO SUCCEED.
3. PLUTO: Carlos Carrasco will be the first starter promoted from AAA as he is throwing 92-95 mph. He’ll be an asset to the Tribe.
3. @SceneSallard: Carlos Carrasco will be the first starter promoted from AAA. Ho-hum. Big deal.
4. PLUTO: The Indians will have at least nine different pitchers start games as they continue to look for help in the rotation.
4. @SceneSallard: The Indians will have at least 1,000 pitchers start games as they continue to look for help etc. (That's a gimme, Terry. I am literally handing you prediction #4 in the name of comedy.)
WINNER: Pluto; just barely.
5. PLUTO: Mark Reynolds will hit 30 homers, the first Indian to do so since Grady Sizemore (33 in 2008). It may take 180 strikeouts, but he’ll still do it.
5. @SceneSallard: Be serious, Terry. Mark Reynolds will not hit 30 homers. He will be behind Nick Swisher, Asdrubal Cabrera, Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana in total HRs.
Clements was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition after federal investigators homed in on animal cruelty charges filed against him late last year. Clements was initially arrested after he shot his dog in a Cleveland Heights park and left him for dead.
His previous felony convictions include the rape of two girls (ages 7 and 14) in 2006, drug trafficking in 2003 and aggravated robbery in 1991.
Originally published April 4:
Raymone Clements was convicted of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
Sentencing is slated for June 13, and Clements could face 19 to 24 years behind bars.
This week's trial in federal court wraps up one of many tangents that began when Clements brought his bull mastiff Forrest into a Cleveland Heights park, tied him to a tree and shot him four times.
Filling out the courtroom were numerous animal protection advocates, who have rallied around Forrest and promoted his story as an illustration of Ohio's lukewarm animal cruelty laws. Clements was not charged with any counts of animal cruelty, save for a county charge that was later dropped. Nonetheless, shooting a companion animal amounts to little more than a misdemeanor and a proverbial slap on the wrist in this state.
The trial, for the federal justice system's part, did highlight the ongoing issue of trying to crack down on career criminals continuing to arm themselves.
“This case demonstrates why rapists and other felons are forbidden from having firearms,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach says. “Whether is a person using a gun to commit a violent crime, a felon illegally obtaining ammunition or a straw purchaser trying to circumvent the law, we will aggressively pursue those who would violate our nation’s firearms laws."
The band tossed one of the three new songs, "Sad Angel," onto the web today. It's getting some pretty favorable press, mostly due to the chug-a-lug rhythm section.
The EP is available via iTunes.
Music Editor Jeff Niesel reviewed the band's April 4 show in Columbus, which he noted was a beautiful nod to their legacy. Regarding "Sad Angel," here's his take: "The song had a driving guitar riff but suffered from its wimpy keyboard riff."
Not much is different in this studio version, but the song is pretty damn catchy. It's embedded below for your listening pleasure.
One captain and 11 sergeants will face some level of disciplinary action, according to Police Chief Michael McGrath.
The charges stem from the Nov. 29, 2012, police chase and shooting that left two unarmed people dead. As enshrined in local lore, 137 (!) bullets were fired at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
With supervisory leadership called into question, the internal review points to 12 employees: Capt. Ulrich Zouhar, Lt. Paul Wilson, Sgt. Mathew Putnam, Sgt. Michael Donegan, Sgt. Patricia Coleman, Sgt. Randolph Daley, Sgt. Jason Edens, Sgt. Brian Chetnik, Sgt. Brian Lockwood, Sgt. Mark Bickerstaff, Sgt. Matthew Gallagher and Sgt. Richard Martinez. On a semi-related note, calls have sounded for McGrath himself to step down - for much the same rationale.
McGrath said he maintains his confidence in the department.
When asked how he would handled the night's events if he were working on the street, McGrath said: "In hindsight, I probably would have acted differently."
An as-yet-unannounced news conference will deal with the individual officers and their compliance with department policy. As Mayor Frank Jackson has illustratively said throughout the process, if the officers are found to have stayed "in the box" of police protocol, they'll be fine.
Os Mutantes' latest album, Fool Metal Jack, expands on the band's pioneering approach first dished up in the late 1960s and 1970s. When they reunited in 2006 with several lineup shifts, the spirit of eccentricity and counterculture propelled them onward and into more contemporary times.
Contrary to much of their earlier work, Fool Metal Jack bears mostly English lyrics. That's a boon to the uninitiated, and this album may work well as an introductory window into Os Mutantes' special brand of madness.
The musicianship, to be straightforward, is frenetic. In "Picadilly Willie," chugging synth loops coil around the listener before the song fades into an ethereal, Amazonian landscape. Chants of "BRAZIL!" fill the air. And Os Mutantes push their influence deeper into the mist. Later, the feel-good vibes of "Time and Space" merge with thunderous bridges to highlight the band's dynamism. They've always been friendly to both quiet and loud approaches to their sound.
Album closer "Valse LSD" also builds toward an alternately menacing and enticing atmosphere. A sublime chord progression parts the cloudy percussion and allows the harmonizing vocal parts to work their magic. To be honest, Os Mutantes have cozied up to many juxtaposing musical elements throughout their career. They are, and have always been, an amalgamation of psychedelic rock, Brazil's own sociopolitical climate in the latter half of the 20th century and so much more.
As of the current roster of tour dates, the closest gig Clevelanders will have at their disposal is the June 27 show at Pittsburgh's Club Cafe. Toss that one on your calendar and check out the new album, embedded below.
The Cleveland Pickle, the red-hot, year-old sandwich emporium run by Josh Kabat and Kiaran Daley, has decided that five days a week just isn't enough. Beginning this Saturday, May 4, the gourmet sub shop at E. 9th and Euclid will be open for Saturday lunches.
"Downtown is coming into the spring season and naturally the foot traffic increases," explains Kabat. "There are not a lot of options for people to grab a bite to eat downtown on a Saturday. So we see there is a demand, so we are just gonna fill the supply with our subs."
The Pickle will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
850 Euclid Ave., 216-575-1111, clevelandpickle.com
This morning's story in the PD chronicles the criminal history of Acoff — whose female name we're trying to track down — and the details of her grisly murder.
Commenters have been lambasting reporter John Caniglia for what they've identified as aggressive insensitivity for refusing to use feminine pronouns when referring to Acoff. Naturally, the debate has soured into name-calling and one-upmanship, but the two sides tend to look like this:
It is disgusting that you continue to [misgender] this women. She identified as female and thought of herself as female just as I do. Even after her life ended through violence you still couldn't summon the decency to respect her. Transwomen are especially vulnerable to violence. People can't seem to understand the difference between biological sex and gender. You are feeding this climate of hate.
And the other side:
The negative criticism of the PD writers of this article referring to Acoff as a man is without merit.
After all, Acoff admitted to RTA police that he was a man. Thus, it is appropriate for the PD writers of this article to refer to Acoff as being male.
Things have been getting pretty heated over there, and though the commenters calling for the immediate dismissal of reporter John Caniglia and fiery death of the Plain Dealer are blowing things out of proportion, strictly from a journalistic style perspective, they're in the right. And it turns out to be more than just a matter of decency.
As of May, 2010, The Associated Press, The New York Times and The Washington Post, follow an updated media reference guide approved by GLAAD when reporting on LGBT lives, issues and stories.
Pertinent to the Carl Acoff story is the "transgender" entry:
Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
In other words, if Acoff identified as a woman and presented herself as such, she should be an undisputed 'she.'
The question of the murder — whether or not it was a hate crime, specifically — is still just that: a question. But as new details alter the context or circumstances of her death, they should not alter the way journalists refer to the victim.