Hue Jackson’s day gets worse as DeShaun Watson shines

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 1:26 PM

Perhaps Sunday’s loss was only the second-worst occurrence for Hue Jackson and the Browns.

News came out that Jackson sent a text message to DeShaun Watson before April’s draft, telling him to “be ready.” The Browns had two chances to pick Watson – they took Myles Garrett No. 1 then traded out of the 12th slot with Houston, which took Watson.

Watson leads the NFL in touchdown passes and looks like a budding superstar. Garrett also seems destined for greatness, but trading out of the 12th pick isn’t looking wise.

Jackson is 1-21 in his career coaching the Browns. The criticism gets stronger every week.











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Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber loves hitting in Ohio

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 24:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with teammates after a win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 24, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs defeated the Indians 10-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 24: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with teammates after a win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 24, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs defeated the Indians 10-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Kyle Schwarber clubbed two home runs as the Chicago Cubs beat the Indians 10-3 in Cleveland on Tuesday night. 

The Middletown native raised his season batting average to .302, the highest it has been since the first of the month. 

After slumping in the first week fo the season, he seems to have found his stroke, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise he would do major damage in Cleveland. 

After all, Progressive Field is the place he became a World Series hero two years ago when he came back from knee surgery to lead the Cubs to their first championship in 108 years. 

RELATED: Doubtful Cubs win World Series without Kyle Schwarber’s heroics

Last season didn’t go so swimmingly for Schwarber, who hit only .211 in 2017 and spent some time in the minors trying to find his swing. 

He always seems to have a good time hitting against teams from his home state. 

Schwarber is a .500 hitter at Progressive Field and has a .421 batting average overall against the Indians. 

He’s done even more damage against the Reds, who reportedly were set to pick him out of the University of Indiana four years ago if the Cubs hadn’t latched onto him first. 

Schwarber has batted .330 with a 1.018 OPS against the Reds. He has seven homers and 20 RBIs in 25 games against Cincinnati. 

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King James: LeBron’s 3-pointer at the buzzer saves Cavs

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 11:24 PM

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is showered with water by JR Smith #5 while being interviewed after a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is showered with water by JR Smith #5 while being interviewed after a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The game, the series, the season and perhaps Cleveland’s future were in jeopardy.

LeBron James saved everything.

James dropped a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another one of his brilliant performances, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead layup — a play the Pacers felt was goaltending — James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and hit his winner over Thaddeus Young.

As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.

“He does it at both ends every single night,” Cavs forward Kevin Love said. “That’s why he’s the best player in the world.”

James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.

“He really did impose his will throughout the game,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.

Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.

Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.

Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally, forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.

Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Oladipo’s felt his shot hit the backboard first, which would make the block illegal.

“I got a step on him and I felt I even got grabbed,” Oladipo said. “It hit the backboard and he blocked it. It was a goaltend. It’s hard to even speak on it. That layup is huge.”

Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.

The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.

Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.

Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.

Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.

“We didn’t do anything new,” said guard Jose Calderon, who started his second game in place of George Hill. “We were just more aggressive.”

UP NEXT

Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.

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Prized prospect makes MLB debut, Braves edge Reds

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 11:16 PM


            CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Ender Iciarte #11 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely in to second base ahead of the tag by Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds for a stolen base in the 7th inning at Great American Ball Park on April 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Ender Iciarte #11 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely in to second base ahead of the tag by Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds for a stolen base in the 7th inning at Great American Ball Park on April 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Prized prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. looked like a polished veteran.

The 20-year-old Acuna singled and scored the tying run in the eighth inning of his big league debut, and the Atlanta Braves went on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Wednesday night.

Acuna became the youngest player in the majors when he was called up from Triple-A before the game. He went 1 for 5 and played left field.

»RELATED: Riggleman wants ‘more’ out of bullpen

»RELATED: Peraza more comfortable, confident at short

“As soon as I hit the field, I felt at home,” Acuna said through a translator. “I felt comfortable.”

Atlanta manager Brian Snitker saw no signs of nerves from his prodigy.

“I thought he was really good,” Snitker said. “Nothing affected him. He wasn’t overwhelmed. He went out and played his game.”

Acuna asked for jersey No. 13, following fellow Venezuelans Dave Concepcion, Ozzie Guillen and Omar Vizquel. The newcomer twice flied out deep, and struck out twice.

Ozzie Albies, the second-youngest player in the bigs at 21, homered for Atlanta. He was hit by a pitch to begin the ninth and scored on the go-ahead run on Johan Camargo’s second double of the game, a sharp one-hopper that shortstop Cliff Pennington couldn’t backhand.

“If you put the ball in play, good things can happen,” Snitker said.

Camargo drove in two runs and Ender Inciarte had three hits for the Braves, who led 3-0 after four innings. Acuna scored on Kurt Suzuki’s two-out single in the eighth to make it 4-all.

Jesse Biddle allowed three hits over two scoreless innings, Dan Winkler (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth and A.J. Minter worked the ninth for his first career save.

Kevin Shackelford (0-1) took the loss in his first appearance of the season since coming off the disabled list. The Reds dropped to 5-19, matching the 1931 team for the worst 24-game start in club history.

Joey Votto’s two-run drive, his second homer in two nights, got the Reds on the board in the fifth.

Reds starter Brandon Finnegan, who opened the season on the disabled list with a strained left biceps, allowed two earned in five innings.

“We made it tough on Brandon Finnegan,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “We missed a couple opportunities and fell behind early but we scored four after missing a couple. It came back to bite us.”

Braves starter Matt Wisler was roughed up for nine hit and four runs in five innings.

REVIEW GIVETH

Adam Duvall was called out to end the fifth inning while trying to score the tying run from first on Scott Schebler’s double, but a video review requested by the Reds led to the call being overturned after a 2-minute, 10-second look.

GIVETH II

A 33-second video review showed that Nick Markakis beat out what originally was ruled to be a double-play grounder with nobody out in the Atlanta ninth.

FAST PACE

Albies’ fifth-inning home run was his seventh of the season. He hit six in 57 games last season.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

The Reds loaded the bases in the first inning with three hard-hit singles but squandered the opportunity with Scooter Gennett’s short flyout and the slumping Duvall’s double-play grounder. Duvall is 2 for 25 over his last seven games. They also failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the seventh.

WELCOME BACK

Umpire CB Bucknor returned after leaving Monday’s game and missing Tuesday’s game with an illness. Bucknor umpired at first base.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez is 1 for 5 with a double and two walks in the first two games of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. He went on the disabled list on April 9 with a fractured right thumb.

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (1-1, 3.74) is Atlanta’s scheduled starter in Thursday’s finale of the four-game series.

Reds: Hard-luck RHP Homer Bailey (0-3, 3.68), whose ERA is the best of Cincinnati’s starters, is due to start the final game of Cincinnati’s brief four-game homestand.

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Ohio State NFL draft preview: 5 things to know 

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:45 PM

Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward explains what he can bring an NFL team, why he sat out the Cotton Bowl and more.

The 83rd NFL draft is set for Thursday-Saturday in Texas, and Ohio State is expected to be heavily involved again. 

Here are five things for Buckeye fans to know before it begins: 

1. Close to a dozen Buckeyes could be drafted. 

Eleven Ohio State players were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and more got to work out for NFL scouts during the team’s pro day.

Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman predicts Jerome Baker, J.T. Barrett, Marcus Baugh, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard, Jamarco Jones, Tyquan Lewis, Billy Price, Denzel Ward, Damon Webb and Chris Worley will all hear their names called by the end of round seven on Saturday. 

Ward and coach Urban Meyer are scheduled to be in attendance.

2. The top prospects are… 

Ward is widely expected to be a first-round pick. 

After him, it gets a little murky. 

Hubbard could be taken in the first or second round and Price was considered a potential first-rounder before a pec injury knocked him out of the combine (he should be ready for the start of training camp). 

Jones is the No. 34 player according to Pro Football Focus with Price coming in 64th, Hubbard 68th, Lewis 81st and Webb 88th. 

Ohio State center Billy Price explains what happened during the bench press Thursday and his prognosis for next season.

3. The return of OSU as “DB U”. 

If Ward does go in the first round, Ohio State will become the first school in the common era (since 1967) to have five first-round defensive backs in three years. 

That run started with Eli Apple in 2016 with Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley following last year. 

The last five starting cornerbacks from Ohio State have been drafted, something that also happened in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

Ward could make six. 

4. Will any Buckeyes remain in Ohio? 

Recent history shows the Bengals and Browns aren’t very likely to pick a player from Ohio State. 

While Cincinnati last chose a Buckeye in 2013 (offensive lineman Reid Fragel, seventh round), eight drafts have passed since the Browns chose Brian Robiskie in the second round in 2009. 

In all, the Browns have drafted 32 players from Ohio State since 1952 while the Bengals have taken 17 since 1969. 

Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett explains what he has been doing since the NFL Scouting Combine, how his workout in Cincinnati went and more.

5. Meyer’s first full recruiting class nearly finished. 

Six players from Ohio State’s class of 2013 already have been drafted. 

At least five more could be taken this weekend. If that happens, the 24-man class will be the most successful (in terms of draftees) since 2002, both in terms of total and percentage. 

Twelve players of 25 signees (48 percent) from 2002 were drafted. 

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