CLEVELAND — After his two-home run, six-RBI game in New York Thursday, it’s time to stop worrying about Jose Ramirez turning his regular season around.
He’s back. We need a new narrative.
We got it.
In just a few weeks you can start worrying about him in the postseason.
That’s not particularly fair to bring up in mid August, but it only underscores how important Ramirez is to what is happening now with the Indians hot pursuit of Minnesota and how important he’ll be to October hopes.
It’s not as if he’s come up short in every postseason series —no Indians player had more hits in the 2016 World Series, after all.
It’s the total accounting of those five series and the two most recent matchups against Houston a year ago and the Yankees in 2017 that can't be dismissed until he erases it from the collective memory.
In five postseason series, he is hitting .195 with a .247 on-base percentage and a .253 slugging average. He has four RBI, three extra-base hits and more strikeouts (18) than hits (17.)
In the last two years he is 2-31 with no RBI and 10 Ks.
If Ramirez can keep his post-All Star break resurgence going (.321 average, 1.068 OPS) he’ll arrive to the postseason as hot as he’s been in his career.
Chances are, the Indians will arrive to the playoffs right along with him.
He’s that important to what happens.
But, hey, no pressure.
- When Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said of running back Kareem Hunt, who is suspended for the first eight games but back to full go in training camp, “he’s right where we want him to be,” he did not mean under team surveillance.
- Hunt might well be exactly what the Browns will need after a tough first-half schedule: fresh legs and another offensive option at a time in the season when scouting reports have zeroed in on tendencies.
Provided he has no setbacks in personal conduct that would keep him on the sidelines longer.
In that regard, the Browns have the same hopes I have for You Said It contributors, except for the talent payoff.
- The Browns say they will support Antonio Callaway as he serves a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse standards.
That support is all part of the Browns Zero-ish Tolerance Policy.
- You can go online and have Baker Mayfield “explain why he gets you, Cleveland.”
Or I can save you time by saying one big reason he gets you, Cleveland, is because your team drafted him.
- Not that there isn’t some symmetry between underdog town and underdog quarterback, but the narrative is old in both cases.
This isn't that Cleveland any longer. And quarterbacks chosen No. 1 overall in the draft don't exactly embody a Rocky Balboa story line.
- Mayfield should’ve overcome that pigeon-holing after his fantastic college career. As for Cleveland, Mayfield would get Detroit or Buffalo or New York or pretty much any place that hasn’t won much recently and sees him as its best chance for a turnaround.
Also most places that sell easy-open beer cans.
- Former MLB player Lenny Dykstra has signed to fight the Bagel Boss Guy, made famous, so to speak, on social media for reasons he kind of explains here:
(Feel free to stumble over the part where he calls himself a "modern-day Martin Luther King.")
Winner to meet the survivor of Bieber-Kanye.
If there’s truly a God.
- In June, Dykstra spent nine hours dumpster diving outside a Jersey Mike’s sub shop in Linden, N.J. in an attempt to recover his dentures.
He told NJ.com he wrapped them in a napkin while eating a sub (because the bread was especially hard) and then when he returned to the shop two hours later was told they’d thrown all the trash in the dumpster.
Two hours later? After, what, doing a photo shoot as a carved pumpkin?
- Dykstra eventually recovered the dentures he estimates at $80,000 (bejeweled?) the next morning.
He was especially grateful for the help of a friend in sorting through the dumpster. That friend is a pro wrestling tag teamer who goes by the name of Sprinkles the Clown.
Of course he does.
I’d be very worried if I were Bagel Boss Guy now that we assume Sprinkles will be ring side.
- Johnny Manziel is doing Direct Auto Insurance commercials.
And by comparison to the previous three paragraphs, that seems perfectly reasonable.
- Stefano Tedeschi, known as the Sports Chef, is suing Raiders receiver Antonio Brown for $38K in unpaid services for Pro Bowl feasts he prepared for Brown and teammates during the 2018 event.
Tedeschi contends Brown terminated the agreement and kept some of his product and equipment. He says he was told by one of Brown’s associates to leave the premises and not to look Brown in the eye.
So it wasn’t all bad.
- I’m not sure it’s possible to look Brown in the eye these days without having the kind of nightmares you had the first time you saw The Shining.
- Or just “Shining” I guess, if Ohio State’s attempt to trademark the word “The” is granted.
- OSU, which likes to think of itself “The Ohio State University,” is seeking the trademark apparently because it learned there were still a handful of normal people that weren’t sufficiently irritated by former Buckeyes introducing themselves that way pre-game on NFL telecasts.
- The Colts admit quarterback Andrew Luck is dealing with a lower leg/high ankle injury that is “cumulative.” Based on previous injury news the Colts have shared about Luck, he could be ready by the second week of the season or sometime in 2023.
- You didn’t really think we would gloss over all the other Antonio Brown news did you? He has returned to Raiders camp now that he has found a compliant helmet.
If his foot issues stemming from frostbite sustained in a cryotherapy session allow.
Other than that, Brown’s first preseason in Oakland has been ho-hum uneventful.
At least that’s surely how we will remember it after his first preseason in Las Vegas.
- Bryce Harper hit a walk off grand slam in Philly Thursday. It was the second day with former Indians and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel as the Phillies hitting coach.
But I wanted to mention it anyway.
- Reports that Alex Rodriguez lost $500,000 in property he left inside a rental car have been greatly exaggerated.
Police are investigating the theft of jewelry, camera equipment and electronics from Rodriguez rental car and apparently have some video of the break-in.
They say the financial loss is nowhere near $500,000.
Unless he can claim $80,000 in dentures loss.
- Have a weekend.