Between packing for next semester and restoring posts on the site, it’s tough to find enough time to write. I have the rest of the week to publish before classes begin again, so my goal is to have most of the site restored along with three (yes, three!) new posts. Two of these are going to be published hand in hand, about what I got right and what I got wrong last year. I made a lot of bold statements, plenty of which made me look smart and plenty that made me look stupid. Here are a few that made me look smart.
LeBron James will return to Cleveland
#ComeHomeLeBron was a success at the world’s greatest basketball player returned to Cleveland last summer. In a coup for old-style media, he broke the news with an “As Told To” piece by Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated. I devoted a full article to the return last July.
Kyrie Irving is a flawed player
I wrote about the All-Star point guard not deserving a max extension last summer. Since then, his defense has not improved, his shooting has plateaued at best, and the Cavs have struggled all season because he’s not a winner. On a per-36 minute basis, he’s having the worst season of his career, a surprise considering this should be Irving’s best supporting cast in his fourth NBA season. He will probably still be an All-Star because fans are silly and his counting stats look solid. I believe Irving has topped out as a good but flawed point guard because of his “efense” and inefficient shoot-first tendency.
The Major MLB Awards
Guys with initials CK won the AL Cy Young, NL Cy Young, and NL MVP, while Mike Trout won his first MVP in his worst season yet. Jose Abreu was a runaway AL Rookie of the Year candidate as well. These were all easy decisions aside from Corey Kluber, which I was worried at the time would be a biased selection. Considering Clayton Kershaw has a Koufaxian three Cy Young Awards and an MVP within a four year span, he was a no brainer lock for both top awards in the senior circuit.
Johnny Manziel would fail
TOLD. YOU. SO. Did anyone really think a playboy lifestyle, a lack of urgency, a lack of height, and a weak arm would combine to make Johnny a great quarterback? Come on now, Browns fans, we’re better than that. I can’t wait to see him on Hard Knocks next fall.
Curt Schilling Missing Out on Cooperstown
I explained my decision in my ballot, a decision that seemed to reflect the overall BBWAA and IBWAA sentiments. Then he decided to trash John Smoltz and rub everyone the wrong way with what may or may not have been a political joke. The criteria for Hall of Fame voters includes a character clause and it is Schilling’s own fault that he fails this measure. He proved the voters right with his reaction to missing out.
The Cavaliers’ Regular Season Struggles
I said it on Big Red Sports Talk at some point last semester, but I cannot tell you exactly when. I do have this tweet from November if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to go through all of the old podcasts.
I said Cavs would go 48-34, but could still compete for a title.
— Alex Kaufman (@NSF_Alex) November 23, 2014
Currently sitting at 19-19, 48 wins might even be too high. But I foresaw the chemistry issues along with the defensive struggles. That said, the season isn’t even halfway over, so there’s plenty of time for the Cavs to jell and evolve into the dominant team LeBron envisioned last summer and the championship run Cleveland fans have been clamoring for since 1964.
Maybe I do know a thing or two about sports. Or maybe I got lucky. Regardless, here’s to another successful year for both Cleveland sports and my prognostications.