While watching the Celtics knock the Cavaliers out of the NBA playoffs

No one needs to shed tears for the good folks of Cleveland, but understand their agony. Their Indians were one win away from the World Series in 2007 but couldn’t pull it off, losing to the Josh Beckett-Manny Ramirez-David Ortiz Red Sox, thank you. Manny was the salt in their wound. He once was a Cleveland Indian.

The Indians haven’t been the same since. A Great Lakes version of the Kansas City Royals.

Quarterback Bernie Kosar was on the verge of taking the Browns to the Super Bowl in 1986. All they had to do was beat John Elway and the Denver Broncos. The Browns lost the AFC championship game in overtime.

Years pass and the franchise turned to Bill Belichick. He couldn’t turn it around.

Romeo Crennel, who sat at the right hand of Bill, couldn’t do it. Eric Mangini, another Belichick disciple, hasn’t. The fabled Dawg Pound containing Browns fans on game day mostly whimpers.

Michael Jordan’s buzzer beater defeated the Cavaliers in 1989. It came in Game 5 of a best-of-five series. The Bulls moved on in the NBA playoffs. Four years later Jordan did it to the Cavs again, except his shot completed Chicago’s four-game sweep.

Jordan finally retired and basketball looked for his heir. It’s LeBron James and he’s a child of Ohio. He came to the Cavaliers and from autumn to the last weeks of spring this year, they’re the class of the NBA. Then the Cavs lost to the Celtics in Cleveland and the boos cascaded.

As a Celtics fan, you can’t fathom this. But then, the Celtics have been the gold standard for success so many times while the Cavaliers have been the

I’ll take Alex Rodriguez’s comment on Dallas Braden’s Mother’s Day perfect game as applause: “Good for him. He threw a perfect game.”

Good for A-Rod.

The two major leaguers had a blown-up confrontation recently. A-Rod ran across the pitcher’s mound during a Yankees-Oakland A’s game on the West Coast. Braden was the pitcher that night and cited one of baseball’s unwritten rules. A-Rod will someday walk into baseball’s Hall of Fame, Braden will not, and Rodriguez brought that to everyone’s attention.

Then came the perfect game, which most certainly will be noted in Cooperstown. The performance gets Braden some payback. So does the top 10 things he was thinking while pitching perfection, courtesy of David Letterman’s writers: “Maybe I can give Kate Hudson a call.”

Hudson dated Rodriguez.

Six years after they matched pitches at Hadlock Field before a cheering capacity crowd, Mark Rogers and Ryan Reid crossed paths again for the first time on a baseball field. It didn’t have the same feel.

Rogers started Tuesday’s game for Huntsville of the Double-A Southern League and allowed one hit in five innings for his second victory of the season. Reid, in his third year with the Montgomery Biscuits, worked two innings of relief after Rogers left the game.

Back in 2004, Rogers was a first-round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers. He got millions to sign. After graduation from Mt. Ararat, he entered the Brewers’ farm system. Reid, Deering’s star pitcher, opted for James Madison University. Later, he entered the Tampa Bay minor league system.

That day at Hadlock, Reid and his Deering teammates beat Rogers and Mt. Ararat for the state championship. Expectations for Rogers were sky-high. Few anticipated the arm problems that sidelined him for two full seasons. Rogers, who has a bit of lobstering in his background, goes fishing with Reid on the Alabama River when they can.

Some college athletes really do have to go the extra mile to compete. Consider members of the Maine Maritime Academy lacrosse team. After losing to Mt. Ida in the North Atlantic Conference semifinals last week in Massachusetts, the team returned to Maine, stopping in Rockland where the academy’s training ship was docked.

Several players boarded a pilot boat that took them to a rope ladder hanging over the side of the State of Maine. The players climbed the ladder to begin a two-month stint at sea. But then, the ship was headed to Marseille, France.

A column last week on Ashley Drew’s fight with cystic fibrosis and her need for a double-lung transplant neglected to provide contact information for anyone wishing to make donation to help pay her expenses: Air For Ashley c/o Allied Home Mortgage, 360 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, ME, 04074.

 

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

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