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The Sportsman of the Day
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By Bob Frantz
Like the mid-May temperature in downtown Cleveland, let's go here, there and everywhere …
-- As dominant as Justin Masterson was in the first game of Monday's doubleheader, dominating the Yankees in a complete game, four-hit shutout, the most important start of the day may have been Trevor Bauer's in the nightcap. Bauer's third start as an Indian was by far his most impressive, as the phenom allowed just two earned runs and walked only two in 6 1/3 innings of work. Bauer is the real deal, and will be a fixture in the rotation for years to come. But not now. Here's hoping the Indians resist the temptation to rush the kid, allowing him to continue to refine himself, and his location, at Columbus for a little while longer.
-- Remember those worries about the Indians' offense crashing back to earth, having been held to three runs in three games to start the week, including back-to-back losses against the Yankees and Phillies? Well, in Wednesday's series finale in Philly, they put up 10 reasons to stop worrying. Oh, and you know how the Indians' No. 2 and No. 3 hitters haven't even started hitting yet? Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera combined to go 5-for-8 in the 10-4 win over the Phillies, with a homer, four runs scored, and five driven in. Yes, they'll hit.
-- One more thought on the Indians and Justin Masterson, and this one can be filed under "Better late than never." I was wiping yolk off my face at the end of last season after my July column declared:
"Masterson's presence gives the entire club, as well as a desperate fan base, a legitimate reason to believe a win is coming when his turn in the rotation rolls around. He has become a true "stopper," able to slam the breaks on losing streaks or just periods of poor play, and he seems to relish confrontations with other teams' aces."
Masterson's performance after that piece mirrored the Indians' awful collapse, making the high praise heaped upon him look foolish.
Let's just pretend that those words were penned this season, just before his back-to-back wins over both reigning Cy Young award winners, and before his pair of 1-0 complete game victories.
Like I said: Better late than never.
-- A trucking company in Alabama has filed a lawsuit against Jimmy Haslam's Pilot Flying J., alleging systemic fraud in the company's rebate program. If you're scoring at home, this suit brings the total number of claims filed against Haslam to six. With Phil Dawson now a 49er, no word out of Berea on who will be attempting the point after.
-- Michigan State has stripped recruit Jay Harris of his scholarship after the state's second-rated wideout uploaded several profanity-laced rap videos to YouTube. Harris says he'd rather become a rap star, choosing to smoke weed and preach rhythmic misogyny, violence and homophobia instead of catching footballs. I've seen one of his videos. He'll be a Dallas Cowboy in three years.
-- Bulls guard Derrick Rose had ACL surgery more than one full calendar year ago. He's been given a clean bill of health by every doctor who has examined him, and he even participates in full 5-on-5 scrimmages, looking as dominant as ever. Yet he refused to come back and help his gritty teammates, even as many of them played through debilitating pain and sickness in the second round of the playoffs against Miami. Rose says he is listening to his body, and he will not be intimidated into returning by critical fans and media. Somewhere in Minnesota, Adrian Peterson is shaking his head.
-- Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison says he spends roughly $600,000 per year on services for his body, including chiropractic care, skin care, acupuncture, and massages. Harrison chose to sign with the Bengals rather than the Browns this offseason, despite reported offers of hefty rebates on those services by Jimmy Haslam.
-- Still trying to confirm Jason Collins' status as the first "active" NBA player to come out as openly gay. When reporters went to Collins' teammates to get reactions to his announcement, they couldn't find any. That's because Collins isn't currently on a team. Until the 34-year-old center who averaged 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in 38 games with the Wizards last year is actually signed by an NBA team, Collins may well be known simply as the latest "inactive" player to come out after his career ended.
-- Floyd Mayweather's greed is hurting his sport. For the second straight year, Mayweather has lived up to his nickname, as the highest paid earner in American sports. "Money May" will earn roughly $90 million in 2013, according to Sports Illustrated, while simultaneously helping to kill boxing. One million people bought his last fight on PPV, making him richer, but 20 million could have seen him if he'd fight on HBO. Fighting on cable once in a while would give boxing the shot in the arm it desperately needs as it continues to lose fans to MMA, but generating new fight fans doesn't matter to Mayweather. It's all about "Money" for Floyd, and it always will be.
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Bob Frantz hosts "The Bob Frantz Show" on WTAM-AM 1100 from 7 p.m. to midnight weeknights, and following Cavaliers, Indians and Browns games.