The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Hello: Garko, Brown, Gibson, Guy. Goodbye: Perez, Playoffs, Belliard.

Posted by disappointmentzone on 30 June 2006

The Indians this afternoon traded 1B Eduardo Perez to Seattle for SS/2B prospect Asdrubal Cabrera, a 20-year-old defensive stud; this trade may very well signal the end of the Ronnie Belliard Era, as Cabrera might be the 2B prospect the Indians need in the system to justify not signing Belliard this off-season. This trade may also signal the end of the season as far as a playoff push is concerned, which is understandable considering that the Indians are 18 games out of first place and that two of the teams ahead of them, Detroit and Chicago, are the first teams in the same division to win 50 of their first 75 games since divisional play began in 1969.

Since Cabrera is still a minor league player (and won’t be called up anytime soon), moving Perez left an opening in the Indians roster that has been filled by Ryan Garko, the 24-year-old hits-for-average first-baseman-of-the-future, who currently holds the title of Most Hyphened athlete in the Indians farm system. Garko has long been a favorite of those Indians fans who follow the minor leagues, and it’s hard not to like a player who’s last name is a wonderful cross of Gecko and Darko. It’s almost as if Travis Hafner’s last name was Pronk, but not really. His only unattractive quality is that he is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. A quick list of a few of his attractive qualities: multi-hyphened player; funny last name that sounds like a nickname; initials are RFG, and I’m setting the over/under on seasons until someone brings a sign to Jacobs Field that reads Real Fucking Good at 1.5; went to Stanford, a university that has a singular mascot name (the cardinal) and a tree as its mascot. The Garko Era has begun.

In Cavaliers news, GM Danny Ferry drafted Shannon Brown and Daniel Gibson and Some Guy in the draft on Wednesday night. Shannon Brown is a superior athlete from Michigan State, so he and Eric Snow should have a lot to talk about. And while they are talking it would be appreciated if Snow told Brown how to play PG, since Brown’s career average in turnovers is higher than his average in assists. Of course, his average for turnover is very low, 2, but so is his average for assists, 1.9. Yahoo sports says Brown’s comparative upside is Gilbert Arenas, which is a fairly high ceiling, and his comparative downside is Steve Francis, who everyone seems to forget was an outstanding player in Houston before he was traded to the Magic and then the Knicks. What does this analysis tell us? That Shannon Brown is a lock for 18 ppg and 1.5 dunks over people much taller than he is per game? No. It tells us that Yahoo really can’t be trusted in evaluating players. Shannon Brown will aspire to a player of Steve Francis’s caliber…and fail. I do not like Shannon Brown as a PG, and I don’t like drafting Shannon Brown as a shooting guard. He’s never shot better than 39% on three point shots. There were not a bunch of quality shooters in the draft this year, and Shannon Brown wasn’t one of them. The Cavs’ starting lineup next season has only two locks: LBJ and Hughes. If Gooden stays he’ll be the PF. Then it’s a platoon of Z and Wild Thing at center. Which leaves only the PG spot unfilled, and since Brown isn’t a PG (in the same way that Dwayne Wade and Gilbert Arenas aren’t point guards) if he is in the lineup it means either LBJ will be handling the ball (not good unless it’s the fourth quarter) or Hughes will be handling the ball (and Hughes isn’t a natural point guard). If there is a PG on the court with Brown, such as Eric Snow or Flip Murray (who will stay with the Cavs as a combo PG/SG), then four of the five players on the court for the Cavs will be under 6-foot-9. Which would make the Cavs look an awful lot like the Suns, only the Suns have a legit PG in Steve Nash. That said, a lot of people, such as ESPN.com writer Chad Ford, loved the pick.

Daniel Gibson as a second round pick is all right in as much as Gibson has a chance to turn into a serviceable PG. Following his freshman season Gibson was projected to be a top-ten pick, but then he returned to Texas and declined in pretty much every area of his game, which is why he fell into the middle of the second round. Gibson completely disappears in big games and only played two seasons at Texas before turning pro, but he is a slightly better shooter than Brown (both can play defense, which is a point that shouldn’t be over looked when you consider that no one outside of Eric Snow and Larry Hughes can play anything that resembles man-to-man defense, although Gibson did allow JJ Redick to drop 41 on him in December). Then again, he is smaller and less experienced and in his only season playing PG, his freshman year, he averaged 3.1 turnovers per game (he averaged fewer turnovers last season but that’s attributable to him playing SG instead of PG). So perhaps he isn’t PG material, but he’s not that tall and not that big, so if he can’t make it as a PG then he won’t make it in the NBA.

So what did the Cavs get in the NBA draft? Well, two players who aren’t ready to contribute right away, one of whom will make SportsCenter at least 12 times this season for a thunderous dunk over a slow, white player who is at least 6’7 while the other struggles for playing time. Oh, and a guy from Africa who can rebound and whose name I can’t wait to hear pronounced 82 different ways by Scott Williams. So we have that going for us. And Chris Broussard, Oberlin College alumni and ESPN the Magazine basketball writer, picked the Cavs to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals next year, which is nice. We’ll see.

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