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The Sport Editor's Desk

Balancing Ledgers -- Feb. 16

By Ron Published: February 16, 2011

I will post what I am calling Balancing Ledgers a couple times per week. Basically just some notes that I have written down and will pass along to you. I will tag them as Balancing Ledgers in case you want to find them easier down the road. Here is today's.

  • I have to admit that I thought the Cavs would be a lot better than they have been. Injuries have been a big part of the dreadful play, but I think Jason Lloyd has pointed out in his coverage that most of these players took winning for granted playing with LeBron James. Losing attitudes can undermine any plan, it is going to take a big effort from GM Chris Grant and coach Byron Scott to get this turned around.

  • Any thoughts on shoe contracts for the on-air talent at ESPN? The New York Times has reported that the ESPN College GameDay crew -- Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso -- has a contract with Nike. It involves making speaking engagements in behalf of Nike, too. Nike has close ties with many, but not all, college teams.

  • I enjoy NASCAR and all of the stories that go on around the teams, the cars and the drivers. My interest usually wanes about the time football starts, but me and the kids will be watching all the festivities this weekend from Daytona.

  • Spring training beginning is also a cool time for those who like to read about sports. With the Internet, there is a lot of access to features and notes on all of the teams plus the big sports websites. Once the games start those features become fewer. Sheldon Ocker is out in Arizona for us and his coverage of the Indians begins today.

  • You have to give Pat Shurmur time as coach of the Browns to see how good a hire he was. But two things stand out to me. One, I think having a coach who only pays attention to half the team is not a good thing and with Shurmur calling the plays he must really pay nearly all of his attention to the offense. Two, this coaching staff looks like Mike Holmgren's staff rather than Shurmur's. In fact, if Holmgren would have decided to be the coach, I think this would be the staff and Shurmur would be the offensive coordinator. Since Holmgren decided not to coach, he must stay out of the way of Shurmur or this franchise in a two or three seasons will be hiring a whole new front office for the 700th time it seems like.

  • Not sure what to make of the MAC basketball season other than Kent State seems like the front-runner for the NCAA Tournament bid. But this is a down year for the conference so I wouldn't expect much from whichever team makes the tournament.

  • Albert Pujols couldn't reach agreement with the Cardinals by noon today so it looks like he is headed to free agency after this season. One thing I am pretty sure of: He won't be announcing his decision next winter on ESPN.
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