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News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on cleveland.com

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    "8 pounds 11 ounces!" the proud new papa tweeted along with presumably his new son's name, Carlos Jr.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It was quite a 28th birthday for Browns running back Carlos Hyde.

    The Ohio State product rushed for two touchdowns Thursday night, helping the Browns to their first win in 635 days. Then, sometime during or afterwards, Hyde and his girlfriend welcomed their baby.

    "8 pounds 11 ounces!" the proud new papa tweeted Friday, along with presumably his new son's name, Carlos Jr.

    Carlos Sr. was a late arrival to the stadium last night, coming straight from the hospital where his girlfriend was in labor.

    Not only did he start, but Hyde delivered his best game in a Browns uniform so far, rushing for 98 yards on 23 carries and those two touchdowns. The best part: Hyde, who was born on Sept. 20, 1990, will never forget his son's birthday.


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    With 8 touchdowns in two games, the Fitzpatrick has looked impressive.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the Buccaneers' starting quarterback position for a suspended Jameis Winston. Eight touchdowns in two games and a ridiculous press conference outfit later, the journeyman has looked impressive and many feel he should be the Bucs starting quarterback -- even when Winston is reinstated. Others think Fitzpatrick is prone to hot streaks, only to cool down significantly. He shouldn't be trusted so quickly. What do you think?

    PERSPECTIVES

    In two games, Fitzpatrick has thrown eight touchdowns. That kind of scoring output is worthy of a starting job in the NFL. A hand that hot doesn't deserve to be benched. Jameis isn't good enough to be assured a starting spot just because he has been the starter before. Fitz earned his starting spot.

    MOREJameis Winston might not be Bucs' starter when he returns

    This is the Fitzpatrick model. He does some spot starting, looks good and then falters as the year progresses. He has a 50-70-1 record as a starter. He's proven he can't get the job done over an entire season. Winston should still be the starter when he returns.

    The Tylt is focused on debates and conversations around news, current events and pop culture. We provide our community with the opportunity to share their opinions and vote on topics that matter most to them. We actively engage the community and present meaningful data on the debates and conversations as they progress. The Tylt is a place where your opinion counts, literally. The Tylt is an Advance Local Media, LLC property. Join us on Twitter @TheTylt, on Instagram @TheTylt or on Facebook, we'd love to hear what you have to say.


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    "The possum was humanely released outside of the stadium," a Browns spokesperson told cleveland.com.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Rally Possum lives.

    The fate of the Browns' lucky marsupial was in question after video showed a fan capturing it by its tail in the stands at FirstEnergy Stadium and putting it in a box.

    But, we can now confirm, the possum, or opossum if you want to get technical, was alive when it left the stadium.

    "The possum was humanely released outside of the stadium," a Browns spokesperson told cleveland.com.

    If only it was self-aware, the possum would consider itself fortunate. According to state protocol for the capture of nuisance wild animals, trappers are permitted under law to euthanize opossum.

    Instead, the creature was spared and the Legend of the Rally Possum grows -- there are even T-shirts! -- as the Browns and their fans celebrate the first win in 635 days.


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    A handful of first-team practice reps led Mayfield to look totally ready when he entered the game against the New York Jets on Thursday.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Late in the first half Thursday night, Joel Bitonio looked up at the Browns quarterback in the huddle.

    It was the new guy.

    "I was focused on trying to pick up some of these blitzes," Bitonio said. "So that was the first time I saw him in there. I wasn't sure what had happened to Tyrod."

    Forgive Bitonio, or any of the other Browns, if they didn't recognize Baker Mayfield. He did shed his full beard recently. And he hadn't, you know, really played with them. Like, almost at all.

    Hue Jackson rode with veteran Tyrod Taylor as his starting quarterback from the first day of practice until the final two minutes of the first half Thursday, when a concussion forced Taylor out of the game. After Mayfield led a 14-point comeback and a 21-17 win over the New York Jets, the new guy is almost certainly here to stay.

    That means he'll get to practice with the starters. Who knows what might happen then. He hasn't done that yet.

    "Was it the Philadelphia game he played in?" Bitonio asked.

    Yes, that second preseason game featured 10 Mayfield snaps with the first team after Taylor went down with a finger injury. But Taylor came back in that game. So other than that, how many snaps had left guard Bitonio, the most veteran Brown on the offense, taken with the No. 1 pick before Thursday?

    "Maybe a couple in practice here and there," Bitonio said. "Less than 20 probably."

    Mayfield doubled that Thursday. His 46 plays ignited the offense, as he finished 17-of-23 for 201 yards. But there were a few throws that the receivers didn't look quite prepared for. 

    * Mayfield's best throws

    Mayfield hadn't even run the trick play that led to him catching a pass for a two-point conversion. In practice, Taylor always made that catch.

    "Never taken a rep of it, but watching Ty do it all through practice, it is not too hard to walk up to the line and call a cadence and kind of just stand there," Mayfield said.

    There's a little more to running an entire offense, though. So that was Mayfield and this offense without knowing each other. Imagine what a little familiarity might do. Not that the lack of first-team snaps seemed to bother the rookie.

    "We hadn't had that many reps with him, but he did a good job out there," Bitonio said. "That's a credit to him. He got backup reps or scout team reps, but he'd been focused though. And (quarterbacks coach Ken) Zampese had been at his hip, telling him you've got to be ready if someone goes down."

    And how was Mayfield when he hit that huddle?

    "Confident. Ready to go," Bitonio said. "What you would expect from Baker Mayfield."


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    Jackson is set to name Baker Mayfield his starting quarterback, but he'll wait until Monday so he can talk to the QBs first.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Browns coach Hue Jackson won't name Baker Mayfield his starter until Monday so he can tell Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor first.

    But it's no secret Mayfield will be his choice.

    He's giving the players the weekend off after Thursday night's come-from-behind 21-17 victory over the Jets, and when they reconvene on Monday, he'll inform Taylor that he's turning the reins over to his No. 1 overall pick.

    Taylor, who was credited with the victory over the Jets because he started the game, suffered a concussion in the second quarter and was replaced by Mayfield, who rallied the team from a 14-0 second quarter deficit and put up 21 points in a little more than a half in his NFL debut.

    Jackson noted that "I think last night was definitely a breakthrough'' for the organization, and everything he's uttered since after the game says he'll name Mayfield on Monday.

    He stressed that Mayfield did "a remarkable'' job in the game despite he's had very few reps with the starters. He has spent extra time after practice running the Browns' offense and not the scout team so he'd be ready to go.

    But he was doing that with the backups and not the starters.

    Jackson said that made his performance, for which he earned a 100.1 rating, all the more impressive.


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    Landry, who caught seven passes from Mayfield, said the rookie's impact on the game was obvious to everyone.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Jarvis Landry came alive when Baker Mayfield entered the game against the Jets, just like the rest of his teammates.

    "Absolutely,'' said Landry. "He (energized) the whole stadium. I'm sure you felt it."

    With Mayfield's quick release and pinpoint accuracy, he rallied the Browns from a 14-0 second-quarter deficit and beat the Jets 21-17 to bust open the beer coolers around town and snap the Browns' 19-game winless streak spanning 635 days.

    "For Bake to come in right before half, it's just a testament,'' said Landry, who caught seven of his eight passes from Mayfield for 91 of his 103 yards. "I promise you, it's just a testament to how he's worked since the day he stepped into this building and not having that backup mentality. He was so ready for this moment. He grabbed it by the horns."

    The game was more than just a victory that improved the Browns to 1-1-1. It provided hope for this downtrodden franchise that had gone 4-50-1 since beating the Bengals in 2014 to go 7-4.

    Jackson won't announce Mayfield as the starter until Monday

    How bright can the future be?

    "As bright as these lights,'' said Landry, pointing upwards. "Anything else would be an understatement."

    Did Landry every doubt the No. 1 pick could have a night like that?

    "Never doubt 6,'' said Landry. "Never doubted him."

    Why not?

    "Just the mentality, the attitude that he's always approached it since he stepped into this building,'' said Landry. "I don't think there's a coach or a player in this building who's doubted him or felt like we were in a disadvantage when he came onto the field.

    "That's why he was the first pick. That is why he was the Heisman Trophy winner. You saw it tonight first hand."

    Mayfield won over his teammates with plenty of "wow'' passes in training camp and has continued to do so on a daily basis in practice.

    "He's special,'' said Landry. "He's really special. Last week, I had a chance to sit down with him after the compliment from Drew Brees. He didn't get a big head or anything. He took advantage of the moment and the opportunity. We always have seen him make these plays. As far back as when the Baker Mayfield story had started, he's always made these types of plays. It is awesome to be a part of it."

    Landry said Mayfield came to him before they pulled off the Philly Special two-pointer and said, 'Your ass better throw me that ball (laughter). No matter what.' I said, 'I got you.' He was ready for the opportunity."

    Left guard Joel Bitonio, who recovered Mayfield's sack-fumble on his first drive, agreed that the rookie is something special.

    "He rejuvenated the offense and got us moving a little bit, got us some points before the half, came back in the second half and led some drives for us,'' said Bitonio. "His energy was awesome and he took care of the ball and took some good things out there.''

    Former Browns left tackle Joe Thomas gushed about Mayfield on the team's ESPN 850 radio show Cleveland Browns Daily, saying he's "never seen someone inject so much energy into a team and a stadium. This is not a false messiah. He's a legitimate franchise quarterback.''

    Behind Mayfield, the offense snapped to life, and the defense pitched in with three second-half takeaways, including a game-securing interception by Joe Schobert with 1:21 remaining.

    "Of course I wanted to watch, but I see it almost every damn practice,'' said Myles Garrett, whose two sacks give him four after three games. "He's a winner. That guy has a chip on his shoulder and none of this surprised me. I knew he was going to go out there and have a hell of a game whenever it was."


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    An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field. Watch video

    TOWSON, Md. (AP) -- An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field.

    The report provided details of what happened and confirmed what university officials previously acknowledged.

    McNair was hospitalized on May 29 after a team workout and died June 13. The family attorney said the cause of death was heatstroke.

    Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer and sports medicine consultant who led the investigation launched by the school following McNair's death, said Friday that it was 1 hour, 39 minutes between the time McNair collapsed and the departure of the ambulance from the campus.

    "There was the failure to identify escalating symptoms associated with heat illness, including assessing vital signs, identifying the condition and aggressively treating the patient's elevated core temperature," Walters said. "No apparatus was used for prompt cooling of the patient. Inadequate cooling devices were used, such as cold towels, ice packs, etc."

    Maryland athletic director Damon Evans acknowledged last month that "mistakes were made" by the training staff in the treatment of McNair, a 19-year-old sophomore offensive lineman. University President Wallace Loh visited McNair's parents to offer a personal apology for how the situation was handled.

    Terrapins head coach DJ Durkin, who was not at the press conference, is on administrative leave while an unrelated external investigation into the culture of the football program is being conducted.

    According to the report, Durkin was on the scene when McNair collapsed. His role in the events that followed was not made clear.

    McNair lawyer calls for Maryland coach DJ Durkin to be fired

    Much of Walters' report focused on recommendations that would prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.

    Loh met with the media after Walters presented his findings.

    "We have protocols and policies which are good, but it is not enough that they are good," the university president said. "They have to be implemented and there has to be training. That is where we're short and we have to do a better job."

    In a release issued before the news conference began, the university wrote: "We made immediate changes following Jordan's death and have continued to make enhancements informed by the preliminary observations of the external review (by Walters) we received this summer."

    The list of changes already implemented, according to the school, include an increase in doctors and training at practices and games; additional on-site cooling stations to football training camp and practices consisting of portable spray misters, recovery drinks and cooling towels; and increasing the number and length of recovery breaks.

    Loh was very candid last month when talking about the school's role in McNair's death.

    "They entrusted their son to us, and he did not return home," Loh said of McNair's parents. "The University accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that were made on that fateful day. ... They misdiagnosed the situation."

    On that day, the law firm of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, which represents the McNair family, wrote in a statement: "While Marty and Tonya will never get another day with Jordan, Dr. Loh's words were meaningful to them and give them some comfort that he will put the University on the path to change the culture of the program so that no Terrapin family will have to endure the heartache and grief that they feel."

    Request for comment from the law firm on Friday was not immediately answered.

    In the wake of McNair's death, an ESPN story reported that the coaching staff engaged in physical and mental abuse of the players.

    Maryland can't bring back Jordan McNair, but at least it finally acted like it cared

    Durkin's future as the head coach remains unclear.

    He was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 11. Strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigned two days later, and head trainer Wes Robinson, along with Steve Nordwall, an assistant athletic director for training, remain on administrative leave.

    Loh distinguished between training staff and coaching staff last month when he spoke about mistakes that led to McNair's death, but added the reports of "bullying behavior" by football coaches "are totally inconsistent with what we stand for, and our values."

    An eight-member commission has been appointed to look into the culture of the football program.

    That investigation is ongoing.

    "We will give that body the time and independence they need to get the facts," Board of Regents Chair James Brady said.

    Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been serving as interim coach. Maryland is 2-1 heading into Saturday's Big Ten opener against Minnesota at home.

    -- By David Ginsburg,  AP Sports Writer

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    Doug Lesmerises is joined by Browns fan Tony Hall to relive the win over the New York Jets and what it means.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns are fun again, and that's a victory in itself.

    One team wins the Super Bowl each year, which leaves 31 other fanbases in search of a joyous season that ends short of a championship. At some point, the Browns have to win a Super Bowl. But Thursday night's win over the New York Jets gave some indication that the season-long pursuit is going to provide a lot more reasons to scream, shout and smile.

    On this episode of Takes By The Lake from cleveland.com, I'm joined by a Browns fan just like you. His name is Tony Hall, and he's an assistant principal in the Washington, D.C., area. He's active on Twitter as The Cleveland Guy, and as a sports fan born and raised in Cleveland, he helped me do what everyone was doing after Thursday night.

    Talking out this win.

    So sit down and listen for the same topics you're discussing with your friends, as we touched on the play-making ability of the defense, whether Baker Mayfield can keep this going and what kind of threat rookie receiver Antonio Callaway could become.

    I had one major questions for Tony - does this mean going 1-31 was worth it?

    And I had a warning about a culture discussion I think may be looming around the Browns. Because they didn't win on culture. They won on better talent.

    It's another TBTL from cleveland.com. Get subscribed, and thanks to everyone for listening.

    There's an Apple podcast channel for Takes By The Lake.

    You can subscribe on Google Play.

    If you have an Android device, find a way to subscribe.


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    Trevor Bauer's return from the disabled list Friday included a planned early exit after throwing 34 pitches for the Cleveland Indians.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Trevor Bauer warmed up to his usual music, fired his customary running-start warmup pitch to catcher Yan Gomes and settled in Friday for his first action in more than a month.

    Everything looked good for Cleveland's All-Star right-hander in his return from the disabled list after suffering a stress fracture in his right leg back on Aug. 11.

    Bauer threw 34 pitches before he was removed from the game by manager Terry Francona with one out in the second inning.

    He pitched 1 1/3 innings allowing a walk, two base hits and one strikeout. Bauer reached speeds of 95.5 mph on his four-seam fastball according to StatCast, and threw his full array of pitches, recording seven swinging strikes.

     

    When he missed, he missed mostly low and out of the strike zone. Bauer walked Boston's Brandon Phillips on a 3-2 fastball away, but Phillips was retired for the final out of the first inning when Gomes threw him out at second trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt.

    Bauer started the second inning by striking out Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez on a slider. Steve Pearce then sent a dribbler up the middle that got between Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez for a base hit before Brock Holt rifled a slider into right field, ending Bauer's outing.

    Bauer moved to the Indians bullpen to continue working as the game went on. He threw several pitches while rookie Shane Bieber worked to the Red Sox in the third inning, allowing a leadoff home run to rookie Sam Travis for a 1-0 Red Sox lead.

    The next step for Bauer will be another abbreviated start on Tuesday in Chicago where he will be followed out of the bullpen by Carlos Carrasco. Francona said if all goes well, Bauer is scheduled to make his final regular season appearance next Sunday in Kansas City.


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    With the playoffs approaching quickly, the roles for rookie pitchers Shane Bieber and Adam Plutko in the American League Division Series remain uncertain.

    With playoff baseball right around the corner, cleveland.com is taking a look at the biggest issues facing Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians. As the 2018 regular season winds down, the answers to these questions will reveal whether or not the Tribe is Ready for October.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Rookie pitchers Shane Bieber and Adam Plutko have made significant contributions to the Cleveland Indians' starting rotation during the regular season, but with the playoffs fast approaching, their roles with the club remain uncertain.

    Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox - September 19, 2018Are the Indians Ready for October? 

    One or both of them could end up in the Tribe's bullpen for the American League Division Series, or depending on how things go with Trevor Bauer's return, a postseason start could be in the cards.

    In 18 regular-season starts, Bieber has 10 wins and a 4.50 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 19 walks. Plutko has a 4-5 record in 15 appearances (11 starts) with a save and 57 strikeouts. 

    Here's what we know: last season the Indians carried 11 pitchers on the ALDS roster against New York, favoring starters Mike Clevinger, Danny Salazar and Josh Tomlin over middle-relievers Dan Otero, Nick Goody and Zach McAllister.

    Francona tried to maximize the 25-man roster by using Salazar and Clevinger in relief roles, but neither was particularly effective. Tomlin worked three scoreless innings, and even picked up a win in Game 2.

    "We didn't try to overcomplicate it," Francona said when he announced the roster. "The main reason is trying to turn a 25-man roster into 27 by having some of your starters available in the bullpen if need be."

    So what does that mean for Bieber and Plutko? Both now have experience in coming out of the bullpen after Bieber did so for the first time Friday against Boston, but a lot will depend on whether Francona decides to go with 11 pitchers or 12.

    The most likely scenario is that Bieber goes to the bullpen and Plutko is the odd man out. Think of Friday's appearance as a trial run for those long October games that often consume a bullpen if the starter falters early.

    Bieber's command of the strike zone, low walk rate and ability to stay composed would appear to make him a good fit. Francona would not be surprised if a few relief outings caused an increase in velocity.

    "It wouldn't shock me," Francona said. "You look at some guys, and you think, 'Man, you give him a couple innings in the bullpen and their fastball is going to play up.' He's one of them. It wouldn't shock me one bit."

    Francona said Bieber would "most likely" make one more start before the end of the regular season, but he reserved the right to change his mind based on what is best for Bieber. He said a possible move to the bullpen shouldn't be viewed as a negative for the rookie.  

    "We think that he's not being relegated to the bullpen," Francona said. "He'd be going there to help us win."  

    Meanwhile, the rookie remains excited about the possibility of making Cleveland's playoff roster after starting the season in Double-A Akron.

    "I hope I can help this team go deep in the postseason and make an impact in a positive way," he said. "I'm not sure what role it will be, but I'm really excited for the opportunity to keep competing."

    More Ready for October posts:

    Is Jason Kipnis the Tribe's best option in center?
    Who should be the Tribe's 4 starting pitchers in the ALDS?
    Does Terry Francona plan to rest starters down the stretch?
    Will the Tribe get vintage Andrew Miller for its playoff push?


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    Trevor Bauer, in his first start since Aug. 11, pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings Friday night against the Red Sox at Progressive Field.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Trevor Bauer made his first start in six weeks. Shane Bieber looked shaky in his first taste of relief and Josh Donaldson and Yan Gomes left a couple of dents in the left field bleachers on a windy Friday night that felt like October.

    The Red Sox were in town, fresh off of their AL East-clinching victory over the Yankees on Thursday night in the Bronx. Manager Alex Cora went with his "night after' lineup, but the names didn't matter to Bauer, all he wanted to do was pitch.

    Bauer, pitching for the first time since suffering a stress fracture of his right fibula on Aug. 11, wasn't around for the Tribe's 7-5 loss, but he wasn't supposed to be. This was a test run to see if he can make it back in time for the postseason.

    He came off the disabled list and went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk. His command wasn't great with 50 percent of his 34 pitches going for balls. But he threw all his pitches, topping out at 95 mph and throwing a couple of knuckle curves at 78 mph. Then he went to the bullpen and threw some more.

    "All things considered, I thought that was at the high end of expectations," said manager Terry Francona. "He had pretty good velocity. He didn't command like he will. But I thought he looked pretty damn good. More importantly, I think he felt pretty good."

    Bauer's next start will be Tuesday against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. The regular season ends on Aug. 30 so time is off the essence. The Indians have to decide if Bauer will get a start in the ALDS, work out of the bullpen or sit out the first round.

    "It felt great to be out there competing again," said Bauer. "I missed that, for sure. It's been a frustrating 5 1/2 weeks for me. It's definitely nice to get back in that game situation, that familiar setting, and have something on the line.

    "Especially, jumping back in against a team like the Red Sox. They're the best team in baseball this year."

    Friday's win improved Boston's record to 105-49.

    After Tyler Olson relieved Bauer in the second and threw a double-play ball to Blake Swihart, Bieber started the third. It was the Bieber's first relief appearance and Sam Travis greeted him with his first big-league homer to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

    Bieber recovered quickly and didn't allow another run until Rafael Devers homered with two out in the sixth. By that time the Indians were leading, 4-2. But Bieber and the lead did not make it through the seventh as Boston scored four times on six hits. Bieber (10-5, 4.80) allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

    Travis, who stung Bieber with a homer in the fourth, hurt him again in the seventh with a two-run double to tie the score, 4-4.

    Besides having to make a decision on Bauer, the Indians are trying to figure out if Bieber can help them out of the pen in October.

    Boston left-hander Chris Sale, like Bauer, was working on a short leash for his third straight start. Donaldson made it shorter in the fourth with a homer into left field bleachers on a 1-2 pitch. It was Donaldson's second homer since the Indians acquired him on Aug. 31 and his seventh for the season.

    It was the fifth homer in his career against the hard-throwing Sale. When Yandy Diaz followed with a single, Sale was done for the night after 3 1/3 innings and seven strikeouts.

    Heath Hembree relieved and Gomes made it 3-1 when he skied a first-pitch homer into the left field bleachers. Statcast clocked the hang time on the Gomes' 15th homer at 6.3 seconds.

    The Indians stretched the lead to 4-1 on a sacrifice fly by Jose Ramirez in the fifth, but they could not stop Boston. Ramirez cut Boston's lead to 6-5 on a wind-blown double in the seventh that scored Michael Brantley from first, but Tzu-Wei Lin homered in the ninth to give Boston an insurance run.

    Craig Kimbrel, the eighth Red Sox reliever to pitch in the game, worked the ninth for his 42nd save.

    What it means

    The Indians have lost their last three games to the Red Sox by a combined score of 24-9.

    On another front, Houston clinched a playoff spot with a win over the Angels on Friday. Their magic number to clinch the AL West, and host the Indians in the ALDS, is six over Oakland.

    The pitches

    Bauer threw 34 pitches, 17 (50 percent) for strikes. Sale threw 73 pitches, 48 (66 percent) for strikes.

    Thanks for coming

    The Red Sox and Indians drew 27,892 fans to Progressive Field on Friday night. First pitch was at 7:11 p.m. with a temperature of 78 degrees.

    Finally

    Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (12-8, 3.06) will face the Red Sox and Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.30) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS will carry the game.

    Clevinger needs four strikeouts to reach 200 and give the Indians four pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts in the same season. That has never happened in big-league history.


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    Trevor Bauer, in his first start since Aug. 11, pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Manager Terry Francona called it a "pretty good first step."

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Trevor Bauer's road back to the starting rotation and the postseason started Friday night with 1 1/3 choppy innings against the Red Sox at Progressive Field.

    He didn't allow a run, which was good. He topped out at 95 mph and showed a good knuckle curve at 78 mph. Those were good signs as well.

    It wasn't perfect as his 50-50 split between balls and strikes (17 strikes, 17 balls) suggests, but it wasn't supposed to be. Not after being on the shelf since Aug. 11 with a stress fracture in his right fibula.

    What the Indians wanted from Bauer was a starting point, something to help them determine if he can make it back in time to start in the ALDS or help in the bullpen.

    He didn't give them a definitive answer. What he gave was a peek.

    "All things consider that was a pretty good first step," said manager Terry Francona.

    Bauer, who had a Cy Young-worthy season percolating before his injury, left in the second inning after singles by Steve Pearce and Brock Holt. Then he went to the bullpen behind the center field wall and threw enough pitches to account for another inning.

    The next test comes Tuesday when Bauer returns to the scene of the crime to face the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. In the seventh inning on Aug. 11, Chicago's Jose Abreu sent a liner back to the mound that hit Bauer just above the right ankle and knocked him out of the game and put the best season of his career on hold.

    "It has been a frustrating 51/2 weeks," said Bauer after the Indians lost to Boston, 7-5.

    Bauer said he usually sleeps soundly before a start. He was too excited to sleep Thursday night.

    "I had good bit of adrenaline," said Bauer. "Generally, I sleep pretty well the night before a start. It was kind of cool again to be like a little kid and looking forward to the tournament on the weekend or the big game on Saturday."

    Bauer was the first one out of the dugout Friday night as he entrance song, Pursuit of Vikings, by Amon Amarth, shook Progressive Field. In the bleachers, mascots Slider, Ketchup, Mustard and Onion, rocked out as they always do for Bauer's starts.

    In 34 pitches - Francona said he was on a pitch count of 35 - Bauer managed to go through his whole catalog. There were 14 four-seam fastballs, five change ups, four cutters, three knuckle curves, seven sliders and one two-seam fastball.

    "I was not surprised," said Francona.

    Bauer said he had no problem letting the ball go.

    "I never really doubted that I would be able to turn it loose," said Bauer. "I'm pretty good mentally at being able to flip that switch. I go through it all the time in the offseason. That's part of the benefit of having the offseason program I do -- the velocity training I do. You see a number of the radar board and you're like, 'OK, that's not good enough.' And you have to find a way to access the next step the next level."

    Bauer threw a two-inning bullpen session last Saturday, a simulated game Tuesday and started Friday. He said he's felt better each time out.

    "I've seen mechanical improvement all three times," said Bauer. "I've seen my stuff tick up all three times. The feeling in the ankle has been better all three times. So, everything is trending in a very positive direction."

    Bauer's best sequence of pitches came against dangerous J.D. Martinez in the second inning. He struck him out on three pitches - a 93 mph four-seam fastball, a 78-mph knuckle curve and an 81-mph slider.

    "It's probably the only at bat of the night that I really executed really well," said Bauer. "But like I said, I was encouraged with where my command was relative to what I thought it was going to be."

    If Bauer makes it all the way back, he'll knock rookie Shane Bieber out of the rotation for the ALDS. That will make Bieber a reliever and he came out of the bullpen for the first time Friday night. He was OK for four innings, but Boston caught him the third time through the lineup in the sixth inning. They sent 10 men to the player and scored four runs on six hits.

    Bieber is 10-5 but has had trouble getting through lineups for the third time.

    "I think I've been letting things snowball on me a little bit," said Bieber. "I think I just need to focus a little bit more when I give up a leadoff base hit or whatever it be. I just need to keep trying to execute pitches and pitching with a purpose."

    As for the possibility of Bauer's return, Bieber said, "He's one of the best there is. If he's able to come back and be his normal self, which I'm sure he will, I think we can do a lot of special things with him in our rotation."


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    The Ashland Eagles won their first game last week.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - The last time John Carroll played in Alliance, it not only defeated Mount Union, but the Blue Streaks snapped a host of long-standing records in the process.

    John Carroll snapped a 112-game regular-season winning streak by Mount Union, and the victory gave the Blue Streaks their first conference title since 1994.

    That all transpired in 2016.

    The Purple Raiders got revenge over John Carroll last year, but Mount Union certainly wants to exorcise the ghosts of what happened at Mount Union Stadium two years ago.

    No. 1 Mount Union will host No. 15 John Carroll at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

    On defense, the Blue Streaks lead the nation with 15 sacks. On offense, quarterback Anthony Moeglin completes 63 percent of his passes and running back Sam Kukura has four touchdowns.

    Mount Union quarterback D'Angelo Fulford is coming off a career day with 364 yards against Baldwin Wallace. Fulford also had five touchdown passes.

    The Ashland Eagles won their first game of the season at Wayne State last week. They will host a winless Northland on Saturday. 

    Division II

    Division III

    • John Carroll (2-0) at Mount Union (2-0), 1:30 p.m., Live video
    • Allegheny (1-2) at Hiram (1-2), 1 p.m., Live audio
    • Denison (1-1) at Oberlin (1-2), 1 p.m., Live stats
    • Thiel (0-3) at Case Western (2-0), 7 p.m., Live video
    • Baldwin Wallace (2-1) at Heidelberg (2-0 ), 7 p.m., Live stats

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    Bill Landis and Doug Lesmerises tell you what they're really be watching from the Buckeyes on Saturday. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Every week we give you our picks for that weekend's Ohio State football game. 

    Every week, we entertain or annoy you with our outrageous predictions for the Buckeyes.

    In fact, we offer a bevy of video options at our cleveland.com Ohio State football YouTube channel, and frankly, you should subscribe. 

    The plan now is to start providing you every Saturday morning keys to the game for the Ohio State matchup that day, offering you something to keep your eye on. It will be just a little tip for what's really important that game, either for the the Buckeyes' chances of winning, or, when they're playing an opponent like Tulane and favored by more than five touchdowns, what they're looking to work on for the future.

    So here are Bill Landis and I explaining our keys to this game, Ohio State vs. Tulane in Ohio Stadium at 3:30 on Saturday on the Big Ten Network.


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    Check here for the live third-round leaderboard for the PGA Tour's Tour Championship 2018 on Saturday, Sept. 22. The Tour Championship is the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Justin Rose and Tiger Woods were tied for the lead entering the third round of Tour Championship 2018 on Saturday, Sept. 22, in Georgia. Rose and Woods were 7-under; Rory McIlroy was third at 5-under.

    The Top 30 in the FedExCup Playoffs 2018 standings comprise the field for the Tour Championship.

    Bryson DeChambeau, who won the first two of the four playoff events, entered the Tour Championship at No. 1 in the standings. He was followed in the top five by Rose, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.

    Keegan Bradley was No. 6. Bradley defeated Rose in a playoff on Monday to win the BMW -- the third postseason event. Sunday's final round had been postponed because of weather. Bradley opened the BMW at No. 52.

    Mickelson, 48, was No. 14 and Woods, 42, was No. 20. McIlroy was 17th.

    Patton Kizzire claimed the 30th spot. Jordan Spieth was on the outside looking in at No. 31.

    PGA TOUR

    TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

    Site: Atlanta

    Course: East Lake GC. Yardage: 7,385. Par: 70.

    Purse: $9 million. Winner's share: $1,620,000.

    Television: Saturday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-6:30 (NBC); Sunday, Noon-1:30 p.m. Golf Channel), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC).

    Defending champion: Xander Schauffele.

    FedExCup leader: Bryson DeChambeau.

    Previous tournament: Keegan Bradley won the BMW Championship.

    Notes: This is the fourth and final playoff event for the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus. The top five seeds -- Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau and Justin Thomas -- only need to win the tournament to capture the FedEx Cup. ... Thomas will try to become the first player to win the FedExCup in consecutive years. ... Tiger Woods is the only player to win the FedExCup twice. Woods is in the Tour Championship for the first time since 2013. This is his first appearance in the Tour Championship without having won during the season. ... Nine of the 30 players have not won this season. ... Seventeen players from the 30-man field were in the Tour Championship last year. ... Bill Haas (No. 25) in 2011 is the lowest seed to win the FedExCup. ... Jordan Spieth missed qualifying for the Tour Championship for the first time. Spieth is the only American on the Ryder Cup team not at East Lake. ... Europe has six Ryder Cup players at the Tour Championship. ... This will be the last year of four FedExCup playoff events. There will be three events next year.

    Next week: Ryder Cup.

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    The Indians will draw close to 2 million fans in 2018, about the same as a year ago. What does that mean for the franchise? Watch video

    ABOUT THE ATTENDANCE

    The Indians will end up drawing a little over 1.9 million fans, slightly less than the 2,048,138 fans they drew last season.

    In other words, it's about the same.

    I've been told the revenue is higher than a year ago -- although I don't know how much.

    There are always two figures when it comes to attendance...how many tickets are sold...and how much money is brought in.

    Tickets sold are made public in the attendance figures.

    Revenue is not. My guess is the Tribe has brought in more dollars than a year ago, but not a huge amount.

    In other words, the Indians held their own at the gate compared to a year ago.

    THE SITUATION IN 2017

    1. Last season, the Indians had decent weather in April (at least compared to 2018) and a 22-game winning streak late in the season. They had no summer rainouts.

    2. While the Central Division wasn't strong, on Aug. 1, 2017, the Indians had a 57-48 record. They were leading Kansas City by only two games. The Indians were the defending Central Division champions. There was a title chase happening in the Central Division until the Tribe started the 22-game winning streak on Aug. 24.

    3. The Indians were coming off a 2016 appearance in the World Series. The 22-game winning streak fired up the belief the team could return to the World Series in 2017. It also sparked single-game ticket sales late in the season as fans wanted to be part of the record-breaking streak.

    4. The Tribe went from about 10,000 season tickets in 2016 to about 12,500 in 2017. That was fueled not only by the World Series appearance, but the free agent signing of slugger Edwin Encarnacion before the 2017 season.

    THE SITUATION IN 2018

    1. The Indians continued to sell season tickets for 2018 during the 2017 season. By the opening of the 2017 playoffs, the Indians were up to about 13,000 season tickets for 2018.

    2. The Indians opened the 2017 playoffs by winning the first two games against the Yankees. Cleveland was the pick by many experts to return to the World Series. But the Tribe lost the next three games to New York, and was shockingly eliminated from the playoffs.

    3. The quick postseason exit cooled some of the advance ticket sales for 2018. The way the Indians lost and how quickly it happened was a shock and a tough blow to 2018 ticket sales.

    4. The Indians had 12 April home games in 2017. The weather was OK. This April, they had 17 homes games and the weather was frigid. The Indians have long had problems selling tickets early in the season, especially on weekdays when the weather is cold.

    5. Because the Central Division was so bad in 2018, there was little drama. By June, it seemed the Tribe already had the Central Division clinched -- at least in terms of talent. It seems like Tribe fans have been thinking about and waiting for the playoffs for six months.

    6. The Indians have had a lot of fun games this season. Jose Ramirez, Corey Kluber and Francisco Lindor are true superstars. The team has several other stars. They are fun to watch. They just were never challenged this season.

    7. A strong playoff push could certainly bring more fan interest to the team.

    THE REALITY OF CLEVELAND

    1. Some fans will point to the 455-game sellout streak between June 6, 1995 and April 3, 2001 as Cleveland being a great baseball town. During that period, that was was true. It also was when the Tribe went into a new stadium, the Browns moved to Baltimore and the Cavs were very mediocre.

    2. The Indians had not been to the postseason since 1954 when they made the playoffs in 1995. Many unique circumstances came into place to make the Tribe into the best show in town during that late 1990s era.

    3. Last season, the Indians ranked 22nd in attendance. This season, it's 21st.

    4. The Tribe has had to compete with LeBron James and the championship-contending Cavaliers for entertainment dollars from 2014-18. They also have the Browns in town, and many fans still show up regardless of the football product.

    5. The Indians drew 2.1 million in 2008. The last two seasons are the best attendance since then.

    6. The Indians play in the No. 19 media market (Cleveland/Akron). They are the smallest market with big league teams in baseball, basketball and football.

    7. The two big-time baseball towns this season are St. Louis (No. 4 attendance, 21st market) and Milwaukee (10th attendance, 35th market). The only other smaller market than Cleveland ahead of the Tribe in attendance is San Diego (18th in attendance, 28th market).

    8. There's no salary cap in baseball. Major market teams also have far more lucrative regular-season cable TV contracts than places such as Cleveland. Nearly every financial factor favors the big markets. That's just a fact.

    SPENDING MONEY

    The Indians have consistently spent more money, especially in the last four seasons.

    Here is the payroll and where it ranked in the majors, according to sportac.com.

    2018: $142 million, 14th.

    2017: $131 million, 18th.

    2016: $105 million, 18th.

    2015: $77 million, 27th.

    So the payroll has nearly doubled in the last four years. That's also as attendance has increased from the 1.5 million area to 2.0 million.

    You can argue why that happens, but the numbers are the numbers. I've always believed Cleveland is far more of a football town than a baseball town.

    To say ownership doesn't spend is extremely unfair.

    The Indians have made big moves during the season to add veterans and payroll: Andrew Miller (2016), Jay Bruce (2017), Josh Donaldson (2018). There also have been some smaller moves to add payroll and help the roster during the season.

    The Tribe's front office, led by Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff, is perhaps the best in baseball. Combine them with future Hall of Fame manager Terry Francona and I would say that makes them the premier run franchise in the Majors.

    It's also aided by the Dolan Family and minority owner John Sherman, who treasure stability and create an excellent work environment.

    The ballpark has been remodeled and remains a very comfortable place to watch a game.

    It's hard to ask the franchise to do much more.

    LOOKING AHEAD

    It seems the Cleveland baseball market draws between 1.5 million and 2.0 million fans.

    That has been the attendance from 2013-18.

    In those six years, the Indians have had the overall best record in the American League. They are heading to their fourth postseason appearance. The product on the field has ranged from good to exceptional.

    The only missing ingredient is a World Series title.

    But this is a great time to be Tribe fan.

    The Indians are in an interesting position in terms of grabbing back more interest in the Cleveland market. The Browns are the Browns, and fans love to complain about them -- and follow them.

    Not sure what impact they have on the Tribe.

    With LeBron James gone, the Cavs will return to being a normal NBA team. They drew pretty well when James was gone the last time (2011-14). But they obviously sold far more high-priced seats and corporate deals when No. 23 was in town.

    If the Indians can get hot in the playoffs and return to the World Series, that should light a fire under tickets for 2019.

    They also won't have to worry about the casual Cleveland sports fan being fixated on the Cavs in May and June as they march to the Finals -- unless they are ready to shock the NBA.

    So the Tribe has a chance in October to capture the heartbeat of the area -- and we'll see if it pays off in ticket sales for 2019.



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    Mark Cuban allegedly knew about a former employee's domestic violence history, but still allowed him to work for the organization. Watch video

    The investigation into the Dallas Mavericks' hostile work environment is complete, and the news is not good. Mark Cuban knew about a former employee's domestic violence history, but still allowed him to work for the organization despite two arrests. As part of his repentance, Cuban is donating $10 million to various women's groups. Some think his donation is enough to forgive him. Everyone deserves a second chance. Others think that money shouldn't just be thrown around to solve problems and that he needs to do more. What do you think? 

    PERSPECTIVES

    It doesn't matter how much money you make -- $10 million is $10 million. That's a lot of money to donate to women's organizations. Cuban didn't perpetrate in harassment or directly contribute to this hostile work environment. It happened under his watch, and donating that much money is good enough.

    Cuban to Mavericks sexual harassment victims: 'I'm just sorry I didn't see it'

    Does Cuban think he can just buy his problems away? He was responsible for enabling a hostile work environment for two decades. In the same amount of time it took for someone to be born and become an adult is how long he let women be mistreated in his office. 

    $10 million is not enough to resolve this.

    The Tylt is focused on debates and conversations around news, current events and pop culture. We provide our community with the opportunity to share their opinions and vote on topics that matter most to them. We actively engage the community and present meaningful data on the debates and conversations as they progress. The Tylt is a place where your opinion counts, literally. The Tylt is an Advance Local Media, LLC property. Join us on Twitter @TheTylt, on Instagram @TheTylt or on Facebook, we'd love to hear what you have to say.

     

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    The Badgers visit the Hawkeyes in a primetime game that could wind up determining the winner of the Big Ten West this season.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After Wisconsin's home loss to BYU last Saturday, we called two national sports writers during this week's edition of Buckeye Talk to force them to explain why they picked the Badgers to reach the College Football Playoff before the season.

    As one of them, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated and SI.com, explained himself, he finished with a prediction that told you just how much his view of Wisconsin had changed.

    He's picking Iowa to beat the Badgers this week in the game that might, even this early in the season, determine the winner of the Big Ten West division. 

    So, with Wisconsin favored by three in a primetime game at Iowa City, are we picking the Badgers or the Hawkeyes?

    This week, Bill Landis and I are joined by Rob Salvino, who will pick on behalf of the readers. He's from Apopka, Fla., and is a Kent State graduate who grew up in Leetonia, Ohio, which is about 25 miles south of Youngstown. He's on Twitter @JoeSpignotti.

    He'll have to make up for some rough picks last week by Kyle Anderson, our picker found on Twitter @kyle_osu. How bad was Kyle? So bad, he tied me.

    Last week's results

    Bill: 8-10

    Doug: 5-13

    Reader Kyle: 5-13

    2018 standings

    Readers: 24-23 (2-1 best bets)

    Bill: 22-25 (1-2 best bets)

    Doug: 21-26 (1-2 best bets)

    BIG TEN GAMES

    Nebraska at Michigan (-18.5), Fox Sports 1, Noon

    Nebraska: Bill

    Michigan: Doug, Rob

    Boston College at Purdue (+6.5), ESPN2, Noon

    Boston College: Bill

    Purdue: Doug, Rob

    Minnesota at Maryland (-2.5), BTN, Noon

    Minnesota: Everyone

    Tulane at Ohio State (-37), BTN, 3:30

    Tulane: Bill, Doug

    Ohio State: Rob

    Michigan State at Indiana (+6), BTN, 7:30

    Michigan State: Everyone

    Wisconsin at Iowa (+3), Fox, 8:30

    Wisconsin: Rob

    Iowa: Bill, Doug

    Buffalo at Rutgers, BTN, noon

    No line, so no picks

    NATIONAL GAMES

    Georgia at Missouri (+14), ESPN, Noon

    Georgia: Everyone

    Notre Dame at Wake Forest (+7), ABC, Noon

    Notre Dame: Rob

    Wake Forest: Bill, Doug

    Texas A&M at Alabama (-26), CBS, 3:30

    Texas A&M: Doug, Bill

    Alabama: Rob

    Clemson at Georgia Tech (+15.5), ABC, 3:30

    Clemson: Doug, Rob

    Georgia Tech: Bill

    TCU at Texas (+3), Fox, 4:30

    TCU: Bill, Doug

    Texas: Rob

    Stanford at Oregon (+2.5), ABC, 8

    Stanford: Rob

    Oregon: Bill, Doug

    BIG TEN BEST BETS

    Bill: Iowa (+3) vs. Wisconsin

    Reason to think Wisconsin is vulnerable, plus it's a night game at Kinnick. I'll take Iowa and the points in a week when I don't love any of the Big Ten lines.

    Doug: Purdue (+6.5) vs Boston College

    Boston College feels a little puffed up after a 3-0 start against UMass, Holy Cross and Wake Forest. Purdue is 0-3 after losses by 4 points or fewer to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Missouri. It's time for Purdue to win a close one.

    Rob: Wisconsin (-3) at Iowa

    Whisky is still sore after losing to BYU and takes it out on the Hawkeyes.


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    The Indians took a gamble when they rented Josh Donaldson for a month and change in a deal with Toronto. So far, the three-time All-Star third baseman has shown he's healthy. Watch video

    With playoff baseball right around the corner, cleveland.com is taking a look at the biggest issues facing Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians. As the 2018 regular season winds down, the answers to these questions will reveal whether or not the Tribe is Ready for October.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Indians took a gamble when they traded for Toronto's Josh Donaldson on Aug. 31. He not only hadn't played in a big-league game since May 28 because of an injury to his left calf, but they had to reconfigure their lineup to make him fit.

    Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox - September 19, 2018Are the Indians Ready for October? 

    On top of that they didn't give themselves much room for error. First, they put him back on the disabled list right after the deal - drawing the ire of teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox - with the idea of turning him loose over the last several games of the regular season.

    Well, the time to unchain the 2015 AL MVP has arrived. Donaldson started at DH Friday night in a 7-5 loss to Boston and he's scheduled to start at third base on Saturday and Sunday nights, the final two regular-season home games. The Indians will play the last seven games of the season on the road against the White Sox and Royals before an all-but-guaranteed ALDS matchup against Houston.

    Was it a risky proposition to rent Donaldson, a free agent at the end of the year, for a month and change? Probably. But it's obvious management felt the offense needed a jolt. So, Donaldson takes over at third base, pushes Jose Ramirez to second, who pushes Jason Kipnis to center, who pushes Greg Allen and/or Rajai Davis to the bench or off the ALDS roster.

    One could read the tea leaves this way - Donaldson is a potential offensive upgrade over Kipnis, while Kipnis offers more offense, but less defense, than Allen or Davis in center field. And just maybe, the move awakens Ramirez from a slump that has lasted for more than a month and cost him a chance at the AL MVP award.

    Donaldson, to date, has shown his calf injury is behind him. On Tuesday against the White Sox, he walked and scored from first on a double by Melky Cabrera. On Wednesday, he opened the ninth inning by beating out a dribbler down the third-base line to help set the stage for a game-winning grand slam by Kipnis.

    Defensively, he's played well, making skidding stops and strong throws across the diamond.

    Friday night against Boston, he reached on an infield single and homered off left-hander Chris Sale. It was second homer since the trade, both against lefties, but he's hitting just .217 (5-for-23) with two RBI with the Indians.

    Donaldson says he feels good at the plate.

    "I haven't had the results you look for, but I've hit some balls hard," he said. "As long as my approach and how I'm seeing the ball, my pitch recognition, is up to par there's not much more I can ask for. The more consistently I can do that, the more success I'll have."

    Overall, Donaldson is hitting .231 (37-for-160) with 11 doubles, seven homers and 18 RBI in 44 games this year.

    "I think he gets more dangerous, the more he plays," said manager Terry Francona. "You know, playing all weekend will be really good for him. And regardless of what his batting average is when this is over, if he shows up in the playoffs and he's that threat, that guy who takes those consistent swings, that will be good for us."

    Donaldson said he had to recover from not one, but two calf injuries. Shortly after his rehab began in May with Toronto, he said he reinjured the calf. Donaldson said a conversation with his friend, Arizona Cardinal wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, put him in touch with Dr. Josh Sandell, a sports medicine specialist for the Minnesota Vikings.

    "He took me to the next step where I could get back on the field and start moving without pain," said Donaldson. "Initially when I went on the DL I thought it would be very minor. When I started doing my rehab in Florida, I ended up having a pretty significant injury to my calf while I was doing a rehab assignment.

    "So, to continue to go out there now without pain, to be able to move, and move freely, is a huge step in the right direction for me. To continue to do that on an everyday basis is important."

    About two weeks before Toronto traded him to the Indians, Donaldson saw Dr. Sandell for the first time.

    "Two days after I saw him, that was the first time I was able to start running and I ran my farthest distances without pain."

    Donaldson spent almost four years in Toronto. He captured the imagination of Blue Jay fans because of his swagger, power and hustle. His stay did not end well. He said if he was writing a book, it's not the way he would have written the last chapter.

    Now Donaldson has a chance to write a new ending with a new team headed to the postseason. He'll have to pound it out because he's on a deadline, but it could still make for a good read.

    More Ready for October posts:

    Is Jason Kipnis the Tribe's best option in center?
    Who should be the Tribe's 4 starting pitchers in the ALDS?
    Does Terry Francona plan to rest starters down the stretch?
    Will the Tribe get vintage Andrew Miller for its playoff push?


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    The Buckeyes coach was back for pregame festivities after missing the first three games of the season. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer was greeted with two standing ovations as he returned from a three-game suspension Saturday and led the Ohio State Buckeyes through their regular pregame Skull Session pep rally.

    Junior safety Jordan Fuller and receivers coach Brian Hartline also addressed the packed house at St. John Arena across the street from Ohio Stadium.

    Meyer was first applauded when taking the microphone to introduce Hartline, then again when standing to thank the Ohio State coaching staff, the players and the fans for what they did during Ohio State's 3-0 start to the season while Meyer was suspended from those games.

    Meyer missed all of preseason camp while Ohio State investigated his handling of former receivers coach Zach Smith and accusations of domestic violence against Smith. Meyer has been back coaching the team at practice for the last two weeks, but he remained suspended from the games as the Buckeyes beat Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU to open the year.

    Ranked No. 4, they host Tulane at 3:30 Saturday.

    Meyer then led the Buckeyes onto the field at Ohio Stadium and greeted each of them with huge before they headed for the locker room. Here's that video.


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