Jimmy Haslam, “All In” Browns owner, to resume role as CEO of nation’s sixth largest corporation, “his first love”

by Cleveland Frowns on February 12, 2013

“We’ll take whatever time necessary in Cleveland to do two things, one to bring a winner back here and number two, to become part of the Cleveland community.”Jimmy Haslam, 08/03/12

“We’re not doing this for a hobby. We’re all in.”Dee Haslam, 10/2012

“Anything we do, we’re all in.” — J.W. Johnson, Jimmy and Dee Haslam’s son-in-law, 10/2012

“Less than six months after hiring a top-ranking cola executive to run Pilot Flying J, Jimmy Haslam is moving back into the corner office.”Josh Flory, Knoxville News Sentinel, 2/11/13

“This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job.” — Jimmy Haslam, 2/11/13

“I talked with him earlier today* and nothing has changed. He’s going to be as involved and as committed and as passionate as ever. … Rest easy. He loves football. He loves the Browns. This does not change that in any way whatsoever.”Neal Gulkis, Vice President, Media Relations, Cleveland Browns, 2/11/13

—————

Rest easy, Browns fans, because the idea that Jimmy Haslam, Tennessee royalty, could be “all in” in Cleveland, Ohio in any kind of good way isn’t too much more risible today than it was last summer, even despite yesterday’s news that Haslam will return to the helm of the nation’s sixth most lucrative corporation less than six months after surrendering the position to the former president of PepsiCo.

Haslam’s announcement might not be surprising to folks who were skeptical of pinning too much hope on the notion that a billionaire who was more enthusiastic than Randy Lerner about his ten-figure-playthings was just what this town needed. But the real sight to behold here is Haslam’s half-way candor in publicly justifying the move.

You’re Tennessee royalty who gets the chance to buy the Cleveland Browns for more than a billion dollars, so you do it. Then you make vigorous pronouncements of your commitment to Cleveland and the franchise, cash in on so much goodwill for being different than the “absentee” Randy Lerner, then step down from your position as CEO of the family business to generate even more fanfare; Hire John Compton, one of the fanciest executive-types in the country, to take your place, a man who was in line to become CEO of PepsiCo himself, only to pull the rug out from under the whole arrangement just six months later. And why?

Because you finally figured out what your first love is.

“[The change at Pilot Flying J],” Haslam said, was “not about [Compton]. This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job.”

Which works fine as an explanation as long as we’re clear that Haslam could only be expressing his preference for nine-figure annuities over the eight-figure variety. Not that the eight-figure annuities are anything to turn down, of course, especially when they’re almost fully guaranteed by way of a legal monopoly and heavy government subsidies. But compared to the near $20 billion in annual revenues and $350 million in reported annual profits, the matter of owning the Cleveland Browns (and buying a weekender in Bratenahl, breaking off a few crumbs for some Cleveland charities, etc.) really is childs’ play.

So how is this different from when Lerner owned the franchise and threw the keys and piles of cash at out-of-town executive types to run things for him? For starters, Lerner’s first loves, portraiture and body art, seem a lot less distracting than Haslam’s first love, which should probably most safely be called, “endless aggregation and consolidation of personal wealth” (because it just can’t be selling Take 5 bars and pork rinds at truck stops).

And strangely enough, here comes more of the same fracking machines that in one short year gave Mahoning County its first eleven earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or higher since 1776. Per Robert L. Smith, in a writeup on Haslam’s move back to Pilot/Flying J in yesterday’s Plain Dealer, “the company completed its purchase of Maxum Petroleum, a major supplier of diesel fuel to drilling and fracking operations in the nation’s emerging shale gas fields.”

“It’s a big business. Think of the 1,000-plus drilling rigs out there,” an oilfield contractor told the PD in a September 2012 piece on Haslam’s “excitement” over fracking. “Almost all of them run on diesel. It’s a very important part of keeping our drilling rigs running.”

Running on Pilot-brand diesel, of course. Because when you’re all in on everything you do, you’re all in on everything you do.

Rest easy, Cleveland. Jimmy Haslam has more passion than you can shake a stick at. It’s a hell of a thing that he owns Northeast Ohio’s most beloved brand and the government-guaranteed eight-figure annuity that comes with it. When the fracking issue hits the ballot for the newest most expensive election campaign in Ohio history, he’s going to need it.

—————

*”I talked with him earlier today and nothing has changed,” said Neal Gulkis, the Browns VP of Media Relations. “He’s going to be as involved and as committed and as passionate as ever.”

On the short list of things that are more depressing than imagining how this conversation between Gulkis and Haslam actually went down (“Passion, Neal. Just say ‘passion.’”), 2011 being the year of the first eleven 2.0+ earthquakes in Mahoning County since 1776 is decidedly one of them.

  • Brian Sipe

    I am ok with this… who cares?! Unlike Lerner, he speaks to the media, will always be at games and hopefully has a good team of “football people” in charge

  • http://twitter.com/BlessThisMess88 Ren Phelps

    Let’s see if home slice actually makes it to the games, home opener not included. He shouldn’t need to be around if he’s done his job hiring. He’s just like a politician though – making promises and breaking them before he’s even gotten started. LAME.

    • BIKI024

      it is what it is

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      “He shouldn’t need to be around if he’s done his job hiring.”

      Since that always works.

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        Well, one could argue, with Conviction and Truth on one’s side, that if Randy Lerner had “done [a better] job hiring”, being an absentee landlord would have worked just fine. He wasn’t the only hands-off owner, just the worst results-wise.

  • nj0

    John Compton must be pissed right now. Pissed or very happy if his contract was done right.

    • BIKI024

      Compton is a self-made man, rising all the way from working in Frito-Lay factory all the way up to CEO of 70 BILLION dollar company. If the tradeoff is Compton for Haslam, then I think a lot of people around here might prefer him..

  • BIKI024

    Agree with Sipe, he was “all in” in building the infrastructure and by all accounts it seems like they did a heckuva job. at this point he’s just “eye candy” for the fans and players.

    the real news of the month is the spending the Indians have done this offseason, and it seems like they aren’t done with Buster Olney saying the Tribe is in the lead for Kyle Lohse, who should be a great help to our pitching staff with a lot of ? marks.

    Triva question of the day, with Bourn and Brantley, when was the last time the Tribe had 2 afro-americans in the everyday lineup?? Lofton and Eddie Murray?? Playoffs!

    • nj0

      “By all accounts”… which ones are those again? Not to say they’ve done a lousy job, but it sure seems completely up in the air at this point.

      Agree on the tribe. There’s also talk that Stubbs might be moved and that we’re in the market for Ryan Theriot too. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us deal Perez to save some salary, but maybe I’m not giving the new big spending Indians enough credit.

      • BIKI024

        so what exactly should a non-football guy owner do at this point exactly?

        i hope they don’t move Stubbs, he was a gold glove nominee last year and could give us the best defensive outfield in MLB as well as some much needed flexibility based on matchups. I know the Mets are desperate for a CF but unless they can help us out on the SP front, it seems we should keep him.

        same goes for Perez, but I really don’t see the value in breaking up the Bullpen Mafia, especially since it seems they have no qualms about going into the season with a $90M payroll. this is exactly why they went and invested in launching STO back in 2006, mazel tov to the Dolans for their impressive ROI and for spreading the wealth. they have invested $117m in contracts thus far this offseason, after a whopping $12.15m COMBINED the last 3 years.

        • nj0

          I’m not judging what he should or shouldn’t be doing. That said, the hiring of Compton makes it sure seem like Haslam wasn’t planning on jumping right back to the gas business after six months. Sure seems like he’s kind of bored with the day-to-day operations of a sports franchise. Which is fine.

          Lets hope the Dolans, Shapiro, and Antonetti get some actual credit from the fans at this point. What they’ve done this offseason has been nearly unbelievable. Of course, that probably won’t be the case. Already people are patting Francona on the back cause he apparently brought the $90+M with him to sign Bourn and Swisher.

          Here’s to hoping that Jimenez and Masterson figure it out this season.

          • BIKI024

            and Jack Bauer, i mean Trevor..

          • BIKI024

            the backloading of the Bourn deal is what is most impressive and of course is all about Shapiro and Antonetti. we are only on the hook for $7.5m for Bourn this year, so if things don’t pan out this season or next, he’s a prime candidate for trade bait.

    • Steve

      2009 – Sizemore and Francisco

      • BIKI024

        halfro-americans notwithstanding

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Haslams – if you need a housesitter while you’re away just let me know.

    • bupalos

      Oh…sorry to report that as it turns out Haslam’s house just happened to burn down last Thursday. What are the odds. And it wasn’t even insured, poor guy….

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Bupa, Did you have a housewarming party?

  • dwhalen

    I fucking love Take 5 candy bars. They are as american as capitalism and PBR.

    I don’t mind the move. The owner’s job in the NFL isn’t the same as the CEO’s job of Pilot Flying J. He has put in place the guys he thinks are best suited to run this company, so what else do we need him to buckle down and take care of that Joe Banner can’t?

    Sometimes your job is to come in, revamp, put the best people in place, and get out of the way. i’m sure he’ll step in if he deems necessary. owner doesn’t = manager.

    • nj0

      Look, it isn’t that Haslam won’t be an active owner. It’s not that he’s working for Pilot again. It’s that a.) he talked a big game about his desire to run the Browns and b.) clearly set things up with Pilot so he could dedicate himself completely to the Browns.

      The fact that he has done a 180 doesn’t mean doom and gloom for the team. What it means, as I see it, is that Haslam didn’t know what he was talking about. Which is fine.

      Pointing out that he was blowing smoke about being consumed with desire to run the Browns is fair and legit imo. It doesn’t make him a bad owner or anything. It just makes some of us shake our heads and roll our eyes at his theatrics.

      • bupalos

        From the football side of things, this is a total nothingburger. Couldn’t care less. I do think it does somewhat give the lie to the happy political horseshit about him “loving” and “being passionate” about the Browns or even NFL football. Which then kind of begs the question why Pilot/FlyingJ/Frackytown bought their way into the hearts and minds and civic assets of Ohio here.

        • nj0

          Well, it isn’t like fracking is a big issue for the state and/or region. And I’m sure Haslam wouldn’t try to leverage his ownership of a public trust into political capital to influence laws and regulations related to oil and/or fracking.

          • MichaelTheRed

            no of course he wouldn’t dream of such a thing.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          “Sometimes your job is to come in, revamp, put the best people in place, and get out of the way. i’m sure he’ll step in if he deems necessary.”

          It’s the whole “stepping in when he deems necessary” part that is especially not nothingburger about the football side of this thing, completely apart from the earthquakes.

          • bupalos

            The further and longer he stays away the better. He’s a walking curse.

        • BIKI024

          hey if it’s good enough for Obama to be pro-fracking per his speach tonight, then why isn’t it good enough for our beloved Clowns’ owner??

          • bupalos

            Right and if it’s good enough for Chips McCoy to run non-transdermal scams why isn’t it OK for Doctor Boondoogle?

            I mean, what the hell is your point? Big Oil and BigFrack have bought out and snowed the entire political system up to and including Obama–you know, the guy who’s policies are basically slightly to the right of your standard 1980′s moderate Rebublican to begin with.

          • BIKI024

            FRACKOBAMARAMA!

    • bupalos
  • bupalos

    Jebus I’m trying to calm down from how much I love this post to be able to type. My fingers are stuck in a kind of mix between jazz-hands and gang-sign.

    Of course those of us suffering the disease called football already have to swallow a lot of stupidity and/or hone our compartmentalization skills. But Haslam takes this to another level for me. The guy is quite simply poised to be of the worst human beings that ever lived. I mean that in a very technical sense. Seems like a nice enough guy, but I think in 60 years he honestly might be one of the 10 or 15 faces history remembers as a Field Marshal Haig of his time. Only to more dire and universal effect. And it’s now pretty hard for me to accept that his purchase of the Browns is much other than a vaguely entertaining way to secure the advance along the greed-gilded path of general global destruction.

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    I have a somewhat unique perspective on this because, while I am originally from NE Ohio and will always consider it home, I live now smack in the middle of Haslam-town, where there’s a Pilot on every frackin’ corner (FYI – the coffee’s pretty good, especially with a little Hazelnut creamer mixed in). I have a family member who’s pretty well-connected around here, and they tell me that word on the street is that JH was bored running Pilot and that he’s always wanted to head up a football team, since they can’t (cough) “legally” own the University of Tennessee athletics department! My take is this: he discovered that once the season ended, which for the Browns usually happens in December, he had exactly squat to do around the office. Once that 5:30 a.m. workout ended, he went in search of something to occupy him, and found little that he could actively get into [note - that likely means he's smart enough not to stick his nose into the football peoples' offices and start poking around, other than to make sure they aren't spending all day playing "Angry Birds", a good sign going forward]. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if, once the business of football gets going again, like final evaluations of the draft board, spring practices, training camp, and the regular season action kicks off, John “Straight Outta” Compton becomes the de facto Pilot CEO and we see Haslam back in Berea more often. I have seen the Haslams from a distance, at different business events around here, and they are pretty much all Type-A+ personalities who despise Holgrum-esque loafing. My two cents have officially been given.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Great comment, but there is very frequently something in your diatribes, (intended), with which I must take umbrage.

      ” (FYI – the coffee’s pretty good, especially with a little Hazelnut creamer mixed in).”

      Cream and sugar is for sissies! Although you do get extra credit for traipsing into redneckland and and reaching for the girly stuff.

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        You can take your umbrage, and once you have a good, firm hold on it, I will happily show you where you can cram it. Black coffee is for troglodytes that have destroyed their taste buds with industrial waste – you might as well drop all pretense of enjoying a “beverage” and switch to meth! 10 times the stimulant effect and you can probably whip up a batch in your two-liter bottle faster than brewing a pot of coffee…you know, if you don’t mind taking the chance of blowing yourself up.

        But, since you started your comment with a compliment (I think), I must say thanks. As I type with my dainty, soft hands on the keyboard. Still, you should probably never call anyone who has survived multiple NE Ohio winters a sissy, it’s undignified. I firmly believe we, along with our possibly even tougher Wisconsin/Minnesota/farther north brethren, are a special breed. Everyone in the USA could benefit from spending a winter in a cold-weather state, no one denies my truth!

        • actovegin1armstrong

          As usual, I stand corrected.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          However I am not a troglodyte, they were far too evolved. I am the spitting image of Cro-Magnon.

  • Chris P.

    at this point isn’t leveraging your professional sports team to prison rape the people of greater cleveland kind of accepted?

    i mean except for the baseball owners who EVERY DAY MOVE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE “COMPETITION” in proving themselves to be the best stewards of a franchise in this town as well as the most competent ownership group in town.

    i mean i know i’ve been spewing this for years when it wasn’t popular – but has it ever been more obvious? if the move towards the block c keeps rolling forward and the equivalent of the plantation slave mocking mascot is slowly marginalized out of existence with no fanfare we’re pretty much talking about FDR quality vs dueling Nixons here

    • GrandRapidsRustlers

      This. The group running the Tribe is and has been so far ahead of everyone else it’s painful. I know you are on my few allies on this issue but it’s amazing people even want to fight you on it. They are trying to win in a game with a stacked deck while the others have an even playing field and are terrible.

      When Wahoo slips away in the next few years (with no announcement being made) the Dolans can prepare for a parade.

      • BIKI024

        the key to winning a game with a stacked deck as it pertains to baseball is a combination of drafting well, trading well and coaching up players. The Tribe have only been able to do one of those well (trades), so I’m not sure if your logic of them being “so far ahead of everyone else it’s painful” is valid. Even the Browns have drafted better than them and the Browns have been historically bad at drafting for the past 50 years.

        we’ll see how Kipnis, Chisenhall, and Lindor eventually pan out, but other than Pestano I’m not sure we have any other homegrown guys, which other teams in mid-to-small market teams need to pan out to have a legit chance of competing. (Twins, Rays, A’s)

        • GrandRapidsRustlers

          If we stacked up the last 50 1st round picks for the Tribe vs the Browns I think you would be surprised at just how bad the Browns have been and how little credit the Tribe gets when it comes to drafting as compared to other MLB teams. (If you think the Tribe drafts poorly don’t ever look at Pirate draft history)

          Dammit. I think I just gave myself a project this weekend.

          • BIKI024

            the Tribe deserve exactly ZERO credit for drafting, they have been god awful, even worse than the Browns if that’s possible. but of course MLB drafting is a much different game then NFL drafting, much harder to project high school and college baseball players than football and basketball.

            if it makes it easier you could just compare the drafts from when Dolan bought the team in 2000.

          • GrandRapidsRustlers

            Challenge accepted. I’ll post my findings after kids go to sleep and make you amend your ZERO credit.line.

          • Jim

            I’ll do it for you: http://espn.go.com/mlb/draft/history/_/team/cle

            The Indians have been god awful at selecting talent via the draft. This also doesn’t take into consideration the atrocious job the team has done drafting outfielders in all rounds.

            Since CC was selected in 1998, the Indians have drafted exactly one player in the 1st round that is currently in their starting lineup; the Chiz. The rest have washed out, are too young to make contributions, or were traded.

          • Defenestration

            While your assessment of their drafting may be correct (I don’t know), having drafted players be too young to make contributions or be traded are not criteria to support your claim.

          • jim

            A review of the list itself makes my claim. I merely included the qualifiers because it is unknown at this point what the Indians have in the recently drafted (and very young) Lindor, Naquin, and even the Chiz, so it makes no sense forming opinions on those picks yet.

            Ditto with the trade qualifier; White and Pomz were traded so soon into their careers and have yet to play full seasons, that it is impossible to know whether they were productive picks.

            That being said, I feel confident that a team who has drafted three starters in the first round since1991 (Manny, CC, Shuey) has not done a good job drafting. Since Brad Grant took over the scouting department, things appear to have gotten better, however.

          • Petefranklin

            Thanks for the sudden indigestion GRR. Kelly Gruber…..the more things change the more they stay the same. In defense of the tribe first round picks are not nearly as critical in baseball as they are in football. Its just that the tribe cant find much talent in any round that makes them so lousy.

        • nj0

          Obviously the on-field product for all Cleveland teams suck. The reason Dolan is so far ahead as an owner is because they treat the fans with respect and are honest with them. At least imo.

          • BIKI024

            how has Dolan gone out of his way to treat the fans with respect and “honest” with them? how have the Cavs not been “honest” with the fans? or even the Browns?? because Haslam said he’s “all-in” and decides to continue to “run” Pilot J??

          • nj0

            Cavs – “I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA
            CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”

            Browns – obfuscating about Lombardi, blowing smoke about Chip Kelly, Haslam in for the long haul

            Indians – http://www.foxsportsohio.com/10/25/12/A-conversation-with-the-Indians-Mark-Sha/landing_indians1.html?blockID=809163

          • BIKI024

            i mean really? how long you going to hold that against Gilbert? he’s owned the team for 10 years and that’s what you come up with? he’s a self-made guy that lost a few hundred million on paper right there, judging from some of your comments on here it seems to me that if the same thing happened to you, you would say a lot worse.

          • Steve

            Congrats to Gilbert for holding up to the same standard as an anonymous guy on a message board. That’s what you look for in a pro sports owner.

          • BIKI024

            yeah Dr. Jerry Buss is a class act citizen all the time and has never said anything flamboyant ever.. how many rings does he have?? 10, the dude as 10 rings that all you Gilbert haters can kiss. he’s admitted he overreacted and I really like the financial flexibility he’s given CG to make deals and build this team the right way. KI is already a Top 5 PG, Tristan is playing like a Top 10 PF as of late, hopefully we get same sort of jump in Dion after he gets more acclimated next season, and we’ll see who we get in this draft. if the Lakers barely squeeze in the playoffs we could have our lotto pick plus the 15 or 16 pick, not bad to roll with next season while we try to impress Bron to come back.

          • nj0

            My comments are filled with mirth and fueled by boredom.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            nj0,
            Beautifully poetic. I will steal that line and call it my own.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Chief Wahoo is so far from the opposite of treating your fans with respect and honesty that I don’t know what planet you typed that comment from.

        • Jim

          The Tribe has had a mixed record with trades. They traded back-to-back Cy Young award winners and got exactly one starting player back. Otherwise, spot on.

    • nj0

      It’s also worth adding that Dolan and his front office have been the most straightforward sports franchise in town. They operate with surprising honesty. Just look at the interview Shapiro gave at the end of last season and you get a good idea of how this organization thinks and goes about achieving their goals. Compared to the smoke screens and obfuscations we see else where, it is a breath of fresh air.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Smoke screens: “Chief Wahoo honors Louis Sockalexis.”

        • nj0

          True that.

  • MichaelTheRed

    This is why Cleveland needs to buy the team, like how the Packers have it. Fck these non football guys. Seriously. I’m so tired of that good ole boys club that uses these teams, and their respective cities, as an ego pumping plaything to play games with each other. It’s all an afterthought to them.

    • BIKI024

      league rules make it impossible to have it “how the Packers have it”. they were grandfathered in. the rule now is 32 owners max, with at least one owner having 30% stake.

      • MichaelTheRed

        yeah I get it but that has to be fixed. Major lawsuit brought on the NFL by multiple cities. I want to see cleveland people running the browns. HEck i’d even be ok with putting nothing but OH players out on the field. I’d rather see kids who would bleed for Cleveland lose 15 games then see these mercs win 5 or 6. Ok that’s a rant but i’m only half joking there.

        • BIKI024

          i’m not really sure it would make that much more of a difference. these are people’s livelihoods, that puts food on the table for their kids. you can say what you want about some of these guys, but the clearest path to making a ton of money for a long time is by winning.

          • MichaelTheRed

            In theory but look at Chris Johnson…got his contract than took a couple years off. Now he’s runnin cause it’s nearin that time again. He just didn’t give a crap about the Titans really. League is full of those guys. THan there’s warriors with heart like AP. Who knows. I’d still like to see the city own the Browns.

          • BIKI024

            yeah i guess i was referring more to the “people running the browns”, including coaches, etc.

  • nj0
    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      How about that?

  • tochigi

    Irreverant but highly relevant blog. And regarding JH? Hmmm? Never forsaw him changing his mind like that. He’s probably got the energy and capacity to handle his role with Browns with just 6 hours a week (max). Too much time/energy on his hands so back to CEO? Something like that.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    In response to resident superfan here is a list of draft picks from the year 2000 on. Cover your eyes it’s not pretty…there are no winners here.

    I’ll assign grades since I can and why not…it’s fun.

    Tribe

    2000 – Corey Smith and Derek Thompson – F (Tempting to change this to a D due to being in college when Corey was in Akron and sitting behind 1st in an effort to get nightly overthrow. Might be the worst IF I have seen in my life)

    2001 – Dan Denham, Alan Horne, JD Martin, Mike Conroy – F

    2002 – Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Whitney, Micah Shilling – D (Probably gave up too early on Guthrie)

    2003 – Michael Aubrey, Brad Snyder, Adam Miller – D (Hard to have worse injury luck in a single draft than this)

    2004 – Jeremy Sowers – D

    2005 -Trevor Crowe, John Drennen – D

    2006 – David Huff – C (Still think Huff has some good years in him)

    2007 – Beau Mills – F

    2008 – Lonnie Chisenhall – B

    2009 – Alex White – D

    2010 – Drew Pomeranz – C (Some idiot once said online that Pomeranz would win more games than Strasburg…I can’t punch him cause he is typing right now)

    2011 – Francisco Lindor – A (I understand the heat I may catch for this grade…anyone who sees him live walks away in awe. He will be an everyday SS for the Tribe for a decade starting in 14)

    2012 – Tyler Naquin – INC (Still too early…great arm)

    Overall…Bad. Zero credit though…I don’t think so. In 14 the left side of our IF came out of this…a lot of organizations would not have the stones to take a kid like Lindor if Asdrubal was on roster.

    This of course gives the Tribe no credit for picks like Pestano, Kipnis, and Allen who shot through the system and are a key part of the future.

    Browns

    2000 – Courtney Brown – F (Tempted to switch to a D because of that one game in Chicago where he was incredible.)

    2001 – Gerard Warren – C

    2002 – William Green – D (Run William Run)

    2003 – Jeff Faine – D (Much better career not in CLE)

    2004 – Kellen Winslow – C

    2005 – Braylon Edwards – D

    2006 – Kamerion Wimbley – D

    2007 – Joe Thomas, Brady Quinn – A+,F

    2009 – Alex Mack – A

    2010 – Joe Haden – B

    2011 – Phil Taylor – C

    2012 – Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden – C

    What have we learned. Both teams have gotten a lot better in recent years at drafting and some of the organizational changes that the Tribe made in regards to the draft have really helped.

    Look at this way. There are 3 ways to build a roster. Draft it. Trade for it. Pay for it. The Tribe is drafting a lot better recently…they have always done an above average job on trades and free agency will always be a challenge for them. The Browns draft below average, there are no real trades in football, and they suck in free agency.

    If the Indians front office and Browns front office switched places we would have multiple playoff appearances and maybe a shiny trophy in Berea. If the Browns ran the Tribe they would be playing home games in Portland.

    (All of this is through my own eyes and I am a borderline Indians superfan)

    • Chris P.

      Eh, I think the drafts basically end up being a wash. I actually think the MLB draft due to the crapshoot that it is, those results may be below average which is poor, admittedly, but I bet it’s not bottom 3 in baseball. Bottom 5-7 maybe. Browns are probably bottom 10.

      Offsetting that, however, in MLB is the other way to infuse young talent, international free agency.

      Setting aside the fact that that’s MLB’s little indentured servitude factory in Latin America, we’re not bad at exploiting that. Probably top 5-10.

    • BIKI024

      while I don’t agree with some of your grading for the Browns (C for Phil Taylor? sure he missed a bunch of games this year, but he’s at least a B, and a D for Kam Wimbley? I’d give them a C on him) but dissirregardless, based on your OWN scoring, the Browns have a higher “GPA” then the Indians, so I still don’t get the logic of how the fortunes of the Browns would be better if the Indians and Browns switched front offices.

      and don’t get it twisted, they call me Superfan! because well, I’m a superfan and a YUGE homer for the Indians, but I just can’t defend their atrocious drafting ability.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

    In all seriousness, what good has ever come out of TN? Aside from the formation of the KKK (sarcasm font), Morgan Freeman, Bill Belichick and in Mrs. PML’s case, Justin Timberlake, nothing else really comes to mind.

    And if you say country music, the ensuing rage coming out my computer will find you and cyber-kick you in the bathing suit area.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

        Different strokes for different folks. However, the vast majority of the people on that list weren’t even born in TN.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I have been there searching for that crossroads.

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      Country music aside, TN is actually a pretty cool place, at least from Nashville on to the east. I’ve never been to Memphis and hear that it’s very different from Middle-East Tennessee. The countryside and the mountains are absolutely beautiful, and K-town is in a valley so we get pretty well protected from the worst weather. Nashville is a cool city with a lot of tech jobs (my industry). I am from NE Ohio, and I’ve lived in deeper South places (SC/NC/GA), Tennessee is by far the best, with Charleston, SC the next closest.

      Yes, there are rednecks and read the comments on a few other articles from the Knoxville News Sentinel and you’re sure to find ignorant, virulent racism (any article about Obama or a young minority getting arrested for misbehaving should do the trick), and commenters that make Frowns crew look like MENSA/Illuminati members. But, one of the biggest rednecks of I’ve ever known lived across the street from my family growing up in NE Ohio – you can get the complete picture just from knowing that he had the Dukes of Hazzard car horn on his 1980′s Trans Am. The takeaway? Ignorance is everywhere, no part of the country is immune; thankfully, to balance it out, great people can also be found everywhere and of the places I’ve lived, I’d rank NE Ohio #1 and East TN #2. [Note: I'd move home in a heartbeat if my wife wasn't dead-set against snow and only having 2 months of summer; but, she does look great with a tan, so...]

      [Note 2: some of Frowns commenters probably are MENSA/Illuminati members, but we're also Browns fans, so just how smart are we really?]

      • actovegin1armstrong

        2 months of summer?
        You are diving into the deep end of the hyperbole pool.
        Everything else made sense, but I grew up in Cleveland and I never remember a summer that long.
        When people ask me about growing up in Cleveland they already know about the slushy winters.
        I do mention that summers in Cleveland are beautiful and if I recall correctly last year summer was on a Saturday, so everyone was able to enjoy it.

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          Well, I’m from a town to the east of Cleveland in the county of Trumbull, so maybe we were far enough away from Lake Erie that we actually had a couple extra days! I would be interested to see how my wife would navigate 2 feet of snow (you know, a light winter snowfall), but I don’t think I’ll get to find out.

          Thanks for your response, good to start the day with a laugh.

  • Guest

    jkjkjkj

  • rgrunds

    FrOrange, now that I’m allowed to speak again, can you write something about the Indians? Do you think they are doing all this signing because Kazmir is quietly returning to form? They need starting pitching and they may have decided that they will have enough with Kazmir to make these expensive additions. What about Chisenhall? He could be a significant contributor. With a decent rotation (Carrasco is returning from a surgery with a high incidence of complete success) and the emergence of Chisenhall, this team could be significant.

    Suppose Carrasco and Kazmir are looking real good and the Indians are keeping this quiet?

    • BIKI024

      Dice-K is allegedly “in the best shape of his career” according to Boras. I used to love Kazmir, when Dubya was in office..

      • Petefranklin

        If you keep throwing spaghetti against a wall, eventually some of it will stick.I do like the moves even though Dice-K is done.

      • nj0

        While these are typical minor league flyers, I like the tremendous upside on both. Even if one of these guys can be a serviceable #5 starter, it’ll go a long way for this team.

      • rgrunds

        Biki,

        what I’m asking is after watching Kazmir since last September, do the Indians know something others don’t and decided they could invest in Bourne rather than a starting pitcher? I expect Carrasco to come back. The prognosis from Tommy John surgery is very good. It’s a pretty reliable rehab.

        • BIKI024

          my guess is that this will be rotation once season starts:

          Masterson
          Ubaldo
          Myers
          McAllister
          Carrasco

          Hopeful about Kaz and DiceK, but it seems like a longshot for both.

    • nj0

      I think the Bourn/Swisher signings over pitching was simply a matter of opportunity.

      Market forces and all that…
      Most teams need pitching, fewer need CFs or RFs. On top of that, signing either Swisher and Bourn would cost teams their top pick. Luckily for us, our #1 pick was protected so we just lost picks farther down the board. All of which is my way of saying that there wasn’t all that of a market for Swisher and Bourn.

      • rgrunds

        I understand, but they added Bourn more than a month after Swisher, which means they had time to accumulate more data about their pitching. If you add Bourn without the pitching, it seems you are wasting money.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          dont forget that francona may hold the key to unlock dice-k’s gyro ball.

          the cynic here reminds you that some of these signings might be deal-able at the trade deadline if the season goes sideways.

          the downer here points out that we now have a batting order where seven of nine are a good bet to whiff over 100 times in a season.

          still, it’s good fun to have some big names in town. and don’t forget that an indians payroll of $100MM will surely be a boon to the casino and thus the local schools. #forthekids

          –kidding aside, if kazmir or carrasco regain their form, the team might be pretty darn good.

        • Steve

          Of course, Bourn saved about 20 runs on the defensive side of the ball by himself last year. Moving Brantley/Stubbs to the corner will save even more.

          If there isn’t a pitcher you really like out there, there are still other ways to prevent runs.

  • nj0
  • peterbell

    and Eric Mangini still lives in Cleveland..At least someone associated or used to be associated with the Browns still live in Cleveland..beautiful

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