Monthly Archives: June 2011

THE DRIVE with MARK PANICHELLI / ** BREAKING NEWS**

Indians promote Chisenhall from Triple-A

 
The Lonnie Chisenhall era has officially arrived.

On Monday, the Indians will summon Chisenhall — Cleveland's top prospect and the 36th-best prospect in baseball entering 2011, according to MLB.com — from Triple-A Columbus in hopes of breathing some life into the club's ailing offense. To clear room on the roster for the young third baseman, the Tribe designated for assignment veteran infielder Adam Everett, who confirmed the move.

The decision on Chisenhall comes one day after Cleveland suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the reigning World Series champion Giants in San Francisco. Over the course of the series by the Bay, the Indians managed just four runs and finished a paltry 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position.
 

The Tribe is hoping Chisenhall can help correct that type of showing.

In 65 games for Columbus, Chisenhall hit .265 with seven home runs and 44 RBIs across 253 at-bats. Along the way, the left-handed-hitting third baseman posted a .352 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage.

On Monday, Chisenhall was named the International League's Player of the Week after hitting .429 (9-for-21) with two home runs, 14 RBIs and an .801 slugging percentage in five games for the Clippers. He put up those numbers after being activated from the disabled list following a concussion.

Chisenhall enjoyed a torrid spring at the plate for the Indians but was never in serious consideration for a spot on the Opening Day roster. The regular third-base role went to Jack Hannahan, who has impressed with the glove but labored at the plate. Cleveland made it clear that Chisenhall still had defensive development to complete.

Cleveland has now summoned two of its top infield prospects in light of the Major League club's persistent offensive struggles. Earlier this month, the Tribe promoted Cord Phelps to assume Orlando Cabrera's role as the regular second baseman. Chisenhall, a first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, will likely see the bulk of the time at third.

Everett was signed over the offseason to a Minor League contract and made the Opening Day roster as a utility player. Mainly serving as a backup at shortstop and third, as well as working as a pinch-runner, Everett hit .217 with no home runs and one RBI in 34 games for Cleveland.

The Indians have 10 days to either trade or release Everett. The ballclub could also re-assign him to a Minor League affiliate, if he clears waivers.

THE DRIVE with MARK PANICHELLI / **BREAKING NEWS**

Russell Wilson transferring to Badgers 

Wilson, taken in the fourth round of Major League Baseball's draft last summer by the Colorado Rockies, was released from his scholarship by the Wolfpack in the spring.

"Russell will come in and compete for the starting quarterback position," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said Monday according to the school's website. "This is an unusual situation, especially for a program that prides itself on developing players throughout their careers, as we do here at Wisconsin. However, this is a special situation and Russell is the type of player and person that fits very well with our team."

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Wilson was playing for Class A Asheville (N.C.) until Monday morning, when the team announced he was leaving.

Wilson was an All-ACC quarterback at North Carolina State, where he threw for 8,545 yards and 76 TDs in three seasons.

Wilson, who has one year of eligibility left in football, received a release from the Wolfpack in order to have the opportunity to play a final season at another school.

Because he graduated in three years at NC State, he can go to another school and be eligible immediately.

"We appreciate all of Russell's contributions to NC State, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future," Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said.

THE DRIVE with MARK PANICHELLI 6-24-11 Close

Mark is joined by former James Madison and Harlem Globetrotter Stand out, Tracy Williams…..Last Night's NBA Draft saw Duke guard Kyrie Irving go #1 to the Cavs….Not only will the dynamic duo hit on the top of the draft, but tackle the enigma that is Michael Jordan's Bobcats and the influx of international players……

THE DRIVE with MARK PANICHELLI

Clint Dempsey Is Casual And Cold-Blooded

When Clint Dempsey tried to walk the ball in against Guadeloupe, it was predictably disrupted, and he was predictably blasted for being too casual. It’s a particularly biting critique for soccer, the one sport where we expect American athletes’ effort to outpace their skill, rather than the other way around. But it misses the essence of what makes Dempsey Dempsey, and attempts to paint a strength as a weakness.

Dempsey is an absolute product of his upbringing in Nacogdoches, learning the game alongside the immigrant kids, and later, playing against former pros from the Mexican leagues. There’s an ease of movement to his paths on the pitch that wouldn’t look out of place on El Tri, all swooping arcs and mutable positioning rather than the staccato stop-start-long ball which characterizes the USMNT attack. It’s how he can be the best striker in the nation even when playing his preferred position on the wing. He’s got technique, yes, but it’s an improvisational technique. He tries things that aren’t in the manual, and no one else on that team would even consider. Often they’re spectacular failures, but at least they’re the yield of a creative brain. Or, perhaps, the reptilian brain: Dempsey operates on instinct more often than not, and he’s usually right to trust his. That’s 100 percent due to his rearing outside the traditional US youth soccer system.

If it’s possible to glean insights from off-the-field action, there’s Dempsey’s rapping style to parse (he’s not embarrassing, which is high praise). Half-formed plosives, approximated sibilants, a viscous gush of words, “Deuce’s” flow is like his game: all conservation of momentum. You get the feeling there’s not one superfluous jaw movement on his tracks, not one wasted step on the pitch. It’s not being casual. It’s being fluid.

It’s also being confident. Dempsey is one of the few American players who holds their own in top-level international competition, and he’s the only one who plays like he knows it. It’s cocky, to believe you can just go through the motions and still stand out against the best CONCACAF has to offer, but it’s not false. It’s almost as if he’s playing in a lower gear for games like these, which would be infuriating if he didn’t kick it up a notch for the matches that really matter; just look at his performance in the Confed Cup and World Cup qualifiers. Bring on the “casual” criticisms if he doesn’t find an extra step for Panama or Mexico.

No matter the opponent, Dempsey maintains his composure. Most US players’ eyes grow wide when they see the net, and tunnel vision takes over. A swift boot to an bouncing ball sends it wide, or high, or otherwise off-target. In the 41st minute yesterday, Jermaine Jones had a tough angle but an open look, and somehow managed to block his own shot. But Dempsey’s different. He takes a few moments after the touch to gather his wits, survey his position, and weigh his options. Sometimes it bites him: on the Guadeloupe choke, he would have been better off just dumping it straight ahead rather than making sure he had the ball settled. Other times it makes all the difference.

 

 

 

On Sunday’s goal against Jamaica, Agudelo’s cross found him a split second before the onrushing keeper. No one would have blamed him for trying a quick chip, with uncertain results. Instead, he sidestepped Donovan Ricketts, and was able to slot the ball, and the match, away without a fuss. That doesn’t happen if he panics.

 

What a paradox we have in Clint Dempsey. His composure provides results. Those results give him confidence. That confidence makes him appear casual. And in the end, the biggest criticism we can muster is that Dempsey makes the game look easy, all the while his teammates make soccer look so hard.–

The Drive with Mark Panichelli 6-8-11 Close

Our Final segment features an interesting edition of "Taking Out the Trash "……Mitch Mustaine was one of the most highly coveted High School Football players in history, but the potential never flourished on the College level….whether it was Arkansas or USC….and after his arrest in LA , where is Mitch now ?