Blog Archives

5 sports stories you should read today


LeBron James leaving Cleveland makes writer (love Cleveland even more)


Great insight from Scott Torgerson of The Fan in Columbus on who the Blue Jackets should keep and who they should get rid of

There are a lot of fun things to know about new Blue Jackets winger Nick Foligno


Cleveland Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall out 10-12 weeks following surgery


Little leaguer sued for errant throw


5 sports stories you should read today


Blue Jackets turn down “Ditka-like” trade for No. 2 pick in NHL Draft


Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, and Blake Griffin will appear on the cover of “NBA 2K13.”

Dwight Howard said he won’t sign an extension with the Rockets if traded there

Why fans hate being called a hater when it comes to LeBron James


Ramzy Nasrallah has a great piece on why no one spoke up earlier in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Cavaliers reportedly looking for a trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t appear to be content with the No. 4 pick in this month’s NBA Draft.

A report from HoopsWorld indicates the team is talking to Portland about trading picks No.4 and No. 24 to the Trail Blazers for picks No.6 and No. 11.

It seems like Portland is giving up a lot, but the team is reportedly in favor of Connecticut big man Andre Drummond.

If I were the Cavs, I would do this trade.

According to ESPN, Cleveland also reportedly offered all four draft picks to New Orleans for the top pick in the draft. Although Kentucky center Anthony Davis would be nice a Cavalier uniform, the Cavs shouldn’t do this deal. Thankfully the Hornets already reportedly turned the deal down.

FEELING A DRAFT – The Columbus Blue Jackets will hold a NHL Draft Party 6 p.m. June 22 at Nationwide Arena.

Admission is free.

The first 500 fans to enter will receive a free T-shirt, and free parking is available in the garage attached to Nationwide Arena.

In conjunction with the NBC Sports Network telecast shown on the video scoreboard, team broadcasters George Matthews and Bill Davidge, alongside Blue Jackets Radio Network host Mark Wyant, will anchor the radio broadcast live on ESPN 1460 starting at 7 p.m.

In addition, Jeff Rimer and Bob McElligott will contribute analysis and interviews direct from the Draft in Pittsburgh.

The festivities will be headlined by the appearances of James Wisniewski and Cam Atkinson who will be on hand to sign autographs and join kids for street hockey. Participating players will be named at a later date.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s View From The Pugh column features sports news and commentary. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

Field of Dreams game was a fun reminder of my youth

I have to admit I’m not a huge baseball fan now.

I’m not sure why.

Maybe it was the steroids, maybe the game doesn’t move fast enough, maybe it’s the lack of championships by my Cleveland Indians, I really don’t know.

But I jumped at the chance to check out the Field of Dreams game Saturday night at Huntington Park in Columbus.

The game featured Tim Wisecup, a Hilliard resident who won a national contest for a chance to field a team against a group of baseball legends featuring Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas, Johnny Bench, Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith just to name a few.

I had to admit, it was pretty cool to watch the legends play again.

Some of the guys looked really good.

I really believe Henderson can still play now and Thomas played huge with two home runs.

As a Indians fan, it was great to see Dennis Eckersley give up back-to-back home runs to local Central Ohio guys.

I’m not ready to embrace baseball again, but for one night, it was good to be a fan.

Click here for a video from the evening.

INDIANS ADD A BIG MAN – In case you missed it, the Cleveland Indians recently added a “big.”

The team traded for 7 foot 1 inch pitcher Loek Van Mil and assigned him to the Akron Aeros.

You can read more about Van Mil here.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR – Jacket Backers, a fan club of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will hold an American Red Cross blood drive 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at 24355 Eakin Road, Columbus.

Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to register.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s View From The Pugh column features sports news and commentary. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

Malone cross country coach to talk about preparing to coach Olympic team

Malone University and the Canton Marathon are collaborating to present An Evening with Coach Jack Hazen on May 23 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in the Johnson Center main auditorium, located at 2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W. in Canton. The event is free and open to the public.

Hazen, renown for never having lost a conference title in a consecutive 45 years as Malone’s cross country coach, will coach the long distance runners in the Games of the XXX Olympiad as a member of the Team USA Track and Field coaching staff. Hazen has recently returned from the West Coast, where he met with some of the world’s best runners in preparation for the summer games, scheduled to take place in London July 27- Aug. 12.

ANOTHER LOOK AT HEAD INJURIES – I like the hard-hitting nature of the NFL as much as anyone else, but the recent death of Junior Seau and others are causing me to take another look at this.

Here is a great story from Yahoo about the recent trend.

THIS HAS TO STOP – Last week’s story about a Ohio State recruit leaving the school due to being contacted at school events by a registered sex offender. Ohio State needs to address this quickly, before more harm comes to the school.

CAPTAIN JACK – I love how Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson is taking a leadership role with Team USA in the World Championships. He’s my vote for captain next year for the Blue Jackets when Rick Nash is traded.

Here’s a recent article about where Nash could end up.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s View From The Pugh column features sports news and commentary. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

Ohio State shows resiliency in win over Michigan State

I’ve been pretty critical of the Ohio State men’s basketball team over the past few weeks, but I must admit their win over Michigan State on Sunday was very impressive. They were down by 15 points in the first half and looked dead, but showed a great deal of resiliency in the second half.

COLLECTING FOR THE NEEDY – The Malone University football team is collaborating with the YWCA Emergency Shelter program and area moving companies in an all out effort to help greater Canton area individuals transition out of emergency housing. Collection day is scheduled for Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone wishing to make a donation must live in the greater Canton area and schedule in advance for a home pick-up time by calling the Canton YWCA at 330-453-7644. Members of the football team will provide the “muscle,” volunteering their time to carry, load, and unload larger items.

Items will be taken to the YWCA’s warehouse and later distributed to persons as they transition from the emergency shelter to more permanent housing. Collections can also be scheduled throughout the year by calling the YWCA at 330.453.7644.

There is an ongoing need for furniture including dressers, beds, mattresses in good condition, headboards, chairs, couches, dinettes and tables, as well as household items. No large appliances will be accepted.

Those wishing to donate new or used furniture, or to make a monetary donation can call Theresa Ponchak at 330.453.7644, extension 104.

CBJ NEEDS PATIENCE WITH NASH – The Columbus Blue Jackets need to rebuild and I’m not sure Rick Nash as captain is the best way for them to get there.

But with Nash signed through 2017, the team needs to wait to find a great deal before trading him. Patience is a good thing.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s View From The Pugh column features sports news and commentary. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

Blue Jackets to host faith, family night with Stellar Kart

The Columbus Blue Jackets will host Faith and Family Day 3 p.m. March 25 against the Edmonton Oilers.

A concert with Stellar Kart will follow the game.

Tickets are available here and users are asked to use the code word “Faith.”

PLAY GAMES, MEET FIREFLIGHT – Fireflight will do a meet and greet at the Dave & Busters Polaris, 1554 Polaris Parkway, Columbus.

Copies of the band’s new album, “Now,” which releases nationwide Tuesday, will be available for purchase at the restaurant.

HERITAGE PLANS OPEN HOUSES – Heritage Christian School in Canton is hosting seven open houses and a free kindergarten readiness workshop in March.

“Fantastic Fridays” Open Houses, Fridays, March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 anytime between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Kindergarten Open House, Thursday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Visitors will see a chapel service led by the current kindergarten class, will visit classrooms, tour the school and get enrollment and tuition information.

Middle School and High School Visitation Day, Monday, March 26, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Prospective students are invited to visit HCS for a tour, class visits, and lunch. Visitors will be paired with a student tour guide.

Free Kindergarten Readiness Workshop, Tuesday, March 6, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Taught by a qualified, experienced, compassionate teacher with 32 years’ experience, parents will receive helpful tips and guidelines to assess a child’s kindergarten readiness, and prepare children for a classroom setting. Child care is available at no charge.

Call (330) 452-8271 to RSVP.

MUSLIM EXPERT TO SPEAK AT CEDARVILLE – Keith Small, Ph.D., a Muslim-Christian relations expert, will speak during chapel 10 a.m. March 13 at Cedarville University.

He is an associate research fellow and visiting lecturer for the Centre for Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations at the London School of Theology.

His book, “Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts,” analyzes a defined portion of the Qur’an, looking to recover the earliest form of text for the portion and to trace the historical development of the portion to the current form of the text of the Qur’an.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Wednesday’s View From The Pugh column features local and national faith comment and events. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

Blue Jackets don’t have the resources to build young

After weeks of speculation, it’s trade deadline day for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It’s clear that the current mix is not working for the team, who tried to catch lightning in a bottle with a flashy trade for Jeff Carter in the off-season.

They did well by getting solid defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in trade from the Los Angeles Kings for Carter.

The Blue Jackets also fared well in what they received from Phoenix for Antoine Vermette last week.

Rick Nash appears gone, either today or this summer.

The Blue Jackets need to continue to build young and make smart draft decisions.

And based on their past draft history, it’s a path the current ownership won’t be able to take.

YAWN – The slam dunk contest over the weekend was rough to see. Something needs to be done to make it more interesting. But here was my favorite from Saturday night.

NO TOP SEED – Maybe it’s time to stop criticizing the Ohio State men’s team. They’re clearly not a No. 1 seed after Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin. Hopefully, they can catch fire in March, something they weren’t able to do last year.

BAD TIME FOR A RACE – I understand why the Daytona 500 had to be postponed, but how many people can watch it at noon today. Why not prime time tonight? You would think the event would get better ratings at night.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s View From The Pugh column features sports news and commentary. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

If Cleveland took Thome back, why not LeBron?

I remember when Jim Thome first left Cleveland.

The man was vilified by the fans and press and heavily booed the next couple of trips back to Cleveland.

Fast forward to late last summer.

When the Cleveland Indians brought him back at the end of the season, fans threw a party.

The team sold out games it hadn’t sold out for weeks beforehand and when Thome left again shortly after the season for Philadelphia, no one seemed to mind much.

Now, ex-Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James superstar told Ohio reporters last week that he wouldn’t rule out a return to his former team.

There is no doubt that LeBron’s comments upset many Cavaliers fans still raging about “The Decision,” but if Cleveland fans can accept Thome’s return, why not LeBron.

Although James hasn’t won a title yet, he represents Cleveland’s best chance at a championship in basketball.

I don’t understand why Thome was welcomed back with welcome arms, while LeBron continues to be hated.

Can someone explain this to me?

GO TO THE BENCH – Ohio State mens basketball could be in serious trouble if they can’t score points.

What is more troubling is that coach Thad Matta doesn’t go to his bench more often.

He did play nine guys in last night’s loss to Michigan, but needs to do that a lot more to be successful.

WHY THE FUSS OVER NASH TRADE? – I wish the combination of Rick Nash and Jeff Carter would have been more productive this year for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

I’m annoyed that the team is bad this year and that Nash is openly being shopped.

But the team has 40 points this year with Nash AND Carter.

It’s unfair to blame the mess on Nash alone, but something needs to be done.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s View From The Pugh column features sports news and commentary. E-mail to submit an item for consideration for a future column).

Sports notes: Major issues going against the Blue Jackets

Thanks to 97.1 The Fan and the Columbus Blue Jackets, I was able to attend Thursday’s game against Nashville and Saturday’s game against Boston.

To be kind, the Jackets have been a major disappointment. Teams with the sixth-highest payroll in the NHL shouldn’t have one of the worst records.

I’m concerned about the team. They have three huge problems, two are fixable but one may take a lot longer.

First, their goal tending situation is far from clear. Steve Mason is a huge problem. He hasn’t been the same since his Calder Trophy winning rookie season. Curtis Stanford has had a hot streak, but he’s shown evidence recently that his performance may not last the entire season.

Secondly, the team needs a killer instinct. The Blue Jackets have repeatedly suffered from giving up last-minute goals. To make the next step, the team needs a killer instinct. They are far from it.

In addition to the above issues, the team is suffering from a major lack of respect from officials. Last night, Derek Dorsett was clearly tripped by Boston goaltender Tim Thomas and was fortunate to avoid serious injury. What defies logic is that Dorsett was called for goaltender interference. You can watch the replay below, where the call was questioned by Boston TV announcers.

What will it take for the Blue Jackets to get respect from NHL officials?

– The Pittsburgh Steelers are often playing down to their opponents this year, as evidenced by Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. But as a Steelers fan, it’s comforting to know that even on a bad night, the Steelers are still double-digits better than the Browns.

– Cleveland fans have been vocal about the hit Steelers linebacker James Harrison made on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. It’s funny how on one hand, Browns fans are concerned about McCoy’s safety, but the team trotted McCoy back in the game right after suffering an apparent concussion. The Cleveland Browns are not immune to player safety issues (remember the staph infection issue from several years ago?). It’s up to the NFL how it should handle Harrison, but the league needs to take a close look at teams who don’t focus on their own player’s safety.

– For as amazing as Houston Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates’ two-minute drive which ended in the team’s 20-19 win over the Bengals, it was weird to see his parents stuck in the top several rows of an empty Paul Brown Stadium. Do all teams treat the families of visiting players the same way.

– Speaking of an empty stadium, I’m shocked that the fans have bailed on the Bengals. Although their playoff chances took a major hit Sunday, it’s still a team with a great story and a winning record.

– This year is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Pro Football Hall of Fame featured a story last week about how the NFL responded to the tragedy. You can read it here.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo personally taken during Thursday night’s Blue Jackets game. Video link from YouTube. You can submit sports items for this column to me at