Weekend Primer: Kyrie apologizes, waiting on the Indians and Championship Sunday

Kyrie to L.A? Will the Indians sign any free agents?

James Rapien
January 18, 2019 - 9:07 pm
June 9, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) and forward LeBron James (23) during the second quarter in game four of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terad

© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The workweek is over and the weekend is here. There’s plenty going on in the world of sports and it’ll be capped off on Sunday with the NFL Conference Championship games. Here’s your weekend primer:

Could Kyrie Irving join LeBron James in Los Angeles? – Irving told reporters he called James to apologize for the past. Could they reunite with the Lakers? Stephen A. Smith discussed it on First Take earlier this week. He said he received a text from an unnamed source about Irving joining James.

 ‘Wow. I guess it makes it a bit easier for (Irving) to come to LA now,” Smith said of the text. “That was the quote that I received. That was the text message that I received.”

The NBA is a crazy place. It may not be likely, but a reunion is possible. If the Celtics underwhelm in the playoffs, why wouldn’t some speculate that Irving could leave in free agency? He asked the Cavaliers for a trade after making three-consecutive NBA Finals. Boston may end up winning the Eastern Conference and Irving could spend the rest of his career with the Celtics. Anything is possible, which means no one should rule out a reunion.

When will the Indians address their weaknesses? – When will this organization add talent in free agency? They need outfield and bullpen help and the roster isn’t as good as it was last year. Fans are getting restless and rightfully so, but players aren’t as worried.

“It’s cool to watch them piece it together each year,” Mike Clevinger said. “Now that I’ve been here for a few years and watch, it’s not like ‘Oh my God, what are we doing?’ There’s a plan and there’s always a plan. It’s always good to see. They have everything lined up.”

The New York Yankees signed Adam Ottavino on Thursday. Cody Allen is headed to Los Angeles. There are plenty of free-agent relievers still available, but the Indians have yet to make a move.

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper have yet to sign contracts, which means the outfield market hasn’t been set. Free-agents like A.J. Pollock, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are three players the Indians could target. Pollock may be a pipe dream, but he’s dealt with injuries and he may be forced to sign a short-term deal.

There’s no way they can start Greg Allen, Tyler Naquin and Leonys Martin in the outfield. They have to sign at least one free agent who can start and make an impact. They acquired Jake Bauers in a trade with Tampa Bay, who has minimal experience in the outfield and will likely play first base. Fans are uneasy and will remain that way until the Indians improve this roster.

Championship Sunday should be fun – I’m genuinely excited about the NFL Conference Championship games. Who will win the battle of the Sean’s – McVay or Payton? Can Tom Brady make one more Super Bowl run or will Patrick ‘I put ketchup on my steak’ Mahomes be the same guy who threw for 50 touchdowns this season?

It’s hard for me to bet against the Chiefs. They have the better roster, more talent on offense, home field advantage, an emerging defense and the most-talented signal caller on the planet. The Patriots are playing well and handled their business last week, but it’s the Chiefs’ time. Andy Reid gets it done and Kansas City wins 37-27.

The Rams-Saints game is an interesting one. New Orleans has the better quarterback and home field advantage. With that said, the Rams have more talent on the roster. This game should go down to the wire. I expect Los Angeles to make one more play and win 30-27.

These are the four best teams in the NFL. They’re four amazing offenses. It’s hard to envision a scenario where NFL fans with no dog in the fight go home disappointed.

The Cleveland Sports Beat Podcast – Daryl Ruiter and I will peel back the curtain and give you and inside look at Cleveland sports every single week on the Cleveland Sports Beat Podcast. We take a deep dive into the Browns’ offseason, the hiring of Freddie Kitchens and more on our first episode. Listen to it below: