Hartman: Browns' future still looks bleak

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 12:12 AM

The Vikings’ opponent Sunday has had a long playoff drought and lacks playmakers in a struggling offense.

Vikings fans who complain about the team not winning Super Bowls or division titles should realize that the Cleveland Browns, the Vikings’ opponent Sunday, have not made the playoffs for 11 years and haven’t won a playoff game for 19 years. And this year isn’t looking any better.

The team sent their 2012 first-round draft pick, running back Trent Richardson, to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2013 first-round pick. They also announced Wednesday that their third-string quarterback, Brian Hoyer, will start against the Vikings because starter Brandon Weeden sprained the thumb on his throwing hand.

It’s a catastrophe this year in Cleveland. The Browns have scored only one touchdown in two games, and the reason is simply a “lack of playmakers” on offense, reported Terry Pluto in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this week.

Pluto wrote: “Pretend you are an opposing defensive coordinator facing the Browns. Who would worry you the most? That’s the best way to access what’s wrong with the Browns offense.”

Meanwhile, the Vikings offense is showing improvement in a key area. In 2012 the Vikings had four pass plays of 35-plus yards, but in two games this year, the Vikings already have three pass plays of more than 35 yards, all caught by Jerome Simpson.

Coach Leslie Frazier also confirmed a report that reserve defensive tackle Christian Ballard, who played a lot for the team last season, has retired because he no longer enjoyed playing. It also appears there is no interest in bringing cornerback Antoine Winfield back despite the team’s 0-2 start.

Sano, Buxton stand out

Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton were born seven months apart in 1993. This year Sano, recently ranked the No. 3 prospect in the minors by Baseball America, and Buxton, ranked No. 1, both spent time in the Florida State League with the Class A Fort Myers Miracle.

Sano played 56 games there before being called up to Class AA New Britain on June 9. Buxton ended the year there, playing 57 games after being called up from low-Class A Cedar Rapids on June 24.

Sano hit .330 [68-for-206] with 16 home runs, 15 doubles, 51 runs scored and 48 RBI at Fort Myers, posting a .424 on-base percentage, .655 slugging percentage and 1.079 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).

Buxton hit .326 [71-for-218] with four home runs, eight triples, four doubles, 23 stolen bases, 41 runs scored and 22 RBI with the Miracle, posting a .415 on-base percentage, .472 slugging percentage and .887 OPS.

Sano and Buxton would have finished second and third in the league in batting average if they had enough at-bats to qualify. Sano’s home run totals still left him tied for eighth in the league, even though some of the league leaders had more than double his at-bats. Buxton’s eight triples were tied for third in the league, and his 23 stolen bases were tied for eighth.

Sano wrapped up his third minor league season with New Britain and hit .236 with a .344 on-base percentage and .915 OPS in 67 games. He had 19 home runs, 35 runs scored and 55 RBI to go along with 15 doubles and three triples.

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan recently talked about how he believes Sano and Buxton will get invitations to spring training next season. The Twins don’t have a long history of promoting players to the big leagues at that age — the last 21-year-old to play a full major league season for the Twins was shortstop Cristian Guzman in 1999.

But there are two former Twins who are Hall of Famers that started their careers in the majors that early. Paul Molitor played 125 games with the Milwaukee Brewers as a 21-year-old in 1978, hitting .273 with 73 runs scored, 30 stolen bases and 45 RBI. He finished second in the AL rookie of the year voting to the Tigers’ Lou Whitaker. Dave Winfield also got some playing time as a 21-year-old, hitting .277 over 56 games in 1973 with the San Diego Padres.

As for current Twins, Joe Mauer played 35 games in the majors as a 21-year-old in 2004. He hit .308 with six home runs, 17 RBI and 18 runs scored.

Jottings

• Former Gophers baseball pitchers Tom Windle [Dodgers], Drew Ghelfi [Brewers] and DJ Snelten [Giants] have been invited to the Arizona Fall League later this month. All were drafted in the 2013 amateur draft.

• Wide receiver Greg Lewis provided one of the season highlights the last time the Vikings won a playoff game in 2009, when they beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-3 in an NFC Divisional game. Lewis caught a game-winning, 32-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre with two seconds left in a 27-24 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. He’s now coaching wide receivers at San Jose State, the Gophers’ opponent on Saturday.

• Gophers fall baseball practice is progressing at the new Siebert Field. The annual “Steak N’ Beans” series of intrasquad games will be played each weekend from Friday through Oct. 14 and are free and open to the public (see gophersports.com for game times).

• Major League Baseball had a contingent of 25 people in Minneapolis this week for meetings associated with the 2014 All-Star Game. Look for MLB and the Twins to release ticket prices and more information about various All-Star Game events over the next few months.

• The Twins have started renewal of their season tickets, with the first payment deadline Sept. 30. The club expects to renew a minimum of 90 percent of their current season ticket base, which totals a little more than 19,000 full-season equivalents.

• The official groundbreaking for renovations to the Twins’ spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., is scheduled for Oct. 3. The first phase of the $45 million project, which includes a new player development academy, minor league clubhouse and new practice field, will be completed before March of 2014. Renovations to Hammond Stadium and the balance of the complex will be finished before the start of spring training in 2015.

• Look for an announcement soon that the Twins will open their 2014 spring training schedule with an exhibition vs. Florida Gulf Coast University. FGCU, which produced the likes of White Sox ace Chris Sale, is located minutes away from the Twins’ spring training complex. The Twins hope to schedule a similar exhibition with the Gophers in the spring of 2015.

• Twins General Manager Terry Ryan will lead the Twins’ annual organizational meetings Oct. 8-11 in Fort Myers. … The great businessman Harvey Mackay will address the Twins’ front office staff Monday.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close