Friday, August 26, 2011

High School Football is Back!

Tonight it begins anew!  High School football is back.  Schools across the state are preparing to send their teams into battle.  Tonight FCA travels to Millersport to kickoff a new campaign.  Mark, now a junior, will see more playing time (hopefully) this year.  I will be back in the tv booth for nine of the ten games.  Once again, the games can be seen on the Lancaster School Network Sundays at 4 pm.  Next week I will have the opportunity to be in the radio booth for WFCO calling play by play.   I will admit, it is a nice perk, to get into high school football games for free, and all you have to do is talk about what you see into a microphone.  Football is back.   To be a small part of it is a blessing from the Lord

Thome's Home

At long last, an Wahoo Hero returns.  Jim Thome was traded by the Twins to the Tribe on Thursday.  Thome, who was brought up in the Indians' farm system and spent 12 years with the Tribe, returns to the Tribe lineup on Friday.  Do not underestimate this move for Tribe fans.  It is huge.  Why?  Let me try to explain.

Jim Thome was a hero to many Tribe fans.  He left via free agency.  After professing his love for Cleveland, he spurned a multi million dollar contract offered by the Indians for more millions offered by the Phillies.  No matter the reason, Indian fans were angry and hurt.  A local baseball icon left willingly, in spite of saying how much he loved Cleveland.  He could have stayed but chose to leave of his own volition. When Thome returned to Cleveland in a White Sox uni, he was roundly booed.  Indian fans let their anger be known loud and clear.

They say time heals all wounds.  I hope it has for many Indians fans.  A local hero returns.  Two of my kids, Emily and Drew, will be in attendance cheering their baseball hero.  I hope Jim Thome gets a standing ovation.  I hope he retires an Indian and is hired by the front office to work for the organization after his retirement.  He should go into the Hall of Fame as an Indian.  One of the greatest players of the modern era returns where it all began for him.  In this era of free agency, it is nigh impossible to hope that a player plays his entire career for one team, as did Feller or Musial.  Maybe this is as close as it gets as the local hero returns.  Presently, Cardinal fans are sweating bullets wondering if their local hero will resign with the team.  If you are Cardinal fan, please know that we Indian fans can relate.  What is going on with Albert is a microcosm of what we went through with Jim Thome.  We feel your pain.  we know what you are going through.  But tonight and for the month of September, there is joy in Cleveland.  Thome's home!  THOME'S HOME!!! Welcome home, Jim Thome, it is good to have you back where you belong.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Broadcasting after a break

As many of you know, I have had the opportunity to participate as a sports announcer for FCA on LSN (TV) and for high school sports in general on WFCO.  After a. break of a few months, I will once again be offered the opportunity to do play by play for high school sports.  On TV, I will be the color man for the telecasts.  Watch LSN on Sundays at 4pm to see the game.

On the radio side, I will be doing play by play for WFCO on the nights when I am not in the tv booth.  Listen to 90.9 FM for my calls.  I will try to post the list of games I will be doing in the future.  It is a nice hobby, a chance to something I always wanted to do, and I get to see high school sports for free!  You can't beat that

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So, how IS your golf game?

Fine, just thank you.  I have improved immensely since the start of the season.  My handicap ballooned to a 14 (for nine holes) at the beginning.  I was using my driver off of the tee, spraying the ball all over the place.  I was scoring in the low 50's for nine holes, not a good score at all for me.  But I made a couple of changes, for the better, and now I am scoring 45-48 per nine holes, a 3-5 stroke difference.

What did I do?  For one, I put the driver away.  I am now using a three wood off of the tee, giving me better accuracy as I am now hitting my second shot from the fairway instead of the deep rough.  I am rarely losing balls, now I am trying to just keep it in play.

The second adjustment has been moving the ball back in my stance.  This has allowed me to hit down on the ball, adding to my ball striking consistency.  As I am able to now strike the ball well more often, I am hitting more greens in regulation, giving me an opportunity for more pars and less double bogies.

My friend, Curt Kruse, has offered to give me a lesson or two to help out.  He knows me well, as Curt was my golfing partner for a number of years in church league.  He told me that I am a feel golfer, meaning that when I golf better when I think less of the mechanics of the swing, and just play the game, allowing the feel of the shot to take over.  Much like shooting a basketball well ( when you are in a zone, you are hard to stop) so too golfing by "feel" allows the golfer to just naturally play the game.   I will take Curt up on his offer sooner rather than later (he said it won't be for at least two weeks because our team is playing him), because Curt knows my swing and knows my game.  If he can help me, and if I can put his advice into practice, I should be lowering my score soon.  And that is what makes golf fun.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Buckeye Update

Alas, there are no buckeyes.  No, I am not talking about OSU Football, I am speaking of my beloved Buckeye tree.  This time last year I found one nut about to fall, and I harvested later in the summer my first buckeye.  This spring, the buckeye tree had CLUSTERS of nuts, I was expecting a bountiful harvest, at least one buckeye for each member of my family (yes, even the Hoosier of the bunch, Binkylu would be in line to receive the first of the harvest).  But alas, no buckeyes this year.  It isn't because of the debt limit debate, nor is it the fault of the NCAA investigation.  I lost all of the Buckeyes during one of the torrential spring storms we experienced.  No buckeyes this year, maybe next year.  It looks like I will be hunting buckeyes from other sources soon.

A Report From Pittsburgh

A couple of weeks ago I was able to go to Pittsburgh with my kids to see PNC Park.  We attended the Cards-Pirate game.  We were all interested in seeing PNC and it is safe to say we were not disappointed.  It is a gem of a ballpark.  It looks like a minor league park as you approach it, for it seems so small.  But it is far from minor league.  It has great sight lines, a wonderful panorama view of the Clemente Bridge and downtown Pittsburgh, and there doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the house.  It is a great venue to watch a game.  I always wanted to go, and after my experience, it is safe to say we will go again.  It was totally enjoyable and a tip of the cap to the Pirate organization for doing a great job.  And this is coming from a native Clevelander!


I have usually had the opportunity to listen to the radio A LOT in my travels.  If I am not listening to Sirius XM, then I am tuned into WKNR, 850 AM in Cleveland.  It is a sports talk format that I have enjoyed in the past.  Tony Rizzo is highly entertaining and I have enjoyed listening to Michael Reghi, Deron Cherry, and LeCharles Bentley as well.  While I may not always agree with them, their opinions get you thinking.  But I have turned off WKNR, because they now bore me.  There are a few personalities who think they know it all and their opinions are highly predictable.  Just who are these guys?  Hammer and Fedor on the Really Big Show and Kenny Roda on afternoons with Reghi and Roda are the three personalities who have no personality nor any original thoughts.

These three seemingly offer opinions which oppose what the interests are of most of the listeners.  They seemingly always take the contrary position.  In their own offense (not defense, for their styles are grating) they will rant on and root against anything positive happening on the Cleveland sports teams.  Examples are plentiful:

Hammer hates Ohio State.  All of his opinions reflect his bias.  There is no objectivity.  Seeing as he hails from Denver, he openly roots for Denver, including the Broncos.  He will have John Elway on his show soon.  Who in Cleveland is interested in hearing John Elway, admittedly a HOF player and a great person, but who is interested in him?

Fedor states that he is the objective personality of the Really Big Show.  Yet he is so negative that Rizzo has now given him a nickname: Negative Ned.  He bashes the Indians for not doing anything, and yet when they add pitching in their trade for Jimenez, Fedor rants that the Indians overpaid.  See my last post as for my opinion on the trade.  No one will know for a couple of years.  But Fedor will rant on and on, about Peyton Hillis being on the cover of Madden, on how Hillis in his opinion is not even in the top ten of running backs in the NFL.  He is entitled to his opinions, but his opinions are now boring and predictable.

Roda hails from Pittsburgh.  The Dolans can do no right with Roda.  But he bashes them for not added payroll (when they added Jimenez) and not getting a bat at the deadline.  Roda fails to realize that the one bat that would have made a difference (Beltran) DIDN"T want to come to Cleveland and the other players who were available wouldn't have been a big upgrade over what the Indians have now.  He also fails to understand that it takes two teams to make a trade.  The Indians can try to obtain all sorts of players, but if the other teams have a different opinion as to their players' value, and the two teams don't have a meeting of the minds, then a trade WON'T be made.  In fairness, perhaps Roda realizes this, but he takes a contrary position just to be controversial.  He isn't.  I find Roda, Hammer, and Fedor boring and predictable.

I have noticed that there will be a new kid in town, 92.3 FM in Cleveland that will offer sports talk as an alternative.  I predict that this station will be successful.  Why?  In part BECAUSE of Hammer, Roda, and Fedor.  Their styles and opinions are way too predictable.  Fans and listeners do not want personalities who continually seek to take an opposing position on an issue JUST TO STIR UP CONTROVERSY.   What fans want is honest dialogue and conversation.

If WKNR wants to see how this is done, just listen to Reghi, Cherry, Bentley, and Rizz.  They know what they are doing.  They are genuine and they get it.   The other three stooges don't.

A Trade at the Deadline

It has been a while since the Tribe made a significant trade at the deadline to add players for the stretch run.  This time is was for pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez, a true ace of the staff.  When I first heard about the trade, I was with Drew at the Clippers game last Saturday.  We were following the events on Twitter.  First White was to be traded, then Pomeranz, then both of them along with two other players.  At first, I thought, wow, this is too much.  Much as I hated to give up TWO FRONTLINE PITCHING PROSPECTS, I began to think through the trade.  By completing the trade, the Indians are saying that they are all in this year to win it.  Jiminez is a heck of a pitcher, he pitched a no hitter last year.  If he is on, he is the ace of the staff, a true number one pitcher who can match up with other aces of other staffs.
What I particularly like about the trade is that Chris Antonetti added pitching at the deadline.  Think about it, the Indians are where they are at this year because of pitching.  Pitching and defense wins ball games.  Yes, they need to hit, but with a good pitching staff a small market team can compete with the bigger clubs.  I think that this will be the Indians blueprint for the foreseeable future.  They have pitching prospects STILL in the minors: Chen, Hagadone, Judy, Gomez, Huff, and a few others.  If they Indians can continue to draft and develop pitching, bringing the studs to the big leagues, we may see a window of opportunity opening for the Tribe for a long, long time.  I like the trade.  Did the Indians give up too much?  That remains to be seen.  But right now, they got another front line pitcher in the rotation.  Ubaldo pitches tomorrow night.  And the eyes of all Indians fans will be watching and rooting for him to succeed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Why is a Clevelander going to Pittsburgh on Friday?   To see the St. Louis Cardinals play the Pirates.  I am NOT a Pirate fan, and have been a following the Cards for almost 30 years.  I confess that when I was about ten, my dad took me to Pittsburgh to see the Pirates and Carnegie Mellon.   I have fond memories of that time, and I am looking forward to seeing Pittsburgh play again tomorrow.  I will, as I understand, get a free Pirate shirt upon entering the park.  So, I will wear my Cleveland hat and Pittsburgh shirt, and probably root for the Cards.  I say probably because who knows if I will get caught up in the moment and cheer during a Pirate rally?  But I do know that I will enjoy being with the kids, attending a ball game, and I will be interested in seeing what PNC Park is all about.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Tribe at the Break

Presently we are at the half way point of the MLB season.  The Featherheads are in first place!  How did they do it?  Pitching, pitching, and pitching.  The starting pitching has kept the team in games, the middle relievers (such as Frank Hermann on Saturday vs the Reds) and the relief pitching has closed out games.  I don't know if they can hang on, but I do know this.  Indian baseball is relevant.  It is fun again to be an Indians fan.  And we have something to look forward to namely meaningful games in August.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Decision

Last summer a "decision" was made by one who shall remain nameless.  He decided to "take his talents to South Beach."   With this "decision" a once proud basketball franchise was set back for years.  Devoid of talent, the Cavaliers are now in the hunt for the #1 pick in the NBA draft lottery which will be held next week.   The attention of Cavs fans will be fixed on the results of the NBA draft lottery.  I will be interested as well.  But what about the playoffs?  Playoffs?  Are there playoffs going on?  I haven't really noticed.

My attention has been focused on baseball and not basketball this spring.  It has been my decision.  It hasn't been a hard decision, for I am not interested in the NBA playoffs.  Seeing as Cleveland isn't playing, and the NBA has been taken over by the players, I haven't watched the playoffs this year.  And I won't.  They just don't interest me.  I'd rather watch the Tribe.  So it really isn't a difficult decision, really.  If I were to find the NBA captivating, I would watch, but as of right now, this league BORES me.  I'd rather watch baseball.  Or golf. Or playoff hockey.  Anything but the NBA.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Playing with the big boys

One of the difficulties in Major League baseball is trying to contend with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox.  These big market teams have double the payroll of many of the other teams in major league baseball. Well, there IS one way to level the playing field, and we are seeing it now with our beloved Wahoos.  It is pitching.  The Indians are playing great baseball right now and winning games because of pitching.   Wasn't it Branch Rickey that said that pitching was 90% of baseball, meaning that pitching is the most important part of the game.  If you have great pitching, you can contend and win in the game of baseball.  Great pitching is the great equalizer.

So here is the way the Indians can play with the big boys, year in and year out.  Cleveland needs to be a pitching development factory.  They need to find, draft, develop, and send to major league team quality pitching.   They need to have an over abundance of pitching.  When you think of Indians baseball, you need to think of pitching, it needs to become their identity and what they are known for.

My hope is that the Indians front office will apply the lesson they have learned early in this 2011 season.  Baseball is built upon the foundation of pitching.  Keep drafting and developing it in the minors so as to send it to the majors.  When you have pitching, you have a real shot of playing with the big boys, year in and year out

Be a Believer

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Mess with Tress

Strangely, I have had more than a few shut ins ask me my opinion about the mess which is now Ohio State football.  Those with whom I have listened to have expressed their disappointment with the HC of TOSU, figuring that as a Christian he had higher standards.
Am I disappointed?  Not really.  Saddened?  No, not that either.  My eyes were opened at went on, but when I thought about it, all of it began to make sense, in a way, to me.
I understand that college football is big business.  No, wait, it is BIG business.  OSU football brings in millions of dollars to the university and the athletic program.  The college coach is paid to win.  Pure and simple.  Yes, education goes on, and Tress even teaches his players about life (note his book "The Winners Manual), but big time college football is all about winning.  Nothing more and nothing less.
Should we be surprised at what went on at Ohio State with the selling of the gold pants, etc?  No, when I heard about it my eyes were opened.  Just look at all of the tattoos these players have.  They don't get those for free, they cost money, and when you have half of your body tattooed and you are a college football player, my question is how did they get the $$$ for the tattoos?  I have two kids in college, I know they would love some extra $$$, a majority of college kids would and many of them DON'T have tattoos all over their bodies.  The issue isn't the tattoos, the issue is having the $$$ to GET the tattoos.  How do the players get the cash for all of this art work?  Well, for a few at TOSU, it was the selling of their memorabilia.
So in this mess with Tress, my eyes were opened.  I am neither saddened or disappointed.  In the end, the Buckeyes will still take the field in the fall.  Will they contend for the Big Ten or National Championship?  Who knows?  In an era where players take their talents to South Beach and  professional franchises move (remember the Browns to Baltimore and the Indians threat to leave Cleveland unless they got a new ball park?) this mess with Tress is just that, a mess of his own making.  He can take matters into his own hands and resign, which may lightened the NCAA penalties.  Or he can stay and whether the storm, to which the penalties will be more severe.  In the end, Ohio State isn't moving, we still get to cheer the team down the field, and maybe, just maybe, there will be some extra tickets to a football game available for the average fan (I know, wishful thinking).
The mess with Tress has taught me one thing, big time college athletics is big business, it is all about winning and all about making money.  What really needs to happen is for someone to revamp the whole NCAA organization, but that is another story for another time.

Connecting with the Crew

Bob Hunter wrote in his blog that there is not a connection between the community and the Columbus Crew. You can read it here:
Bob Hunter's premise is right on target.  I understand why the Crew did not resign Frankie Hejduk and GBS, but what the Crew did NOT do was fill these roster slots with known players who have the ability to excite and connect with the fans.  Frankie and GBS did just that, as both players were icons to the fan base.  GBS' play in the midfield was extra ordinary, he was a maestro with the ball and could distribute the ball to the forwards in scoring areas.  The Crew had an offensive flair with GBS.  This year, the play in the final third has been offensive with little or no offensive imagination.
If the front office wants to connect with the fan base, they will have to field a team that will return to the offensive flair that Crew fans have known with GBS.  I will be at Crew Stadium this year to cheer on the black and gold.  They will need, however, to continue to win as well as develop some offensive imagination to excite the fan base.


As some of my most faithful reader will note (this would be you, Rachel) I am a big Indians fan.  This season they are off to their fastest start in history, possessing one of the best records in baseball.  The key to their fast start is pitching.  Yes they are scoring runs, hitting homers, and fielding the baseball, but a huge part of their success is pitching.  It has been estimated that pitching is anywhere between 75-90 % of baseball, which means that if you have great pitching, you have the opportunity to contend year in and year out.
In that past few years we have seen the demise of Wahoo baseball. Much of that can be attributed to trading away CC and Cliff.  I know why the Featherheads did it, and I agree that they had to do it.  The two Cy Young Award winners weren't going to resign, so they needed to trade them away to get players back.  I have no problem with that.  The issue I had is that they had no pitchers coming up to take their place.  This is why Wahoo baseball has been in decline, no pitching to pick up the slack when CC and Cliff fled the teepee.  Also, if you will remember, the bullpen (I am looking at you Kerry Wood) would blow save after save, costing the Tribe much needed wins.
Look at the difference this year, there is good starting pitching (which keeps the team in games) and great bullpen work which closes games out for victories.  The Tribe has been getting both, which is why the Wahoos are winning.
I think that this will be a fun season down at the Lakefront.  The pitching will keep this team in games.  They may not win the division, they may not even make the playoffs, but they will be in games and baseball IS relevant again in Cleveland.  And I expect more of the same in the coming seasons.  Pomeranz and White among others are the pitchers coming up through the system.  Position players such as Kipnis and Chizenhall will be with the Tribe in the next season or two.
The Indians are winning.  All I can say is Wahoo!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Tribe Time Now

Here is another one of my favorite songs about the Tribe;

Copy and paste the link into your browser if the link doesn't work.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Indian Fever

There was a jingle introducing the Indians games on radio when I was younger called: Indian Fever.  Even thought the attendance has been HORRIBLE, if the Indians start to put some wins together, the fans will show up and Tribe fans will have a case of Indian Fever.  After reading my son, Drew, tweets, it sound like he has Indian fever. I know Rachel, Emily, and Mark do as well.  If only Luann would catch it (ha ha).  I found this link.  I hope you enjoy!  If you can't click on the link, copy it and paste it in your browser.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

League Park

Perhaps a future post will discuss my favorite baseball parks.  One such park, League Park, ceases to exist.
League Park was the first home of the beloved Featherheads.  Located at the corner of Lexington and East 66th in Cleveland, League Park (also known as Dunn Park) has been torn down since the early 1960's.  I had the opportunity to play in League Park, to pitch on the very same mound that Cy Young pitched from when I played for Lutheran East in the early 1970's.  We played East Tech High School, as that was their home field.  I was in awe as I walked in the outfield, looking up in right field at the tall fence that was only 290 feet from home plate, and imaging Babe Ruth lofting a high homer onto the street below.  I wanted to go into the wreckage of what once was the dugout and clubhouse to see if I would catch a glimpse of history, but I was afraid of rats.  Seriously, my coach warned us not to stray too far from our bench, but just the thought of walking the hallowed grounds of Speaker, Cobb, Ruth, etc was like living a dream.
I can't remember HOW I pitched but I remember that I did get the opportunity to pitch, and for that I am thankful.
I share this with you to let you know that there is an effort to restore League Park.  Do yourself a favor and visit to catch a glimpse of history.  If you feel so inclined, sign the petition to restore the facility for others to see.
Perhaps that visit to League Park planted the seeds for my love of old ballparks.  I would have loved to have seen the old Polo Grounds, Sportsmans Park in St. Louis, and other old ball parks.  Maybe that is why I would like to travel to Pittsburgh to see their new park, as well as St. Louis to see the new Busch. At any rate, enjoy  It is a step back in time, and helped me remember the time when a freshman pitcher for the Falcons toed the rubber at old League Park.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My favorite baseball team (s)

As you know, I am a die hard Indians fan.  I will be until the day I die, and even then they won't win the World Series.  But I digress.  As I sit in my easy chair on my day off, I am watching the Brewers pregame show.  I am a Brewers fan, sort of.  After going to a few games with Emily when she was at Mequon, I developed an interest in the Brewers.
Then again, I am a Cardinal fan, sort of.  I watched the Cards while on vicarage and maintain an interest in them.  So too the Nationals, as I was able to attend a Nationals game in Washington in their first season in DC.  I got to see the Astros play at Minute Maid Park last year during the LCMS convention.  I am not presently followed the Stros, but I could be persuaded to follow them.  Funny, though, I don't follow the Cubs or the White Sox.  Even though I went to games in Chicago when I went to RF, I never really developed an interest in them.
Now, I may develop an interest in the Pirates this year.  Pittsburgh?  Why Pittsburgh?  Well, I do get to see them for free on tv, and I really would like to make a trip to Pitt to see their ballpark, so who knows?
Now the Reds, they are a different story.  I never liked the Reds, but I do appreciate their history.  Plus, it doesn't hurt that the Reds ALWAYS send me a clergy pass to see games for free each season (are you listening Mark Shapiro????).  So I will watch the Reds, and hope to go to at least one game this season to make good on that clergy pass!  Those are the teams I follow, but it is the Tribe until I die!

Retiring, Sort of

Well I am retiring, sort of.  As some of you know, I have spent the past couple of years as a play by play man on WFCO radio  and LSN TV.  By my count just this year, I have done over a dozen football games either on radio or tv, and close to 30 basketball games on radio and tv.  Last week I was able to call the Fairfield Christian baseball game on WFCO (most of the games can be listened to again, if you have nothing better to do, by going to and clicking on the sports section).  It will be my last game for a while.  While I enjoy doing the games, my schedule becomes tighter in the season of Lent.  Baseball games begin at 5 pm and go into the early evening.  I DO have evening meetings, so that necessitates my inability to call baseball games.  More importantly, though, I want to see my son, Mark, play baseball during the season and Mark takes a priority over the play by play duties.  I still get invitations to do some games, and perhaps I will take a game or two, but family comes first.  So, for the next few months, I will be taking a break.  So I am retiring, sort of, until I am asked again to call a high school game.

Time begins

There is an old baseball saying: Time begins on Opening Day.  I went to the Indians opener last Friday after the District Board of Directors meeting in Cleveland.  I took my daughter Emily and we enjoyed the day together.  You can't really have a bad day at the ballpark.  The Tribe lost in typical Indians' fashion, giving up a slew of runs in the first four innings, driving most fair weather fans out of the ballpark.  This was fortuitous for Emily and I, as we moved down into the box seats in the lower deck to watch the rest of the game.  While disappointed in the Tribe loss, it was great to spend the day with Emily at the ballpark.  There were some reasons for optimism regarding the Indians this weekend: the play of Jack Hanaman at third, the hitting of Travis Hafner, the pitching of Justin Masterson and the rest of the bullpen.  If the Tribe gets some pitching they MAY surprise this year.  But what do I know, I thought OSU would win the NCAA tourney and I picked the Blue Jackets to make the playoffs.  That being said, it is good to have baseball back.  After running some Coroner errands I will be watching some baseball this afternoon, thanks to the free MLB preview this week.  The Brewers are on, followed by the Cardinals/Pirates tonight.

The National Championship Game

U Conn vs. Butler.  It is the national championship game in college basketball tonight.  I must admit, seeing as OSU is out of the tournament, I have lost a lot of interest in the games.  My attention is turned to baseball right now.  But who do you like tonight?  I think U Conn will win, but I will be rooting for the Bulldogs.  I hope I see a headline tomorrow as in: Butler Did It

April Fool

Usually my lovely wife plays an April Fool's joke on me.  Her sense of humor is notorious: last year she called my barber to ask him to tell me that I had lice in my hair.  April Fools!  A few years ago she had a friend call me and offer to sign me and my hard of hearing pooch up for dog hearing aids.  April Fools!  Luann hasn't struck yet, but it is only April 4.  She can strike at any time.  I must be ready.

Seeing as it has been a while since I posted (I apologize) I noted that my last post dealt with my faith in the Blue Jackets ability to make the playoffs.  Was I ever wrong!  April Fools!  The joke has been on Blue Jacket fans for the past ten years.  The team has largely been incapable of putting forth an effort night in and night out.  And seeing as how this team did not compete last night against the Blues, I am wondering if my faith will prove to be in vain.  Oh, I know that this team has been out of the playoff hunt for a while.  But will they be able to compete next year?  This team has so many holes, can any GM fill them all in one off season?  Major changes are needed for the Jackets.  The fan base is eroding.  I will remain a fan, but will the others?  The Blue Jackets have proven to play an April Fool's Joke on all hockey fans in Central Ohio again.  Yes, the joke is on me.