Monday, September 28, 2020

Episode 182 – A crash course on Indians vs. Yankees in the AL Wild Card round

Fausto Carmona is long gone, but the midges are back. Sandy Alomar won’t be hitting a game-tying home run that sends Paul O’Neill into a tantrum on the warning track, but he will be managing the Tribe. It’s the Indians and the Yankees meeting in the first round of the MLB postseason again, and Waiting For Next Year’s Mitchell Krall joins The Nail to give us a crash course. Topics covered: Presumed Cy Young winner-to-be Shane Bieber and the Indians pitching staff, potential AL MVP Jose Ramirez and whether the Tribe can generate enough offense, what role having Alomar manage in place of Terry Francona will play, and what we need to know about the team from the Bronx and the new postseason format.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photos from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Episode 181 – First impressions of Stefanski’s Browns, Indians clinch postseason spot

Two weeks into the NFL season, the Browns have bounced back from a rough (but, given the circumstances, maybe not too surprising) start in Baltimore. The Indians, meanwhile, are officially back in the postseason after a dramatic Jose Ramirez walk-off home run in extra innings against the White Sox on Tuesday night.

Joe Gerberry, writer and editor for Waiting For Next Year, joins The Nail to discuss the state of Cleveland’s two active teams. The guys go through the early returns on the Kevin Stefanski regime, Baker Mayfield, an improved offensive line, and a work-in-progress defense. Plus: Shane Bieber and Ramirez putting together award-worthy seasons, and best/worst potential first-round postseason opponents for the Tribe.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photos from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Episode 180 – John Kampf of The News-Herald on a very different high school football season

High school football—one of Ohio’s great sports traditions—kicks off its 2020 season later this week, but for obvious reasons, this year will be far from normal. John Kampf, longtime prep sports writer for The News-Herald, joins the Nail to talk about how schools around the area are preparing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in protocols being made by the OHSAA to limit risks where possible. … Plus: A coaching change in Mentor, Kirtland eying another state title, and the players to know this fall.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from The News-Herald | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Monday, August 17, 2020

Episode 179 – Baseball, Blue Jackets, and (no) Big Ten football

Sports are back, and so is The Nail. The guys discuss the early ups and downs of the Indians, the Blue Jackets in the NHL playoffs, and adjusting to sports broadcasts with no fans but lots of ads. … Plus: With the Big Ten and Pac-12 opting out for the fall, what will become of the 2020 college football season?


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photos from Associated Press and NHL.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Episode 178 – Author Alex Harnocz on ‘Perfect Season Project: An Uncommon Arrangement of Cleveland Indians History’

Author Alex Harnocz joins the show to discuss his new book, “Perfect Season Project: An Uncommon Arrangement of Cleveland Indians History,” in which he sifts through 120 years of Tribe baseball to find the most interesting and/or historic year for each game on the schedule, from 1 to 162. In his book, Harnocz chronicles the classics—Bob Feller’s opening day no-hitter in 1940, Len Barker’s perfecto (Game 24 in 1981), and the miraculous comeback vs. Seattle (Game 110 in 2001)—as well as some deep cuts that only the most diehard Indians fans will remember. Harnocz explains the inspiration for his project and how he put the Indians’ “perfect season” together.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Episode 177 – Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com on the Indians, a name change, and the 2020 season

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com and the MLB Network joins the show to discuss the Indians potentially changing their name, how the 60-game schedule and new rules for 2020 affect the Tribe, and whether roster restrictions in place this year could decrease the odds of a midseason trade of Francisco Lindor.

Read Castrovince’s column on a potential Indians name change:
https://medium.com/@castrovince/the-cleveland-spiders-b2f4aa576eb3

Check out Castrovince’s new book: “A Fan’s Guide to Baseball Analytics”


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, June 19, 2020

Episode 176 – Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush on the return of MLS

Northeast Ohio native Evan Bush, the veteran goalkeeper for the Montreal Impact, joins The Nail to discuss the upcoming return of MLS, the league’s World Cup-style tournament to restart the season, and being part of contentious CBA negotiations.

Plus: Bush explains how he tried to stay sharp at home during the three-month layoff, and he shares his thoughts on the Crew being saved in Columbus.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Canadian Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Episode 175 – Field days, fantastic wins, and more tales from yesteryear

With sports still mostly on hold and not much fun happening in the world right now, the guys take a break from current events to reminisce about some lighter moments from years gone by, including Ohio State’s 2002 national championship, a pair of dramatic Indians wins, and some youth sports misadventures. Plus: A last word on ESPN’s “The Last Dance.”


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from AZCentral.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Episode 174 – Jordan and the Bulls’ “Last Dance,” NFL Draft trainwreck potential

On Sunday night, ESPN premiered its long-awaited documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, “The Last Dance,” airing the first two episodes in the 10-part series. The guys rejoice at having new sports content to watch for the first time in forever and share memories of the ’90s Bulls, including being in the building for Jordan’s last game in Cleveland as a player for Chicago. (Watch Bulls at Cavs on April 9, 1998)

Plus: The disaster potential for the virtual NFL Draft on Thursday night, and sports following the lead of WWE’s “Boneyard Match” at WrestleMania and having fun with how big events are pulled off in the shelter-in-place era.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Chicago Tribune | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, March 27, 2020

Episode 173 – March memories: Tom Withers on being courtside for Duke-Kentucky ’92

With no March Madness this year, CBS is dusting off some classic NCAA tournament games to fill airtime. Last Saturday afternoon, that included a replay of the Duke vs. Kentucky regional final from 1992, considered by many the greatest game of all time. Tom Withers, now a sportswriter for the Associated Press in Cleveland, was courtside in the Spectrum to cover the game. He joins The Nail to share memories of a crazy Saturday night in Philadelphia, Christian Laettner somehow avoiding an ejection and then hitting the buzzer-beating game-winner, the mostly forgotten miraculous shot by Kentucky’s Sean Woods, and the challenge of trying to write about an all-time thriller on deadline.

Plus: Withers talks about his new second job—serving as an assistant coach for the Westlake High School varsity girls basketball team—and the impact his work as a sportswriter has had on his coaching, and vice versa.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Duke Athletics | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Episode 172 – Passing time with sports on pause

A week ago, Bill Bender of the Sporting News was covering college basketball and gearing up for a trip to Cleveland to cover the NCAA tournament. It goes without saying that a lot has changed in the days since. Bender drops by The Nail to talk about sports being put on pause, where things could be headed in the coming months, getting an occasional break from serious news headlines on Facebook thanks to NFL free agency, and the joys of playing classic sports video games with his kids.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo by Bill Bender via Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Episode 171 – 2020 MAC tournament: Filled with suspense in an empty arena

This year’s Mid-American Conference tournament will be a made-for-TV event, as concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have led the league to restrict the list of attendees at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to family members of players, credentialed university and team personnel, and media. Jason Arkley, Ohio University beat writer for the Athens Messenger, joins the show to discuss the MAC’s decision and how other leagues are handling similarly tough calls.

On the court, this year’s MAC tourney appears to be wide open, especially with Buffalo, winner of four of the past five years, bowing out in the first round on Monday. Arkley details Ohio’s surge in the second half of the season under first-year coach Jeff Boals, how former OU coach John Groce has rebuilt Akron into becoming the top seed in this year’s bracket, and rest of the teams and players to watch (on TV from the comfort of your home).


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo by Seth Davis via Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Episode 170 – Romo’s millions, YouTube TV vs. Sinclair, and more sports media headlines

The YouTube TV vs. Sinclair battle that threatened to take Cavs and Indians games off TV in some Northeast Ohio houses has been resolved—for now. Was this fight a preview of what subscribers to other TV providers should expect soon? Tony Romo just got an ungodly sum of money to keep calling NFL games for CBS, sending ESPN back to the drawing board as it tries to reinvent Monday Night Football. Will the answer finally include Peyton Manning and a trade with NBC for legendary play-by-play man Al Michaels?

And finally, why have the NBA’s broadcast partners struggled to find their next generation of commentators? Frequent Nail guest Mark Meszoros is back on the show to discuss those sports media topics and more.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Episode 169 – MLB, NFL and NBA reinventing the wheel, and wait, THIS is the XFL?

The major sports leagues in the U.S. are throwing out a lot of radical ideas to drive up interest these days. MLB is proposing a new postseason with seven teams per league and the top clubs choosing their first-round opponents. The NBA wants to let four teams fight it out for the final two playoff berths in each conference. Meanwhile, as the NFL keeps trying to figure out ways to make flex scheduling possible for Monday Night Football and also get a 17th game on the schedule, a new spring league with an old name has launched with some intriguing innovations that could someday show up on Sundays in the fall.

This week, the guys discuss the surprisingly entertaining debut for the reborn XFL and the aforementioned wild proposals trending in pro sports. Plus: Being out of the country during the Super Bowl, and how the legacy of David Stern has shaped the way national NBA media cover non-glamour market teams like the Cavs.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Episode 168 – Christopher Daniels on AEW ‘Dynamite’ in Cleveland

All Elite Wrestling, the upstart company that launched last January, brings its weekly TNT show “Dynamite” to the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University on Wednesday night. Veteran wrestler Christopher Daniels, who doubles as the company’s head of talent relations, joins The Nail to talk about AEW’s first year in business, what (and who) sold him on joining the new promotion, and how AEW has carved out a niche with wrestling fans by building a diverse roster that features familiar faces like Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes as well as rising stars like Darby Allin, MJF and Sammy Guevara.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from All Elite Wrestling | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Episode 167 – A crash course on new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski with The Athletic’s Arif Hasan

The Browns introduced Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach on Tuesday. To learn more about the Browns’ latest hire, the guys tracked down Arif Hasan, a writer for The Athletic in Minnesota who has covered the Vikings since 2011. Hasan discusses Stefanski’s rise through the Vikings organization and how he is viewed in Minnesota, how his personality, skillset and philosophies translate into a head coaching position, and how much he will be willing to adapt to the roster he will be taking over in Cleveland.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin