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The Waterboy's Diary - By Bart Wilson Archives for 2023-04

Cleveland Cavaliers

Dear Diary,
Tonight, is a make-or-break moment for the team. It’s been six years since the Cavaliers have been to the playoffs and we’re possibly going to get knocked out after the first round. We’re losing to the New York Knicks! The Knicks! I know I’m getting heated but their best player, Jalen Brunson, is averaging 24 points in the postseason after having a subpar career with the Mavericks. On top of that, his supporting cast is RJ Barrett and John Randle. I’m not trying to knock down any of these guys, but the Cavaliers should wipe the floor with them.

I think what’s hindering them is the ability to play on the road. This season, the Cavaliers were 20-21 on the road compared to a 31-10 record at home. The team also has a lot of players who have never played in the post-season - Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Isaac Okoro. This is also a young team when you take out Donovan Mitchell, Robin Lopez, Danny Green, and Ricky Rubio. 

So, what are we going to do tonight? 

I think they really can’t change anything up because if you look at the stats for the past 4 games, they’re the same compared with the Knicks. The only thing the Cavaliers have going for them is that it’s at home and ESPN is predicting them to win tonight with a 57.9% chance. Now, I’m not a betting man, but I think this series could continue to a game 6 and then it’s up to the Cavaliers to get it to game 7 while on the road. That’s if I’m looking ahead. We are really going to need the Cleveland faithful to make a lot of noise tonight. I will be extra prepared tonight to fulfill everyone’s hydration needs. 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

Dear Diary,

Well, we finally lost this season. It was bound to happen at some point, right? Nothing stays perfect forever unless you play college football or basketball. The team was so close to claiming the second spot in MLB history with the most wins while being undefeated. We tied with the 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers for second place, but still standing atop the leader board is the 1884 St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association who went 20-0, according to ESPN.

Should the team be panicking right now after our first loss? No, because that’s what happens in the MLB. There are plenty of games to play this season, but since that first loss, we have only won 2 of our last 5 games. Plus, the teams that we beat were last or second to last in their leagues. That could be a problem for us when we inch closer to playing the Yankees who are behind us in second place for the AL East.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer since we finally lost and think all hope is gone. I want to focus on some positives that have happened so far this year. Like, Randy Arozarena currently has a .306 batting average and is tied in 3rd place in the MLB for most RBIs with 17. We also have an extremely talented Wander Franco on the team that has accumulated 13 RBIs and 4 HRs. Then we have Shane McClanahan who has been performing really well with a 1.57 ERA and 27 strikeouts. While Drew Rasmussen has recorded a 2.60 ERA and 19 strikeouts. As the season continues, if we win or lose, the start to this new season was outstanding. Right now, I just want to make sure the guys are well hydrated, so they can perform to the best of their ability.

Jeff Okudah

Dear Diary,

This week has been so exciting within the Falcons organization. We finally added some more talent to our struggling defense. Jeff Okudah is a great addition to this organization and makes our other additions well worth the money we have spent. Adding Okudah is going to help us with pass protection even though he has been injured for most of his career. He may be shaky coming into the new season, but this guy is a competitor. He did still make an impact on the Lions defense last season recording 59 solo tackles, which means he can make things happen when stuck in open space. He’ll need those type of skills if he wants the starting job because Casey Hayward currently sits atop the leader board in the right Corner Back position. By adding Okudah to the roster it will make our defense even stronger with new teammates Safety Jessie Bates III (Bengals), Defensive Linemen Calias Campbell (Ravens), Defensive Linemen David Onyemata (Saints), and Linebacker Kaden Ellis (Saints). I was getting so tired of how we played as a defense last season by giving up an average of 360 yards of offense per game. That also included how poorly we defended the passing game by letting our opponents throw for over 230 yards a game, and don’t even get me started on the running game. It made sense that our defense was ranked 27th in the league because we just couldn’t compete whenever the opposing team had the ball. That’s why so many games that our offense kept us in were spoiled by how poorly the defense would try to defend our lead. Now, is the time to turn the tables and the Falcons have a legit chance to rise within the NFC South. You look at the other competitors within the division and see the Buccaneers, Panthers, and Saints. The Falcons have a very good chance to either be first or second because all of those have either lost a key player or need one. This all depends on if the team can gel with each other and if Desmond Ridder can step up on offense and make some big plays utilizing Drake London and Kyle Pitts. I think we are heading in the right direction and I’m not going to say that this team is playoff ready, but they have the potential to be a playoff team in a couple of seasons. Falcon football might be on the rise since that devastating loss in the Super Bowl. This is a step in the right direction.

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