Friday, September 09, 2005

Tryin' to be like Mark

After all the media had cleared out of the Damon Jones press conference yesterday at Gund, ahem, Quicken Loans, Arena, Danny Ferry wanted to talk baseball.

Next door the Indians were about to start another winning effort. One of his best friends, Tribe GM Mark Shapiro, has his budding masterpiece continuing to mature. Count Ferry as one of those who is in awe of Shapiro's work rebuilding the Indians and how is long ago promise of "2005 is our year" is coming true.

Ferry only wishes he's half as successful with his maneuvers.

Several e-mailers over the last week have suggested Danny Ferry be made president, or at least the head of FEMA. I'll, too, tip my cap to Ferry this offseason. He had a massive responsibility: to properly spend $28 million in cap space. He added a dynamic potential superstar in Larry Hughes, re-signed an All-Star in his prime in Zydrunas Ilgauskas, added a multi-talented veteran who can shoot and play multiple positions in Donyell Marshall, and picked up probably the best shooter on the open market in Damon Jones.

As evidenced by the e-mails and some of the talk shows I've heard, many fans are down right giddy with the moves. I'll say, too, that for the most part I think Ferry has done an excellent job. I think he paid fair market value for Jones and Marshall and actually got Hughes to turn down more guaranteed money from the Wizards. I think he gave Z too many years (5 for $53 million), but I guess he did what he had to do get the deal done.

However, the reason Ferry feels a little envy for Shapiro is that his buddy's had much more time to do his job and now knows many of his bets have paid off. Shapiro was given years to rebuild, Ferry's Cavs better win this year or else.

With all these guys now in long-term deals and Eric Snow and Ira Newble signed for many years, the Cavs are pretty much locked into this roster. Any player can be traded and any deal can be made, but for the most part these are your Cavs. It's Ferry's best shot at this point in time and he knows all too well exactly what I'd say to fans: He's worked hard, he's spent money, but the proof will be in the win-loss record, not the preseason excitement.

Those who love Ferry today, could be ready to string him up tomorrow.

Borrowing from George Will's view of having fidelity to his staunch conservatism, sum it up like this: The NBA is a demanding mistress and she can really pass out migraines.

p.s. ESPN Insider John Hollinger is good at digesting all sorts of statistics and compiling various lists. Last month he wrote this on free agent shooters. If you don't have insider, he determined Damon Jones was the second best available shooter on the free agent market and Donyell Marshall was third. The 76ers' Kyle Korver was first.

p.p.s. I'll have some more links for you later, currently is acting up and I can't link my recent stories on Jones or my notebook today where I report the Cavs may sign Alan Henderson.

Take care all,