The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 13, 2013

SPORTVIEW: Baseball biggies go thud; Browns go with 'Chud'

By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor

OPINION — I remember when I was growing up, and first playing sports, my dad always told me: “Cheaters never win.”

Well, obviously that was before athletes started using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. In baseball, those kind of cheaters won a lot of games as pitchers or won a lot of games with home runs as hitters.

But the alleged cheating finally caught up with some when it comes to getting votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame. When Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa came up for the first time on ballots this year, they were rejected by big margins.

And with the biggies getting the boot, nobody received the required votes for the regular induction.

Unless there is a big shift in the minds of the voters about putting in cheaters, they have no hope. And that’s as it should be.

But how many players actually used PEDs? I’m sure we’ll never know for certain. And down the road, there actually could be some dopers sneak in.

Still, for now, my faith in sports ethics was restored. And when it comes to the Hall of Fame, I can only hope that cheaters never win!

ä I am actually pleased with the Browns hiring their new coach  —  Rob Chudzinski. I’m especially pleased that he goes by the nickname of ‘Chud’ because that’s easier to fit in a headline.

While he’s not a “big-name” guy, he has great experience as an assistant coach in the NFL. And I like him better than taking a chance on some college coach like Chip Kelly out of Oregon, who most media thought would be the next guy to head the Browns.

Of course, Kelly decided to stay in college coaching at least for another year.

However, that was two straight years that Kelly acted like he wanted to take an NFL job and then went the other way. If I were an NFL owner I would never consider him again.

And I’d like to see if Chud can work with Brandon Weeden and make him a better quarterback.

Weeden just did not fit the Browns offensive system last year, but Chud should be able to adapt the offense to make Weeden more effective.

If Weeden learns how to find open receivers and trust his judgment, he can be exceptional because he has a gun for an arm. And he is throwing to a group of young, developing receivers who have potential.

Once they get rid of that West Coast offense and fire the ball down the field, that will open up more running lanes for Trent Richardson.

The Browns actually are the on the edge of becoming a very good team. And we’ve seen teams take huge jumps in just one year because of the league’s salary cap.

If Chud does what I think he can do, the Browns could make the playoffs next year and look to be one of the better teams in the league for the next several years.