Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Keep Frye out of the frying pan

Earth to Cleveland Browns fans! Earth to Browns fans!

Leave Charlie Frye, the wildly popular rookie from the University of Akron, alone.

Frye isn't ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, or even make a significant contribution as Cleveland's No. 2 signal-caller.

He may be cut from the same cloth as fellow Mid-American Conference quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers - big arm, well-versed in the vertical passing game - but Big Ben fell into a great situation last season: veteran ballclub, great ground game, excellent receivers, killer defense.

Roethlisberger's plum assignment a year ago was: don't mess things up. Needless to say, the Steelers were pleasantly surprised when Roethlisberger proved he could do more than take the snap from center without fumbling and hand off to Jerome Bettis.

Frye is facing a totally different situation. He's a young quarterback on a rebuilding football team. Playing him before he's ready - and until the Browns surround him with respectable offensive talent - would be unfair to everyone.

Browns fans went crazy when Frye replaced veteran Doug Johnson in the fourth quarter of Friday's 23-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Frye didn't disappoint, displaying his usual gunslinger derring-do and guiding Cleveland to the go-ahead touchdown in exciting fashion.

For his next trick, Frye will hopefully watch from the sideline as starting quarterback Trent Dilfer and Johnson take their lumps while attempting to lead the Browns back to respectability.

The Browns made a great choice drafting Frye in the third round. They'll make an even better decision by treating him like their quarterback of the future and not playing him before he's ready.

THE TRUTH HURTS, so it isn't surprising that Americans are having difficulty believing a report in a French newspaper that fellow countryman Lance Armstrong used a performance-enhancing drug to help him win his first Tour de France race in 1999.

Battle lines have been drawn, with Americans squarely behind Armstrong, and the rest of the cycling world lined up against him.

It doesn't help Armstrong's defense that, thanks to baseball's Rafael Palmiero, no no longer means no in the court of public opinion.

Armstrong is a cancer survivor. His courage is inspirational. For that reason, I'll always give him the benefit of the doubt. It's going to take more than a questionable six-year-old test sample to make me believe he's guilty.

Armstrong once cheated death. Why would he need to cheat to win a race?

WHY ALL THE surprise over the dwindling number of blacks in baseball?

In 1975, around 27 percent of major league players were black. Thirty years later, the numbers have fallen to just under 9 percent.

With the increased popularity of football and basketball, blacks have gravitated away from baseball.

The NBA and NFL are now dominated by blacks, while baseball is dominated by Latins and whites.

Black kids who play sports aspire to be the next LeBron James or Michael Vick, rather than the next Barry Bonds.

The lack of blacks in baseball isn't a phenomenon as much as it is a way of life.

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