Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, May 03, 2009
And she calls herself a Dodgers fan......
I am not sure if you heard about this, I barely did, but anyways, apparently Forbes (don't ask, I don't know why they did it) made a list of the most intense baseball rivalries. According to the article, their formula was...
"To calculate our list, we looked at every season since 1950 and tabulated how many times the two clubs had finished first and second in their division and how often they'd finished the season within five games of one another. Weighted equally with those two stats in our methodology is how much the meetings matter to fans--in other words, how much extra money people are willing to pay for a ticket."
Anywho, there are some surprises in my opinion, and I am not talking about the Red Sox vs. Yankees not coming it a #1, but I may be talking a certain team that appears at 3 and 4. Here is the list...
10.) Oakland Athletics & Chicago White Sox
9.) New York Mets & Atlanta Braves
8.) Houston Astros & St. Louis Cardinals
7.) New York Mets & Philadelphia Phillies
6.) Chicago Cubs & St. Louis Cardinals
5.) Pittsburgh Pirates & Philadelphia Phillies
4.) Chicago White Sox & Cleveland Indians
3.) Detroit Tigers & Cleveland Indians
2.) New York Yankees & Boston Red Sox
1.) San Fransisco Giants & Los Angles Dodgers
As for its brief explanations...
3. Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians
One-two divisional finishes: one
Close season finishes (five games or less): 15
Current ticket markup: 15%
Until the American League broke apart into divisions, these two were almost always overshadowed by the specter of the Yankees and Red Sox. The Tigers' World Series appearance in 2006 and the pennant race between the Tigers and the Indians the following year stoked the rivalry a bit, but it's a large step down from the first two rivalries on our list. While the teams finished within five games of each other 15 times from 1950 to 2008, they've only finished first and second once.
4. Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians
One-two divisional finishes: eight
Close season finishes (five games or less): 10
Current ticket markup: zero
This rivalry's best moments likely came in the fictional Major League films, in which Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes) and Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) led the Indians into the playoffs against the vilified White Sox, who they then defeated in the sequel. Life imitated art during the mid-1990s as the two teams duked it out atop the American League Central, though neither ever went on to win a World Series during the rivalry of the 1990s. The commissioner threw a monkey wrench in this rivalry in 1969 when he moved the Sox to the American League West, where they'd stay until 1994.
The article also has a quote from 1 major leaguer, and for whatever reason, they chose this guy...
"No matter how bad a season it is for the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, Yankees or Red Sox, these teams' fans turn out in high volume for divisional contests. For less celebrated rivalries, like the Indians and Tigers, local and national fans often don't take as much notice unless a coveted October appearance is at stake.
"If you're in L.A., Chicago or New York, you get the constant bombardment about the match-ups, and many more people are interested in those games because they have established a connection with them," says the Cleveland Indians' Jensen Lewis, a set-up reliever now in his third Major League Season. "For a mid- to small-market team, the rivalries are most intense when you're in a pennant race."
Lewis cites the 2007 showdown between the Indians and the Detroit Tigers, when Detroit were the defending American League champs and Cleveland held a small lead late in the season. "We had our biggest crowds of the season for that three-game series," says Lewis. The Indians won the series and went on to win the division."
(To view the actual list, you have to click on the "In Depth" link)
So anyways, I just thought I would share that. I am not sure I completley agree, and maybe they are right that the media over hypes some things, it still feels like some of those rivalries are a little bigger than the Indians. I also think the Indians and Yankees is worth mentioning, but A.) it was probably bigger before the divisions changed formats and B.) for the same reason that the Cardinals and Cubs got bumped down, for the most part, its been pretty one-sided, though I think the 2007 playoff series was a pretty classic example of whatever rivalry exists there.
P.S. I am starting to get worried about this 2009 ballclub.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Welcome back. I made this post in part because I check this page daily, so I know when the blogs I read have been updated, without having to check them all individually, and I am sick of seeing that Fox News video every time, so I needed something fresh.
There are 2 days until President Bush moves back to Texas, and about 77 or so days until the Indians open the season against Bush's former team, the Rangers, in Arlington. Coincidence? I don't see how it could be. I wonder if George will throw out the first pitch.....
Anyways, there are also less than 25 days until Pitchers and Catchers report, which is wonderful news. And while I of course would enjoy a Steelers victory this evening, a super bowl victory won't even be as exciting to me as some come from behind win in May could be.
So anyways, I don't know how I often I will post, but if there is some news I feel like putting here, so goes it....
First, while just looking at the Texas Rangers site to see if tickets were available for opening day, in what could be a 5 hour drive for you (how much for a flight from Houston to Dallas?), the top story on the Rangers website is that they are attempting to sign Omar Vizquel to a deal as a utility infielder. The Rangers, as I am sure you know, asked 2008 Gold Glove winning shortstop Michael Young, to move over to third base, to make room for some hot prospect. So signing Omar would serve as a good fit, so he could give this kid days off, and is there really any one you would rather have mentor a young kid SS than Omar?
Now, the point at hand... For legal reasons I should mention I got this information from Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer, and was pointed in that direction from the DiaTribe blog on the right.
"As the Indians ponder how to divide up the catching duties between Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach, they are considering this: Shoppach will catch Cliff Lee, Martinez will handle Fausto Carmona. Lee had a Cy Young season throwing to Shoppach in 2008 (when Martinez was mostly injured), and Carmona won 19 games in 2007 pitching primarily to Martinez.
In 2008, Carmona had a 7.39 ERA (39 innings) throwing to Shoppach compared to 4.57 (63 innings) to Martinez. In 2007, Carmona had a 2.74 ERA (210 innings) with Martinez, and gave up nine runs in five innings to Shoppach. So there seems to be a reason to pair Carmona/Martinez.
There also is data for Lee/Shoppach. In 2008, Lee had a 2.13 ERA (198 2/3 innings) with Shoppach compared to 5.84 ERA (24 2/3 innings) with Martinez. In 2007, Lee was at 7.35 ERA (74 2/3 innings) with Martinez, 2.78 (22 2/3 innings) with Shoppach."
Interesting information there, and if the Indians decide to follow through with this, if I were writing the opening day lineup, it would look like this...
1. Sizemore - CF
2. Derosa - 3B
3. Martinez - 1B
4. Peralta - SS
5. Hafner - DH
6. Shoppach - C
7. Choo - RF
8. Fransisco - LF
9. Cabrera - 2B
Peralta was too good after taking over the clean-up spot to take it away from him, and Travis has a lot to prove anyways, so I think that could be pretty close to how it looks, though 6-8 could be mixed up.
Two other things worth mentioning. Andy Marte's name is almost never brought up, it too many, it would be an absolute shock if he makes the roster. The only chance he has is for Derosa, Peralta or Cabrera to get hurt, and he still might be out of luck. Also in the never get mentioned category is Dellucci, who, as has been said, if the Indians are going to give Garko, Barfield and Derosa looks in the outfield, while I expect Dellucci to make the team, I would be surprised if he is still on the team by the end of the season.
Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer also reported that the Indians looked into signing Brad Penny, but he had more interest in playing for the Red Sox, so for him to sign with the Indians, they were going to have to shell out a good deal more than the $5 mill for 1-year Boston gave him. The Indians also looked in to Jon Garland, someone I had interest in, but didn't want to give him the multi-year deal he so desires (and has yet to get). One last not from Hoynes "Adam Miller, however, is favored to win the [7th and final bullpen] job. The Indians are still buzzing about the way he threw in the Dominican Republic this winter. They think he can benefit from being around Wood." The other 6 are of course Wood, Perez, J. Lewis, Bentancourt, Smith and Kobayashi.
And finally, as pointed to in the DiaTribe too, with less than 25 days until Spring Training, the following players are still unemployed, and in many cases, their markets and potential value, is probably shrinking. Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Oliver Perez, Orlando Hudson, Bobby Abreu, Brandon Lyon, Orlando Cabrera, Ben Sheets, Andy Pettite, Joe Crede, Jon Garland, Ken Griffey Jr., Pedro Martinez, Ivan Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Eric Gagne, Nomar Garciaparra, and many more.
Anywho, thats all for now. Hope you enjoyed it, feel free to reply here or there.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I don't understand this business that this news could not be reported until after the election. This lady could have been elected VP yesterday, and didn't know Africa was a continent, or who was in NAFTA?! WHA..... And this is a Fox News report. Fox News!!! If they are willing to report this, is it possible there is some even dumber stuff they won't talk about? Crazy.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Arlen Specter aint the only one. (And I guess we know why John Kerry cares more about Baseball issues.)
Apparently, though the election is only a few days away, a few Senators are not treating this time as a vacation, but rather, working pretty hard on the big issues....
Senators Want More NFL On Tv
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senators have asked the pro football commissioner to tackle the issue of making more game day TV broadcasts available to fans for free on the NFL Network.
The league has said it provides free broadcasts in the home cities of competing teams. But 13 lawmakers said in a letter this week to Roger Goodell that the NFL is too narrowly interpreting what is a home city.
"The policy leaves behind NFL fans across the country simply because they live outside cities to which the NFL has granted franchises," according to the letter made public Wednesday. For example, the NFL does not consider the western Pennsylvania town of Johnstown part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' home market, the letter said.
The senators want quick action so fans in every market receive free TV access to games played by their closest team or the team it has been historically aligned to. Eight games will air this season on the NFL Network, which is not available everywhere. The league is in a dispute with major cable companies over whether they should carry the channel as part of a basic package.
This not the first time Congress has gotten involved. Late last year, Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the NFL threatening to reconsider the league's antitrust exemption if it didn't make games on the NFL Network available to more viewers.
The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
In addition to Specter and Leahy, lawmakers who signed the new letter were: Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both D-R.I.; Pete Domenici, R-N.M.; Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo.; Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Ken Salazar, D-Colo.; Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent; Wayne Allard, R-Colo.; and John Thune, R-S.D.
As well, I guess I have to issue a retraction of sort to the Mark Tehan deal....
I think this tackles the issue best....
Sunday, October 26, 2008
According to multiple reports, the Tribe is talking to the Royals about third baseman Mark Teahen. The Royals, who are searching for a center fielder to move David DeJesus to left, might be interested in Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco or Minor Leaguer Trevor Crowe.
This wouldn't be the first time Kansas City has shown interest in Gutierrez and Francisco. The Royals were believed to be interested in both players when the two American League Central Division clubs discussed a trade for Octavio Dotel in 2007. That trade was never consummated.
The 27-year-old Teahen hasn't played third base regularly since 2006. He was moved to the outfield to make room for Alex Gordon.
Teahen was the 39th overall selection in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft by the A's. He was traded to the Royals in 2004.
Over four Major League seasons, the left-handed-hitting Teahen has batted .268 with 47 homers and 243 RBIs in 532 games. In '08, he hit .255 with 15 homers, 31 doubles, four triples, a .313 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage in 149 games.
Gutierrez began '08 as the Indians' everyday right fielder before sliding into more of a part-time role. He hit .248 with eight homers and 41 RBIs in 134 games.
Francisco began the year at Triple-A Buffalo but was a full-time big leaguer by early May. He hit .266 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 121 games.
Crowe, a first-round selection by the Indians in the 2005 Draft, began the year at Double-A Akron and finished it with Buffalo. All told, he hit .302 with nine homers and 41 RBIs in 49 games at Akron and 35 at Buffalo.
The Indians have an opening at third base because of the trade that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers and the generally unimpressive season turned in by Andy Marte. The Tribe is also considering acquiring a second baseman and moving Asdrubal Cabrera to shortstop and Jhonny Peralta to third.
As the Indians went through a series of postseason meetings, the need for a third starter behind Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona became apparent. That man was supposed to be Jake Westbrook, but he's recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery and not expected back until the summer. A year ago, the hope was Aaron Laffey or Jeremy Sowers would have pitched themselves into that spot, but neither proved they were ready. Laffey (5-7, 4.23) did have some minor elbow problems at the end of the season, and that may have been what led to some of his struggles. As for Sowers (4-9, 5.58), he was given 22 starts to prove he belonged -- and had major problems.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Well, I guess I can try and keep you updated on rumors of possible Indians transactions. That way, if something happens, I can say "you heard it here first".
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Some final thoughts or things I wanted to mention.
Some of this information came from Jayson Starks Rumblings and Grumblings on espn.com, some of it came from the DiaTribe blog which is linked to up top on the right, and some of it is just my own good ol' research and observations.
First off, Greg Maddux had an outing on Saturday that I for one was mighty impressed by. He went 6 innings, and threw only 47 pitches to it. I hope you appreciate what a low number of pitches that is. He was helped by having three innings where he only threw 6 pitches. Another interesting thing about Maddux, he was the only Padre to have a stolen base in the month of July. Also worth noting I guess, in that game on Saturday, Omar Vizquel helped to turn his 1,700 career double play.
The White Sox became the first team to end the regular season beating three different teams on three straight days. Maybe my TV is just dark, but I liked their fans "black out" more than Georgia's,... maybe it is because it actually worked this time (though, fyi, i predicted a Alabama win) Congratulations to these guys I guess....
CC Sabathia lead the American League (along with 8 other guys including Cliff Lee) in Shutouts with two. He also lead the National League (along with teammate Ben Sheets) in Shutouts with three. I do not know the last time someone lead both leagues in such a category. His numbers for the year, between the two leagues, were 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA.
In case you didn't know, Sabathia and the rest of the Brew Crew's impressive performance on Sunday may have helped the Indians a little more. According to an article in the Plain Dealer from a few weeks ago, and never confirmed or denied by the Indians, the player to be named in the CC deal, which is supposedly the second most important part behind Matt Laporta, will be selected by the Indians. If the Brewers missed the playoffs, than they got to decide who we would get.
As I said the other night, perhaps the most disappointing thing about this season, is that the Indians only needed to win 89 games to be in the playoffs. They won 96 games last year, and they won 93 game sin 2005 and missed the playoffs. It would have been easier to swallow if the Twins or White Sox could have at least pretended to be a little dominant. But I was thinking, since the Indians won 81 games, that means they were just 8 wins short of missing October. Think about this.... in CC's first four games, the team went 1-3 as he gave up 5, 4, 9 and 9 runs in those starts. If we flip that, and he goes 3-1, that's 83 wins already. Now look at the 10 game losing streak, and lets just say we could have gone a conservative 2-8 during that. Now we are at 85 wins. And, we would be in a little better position, so let' say we don't trade CC. Paul Byrd turned it around in the second half, could we have not won 4 more games? It obviously doesn't matter now, but when you think about it, and how good we were in the second half, it is even more disappointing.
Speaking of how good we were in the second half.... After the All-Star break, the Indians led, not just the AL, but all of MLB in runs scored with 379. After assuming the closers role on August 8th, Jensen Lewis went 13-13 in save opportunities, good for third best in the big leagues, and had a better ERA and more saves in that than Jonathon Papelbon, Kerry Wood and JJ Putz. After the All-Star break, Shin-Soo Choo had the third best OPS in the AL. And you may think he didn't have as many at-bats, so what good is that, but he actually had more at bats than the two guys in front of him, Mark Teixera and Melvin Mora. And that Kelly Shoppach guy, he had the 8th highest OPS after the break, while also leading all catchers in the AL in home runs over the entire season.
Now, looking over the whole season, that Grady fellow trailed only Alex Rodriguez in the AL in a stat known as VORP. It stands for Value over Replacement Player, and according to wikipedia it "demonstrates how much a hitter contributes offensively or how much a pitcher contributes to his team in comparison to a fictitious "replacement player," who is an average fielder at his position and a below average hitter. A replacement player performs at "replacement level," which is the level of performance an average team can expect when trying to replace a player at minimal cost, also known as "freely available talent." So, that may be kind of confusing, but it is still important. Another interesting thing about this VORP stat, is that highest ranked AL Shortstop is Jhonny. Now you could argue that SS is not a hitters position, but than I would inform you even if Jhonny were moved to third base, he would come in second behind A-Rod at that position. Oh yeah, and that Choo fellow,... he came in 30th place, ahead of guys like David Ortiz, Michael Young and J.D. Drew.
Here are some in season quotes. I as going to include the Ralph Nader one you mentioned here, but I won't... (From Rumblings and Grumblings)
From Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, on the late, great Yankee Stadium:
"It's a place where men become children -- and children never forget as men."
And thanks to the Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers for passing along this quip from the White Sox's No. 1 pick, Gordon Beckham, on his first impression of the inimitable Ozzie Guillen:
"I hope to get up here and get yelled at sooner than later."
Here are two Ichrio quotes...
"All my teammates don't think what I'm wearing is good fashion. A lot of times, they can't believe what I'm wearing. But if you ask me, what they're wearing is a crime."
"Playing on this team and seeing what is happening around me, I feel that something is beginning to fall apart. But, if I was not in this situation, and I was objectively watching what just happened this week, I would probably be drinking a lot of beers and booing. Usually, I enjoy Japanese beer, but given the situation, if I was objectively watching the game, I wouldn't care if it was Japanese beer, American beer or beer from Papua New Guinea."
And finally, I have to imagine that in part to a spectacular catch made on the last day of the year in a game that didn't matter, the Indians should pick up at least two awards this year with Lee picking up the Cy and Grady winning another Gold Glove. Also, as I mentioned, Shin-Soo Choo won the AL player of the month for September (with Asdrubal being a finalist), but also in case you did not hear, Cliff Lee won AL Comeback Player of the Year. Also, Scott Lewis is one of three candidates for AL Rookie of the Month for September after going 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA. And also, the Indians fired, or released, or let go, Luis Issac today. Issac had been the bullpen coach since 1993, and been with the Indiains in some capacity since 1965. Wedge said he was not blaming him for the bullpen woes, and pretty much said he didn't do anything wrong, but I guess that is the first of what will hopefully be a few moves the Tribe make this offseason.
That reminds me, one other thought on Jensen Lewis.. I like him, and don't forget, he was the first person I said the Indians should try at closer when JoBlow was let go. I still think the Indians should try to sign a more established closer this off-season, but not freak out if they can't find anything. Worse case scenario if we do sign someone else, we will have at least two bonafide setup men with Perez and Lewis, and you never know if Bentancout can turn it around. My point is, I am not sure Lewis has "earned" or "deserves" to be the closer next year, but the front office has to be pleased with what they saw. Which brings me to one other point about the second half. With J.Lewis, Garko, Cabrera, Choo and Shoppach, just to name a few, the Indians have to be feeling a little better about next season than they did a few months ago, even before going into free agency and what not. I'm not saying they are all All Stars, but I think it gives the front office more flexibility in what they can do. (Speaking of AC, before being sent to Buffalo.. .184, 1 HR, 14 RBI's, after coming back... .320, 5 HRs, 33 RBIs.)
Ok, that's all for now. Go Rays. Go Angels. Go Brewers. Go Dodgers.
Oh yeah, click on this picture to check out these hotties in a picture I stumbled upon... (If nothing happens when you click it, go to properties, get the link, and check it out. It is desktop size and quality, so its a must see.)
That is (front row) Mrs.* Jason Michaels, Mrs.* Aaron Laffey and Mrs. Casey Blake. (second row) Mrs. Eric Wedge, Mrs. Dan Williams, Mrs. Jhonny Peralta, Mrs. CC Sabathia and Mrs. Cliff Lee.
The one's with "*"s were fiances at the time of the picture, so hopefully Mrs. Jason Michaels woke up and smelled the hair gel before going through with that marriage. You have no idea who Dan Williams is. He is the bullpen catcher. And I knew that without even having to look it up. How pathetic am I?
Monday, September 22, 2008
Also, the Indians have the second best record in the AL since July 10, and have gone 42-26 since trading CC "worthless" Sabathia. Should of done it sooner.
(Nice picture from tonight, though neither made the catch....)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The 2009 MLB schedule was released today, and some worthwhile tidbits...
As expected, the Indians open in Texas on Monday, April 6. They then go home for three with Toronto, and then right back on the road to play Kansas City, and then to New York to play in a the first ever series at the new Yankees Staduim, a four game set.
Three games against Boston during the week, last week of April. Than two games in Boston first week of May. Do not see them again until the last series of the season, a four game set, Oct. 1-4. As noted there, the season does not end until the fourth. If the World Series goes to a game seven, it would end on November 5.
Interleague plays sees 3 in Cincy, 3 at home against St. Louis, 3 at home against Milwaukee, 3 in Chicago (NL), 3 in Pittsburgh, and 3 at home against Cincy.
Also, from Indians.com...
"Unlike this 2008 season, when nearly half the Tribe's home games were played in April and May, the summer months will feature plenty of action at Progressive Field. A total of 63 home games will be played from Memorial Day through the end of the season, which is 12 more than this year.
The Tribe will play 12 home games in April, 13 in May, 15 in June, nine in July, 14 in August and 18 in September, with the division-rival Tigers (Sept. 22-24) and White Sox (Sept. 28-30) both visiting during the final homestand. "
Also, the season is starting and ending a bit later because of the World Baseball Classic.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I assume you heard, but...
The Jets lost kicker Mike Nugent to a thigh injury during the first half against the Dolphins. Nugent left the game late in the first quarter after a missed 32-yard field goal attempt, appearing to favor the injury. The Jets don’t have another placekicker on the roster, and the injury was serious enough for the team to not attempt a field goal on a fourth-and-13 from the Dolphins’ 22-yard line on the following drive. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. Punter Ben Graham is handling kickoff duties for the Jets.
Thanks for the info about the OSU recruit. I had not heard, but in 2-3 years, we should be a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully we will be that way
On the Warpath, as they say...
Lee won 21 today, Scott Lewis was called up and will start Wednesday, Looks like Pronk will return Tuesday, Lee is now 2 wins away for tying the club record of wins by a lefty, Jamey Carroll is the commish of the Indians fantasy football league, I believe he took over for CC.
From espn.com... "Lee, who leads the majors with 21 wins, is 10-0 in 11 starts since a July 6 loss at Minnesota. In those 11 starts, Lee has a 1.84 ERA. He lowered his major league leading ERA to 2.28."
The blog will be on hiatus these next few days as I am on the move. Hopefully the move will be well documented on this blog, in the very near future.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
But at least he got to enjoy the party....
Hafner spent a half-hour in the trainer's room before joining his new teammates in celebration in the home clubhouse that was plastered in clear plastic as players sprayed champagne and beer at anything that moved.
"Hafner! Hafner! Hafner!" went the chant while the giddy Aeros shook the remaining bottles of bubbly over his head. When they ran out of the good stuff, they went to beer. And when that ran dry, someone brought chocolate milk out of the nearby refrigerator to ensure the party continued. (MiLB.com)
Nick Swisher may soon have some company, as it looks like the Indians are strongly considering giving Anthony Reyes at least one start off, to rest his ailing elbow. The most likely candidate to get his start is that guy, Scott Lewis, 3rd round draft pick in 2004 out of The Ohio State University. He had Tommy John surgery at the end of his OSU time, but over the last two seasons has been pretty impressive, going "6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts at Akron in the regular season and 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts at Buffalo." (castroturf)
So, I really thought, that OSU would not have a game like todays this year. At least not so soon. I really believed that they were going to take it one game at a time, and focus harder than ever on winning a national title, by winning every game along the way. Clearly I was wrong. But for the most part, rather than blame the whole team, I mostly blame the Offensive Line. In the end it doesn't matter, and who cares if we drop down to #5 or something. We are going cross country to face the #1 team, and I have to imagine after todays performance, the team will have their heads on straight, and if we do lose, we will do it by playing our best possible football, but hopefully that will be enough to win, and I feel pretty good that it will be.
Friday, September 05, 2008
From the castroturf blog...
(The title of this was "He's a ringer." And I have to agree, isn't it interesting that we can have someone like this playing AA ball in the playoffs? I am sure the other team is not thrilled.)
Travis Hafner's grand slam capped a five-run rally in the bottom of the second inning, as Double-A Akron went on to a 6-2 win over Bowie in game three of the best-of-five Southern Division Championship Series. The Aeros now lead the series, 2-1.
Hafner went 1-for-3 with the grand slam and a walk.
Pronk will be back in the Akron lineup for game four, which takes place at 6:05 p.m. ET Saturday. Hafner's rehab assignment expires after Saturday, so expect to see him back with the Indians next week.
I did not get to see or hear any of tonights game, but the way the scoring happened is somewhat silly, I think.
Every SINGLE run of the 9 the Indians scored, came in off the bat of either a SINGLE or a DOUBLE PLAY, and in fact, Ryan Garko hit into both of the double plays that scored runners. It is my understanding that you don't get RBIs for that sort of thing. So that is 7 RBI singles, and two non-RBI Double Plays.
Week 1 - Whetstone 41, Briggs 6
Week 2 - Whetstone 42, Central Crossing (Grove City) 7
Week 3 - Whetstone 60, South 6
For a team that went 0-20 my junior and senior years, things are certainly looking up. My sources tell me they added a spread offense. (my sources being an article from This Week that popped up when I was searching for a picture to use with this post.
If the video is not working, you can view it here....
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Some stuff from ESPN's Jayson Stark
• Can you CC clearly now? Now that the Indians, incredibly, have reeled off nearly the same record since the CC Sabathia trade (30-20) as the Brewers (30-19), the most-asked question in baseball is: Where would the Indians be if they'd kept Sabathia instead of trading him? So we posed that very question to their vice president for baseball operations, Chris Antonetti. And one of the first things he did was to head for the ESPN.com standings page. He then dialed up the date of that trade (July 7) and reported that our own site (via the geniuses at coolstandings.com) was projecting back then that the chances of the Indians making the playoffs was 0.7 percent. Apparently, they didn't think that was too good. "I think it's human nature to go back and retroactively look at different decisions," Antonetti said. "But in life, you're left to make those decisions with the information you have at hand at the time. And the information we had at hand at the time was that our record wasn't good (37-51), and we had a number of key guys on the disabled list, and we just weren't getting enough performance from the vast majority of our players. So when we evaluated our chances of making the playoffs at the time, we just didn't think that was a very realistic possibility." And it's tough to disagree. Even if Sabathia had gone 9-0 in Cleveland over these last eight weeks, remember, that doesn't mean the Indians would have picked up nine games in the standings. In fact, Anthony Reyes -- a pitcher they then turned around and traded for before the trading deadline -- has a 2.01 ERA as an Indian. We can't even be sure CC would have beaten that.
• Ask for a Reyes: Speaking of Reyes, we're not sure how the Mets missed trading for him, since they now lead the league in Reyeses (Jose, Al and Argenis). But you might be shocked to learn that the Reyes they didn't trade for -- Anthony -- has been the third-best deadline acquisition among all starting pitchers dealt before the deadline. In fact, Reyes' 2.01 ERA in August was the eighth-best in baseball, behind a group of guys it's possible you've heard of: Sabathia (1.12), Francisco Liriano (1.23), Tim Lincecum (1.27), Brett Myers (1.65), Rich Harden (1.82), Cliff Lee (1.86) and Johan Santana (1.91). Back in St. Louis, Reyes didn't mesh with Cardinals pitching guru Dave Duncan's two-seam sinker philosophy. But now that Reyes is back to riding his four-seam fastball up in the strike zone in Cleveland, he looks more like the prospect he was once purported to be as a Cardinal. "He's your classic four-seam pitcher," said one scout. "He could command it a little better, probably. But he's rounded into shape. He's got that power-pitcher mentality. He has a good changeup. And I think he'll get his breaking ball going eventually. I don't know whether other people think they missed the boat on him. But I feel like we did."
It is about a church in town that put on its sign outside....
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I was also going to mention, I cleaned out my car today, and in there were the tapes of my interviews with the Indians for WCBE. One tape was from before the 1994 season, and the other was from before the 1995 season, which was news to me, because I had no idea this was more than a one time thing, but I guess it was.
Anyways, in 1994, I talked to no less than three members of the 500 Home Run club (Eddie Murray, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez) and another guy who will probably make the Hall of Fame to, in Omar.
I really just wanted to share with you Manny's advice to kids, which was "The only way you can win is to play hard, and say no to drugs". I feel like a lot of players from that era actually found out taking certain drugs doesn't hurt your chances either.
Anyways, I also notices that almost all of the Hispanic players, mentioned how important it was for kids to listen to their dads and moms, while American players did not mention that.
But also, from the 1995 tape, I only talked to Hargrove, and I was not aware of the situation. I did not know that the strike did not end until April 2, 1995, with replacement players about to take the field. So when the Ohio Cup happened, it was with replacement players. According to Wikipedia, here is how that game went down...
"With the 1994 Major League Baseball strike only coming to an end on April 2, replacement players traveled to Columbus to take part in the Ohio Cup. Teamsters picketed outside the stadium as snow fell. Two of the first three batters reached base on errors while the bundled-up crowd booed. With temperatures near freezing and replacements Tim Delgado and Rich Sauveur taking the mound, only a couple thousand fans made it out."
Anywho, in my interview I asked Hargrove what the rotation would look like, should the real players return, and he mentioned about six guys, but said if they went out and signed someone like Orel Hershiser, that could change. Well, they did go out and sign him, and I had the scoop.
Lastly, an interesting note regarding some replacement players. One of them, Brendan Donnelly, now plays for the Indians. As with other replacement players, he is not allowed in the Major League Baseball Players Union. Apparently this causes problems when you win the World Series....
(Wiki) "In 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004, players who were part of the World Series winning New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Anaheim Angels and Boston Red Sox were not permitted on commemorative merchandise because players on the teams were declared replacement players for their participation in spring training. The players who were noted are Shane Spencer of the 1998, 1999 and 2000 New York Yankees, Damian Miller of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, Brendan Donnelly of the 2002 Anaheim Angels and Kevin Millar of the 2004 Boston Red Sox."
It also causes problems on video games, since they are licensed by MLBPA, they cannot use non-members, so they have to make up fake names.
Speaking of which, as I am sure you knew, the union representative of the Indians was Casey Blake, so I am sure you were wondering who took over for him. It is of course, Ryan Garko...
If you are reading this, that is good, because it means your power has returned. I hope that Gustav did not cause you too many problems, and that your life will return to normal soon. If you still did not have power at night, that you missed this guy take care of business....
You also would have missed all the exciting facts and trivia regarding his accomplishment, so I will fill you in.
- First Indians 20 game winner since Gaylord Perry on Sept. 15, 1974.
- Perry pitched a 5 hit, complete game shutout. And so did Cliff Lee.
- Tonight was one year to the day, since Cliff Lee got called up from Buffalo. He has done a lot less of this, this year....
- After giving up hits to the first two batters of the game, he retired 21 straight.
- In 21 of his 27 starts, he has given up 2 runs or less, thus explaining his 2.32 ERA.
- Before tonight, the Indians had the longest drought of any team in the Majors without a 20 game winner (not counting Tampa Bay, Colorado and Florida, who have not had one yet.)
- Cleveland has the 2nd most 20 game winners in AL history.
- Lee is the first Indians pitcher to be the first Major Leaguer to 20 wins, since Bob Lemon in 1954.
- If Lee goes the rest of the year without losing a game, he will have the best winning percentage in a single season of any pitcher with a minimum of 20 decisions in the modern era of baseball (since 1900).
- His career record is now 74-38, a .661 winning percentage.
In my opinion, the 20 win things is great, but the fact that he is 20-2 is amazing. That includes the fact, that in four of his five no decisions, he has given up a total of four runs, including that start against Toronto when he gave up 0 runs in 9 innings. He could be 24-2 right now!
They talked to Mark Shapiro on the radio during the game, and he was surprisingly open about a wide range of topics, but he was asked if he was ever close to trading Lee. He said that they were never that close, but that the closest they got was for a certain someone who might win the MVP and was playing left field. He was obviously referring to this guy...
All he has done this year is hit .288 with 36 HR, 100 RBI and score 96 Runs. Anyways, I am glad he did not make the trade, though it would have worked out for both teams I guess, but it was interesting that Shapiro revealed what could have been.
The only other thing I was going to say, was the Cubs had a streak of 27 consecutive hits without an extra base hit. 27 straight singles, from Friday through today. I thought that was pretty wild.
Paul Byrd won his tenth game tonight.
That is all.
Congrats to the happy family....
P.S. Dad and I are going to the game today to see Fausto pitch, Victor catch for the first time since he came back, and all the youngsters who get called up tomorrow when the Indians roster expands.
Monday, September 01, 2008
CA CARLOS SANTANA who the Indians received from the LA Dodgers in the Casey Blake trade on July 26th has been promoted from Kinston to AA Akron... In 29 games at Kinston, he hit .352 (37-105) with 34 runs scored, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 6HR and 19RBI... Combined on the year, between Inland Empire and Kinston he is batting .330 (150-455) with 122 runs scored, 39 doubles, 5 triples, 20HR and 115RBI in 128 games... He leads ALL of Minor League Baseball in runs scored (122--20 more than anyone else) and is T2nd in RBI (115)... Santana will be in uniform for the Aeros tonight as they take on the Erie Sea Wolves at 6:05PM in Erie.
(from the indians and the castoturf blog seen to your right.)
That is my quarterback. His name is Drew Brees. And he plays for your hometown, New Orleans Saints.
QB - Drew Brees (NO)
WR - Reggie Wayne (IND)
WR - Braylon Edwards (CLE)
WR - Roddy White (ATL)
RB - Adrian Peterson (MIN)
RB - Willis McGahee (BAL)
TE - Dallas Clark (IND)
K- Shane Graham (CIN)
DEF - Jacksonville
Notable Bench -
QB - Matt Hasselback (SEA)
TE - Heath Miller (PIT)
RB - Earnest Grahm (TB)
And if my waivers claim clears, this guy will join the team...
Friday, August 29, 2008
Looking back on the [Geraldine] Ferraro nomination [in 1984], another well-known conservative wrote: "I believe that someday we are going to have a woman president, possibly during my life, and I've often thought the best way to pave the way for this was to first nominate and elect a woman as vice-president. But I think Mondale made a serious mistake when he picked Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. In my view, he guessed wrong in deciding to take a congresswoman that almost nobody had ever heard of and try to put her in line for the presidency ... I don't know who among the Democrats might have been a better choice, but it was obvious Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro simply because he believed there was a 'gender gap' where I was concerned and she was a woman."
Those are the words of Ronald Reagan in his 1991 memoir, "An American Life," pouring scorn on the nomination of a woman who had served six years in Congress working on foreign policy issues. In retrospect, he had a point. Only this Palin gambit could make the Ferraro mistake look responsible and wise.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Quick, name the catcher with the most home runs in the American League.
No, not him. Not him either. Give up?
Try Kelly Shoppach. Yea, I know, Kelly Shoppach. Last night he hit his 17th home run of the season, and if the Indians were looking for excuses for why their season hasn’t gone as expected, they can’t blame the injury to Victor Martinez, as Shoppach is filling his shoes quite nicely.
His home run last night was his 38th extra base hit, using his power to compensate for his strikeout rate that drives down his batting average. Shoppach actually has more XBH than singles (36), and his ISO of .250 puts him in the company of the more famous slugging backstops such as Brian McCann and Geovany Soto.
At 28, Shoppach is something of a late bloomer, but the ability to drive the ball makes up for the rest of his flaws. His command of the strike zone is pretty miserable (he makes contact like Jack Cust and walks like Robinson Cano), but when he makes contact, he makes it count - his batting average on contact is .399.
So, what do the Indians do next year when Martinez returns? It’s pretty clear that Shoppach is good enough to play regularly, but neither he nor Martinez would be nearly as valuable playing first base as they are behind the plate. The Indians might be best off shopping one of the two this winter, because while having two good catchers is a nice problem to have, it’s still a problem.
From the front page of the Columbus Dispatch sports section....
Ohio State fencer, sister caught in fighting in Georgia
Mikhail Momtselidze flew to the Republic of Georgia last month to visit his roots, to see the mountains and lakes of his childhood, and to feel the tender touch of an elderly grandmother.
The Ohio State fencer's homecoming took an unexpected and perilous turn, however.
Momtselidze, 24, a Whetstone graduate, and his sister, Sofiya, 17, were trapped in Russian-occupied Georgia, trying to return to the United States, after fighting broke out there earlier this month. Both are U.S citizens.
They spent several days sequestered in their grandmother's house without electricity or water after Russian forces bombed areas surrounding the small village of Agara. Brother and sister, armed with only a cell phone, managed to find safe passage to the capital, Tbilisi, to stay with an uncle and await flights to the United States.
Sofiya flew home yesterday, and Mikhail, a member of the Buckeyes' NCAA champion fencing team, has booked a flight for Friday, his father said. "If all goes well, he will be back home in Columbus by Friday night at 10," Igor said.http://dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2008/08/28/osu_fencer.ART_ART_08-28-08_C1_PAB5IME.html?sid=101
10 wins a row...
Both Tom Hamilton and Matt Underwood (from TV) made comments about their place in the standings with Hamilton saying "for what it's worth" they are 10.5 games out of first, and Underwood saying, if they can get it down to single digits... you never know. Rick Manning, the other TV guy, said he wasn't going to say anything about it.
With 30 games left, if the Indians were to go, say, 20-10, they would end at 85-77, and that is not really a realistic number to make the playoffs, but if they could be a little better, or pull of a 2007 Rockies like ending where they won 14 of their last 15, than you never know. A rotation of Lee, Carmona, Reyes and Sowers in the playoffs sure would be fun.
17 of the last 30 games are against Seattle, Baltimore, Kansas City and Detroit, while the other 13 are games that actually matter, against the Red Sox, Twins and White Sox. But that brings up another interesting thing, that if the Indians go 6-0 against Chicago, and 3-0 against the Twins, or even 7-2 overall, they would make up some nice ground.
Anyways, one other interesting note from ESPN.com. Former pitcher Rick Sutclife wrote an article about tipping your pitches, and talked about Paul Byrd, and said,"He got a message from one of the visiting clubhouses from a team he wasn't going to play again this season, and they told him that he was tipping them off by fanning his glove wider on his breaking ball."
I found it pretty interesting that another team would go out of their way to help a guy out, but it could have been a former teammate or something, nice non-the-less. Byrd beat the Yankees last night to improve to 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA since the break.