Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Joe Lieberman likes football to!

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

Hot Corner close to being filled?

From that link,
CLEVELAND -- The Indians are looking for a third baseman, and they might have found one in their own division.
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.

Grady's Ladies.

Here is some talk from Terry Pluto, who is probably the most important sports columnist for the Plain Dealer....

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.
The Indians would love to find a veteran pitcher to rent for a year or two, as they did with Kevin Millwood in 2005 when he was coming off some physical problems and his free agent value dropped -- or a Paul Byrd-type for a year. But no free agent seems in that same position this season. The pitching market is so thin, it would not be a shock if 37-year-old Byrd (11-12, 4.60) receives a multiyear deal. Yes, the Padres have Jake Peavy (10-11, 2.85) on the market, but he has a no-trade clause and has listed only four NL teams as destinations.

The Indians don't talk about it much publicly, but they believe David Huff might be ready to take a spot in the rotation despite not having pitched in the majors. A lefty like Laffey and Sowers, the difference is Huff throws harder -- his fastball consistently is in the 90-92 mph range, and can be as fast as 94 mph. Huff is 24 and had a combined 11-5 record and 2.56 ERA between Class AA Akron and Class AAA Buffalo. He averages nearly nine strikeouts per nine innings, compared to 2.1 walks. In 80 innings at Buffalo, he fanned 81, walked 15 and allowed eight homers. The one drawback is having only 214 pro innings, and he did have elbow problems in 2007, limiting him to 11 starts. But if he stays healthy, he could be the Tribe's big surprise of 2009.

The Tribe would love to add a veteran closer, but there is strong support from manager Eric Wedge and his staff that Jensen Lewis could do the job. He was 13-of-13 in saves with a 2.94 ERA after the All-Star break and batters hit .250 against him. He doesn't walk many (2.1 per nine innings) and seems to emotionally handle the pressure, something that unraveled Raffy Betancourt last season. Lewis is about as effective against lefties (.267) as righties (.264), a key to closing.

If Lewis were a free agent, he'd be a hot item and the Indians would be considering him as a closer. So why shop if you have a developing closer on the roster? The plan then would be to add some veterans to bolster the bullpen, and at least one with some closing experience. In his limited big league career, Lewis has a 3.30 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 95 innings over two seasons, very solid numbers.

My pick to surprise in the bullpen is Jeff Stevens, who played in the Olympics. In between, he had a 5-1 record and 2.51 ERA at Akron, followed by going 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA at Buffalo. I liked that he averaged 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings this season, but his 4.2 walks is a bit high. He throws 93-95 mph, he's 25 -- and he is the player to be named later from the Reds for Brandon Phillips. It would be nice to get something from that trade.
He makes an interesting point about about if Jensen Lewis were a free agent. One closing name that popped up recently is Brian Fuentes of the Rockies. The Indians are supposedly one of at least three teams taking a serious look at him, but he is expected to get around a 3 year $36 million deal.

The magazine might have more pictures, but here is a link to the Grady Vogue article...

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".

As I said yesteday, Mark Shapiro said a 1,2 or 3 starting pitcher is a priority for the Indians. And as I said, Mike Mussina would like to be close to home for a competitive team, which should include the Indians. The person I threw out there, without hearing anything, is Jon Garland.
Today it is reported that supposedly the Indians are making a run at Derek Lowe. But, I don't expect that to happen. One, even though Lowe said money will not be his main concern, his agent is Scott Boras. Two, supposedly the following teams also have expressed interest... "Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Rangers, Astros, and Blue Jays. " - (The Boston Globe).

But anyways, it was reported, so I will report it to I suppose. But that is all for now.

Also, not sure if you saw, but I guess Vegas has picked the Rays to win the series, but the main reason for that is to protect themselves from losing too much money. They had 200-1 odds going into the season, and apparently a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon, not necesarily in March, but early enough in the year, that they are due for a big pay day. So I guess the odds now are $1.35 - $1. Meaning, if you pay $1.35 and the Rays win, you would win a dollar,.. so you would lose money. At least that is how I understand it.

And lastly, Cliff Lee today was announced as the AL Outstanding Pitcher by the MLBPA (the players) and also the AL Pitcher of the Year by the Sporting News.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I don't know what to make of this bull crap. Dad was saying at one point, that he either heard, or thought, that Hafner's injury may be like Albert Belle's, in that, it really cannot be fixed, he can either deal with the pain or not. I don't know if that is true, but obviously the whole issue is frustrating and makes no sense. I guess it is okay because Shapiro said even if he has surgery, he would be ready for next year, because if they put off surgery all year long this season, and then it kept him out next season, I might sue.

Friday, October 03, 2008

CC trade complete.

One day after CC Sabathia continued his playoff dominance, the Indians chose Outfielder Michael Brantleyto complete their trade of him.

"The 21-year-old Brantley was a seventh-round Draft pick out of Ft. Pierce (Fla.) Central High School in 2005, and he's compiled a Minor League average of .311 and on-base percentage of .399 with 53 doubles, seven triples, six homers and 157 RBIs in 383 games over the last three years....At Huntsville (AA) this season, Brantley hit .319 with 17 doubles, two triples, four homers, 40 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 36 attempts over 106 games. He started 62 games in center field and 21 each in left field and at first base. He had 50 walks against just 27 strikeouts, and Baseball America rated him as having the best strike zone judgment and the best baserunning skills in the Southern League. " (