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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Walt “No Neck” Williams passes at 72

I’m a Walt, I grew up in Chicago, I really started becoming a baseball fan in 1970.  Of course he was one of my favorite players.

RIP.

Walt Davis Posted: January 28, 2016 at 05:24 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: colt .45's, indians, walt williams, white sox, yankees

Monday, January 11, 2016

Nick Cafardo: The case for and against Manny Ramirez’s Hall of Fame bid - The Boston Globe

Ahh, no.

2. Another brilliant marketing move by Fenway Sports Group, introducing Tessie as Wally the Green Monster’s sister. It may lessen the appearance load for poor Wally.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2016 at 06:12 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, indians, manny ramirez, notes, red sox

Friday, January 08, 2016

Manny on PEDs, Hall: ‘Sometimes you think you’re doing right, but you’re not’ | Chicago Sun-Times

Why would players already talented enough to play at high levels in the majors, already capable of making millions in the game, capable of lasting a decade or longer in the majors, take performance enhancers? Take the chance?

After all, those are the players in question when it comes to the Hall of Fame debate – exemplified most by Bonds and Clemens if you believe the timelines of their alleged uses.

“Life is like that. You make mistakes,” Ramirez said. “Everybody makes mistakes. We’re humans. You’ve made mistakes; I’ve made mistakes. Everybody.

“Like I say with some of my friends, I could tell you, `Look at that guy: He’s a cheater, he uses steroids.’ Maybe you smoke weed. Maybe you do cocaine. Maybe you cheat on your wife. Maybe you’re a drunkard. It’s the same.

“Nobody’s perfect.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2016 at 07:05 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, manny ramirez, red sox

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The 1998 Indians had a “dream team” front office.

John Hart’s real legacy.

“It’s one of those things you get a sinking feeling,” Hart said. “But we were doing so well and people want to take your guys.”

Success affected the front office in other ways, in O’Dowd’s estimation.

“The culture changed when we got really good,” he said, “because everybody wanted something for themselves within that process, including me. It changed the dynamic of the relationships. Sometimes it’s harder to manage success than failure. When you fail, there’s this bond that ties you all together and creates something special. Once you get special, where do you go from there? I actually think Apple’s going through that now.”

Just as the Indians endured the difficulty of keeping an elite team together on the field after the sell-out streak ended and the robust revenues ran dry, they also saw the front office evolve. As evidenced by Toronto’s hire of Shapiro to run both the business and baseball operations, Cleveland is still regarded in the industry as one of the more collaborative and well-organized offices in the game. A place worth poaching.

But we might never again see a group as jam-packed with GM prospects as that 1998 stash. Hart’s family tree has surely left its mark on baseball, and DePodesta’s bold move to the Browns is extending its influence to the gridiron.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2016 at 10:16 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, general managers, indians, john hart

Monday, January 04, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-4-2016

Ogden Standard, January 4, 1916:

Star ball players have been trembling in their shoes since the peace pact between the National and American leagues and the Federals has been ratified lest their high salaries would be lopped off.
...
Tris Speaker will be the first to have his salary cut down. The salary of fifteen thousand simoleons, which went to him in pay checks in exchange for helping Mr. Lannin win pennants and world championships…is a thing of the past, according to the report circulated [in Boston].
...
But despite the fact that his salary is to be reduced, Speaker will undoubtedly be seen cavorting around in center field…Indeed, it is pointed out, where could he go now that there no longer is a Federal league to offer fabulous salaries to underpaid and overworked ball players.

Man, that’s bogus. Anyway, trying to cut Spoke’s salary in half backfired on the Sox. Unsurprisingly, Tris refused to take that kind of pay cut, so Boston traded him to Cleveland for pitching prospect Sad Sam Jones, a replacement-level third baseman, and a huge pile of money.

Speaker led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging with the 1916 Indians. Four years later, he managed Cleveland to a World Series championship.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis agree to one-year deals with Indians

The Cleveland Indians have reached agreements with first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Rajai Davis on one-year deals, a baseball source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Napoli’s deal is for $7 million and includes $3 million in performance bonuses, the source told Crasnick. Napoli must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized.

The Indians have long sought a right-handed power hitter, and Napoli might be able to fill that void. Napoli, 34, has 204 career homers. He can play first base and catch in a pinch, and the Indians can use him as a designated hitter along with Carlos Santana.

Last season, Napoli hit .224 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs for Boston and Texas. After being traded to the Rangers, he batted .295 with five homers in 35 games.

Davis, 35, agreed to a deal worth $5.25 million, according to the source.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2015 at 10:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, mike napolis, rajai davis

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-9-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 9, 1915:

Before the next American league pennant season opens the Cleveland American league baseball club, as well as the Cleveland American association team, will have acquired new owners, according to present indications.

Although no official statement has been made, it is known that the bankers’ committee in charge of the financial affairs of Charles W. Somers, the present owner of the teams, is in favor of selling the clubs as a means of meeting Somers’ present financial difficulties.

Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Journal reports the names of seven people said to be interested in buying the Indians, none of whom would actually do so. The Pittsburgh Gazette Times reports that Somers says he’ll fight as hard as he can to keep the club. And the Toledo News-Bee reports that the American League wants the Cleveland AA club to move, with Toledo being the only reasonable relocation option.

The News-Bee was on to something. The Cleveland American Association team, which had moved from Toledo in 1914 in order to block the Federal League, was back in the Glass City for 1916 and has been there ever since.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 09, 2015 at 08:13 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Carlos Carrasco is extremely valuable in trade | MLB.com

The deal Greinke signed, starting with his age-32 season next year, will pay him more than $34 million in 2016, or approximately $1 million per start. The extension Carrasco signed last April pays him roughly the same, $37.5 million, but over the next five seasons combined—and even that’s only if the team exercises the 2019 and ‘20 club options. He’s making about the same over five seasons as Happ, who is nearly five years older and with a fraction of the success, is making over three. Carrasco is owed 17 percent of what Price is.

We could make that comparison all night long, but you get the idea. You could even argue that Carrasco’s contract makes him as or more valuable than Jose Fernandez, who is cheaper and younger but also controllable for only three more seasons. (And, according to reports, isn’t even really on the market.)

Really, the combination of these attributes is so rare. Talented pitchers are expensive (Kershaw, Greinke, Price, etc.), or nearing free agency (Stephen Strasburg), or on teams who wouldn’t even consider moving them due to competitive or fanbase reasons (Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, Felix Hernandez, etc.) If you want to argue Carrasco against Sonny Gray, so be it, but Carrasco was better in nearly every way in 2015, and it’s splitting hairs at that point anyway.

Cleveland may very well decide against moving Carrasco, but it’s easy to see the Indians have needs, particularly without a center fielder and with Michael Brantley’s shoulder surgery further complicating matters. If they were to hold out for an A.J. Pollock, Yasiel Puig, Jorge Soler or George Springer as mere starting points, they’d be entirely justified to do so. Carrasco’s that good. His contract makes him that valuable.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos carrasco, indians, sabermetrics

Friday, December 04, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2015

Rock Island Argus, December 4, 1915:

Unless B.B. Johnson, chief mogul of the American league, is able to paint a rosy picture of the financial outlook for next season, when he comes [to Cleveland] next week to discuss the Cleveland situation, the Cleveland Indians probably will be sold.
...
The Cleveland club barely made expenses last season, the sale of most of their star players being made as a means of filling up the large vacancy in the strong box…Jackson, Gregg, Lajoie, Leibold, Johnston and Olson were disposed of, Birmingham was deposed as manager and new blood in the shape of youngsters with low salaries, were added to the team.

Yep. Sounds like a Cleveland thing to do. In fairness to Somers, though, if he hadn’t run out of money in 1915, the roster likely wouldn’t have changed as much and the Tribe probably wouldn’t have won the World Series in 1920.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 04, 2015 at 10:51 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Monday, November 30, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-30-2015

Pittsburgh Press, November 30, 1915:

While [Cleveland owner Charles] Somers is in Chicago he’ll probably close up the Joe Jackson deal. When the trade was made it was for $31,250 in cash, with the understanding that three players, acceptable to the Cleveland club, would be sent to the Indians later.

Two of those players, Pitcher Klepfer and Outfielder Roth, have been delivered, but the third man is still listed with the missing…Of course, rather than have the Sox try to turn back Jackson, the Cleveland owner would accept Chappell or anyone else, as he figures that the cash alone represents far more than Jackson’s present value.

Yeah, Charlie, take some money instead of one of the greatest players on the planet. Good move. Way to run a ballclub.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, the players’ fraternity wants to speed up games in part because two and a half hours is too long for a baseball game, Carl Mays says Ty Cobb is the greatest player in the world as well as the dirtiest, a writer in All Outdoors says he saw someone using a baseball glove as early as 1867-68, Cleveland skipper Lee Fohl discusses some of his theories on managing a team, and Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss says there’s absolutely no way the proposed Federal League team in New York could hope to break even because it’s impossible for a club to average 10,000-12,000 fans a game and no club will ever get crowds like that.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 30, 2015 at 08:30 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, indians, shoeless joe jackson

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Could former Rockies’ slugger help Cleveland Indians offense? Hey, Hoynsie | cleveland.com

Some good Indians stuff in Paul Hoynes’ mailbag.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2015 at 10:29 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Monday, November 09, 2015

Michael Brantley undergoes shoulder surgery, expected to be out 5-6 months

I don’t think the Indians will be Sports Illustrated’s pre-season World Series pick next year.

Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery on his non-throwing arm earlier today, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian confirmed on Twitter. He is expected to be out 5-6 months, which means he would miss two months of the 2016 regular season in the worst case scenario.

Brantley injured his shoulder on a diving catching against the Minnesota Twins back on September 22. An MRI toward the end of the 2015 revealed inflammation in the injured shoulder, and the Indians shut Brantley down for the final week of the season, putting him on a two-week rehab program.

At the time, it was thought that Brantley’s shoulder injury was not quite so severe and letting him rest the remained of the season was just a precaution, as the Indians were already out of the playoff picture at that point. We know now, however, that the injury was obviously much more severe.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 09, 2015 at 01:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, injuries, michael brantley


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Will Cleveland Indians use six-man starting rotation in 2016? Hey, Hoynsie | cleveland.com

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Please no. I hate the five-man rotation. A six-man rotation would put me over the edge.

Hey, Hoynsie: Is there any possibility that the Tribe would consider going to a six-man rotation next season of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin and Cody Anderson? This would give each starter more overall rest during the season. Also since it’s unlikely all six starters will stay healthy all year, it would allow them to go back to a five-man rotation.—Jeffrey Kamenir, Vernon Hills, Ill.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2015 at 08:35 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Spokane Indians Change Jersey to Squalish Language

The partnership between Spokane Tribe of Indians and the Short Season Class A minor league baseball team called the Spokane Indians is coming up on its 10-year anniversary. It’s been a work in progress, but the foundation has been laid for a new era. In 2014, the baseball organization honored the original inhabitants of the land by changing the name across the front of their home uniforms to read Sp’q’n’i, the Salish word for Spokane, and made it its primary jersey, beginning with opening day in 2015.


Since this is not an all-Native team, like the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team, it is a revolutionary idea that has both tribal members and baseball people excited with the response received after its first full season. “I believe we’re the only professional baseball team in the country that has home jerseys in a language other than English,” Andy Billig, co-owner of Brett Sports and Entertainment, told ICTMN. “The partnership with the Spokane Tribe is about honoring the history and culture of not only the Spokane Tribe, but the entire region.”

 

Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: October 21, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: americana, indians, minors

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Francisco Lindor leading Indians by example | MLB.com

One of many exciting young shortstops in the game right now. Lindor has been better with the bat than expected.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 10:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, indians

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Defense Mechanisms: Inside the Indians’ Historic Fielding Turnaround «

I knew that Francisco Lindor at shortstop and Giovanny Urshela were big upgrades. I did not realize that Chisenhall was playing so well in the outfield.

When he volunteered to try the outfield in Triple-A, Lonnie Chisenhall hadn’t played there since college, aside from shagging during BP. But it took him only four games in Columbus to convince Cleveland that he could be an everyday option. The day after the Indians traded Moss to St. Louis, Chisenhall made his first major league start in right field. He immediately excelled there, earning recognition as ESPN SweetSpot’s Defensive Player of the Month for August. “I’m not sure anyone could’ve sat here and said that we expect him to be able to transition from third base to the outfield and become an above-average right fielder right away,” Antonetti says. “But to Lonnie’s credit, he has.” The Indians have also used displaced infielder Jose Ramirez in the outfield for the first time in his MLB career, and they’ve gotten good work out of Abraham Almonte, a deadline pickup from the Padres who replaced a slowing Michael Bourn in center after the Indians dealt Bourn to the Braves. “We had good reports on [Almonte], and again I’m not sure we would’ve necessarily expected it to translate exactly the way it has,” Antonetti says.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 12, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, lonnie chisenhall, sabermetrics

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Abraham Almonte embracing his chance with Cleveland Indians after ditching a life of lies, anger and alcohol

The guy polishing off another drink in the middle of the nightclub hears a voice.

Almonte has been sucked so far into this lifestyle that he can’t acknowledge his actions or their consequences. He tells his wife he’s sleeping at the baseball complex, but he’s actually careening toward the club. He’s heading for another late night, one filled with lies to his family and lies to himself.

Almonte started drinking regularly at 19 while with the Yankees’ Class A affiliate. After he underwent surgery for a torn shoulder in 2010—which ended his season after 15 games—he plunged head-first into a bottomless, alcohol-driven life.

“It really, really, really got on me,” Almonte said. “Like, every day.”

Almonte was at the club one night, downing drink after drink with a group of friends. Then, everything stopped. Almonte heard a voice.

“It told me, ‘Abraham, you think that this is my plan for you?’” he said. “‘I have special things for you, but you have to come to me.’”

This was the third occasion in which Almonte heard that voice. The first two times, he brushed it aside. That night, though, his sister also texted him.

“She said, ‘Pay attention to that voice that has spoken to you,’” he said. “At that moment, I’m like, ‘This is not a coincidence. This is something real.”

Almonte returned to the complex and slept for a few hours. He completed his baseball activities the next day and went home. There, he watched a video about a young girl who heard from God and was given 24 hours to live.

Almonte had his epiphany.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 03, 2015 at 09:45 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: abraham almonte, alcoholism, indians, minor leaguers, yankees

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Shapiro comes to Blue Jays as well-loved individual - Sportsnet.ca

Shapiro spoke at a SABR convention in Cleveland. I remember being impressed.

“We don’t have enough time,” Francona said. “This guy is a combination of intelligent probably bordering on … he’s that smart. But he takes that intelligence and he’s very driven and organized. And you take it with the people skills … a pretty nice combination.”

Francona describes Shapiro as a dynamic speaker with the ability to make any topic interesting — even the typically tedious organizational meetings that can test coaches’ patience.

“Two minutes into it you see guys reaching for pencils because they want to take notes,” Francona said.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2015 at 07:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general managers, indians

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Indians want a new minority owner — but the price isn’t right | New York Post

Mark Shapiro’s exit might not be coincidental.

Dolan, who is under fire from fans for one of the smallest payrolls in the big leagues, hired boutique investment bank Allen & Co. several months ago to shop roughly 30 percent of the team, The Post learned.

He doesn’t have deep enough pockets and is looking to a new investor to ramp up spending on salaries, sources said. The club’s payroll of $76 million ranks 26th among Major League Baseball’s 30 teams.

So far, Dolan, who is the cousin of New York Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan, is having a difficult time finding an investor, sources said.

One problem is price. Dolan believes the franchise is worth around $800 million, which is rich considering the team is just breaking even.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 06:38 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2015

Washington Times, August 20, 1915:

Whatever chances any club might have possibly had of buying Joe Jackson from the Indians were knocked into a cocked hat today, when it leaked out that Charlie Somers had signed his slugging outfielder for three more seasons. Jackson is now the property of the Indians until October, 1918, and his salary is the largest paid any member of the team.
...
“I guess this will stop all this foolish talk of my selling Joe,” said Somers today. “I never had the slightest idea of parting with him, but the same story kept bobbing up so frequently that the fans began to think there was some truth in it. Now they know better.”

Jackson was sold to the White Sox the next day.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Danny Salazar sharp as Indians beat Red Sox | MLB.com

My personal worst losing streak is now up to eight. Not many bright spots in last night’s game. Jackie Bradley is a phenomenal outfielder. Hanley Ramirez is not.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: danny salazar, indians, red sox

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Plain Dealer | Cleveland Indians acquire Kevin Slowey

The Indians acquired Slowey and a reported $1.25 million from the Rockies for right-hander Zach Putnam.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, rockies

SI.com: Economic considerations at heart of Carmona’s decision

An interesting analysis of signing ages, signing bonuses, and success rates in the Dominican Republic, by Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated ...

Teams pay premiums for 16-year-olds for two primary reasons: One, because teams often want to be the first to sign a promising player and, thus, avoid bidding wars with other teams; and two, clubs prefer to develop their players’ skills under the watchful eyes of their own club personnel rather than under those of unqualified and unaffiliated coaches or trainers.

But are 18-year-old Latin American players really worth 70 percent less than their 16-year-old counterparts? Here’s another data analysis that calls into question the industry practice of placing a premium on youth. Let’s assume the most basic marker of a successful signing is making it to the majors. We’ll make it simple and look at the 79 players who have made their major league debuts from 2008-2011 from Carmona’s Dominican Republic. Of those 79, only six were signed as 16-year-olds. The debuts suggest older players were more likely to advance to the majors. ...

[...]

What’s more, SI tracked down the bonus data for 60 of the 79 players. Fernando Martinez, signed by the Mets in 2005 for $1.3 million, was the only one to receive a seven-figure bonus. Only nine others signed for six figures and one — the Rockies’ Juan Nicasio — received nada to sign, according to the data obtained by SI. The median signing bonus among them tallied a paltry $35,000.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international, mets, miami, minor leagues, rockies, scouting

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