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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SB Nation: The Many Crimes of Mel Hall

So if you thought the Chad Curtis story wasn’t creepy enough, there is the Mel Hall story.

“Mel Hall loved sex. Sex is what drove him,” said McMillan. According to a high school teammate, Hall impregnated two girls by the time he was a high school senior. The best guess of Texas authorities for the number of children he eventually sired is eight.

McMillan added, “He was a young guy who made a lot of money real fast, and he wanted to buy his way through life.”

So that was Mel Hall: a disappointment as a player, a tall tale, a caricature of a narcissistic athlete untethered from reality by sudden fame and fortune, a guy who did everything in excess. No, he probably wasn’t someone you wanted to be close with, but he filled up column space and kept things interesting over 162 games.

So when Hall started showing up to the ballpark with 15-year-old Jennifer Diaz, the most common reaction was one of amused curiosity.

The tabloid news show “A Current Affair” did a story on the odd couple. When Jennifer sat in the family section with players’ wives 10 and 20 years older than her, his teammates teased him for picking up his fiancée at Toys “R” Us. The organization, in a portion of their 1991 team yearbook devoted to players and their significant others, even included a picture of Mel and Jennifer at a school prom. No one blinked, at least publicly. It was all part of Mel Hall being Mel Hall….

The first time Hall had sex with Jennifer, her father was asleep on the sofa several feet away. After it was over, the 15-year-old cried. Decades later, she testified that Hall told her it was OK because he would marry her once she turned 18.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 360 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, indians, mel hall, sexual assault, statutory rape, yankees

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tom Veryzer, shortstop for Tigers and Indians, dies at 61

Former Tigers and Indians shortstop Tom Veryzer, who played in the big leages for 12 years, died Thursday at the age of 61, according to The Oakland Press.

Veryzer was drafted by the Tigers with the No. 11 overall pick in the 1971 MLB Draft and was the team’s starting shortstop from 1975 to 1977. Detroit traded him to the Indians that offseason to make room for Alan Trammell. He played for Cleveland until 1981 before ending his career with stints with the Mets (1982) and Cubs (1983-84).

He hit .241/.283/.294 with 14 homers in 996 MLB games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:44 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, mets, obituaries, tigers, tom veryzer

Friday, July 04, 2014

Manny Ramirez, now player-coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, encourages prospects to ‘follow the rules’ | cleveland.com

Manny not being Manny.

“Manny gave me as many problems as he gave anyone, probably besides (former Red Sox manager Terry Francona) in his time in Boston. He’s responsible for most of the gray hairs on my head. So it’s not something that we entered into lightly,” Epstein said.

I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy… he’s grown for the better. “But people do change. I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy… he’s grown for the better. He’s open and honest about all the mistakes he’s made in the past and he wants to fix that by being a positive influence on young players,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2014 at 08:52 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, manny ramirez, red sox, terry francona, theo epstein

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WaPo: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration, says name is disparaging

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

Could this mean Chief Wahoo’s days are numbered?


Kalaf: No One Can Find Raul Ibanez’s Foul Ball

This ain’t like finding a batted ball in a haystack.

aul Ibanez hit a foul ball in today’s Angels-Indians game. That’s not odd. The odd part is that no one found it.

Ibanez’s foul ball went into the empty upper deck of Progressive Field. One fan ran up to try and get it. He did not. More people walked up to comb the sections. Their efforts were fruitless. There is no happy ending to this video. No one found Raul Ibanez’s foul ball.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, fans, indians, raul ibanez, souvenirs

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lonnie Baseball hit three home runs on Monday night | MLB.com

Lonnie Baseball has a big day.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:17 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Indians move Carlos Carrasco to bullpen

As a result they will use Zach McAllister on three days’ rest tomorrow and, in all likelihood, Trevor Bauer will be called up to fill Carrasco’s spot in the rotation.

They really could have picked a better way to celebrate the 34-month anniversary of Carrasco’s most recent win as a starting pitcher.

Cutting Aaron Harang to keep Carrasco: Brilliant.

Jerry Lumpe Rutherford (Dan Lee) Posted: April 29, 2014 at 03:26 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos carrasco, indians

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Indians Usher Says He Was Fired for Refusing to Wear Pro-Sin Tax Sticker

Edward Loomis, a former usher for the Cleveland Indians, says that the team’s campaign to get voters on its side also includes mandatory pro-Issue 7 stickers that must be worn by employees and that his refusal to wear the pro-sin tax gear led to his dismissal from his job.

cmd600 Posted: April 24, 2014 at 03:32 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, taxpayers

Friday, April 04, 2014

Indians Extend Jason Kipnis

Can’t wait to see him on the Mets (after this contract is up, of course.)

The Indians announced that they have signed second baseman Jason Kipnis to a six-year extension that runs through the 2019 season and contains a club option for the 2020 campaign. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (via Twitter) that Kipnis is guaranteed $52.5MM over the life of the deal… The option… is worth $16.5MM and contains a $2.5MM buyout…

The new contract buys his final pre-arbitration season, all three arbitration years and a pair of free agent campaigns with an option for a third…

Kipnis, who turned 27 yesterday (talk about a birthday present), made his first All-Star team and finished 11th in the American League MVP voting on the heels of a stellar campaign in which he batted .284/.366/.452 with 17 homers and 30 stolen bases in 658 plate appearances. Defensive Runs Saved pegs him as an average defender to this point in his his career, while UZR/150 feels he’s been slightly below (-4.2).

The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 05:18 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, jason kipnis

Monday, March 24, 2014

Braves Sign Aaron Harang

Sure, Terry Forster would listen if the Braves called.

The Braves have agreed to sign pitcher Aaron Harang, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Atlanta had been rumored to be interested in adding another arm after parting with veteran Freddy Garcia earlier today (per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, on Twitter).

Of course, Harang himself was let go by the Indians just hours ago after requesting his release. The soon-to-be-36-year-old had strong results in the spring, though he threw just 9 innings for Cleveland. Last year, pitching for the Mariners and Mets, Harang posted a 5.40 ERA in 143 1/3 innings. Before that, however, he put up two consecutive seasons of 170+ innings and earned run averages just over 3.60. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, advanced metrics pegged his value somewhere in the middle, with FIP, xFIP, and SIERA marks all falling above 4.00 but below 5.00 over the last three campaigns.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:36 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron harang, braves, indians

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Indians release outfielder Jeff Francoeur

Born Toulouse-Lautrec. (even Genzale weeps)

The Indians have released outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who’d been signed to a minor-league deal and brought into camp to compete for the final spot on the roster. Francoeur had put up decent numbers this spring (.286/.359/.429), and made a couple great throws from the outfield, but he was always a longshot to make the roster, given that there were so many other guys set for playing time in the outfield, or who provided the versatility to also play the infield.

...Francoeur has been well-liked by teammates and media members are every stop of the career, which has led to some inflation in the public perception of his performance, but he has had a couple good years in his career (2007 and 2011 stand out), and he’s still only 30, so I imagine he’ll be able to land some sort of contract with another team, and that his release was largely about giving him that opportunity.

Au revoir, Frenchy…

Repoz Posted: March 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Posnanski: Cleveland Indians: The name

Pretty sure that cartoonist does Mallard Fillmore now.

in my national search of more than 300 national newspapers, I could not find a single mention of Louis Sockalexis in the entire year of 1915.

The story I grew up hearing — that the Cleveland Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis — is certainly untrue…

when Sockalexis joined the team in 1897, there WAS legitimate excitement. The stories of his baseball exploits were known everywhere. The curiosity of seeing a Native American athlete play ball was overwhelming. And people began calling the team in 1897, yes, the Indians. In his honor…

The fact that the 1897 Cleveland team was often called “Indians” was not directly the reason the team was officially named Indians in 1915. But it was part of the decision-making process…

I don’t believe the Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis, not exactly. But I do believe the Indians name could honor him. That choice is ours.

The District Attorney Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:47 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: history, indians, joe posnanski, louis sockalexis

Monday, March 03, 2014

Indians should trade (Asdrubal) Cabrera to Mets

Finally, remember, the Mets wouldn’t be trading for Cabrera to have and to hold forever after—they’re just renting him for a year. But once you have him, you also have a season to make a sales pitch on why he should stick around. If you’re the Mets, wouldn’t you want to be able to exploit that window, before free agency? Because the other thing to consider is that if the Mets don’t trade for Cabrera now, they may well be in the exact same situation in nine months: Making him a multiyear pitch paying eight figures per year, but while competing against every other team on the market. Why not take your chance now, gain that brief, exclusive negotiating window in the offseason?

There are also side benefits come draft day. Let’s say getting Cabrera is already something the Mets are thinking about for next winter. By getting Cabrera now they don’t just protect their own future first-round pick that they might lose by signing him in December (if they wind up outside the 10 protected picks), they potentially gain one if they instead lose him to free agency. As one former governor of Illinois put it, that’s a frickin’ valuable thing.

Christina Kahrl suggests the Mets should trade Flores, Michael Fulmer (Sickels rated him as a C+) , and Lucas Duda for Cabrera. Cabrera wasn’t very good last year, is making 10 million dollars this year, and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Instead of investing that much in a guy who probably won’t be sticking as a SS very long, why not just give Drew 15 million for one year? He’d surely take that at this point.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:55 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, mets

Monday, February 17, 2014

Orioles To Sign Ubaldo Jiminez

Can he pass the physical? Can anyone?

Brian Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:35 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, orioles

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Indians go behind the numbers with analytic department, looking for an edge

Woolner, Andrecheck, please.

Woolner’s claim to fame before joining the Indians was developing the runs-based statistic VORP (an acronym that stands for Value Over Replacement Player), which is widely recognized by the sabermetrics community as a key component in the analysis of a baseball player’s performance and market value. Woolner’s VORP is a cousin to the current en vogue sabermetric term WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

“They’ve extended VORP in some ways,” Woolner said. “They have some different ideas about certain aspects, but in the end, we’re all trying to get to the same place: not measuring versus an average player. Because an average player is a very valuable commodity in baseball. If you have an average player at every position, you have an 81-win team and there’s a lot of teams that look up at 81 wins every season.”

Nerd by name only

Nerds. Techies. Stat geeks.

Regardless of how these sports number crunchers like Woolner were once viewed, there’s no doubt they’ve made an increasing impact.

As Woolner’s workload increased, so did the need for the Tribe’s analytic department to grow. In addition to part-time assistant Jason Pare, a young up-and-coming sabermetrician named Sky Andrecheck joined the Indians as a senior analyst.

“I used to love to play fantasy baseball,” Andrecheck said. “But it’s kind of frowned upon when you work in baseball. But that’s OK. What I do for a living is like real-life fantasy baseball.”

...“For us, it’s been a continual evolution,” Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti said. “We’ve always looked at the analytical side of the game and tried to use that information by factoring it into our decision making. There have been members of our staff in baseball operations that even pre-dated me doing some of our analytical work. We felt we could take advantage of some data that was out there to help us augment our decision making.”

Repoz Posted: February 04, 2014 at 08:19 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, sabermetrics

Monday, February 03, 2014

Of All People, Bob Uecker Claims That ‘Major League IV’ Is In The Works

Wesley Snipes could use the work.

“I’ll be honest with you, they’re talking about it,” Uecker said, according to Milwaukee Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy. “The storyline is all set, too. They’ve already asked me if I would be in for ‘Major League IV,’ and I told them I would.

“I’ve talked to the directors. They’re talking about it and they’re pretty serious, but that’s all I can tell you, really. If there was more, I would tell you that, too. They have been talking about it for the last year-plus. As a matter of fact, they called me during the season last year and asked me if I would be in.” (Via Fox Sports)

The important question remains – can we please pretend like Major League: Back to the Minors never happened?

“’Major League III’ stunk, so ‘Major League IV’ I’m sure is going to be better than ‘Major League III,’ which they sold to a different company,” Uecker said. “That thing was on airplanes the day after we finished it.”


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Livingston: Omar Vizquel and baseball’s summer song

Don Omar presenta…

Omar—it was always his first name, not “Vizquel” to fans—was talking over the weekend about being inducted into the Indians’ Hall of Fame in the summer. It shouldn’t stop there. He belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame more than anyone else on the great 1990s Tribe teams.

Even then, as great a player as he was, he was a better ambassador for the game. Because he so clearly was having fun, he let us share in it. I put him on the short list of the most memorable players I’ve covered in over four decades as a newspaperman.

Albert Belle would be on the list, too. In 1995, he was a distillate of concentration, power and rage. He wasn’t very likable, but I’ve never seen any other player who simply did not miss mistake pitches. Belle didn’t, not in that shortened 144-game season in which he hit 50 homers and 52 doubles. Great as Belle was, though, the shadows he brought with him turned sunny days into gray ones.

Because of his temper tantrums, bat-corking and clubhouse disruptions, Belle has already failed to get enough baseball writers’ votes to stay on the Cooperstown ballot.

...We knew with Omar. He made you disbelieve your eyes with 11 Gold Gloves, more than anyone but Ozzie Smith, with nine of them with the Indians.

Even on the 1990s Indians, there were doubts and objections with so many others. There were the steroids later in Manny Ramirez’s career (and it would be no surprise if that weren’t true during his Tribe years too).

There were too many sullen interviews with Kenny Lofton, who was not the defensive player Vizquel was because Lofton often simply outran his mistakes.

There was the same old, same old with the big money making the difference when Jim Thome left town.

Repoz Posted: January 30, 2014 at 05:32 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, indians

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's cols=“100” rows=“20” Posted: January 21, 2012 at 01:04 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 05:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international, mets, miami, minor leagues, rockies, scouting

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Indians Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: This is the youngest, riskiest, most volatile Top 11 I’ve ever done.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
Three-Star Prospects
2. Dillon Howard, RHP
3. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
4. Austin Adams, RHP
5. Tony Wolters, SS
6. Nick Hagadone, LHP
7. Dorssys Paulino, SS
8. Luigi Rodriguez, OF
Two-Star Prospects
9. Scott Barnes, LHP
10. Robel Garcia, INF
11. Elvis Araujo, LHP

Nine More
12. Jake Cisco, RHP: This 2011 third-round pick has size and stuff, but he’s raw.
13. Zach McAllister, RHP: He has command and fastball movement, but little else. His ceiling is a fifth starter.
14. Felix Sterling, RHP: This young righty has a power arm and big potential, but he needs refinement.
15. Jorge Martinez, SS: He’s yet another teenage Dominican with loud tools. He profiles as a third baseman with power.
16. Chen Lee, RHP: This undersized righty has an electric fastball. He should pitch in big leagues this year, and has a seventh- or eighth-inning ceiling.
17. Levon Washington, OF: He’s still a great athlete, but his swing fell apart in 2011.
18. Jesus Aguilar, 1B: This massive first baseman is a bat-only prospect, but there are questions about what he can do other than hit for power.
19. Chun-Hsui Chen, C: He has impressive offensive skills, but he’s well below average behind the plate.
20. Zack Putnam, RHP: Like Lee, Putnam should reach the big leagues this year, but he profiles as a solid reliever, not an impact one.

 

Tripon Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fausto Carmona arrested in Dominican Republic for using false identity

Sure, when Newton McPherson uses a different name, its okay, but when Roberto Hernandez Heredia does it, its a criminal matter!

Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com passes along word from reporter Yancen Pujols that Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic and is being charged with using a false identity.

According to Pujols, Dominican police arrested Carmona–whose real name is apparently Roberto Hernandez Heredia–while he was leaving the American consulate after renewing his visa.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball

OH NO, EXPO!

Last season, Orlando Cabrera batted .238 with the Indians and Giants, posting a 61 OPS+. The season before that, he posted a 76 OPS+. The season before that, he posted an 85 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera has been declining, and just turned 37 years old. As a free agent, Cabrera didn’t drum up much interest, which I’m guessing is why he’s intending to hang ‘em up. Enrique Rojas:

  “Orlando Cabrera to retire from baseball, he said in Colombia radio station. Thanks for memories!”

Cabrera had a long career that’ll be difficult to forget. He debuted with the Expos in 1997, and remained there until the giant Nomar Garciaparra three-way trade in 2004. That year, with the Red Sox, Cabrera won a World Series. He wound up with the Angels, earning the unfortunate nickname “The Wizard of O.C.”, and then he wound up with the White Sox, and the A’s, and the Twins, and the Reds, and the Indians, and the Giants ... He remained a shortstop to the end, and collected 2,055 hits. He will always be remembered as a pest. An absolute pest.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, expos, giants, indians, red sox, reds, twins, white sox

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Cleveland Indians

Pork Chop Pough, don’t ya know!!!

1. Francisco Lindor, ss
2. Dillon Howard, rhp
3. Nick Hagadone, lhp
4. Chen Lee, rhp
5. Luigi Rodriguez, of
6. Zach McAllister, rhp
7. Tony Wolters, ss
8. Austin Adams, rhp
9. Scott Barnes, lhp
10. Zach Putnam, rhp

If things don’t click for the Indians, they’ll likely have to turn back to trade market. The trades of White and Pomeranz and graduations of Chisenhall and Kipnis have left the system thin of talent. Cleveland’s strength in the minors is its depth of relief pitching, but Hagadone, Chen Lee, Zach Putnam and Co. aren’t going to provide the foundation for a contender.

The Indians’ best prospects are years away from contributing. They paid $4.75 million for their first two picks in the 2011 draft, shortstop Francisco Lindor and righthander Dillon Howard, but they’re high schoolers with a combined five games of pro experiences. Similarly, Dominican outfielder Luigi Rodriguez and shortstop Tony Wolters have played just 34 games in full-season leagues.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 09:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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