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Very nice feature on Cavs GM Chris Grant- “Chris is very smart, very methodical, very patient. He’s the perfect guy for the job right now. He has a great staff, they work well as a team, and they want to build a championship organization. But they want to do it in a methodical way — not by just pulling the trigger on something.” That last bit has a double meaning. On one level, Gilbert knows that Grant is in a completely different situation than Ferry was: Grant is planting complementary pieces around a rookie, not adding costly sidekicks for an MVP.
On another level, it’s very much a referendum on Ferry, who made a midseason trade in early 2008 that shipped out five Cavaliers, including Larry Hughes, and brought in four new players, including Delonte West, Ben Wallace, and Wally Szczerbiak. Though most folks lauded Ferry for the ballsy move, the shakeup never panned out. The thrown-together squad didn’t jell in time for the playoffs, which ended in another early exit. Each of those players was eventually shuffled out of town in Ferry’s never-ending search for guys who could actually put the ball in the basket.” [Grzegorek/Scene]
The Indians were forced to bat their pitchers yesterday. In a spring training game for goodness sakes. Long time in the coming or sign of the apocalypse? “Major League Baseball has expanded its pool of postseason teams to 10 — up from four just 19 years ago — and next year will re-align into 15-team leagues that make for at least one interleague series all season long. But the biggest change of all may be around the next corner: the end of baseball as it was originally designed. “I would be shocked if 10 years from now there’s not a DH in both leagues,” said one influential baseball source.” [Verducci/Sports Illustrated]
“Indians manager Manny Acta doesn’t see it as Jack Hannahan vs. Lonnie Chisenhall for the starting third base job. Acta said Wednesday that it is more like Chisenhall vs. Chisenhall. The young third baseman needs to convince the team — with his bat and his glove — that he’s ready, at 23 years old, to be The Guy at the hot corner. I took Acta’s comments to mean that Hannahan is on the team one way or another, which is what we’ve figured to this point. If he’s the starter, Chisenhall will be at Triple-A to open the year. If Chisenhall grabs the starting job this spring, Hannahan moves to the bench as a strong defender capable of handling multiple infield positions.” [Bastian/MLB.com]
“Basically, Flynn is Kelly Holcomb, who Browns fans all remember for passing for 429 yards and three touchdowns in a playoff loss against Pittsburgh in January of 2003. Imagine how much money Holcomb would have made on the free agent market after that game. Now imagine if the Browns had given him a big-money contract and turned him into the starting quarterback? Do we really want the team to make that same mistake with Flynn?” [Red Right 88]
Uni-Watch with a little known Indians’ baseball uni-item. The knob sticker. [Uni-Watch]
Finally, some interesting Free Agency predictions over at Grantland- “The back who ends up in a better situation with a running quarterback and instantly benefits from an uptick in his numbers:
2011: Willis McGahee
2012: Whoever signs to become Cleveland’s no. 1 back
Research has shown that running backs who play alongside quarterbacks who are also a threat to run are more efficient and effective than they are playing next to the immobile pocket passers of the world. Assuming that Robert Griffin III ends up playing for the Browns next year, he should end up making somebody’s yards per carry figure shoot up, just as Willis McGahee’s did in Denver this year (from 3.9 in Baltimore to 4.8 in Colorado). Who will that be? That’s impossible to say, but to throw an example out there: Mike Tolbert.” [Barnwell/Grantland]