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Another starter and not a bat?- “The money line (and you may have noticed because I put it in bold) comes when he said, “Our lineup is more than good enough” and that he is a “Big believer that starting pitching puts you in a position to win games every night”. So, as we all sit and wonder how much the Cubs would eat on Soriano’s contract (or where he would play and if he would even prosper here) and dream about Carlos Quentin as an Indian, here’s Shapiro saying that “our lineup is more than good enough”.
Maybe you disagree…and that’s certainly a position that is easy to support and/or defend, but think back to last July. The Indians were in the hunt in the AL Central, with an offense that was sputtering and a rotation that had carried them through the first couple of months that was showing (as Harry Doyle would put it) “signs of fatigue”. They went out and didn’t acquire Carlos Beltran (though most of that was Beltran’s doing) or the “impact bat” that many saw as the great need for the team. Yes…they eventually went out and added Kosuke Fukudome and Jim Thome, but those were ancillary additions later in the season. At the Trade Deadline, they traded in their biggest chips for what they thought was another “ace” to pair with Masterson at the top of the rotation.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]
“I also spent some time thinking about the okCLEhoma and okCLE monikers. I thoroughly believe they’re lame, but I also think telling anybody how to cheer is even more lame. Cavs for Mavs was conveniently unforced. It made sense at the time. These two names, while clever to a degree, they just aren’t for me. Oklahoma City and their same shirt wearing diehard fans of five years don’t need my support either. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant got this. If they need help, James Harden, Serge Ibacka, Thabo Sefalosha, Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collision and Derek Fisher can do more than I can. Additionally, those guys can and will also do much more than Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Joel Anthony. I don’t need to cheer for any of that, it’s going the way I hoped it will regardless.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]
“Wallace is right. Weeden will be the guy. The team needs to pick him and make him the guy and take all the media chatter and fan discussion out of the picture. Then it needs to pick the backup so the backup understands he’s the backup and not the starter. There may be better ones than Wallace, but right now he’s Cleveland’s best option.
At that point, it would be best for the team and McCoy if he were to start over elsewhere, where he’d have a better chance of succeeding without the distraction of his feelings about the new guy. If the Browns make this happen, they’d accomplish something unheard of around here since 1999. They’d enter training camp with a clearly defined starter, backup and No. 3 quarterback. Imagine that.” [McManamon/FSO]
“Obviously we can’t put too much stock in these results as ultimately these players will prove their worth on the court, not in simple drills, but we can learn a few things. As Chad Ford pointed out in his draft blog today, Harrison Barnes was the best notable athlete at the combine. Over his two years at UNC, Barnes has gained a reputation for being a pretty mediocre athlete. If these results are any indication, that judgment was way off base. Harrison Barnes put up a ridiculous 39.5 inch vertical leap and had the fastest 3/4 court sprint time. For comparison’s sake, both of those results were better than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the guy who has been touted as an elite athlete.
Barnes was incredibly strong, fast, and explosive at the combine. That should answer a few questions that people had about him and might make his stock rise just a little bit. Similarly, Bradley Beal had an awesome combine. He measured just under 6-foot-5 and had a beastly 39 inch vertical. His lane agility and 3/4 court sprint times were also very good. Lots of people had been saying that Jeremy Lamb was the better SG athlete, but Beal showed that he’s just as, if not more athletic than Lamb. In addition, Beal has an NBA ready body while Lamb will probably need to put on some muscle for the NBA.” [Kacmarek/Fear the Sword]
What??? “At any rate, Guillen is back in the bad headlines on Tuesday, though it’s not directly tied to his own doing. Guillen was overwhelmingly named as the least respected manager in a survey of 100 MLB players that will be published in the July issue of Men’s Journal. The top three looks like this:
1. Ozzie Guillen (Marlins), 36 percent
2. Bobby Valentine (Red Sox), 14 percent
3. Manny Acta (Indians), 5 percent
That Guillen tops the category of least respected managers is about as big as a surprise as the same survey naming A.J. Pierzynski the most hated player in baseball or Todd Coffey being as the player in the worst shape. It’s not exactly a shock to learn that players don’t hold much respect for the guy who enjoys bragging about how much work he dumps on coach Joey Cora. At the same time, the landslide victory is a little surprising given that Valentine is just as polarizing a figure. And what did Manny Acta ever do to anybody?” [Kaduk/Big League Stew]