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“The “window of contention” theme we took from the front office and propped up in these parts? It’s been more like one of those utility windows in your basement. Because the Indians finished two games under .500 a year ago when injuries and depth issues erased a startlingly strong start, and they have a very real chance of finishing 2012 with 90 losses or more.
If you had asked me two weeks ago (as the 11-game losing streak was winding down) if heads would roll because of the disappointing way 2012 has played out, I would have told you pitching coach Scott Radinsky and hitting coach Bruce Fields are probably both on thin ice, given the regression we’ve seen from the likes of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Santana. Not to say that I think either guy was or is necessarily doing a lousy job; it’s just that this is the way the business works. So when Radinsky bit the bullet later that week, I figured that was the end of it and the Indians would plod along their mediocre route to the finish line.
But they just keep losing, and rather convincingly so. And when Major League clubs lose at the rate the Indians are losing in seasons in which they, rightly or wrongly, expected to contend, well, it tends to get ugly in the aftermath.” [Castrovince/MLB.com]
The NBA and Ticketmaster are creating a new secondary ticket market initiative. Sound familiar? “Granger said that the four teams that use the Dan Gilbert-owned Veritix (Cavaliers, Rockets, Jazz and Nuggets) and the two teams that use Paciolan (76ers and Trail Blazers) can also opt in to use the system, which will link to their primary and secondary ticketing platforms.
Whether the site will be effective will depend on how the teams respond. Each team can determine how much it wants to charge the seller to list the tickets and the buyer to buy them. It is also not clear if some teams, sensitive to their product, will institute a price floor that will restrict how low a ticket can be sold for. “We at the league believe that there should be no price floors so that the market can dictate what the right price is,” Granger said.” [Rovell/ESPN]
“Everything about the 2011 Ohio State passing game made me want to murder someone. Did you ever re-watch the Michigan State game? If not, good. If so, what in the name of all that’s holy is wrong with you? It wasn’t the Buckeyes’ worst passing performance of 2011 (that dubious honor belongs to the Illinois game where Braxton Miller attempted four passes as Jim Bollman slathered himself with sour cream and had three Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs lick it off him over the course of four quarters), but that’s actually my point.
See, the MSU game was one of those times where you need your passing game to pick up the slack, as the normally “okay” Ohio State rushing offense had completely ground to a halt. And to Bollman’s credit, he called 25 passing attempts, but the complete lack of creativity in the passing game and general lack of talent meant that the whole proposition was doomed from the start. Miller and Bauserman (yes, he was still somehow playing QB five games into the season) combined to go 12/24 for 143 yards, and the cherry on top were the four consecutive incompletions on OSU’s penultimate drive thrown by Bauserbombs himself that took the Buckeyes from 1st and 10 on the Spartan 43 to a Sparty 1st and 10, also on the Spartan 43.
In other words, it wasn’t just bad coaching, or bad playing, or poor talent, or a complete and utter lack of imagination where getting the ball to the tight ends and receivers was concerned. It was all of those things combined, an incredibly frustrating and predictable broken record that slowly repeated itself at about 14 rpm for the duration of the season. Thank God Meyer and company have iPods.” [Ginter/Eleven Warriors]
“The Indians must suspend Chris Perez. He earned it.
He earned it by representing the Indians — the team, the organization and its fans — in a classless, boorish way with that “discussion” with the fan in Oakland. (For those that missed the news, Perez was caught on camera over the weekend in Oakland engaging in a pregame argument with an A’s fan, directing a series of expletives toward the fan before asking that the fan be removed and walking away.)
Perez needs to hear the team’s message, loud and clear. What he did was vile and crude.
The Indians should never want a player representing them on the field, in uniform, the way Perez did. Suspend him.” [McManamon/FSO]
“And then there is Cleveland, who were supposed to have a puncher’s chance to challenge Detroit. What happened there?
Cleveland entered the season poised to at least make a run at the Tigers this year. The Tigers were the obvious pre-season favorites, but Cleveland made some moves that seemed to put them in the picture. They started the year well, and lead the division through much of the spring. Yet, here we are, and not only is Cleveland not in contention, but after getting swept in Oakland this past weekend, they have fallen to fourth place behind the Royals. Run differential tends to be overused as a predictive tool, but even early in the season Cleveland’s run differential was poor. Pythagorean chickens have come home to roost. In fact, while the Indians may be ahead of Minnesota in the standings, their Pythagorean record is even worse than the pathetic Twins.
Many things have gone wrong for Cleveland this year, and each of them can be analyzed in minute detail at a later date. Some problem areas have been more obvious than others, and while I will get to the obvious, it has not all been Ubaldo.” [Klaassen/Fan Graphs]