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“The Indians are not going to make the playoffs in 2012. Consider this my bold prediction on that front. The Indians do not have impact talent in AAA or AA that will step up next year to augment the big league club to fuel a run to the playoffs next year. When you look back at how this roster was built, you see a few good trades (Santana, Asdrubal, Masterson) working desperately to overcome a decade of terrible drafting. That’s not a good business model, on a number of levels. That’s also not Brad Grant’s fault. Since taking over in 2008, Grant has gone 4-4 with his first round picks in the Rule 4 Draft which is four more than the previous administration can claim. Between the draft picks and international signings, the lower levels of the Indians minor league system are well-stocked and loaded with potential impact talent. That talent of course is a long ways from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, and a lot can happen between Lake County and Cleveland. But when you’re calling for heads to roll in the Indians front office, make sure that Brad Grant is spared your wrath. He’s making a lot more good decisions then bad, and whenever the next “window of contention” cracks open, it’s going to be either because players that Grant acquired are playing at a high level in the show, or because they were used to trade for older guys to help pry open that window before the core of Kipnis, Droobs, Santana, Chiz, Brantley and Masterson hit free agency.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]
“They’re all Buckeyes now, and no one is questioning their loyalty. But none of the three know the history and tradition of the Scarlet and Gray quite like freshman wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos. A native of Upper Arlington, Epitropoulos’ father, John, and uncle, Ernie, suited up for Ohio State under both Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce from 1978-1980, and his mother, Alice, earned her degree from the university.
More than three decades later, Bruce’s grandson, Zach Smith, is Epitropoulos’ position coach. In a sense, it is history repeating itself and both are living out a fantasy of sorts. When Epitropoulos runs out of the tunnel in Ohio Stadium on Sept. 1 as a member of the Ohio State football team, a lifelong dream will have been fulfilled.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]
“The crash-course education of Josh Gordon continues. Whether it pays off in time for the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 season remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: His quarterback fully expects him on the field for the season opener Sept. 9 against Philadelphia.
“He’s gonna be out there,” Brandon Weeden said Friday. “He’s got way too many tools and he’s way too of a player not to be out there.”
With all respect to the Browns rookie quarterback, talent does not equate to being an NFL player. Gordon has God-given size and speed, and the hands to make catches. But often in college talent gets a player through while in the NFL more is required.” [McManamon/The OBR]
“Asdrubal Cabrera’s error total has increased every year since his first full season in the majors. In 2008, he appeared in 115 games and committed eight errors playing shortstop and second base. In 2009, he made 10 errors in 128 games, playing both middle infield positions. He played only 95 games in 2010 because of a broken arm and made 12 errors, playing shortstop exclusively. Last year, he was charged with 15 errors in 151 games, strictly as a shortstop.
This season, in his 110th game Saturday night, Cabrera committed his 16th error, which would make his projected total 22 for the season. “I think Asdrubal can do better than that,” manager Manny Acta said. “Both offensively and defensively, I expect a lot out of him. He’s had a few errors in a short period of time, but I’m not going to complain about his defense.” [Ocker/Ohio.com]
Finally, my favorite tweet from yesterday– “The ending to this #Indians season makes the ending of Saving Private Ryan look uplifting by comparison.” [Rich Swerbinski]