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“As they go about putting that game plan together this off-season, Francona feels confident in the front office but understands they have to back it up with good, solid decisions. “The people that are in place here are off the charts,” Francona said. “Now we have a responsibility to put a team on the field. And the more consistently you do that, the better chance you give yourself to win.”
But what about the team he currently has in place? Roster turnover is on the horizon, but how much and in what areas does Francona feel those changes need to come?” [Zuppe/ESPN Cleveland]
Much love for Kipnis- “Kipnis stole 31 bases in 2012, the most of any second baseman in the American League. He also stole them at an 82% success rate, which rates among the top 25% of all players with at least 20 attempts. When you factor in his ability to go from 1st to 3rd or 2nd to home on singles, take a base on an out, etc., Kipnis led all A.L. second basemen in the base running component of bWAR and finished 2nd at Fangraphs.
Kipnis does a lot of things well. If I had to pick one member of the Indians to improve their hitting numbers in 2013, it would be him (and they weren’t bad in 2012). A strong bad with a decent glove and great work on the bases, you’ve got the recipe for a top five player at the position. We’ll have the chance to cheer for Kipnis in All-Star Games, maybe as early as next summer.” [Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe]
On Joe Banner- “That is what I don’t get — people freaking about him “making final decisions.” Wouldn’t that be expected? He’s the boss. Before, we had an owner who handed off any and all decisions to an end-all, be-all looming ‘President’ (who didn’t exactly have the best judgment based on cronyism). I’d much rather see this be a chain of command where people are collaborating and communicating. There’s been no cohesion since the Browns came back — between Policy and Davis and Mangini and Holmgren, it’s been micromanaged into an unrecognizable entity.” [Rickman/SB Nation Cleveland]
Remember Lydell Ross? He’s a firefighter now. “I think just being able to make mature decisions and being proactive in planning my life and job have helped me the most. I learned to take all aspects of a situation into consideration and come up with the best solution possible. Also, from playing football I learned how to be part of a team and how important having your teammates’ backs is, so that has helped me a lot. The physicality of the game of football also prepared me for the physicality of what it takes to be a firefighter.” [Gleitman/Eleven Warriors]
“After a shaky first half, the Browns defense finally settled down in the third quarter. No longer were the Colts methodically marching downfield scoring touchdowns. With 3:19 left in the third quarter and trailing 17-13, the Browns took control at their own 20-yard line.
Four plays. Four passes. One first down. Punt. The Colts went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but the Browns offense countered with pass-pass-pass-punt.
Those were two critical possessions when the momentum turned in Cleveland’s favor, and plenty of time left in the game. No need to develop a sense of urgency to score in less than two minutes. Yet the Browns abandoned the running attack.” [Delco/The OBR]