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“There is a new feeling around the Cleveland Indians. It isn’t a feeling of cockiness, but confidence. It’s a feeling of pride in what has been accomplished since the end of a 94-loss season in 2012, and also a focus on the work that is left to be done. It’s a feeling of comfort and trust, while starting so many things different and new. However you try to describe the feeling, it is one created by new Manager Terry Francona.” [Mike Brandyberry/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]
“It has been a busy few weeks that have drastically altered the look of the Indians active roster. Cleveland has also flexed its creative muscles by dishing out some serious dough, but still keeping the payroll in the same range as a year ago. When it is all said and done, the payroll will likely be in the neighborhood of $75 million, which is slight increase from a year ago.
GM Chris Antonetti has said that the club is likely done making any significant money moves, meaning the Tribe is virtually done on the free-agent market (at least with substantial big league contracts). The main area of need left unsettled is the DH role. Might Travis Hafner be coming back on a reduced deal? Antonetti has not ruled it out.” [Jordan Bastian/MLBlogs]
This wasn’t worthy of a headline the other day, so I thought I’d share it here in WWW: “Tom Heckert is out of the running for the Jets’ GM job. A source told Newsday the recently-fired Browns GM was scheduled to meet with owner Woody Johnson on Monday, but cancelled his interview Friday evening.” [Kimberly A. Martin/Newsday]
Amid all the Chip Kelly hoopla, this was a fun read about the Browns moving on from Shurmur: “One thing I’m running short on is patience. I suppose that I’m as thick-skinned as the next Browns fan, but I dread the thought of starting over. Just tell me there’s something in place that doesn’t need to be made-over. Help me identify building blocks or, dare I say, a core. What I see right now is a team that practices in Berea, and is the subject of a show on the Travel Channel, despite the fact they aren’t a very good football team.” [Jeff Rich/The Cleveland Fan]
The Buckeyes just lost to Kansas and this star guard. Now, NBADraft.net has him as a possible draft target: “[Ben] McLemore has been one of the biggest surprises this season. After sitting out last season as an academic redshirt, he has been nothing short of sensational moving to the front of this year’s shooting guard class and stating a case for himself as a potential top overall pick candidate. While the feat has not been accomplished (a SG going 1) in 40 years, McLemore has a chance. He needs to improve upon his handle and ability to create shots, but he has standout athleticism and a textbook outside shot. NBA Comparison: Ray Allen” [Aran Smith]
The Buckeyes received some big news yesterday: cornerback Bradley Roby will be returning in 2013. [Tim May/Columbus Dispatch]
Cornerback Bradley Roby just told me by phone he is RETURNING to play for Ohio State in what will be his junior season this year.
— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) January 6, 2013