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“The Rays have never faced Salazar. Can the Indians overcome their Cobb-struggles? Can the Rays overcome never facing Salazar? Let’s check out more numbers from both. Cobb has an 8.41 K/9, which is his best in the big leagues. Danny Salazar is at 11.25. Cobb has a 2.83 BB/9, which was in line with his average. Salazar is at 2.60. Salazar leads both categories.” [Pete/Indians Prospect Insider]
“The Indians had a busy offseason last winter, acquiring 11 new players who’ve made significant contributions in 2013. Many of those moves were second guessed at the time, or ignored outright as insignificant, but there’s zero chance the Tribe is playing in tomorrow night’s American Wild Card game without them. GM Chris Antonetti and his front office team are to be applauded for the work they did in identifying and attracting these players to the organization.
The first major addition of last offseason came just days after the 2012 season ended, but it wasn’t a player the FO brought onboard, it was new manager Terry Francona. It’s hard for fans to know what all impact a manager has on a team, but between free agents mentioning him as part of Cleveland’s appeal, the excellent platoon splits shown by many Indians as their playing time has been juggled and massaged, the team’s sterling record in close games, and the harmony that’s seemed to emanate from the clubhouse all season, I feel confident saying Francona has made a major difference for the Tribe.” [Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe]
“At least at this point in the not-quite-the-season, Cavs fans haven’t heard anything from Brown that brings up queasy reminders to his “LeBron lets me coach him” remarks of yesteryear. There seems, for instance, a lack of pandering to Kryie Irving. I’m sure Brown respects Irving’s talents, but his measured praise (and, again, who knows how this all changes when Irving starts hitting game winners during the season) seems to quietly say “I’ll praise you when you show me that you can lead this team and can play some defense. Prove to me that you’re one of the game’s rising stars.” Brown’s relationship with Dion Waiters has been more chummy, but smartly so. Waiters, Brown seems to be betting, is a player who will play better when he believes he has your full belief and confidence, while Irving may like to prove doubters wrong.
Brown has also been clear about defining players’ roles. Waiters will play shooting guard. Earl Clark will be a small forward. Anthony Bennett will play power forward. While much of this was done to aid a young team grasping a new set of defensive principles, it also harkens back to 2010, when player discord over their roles was largely blamed for the team’s collapse against the Celtics. That’s where Brown is showing his growth as a coach and a leader — he’s learned from his mistakes — but coaches have systems and those systems can sometimes be resistant to change.” [Attenweiler/Cavs the Blog]
Video: The Browns wish the Indians best of luck against the Rays. No, they didn’t promise not to trade anyone tomorrow though. [Cleveland Browns.com]
Finally, ex-NFLer Ricky Williams lives in a dorm. He sleeps in a bed with Marvel Comics sheets. [Watson/Shutdown Corner]