Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to email@example.com.
“2. Cleveland Indians. Last title: 1948. World Series: 5. Titles: 2. Not only have the Indians not won a World Series since Dewey defeated Truman, they also squandered the most stacked roster in the last two decades. Look at that team: Manny. Lofton. Belle. Alomar. Thome. Vizquel. That team should have been the Jeter Yankees. In 1997, extra innings, so close … and then those stupid Marlins. Cleveland has teams at or near the top in all the tortured franchise rankings. The Indians might even be the third most-tortured team in their own town.” [Leitch/Sports on Earth]
“Taking over a team that had missed the NCAA Tournament for two consecutive seasons and was coming off of a 14-16 campaign, Matta knew that he had his work cut out for him, but was unaware of just how poor of shape the Buckeyes’ basketball program was in. From uninspired efforts both on the hardwood and in the classroom, Matta knew that his new team was in for a culture shock as he attempted to implement what he described as “the Ohio State way.” [Axelrod/Buckeye Sports Bulletin]
“Callaway was hired into the org in 2010 when he was named as the pitching coach for the Lake County Captains. He moved quickly through the org, serving as the Kinston (now Carolina) pitching coach in 2011, and then as the minor league pitching coordinator in 2012. When Tito was hired in the fall of 2012, he looked internally to fill his coaching staff and Callaway was promoted to fill the role of big league pitching coach. The results were immediate and drastic. As you’ll see in the below table that stressed both the limits of my Excel and math expertise, every member of the Indians rotation had their FIP decrease from 2012 in their first season under Callaway.” [Ciammaichella/The DiaTribe]
“Masterson will be entering his contract year in 2014 and projects to earn a strong salary his last time through arbitration. He made his first All-Star team in 2013, and posted a 3.45 ERA in 193 innings overall. His last start came on September 2nd, as he was knocked out by an oblique strain and assumed a relief role upon his return because he did not have time to build up his stamina. Masterson had two sub-4.00 ERA seasons out of four in Cleveland, although he has not yet put together one with a strong strikeout rate and a walk rate below 3.0 per nine. If the Indians are to extend the 28-year-old groundballer this offseason, a five-year deal between those of John Danks ($65MM) and Jered Weaver ($85MM) would make sense.” [Dierkes/MLB Trade Rumors]
“While Stubbs did very little to impress anyone at the plate, he did play solid defense in the outfield and provided Terry Francona with some much-needed flexibility. Because Stubbs could be shifted back and forth from right field to center field and back again, Francona was able to rest Michael Bourn and also fill in for him when he was injured without missing much of a beat. So from that standpoint, Stubbs was everything we thought he would be.
That said, Stubbs did not impress anyone offensively. And while he did almost match his average projections from the table above, it wasn’t enough to keep him on the field and in the lineup on a full-time basis. Thanks to the emergence of Ryan Raburn, Stubbs was relegated to part-time duty, filling in mostly as a defensive replacement or pinch runner in late inning situations. Also, much like Michael Bourn, Stubbs experienced a significant drop in stolen bases. It was the first time since his debut season of 2009 that he failed to swipe at least 30 bags.
Needless to say, it wasn’t what anyone had hoped for when Stubbs was brought to Cleveland, but his performance was by no means the worst turned in by the Indians this past season. Stubbs was a solid contributor and continued to do what was asked of him even when he lost playing time to other, more deserving players.” [Heise/Wahoos on First]