- Cleveland Browns gameday experience and the third down music
- Third down music and Craig’s attempt to fix it
- Buster Skrine vs. Francisco Lindor
- Rick’s Oneil Cousins film room piece
- Crucifying the player vs. the player who was forced into duty
- Casey Blake vs. Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn
- Spot players vs. everyday players
- Yan Gomes and his growing playing time with Terry Francona
- The respect for Terry Francona allowing the team to do what they want
- How can the Indians get better next year
- Is Lonnie Chisenhall going to be replaced this offseason?
- What to do with Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Perez
- The media and the state of beat reporting
- Ryan Seacrest and how hating people like him and Matt Underwood says more about you than it does about them
- Indians attendance and how it sucks us all in
- The LeBron effect on all Cleveland sports
- Michael Bourn’s quote about Indians attendance
- Paying for my playoff shares of tickets
- Just how long ago the 2007 playoffs were
- MLB’s one game playoff should never have happened
- Playoff chaos theory in baseball
Proposing new 3rd down sounds for the Browns, Tribe attendance and much more – WFNY Podcast – 2013-09-11
Having not won a roster spot with the Colorado Rockies this past spring, former Cleveland Indians third baseman Casey Blake has opted to call it a career.
Blake tells the Des Moines Register that, while he has been dragging his feet through most of this year, while he had not announced it yet, he “knew in his heart” that he was done with the game of baseball.
“My wife (Abbie) has been telling people I’m retired, but I’ve kind of been giving her a look,” said Blake. [...] I just decided to shut it down. And I’m okay with the decision.”
Blake, 38, has played parts of 13 seasons in the majors with five teams. Before landing an everyday job with the Indians at age 29, Blake played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins (twice) and the Baltimore Orioles. His best seasons were arguably as a member of the Tribe where he had five straight seasons of at least 17 home runs – including 28 in 2004 – before being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for current Indians catcher Carlos Santana.
The following piece is something that I never thought I would write. I also still to this day cannot understand the immense love for Casey Blake that the Indians fans and the organization itself had for this guy. Readers of this site know that I have been a Blake hater for years. But nevertheless, I saw and appreciated his value and there will be a point to all of this.
GM Chris Antonetti may soon be forced into an interesting dilemma. One nobody thought would ever be possible. That is because Jack Hannahan has become an indispensable part of the Cleveland Indians.
Jack was signed as a minor league free agent before the start of last season and was expected to be nothing more than organizational depth. This was a guy who was in the bigs for parts of four seasons, but never was any sort of factor. Hannahan spent the entire 2010 season in AAA where he hit just .237. Then thanks to a Jason Donald broken hand, Jackie became the starting third baseman. Nobody expected him to stick around all season with the big club, let alone keep the hot corner gig. [Read more...]
The Browns are an absolute abomination. Why do we do this to ourselves each week? At what point is there going to be some sort of backlash? I can’t take it. Thank goodness they aren’t the only game in town. The team that is closest to contention in this three-pro sport town is clearly the Indians at this point. But they obviously have their flaws. It seems like I keep coming back to the same Tribe topic.
So here again, is my weekly look into the on-going search for a real right-handed, middle of the order bat.
This weekend brought some under the radar Tribe news. Late last week, reports surfaced that the Indians were making inquiries into the health of infielder Mark DeRosa, who hasn’t been relevant since 2009 when the Indians dealt him to the Cardinals for two relievers (one of whom turned out to be closer Chris Perez). He will be 37 years old in 2012 and hasn’t played in more than 47 games since that ’09 season. DeRosa’s best year is now four seasons behind him with the Cubs (149 games – 285/.376/.857/21 HR/87 RBI [Read more...]
According to this Jordan Bastain tweet, the Indians signed Travis Buck to a minor league contract today with an invite to Big League camp
I know what you’re thinking: Who?
But I actually like this deal quite a bit for reasons I’ll delve into below, even though it probably won’t end up meaning all that much in the long-run. Let’s explore.
First though, I should be clear: Travis Buck hasn’t been very good in professional baseball so far, and that’s not even accounting for the multiple injuries with which he’s struggled. Throughout parts of the last four seasons, Buck has put up a .250/.330/.424 line (.331 wOBA/.754 OPS) as a corner OF for the Oakland A’s. During that time, he’s bounced around the minor leagues and the DL, resulting in only 669 Major League plate appearances–about as many as Matt LaPorta has. He’s struggled so much recently that Oakland refused to call him up last September and decided to non-tender him this off-season, allowing the Indians to offer him a minor league contract.
OK. Enough with the Debbie-Downer spiel. Here’s why I like the deal: [Read more...]
The Tribe made two moves this week that further echoed an ongoing problem since the club drafted and brought Jim Thome to the big leagues as a third baseman: since that time, other than the lightning-in-a-bottle Matt Williams year in 1997 and his subsequent trade to Arizona which brought in Travis Fryman prior to the 1998 season, the Indians have had a gigantic black hole at third base from top to bottom in their organization.
In reverse order, the Tribe sent current 3B Jhonny Peralta to Detroit for a minor league pitcher on Wednesday, and on Tuesday designated minor league 3B Wes Hodges for assignment, all but ending his tenure with the Tribe. At one point, Hodges was considered a bona-fide third base prospect, but as his 26th birthday approaches in September, it was becoming more and more clear that he was never going to be an option for the major leagues.
And now, as the under-achieving Andy Marte most likely picks up a chunk of the playing time at third in the short term, this triumvirate of suck at third base shines a bit more light on what has been a large problem for the organization for a long, long time. Buckle up… here comes a long, long list of bad, bad things, post-Fryman. [Read more...]
Most of the current Indians fall neatly into one of two fairly defined camps: those who are worth keeping and those who should be traded to contenders for prospects. It’s obvious that the Indians would love to trade Peralta, Kearns, and Wood to any team that would take them. Santana, Cabrera, Choo et. al. are obvious pieces that must stay with the team into the next contending cycle.
But Jake Westbrook provides an interesting dilemma for the Indians, especially considering the recent revelation that he has a clause in his contract that will escalate his contract by $2 million (plus a pro-rated $1 million) if he is traded this year. That means that if he stays with the Indians, he’s owed less than $4 million for the rest of the season, but if he’s traded, that figure jumps to about $6 million. [Read more...]
TD and I have argued about Casey Blake in the past. TD’s vitriol for Blake is legendary at this point. Funny enough, I always loved him for the exact reasons that TD hated him. While TD used Blake as a scapegoat for everything wrong with the Indians’ organization, I didn’t blame Blake. Instead, I jokingly over-praised Casey Blake for being a backup who was willing to play everywhere and anywhere the Tribe needed him. To me, he was a guy that made the absolute most of his given abilities. It wasn’t always the greatest thing to watch, and he had some bad moments on the field, but I could never put the sins of the Dolans and Mark Shipiro on Casey Blake. All he ever did was what he was asked to do, and mostly did it better than the other available options. Now that Blake is gone, I have another reason to love him. As we get further and further into this Indians team, the more and more it looks like the Casey Blake trade could yield more results than the trades of two Cy Young winners. [Read more...]
(All statistics in this article are since Carlos Santana was acquired by the Cleveland Indians organization along with Jon Meloan from Los Angeles for Casey Blake in July 2008)
Many people on this site and others have continuously praised catcher Carlos Santana’s hitting since the Indians acquired him nearly two years ago. The 24-year-old out of the Dominican Republic is one best prospects in baseball despite still being a work-in-process behind the plate. Offensively, he is one of the best in the business and is certainly not letting people down in 2010.
One of the best things that people cite about his hitting approach is his consistency. From at bat to at bat, or game to game, Santana always finds a way to get on base and help his team. Using my statistical powers, I’ll now quantify his run-producing consistency over the course of his 186 games in the Indians organization.
In 2009, there was not much success from a big league standpoint when it came to the Cleveland Indians. Thankfully, as Jacob let us know throughout the entire season, there was a lot of success just a quick trip down Route 77 as the Akron Aeros won the Eastern League at the Double-A level. And given their triumphs in the playoffs as well as the regular season, the Aeros have been named Baseball America’s Minor League Team of the Year for 2009.
Earlier this week, TD waxed poetic about the handful of former Indians who have been traded away within the last two seasons and will also be playing well into the month of October. This list did not even touch on those that left via free agency, which could potentially field an entire starting nine, and it still provided us with over 1200 words on the successes that we could have had playing for Cleveland.
Things got off to a solid start for the two more recent Cy Young award winners. Cliff Lee and the Phillies kicked off the playoffs with a win over the Colorado Rockies. Lee naturally worked a six-hit, one-run complete game. He also managed to go 1-for-2 at the plate and recorded a stolen base.
Just look at the photo spread above. Amazing isn’t it? Heading into the last two seasons, the Cleveland Indians were darlings of the media, picked by many to win the AL Central, and by some to win the American League. Seems comical now doesn’t it? It is rather sad, but look at some of the talent that will be competing for the ring this October, and you will find yourself looking at a who’s who of ex-Indians. [Read more...]
When asked who might be the Indians’ opening day starter next season, GM Mark Shapiro said, “Jake Westbrook if he’s healthy.”
Quite an interesting development considering Jake hasn’t pitched since May 2008 and has never been considered top of the rotation material. True, Jake is a rock of consistency and probably the one vocal leader left on the team, despite being on the disabled list.
Before blowing out his elbow early last season, Jake has rightfully earned his three year, $33 million extension. The shame of it is the Indians haven’t been able to reap the benefits of it as of yet. Westbrook averaged 15 wins from 2004-2006 while pitching over 210 innings per year. He missed time in 2007 with a side muscle injury but returned to be a solid post-season starter during the run to game seven of the ALCS. [Read more...]
In the third and final part of the Tribe trade deadline history, we examine the sell-off of ’06, the re-emergence of contention in ’07, followed by what we now see is the reality in ’08, causing another fire sale that included one of the greatest Indians pitchers of all time.
July 20, 2006 Indians trade RHP Bob Wickman to Atlanta for C Max Ramirez – After reading in Part two what Wickman had done for the organization, there is no point to rehash it again. The Braves were looking for a closer, since John Smoltz had moved back into the rotation, and Wickman was a proven veteran there for the taking.
With Kelly Shoppach not yet in the organization, there was a void of top catching prospects in the system after Victor Martinez. Ramirez was tearing up A ball, hitting .292 with 13 homers and 63 RBI’s. With Max still a couple of years away from making a major league impact, it was a no brainer for the Braves.
We would hear from Max Ramirez again later…. [Read more...]
While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.
Please keep egging him on: “As he has done in other venues over the years — notably Toronto, Milwaukee and Sacramento — James used the fan for inspiration and pointed to him every time he made a play on that side of the court. Since James scored 74 points in two games here as the Cavs swept the Hawks out of the Eastern Conference semis, that was a lot of pointing.
“Certain fans think it’s a great idea for them to get out of control against me,” James said. “It does nothing but fuel the fire I already had. I don’t think that guy will be allowed to another Hawks game when the Cavs come to Atlanta.” [LeBron James via Mary Schmitt Boyer]
Another week in the books. We still don’t have a GM for the Browns, but we are inching closer to MLB Spring Training. If anything we can all live vicariously through those in Arizona as it is currently four degrees with a wind chill of 13-below zero in Cleveland, Ohio.
And if you missed any of the fun from the past few days, we got you covered.
First and foremost, we introduced the newest member to the WFNY staff in Todd Dery.
In joining the WFNY team yesterday, I had no idea just how everything comes together on this site. Like all of you, I was a reader, a fan, and I just assumed guys like Scott, Rock, Craig, etc, just wrote pieces and posted them, just like I do on my site The World According to TD. Well yesterday, I learned it was quite the contrary.
I am a gmail guy. If you are familiar with gmail, their format is in what they call “conversations.” A normal conversation between two or more people may be five emails or so, maybe. Well yesterday, the WFNY crew had one ongoing conversation which was 98 emails long. Not kidding. And you thought it was just this simple? I mean, how do we keep our day jobs?
I think it was Craig who said one of these sidebars would make for a great piece. Well, this morning, we got sucked into the Casey Blake vortex over email. We thought it would be funny for all of our loyal followers to see this classic back and forth: [Read more...]
Not all that long ago, we were talking about what the Kansas City Chiefs could give us for Brady Quinn that would be considered “enough.” Jokingly, I mentioned a few of their baseball players like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. So when I heard that we were looking to Kansas City to fill our hole at third base, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. After all…Gordon is their third baseman.
But what I didn’t have in mind was utility man Mark Teahen.
Well, here we are. We’ve talked about what happened in 2008 and also how much we paid for it, but unless you all are gluttons for the punishment that only Skip Carey and Joe Buck can provide, it’s time to move on to 2009. The Tribe has some question marks heading into the off-season. Scott and I will do our best to identify those issues and put our collective keyboard to work to answer them.
Where to start? Let’s look at off-season issues for the Tribe, each in the context of: a) what are the holes; b) what’s available (either in-house of via trade/FA); and c) what we think the Tribe should and will do. [Read more...]
In a three-part series this week, Scott and I will be taking stock of the 2008 Cleveland Indians: Part 1 will look back and recap the 2008 season; Part 2 will look at the Indians compared to other teams in a “bang for buck” fashion; and Part 3 will look at what’s ahead this off-season and into 2009.
Part 1 – A Tale of Two Seasons
On July 9th, the Tribe lost. They fell to 37-53, 16 games under .500. They had just traded 2007 Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia, they were in last place in a weak division, and through 90 games—or, just a smidge over half the season—they weren’t playing much better than .400 (.411) baseball. These were the 2008 Cleveland Indians: World Series contenders when they broke camp in March, ready to take the next step. And they were 16 games under .500 and had just traded the Cy Young winner from the previous season. Things were grim. [Read more...]