- Do the Cleveland Browns losses actually happen everywhere?
- The great screw job of 2013
- The referee already had the flag out
- Should Chud have gone for two?
- What is a catch in the NFL and how do you decide what is or isn’t?
- Should the Browns have challenged Rob Gronkowski’s catch?
- NFL referees are more capable than they’ve ever been
- The rules themselves are really suffering
- Losing hurts more than it helps make a draft better
- What would Pierre Garcon have become if he played with the Browns?
- What does today’s game say about Rob Chudzinski
- The moneyball part of football with coaches
- The first time firing the people you hired
- The savior complex amongst sports fans
- Relying on faith as a sports fan vs. looking for tangible results
- The 2012 first round NFL draft and how far it will set the team back
- Carlos Carrasco and how he belongs in the bullpen
- Carlos Carrasco’s personality for closer
- Can a fan base ever get to know Cody Allen?
- It isn’t brave to be the Yankees. It is brave to spend like the Yankees in Cleveland.
- Hate tweeting and hate watching The Sound of Music Live
- Suffering through “How I met Your Mother”
- The Eric Wedge Seattle Mariner storyline [Read more...]
Browns screw job, hate watching The Sound of Music, Eric Wedge’s Mariners – JONCAST – WFNY Podcast – 2013-12-08
Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti is scheduled to talk to agent Dan Lozano about two of his clients, closers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson. This report comes from Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The Indians released Chris Perez the day after the World Series came to a close and are reportedly considering Rookie of the Year vote-earner Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw as in-house replacements. This report signals that the team is also willing to look to the free agent market.
Rodney took a step back 2013, posting a 3.38 ERA while blowing eight saves for the Tampa Bay Rays. Wilson, most noteably known for his beard and time spent with the San Francisco Giants, posted a 0.66 ERA in 18 appearances with the Dodgers this year after making it back from Tommy John surgery. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal report that the deep-pocketed Detroit Tigers are also interested in Wilson.
Both players have a solid chance to land multi-year contracts in free agency. How large these deals are—and what the Indians are willing to spend on a closer after whiffing on Kerry Wood just a few years back—remains to be seen.
It was a good first year for Terry Francona in Cleveland. Francona guided the Tribe to the playoffs and now he’s been recognized for his success. Francona was named American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
CLEVELAND, OH – The Baseball Writers Association of America today announced Cleveland Indians Manager TERRY FRANCONA has been selected the American League Manager of the Year, beating out Boston’s John Farrell and Oakland’s Bob Melvin.
In his first season managing Cleveland, Francona led the Indians to a 92-70 (.568) record and a berth in the American League Wild Card game as the Indians became the first Major League team since 1971 to end the season with a 10-game winning streak. The 24-win improvement over 2012 (68-94) matched the largest year-to-year win improvement in the history of the franchise, joining the 1986 Indians. 2013 marked the sixth time Francona has led a club to the postseason and the ninth straight season in which a Francona-managed team has won at least 86 games, the sixth-longest such streak in MLB history.
Today’s award is the first earned by Francona over his 13-year Major League Managerial career and marks just the second time an Indians Manager has been selected, joining ERIC WEDGE in 2007. The BBWAA began voting on the Manager of the Year Award in 1983.
I always wondered if Eric Wedge’s award was more of a snake bite for the team that wouldn’t be able to fire the Mustachioed grinder. I have no such reservations with Terry Francona. This is a great way to cap off the season and kick off the hot stove period. It can’t hurt the Tribe’s chances at following up their breakout first season with Terry Francona at the helm.
Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti was on Sirius XM earlier this afternoon to talk about the team’s upcoming offseason.
You can listen for yourself on this SiriusXM link for a 3.5-minute portion of the entire interview. Per Twitter, other topics mentioned: Asdrubal Cabrera’s offseason training regimen, Trevor Bauer’s rocky 2013 and Danny Salazar’s unrestricted 2014.
From the available 3.5-minute comments, here’s a paraphrased transcription.
On Ubaldo Jimenez…
Antonetti said he’s not certain if he’ll be back next year, but the team “would be thrilled if he accepts the qualifying offer.” Gave credit to Jimenez and pitching coach Mickey Callaway for the pitcher’s impressive 2013 season.
On starting pitching depth…
Named off, perhaps surprisingly, Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin as options for next season. Said the team feels good about its depth, but would obviously love Jimenez back.
On other offseason needs…
“We’ve lost a lot in our bullpen,” he said, mentioning released Chris Perez plus free agents Joe Smith, Matt Albers and Rich Hill. Expects the team will add a couple of pieces to the bullpen. And the team will be trying to find another “complementary bat.”
On the offense…
“We’re in a fortunate position going into the offseason in that we basically are returning an entire position player team that was fourth in the American League and fifth in baseball in runs scored.” Discussed the offense’s versatility.
On that “complementary bat”…
Antonetti said, in an ideal world, this would be a left-handed hitter. He rattled off outfield, first base, designated hitter and third base, in order, as potential positions of need for this player.
The blown saves…..the 2012 mid-season strange but sadly true statements about ownership and the lack of fan support……the Marijuana bust……the media blackout……the late season slump that nearly cost the Indians a playoff spot…..
We ran the gamut didn’t we, CP?
It all came to an end rather quietly yesterday afternoon as the Indians gave Perez his release, making him a free agent. They held his rights for one more arbitration eligible season, but despite his lackluster 2013 performance, CP was going to receive around $9 million. The Tribe just was not going to pony that up for a closer in this market, especially one that lost his job in September and was as disliked by the fan base as any local player in recent memory. GM Chris Antonetti didn’t even wait. They released Perez the first possible time they could – the day after the World Series. [Read more...]
Lost in the kerfuffle of the Cleveland Indians allegedly polling season ticket holders about their opinion on Chief Wahoo was the fact that said inquiry was literally one of roughly three dozen questions pertaining fans and how they relate to various aspects of the team. Drowned out by all of the noise and nostalgia surrounding the polarizing mascot was the fact that the team was conducting an exit interview of sorts, gauging fan thoughts on items like concessions, ticket prices, and most importantly, the roster of players who wear Cleveland on the fronts of their uniforms.
We have long discussed how attached fans are to the current roster. Gone are the days of having the same group of guys fill the Indians lineup card season after season; Kenny Lofton isn’t walking through that door, as much as he would probably like to. And while the stark reality of another 455 straight sell-outs continues to loom as an impossibility, the team wants to know how much they—despite still rocking their faded navy blue t-shirts with “BAERGA” on the back—assimilate with guys like Swisher and Kipnis and Bourn and Brantley. They want to know how important it is for the owner to be more out in the open, discussing the team’s direction and their plans for the future. They want to know, in addition to price adjustments at the concession counter and box office, what it would take to get that season-ticket base back up—how can they get you to invest in this team’s future?
I wanted to take a few weeks and step back before I made this list. The Indians successful 92 win Wild Card season in Terry Francona’s first year at the helm. It left us all wanting more. There will obviously be changes to the roster, but the 2013 roster needs a final examination. I normally hate so called “power rankings” pieces, yet here I am writing one. It is the offseason and not all of these guys will come back, but as the season closed, here are my final thoughts on each Tribe player and their future for 2014. These rankings are obviously subjective, but based on 2013 performance.
1. Michael Brantley – No matter where he was placed in the lineup, Dr. Smooth kept on hitting. .375 with runners in scoring position over an entire season says it all. Glides in left and has an accurate arm. GM Chris Antonetti needs to find a way to extend him. He was money all year long. [Read more...]
If there was one quote that former Indians General Manager John Hart was known for, it was that one. Hart had a progressive way of thinking during the time in baseball that we now refer to as the “steroid era.” He wanted to build a team that would out-slug you, then lock you down in the late innings with a deep, power-armed bullpen. While he clearly was onto something, Hart’s teams could never get over that hump, despite being a screaming success.
As GM of the Indians for 10 years, Hart presided over the most memorable times in Cleveland baseball that any of us under the age of 50 will ever recall. Only in Cleveland would we refer to this time as “The Era of Champions” despite the fact that no World Series titles were won. But nevertheless, Hart was the on the ground floor of the building of a sleeping giant that captured the hearts of our city and reminded the rest of the sport that baseball was still being played in Cleveland. [Read more...]
“While We’re Waiting” serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing the series on building a Tribe winner in 2014. As I’ve shared, the payroll math isn’t easy: “It’s all about the money. It’s always about the money. In the modern era of sports, no two statements are truer. They especially are true with the Cleveland Indians, an organization that is dedicated to spending what they make, but not running themselves into the red. … In essence, the Indians spent $86.85 million to build the 2013 team. What the 2014 payroll will be remains to be seen, but Indians general manager Chris Antonetti might find himself in a precarious position this winter when consulting his Tribenomics to construct and improve the team for next season.” [Mike Brandyberry/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?] [Read more...]
Following Wednesday’s AL Wild Card loss to Tampa Bay, the WFNY staff was still giddy about the Cleveland Indians’ 2013 season. But, some were already not as optimistic about the picture for 2014. Here’s another look inside the WFNY email thread to see what we were talking about yesterday with regards to the Tribe’s future.
Jacob: From 1995-2012, 58 MLB teams had .600+ records in 1-run games. Of those 58 teams, 44 regressed the following season: 75.9% of teams. In total, those 58 teams regressed by an average of 5.8 wins/162 games the following season.
Sure, that’s probably just regular regression to the mean for good teams anyway, but still notable. I don’t think winning 1-run games is a skill however, unless you have Mariano Rivera. The Indians went 30-17 (.638) in one-run games this season, second in baseball to the Yankees: 30-16 (.652). Both could be prime candidates for 2014 regression. [Read more...]
Last night’s Wild Card playoff was a game this city desperately needed. No, one game is most assuredly not “enough.” No, I’m not satisfied that the Indians peed down their leg with runners on base last night. 1 All the same, last night was a game that this city needed and it was a game that the team needed. As I said yesterday, this city has been doing a lot of bickering and in-fighting over the years since LeBron James left town and took all of Cleveland’s playoff hopes with him. What was left was a lot of self-loathing, bitterness and negativity. 2 It’s been wearing on this city’s fans and filtering to the players too. With those things in mind, I’m elated with the fact that Cleveland got at least one playoff game so the city could explode positively for a night.
It was absolutely electric, except that’s something everyone says. It was more than electric. The pride, excitement, and nearly palpable effort by Clevelanders last night to will their team to victory was everything we all remember as kids growing up with the 90′s Tribe. It was another taste for those of us in this age bracket, but it was even more important for so many people who hadn’t seen it before or were too young to remember. But that’s just the fans. It was also imperative for Cleveland Indians players to see it. [Read more...]
- I’ll leave the real recap work to the experts. [back]
- Some justified and some probably a bit over-the-top. [back]
In case you missed it, we had a chance encounter with Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan yesterday. Given that it’s not every day that I meet a billionaire who happens to own the team which I root for on a nightly basis, I’ve been thinking about it a lot since it happened.
I’d be lying if I didn’t feel a bit strange when we were taking our photo with Paul outside of Progressive Field. I’ve been pretty critical of him and his ownership of the Cleveland Indians. Even as recently as this season, I feel as if I’ve crushed a great portion of the Indians organization. I don’t think I was wrong about many or most of my criticisms, but it still felt a little bit strange to take my picture with the man who had been a subject of many of my critical words for years.
After thinking about it for a while, I’m feeling a lot better, because I know I have always wanted the Indians to do well. I never wanted them to fail so that I could look smarter for being so very critical. And now that they’ve had such a great September and gotten themselves in the hunt, this is when we’re all supposed to get along, right? Isn’t this how these things are supposed to work? [Read more...]
For weeks, when implosion after implosion happened……When the bats couldn’t be colder if they were naked in Alaska….When the bullpen went into their slide….when Corey Kluber got hurt….when Detroit treated them like their personal pinata….when Justin Masterson got hurt….I tried to tell you all, wait until September. Just wait. Big things will happen. Nick Swisher, one of the veteran leaders of this now 92-win bunch, told the media this weekend that his team shouldn’t have to apologize for anything. And he was right.
“As a direct quote to everybody else, no one was complaining about the schedule when we lost 94 games last year,” said Swisher. “That’s enough of that schedule stuff for real. No one was talking about the scheduling when we were playing the Yankees, Boston and Detroit. If everybody feels that way, make it an even schedule. Let everybody play everybody the same amount of times so no one can complain about it.” [Read more...]
“A lot of people said, ‘What are you doing?’ My answer was they didn’t know me as well as I thought because this was the place I wanted to come. If anything it’s been better than I anticipated. I relish the idea of working for Chris Antonetti and Mark Shapiro and the front office. It’s been more rewarding than I anticipated.”
– Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, in response to a Philadelphia reporter on Tuesday who asked again about his decision to come and manage in Ohio. Many have questioned Francona’s decision since it was announced back in October last year. With his team’s 5-3 win at Kansas City on Tuesday night, Francona’s Indians are now 82-69 and just one-half game back of both American League wild card spots. The team finished with a 68-94 record just one season ago. Francona will likely be a leading candidate for AL Manager of the Year, perhaps trailing new Red Sox skipper and former Cleveland front office executive John Farrell.
[Related: See, it is not just a Cleveland Problem!]
Scott Raab on the Browns prospects, Indians playoff run and the end of Tebow – WFNY Podcast – 2013-09-02
As I’ve been doing the last few weeks, I’m passing on writing notes as the podcast goes along so that I can be “in the moment.” So, here’s the email I sent to Scott on Sunday night that sparked the rest of the podcast.
Tebow is cut. Nobody makes a waiver claim. Is the NFL finally free of Tim Tebow? More importantly, we know Bill Belichick is great, but can we stop pretending like he can turn dog poop into gold? He has a track record of finding good players and finding ways to use them to their maximum. He’s never been known for taking non-players and doing anything with them other than cutting them… which is what he did to Tebow yesterday.
Good news! Buster Skrine rose up and won the second cornerback job opposite Joe Haden. Maybe these guys know what they’re doing, but they’ve really left their chins open on this one if Buster get burned early and often this season.
Same with kicker. I got a Facebook message from a friend who went into his fantasy draft and took Shayne Graham because USA Today had him rated as the fifth best fantasy option at kicker. Apparently not so much for the Browns who still don’t have a kicker after having a punter kick field goals in the fourth pre-season game. [Read more...]
The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I wrote a comprehensive article on all of the top Tribe prospects. Now, I’ve dissecting the mediocre Cleveland offense.
There might not be a better time than shortly after a sleep-inducing 14-inning game to write about the Cleveland Indians’ struggling offense. After a sensationally (and perhaps, unsustainably) hot start to the season, the Tribe has been much cooler of late. The offense has been a major reason for this decline, as the starting pitching actually has been achieving some historic feats. Today, I’ll be diving deep into the stats of this offensive fall and reflecting back on some previous predictions. [Read more...]
I couldn’t get a proper cold cuts conversation out of Brian Spaeth, so I saw an opening with TD and I grabbed it! Also, make sure you let us know what you think of the two songs I put together as potential replacements for our opening sounder.
- The Indians collapse
- Craig tries out two new songs as potential openers for the podcast
- Is it good enough to just contend late in the season?
- Do the Indians have any more free agency options in the bank?
- Dropping the payroll to the bottom of the league in payroll
- Asdrubal Cabrera probably won’t be in Cleveland next year
- Where does the growth come from in Terry Francona’s second year?
- Has Prince Fielder been a problem of a contract?
- Asdrubal Cabrera as cleanup hitter is a joke
- Mark Reynolds had one of the strangest seasons I’ve ever seen in my life
- Lonnie Chisenhall and what he can become or not
- Nick Swisher and how nobody kills him
- Chris Perez’ time in Cleveland is just over [Read more...]
It’s always a love-fest when I get Les Levine on the podcast. I won’t even apologize for it. We discussed the Indians attendance, the perception of the Dolan family and the latest Browns announcements that came out yesterday.
- When was the last time Les was nervous for a shift on radio?
- Les’ history in the radio business after Ohio State
- Jasper Indiana near French Lick Indiana
- Les’ career playing with the Jasper Red semi-pro baseball club
- Cleveland Indians attendance discussion
- The hatred of the Dolans and whether it’s fair or not
- Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti and whether or not they get a fair shake from fans anymore
- Matt LaPorta was a really desirable commodity
- The Cleveland Indians need to make the playoffs
- It’s all about playoff appearances
- Browns tailgating culture and how the Browns are going to attack that
- Happy hour in order to get fans in earlier
- The really “off-the-rails” fans
- The new Browns executives and how they’re not from Cleveland at all
- The drum corps but not the cheerleaders [Read more...]