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buffum
277 comments | 300 total rating | 1.08 average rating
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Baseball Prospectus http://bbp.cx/i/458
buffum
(458)
Comment rating: 0

Out of curiosity, what was the result of Street's contact? He's not listed as one of the three to get a hit, but that looked pretty solid.

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 2

Wow, Jim Johnson actually WAS a valuable reliever, not just a "50-save guy."

Aug 20, 2013 11:09 AM on Saving the Save
 
buffum
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Comment rating: 2

Well, I can explain Russell's, at least: there is no Cleveland fan on Earth over the age of 18 or so that would not have listed The Mariners Game. This, plus the admission that he's been committed to his wife for at least 9 years, allows us to conclude that Russell is at least 18. (That comeback was literally the first game I thought of when I read the title of the piece.)

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 1

Is there any way you can use different colors in those strikezone plots? I'm red-green colorblind and can't distinguish those well.

 
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I don't think they want to absorb his umpteen-game suspension right now.

May 15, 2013 10:40 AM on The Cleveland Show
 
buffum
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Comment rating: 7

While I'm pleased you took Heyman's point and ran in an interesting direction, his initial question seems like an Intro to Logic question: 1) This guy is hitting much better than that guy 2) According to Measure X, this guy and that guy are roughly equivalent 3) Therefore, Measure X must include something other than hitting And what fan, sabermetric or not, has EVER praised Mark Reynolds' DEFENSE? (Caveat: Reynolds has certainly made individual plays that were excellent, but his overall defense has always been considered below-average, even at UVa.) I mean, I'm not a super-sophisticated fan, but I'm a fair Logician, and the first thing I thought when I saw the stat was, "Boy, Elliot Johnson must be a pretty good defender." Is that really that clever a leap to make? (As an Indians fan, I already knew that Mark Reynolds is not a "pretty good defender.")

 
buffum
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Mark Reynolds' start has been a pleasant surprise for Tribe fans.

May 01, 2013 12:21 PM on Six Who Clicked
 
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I am amused by the propsect that in six percent of Barry Zito's starts in which he has received 7 runs of support, he is not doing so in the major leagues. If he were pitching in the majors in those starts, after all, he would have won 100% of the time, just as all other major leaguers have.

 
buffum
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Excellent, thanks.

 
buffum
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Interesting work. I leave the statistics to my wife, but is it possible to use SLG as the variable instead of K-rate? Just because I don't see how doesn't mean it couldn't be done, and that's kind of what I think of when I think of "familiarity breeding contempt" (a proxy for "harder-hit balls").

 
buffum
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Man, I remember getting roasted for expressing skepticism that Boesch was For Real back on BBTN Live. Frankly, I would rather that meant that Boesch was Merely Ordinary than Egregiously Awful. Well, except against the Indians. It'd be fine if he remained Egregiously Awful against the Indians.

Mar 14, 2013 10:21 AM on Royally Flushed
 
buffum
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Comment rating: -1

Wait, so you're telling me that badly developing badly drafted players produces results that are bad? May I send this article through Tachyon Express to the Indians of the previous decade? This may a-splode their heads, but I'm willing to have retroactively assumed that risk.

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 4

I like the principle of the Yankees signing Travis Hafner on the day that Nick Johnson retires.

Feb 01, 2013 12:18 PM on Pronk's Tale
 
buffum
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Comment rating: 3

This article is completely preposterous. Predictably, I am quite envious.

Jan 29, 2013 9:54 AM on Pass the Bonds, Please
 
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Well, Buckner's play was IN the World Series, while Lind's was NOT ...

 
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> ... someone who is named after two entirely different classes of the phylum Chordata. #envy

 
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> You'd learn that bringing back Berkman, Oswalt, and Pence would turn the Astros into a World Series shoe-in. Because, goodness knows, those three guys are more talented than anybody in the AL West. Of course, Oswalt is IN the AL West ...

 
buffum
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Astonishing.

 
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> "There has to be an underlying reason." Why? Paging Russell Carlton ...

 
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The part about questioning Perez' focus reminded me of my wife's colleague Dan Gilbert referring to the "Fundamental Error of Attribution." (Yes, I know he meant Attribution Error, but I always found it more amusing to phrase it the other way around.) But sports fandom is especially susceptible to applying causes to things that were less "caused" and more "temporally proximal."

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 5

As an Indians fan, I am having trouble wrapping my head around the concept, "Hitting Coach Einar Diaz." My favorite part of his player card is that he has played for Cleveland, Texas, Montreal (!), St. Louis, and Los Angeles, and as such, is shown in a Pittsburgh Pirates hat. (Apparently he signed there but didn't make the big club.)

Sep 05, 2012 9:46 AM on The Postmodern Orioles
 
buffum
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Choosing to focus on one inning was a wise decision, as to this point in history, no person who is not a White Sox fan has ever made it through an entire Hawk Harrelson broadcast without suffering an aneurysm.

 
buffum
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> Fine, I'll say what everybody is thinking.. Testosterone. Worst spelling of "Mephistopheles" I've ever seen.

 
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> Entire sport exposed as farce. To an Indians fan, this is more "verification" than "exposure."

 
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Even better, that "J. Heyward struck out swinging" included a dropped third strike and errant throw to first before he was finally retired.

 
buffum
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This is well-written and food for thought, but it still doesn't adequately explain Eric Wedge Face.

 
buffum
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This is terrific! From this article, I infer that the Indians have no weaknesses to address! (Wait, what do you mean, "wrong message?")

Jul 26, 2012 6:36 PM on Upgrading From Nothing
 
buffum
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I don't dispute this, it's a sensible question to ask. Maybe it was hot. Maybe he got a blister. Maybe Pestano needed the work. (This is untrue, but I am not Manny Acta's Opinion.) I will say that in his career, Tomlin's "slash numbers allowed" progress both with number of plate appearances and number of pitches thrown (in 25-pitch chunks, as tracked on baseball-reference.com). http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=tomlijo01&year=Career&t=p

Jul 07, 2012 6:40 PM on Friday, July 6
 
buffum
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Comment rating: -1

> ... but why take out [Tomlin] on a low pitch count if he's still going strong? Because Tomlin's a fraud. Don't get me wrong, I root for the guy, but he's Paul Byrd. Showing him too many times to a lineup is pushing your luck into a well too many times, or something of that ilk. I love his guts. I love his guile. I look forward to the "crafty veteran" phase of his career. It starts in a couple weeks.

Jul 06, 2012 8:31 PM on Friday, July 6
 
buffum
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I am flabbered by the concept of Eric Wedge finding something listless or uninspiring.

Jul 02, 2012 5:09 PM on June 25-July 1
 
buffum
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Any article with Warren Harding smak automatically becomes one notch better.

 
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I'll take the hamster, Wink.

Jun 22, 2012 12:22 PM on Friday, June 22
 
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(Note: I am aware that Wakefield is one of those pitchers that consistently confounded BABiP.)

 
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What were Wakefield's K/9 and BB/9 numbers through that stretch, out of curiosity? Are there BABiP numbers? I wonder how much the wheels came off and how "lucky" he'd gotten to that point.

 
buffum
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It's awfully far away to look into the future, but does Frank Lindor render Ronny Rodriguez a tantalizing trade chip? A second baseman? Brandon Phillips?

Jun 18, 2012 6:17 PM on Monday Morning Ten Pack
 
buffum
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What does the asterisk on the $40,000 figure signify?

 
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I still consider this the seminal piece on Greinke: http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2010/12/being-there-with-greinke.html I can't find the quote (apparently I'm not good at The Google), but I have a memory (false or otherwise) of Joe writing, "No one does 'blank stare' like Zack Greinke." That line stuck with me for some reason.

 
buffum
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I would say this was a gargantuan amount of research for a femtoscopic payoff, except it wasn't, because it yielded this article.

 
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I'm trying to wrap my head around 69 steals on June 8th. I mean, that comes out to a full 162-game season of ... what, 200? Two HUNDRED? No, he couldn't do it in the majors but ... I mean, that's like a guy in the minors with 45 homers already, no?

 
buffum
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More than one Indians fan would offer Ubaldo Jimenez for Kevin Youkilis. Mind you, a decent subset of that group would accept Tim Wakefield, an autographed photo of Bobby Valentine in false mustache mode, or a Cherrystong clam for Ubaldo Jimenez.

 
buffum
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I have to say, as I was reading this, when you mentioned an extreme strike-thrower who can throw 95 and likes to live on the outside corner, the first name that came to mind was Raffy Betancourt. (The second was Eddie Moo.) Granted, Raffy's a Big Lad, significantly taller than 6 feet, but is his stuff really that much better than Thayer's? Or should Thayer consider channeling his inner monitor lizard and begin pausing for 45 seconds between deliveries?

 
buffum
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Where does Carlos Santana's return date estimate come from?

May 31, 2012 1:58 PM on Thursday, May 31
 
buffum
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Damn, Davis actually has some nice movement on his pitch. Reminds me of Andy Marte.

 
buffum
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Will Jack Hannahan ever play again?

May 17, 2012 11:45 AM on Thursday, May 17
 
buffum
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You suck it up and accept that none of your MLB, NBA, nor NFL teams will win a champeenship in your lifetime. Then you call everyone a fungus. -- Cleveland

May 09, 2012 10:45 AM on The Art of Losing
 
buffum
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Comment rating: 1

They have a +10 run differential and are in third place in their division. I expect them to fail, but 0% is an EXTREME outlier with this much season to play.

May 08, 2012 6:52 PM on Tuesday, May 8
 
buffum
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And now you can add the mighty Drew Pomeranz ...

 
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> ... allowed Roach to crawl out of the bullpen ... Oy vey.

 
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Can someone explain to me the algorithm that believes the White Sox are good?

May 07, 2012 9:06 AM on Monday, May 7
 
buffum
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Very informative and a great use of photos.

 
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The last paragraph is the best and made me snort out loud. However, I am intrigued by the pitcher in the last GIF who decided that he needed (yes, NEEDED) to throw a slow curve in order to retire the mighty hitter than is Weakling McShmendrick.

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 7

Other cliches that apply to the Orioles include: * Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me sixteen times, I'm prolly an idiot. * Look around the table and identify the sucker. If you can't, then YOU are the sucker. * A fool and his money are Peter Angelos. * As your attorney, I advise you to drop more acid.

Apr 30, 2012 9:22 AM on The Walking Dead
 
buffum
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As a kid, I never understood how George Hendrick hit with his front foot on the plate line and his back foot in the far corner of the box. Charlie Spikes had an odd, flat stance, too, but I understood how he hit: he didn't.

 
buffum
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Isn't being named "Scooter" worth like 20 points of OBP when evaluating a prospect?

 
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I laughed, I cried, I remembered who Scott Podsednik was. Two thumbs up.

 
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That was quite good. I would have said "blisteringly so," but that seems inappropriate now. I like the aspect of command that deals with pitch sequencing. That rings true in a way I hadn't thought of before.

Apr 11, 2012 11:11 AM on Finding the Zone
 
buffum
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While admittedly Cleveland-o-centric, I am relatively flabbered that this article mentions none of "Manny Acta," "Chris Perez," or "Horrifying Orthodoxy."

 
buffum
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Tofu Lou Marson is available for $45. (This explains why I am no longer the sponsor, as I was last season.) I put him up against Castro any day in the "buck for the thud" department.

 
buffum
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Tremendously structured piece. Extraordinarily well-crafted.

Jan 13, 2012 11:51 AM on Jack Morris in Motion
 
buffum
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I would have liked to see a Bill Lee mention: a much more interesting moral case than Manny Ramirez ...

 
buffum
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(Post Reply fails with JS error) I see your point about the difference between "all-in" and "win now," but from my perspective, if you lose the hand on which you go all-in, you are out of the game, and your gambit is a failure. This Hand sure sounds like This Year, unless in baseball, poker games take three years to play. I view 2012 as a distinct hand. YMMV.

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 3

> To say the Indians have gone all-in on the 2011 season is putting it lightly. It's also completely false. Since Jimenez is signed through at least 2013, and it seems like a pretty straightforward argument to claim that Jimenez is more likely to have major-league success in 2012 and 2013 than Pomeranz, White, or any guy currently working his way up through Cleveland's system, this should be viewed as going in OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD. Getting Kipnis, Chisenhall, and others playing time now MIGHT be good for 2011, but it almost certainly WILL make them more prepared for 2012 and 2013. Are the Indians now less likely to win in 2014 than they were yesterday? I suppose so. Is it likely that any of us can make a credible, accurate prediction about how the Indians will actually do in 2014? That seems pretty far-fetched. Is there risk in this deal? Hell yes, there's risk. Ubaldo Jimenez may never again be an upper-echelon starting pitcher. If Jimenez is hurt or has already experienced his career high or "Fausto Carmonas" (as a verb), this works out pretty darned badly for the Tribe. If he's a legit front-of-the-totation 200-inning K-per-inning low ERA starter, the Indians are in a bit better position in 2011 ... but a MUCH better position in 2012 and 2013.

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 1

Henry's skill set looks a lot like Mike Brantley's. Is that a fair assessment? Is Henry at a similar point as Brantley was at the same age/level?

 
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"Addressed" even.

 
buffum
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Neat feature, I like it. Would like to see Matt LaPorta address if you're taking requests. (Thanks for Brantley, and I see Asdrubal's in the pipe.)

 
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It was interesting to see Aaron Laffey on the list, in that I would have sworn as an Indians fan that Laffey threw fastballs in any count or situation precisely 0.00% of the time.

Apr 26, 2011 8:11 AM on Pitching Backward
 
buffum
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Gordon stole the bases off Jeanmar Gomez, not Carlos Carrasco. It should be noted that Marson, who pegs out about 40% of basestealers, was probably less influential than Gomez here. I mean, Billy Butler stole a base (on a double steal, but ... dude, it's Billy Butler stealing a base).

 
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Jayson Nix is a "very good defender" in what regard? At second base? I suppose I could see that. At third base? There is no degree of squinting to make this true. He was abominable (while, admittedly, gamely trying to overcome being woefully miscast) in 2010 at 3B. And I've watched Corey Smith and Wes Hodges.

 
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Seconded. His arm is monstrous, he's got two .300 AVG 20/20 HR/SB seasons under his belt ... maybe ISO?

Feb 10, 2011 11:27 AM on Tooling Around
 
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I admire your optimism that allows you to list Valbuena as a breakout rebound candidate all the way up to "merely bad." I had scrolled past the positive numbers and had to go back to see him. (FWIW, the people more likely to play second in 2011 than Valbuena include, in order of likelihood, Jason Donald, Jason Kipnis, Cord Phelps, and you.)

 
buffum
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> and both Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley would have to flop in Cleveland to make [Buck] relevant. You mean "flop again," or "continue flopping."

Jan 05, 2011 10:03 AM on Hot Spots: Outfield
 
buffum
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So you're saying Brandon Allen would be worth it if he provided ... the same skill set Mark Reynolds was run out of town for exhibiting?

Dec 27, 2010 2:16 PM on Monday Ten-Pack
 
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Right. Look at it this way: would you trade Luis Valbuena for Marquez Smith? I sure would. (Justin Germano, Shelley Duncan, etc.)

Dec 09, 2010 12:14 PM on Rule Five Wrap-Up
 
buffum
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Since Cleveland has no 3B, it seems like they're already busted. At least Smith can actually play the position.

Dec 09, 2010 12:11 PM on Rule Five Wrap-Up
 
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How disappointed should I be that the Indians didn't take a hack at picking Marquez Smith from the Cubs? He looks like at LEAST as good a bet as Nix, Hodges, or anyone other than Chisenhall (who is VERY unlikely to be ready Opening Day).

Dec 09, 2010 9:34 AM on Rule Five Wrap-Up
 
buffum
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"Noisome rigamarole" is a great name for a band.

Nov 10, 2010 10:18 AM on First-Strike Options
 
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> Christina, you could be less verbose by maybe 30% Also, Mozart's music had too many notes.

Nov 04, 2010 10:23 AM on Four and No More
 
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Jeremy Sowers has probably bred contempt via his familiarity with the Cleveland system. He's not any good, but he is left-handed and was once considered prospecty. (I'm not 100% certain he's a minor-league free agent, but that's my impression.)

 
buffum
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How is Phelps' defense at 3B? Awkward, pedestrian, high-effort, natural, improving, Nixian?

Nov 01, 2010 9:15 AM on Monday Ten Pack
 
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I had forgotten about Phelps playing 3B in the AFL. That would be tremendous if it actually works. Donald induced bowel-loosening terror as a shortstop, so I would not look to him at 3B with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Oct 21, 2010 9:39 AM on Cleveland Indians
 
buffum
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Has anyone seen Phelps play defense at 3B? It would be really really really really really encouraging if he can actually do that WELL instead of being "a guy playing defense sort of in the vicinity of the third base bag" (cf. Peralta, Jh.; Nix, J.).

 
buffum
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Comment rating: 2

Most positions have clear, if not entirely palatable, options, as you state above. The one position that needs to be addressed more than any other, though, is the single one you've neglected: third base. Jayson Nix falls somewhere on the scale between "inexperienced and raw" to "horrific" defensively, and while he has some pop, he doesn't actually get on base. Andy Marte is a fraud (would like to see him converted TPJ-style to the mound, though). Jared Goedert's bottle has been emptied of all lightning. Lonnie Chisenhall is likely to be quite good ... but is probably not ready for Opening Day 2011. I don't really like Brandon Inge as an option, but it's indisputible that with all the grounders the Tribe induces (Masterson, Carmona, R. Perez, to some extent Carrasco and Joe Smiff), going for defense there might be the best play. Float a Hafner-for-Chone-Figgins deal? Trade for a "blocked" prospect from Tampa, Washington, or New Yorks? Swing for the figurative fences that Josh Vitters can come around? Hope a change of scenery would work for Alex Gordon? I am looking back to the halcyon days of Casey Blake and Adorable J. Carroll, for cryin' out loud. Abbott and Costello were talking about the Cleveland Indians when they mentioned "third base."

Oct 21, 2010 8:01 AM on Cleveland Indians
 
buffum
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Yeah, but why Chad Huffman?

Sep 29, 2010 7:54 AM on White Sox, Indians
 
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Wait, can you explain the difference between a "strain" and a "tear"? You can't leave until that's resolved, say I. Best wishes. Remember, though: baseball >>> football.

Sep 29, 2010 6:32 AM on Fade To Black Album
 
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Wait, is Jeter still confused about this? Taking your base after the umpire mistakenly awards it: fine. Acting like you've been shot and your arm is broken, necessitating a visit from the trainer, on a ball that did not hit you: lame. Just shake your arm, take your base, and this hardly gets a third mention. (Anything involving DEREK JETER is going to get a second mention by default.)

Sep 20, 2010 1:26 PM on September 13-19
 
buffum
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The D-Backs are playing "somewhat better?" 31-48 is .392, 28-43 is .394. I suppose I'm willing to say that Kirk Gibson is worth .00196 to Arizona as a manager.

 
buffum
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If you happen to hear about it, please Tweet if you find out what the most likely causes of Mitch Talbot's shoulder inflammation are.

Sep 13, 2010 9:00 AM on Not So Dangerous Times
 
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I was surprised not to see Brook Jacoby's magical 1987 season on the last list, but alas, he had two too many RBI in his 32-homer 69-RBI season. Jacoby never had another season with more than 20 homers, and his .541 SLG that season was a full hundred points higher than his second-best season. The 32 homers were quite a surprise to Cleveland fans. Sadly, the 69 RBI were not.

Sep 10, 2010 7:46 AM on Loney Loves Ribeyes
 
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Derek Norris puts up a .197 ISO in a season in which his power is sapped? Great Scott, what is his power NORMALLY?

 
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Is Phelps likely to pass Donald in the UIF pecking order? Donald's an execrable SS. Can Phelps play 3B? (By 2012 I expect Kipnis > Donald > Phelps > rhesus monkeys > invertibrates > Valbuena, but I don't know if I should switch Donald and Phelps.)

 
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> Lorick may not speak for the trees, but he has been > utterly dominant against Sally League lefties, knocking > them right out of their barbaloot suits by holding them > to .128/.222/.170. That's about 31 flavors of awesome.

Aug 19, 2010 2:06 PM on The Lee Deal
 
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Excellent interview: Brown is more candid in this piece than most players are. I like him already.

Aug 10, 2010 1:45 PM on Jordan Brown
 
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Offhand, I would think that surviving cancer was probably higher on DiPoto's Tough Things List.

 
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I'm not sure where the "line of significance" gets drawn, but I wanted to add that the same phenomenon took place with Cliff Lee in 2008: he fundamentally changed the WAY he pitched, shifting from extreme flyball stuff to moderately groundball stuff. I'm not sure at what point the NUMBERS would reflect his real, repeatable newfound command.

Jul 30, 2010 11:47 AM on Stroke of Luck?
 
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Wilkin Ramirez sounds distressingly like a player Cleveland already has: Andy Marte. In the words of the French knight, "No thanks, he's already got one." (You have to stop there. He's not "very nice.")

Jul 28, 2010 9:14 PM on Pasting in Peralta
 
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I'm not sure I'm reading this right: does this say that, on average, Wright's slider moves zero inches right and zero inches down? In other words, his slider ... doesn't?

 
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But Will, what if the Power Balance holograms are imbedded in tungsten dipped in snake oil?

 
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Do you think Jensen Lewis is likely to make it through waivers? He reminds me of David Riske in terms of stuff and streakiness. I'd rather have assets than not have them, but I'll probably be able to keep my sobbing to a minimum if Lewis goes elsewhere.

Jul 21, 2010 8:30 AM on ALtruisms
 
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What's so encouraging about Greinke's shoulder is how well the Royals handled a similar problem with Gil Meche.

Jul 12, 2010 12:10 PM on Hitting Pause
 
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The lay understanding of LaPorta's injury is that there might be a danger of this blow "stacking" on top of the pitch he took to the bean in the international competition whose name escapes me right now. Is this a concern, and if so, what should the Indians be looking out for beyond the normal tests for post-concussion symptoms? Would you recommend that LaPorta begin wearing an Olerud-style helmet in the field, at least when playing 1B?

Jul 08, 2010 9:23 AM on Peavy's Unique Injury
 
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Polar bear or asteroid?

 
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The concept of Nick Weglarz being caught stealing boggles my mind. (Not the "caught" part.)

 
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Add John Smiley to the list of lefties who fractured an arm pitching (a spiral fracture of the humerus, IIRC).

Jul 06, 2010 9:25 AM on The All-Star Effect
 
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Don't see "The Last Airbender," Tim. It's atrocious. Go buy the DVDs of the original series: about the same cost, exponentially higher quality scriptwriting.

Jul 05, 2010 11:05 AM on June 28-July 4
 
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I'm not Will and can't play him on TV, but Cabrera is taking ground balls and is targeting the first game after the All-Star Break as a return; a delay to the second series back would actually be a little disappointing, from what I understand. While I'm here, I think Choo will see some Sept. PAs in order to get him major-league timing opportunities before the off-season. I doubt he's playing winter ball: I don't know what kind of international travel he can do after his 28th birthday ...

Jul 05, 2010 10:34 AM on Reactivation
 
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(And neither is Fausto Carmona, who has the added advantage of being spelled correctly)

 
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Note: Fasuto Carmona is NOT on this list.

 
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Please don't point out Kerry Wood's statistics. My marketing campaign is hard enough as it is.

Jun 25, 2010 8:50 AM on Streaks and Swoons
 
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More explicitly: with Sizemore possibly having to move out of CF due to microfracture surgery (my guess, no inside knowledge), would the Indians be better off with Kipnis in CF and Donald/Phelps at 2B, or with Crowe/Brantley in CF and Kipnis at 2B? Crowe/Brantley in CF makes my teeth itch.

 
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And thus, Manny Acta proves himself to be superior to me with regard to finding it "easy to stay positive." Good job, Manny. You're a good man for the job. You still owe me a spleen.

Jun 23, 2010 2:43 PM on Wednesday Update
 
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I'm all for Kipnis doing well at 2B and huzzahs all around, but since we have no actual CF while having Cord Phelps and Jason Donald (who is CLEARLY NOT a SHORTSTOP) at 2B, I'm wondering if maybe the move will be considered ill-timed in retrospect. (Note: I understand that Phelps is no sure thing and Donald may be a glorified UIF, but the long-term OF situation looks mighty bleak for the Tribe. Can Nick Weglarz actually play OF, or is he amusing in the the Dunn/Cust sense?)

Jun 21, 2010 9:06 AM on Monday Ten Pack
 
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I thought this was going to be an article about the Houston Astros.

 
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Okay, shift from Fantasy to Virtual GM'ing: should the Actual Indians trade Carmona now before he implodes? The Jays were reportedly on him, and although he isn't Truly Expensive, his salary may outstrip his Actual Value pretty soon ... While I'm here, let me say that the concept that there are seven teams worse than the Cleveland Indians at turning balls in play into outs completely absurd. Redonkulous, even. If only the last two games against the Mets are counted, the Indians would rank 57th out of 30. On a related note, I am looking for a spleen donor.

Jun 17, 2010 11:33 AM on Carmona Considerations
 
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With all the immortality in Pittsburgh, you think they'd play with more abandon.

Jun 09, 2010 2:56 PM on Youthful Orient-ation
 
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I'll skip the long version that got eaten by the server. Mark Grudzielanek: how fast could he return if he goes to another team? The Tribe seemed to think he'd need at least 15 days, and he appears to believe he needs far fewer than 60. (He may also want to leave the team on "putridity" grounds.)

Jun 09, 2010 2:45 PM on Wednesday Update
 
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As a lay person, though, Stoudamire's physical demands seem significantly MORE strenuous than Sizemore's: he runs a lot more, he jumps a WHOLE lot more, he's bloody enormous (Sizemore, as awesome as he is, is only "large") ... shouldn't I be encouraged by Stoudamire's recovery? Granted, Stoudamire doesn't have to generate leverage on a swing. I have no mechanical knowledge that would help me gauge whether that's a big deal or not.

Jun 08, 2010 3:15 PM on Monday Update
 
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Brigadoon Johnson. (Sorry, I'm bitter. At least we have Andy Marte back, so we have that going for us, which sucks rocks.)

 
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Cleveland should take Allie. They won't. Bile.

 
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Brantley instead of Crowe? Are we out of deck chairs? More seriously, Crowe just finished a 4-for-8 series. Arguing over who has less power is an angels-n-pins argument. Might as well just release Crowe if you're not going to see what he's got.

Jun 07, 2010 1:49 PM on Monday Update
 
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Brandon Belt as Mark Teahen II?

Jun 07, 2010 1:39 PM on Monday Ten Pack
 
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Wouldn't Amar'e Stoudamire be a good comp for Sizemore?

Jun 07, 2010 1:03 PM on Monday Update
 
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Well, the fact that he was "poor" is at least partly responsible for Tribe fans not missing him much.

Jun 04, 2010 2:23 PM on Remembering The Kid
 
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Herrmann may indeed be no more than Jamey Wright, but the Indians need to spend this season seeing if they have any players on the roster that will be major-league assets over the next five years. Jamey Wright does not fit this description. Frank Herrmann may not either, but at least he MIGHT. Also, he's not Hector Ambriz, Joe Smiff, or Greg Aquino, so he has that going for him, which is nice.

Jun 04, 2010 1:30 PM on Remembering The Kid
 
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Can't really see how Reyes' return opens up a trade opportunity for the Tribe unless they trade four or five starters, but it's nice to see he isn't Scott Lewis.

Jun 03, 2010 11:45 AM on Thursday Update
 
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From a man rooting for a team which plays Windmill Branyan and Skates LaPorta at first base, I would be interested to hear what the Royals want for Kila Ka'aihue.

 
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Okay, dubbing Trumbo the "Music Man" was clever. Question: would Raffy Perez make it through waivers if DFA'd? Plusses: throws hard and low with left arm. Minuses: WHIP of 2.27, ERA of 7.20, turned into newt, did not get better. (Caveat: he had strung together 4 quality outings before renewtifying 5/31)

 
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Geez, Phil Hughes against the Indians looks like a lock. They strike out a ton, can't hit, and are on the road. (His other start would be v. BAL)

May 28, 2010 1:44 PM on Weekly Planner #9
 
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I don't think the Indians are "vanilla". Vanilla tastes good. I think they are becoming a "barium sulfate" team. Hafner has a better chance to drive in Choo with a well-placed single after a steal than Branyan does with one of his inexhaustible supply of whiffs.

May 21, 2010 2:10 PM on Crumbling and Crumbs
 
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Justin Masterson does not have "perceived inconsistency." He has "actual, real, tangible, infuriating inconsistency." HTH!

 
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I remember when the Indians tried to turn Trevor Crowe into a 2B. He wasn't as highly-ranked as Ackley, but he sure has done Jack Squat since the failed experiment appeared to blow him up.

 
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Why is Andy Marte on the DL?

May 17, 2010 7:40 AM on Monday Update
 
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Man, I would have SWORN Travis Hafner was going to be on this list.

 
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> "the Indians tumble into the AL Central basement. They find themselves there because despite new manager Manny Acta's spring training admonitions, they're simply not throwing strikes." They're not in the A.L. Central basement because they're not throwing strikes. They can be low on the Hit List because of it, but that's not what he said.

May 06, 2010 9:55 AM on Pitching Deep and Young
 
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Except the Indians' problem isn't really pitching. Carmona and Talbot have ERAs of 3.86 and 2.88 respectively. The K's strongly suggest that this performance is UNSUSTAINABLE, but strike-throwing has not CAUSED the poor performance TO DATE. It's the fact that the Indians have the second-worst offense in the league and have scored 3 or fewer runs in over half their games (16 of 27; 11 of 27 with 2 or fewer). Number of players slugging .400 or above: 2 Number of players slugging .350 or above: 5 Number of these 5 with AVG < .217: 2 Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

May 06, 2010 9:17 AM on Pitching Deep and Young
 
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The Indians are now poised for a huge run now that they've replaced Deck Chair Joe Smiff with Chaise Lounge Hector Ambriz! (How this improves the offense is an exercise left to the reader.)

Apr 30, 2010 1:08 PM on Raising Expectations
 
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Are you really allowed to say "Anaheim Angels?" (I'm in favor of it, frankly.)

Apr 26, 2010 1:11 PM on An AL Quartet
 
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ESPN is suggesting Cameron has (a) kidney stone(s). This would cause a significant amount of "abdominal pain." Like, a whooooooole lot.

Apr 16, 2010 9:23 AM on Stacking On The Sox
 
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Masterson against the Twins is a very, very, very, very bad bet. Lefties are hitting .500 off him, and that's no fluke: he's always been bad against left-handers. And the lefties that have hit him hard include Chris Davis, Julio Borbon, and Mark Kotsay. Imagining him against Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau, and Jim Thome makes this Indians fan cringe. Pick him up, fine, but have him on the bench against the Twins.

 
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Will Grady Sizemore return to the field tonight?

Apr 14, 2010 10:01 AM on Mid-Week Aches and Pains
 
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Cleveland fans would like to "... like the odds of a solid Westbrook comeback" as well. His command wasn't THAT bad in Spring Training (although it wasn't particularly good, either). Is it reasonable to chalk that monstrosity (4 WP, 4 BB, 2 HBP for 10 Witt Points) to "one of those things," or is this what April looks like? Is it overthinking to say, "Well, at least he's missing LOW more often?"

Apr 07, 2010 9:13 AM on Post-Opening Day Hurts
 
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I would use a hybrid of all three, using a "Sliding Schmuck" Scale to tie the quality of the returned player to the percentage of his salary I would pay. For example, if I have to pay all but the minimum, I will demand a good prospect. If you will pay a significant portion (say, $5-8M per year), I will literally accept a dead person as a PTBNL. Any number in between slides from good to dead. Implicit in this process is that I set the bar high. If I don't get a good return, I play him. He's not valueless until I have five outfielders who can play better than he can, something Toronto doesn't have. If I ever get five outfielders and he is an actual roster sink, I'd change the Sliding Schmuck Scale to allow his trade for a much lesser return. If no one bites, THEN I release him.

 
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And, sure enough, those contracts are no longer a problem for J.P.! I admire his foresight.

Mar 23, 2010 11:58 AM on Mauer Present Value
 
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I apparently lack the credentials to see the 10-year PECOTA forecast. Is there a super-secret level of subscription I'm unaware of?

Mar 22, 2010 8:04 PM on Weekend Mayhem Edition
 
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If you haven't read "You Gotta Have Wa" about the Japanese professional leagues, it is an interesting book. Note, however, that the NPB still measures wins, saves, and batting average. (Note also that batting average DOES tell us something useful: if OBP had been reported from Day One, some "stat nerd" later would have developed AVG as telling us something about a player's plate discipline and the sustainability of his OBP.)

Mar 22, 2010 10:04 AM on There Goes My Hero
 
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Len Fisher talks about game theorists discovering that goalies and shooters in soccer penalty kick situations generally follow a strategy that optimizes (their own) success. PKs tend to be a pretty binary thing: although a shooter can choose to blast right down the middle, shots tend to be taken to one side or the other, and goalies tend to start diving one way before the shot is even struck. I was thinking about how to apply this to baseball, and the case that I was thinking of was actually 3-2 counts. The "cost" of taking a strike or throwing a pitch well out of the zone is much higher, but knowing that a hitter is prone to swing at "anything close," is it more clever for the pitcher to throw a Glavine five inches off the plate, or a true strike? (The obvious confound here is that few pitchers really have that kind of control: Fausto Carmona will throw the ball "vaguely forward" and hope for the best, independent of hitter.) It became obvious that I didn't know how to actually do this, but it seems like the 3-2 count would be more conducive to Actual Game Theory because it's a lot more likely to have a direct result than the first pitch.

 
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I think another factor is that most sports fans who have played a sport have "felt hot." I can't recall meeting anyone in a bowling league or a pickup basketball game or a bar with a dartboard who didn't have at least one experience in which they just felt like they "couldn't miss." I know that my 279 felt very much the result of disengaging my conscious muscle control in favor of a nearly-subconscious kinesthetically-repeatable motion. (Not to mention a couple of lucky bounces off the wall to finish off ten pins.) Anyway, if you've ever felt "hot," you are probably more likely to nod knowingly and say, "He's just locked in, man." The counter-argument, of course, is that Jhonny Peralta has never, to outward appearances, engaged his conscious brain while hitting, yet his results vary significantly.

Mar 08, 2010 9:51 AM on Going Streaking
 
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Tom Boswell had a "Total Average" in the '70s, so using Total in the term might sound misleading.

Feb 25, 2010 11:25 AM on Call it True Average
 
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Gotta love any time you can fit a good Rutles reference into an article.

 
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> 5. Pirates Larry Doughty (1990-91), Ted Simmons (1992-93), Cam Bonifay (1994-99) 1.145 Ubba grubba grooby dooby dip dip fa-tang sum-bubba doogie doogie doogie. Ju hubba hubba nooby faloopa. Buggy buggy buggy buggy. Hip hip hip hip mugga mugga mugga mugga. I'm sorry, my brain exploded. I could not grok this.

 
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Ordonez' "future commitment" is actually that of Miguel Cabrera. The reality is bad enough without making it look like a terrifying nine-figure commitment.

 
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So I take that as a, "No, there is not match?"

Dec 07, 2009 11:01 AM on AL Shopping Lists
 
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> Cleveland Indians: Their starting nine could be one of the best in the league and, in fact, they almost have too many good young players ... > Oakland A’s: The A’s have a staggering amount of young pitching talent at their disposal. They also continue to have one of the worst offenses in baseball ... So ... is there a match here? As much as I like players like Shin-Soo Choo or Asdrubal Cabrera or anyone else not named Carlos Santana (because of position scarcity as much as talent), I don't believe in "untouchable" assets. With these two statements, combined with two GMs with a history of trying to be smarter than anyone else, it sure SOUNDS like there ought to be a way to mesh needs and assets ...

Dec 07, 2009 10:34 AM on AL Shopping Lists
 
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Don't think of Marson as Allanson: consider him Josh Bard, circa 2003: Marson = Bard Wyatt Toregas = Tim Laker Santana = Victor Martinez That worked out pretty well. I'd take a reprise. (h/t Tony Lastoria)

 
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My favorite part of the Koufax page is that his games of 193, 175, and 165 pitches were NOT COMPLETE GAMES. To be fair, the 205 was.

 
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Actually, there's a catcher in Uggla's situation (arbitration-elligible for a team unlikely to want to pay him) with a UBBr+HBPr of well over 10%. In fact, at .156, he'd have the second-highest rate on the list above. Yes, it's Kelly Shoppach! Who, like thneeds, everyone (everyone, everyone) needs. (He's also a near-50% TTO guy, in case you need even more reason to call. Operators are standing by. Man, I want to trade Kelly Shoppach.)

Nov 30, 2009 8:33 PM on OBP
 
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Matt Herges was terrific ... for a month. In June, he gave up 17 hits and 8 runs in 9 1/3 IP. Now, there are certainly arguments about how this wasn't statistically significant, but Occam sez, "Herges, at age 39, who looked done in 2008, is ... well ... he's done." You didn't have to WATCH him. He was painful. I liked the guy, I really did. But he looked gassed, and the hitters let him know it. He was great ... saved our collective buttocks for a while. But then he stopped fooling people and went back to being the pleasant golden brown you expect from him. You can't use him more than once a week. He is toast.

 
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They address the same topic, but they sure don't say the same thing (Wolf, Garland, Smoltz, etc.).

Nov 24, 2009 1:13 PM on Starting Pitching
 
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I would Post Reply to Tommy Bennett, but it does not actually work. That can be fixed someday, right? Message: '0.innerHTML' is null or not an object Line: 68 Char: 2 Code: 0 URI: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/js/comments.js In any event, I thought Scott Sizemore was likely to play second for the Tigers next season. Perhaps my memory isn't accurate.

Nov 23, 2009 1:54 PM on Help Up the Middle
 
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There is just no better time than now to trade for Kelly Shoppach! Huzzah! Please. We can't afford him, and he isn't very ... er ... I mean ... look at our bright, shiny Kelly Shoppach! Woo hoo!

 
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My implication is that talent and production are not the primary factors to consider, which may not be very subtle, but it is bitter. (Of course, there's the small matter of Thome "tearing the jersey off his back" for some Tribe fans.)

 
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Jim Thome cannot help the Cleveland Indians as long as Travis Hafner's contract is considered legally binding.

 
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Um ... Dave? Lou? David Huff has many qualities, but being a ground ball pitcher is not one of them: 180 GB 287 FB GB/FB ratio: 0.63 I mean ... that's like the OPPOSITE of a groundball pitcher. Kind of like Scott Elarton opposite. Or Cliff Lee Before He Was CLIFF LEE opposite. It sure is a nice sentiment, and I am very much in favor of ground balls, but in 2009, this statement was utterly false. This concerns me more from Marson than from Huff ... I mean, what are y'all looking at, guys? I like Huff and get a nice Doug Davis vibe from him, but groundball pitcher ... well, that would be a "No."

 
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I would like to believe that Nick Hagadone can start. He was on a draconian innings limit this season because of the UCL replacement, and it may be that he will only ever have two quality pitches and the bullpen is his final destination. But even at 24 (in 2010), shouldn't the Indians give him another shot at starting, if for no other reason than to beef up his innings? What about the idea that they slot LaPorta at 1B and throw Brantley into the deep end in left, pushing Sizemore down to the 3 slot? That's what most fans seem to be looking forward to.

Nov 20, 2009 10:45 AM on Indians Top 11 Prospects
 
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See, I was hoping the Reds would make a play for Kelly Shoppach. Not only does he get on base, but in the NL in that bandbox, he could smack himself an overflowing bushel of taters. And he'd cost in the same neighborhood as the discounted Ramon Hernandez (arbitration-elligible, but had an off year). (Full disclosure: I am an Indians fan who wants an asset for Shoppach who is ... well ... not Kelly Shoppach.)

Nov 17, 2009 2:04 PM on Oingo Boingo Sez...
 
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I like the way you looked at WAR in the first two items, but I am not convinced that a lot of GMs share your perspective on those. I can count a number of trades that were made that do not adhere to those principles, so I'm not sure if they apply as universally as you seem to imply.

 
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Santos Rodriguez reminds me of the way I would have described Cleveland's Rafael Perez a while back ... or am I reading too much into his build and handedness?

 
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This piece resonated with me more than the previous one. Giving examples of how players are using an optimal swing strategy really helped this coalesce for me. Thanks.

 
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So, does McBride catch well enough to get put on the 40? To pass Chris Gimenez in the pecking order? Wyatt Toregas? The Indians need to trade a backup catcher soon, yes?

Nov 10, 2009 9:32 AM on November 10
 
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Do we have to call you "Buster" now? Kidding!

 
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Probably below Josh Bell.

Nov 09, 2009 12:49 PM on Orioles Top 11 Prospects
 
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I was kind of hoping it was more like an April 18th game against the Indians (I would have settled for April 16th: note the pitcher), but congratulations to the Yankees, and I'm happy for their fans (like you, Joe).

Nov 05, 2009 9:12 AM on The Crown Rests Lightly
 
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I would much rather read a Christina Kahrl billboard than watch Derek Jeter bunt.

Oct 30, 2009 11:47 AM on A Classic Confrontation
 
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I dunno, I just think you missed a big opportunity to ask if he gets asked to sign a lot of autographs as Beaker from "The Muppet Show."

Oct 30, 2009 11:16 AM on Jeff Datz
 
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I'm always up for a Sweatin' Bob Wolcott sighting. The man all but disintegrated his cap that night, but for one magical evening, he shut down the most fearsome offensive machine in the league. (Also, sadly, a portent of things to come for the '95 Indians.) It's one of the things that keeps a baseball fan coming back.

Oct 29, 2009 1:21 PM on From One to the Other
 
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Why didn't they just have Marte pitch around Werth and let him face Ibanez? Marte looked quite good last night, and if Werth doesn't want to swing at balls in the dirt a foot outside (which is as close as I'd let Marte throw to Werth), no harm. Ibanez couldn't have hit Marte's stuff with a boat oar.

Oct 29, 2009 1:14 PM on Complete Mastery
 
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Francisco's a better outfielder than Ibanez, but he's not actually GOOD. We called him "Wickets" in Cleveland.

Oct 29, 2009 8:16 AM on The End
 
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As a Cleveland fan, I will tell you that Jeremy Sowers is the perfect pitcher to try this with. Check his inning, pitch, and times faced splits. For as much scorn as he generally attracts, the fact is that Sowers is actually a Real Asset the first time or so through the order, holding hitters to a very low OPS in general ... and when he turns into a newt, he turns HARD. Pairing him up would leverage him as an ASSET (not just a LAIM, but a real net PLUS), rather than insisting that "eventually he'll figure out how to go deeper into ballgames, this time I mean it, you betcha." Nice legwork, BTW.

 
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I actually really liked the literary device. There were easily-found trends and analytic nuggets throughout the piece (the Yankees approach to Howard, for example: whether that's what they actually do or not, Joe is saying that if they take that approach, it should bear excellent fruit), and the style was a nice contrast to other pieces available here and elsewhere. It's hard writing the same way about the same thing every day. I just wanted Joe to know that I appreciate the change-up as a reader as well.

Oct 28, 2009 12:57 PM on Back from the Future
 
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> It didn't hurt that Pettitte pulled out a start from his dynasty days, pounding the strike zone ... Well, pounding the BALL zone and having them CALLED strikes, but hey, that's what professionals do: take advantage of opportunities.

Oct 26, 2009 11:36 AM on Turning the Trick in Six
 
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Fantastic. Took as rather bland statement that sounds a little like hand-waving ("His peripherals are the same, he's just less lucky") and really looked at it from lots of angles and supported the claim in a meaningful and persuasive way. Thought question: if the Dodgers THINK Hamels is more hittable, is it possible that they will be more relaxed and confident at the plate, producing better RESULTS? I don't actually know how to investigate that, but it makes a fair amount of intuitive sense and would seem to agree with what small personal experience I've got. But then, I've felt "in the zone" before, too ...

 
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Ouch ... Mark Shapiro needs to stop talking to Kevin Towers.

 
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I watching dots: why did Happ pitch to one batter? Did he hurt himself fielding the ball? Happ, a lefty, was replaced by Eyre, a lefty ... what was the point?

Oct 08, 2009 2:38 PM on Road Map
 
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Did not expect Blanton there.

Oct 08, 2009 1:52 PM on Road Map
 
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Victor Martinez was converted from shortstop. I know you said "there are more," but he sticks out as a pretty notable success story with some immediacy.

Sep 29, 2009 10:45 AM on Fifth-Corner Recycling
 
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Tommy Hunter is a neat guy to watch, and I'm rootin' for him and everything, but his peripherals make it seem like duplicating this year's numbers is a pretty bad bet. It would surprise me very little if he and Feldman posted 2010 ERAs that were at least a half-run higher, which would make the future a little less rose-colored.

Sep 28, 2009 12:33 PM on Texas Rangers
 
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I was speaking of the "Trend" arrow. When you lose 11 straight, that's not "trending downward," that is "turning into a newt, and not getting any better."

Sep 25, 2009 2:20 PM on Nearly All Wrapped Up
 
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The claim that there are seven teams worse than the Cleveland Indians is absurd on its face. I suggest you investigate the development of a "double down arrow" to represent a team that is not simply trending downward, but rather approaching terminal velocity while engulfed in flames. Also, they're bad.

Sep 25, 2009 2:06 PM on Nearly All Wrapped Up
 
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"One of [their] best players?" I suppose, technically, but Bradley has a 9.2 VORP (14th on the team, 7th for position players), slugs under .400, and is not a good outfielder. That's Ben Francisco territory. I will grant a high OBP, but ... he may be one of the most talented Cubs, but he certainly hasn't had one of their most-valuable performances in 2009. Now, I agree with the overall point IF the suspension is solely due to his public media exposure. I strongly suspect that it is not. Bradley didn't seem like that bad a guy in Cleveland, but one was hard-pressed to find a Cleveland player who expressed much in the way of a lamentation upon his exit. I don't understand why the Cubs didn't handle this quietly instead of publically, though. I'm totally on board with Joe on this sentiment.

Sep 21, 2009 11:43 AM on Bradleygate?
 
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Feldman's cutter is what keyed his excellent season, not a sinker.

Sep 16, 2009 10:09 AM on Midweek Update
 
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When and how exactly did Joe Smiff hurt his knee for the Tribe? And why put him on the DL with expanded rosters? Are they more elligible for insurance for that or something?

Sep 15, 2009 2:24 PM on September Shutdowns
 
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> Lidge has an ERA that makes me hungry, and Rollins has an OBP that cancels the effect. That's a terrific line. I wonder if Pedro might have enough cachet to allow Manuel to replace Lidge as closer in the playoffs. That is, if you don't think Pedro can be pencilled in as one of the starters, you might say, "Ah, yes, he can be the long reliever, but look! He is closing Game One! Let's see how that works..." It may be that he cannot recover quickly enough to do this. That wouldn't surprise me, and the idea should be ignored if Martinez can't actually do it. But sometimes, the most palatable way of replacing a Formerly Famous Person is to have a second Formerly Even More Famous Person available to take his place ...

Sep 09, 2009 1:07 PM on Getting Serious
 
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Really neat topic: I would never have picked Benitez to be on this list. Nice work.

Sep 04, 2009 7:06 AM on No Contact Allowed
 
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This is brilliant, thanks.

Sep 02, 2009 12:12 PM on Off the Lidge
 
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Although I really like the notes after each Willie Bloomquist quote (well done!), I find myself wondering who the heck got assigned to interview Willie the Q, and if the debt is now considered to have been paid off.

Aug 31, 2009 12:03 PM on August 24-30
 
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Kevin, what does Brantley look like defensively? Could he be considered a late-inning defensive replacement at all three slots?

Aug 31, 2009 11:56 AM on Monday Ten Pack
 
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I could pick Ubaldo Jimenez out of a lineup. (Actually, I would recognize Jason Marquis as well, but Jimenez is legitimately in the discussion of the top 15 pitchers in the N.L.)

 
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Actually, Scott Lewis is off the DL and looms larger than Zach Jackson for the September Tribe.

Aug 19, 2009 10:58 AM on The Left Wing
 
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Hey, good find on the Johnny Moore thing. I did not remember that at all.

 
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Why is Jamey Carroll still a Cleveland Indian?

Aug 17, 2009 9:02 AM on Weekend Roundup
 
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Well, LaPorta is talented and all, but he's no Chris Gimenez. :-P Seriously, with Crowe hurt and Adorable J. Carroll having to play RIGHT FIELD, fer crine out loud, I cannot for the life of me figure out why LaPorta isn't getting some reps against the real major-league pitchers (i.e., before September).

Aug 17, 2009 8:26 AM on Matt LaPorta
 
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How does Fedroff compare to other powerless on-base machines like Mike Brantley or Trev Crowe or Jay Kipnis? We seem to be collecting them. (BTW, you have a typo: "Indinas")

Aug 14, 2009 11:17 AM on August 14
 
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Although the state of lefty relieving has been an issue in Cleveland since the halcyon days of Chinless Paul Assenmacher, this particular dismissal seems a bit too flip: Rundles is Just Some Guy, Breslow actually did pretty well before they tried to sneak him through waivers and the Twins got a good half-year from him, and we got as much out of Sauerbeck in 2005 as anyone else ever had. And Tony Sipp is certainly flashing some brilliance, albeit without the accuracy one strictly desires. But to lump Juan Lara in with that group when the man is awfully fortunate to even be ALIVE, much less pitching, seems a bit misguided. His debut was good, his followup very short, and then he was nearly killed. If anything, Tribe fans are justifiably proud of the way the Indians have handled Lara's medical care, signing him to a contract so that he could have uninterrupted care. He's actually throwing pitches in Arizona: he may never make it "all the way back," but the fact that he can walk back and forth to the mound is heartwarming enough. Now, if you want to talk about this pod person who has replaced Raffy Perez ...

Aug 13, 2009 7:53 AM on AL West Roundup
 
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Just as a bit of feedback: as a red-green colorblind guy, I can read the first "heat map" without any trouble, but the second is completely wasted on me. You might consider telling Dave to include a guy like me in his next focus group.

 
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Repo Man! 'dyou do a lot of acid in the hippie days, Miller?

Aug 10, 2009 2:57 PM on Brew'd-up Reunion
 
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This piece is far too kind and gentle on the subject of the horrifying 21st-century drafting of the Cleveland Indians. The word "horrorshow" would not be hyperbolic here.

Aug 04, 2009 12:02 PM on Going Down
 
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Is there a functional difference between Kipnis and Trevor Crowe? I'm not all that thrilled with the Crowe version, nice weekend notwithstanding.

Aug 04, 2009 9:11 AM on August 4
 
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I apologize, but I don't understand the Kershaw comment. Might you mean 20-batter mark? I mean, he only went 4 innings, and he's thrown 124 this season ... I just can't grok that statement there.

Aug 04, 2009 9:02 AM on Surgery Surge
 
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Yes, the stated plan is to begin stretching him: they planned on having him follow Sowers to help accomplish this because Sowers is usually a banana: goes from "solid" to "mush" in the space of three batters in the 5th or 6th. He held up better than usual, but Masterson still got three complete innings in. With Tomo Ohka and his Magic Long Relief Show on the roster, that's probably the way the tandem will work for a while. But he's slated for the 2010 rotation according to Shapiro (via Castrovince), even if he doesn't make it to six innings by the end of 2009. (In September, they appear to be gearing for one start each by each of their marginal left-handers or new prospects, although I think Laffey will go twice because of seniority.)

 
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Thanks for the post, David, it's very encouraging. How do you pronounce his surname?

Jul 31, 2009 8:40 PM on DiSars 2001
 
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I resent Mark Shapiro more than ever.

Jul 29, 2009 9:37 PM on A Great Race?
 
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Can you tell me anything about the Phillies prospects? I think Donald and Carrasco were both injured this season: are there any long-term concerns (beyond the "young pitcher" boilerplate for Carrasco and Knapp) for any of the four players the Indians acquired for Lee and Fungusco?

Jul 29, 2009 12:23 PM on Trade Targets
 
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I really liked the writing here, especially the Tom Shales line. The "trichotomy" of data, information, and enlightenment was an excellent turn of phrase. One quick thing about going to Dickey: in the past, Dickey has needed about four pitches to warm up, while the other gentlemen are a little slower: that may have played a role in Gardenhire's decision to call for his knuckler first.

Jul 28, 2009 10:21 AM on A Fox Screen Test
 
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It was Ryan Garko after all (for Scott Barnes, if I hear correctly). Best wishes, Gark. I always liked the guy more than I liked the player, but he should help the Giants (at least against lefties). Go smash!

Jul 27, 2009 7:15 PM on Going For It
 
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By the way, these puns are atrocious. Naturally, I'm envious.

Jul 23, 2009 1:25 PM on Duncan for Donuts?
 
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> For $20.5 million over two years, is that too much to ask? Of course it is. Kerry Wood would do the Chad Fox Commemorative SPROING! as a starter. They only just last week brought him in in the 8th inning for the first time. Kerry Wood can no more start than he can swim the Atlantic Ocean. It does bear mentioning that a 5.28 ERA would make him our #2 starter. That seems like the larger problem, regardless of how the ERA is attained.

Jul 15, 2009 1:32 PM on AL
 
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This is a very nice post. I'm still infuriated from a selfish standpoint that My Player (I'm a Cleveland fan) was essentially removed from the game, but this is thoughtful and well-reasoned. Putting aside my emotional response, the rational argument is, "What made this situation different from the other ninety-three moves Manuel made that clearly WEREN'T made with Win Expectancy in mind?" Manage to win OR manage an exhibition game for the fans. Half-assed measures, rational or not, are still half-assed.

Jul 15, 2009 7:03 AM on Dumping the Bathwater
 
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> Jones hit his SF just after Charlie Manuel intentionally > walked Victor Martinez. Good for the AL. There should > never be intentional walks in the All-Star Game, home- > field advantage in the World Series be damned. Indians’ > fans haven’t had one thing to celebrate this year. Maybe > they would like their hometown team’s lone representative > to the game at least get a chance to swing the bat. This. Hey, Victor had a 1.000 OPS for the game. Hey, Charlie: phbt!

Jul 14, 2009 8:30 PM on F. Robby's New Gig
 
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Tremendous. Well laid-out. As for pissing off Kerry Wood, this would serve as quid pro quo for the times he's pissed me off as an Indians fan.

Jul 10, 2009 2:35 PM on Breaking From Fashion
 
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I'm getting some mileage out of Jhonny Peralta, but at .256 EqA, he's only (almost) average. Compared to Jimmy Rollins, though, he is King of the World.

Jul 10, 2009 9:53 AM on Feeling Short at Short?
 
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Darn, I was hoping to get a description of the deck chair shuffling of the U.S.S. Clevelandic. At least Betancourt looked like a relief pitcher.

Jul 09, 2009 7:24 PM on Easty Beasties
 
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I realize this is a highly selfish position, but as a lifelong Cleveland fan, in the Dark Days from the early '70s (when I was old enough to start following seriously) to the early '90s, the typical AL All-Star Team featured exactly One Cleveland Indian, who typically did not really deserve to be on the team. Ken Schrom. Pat Tabler. Teddy the Wonder Lizard. Somebody had to wear the Caveman C or the Block C or Chief Wahoo. And I would watch the All-Star Game until the precise moment that this player entered the game. In 1987, this was in extra innings, as Tabler made his lone plate appearance. (He did not get a hit. Regardless of the setting, he was still Pat Tabler.) But generally speaking, I wanted to see MY PLAYER in the All-Star Game. Yes, it's fun to see some of the matchups. but without MY PLAYER, this game is completely pointless. Last year I got to turn the game off after two innings, as Cliff Lee started the game. Huzzah! But a fan of such a team (today's Pirates, Royals, Nationals, or, sadly, the Indians once again) wants to see That Player make an appearance. It is probably not good for the game, the Game, or the gamy Game, but it is probably not a unique sentiment.

 
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Self-righteous?

Jul 06, 2009 7:30 AM on January 14-27, 2002
 
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Buster Olney quotes Joe Strauss: The player to be named in the Cleveland deal, writes Joe Strauss, could be one of two minor-league pitchers, either Francisco Samuel or Jess Todd. The Cardinals made Samuel, currently their closer at Double-A Springfield, untouchable in trade talks last July.

Jun 29, 2009 7:40 PM on The DeRosa Deal
 
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"The dip in his ERA, down to is more impressive ..." Missing a number (between "to" and "is") here.

Jun 29, 2009 2:38 PM on Quadruple Play Day
 
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Um, yeah, you're crazy. Hargrove had lips.

Jun 24, 2009 2:58 PM on Mid-Week Update
 
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Ow! Ow! My spleen! Ow! Thank you, Kerry Wood. You have destroyed my spleen.

Jun 20, 2009 4:12 PM on Rising and Falling
 
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I'm sorry, any system that has Cleveland in the Top Twenty is suspect. They hurt my eyes, ears, nose, throat, and spleen.

Jun 19, 2009 12:38 PM on Rising and Falling
 
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Carl Pavano will skip his start: his last two starts, he's been working MUCH too high in the zone, which I thought might be an elbow. Turns out he's copping to "shoulder soreness." I can't make the symptoms fit the reports. Is Pavano a bad bet to throw 50 more innings this season? Also, Jake Westbrook had a setback: what's his new timetable?

Jun 19, 2009 10:47 AM on Hitting the Wall
 
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Frankly, as an Indians fan, I think it is obvious that the team amongst these four (including the Cubs) that will win the Division will be the one who gives us the best package for Mark DeRosa. Operators are standing by!

Jun 17, 2009 10:57 AM on Conquering the Cubs
 
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Okay, I'm an ignorant schmoe, but I would have liked a link or explanation or SOMETHING that told me what an "Oliver Projection" was. Sometimes your audience is not quite as experienced as you are.

Jun 15, 2009 7:45 AM on Andrew McCutchen
 
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Guilty pleasures: Jeff Manto: the ultimate journeyman. I once designed a Jeff Manto Inaction Figure. Doug Jones and the Magic Changeup Mike Jeffcoat: led the league in appearances for no discernable reason Tom Candiotti Alex Cole The Charles Nagy Face Jose Lima

Jun 13, 2009 8:08 AM on More Revenue
 
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I think you might be surprised by Pierre's movability: the Dodgers could conceivably eat half the contract and someone would take him. I hope my team doesn't, but I could certainly imagine this more than most of the other guys on this list.

Jun 11, 2009 2:28 PM on The Untradeable?
 
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Travis Hafner's deal looks pretty bad in retrospect. I don't think he has a no-trade clause, but ... practically speaking, his contract is a no-trade clause.

Jun 11, 2009 12:03 PM on The Untradeable?
 
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BTW, just wanted to let you know someone noticed the "groiin injury" and enjoyed it, thanks.

Jun 11, 2009 10:23 AM on For Better and Worse
 
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He's having an MRI Monday. There really can't be any concrete estimate made until the results are back. He's "feeling better" with "more range of motion," but that doesn't go very far in predicting whether he can play six days a week.

Jun 11, 2009 10:22 AM on For Better and Worse
 
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Um ... Garko is right-handed. With a sizable platoon split, in fact. He can pound lefties, but is not very good against right-handers.

Jun 08, 2009 1:15 PM on Fixing the Mets
 
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Doesn't the Pierzynski Deal have to be in here somewhere? Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser, IIRC?

Jun 05, 2009 2:14 PM on Super Deals
 
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Lucus Duda as Mark Teahen?

Jun 02, 2009 9:33 AM on June 2
 
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Shuey came back. He was just bad.

 
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Didn't Paul Shuey have the surgery way before Utley or A-Rod? I always thought of a torn hip labrum as a "Shuey Kablooey."

 
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Terrific article, thanks.

May 28, 2009 1:27 PM on The Cain Mutiny
 
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I know it's strange to talk about an offensive weakness when Tampa leads the AL in runs, but how long can Maddon leave B.J. Upton in the leadoff slot? His AVG is under .200 and his OBP is under .300. I mean, don't you have to drop him almost on general principle? Crawford could lead off, right?

May 27, 2009 9:59 AM on Bouncing Back
 
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How's Kubel hitting lefties like Danks? (Hint: .194/.242/.258 ... if that isn't "hapless," it can be seen from where he is. For the record, from 2006-2008 he hit .236/.324/.365 against lefties, which isn't really hapless, but it certainly isn't anything close to "good.")

 
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I love the note about the 30-pitch inning: that's striking stuff. And I've always considered Buscher more in the Enrique Wilson mold. Or simply "mold." There's something to be said for perspective.

May 21, 2009 12:49 PM on Twins versus Sox, May 20
 
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Do you have any insight into the Noah Lowry (apparent) fiasco?

May 21, 2009 9:17 AM on Read and React
 
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Actually, Charles Nagy was in an AL battting order after the Indians lost their DH when Manny Ramirez played RF. I can't remember the year, but it was against David Wells (which I remember because Nagy batted left-handed, making it an even worse matchup). I want to say 1998 or so.

May 20, 2009 9:56 AM on Mid-week Roundup
 
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Even with a 1-hitter, the 5:3 K:BB for Contreras suggests something a bit short of "dominating." Which is kind of where I want my rehabbing major-league rotation guy to end up.

May 19, 2009 11:35 AM on May 19
 
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> If I were Bobby Cox the rule I would follow would be to > pull Javier as soon as two runners reach in the sixth > inning, or one runner reaches in the seventh or later. We used to call this the Charles Nagy Rule.

May 15, 2009 6:45 PM on Dissecting the Enigma
 
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That was really good: I find Simmons' voice very challenging to listen to, but I enjoyed the banter and learned a few things along the way.

May 14, 2009 2:37 PM on Contraction
 
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I am more optimistic that Lonnie Chisenhall can at least play third base. I have little that suggests that Wes Hodges isn't from the Corey Smiff School of Frying Pan Blunderbussery. I'd like more power, but I will take the slash stats and better defense, especially with a staff that features Fausto Carmona and Aaron Laffey (Jake Westbrook will likely be gone by the time Chiz is called up, but you never know).

May 01, 2009 7:23 AM on AL Central Notebook
 
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Um ... what age was Hodges in 2008?

Apr 30, 2009 3:26 PM on AL Central Notebook
 
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While admitting I need several editors, the last UTK was 1780 words ...

 
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The 1500-word limit was draconian and evil.

 
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The ballpark was christened properly Thursday. Sabathia and Lee were not sharp, but they battled, if not heroically, then at least with some guts. Until the 7th, it was a heckuva game. Of course, my team won, so that's what I'll remember. Well, along with the chants of "We want Swisher!" and the rapid pre-ending emptying of the stadium. There's no better noise for an opposing fan than New York fans turning on their own team. Stay classy, Yankees Fan!

Apr 17, 2009 7:21 PM on The Mariners
 
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This is the kind of article that really adds to BP's regular analytic coverage: thanks, John.

Apr 13, 2009 8:00 AM on Week One Wrap
 
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What happened on the Ryu claim? Damaged goods? Eddie Moo might actually succeed in Petco, but great googly moogly, he sure broke my heart with his "performance" last year, which was less "command performance" and more "performance art" in the Karen Finley vein.

 
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Travis Hafner. Oy.

Mar 30, 2009 1:47 PM on Value Dissonance
 
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You're telling me someone on Earth thinks that C.C. Sabathia weighs fewer than 260 pounds?

 
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Cleveland's +11.2 WARP looks mighty impressive ... until you realize that 6.7 of it (Brantley, Cassel, Graffy, Herges, Ohka, Saarloos, Salas, Valbuena) isn't actually going to make the roster. And I'm being generous to include Chulk. Now, you could point out that Brantley and Valbuena SHOULD make the roster at the expense of Dellucci and Barfield ... but this is the Cleveland Indians. (As an aside, from what I've seen this spring, there is no way on God's green Earth that Cassel, Ohka, and Herges are positive-WARP players. It actually hurts my pancreas to watch them.)

 
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Your link goes to Kevin Goldstein's piece, not yours.

Mar 18, 2009 12:17 PM on Five Guys to Follow
 
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You can have Andy Marte for Nothing to Be Named Later. Signed, Cleveland

 
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> If he does, enjoy your schadenfreude. Historically, that\'s kinda all we got.

 
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> I propose that for as long as a clearly qualified Hall of > Famer remains on the ballot solely because of steroid > allegations—or for that matter, proven use—there should > be no J.G. Taylor Spink Award given out to writers. If > we\'re going to allow failures during the \"Steroid Era\" to > affect eligibility for honors, let\'s make sure we catch > everyone who acted shamefully. Best. Lines. Ever.

Feb 09, 2009 1:01 PM on Stupid Media Tricks
 
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Tremendous work. Kudos!

Feb 05, 2009 9:10 AM on Dr. X2
 
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Gaudin sure looks homer-prone away from No There There Park. He\'s young, but is he really any more attractive than Reyes, Laffey, or Huff?

Feb 04, 2009 11:58 AM on American League
 
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I just wanted to say thanks for the interview, David. As a Tribe fan, I resent the Indians squandering Breslow, and now that I read this, it makes me lament his loss that much more. It\'s probably hard to find someone to talk Molecular Biophysics with. He couldn\'t with me, for example.

 
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Peralta\'s defensive value is almost entirely tied to his very strong arm, meaning he has to play the left side to be valuable. OTOH, move him to third and Cabrera to short, and the difference between Barfield and Marte is like picking which piece of licorice you find spakliest. (Carroll will probably get more time than is strictly healthy unless one of Barfield or Marte is replaced, whether it be by Valbuena or not: they are both execrable.)

Dec 11, 2008 5:10 PM on Three-Way Mayhem
 
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As with the Dodgers, I still recommend the Indians\' Franklin Gutierrez as a terrific defensive CF. People tend to think of him as an under-producing corner because that\'s how he\'s been used (hard to supplant Gold Golver Grady Sizemore from center, even if Gutierrez is actually a better defender), but the Tribe brass has consistently maintained that Goot plays at least as well there. Safeco would actually be a terrific place to showcase his skills ... ... with the glove. With the bat ... eh. Why do you think I keep trying to trade him? Still, he hit .285/.354/.462 after the All-Star break, with 22 XBH and 17 BB (high for Gutierrez). It could be argued that he\'s starting to figure it out, and he\'s only 25. I was kind of hoping to make him the centerpiece (with arms, modulo a catcher or something) of a deal for Beltre, so I\'m hoping Zbigniew or whatever his name is doesn\'t read your piece, but I\'d still take him over guys like Morgan, Anderson, or (heaven forfend) Byrnes. (And I\'d still like to see the Indians, FWIW.)

Dec 03, 2008 11:19 AM on Mariners
 
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As a lefty thrower, Pierre would be a very unorthodox second baseman.

Dec 01, 2008 1:05 PM on Dodgers
 
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If you need a CF and can play glove over bat, Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians wouldn\'t be a bad choice. There are some in the Cleveland org who think he\'s a better defensive CF than Grady Sizemore, and although he can\'t really hit righties well, he isn\'t Juan Pierre. He\'d be cheap, too, both in what it would take to get him and what you\'d have to pay him. (Plea for the Indians next submitted via email.)

Dec 01, 2008 11:39 AM on Dodgers
 
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> Addiction is a behaviour. Like Autism. Wow, as the parent of a child with Asperger\'s, I have to say that this is the worst take I\'ve ever seen in any forum under any circumstances ever. I won\'t debate you here, but you are wrong.

Oct 15, 2008 10:28 AM on Out at the Bell
 
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Wasn\'t Lee hurt last year (oblique, yes?)? It may not be enough for you to define as a \"comeback,\" but it\'s not like Lee was simply a chump. At least part of his struggles came from the mechanics of injury recovery.

Oct 15, 2008 9:37 AM on Out at the Bell
 
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Indians trade Kelly Shoppach, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jeremy Sowers to the Giants for Matt Cain, Sergio Romo, Connor Gillaspie, and Nate Schierholtz

Sep 25, 2008 1:29 PM on Tune-ups and Shut-downs
 
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What\'s the prognosis for Brian Slocum, who managed to hide his sore elbow from the Tribe until he\'d been called up and guaranteed a month of major-league salary?

Sep 25, 2008 9:59 AM on Tune-ups and Shut-downs
 
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Agreed, this sort of \"multiple camera angles\" collaboration is a real treat.

Sep 04, 2008 12:50 PM on Ryan Ludwick