When the Fur Starts to Fly

   Baseball’s winter meetings are under way in Dallas, Texas and general managers are wheeling and dealing at every turn.  The Indians have already signed one starting pitcher and appear to be on the verge of adding a closer to the bullpen.  The dollars that are being thrown around are a bit surprising considering how teams have been more cautious the past few years.  Toronto has already guaranteed two separate 5-year contracts for pitching worth more than $100 million.  Anyone mention to the Blue Jays that they were 9th in offense last year?  Eleventh in home runs, belting 71 fewer than the Indians?  If we learned anything in Cleveland over the past decade its this.  You win with pitching BUT, you can’t win without a good offense…

   

   Changing themes for a minute – thanks for all your comments on the first blog.  I appreciate all the feedback and hope you continue.  If I’ve learned anything over the years its that Indians fans are passionate and not afraid to express their opinion.  Most of what I read was very supportive of Mark Shapiro’s plan and execution so far.  A few of you are nervous about the Tribe not keeping up with the Jones’s, so to speak.  One fan in particular, nsv714@yahoo.com is afraid the Tribe won’t re-sign Kevin Millwood.  Let me just start by saying that I am too.  The problem however isn’t money but, the length of the contract.  Anything beyond 3-years is high-risk because it can’t be insured.  If a team is willing to guarantee Millwood 4-years with an option for a fifth, it probably won’t be the Tribe.  Agent Scott Boras believes that Millwood should get as much or more than AJ Burnett who just snared a 5-year $55 million deal from Toronto.  I think you see where I’m going with this…

   Congratulations to Grady Little who was hired as the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Grady was a solid bench coach for Charlie Manuel during his time here in Cleveland.  I never saw anyone hit a fungoe as high in the air as Grady Little.  One day we were in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida when he tried to hit the highest catwalk attached to the roof.  Ultimately he came up short but, in the process he blew out a rib cage muscle effectively ending his fungoe ability for the remainder of the season.  I always felt he got a raw deal in Boston and it’s good to see him back in uniform.  Unfortunately Indians third base coach Joel Skinner lost out in that situation.  Skinner interviewed for the job and one day will make a good manager but, selfishly I’m glad he’ll be back with the Tribe…

   Congratulations also to Indians GM Mark Shapiro for being named Executive of the Year by both The Sporting News (November) and Baseball America (today).  I know alot of people were scratching their heads when he began the dismantling and rebuilding process 4 years ago but, his diligence has paid off for the Tribe.  Right now Mark is probably wishing he could find a deal at the winter meetings like the one the Team Shops are offering.  Indians hooded sweatshirts are two for the price of one!  If only starting pitching or bullpen help came packaged the same way.

   Happy Holidays and keep the comments coming.

6 Comments

Matt, thank you for the opportunity to ask a few questions from Alabaster, AL. Just read about the possible new TV deal for the Tribe. Does this mean my family and I will not be able to watch the games on MLB Extra Innings anymore. We have enjoyed being able to DVR the games and watch them when we get home from ball practice. Just a heads up please…. Keep the blogs coming for us Tribe fans that live far away!I have been telling all these Braves fans….The Tribe would come alive in 05!!!
Lee Megois

Alabaster, AL

Hey!
I was just wondering if you and the others at FSN Ohio that broadcasted the Indians games will be back and doing the games on this new network that is supposedly going to be launched. Sure hope so! Happy holidays Matt!

-Ben

Wooster

Hey Matt! It’s great to see you blogging here! I am a former Clevelander who still loves the Tribe, all the way out in Arizona. I also blog here, for baseballdigestdaily.com, at http://baseballdigestdaily.mlblogs.com/
. We won a Bloggie award this year, but of course, there’s nothing to put on the mantle. Anyway, I have bookmarked your blog, and will read often. This should be an October to remember for the Tribe!

Jim Evans

Yuma, AZ

Hey Matt ! Happy Holidays to you and your family. What’s up with the Indians’ search for a new spring training home ? I’ve heard rumors about the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex being an option. I personally hope the Tribe looks elsewhere in Florida – way too much “Mickey Mouse” traffic to deal with for fans that just want to see a ballgame in the sunny south.

I also hope the Indians games continue to be available via the Directv baseball package. We love listening to you guys on XM Radio as well.

Hey Matt!

As some other fans already posted, I too was wondering what the new TV deal means for you guys. I hope to see you guys back on the air next season! Now that the Winter Meetings are over, where do you see the tribe going from here? A lot of fans are quick to bash the Paul Byrd signing, but I am not one of them. Have you seen this guys numbers agains the AL Central? They are dominant. Something like 20-6 with an ERA just over 3. Thats how you build a team these days, one that can compete within the division. Also glad to see Wicky back for a couple of reasons. One, he’s a great guy and deserving of one more year. Two, signing a 38 year old for 3 years just didn’t seem like such a good idea to me, and personally I think Cabrera could be ready to close as early as 2007. What do you think our biggest hole remaining is? Some say bullpen, but I say a bat of course. It became obvious the final week of the season that we needed just one more bat in that lineup. Nomar Garciaparra has been thrown around a lot and I think it would be a nice signing, but one name I’ll just throw out that not a whole lot of people talk about is Reggie Sanders. He had a good year for the Cardinals last year and would be a nice fit here in my opinion. I look forward to your next blog, Thanks!!

Hey Matt!
I too am disappointed that the tribe is not tendering an offer to Millwood. I saw in one year what this guy did for the likes of C.C, Jake, and Cliff Lee. I seem to remember in the hay day of the 90’s the tribe made an offer to future hall of famer Roger Clemens. But the deal was never done because of a third year that he and his agent wanted in his contract. The tribe was reluctant to get the deal done, because the age of Clemens, but as we all know he is still pitching, and doing it very well. Millwood is only 30 years old, and even with the lack of run support, he able to still keep the indians into ballgames. I think it is time for the indians to be a champioship team, and not just be satisfied with being a contender, because no one remembers second place. I believe with the white sox gearing up for another run at the championship, it is pivitol for the tribe to sign Millwood. History proves that good pitching beats good hitting, (95 braves vs. tribe)

Lets get it done and become that championship team in 06′

Thanks,

Go Tribe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: