Tagged with "Cleveland Indians"
Bourn Finds Identity With Indians
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Cleveland Indians Hot Stove Michael Bourn

 

 

Michael Bourn can finally claim to know exactly who he is again after the free agent outfielder officially signed with the Cleveland Indians on Monday. The 30-year-old Bourn signed a 4-year, $48 million deal with the Tribe, which includes a vesting option for a fifth season worth an additional $12 million.

 

Bourn was an All-Star in 2012 after hitting .274 with 9 home runs, 57 RBI, a .739 OPS, and 42 stolen bases for the Braves last season. His 6.0 bWAR was the highest of his career and many fans felt he was robbed of a Gold Glove award for his play in center field. Overall, Bourn is a career .272 hitter and has 276 total stolen bases.

 

The fleet footed outfielder was one of the top free agents on the market this winter, but floated out there on the market for quite a bit of time. While his asking price - and his agent Scott Boras - was one of the reasons he had trouble finding a home, Bourn suffered due to the fact that he also had a compensatory draft pick tied to him after turning down a qualifying offer from Atlanta earlier this winter.

 

The Mets were known to be looking at Bourn as well, but with the 11th pick in the draft, the team did not want to lose its unprotected pick. At one point, there was talk that the Players' Union would petition on behalf of Bourn and the Mets in order for them to keep their pick since they technically had the 10th worst record, only falling out of the protected pick range due to the Pittsburgh Pirates being guaranteed the 10th pick after failing to sign their first round pick in 2012.

 

The Indians are already giving up their second round pick to the Yankees. They will now surrender their competitive balance pick (69th overall) as compensation for signing Bourn.

 

Bourn will immediately become the Indians new center-fielder, with Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley likely platooning in left field. The Indians have made quite a splash this winter in free agency and trades, also signing Nick Swisher and acquiring Trevor Bauer in a deal with Arizona and Cincinnati earlier this offseason. Last week, the team also inked Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jason Giambi to minor league deals.

 

Next up for Scott Boras, find a similar situation for Kyle Lohse, who has been similarly handicapped after rejecting the qualifying offer from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Indians Sign Matsuzaka, Giambi
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Cleveland Indians Hot Stove

 

The Cleveland Indians are once again in the middle of a youth movement, but that has not stopped the team from adding a pair of veterans to the fold. On Saturday, they signed Jason Giambi to serve the role of back-up first baseman/designated hitter/pinch-hitter. They followed that up on Sunday by agreeing to terms with free agent Daisuke Matsuzaka on one-year deal.

 

Both contracts are minor-league deals that include invitations to both players to attend Spring Training with the Major League club.

 

Giambi's deal is worth $750k plus incentives that can be reached if he makes the Indians roster. The 42-year-old veteran of 18 seasons spent the 2012 campaign with the Colorado Rockies, posting a .225 average with 1 home run and 8 RBI in limited duty. At one stage of the winter, he contemplated retirement and was being considered as a possible managerial candidate in Colorado. Giambi is a career .280 hitter with 429 home runs, 1405 RBI, a .926 OPS and was the 2000 American League MVP.

 

Matsuzaka finished his 6-years in Boston, making just 11 starts in 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. Dice-K posted an unremarkable 1-7 record with an 8.28 ERA in those starts, but owns a 50-37 overall record with a 4.52 ERA during his 6-year MLB career. There was talk that the right-hander would return to Japan for next season before he opted to sign with Cleveland. If he makes the team, the deal is worth $1.5 million plus incentives that could bring the contract up to $4 million based on performance.

 

It is hard to imagine where either player fits into the long-term scheme for Cleveland. The Indians have already signed Mark Reynolds to be their primary first baseman, with Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana likely to get a number of starts there as well.

 

The pitching staff is also fairly well set with Justin MastersonUbaldo JimenezBrett MyersCarlos Carrasco, and Zach McAllister penciled in as the starting five. If one of them faulters, newly acquired Trevor Bauer is likely to be the first to step into the fold.

Not Again!
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Terry Francona Cleveland Indians Boston Red Sox

Pity the fans of Cleveland. First they prostrate themselves by elevating LeBron James to Kim Jong-Il stature and he jilts them on national television. Then the Browns suffer through another rubber-stamp lousy season, being ditched by their owner in the process, only to get a new owner whose first move is to hire a coach whose name inspires a Google search more than it inspires hope. And now they get to watch their estranged original franchise go to the AFCC --- again --- in black and purple uniforms.

And then there are the Indians. The Tribe. The team that Bill Veeck, flush with gimmicks in a city flush with postwar industry, turned into a powerhouse, winners of two pennants and countless futile but entertaining runs at the unbeatable 1950s Yankees. A team with names like Lou Boudreau, Early Wynn, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Rocky Colavito, Bobby Avila and many more. A team that beat Ted Williams' mighty Red Sox in a playoff in 1948, then beat Boston's other guys, the Braves, in the World Series. A team that went 111-43 in 1954. A team that found a gold mine in Latin America and built another powerhouse in the '90s. A team that was within a game of going to another World Series in 2007 --- before choking versus Boston. That team dissolved as the stars, unaffordable as free agents, were diffused into the league's money pits. It was time to turn things around from the bottom up.

And to whom did they turn to raise the phoenix from the ashes? Terry Francona. Did they really deserve this?

There are as many non-Pink-Hat Red Sox fans who thought the team won despite Francona (he was derided as 'Francoma' before anyone even knew about painkillers) as there are those who thought it was because of him, but make no mistake, he won two World Series. He was brought in to babysit the second-highest-paid roster in the league, a team awash in self-described 'idiots' like Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Johnny Damon, Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek and Nomar Garciaparra. As time went on most were replaced by equally volatile egos like Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, John Lackey, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Carl Crawford... you get the idea. Francona appeared masterful at keeping this potential zoo yoked together to pull the wagon --- until it all came apart, perhaps tellingly following the departure of steadying influences like Mike Lowell and prodigal son John Farrell. Left alone with the whip, Francona gave no sign of being able to control what quickly degenerated into a madhouse, even with wild man Ramirez gone. What was left for Bobby Valentine wasn't going anywhere. Was upper management partially at fault with Valentine, mollycoddling star players and giving them a red carpet to the front office to complain about the manager? Of course. Were the veteran players at fault? Of course. Was Valentine the cure? Not hardly. But nothing in this soap opera gives any indication that Francona, without broad shoulders to stand on, was a capable manager even for a team loaded with high-priced talent, let alone for a bargain-basement rebuild.

Enter the Indians, who hired the glitter of his two rings to lift them out of the cellar. At that point, success-starved Forest City denizens felt they had reason to rejoice. Here was a big name. This guy had won.

Then came the news that he had also --- gulp --- written a book, or as likely been coaxed into writing one by Boston Globe sports vulture extraordinaire Dan Shaunessey. Ah, the Globe --- as biased and controlling in its politics as it is convinced that it is the heart, soul and conscience of Boston sports --- and which, scant years back, shamelessly begged for its own unprofitable existence until it was discreetly bailed out by the New York Times, its owner and, of course, its political ally. Ah, the Globe, which portrayed the Sandinistas as folk heroes in the '80s, earning the sobriquet El Globo almost everywhere outside the PRC (Peoples' Republic of Cambridge). The Globe, whose election year eat-the-rich movement, amplified by daily radio soapboxes for its scribes, cast the issue as out-of-touch ownership victimizing the fans through a preoccupation with money, this despite the fact that John Henry's massive hedge fund, his cash cow, went belly-up in 2011 --- not exactly a sign of obsessive scrutiny. Forgotten was the fact that this ownership bought as much as brought Boston two titles and nearly a third, following a brief 86-year drought. While it worked, no one's lofty principles were violated.

Despite Francona's book as yet being unavailable, sensational details have been leaked to provide maximum sales stimulus. And it will sell. Doubtless it will also sell Boston's ownership (which made Francona rich and famous) down the river, and equally doubtless it will fail to emphasize that the controlling suits in the front office knew a stooge when they saw one, and an eager stooge at that. Terry Francona made his bed and slept in it.

So what's so sordid about all this? Maybe Casey Stengel never wrote a book shredding Del Webb for canning him after a mere 10 pennants in 12 seasons, but Joe Torre sure wrote one. With the bar lowered appropriately, why can't Francona cash in? Who cares? Isn't baseball ridden with bigger scandals anyway?

Something to consider: Torre, though coy about retirement, knew he was done with baseball when he decided to rip his former organization. He never came back. Terry Francona has apparently forgotten that he's back in the game --- and in the American League. What's to stop Cleveland fans now from feeling that he considers his new job banishment to the minors, something unworthy of his memoirs? Ok, my best days are behind me now, and as I ease into retirement and fatten my nest egg by managing these rubes I'm free to reminisce (and vent) about my glory days in Boston --- plus fatten my nest egg even more. If I flop in this nowhere burg, nobody will want to read my book. I gotta strike while the iron is at least still warm.

Sound harsh? Know what? That's how Red Sox fans would feel if everything had happened in reverse and Francona had just been hired by Boston. Around here, the spin-zone media who begat this masterpiece are already at high rpm, and they aren't likely to implicate Francona. He's making them money and publicly hanging their class-war enemies all at once. Apologists are pushing the angle that he probably didn't torch any of his players a la Torre, so it's ok. That, after all, would damage his ability to manage his new team. Hello? Here's hoping the fans and scribes of Cleveland aren't quite so purposely naive about workplace relationships. The timing of the book, even if it turns out to be a mea-culpa testimonial to the goodness and purity of the Red Sox organization, is tasteless. And it will include an even more tasteless blame game. The admission that he was a painkiller-guzzling zombie will elicit cries of 'courageous' from the spinners, but smells like an attempt at an excuse. The way to show the world that the utter collapse of a league-leading powerhouse in 2011 wasn't your fault is to lead your new team to the promised land, not to publish an expose. Nobody loves a rat. Seen Eric Mangini working the sidelines lately, speaking of Boston and Cleveland?

In publishing his Red Sox memoirs, Francona has announced to Cleveland that he considers the writable portion of his career over. If he's also thrown his former ownership (maybe others?) under the bus, then it must have slipped his mind that he now works for new ownership. This isn't the same as leaving a corporation in a huff to head up a cutthroat competitor. Everybody works for one company, and it's called MLB. Players insist that they are part of a brotherhood. Guess what? So are owners. And an owner is a rather important part of the team. Ya think? There's no winner here except for the yellow media.

Now, if Terry Francona indeed leads the Tribe out of the cellar and back into contention his book will surely become just old news. However, if he doesn't, this curious episode may indelibly cheapen his all-important legacy. It probably has already. More importantly, it will heap further disrespect on the city that was once the Best Location in the Nation, extending its status as the Mistake on the Lake. He may be helping the overbearing Boston media drive out the only owner in a century to take the Red Sox to the top, but the irony is that he's dumping on his new employer and on his new city in the process.

Most importantly, writing any expose cheapens baseball, but writing one while still active breaks new ground, even if every word is true. Pandering to Pink Hats is one thing, but reaching out to the Jerry Springer crowd with Mommy Dearest is another. Biting the hand that fed you looks tawdry. Even reminiscing wistfully about your old team while in the employ of another looks bad. Biting the hand of MLB while it's still feeding you is just plain stupid.

Monday Moaning 12-24-12
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Christmas NFL MLB Music Movies Food Cleveland Browns Cleveland Indians Josh Cribbs Nick Swisher Savatage

            


Christmas is just about here, and Santa needs to get busy...But he always has time to not only give, but sometimes, he likes to receive as well...And the Beeze has been busy too...I've been trying my best to get into the Christmas spirit...And once the world didn't end Friday, I was forced to...The Mrs. and I had done no Christmas shopping at all...So Friday I did a little after a hellish day at work...Saturday morning she did a bunch...Then Saturday afternoon I went out and finished...

But I still wasn't super Christmasy...So I dug in and did some blogging...I posted my top 15 Christmas movies HERE...and my top Christmas songs HERE...

Sunday lead to spending more money on groceries for our annual family Christmas Eve party...It's become a tradition at our house, that my oldest daughter won't let die...I hope to one day have a bigger house and add friends to the mix, but right now it's just family...Mostly my side...The menu isn't fancy...We'll have a ham...Hanky Pankies...(ground meet, sausage, cheese, oregano, garlic, all mixed together and baked on party rye's)...Buffalo Chicken Dip...Shrimp Cocktail...My Holiday Balls...(Meat balls, thrown in a crock pot with chili sauce and grape jelly...Shockingly awesome!)...Beer, wine, soda, and my holiday punch...(Raspberry sherbet, ginger ale, strawberries, and vodka)...

So my Sunday was full getting that stuff together, and getting the kids out of the house so, my wife could get all the kids stuff wrapped, and hidden...Once again the kids and I went skating...The boy is getting better each time...

I watched a little of the Browns game...They looked like dirt, stinkin' ass...Bunch of guys got hurt..Who cares...After the game Josh Cribbs started firing off tweets at fans who are finally seeing what I've seen...The guy has become useless...Way to botch a punt return...Returns are all this guy did really well, now he sucks at those too...He's talking about leaving, and let me be the first to say, goodbye! Fucking waste of a roster spot!

The Indians signed Nick Swisher to a $56 million contract for 5 years...He's 32...WHY!?! So he can strike out a lot like the other guys they picked up this off-season...Oh, and lets not how he faded out last year with the Yankees...What is he going to finish the season strong with the Indians now...Surrounded by a weaker lineup, and out of the playoff hunt...People are excited about this move...Not this Cleveland pessimist...I think it's another mistake, in a long line of front office mistakes...

See people, this is why I was digging into Christmas hard...Because Cleveland sports make me sick...So, I'm announcing my baseball fandom is going to test the free agency market...I'll decide on which team I'm gonna get on board with in April, and for how long...As the NFL rolls into the playoffs, I'm all in with the Patriots...But I'll be rooting for the Seahawks in the NFC...Shit, I love how gritty that team is...Did you see them just blow up the 49ers Sunday night...42-13...WOW!

Next week, I'll have more sports for you...The College Bowl madness will be in full swing, and I'll be getting geared up for Notre Dame vs. Alabama...Can't wait!

With that all said, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas...Or Happy whatever the fuck you celebrate...Just be sure to enjoy it, and enjoy it with the ones you love...

I'll leave you with a song from a group called Savatage...They did "Metal Operas" back in the day...Eventually a couple of them started Trans-Siberian-Orchestra...I always break this album out around Christmas, because the story takes place at Christmas time...The famous TSO "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo)" was originally on this disc...This is the closing song, and I still love it...(Thanks Chorba)





Merry Christmas..Have a week...

The Beeze.

 

Monday Moaning 10-15-12
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NCAA MLB NHL College Hockey Notre Dame Cleveland Indians Terry Francona Uppercut Food Little Beeze Derek Jeter Bill Burr Lance Armstrong


Welcome to another week...First, check out the College Football WRAP_UP...

So after all that, Sunday night the first BCS rankings were released...1. Alabama...2. Florida...3. Oregon...4. Kansas State...5. Notre Dame...I'm okay with those rankings...While 'Bama hasn't played anyone of any significance, they're power-house, and I see them rolling through their schedule...Florida has earned a top 3 spot...Oregon is a mother fucker...Shit, Nick Saban is already crying about how fast-paste their offense is, and wants rule changes to slow them down...Bastard is already looking ahead to playing them for the championship, and is scared...Kansas State has been cock-strong, and their schedule is solid, especially since the Big-12 looks like the toughest conference this year...And Notre Dame has told Rick Riley, and all other haters, to eat their ass...Hard-nosed defense, and timely plays on offense has them undefeated, and looking to really screw up the BCS....

After the top five it gets messy...LSU is 6th, which is fucking retarded since they lost to Florida, squeaked past South Carolina, and played nobody else...South Carolina is 7th...They play a tough schedule but this is too high after losing to LSU...Oregon State is 8th...Undefeated, and 8th...That's Bullshit...Undefeated Miss State is 12...Again, bullshit...They should be higher...Really, everything below the top five is a mess, and a lot of guess work...A big pile of bullshit is Ohio University not making the top 25 at 7-0...They finally cracked the AP, at 25...Bunch of crap...

-Last week the Cleveland Indians named Terry Francona their new manager...There wasn't too much fanfare, considering how it's football season, and baseball takes a back seat...I'm happy as hell about this...This is the best managerial hiring the Indians have made since Mike Hargrove....Everyone after him has been a mistake, that all got too long to try and prove themselves...Francona is legit...If he can't turn the Tribe around in few years, they should just contract the fucking team...

-The Cleveland Browns got their first win this week, beating the Cincinnati Bengals...I didn't watch it...we had the Little Beeze's birthday party this morning/afternoon, at Chuck-E-Cheese...With Molly's issues after her surgery, he kinda got shafted on his birthday, so we made it up to him...


After we got home, I put on the Browns for a few minutes...I watched Trent Richardson stand there and let a defensive lineman run right past him, and sack Brandon Weeden...Right then I turned it off...There were toys to play with...I didn't need another fucking Browns headache...SO they won, and I missed it...I don't feel like I missed anything...

Local Sports guy Jim Donovan was talking about the win on the news...He was acting like it was the greatest moment in Cleveland Sports history...Like they won the Super Bowl...He was almost in tears...They beat the Bengals...Once...Holy shit, calm down guy!

-So the NHL has fucked up again...Bill Burr put it best this past week on Opie & Anthony..."The NHL has a fear of success." They must, because they were doing well, and then they lockout the players...A day after a bunch of owners threw insane money to sign players to contracts...But they're crying about not making enough money, and players salaries being to high...It's your faults assholes!

But there's still hockey out there folks...The AHL season got going...And so did college hockey...The Fighting Irish started their season by winning the Ice Breaker Tournament...Friday night They beat Maine 1-0...Then Saturday night they beat Nebraska Omaha 3-2...Listen people...It's not the NHL, and that's not a bad thing...There is some great college hockey being played out there...If you need a fix, check it out...

-Saturday night after The Fighting Irish stuffed Stanford at the goal-line, The Mrs. and I Went to see "Argo"...Great movie...A true story that was kept quiet until 1997...Seriously, and amazing story...And again, Ben Affleck showed that he's a better director then he is a actor...Although he isn't bad in the movies he directs...Check it out...

After the movie we grabbed a late dinner...We were in the mood for steak...The wife had a filet and baked sweet potato...


Dude, that Sweet potato is huge...I think it weighed more than my 24 ounce Porterhouse...


The service blew, but the steaks and beer were good...While sitting there, keeping an eye on the college football games I saw it come across that Derek Jeter broke his ankle...I have to say, I wasn't sad...I got nothing against Jeter, except that he is a Yankee...So him going down is fine with me...Just puts more pressure on A-Roid, who is just a fucking choke machine!

And why is it that people are so forgiving of A-Roid and Andy Pettite, and others, who got busted for PED's...I've spent plenty of time bashing Lance Armstrong since it has come out that he is God's gift to cheating...Just as I have with A-Roid and others...But it seems that the media, and most people have forgotten the number of high-profile people who have been busted for cheating...But they're okay beating on Armstrong...Don't get me wrong...Hammer away on him...He's lied and cheated, and it makes me sick...But let's not forget other cheats...Why isn't anyone saying 'A-Roid is in the tank because he's finally off the juice, and he's shit without it!' I'm sick of the media harping on a topic for a week or so, and then just forgetting all about their outrage...

-I have one political comment to make...For the first time since I started voting, I just don't fucking care who wins the election....I'm so sick of the ads...I'm so sick of the non-stop bullshit...The lies on top of lies...Both sides, just fucking being assholes...And I'm tired of both sides saying they have a plan to get the economy working, and creating more jobs...But no one is actually showing or telling us their "plan"...And how the fuck are these guys going to just magically create jobs? Are they going to just make up a bunch of federal jobs...Then everyone will be bitching about our tax dollars being wasted on that...I'm sorry Mitt...I'm sorry Mr. President...I'm calling bullshit...You're making promises you know you can't keep...The truth is, you, just like most people have no idea how to get more people working...And Mr. Ryan, could you please actually explain your idiotic budget plan, instead of saying, "I don't have enough time to explain it." Yes you do, you just don't know how to answer the tough questions about it...

Seriously, I'm sick of it all...I have no faith in any of these dolts...The system is broken...And as much as they all say they care about us, they've done nothing to prove that.

And before I go...Just remember...Don't fuck with a Cleveland BUS_DRIVER!

Have a week...

The Beeze.
 

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