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WTF? Foulke Retiring?

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WTF? Foulke Retiring?

Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:15 am

Keith Foulke retiring?
Posted by Mike Conley February 16, 2007 06:11AM
According to a report on WTAM 1100 this morning, newly signed reliever, Keith Foulke, has retired before ever throwing a pitch in an Indians uniform.


Associated Press
Keith Foulke signed a one year deal with the Indians worth an estimated 5 million dollars. Perfromance incentives in the contract could have pushed the deal to 7 million.Foulke battled arm and knee injuries the past two seasons while with the Red Sox.

He was slated to be the team's closer heading into spring training. Now that job will more than likely go to Joe Borowski, another arm signed during the offseason to solidify the back end of the bullpen.

We will keep you up to date with more information on this story as it unfolds
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Unread postby dpdad » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:51 am

Now that job will more than likely go to Joe Borowski...

And Borowski flunked a physical with the Phillies before signing with the Tribe. At least Foulke had the dignity to retire early, rather than waiting until the team was well into spring training. Any other sore-armed relievers Shapiro can pick up?
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Unread postby papacass » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:02 am

Suddenly the Cliff Pollitte signing makes a lot more sense.
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:05 am

I cant wait to hear the spin doctor on this one. :roll :roll:
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Unread postby Guest » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:26 am

Hahhaha, Juan Gonzalez and Keith Hernandez think Keith Foulke is a quitter.
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Unread postby dpdad » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:02 am

I can't wait to hear the spin doctor on this one.

Mark Shapiro: "Someone will need to step up."

I'm gonna be real pissed watching Bob Wickman saving games for Atlanta on WTBS this summer.
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Unread postby papacass » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:14 am

Everyone seems poised and ready to let the Indians have it for this one. Like Shapiro is somehow an idiot because Foulke retired.

Wasn't Foulke Plan D after B.J Ryan, Trevor Hoffman and Eric Gagne? It's not like he didn't try to find a better closer.

This is why I'd be a lot more comfortable if the Indians could develop some frontline relievers like they have developed hitters and starting pitchers. That way, you aren't putting a lot of stock in beat-up, worn-down pitchers like Foulke and Borowski (and Wickman) and you know, year to year, who is going to fill the major roles in your bullpen.

Tony Sipp, you can't get here fast enough.
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Unread postby papacass » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:21 am

One more thing ... something to put this in perspective.

One of the guys on ESPN (forget who) brought up an interesting point a few weeks back.

Out of every MLB world champion since 2001, only two -- the '02 Angels and the'04 Red Sox -- kept the same closer throughout the season. Bobby Jenks and Adam Wainwright were the closers for the last two champions. Both were forced into their roles midseason out of necessity.

Losing Foulke is a blow, but not a crushing blow.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:37 am

I find it funny how when we sign Foulke, it is no big deal.....but when he retires, it is a big deal as if it is a big loss. Pick a side folks.

I advocated the Foulke signing, and still felt it was a solid acquisition. The loss hurts, as I loved the combo of Foulke and Borowski in the 8th/9th and having them both as a backup plan to the other given the injury issues. I wasn't concerned one bit with the closer's role.....until this.

Now I am concerned. I like Borowski, but like him a helluva lot better in the 8th inning and as a backup closer. I guess we will just have to go with him as the guy. Not sure we are in a position to make a deal to get a closer until the season gets rolling along. It was a seller's market this offseason for relievers in trades, so unless we want to pay out the ass now, we'll probably just have to wait until June sometime before we can consider trading for a backend bully guy.

I do feel like we do have some good RHers in the pen still with Betancourt, Borowski, Hernandez, and Cabrera. And, it looks like Miller and Davis will make the team now.
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:46 am

I find it funny how when we sign Foulke, it is no big deal.....but when he retires, it is a big deal as if it is a big loss. Pick a side folks.


It wasnt a big deal, he was like what? the 4th option? But you cannot blame anyone who isnt pissed. Im not so much mad that he's gone just that the fact this is the guy they got and he retires. All Ive been hearing is that the bullpen is re-loaded blah blah blah. Im not sure how I could "pick a side" Im a tribe fan and this is what they got, now he's gone.......... painful
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Unread postby jb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:49 am

Rich:

In addition, it gives this Tribe fan serious concerns about the Indians medical staff that cleared the team to give this guy five million dollars with a bum elbow.


Me:

Word.

I hear the strains of the intro of the old Big Chuck & Little JOhn theme song:

"Here we gooooooooo...."
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Unread postby jb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:55 am

Everyone seems poised and ready to let the Indians have it for this one. Like Shapiro is somehow an idiot because Foulke retired.

Wasn't Foulke Plan D after B.J Ryan, Trevor Hoffman and Eric Gagne? It's not like he didn't try to find a better closer.

This is why I'd be a lot more comfortable if the Indians could develop some frontline relievers like they have developed hitters and starting pitchers. That way, you aren't putting a lot of stock in beat-up, worn-down pitchers like Foulke and Borowski (and Wickman) and you know, year to year, who is going to fill the major roles in your bullpen.

Tony Sipp, you can't get here fast enough.


I'm one for two witchu here Bill.

I don't exhonorate Shapiro for missing on Ryan, Hoffman and Gagne AND Howry. I blame him. Not Dolan, him.

You take the money even The Parsimonious One allocates and spend it on any one or two of thse guys in a manner of an offer they can't refuse rather than dooshbag crner outfiuelders so we keep Garko and Shoo on the bench, and we are not having this discussion.

But i also think you are spot on regrading the timidity of Shapiro to develop back-end bully picthers and all the young, hard-thorwing arms we have . So what is one of them famed out last year? Try more. If the buck shot theory works for all the sore-armed has beens and dime a dozen mediocre corner outfielders, why not young bullpen picthers?
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:56 am

Actually, not sure I can blame the medical staff. Before this news even broke, a poster on the Indians Scout board mentioned that Foulke had been complaining of pain in his elbow the last few weeks. The pain cropped up recently, well after the signing. Reportedly, he has been playing a lot of golf (DUH!!!!!!!!!!!). :roll :roll:
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Unread postby swerb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:57 am

Can't blame the medical staff? Come on T ...
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:59 am

Well, at this point I hope someone steps up. Its too late to play the blame game I guess.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:06 am

How can you blame the medical staff Rich? Seriously. The same medical staff raved about time and time again this offseason for how they rehabilitate guys and all that. And, I recall when they signed Borowski (and maybe even Foulke), the Indians themselves let some things slide in those physicals. I know for a fact that they saw a few things with Borowski, the same things Philly did, but we decided it was a good risk (and we got him for 1 gauranteed year rather than Philly's original 2 years).

If anything, I blame the Indians, namely Shapiro if Foulke didn't check out. The medical staff makes recommendations on their findings, they don't make the decisions. Shapiro possibly was trying to roll the dice here, yet again....just this time it came up snake eyes.

Now, as for this comment:

Lastly, this opens the door for youngsters like Tony Sipp, Juan Lara, Rafael Perez, Eddie Mujica, and Tom Mastny to potentially compete for a spot with the big league team, or perhaps to be an early call up the first time the team needs an arm this season.


I think this is the one bright spot of all this, and an excellent point by you. I think having one of Mujica, Perez or Lara on this team to start the year is a GOOD thing. And, as JB mentioned (great take), maybe Shapiro needs to apply that buckshot theory he has with the bullpen to his young guys rather than vet retreads?

Still, I am concerned about the backend of the bully.
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Unread postby jb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:10 am

How can you blame the medical staff Rich? Seriously. The same medical staff raved about time and time again this offseason for how they rehabilitate guys and all that.


Tony - besides the well publicized Howry rehab success story, who are we talking about?

Jason Bere?

Danny Graves?

NOt bein' snarkey, I'm really trying to recall who they have rehabbed to deserve these "raves" ? Or is that more Shapiro spin?
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:15 am

JB wrote:
Consigliere wrote:Tony - besides the well publicized Howry rehab success story, who are we talking about?

Jason Bere?

Danny Graves?

NOt bein' snarkey, I'm really trying to recall who they have rehabbed to deserve these "raves" ? Or is that more Shapiro spin?


They helped re-establish Millwood. What about Wickman? Elarton? And, what about the general health overall of the pitching staff the last several years?
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:17 am

Is there anyone out there that you can think of that may be available? What would it take as far as prospects? Or do they wait it out and see whats available towards the end of spring training?
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:20 am

Dozen wrote:Is there anyone out there that you can think of that may be available? What would it take as far as prospects? Or do they wait it out and see whats available towards the end of spring training?


Unfortately, unless you absolutely want to get ass-raped, there is nothing available now. No one is going to part with even a decent closer right now before the season even starts unless we severely overpay.

We are going to have to wait this one out, unfortunately. See what happens with Borowski, and come June when teams are ready to start dumping players and accepting prospect deals, look at our alternatives then.
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:22 am

Well hopefully Borowski holds the fort down. I would hate to see this team lose because of a lack of closer.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:06 pm

Dozen wrote:Well hopefully Borowski holds the fort down. I would hate to see this team lose because of a lack of closer.


Armando Benitez anyone? Any interest?

Not sure how available he is, but I know the Indians have kicked the tires this offseason on acquiring him. They now have $5M to throw around that they already had considered spent.....

He is reportedly in good health, and I recall the Giants wanting to unload him. He could be a possibility....
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Unread postby jb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:38 pm

Tony - besides the well publicized Howry rehab success story, who are we talking about?

Jason Bere?

Danny Graves?

NOt bein' snarkey, I'm really trying to recall who they have rehabbed to deserve these "raves" ? Or is that more Shapiro spin?


They helped re-establish Millwood. What about Wickman? Elarton? And, what about the general health overall of the pitching staff the last several years?


Ah yeah - Millwood is the biggie. Brain lock. Elarton gave some good innings. Not seeing RBB is that vain, but hey... Thanks.
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Unread postby jb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:39 pm

Unfortately, unless you absolutely want to get ass-raped, there is nothing available now. No one is going to part with even a decent closer right now before the season even starts unless we severely overpay.


What if they just want to experiment a little in college?

Anything else butt Benitez?
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Unread postby Guest » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:58 pm

This has nothing to do with any contribution that Keith Foulke might have given the Indians. It has everything to do with what always happens to a Cleveland sports team.

And we thought LeCharles Bentley's career-ending injury on the first day of Browns training camp was unique. NOW IT'S HAPPENED TWICE IN SIX MONTHS!!
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Unread postby papacass » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:49 pm

Not Benitez. He'll wind up just like Foulke.

You know, it's not too crazy to think that Fausto Carmona is going to get another shot to close this season. Maybe the Indians coaching staff will actually prepare him this time.

I like Carmona as a starter more than a closer, but he has closer stuff and two months from now, he might be the best option available.

And if anybody is having nightmares of Carmona's spectacular failure as a closer a year ago, you'd be justified. But the guy needs to be groomed for the role, not just thrown to the wolves.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why an organization that has been pretty smart about building a lineup and rotation can be so dang short-sighted when it comes to the bullpen.
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Unread postby pup » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:59 pm

What about the guy who closed for Texas and got bumped out for Gagne. Better hurry before Gagne goes the way of Foulke!
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Unread postby dpdad » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:34 pm

This has nothing to do with any contribution that Keith Foulke might have given the Indians. It has everything to do with what always happens to a Cleveland sports team.

That expresses my feelings perfectly. Why the Indians always seem to sign guys that are coming off injuries, or had a couple of down years, or are at the tail end of their careers, etc. I have had an uneasy feeling about Shapiro's bullpen moves all winter, and the Foulke retirement just seems to validate the fragility of the veteran arms that were added.

I realize that Shapiro has a limited budget to work with compared to some other teams, but am getting tired of seeing players who are really nothing more than reclaimation projects being presented to the fans as improvements. Shapiro is really rolling the dice regarding the bullpen, and I would hate to see another midseason bullpen meltdown drag down an otherwise pretty good team. I have been an Indians fan going on 50 years, and just once before I croak I would like to see a victory parade going down Euclid Avenue.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:34 pm

Again, as I stated a month ago. The guy has had CHRONIC ELBOW, BACK and KNEE problems. He's a major league pitcher. Take a look at the body parts listed. This had very little chance. I'm not writing this to say I told you so, I write this because anyone associated with baseball should have told you the same.

I do find it amazing that people were actually starting to count on him for a roll. A major league pitcher with these injuries is like a pornstar with a broken crank. A real longshot.
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Unread postby Dozen » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:41 pm

A major league pitcher with these injuries is like a pornstar with a broken crank. A real longshot.


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Unread postby swerb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:54 pm

Alright, that's one of the funniest analogies I've ever read.

Point well made too. Touche.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:45 pm

Two nuggets:

1.) Had Foulke reported to camp and started participating in workouts (tomorrow), the $5M he signed for would have been guaranteed. Instead, and I believe I heard this right, the Indians only owe him 1/3 of the $5M now.

2.) Apparently, Foulke was healthy and checked out back when we signed him.....but per Shapiro "something popped" when Foulke was working out...errr....playing golf sometime in the last two weeks.
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Unread postby swerb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:49 pm

Compared to throwing a baseball, golf puts little to no strain on the elbow.

To think that he hurt his elbow golfing, and would have otherwise been fine is just not realistic.

However the hell he hurt it ... it saved the Indians 3.4 mill. Cause it just woulda happened later down the line.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:39 pm

Buff made an excellent point in the roundtable piece I got from him today.....you'll see on Sunday. :mrgreen:
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Unread postby pup » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:32 pm

And we are considering extending the mastermind behind this deal :eek :shock:
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Unread postby DGeneral » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:41 am


I do feel like we do have some good RHers in the pen still with Betancourt, Borowski, Hernandez, and Cabrera. And, it looks like Miller and Davis will make the team now.


The issue becomes, none of these pitchers are qualified for the full time closer role. All have gotten opportunities and failed.

I don't think Borowski is the answer, If Foulke was still hurt, he certainly wasn't the answer either.

Shapiro has always treated his bullpen as an afterthought, he got lucky in 05 and then proceeded to ruin the 06 pen.

The bullpen looks even more suspect going into ST.
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Unread postby consigliere » Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:08 pm

I agree the bullpen is very suspect. I just completed a huge in depth preview of the bullpen which will post late next week (starting rotation goes up early in the week). But, after digging around and looking at the current 7-man staff.....I came to this conclusion in the piece:

Bottom line, from this corner, Shapiro did not do enough to fix the bullpen. With oft-injured guys like Joe Borowski and Matt Miller, the ineffective Jason Davis, and improperly addressing the left-hand pitching need in the bullpen with Aaron Fultz, the bullpen is one giant question mark in 2007. For this to be an effective bullpen in 2007, the Indians are going to need a lot of things go their way and for 1-2 of the youngsters to break out.

I think Borowski is fine as a closer, and I was surprised as hell with how good Hernandez is....but there are a ton of question marks with the bullpen. The key may be for one or two of the kids to step up and fill needs....which as a sidenote, Cabrera is one of the only bullpen prospects the Indians have developed since “The Plan” went into effect in mid-2002. Cabrera is still actually developing, and while there is a logjam of promising prospects stashed away at Buffalo, the fact Cabrera is the only real in-house relief prospect on this roster almost five years after the inception of The Plan is ludicrous.
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