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THe national bandwagon

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THe national bandwagon

Unread postby consigliere » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:03 am

Buster Olney this morning just tabbed the Indians as the 2007 World Series winners. Gammons has already made that claim a few weeks back. Let the jinx begin.
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Unread postby swerb » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:08 am

Man, to me, these are bold predictions from some respected names.

Don't get me wrong, I thought Shapiro did reasonably well this off-season given the climate. But to me, there's three areas of this team that made them a 78-84 squad.

~bullpen
~Wedge
~defense

Wedge is still here. The bullpen is a Borowski injury away from being a serious, serious concern. And the team is still below average defensively at SS, C, LF, RF. With young, young kids at 2b and 3b.

Im thinking 90-72 right now.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:36 am

Gammons and Olney both tabbed the Tribe as one of the few teams in the AL that would be in the World Series last year as well. This is no surprise. Gammons has long been an Indian touter, and Olney likes to look like a genius and often predict an off the radar team this time of year.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:59 am

Hey, sure beats everyone predicting us to come in last in the division. :mrgreen:

But, you have to take notice when just about every national media outlet is predicting big things from the Tribe. I hope them doing so doesn't put expectations to out of whack with this team. The Indians are surely a very good team, but they (as does every team, even the Yankees) have several key question marks which will make or break their season.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:17 am

http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.s ... xml&coll=1

Musings: Don't forget about the Indians
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
BY DAN GRAZIANO
NJ Star-Ledger Staff

The team of the moment is the Cleveland Indians. We love everything about them. Well, except for the "Cleveland" part.

The Indians came out of nowhere and almost sneaked into the playoffs in 2005. Last year, they were a fourth-place disappointment. But that's okay. Happens all the time. Team on the rise takes a step back, then comes roaring back the following year and everybody says, "Oh yeah. We remember now. They were supposed to be good."

Welcome to 2007, and listen to the roar.

By the end of this season, you'll be proudly asserting to all of your friends that the Indians have the best hitter (Travis Hafner) and the best all-around player (Grady Sizemore) in the American League. Both would have been legitimate MVP candidates last year if Cleveland had been any good and if Hafner hadn't broken his hand at the beginning of September.

Even with that final month off, Hafner finished third in the American League in home runs (42), fourth in walks (100) and sixth in RBI (117). His .439 on-base percentage and .659 slugging percentage were tops in the AL. He doesn't turn 30 until June. And his nickname is "Pronk." Which, as Ricky Bobby would say, is an awesome nickname.

Sizemore is only 24. And all he did last year, in his second full major-league season, was hit 53 doubles (if that sounds like a lot, that's because nobody hit more), 11 triples and 28 home runs. His 349 total bases were good for second in the league, behind a fella by the name of Dave Ortiz. And his 134 runs were 26 more than anybody else in the league scored.

So there's that. But more importantly, there's this:

The Indians worked to correct their biggest weakness by signing relievers Joe Borowski, Aaron Fultz and Roberto Hernandez. (They signed Keith Foulke, too, but then he retired for some reason). They have a true ace in C.C. Sabathia, and a strong No. 2 in Jake Westbrook. Players like David Dellucci, Trot Nixon and Casey Blake give their lineup flexibility. And they're hungry, because they got to smell the postseason in 2005 and know they should have won more games in 2006.

Indians. We're telling you. Remember where you heard it.
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Unread postby DGeneral » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:56 am

The national pundits were incorrect about Cleveland last season. They are way off base again this season. Part of it lies with the fact that they don't watch the team on a daily basis and don't truly realize what a numbskull Eric Wedge is.

They see a lot of nice young talent along with a flurry of activity over the winter but fail to realize what the weakest link on this team is.

I don't see the Indians ever going back to the post season with Wedge as manager. 05 was proof enough that he can't make a positive impact to push the team to the playoff level. In 05 he made that negative impact that a poor manager can influence where he was personally responsible for blowing about 5 games due to his not existent tactical skills.

Even if the players perform as well as they did in 05, The Wedge factor will be just enough to exclude them from the post season. The amazing this is that this GM will probably extend this turkey once he gets his extension.

Best Bullpen in the majors in 05, One of the best rotation in the AL in 05 and Wedge pissed away all that good pitching by getting outmanaged early in the season by Guillen, Gardenhire and others.

National pundits need to watch Wedge in the dugout more frequently, They will get better at their predictions about this team.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:44 pm

Consig, you DO love the Tribe. "They are surely a very good team" Look, they have a nice offense, some really good young players, but, man, that bully, that defense, an unsettled end of the rotation. These question marks and/or problems a very good team doesn't have. I hope things work out (someone in the bully, perhaps Miller etc.) but lets not get carried away. They are going to have to overachieve to get out of the division.
As far as predictions go, I once had a Sports Illustrated Baseball preview cover on my wall touting the Tribe to go all the way. Unfortunately, coever boy Cory Snyder and the boys just couldn't get it done.
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Unread postby Dozen » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:44 pm

BEST laugh I had in awhile on this line.

Blake is so versatile and athletic


:lol: good read, just found that amusing.
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Unread postby hermanfontenot » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:21 pm

With David Dellucci and Trot Nixon manning the corner outfield spots, with Casey Blake holding down first base to the tune of 500 at-bats, with the young supple arm of Joe Borowski holding down the back of the bullpen, with the critical up-the-middle defense of Peralta and V-Mart, and with the tactical brilliance of Eric Wedge, it's no wonder the national pundits are sold on this ballclub.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:44 pm

Lead Pipe wrote:Consig, you DO love the Tribe. "They are surely a very good team" Look, they have a nice offense, some really good young players, but, man, that bully, that defense, an unsettled end of the rotation. These question marks and/or problems a very good team doesn't have. I hope things work out (someone in the bully, perhaps Miller etc.) but lets not get carried away. They are going to have to overachieve to get out of the division.
As far as predictions go, I once had a Sports Illustrated Baseball preview cover on my wall touting the Tribe to go all the way. Unfortunately, coever boy Cory Snyder and the boys just couldn't get it done.


Here is the thing, if all these pundits would be chastising the Indians, you'd be on that horse as well. Look, if a few people here and there are saying one thing, but a few here and there are saying another thing.....then that is different. But the thing here, is that the national media is practically in unison that the Indians ARE a good team.

Let me play this another way....you mention the defense being unsettled, the backend of the rotation (I completely disagree on that), the bullpen etc......but, look at the Red Sox. Who is their closer? Or, tha Yankees....what is their bullpen besides Rivera? Their rotation? The Twins....who is their rotation besides Santana? Every team has warts, even the vaunted Yankees. Just about every team is a significant injury away from suckville.

THe Indians have a 90 win talent team. If they play below their abilities, you'll get the same crap from last year and another 78-82 win season. If they play above their abilities some, you'll get 2005 and a 93-97 win team. We'll see what happens.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:00 am

No, actually, I could care less what anyone else says. I make my own choices, comments and decisions. And, if in a rare instance I was to be influenced, it wouldn't be by the local media. For example, if I learned all I knew from Roda and Brinda, I would know little of value. So, if the media loves or hates the Tribe it makes no never mind to me.

I'm not saying they are horrible, we must have a different definition of what a very good team is. As far as the national media being in unison, that is you hanging a hat on that. They are wrong as often as they are right. That's why, well, see the first paragraph.

Lastly, you can't describe a very good team by outlining the weaknesses of others. Because the Twins have a rotation shortage and the Bosox don't have a closer doesn't mean the Tribe is a very good team. It may mean they can win games without having everything fall their way, but it does not make them a great team. If they were truly a very good team whoever else other teams had wouldn't make as much of a difference.

(By the way, all the Yankees have is Rivera? Well, an automatic closer is a huge piece. A piece that can be the difference between making the playoffs and being left out)
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:18 am

Lead Pipe wrote:No, actually, I could care less what anyone else says. I make my own choices, comments and decisions. And, if in a rare instance I was to be influenced, it wouldn't be by the local media. For example, if I learned all I knew from Roda and Brinda, I would know little of value. So, if the media loves or hates the Tribe it makes no never mind to me.


So, I guess the same thing applies to pre-season rankings in the college polls,yes? I agree you let the season play out, but there are favorites in every sport before the season starts. Hey, at least we have a favorite in this town. Now it is time to play the games.

I'm not saying they are horrible, we must have a different definition of what a very good team is. As far as the national media being in unison, that is you hanging a hat on that. They are wrong as often as they are right. That's why, well, see the first paragraph.


I'm not hanging my hat on anything. I don't need to. I've done the analysis, I know the players, I know the farm system. I know this is a very good team, potentially a scary good team if the bullpen shakes out. But, as a huge baseball enthusiast I understand that the good teams don't always win. Baseball has so many intangibles that many other sports don't have which affect the outcomes of games and seasons, that it really is hard to predict what will happen. But, I sit here today and believe this team as is is probably one of the best and most balanced teams we have had in in my lifetime. THey may not be 1995-1996 level, but they are on par with the 1997-2001 squads.

Lastly, you can't describe a very good team by outlining the weaknesses of others. Because the Twins have a rotation shortage and the Bosox don't have a closer doesn't mean the Tribe is a very good team. It may mean they can win games without having everything fall their way, but it does not make them a great team. If they were truly a very good team whoever else other teams had wouldn't make as much of a difference.


I don't consider this a good team because of the weaknesses of other teams. That was not the original point. THe point is, people bitch about the bullpen or defense or whatever. They act like no one else has any serious issues which will make or break their season. It is like the Cleveland Indians are the only team in baseball with holes. Go up and down every roster for every team....holes on every team, and significant ones on every contender. There is no perfect team.

I have perused Twins message boards and the other teams....I never see the sky is falling mentality there like I do here. It amazes me. But, considering the Browns suck, the Cavs are uninspired for whatever reason, and the fans hate Dolan, it doesn't surprise me.

There are definitely things which concern me with the team and org, but I still believe in The Plan. When time comes where I think it was a complete failure, I may change my tune. I'm still of the belief that 2005 was the coming out party....last year was a step back...and that this year they get to where they need to be. If they go out and stink up the joint, my view of this org may change some at season's end.

Sad thing is, the Indians may be our best shot at this moment for a world title.
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Unread postby Dozen » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:07 am

I don't consider this a good team because of the weaknesses of other teams. That was not the original point. THe point is, people bitch about the bullpen or defense or whatever. They act like no one else has any serious issues which will make or break their season.


But you do refer back to that alot in the Indians defense. Look, I like this team execpt for a few things, namly the bully and Mr. Blake. T, what are Blakes career stats vs. Lefty's? I think overall our defense should be alot better with Marte and Barfield. Im sorry I dont have the time to look at everyone else's weaknesses on other teams to compare them to, but people bitching about it is no different than your views as a browns fan. People are just sick and tired of all 3 franchises sucking
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Unread postby leadpipe » Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:38 pm

Consig, I think you might be interpreting some of my post incorrectly. Just because I don't think that the Tribe is a "very good team" doesn't mean I think they blow or they are a horrible organization. I do think they find themselves in the group of teams that are in a market which greatly restricts what they can do. When you are in this situation you needs to make A LOT of corect decisions and you need A LOT of "if" situations to fall in your favor. The difference between you and I is our optimism on the above issues. They aren't top to bottom stone cold stupid like the Cavs for crying out loud.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:19 pm

Lead Pipe wrote:Consig, I think you might be interpreting some of my post incorrectly. Just because I don't think that the Tribe is a "very good team" doesn't mean I think they blow or they are a horrible organization. I do think they find themselves in the group of teams that are in a market which greatly restricts what they can do. When you are in this situation you needs to make A LOT of corect decisions and you need A LOT of "if" situations to fall in your favor. The difference between you and I is our optimism on the above issues. They aren't top to bottom stone cold stupid like the Cavs for crying out loud.


I'm in agreement with all that Pipes.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:46 pm

Peter Gammons was on Cold Pizza today. He believes the Indians are the best team in the AL Central. Also felt Grady was the best player in the AL last year and that Borowski is "capable enough" of holding down the closer's role. The interesting point of the interview was when he called out CC and Hafner and said it would be a real shame if they left just " to go to Philly and be miserable to make a couple more bucks!" :mrgreen:
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Unread postby swerb » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:50 pm

It's downright eerie ... Gammons love affair with the Indians.

Goes way back, even to the mid-90's. The guys been artificially inflating our hopes for over a decade now.

I respect no one's opinion more too. Just wish he'd be right one of these years.
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Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:49 pm

Tony wrote:
Hey, sure beats everyone predicting us to come in last in the division.

But, you have to take notice when just about every national media outlet is predicting big things from the Tribe. I hope them doing so doesn't put expectations to out of whack with this team.



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Unread postby FUDU » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:54 pm

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Unread postby consigliere » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:04 pm

Heh.

Well, as long as we stay off the SI cover, we'll be fine! :mrgreen:
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Unread postby bookelly » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:24 am

Swerb wrote:It's downright eerie ... Gammons love affair with the Indians.

Goes way back, even to the mid-90's. The guys been artificially inflating our hopes for over a decade now.

I respect no one's opinion more too. Just wish he'd be right one of these years.


Watch ESPN's Indians games and you'll see Shap and PGam cozy on the third base line. This relationship goes both ways...Shap feeds him GM dirt, and PGam gives him mental handjobs on SportsCenter.

\(can't believe i capitalized teh 'c'.)
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Unread postby swerb » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:10 am

bookelly wrote:
Swerb wrote:It's downright eerie ... Gammons love affair with the Indians.

Goes way back, even to the mid-90's. The guys been artificially inflating our hopes for over a decade now.

I respect no one's opinion more too. Just wish he'd be right one of these years.


Watch ESPN's Indians games and you'll see Shap and PGam cozy on the third base line. This relationship goes both ways...Shap feeds him GM dirt, and PGam gives him mental handjobs on SportsCenter.

\(can't believe i capitalized teh 'c'.)

Mental handjobs .. LOL

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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:24 am

bookelly wrote:Watch ESPN's Indians games and you'll see Shap and PGam cozy on the third base line. This relationship goes both ways...Shap feeds him GM dirt, and PGam gives him mental handjobs on SportsCenter.


I'm not sure Gammons has to pimp a team just because a GM he has a good relationship feeds him intel. Gammons might be the most respected guy in baseball, and at least to me, what he says I always consider very seriously.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:15 pm

Not that this is good news, but SI's Baseball Preview edition is out.....they pick the Indians to win the division, but lose to the Yanks in the 1st round of the playoffs.
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Unread postby bookelly » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:56 pm

If SI is so good a picking winners, then why does every team they put on their cover lose?
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Unread postby consigliere » Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:55 am

The Wall Street Journal has the Indians winning the World Series, beating the Yanks in the ALCS and the Mets in the WS.
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Unread postby hermanfontenot » Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:20 pm

The Wall Street Journal has the Indians winning the World Series, beating the Yanks in the ALCS and the Mets in the WS.


Good Lord, you want to talk about a dream scenario. I don't know if there's an NL team I'd enjoy seeing the Indians beat more than the Mets. Maybe the L.A. Dodgers, but that's it.
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Unread postby consigliere » Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:30 pm

I don't think there is a Tribe fan out there that doesn't dream of this scenario....stuffing it in the two NY teams faces.

Best scenario? Knocking off the White Sox the last week in a winner take all division series.....beating Boston in the 1st round, the Yankees in the ALCS and the Mets in the WS.
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