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Cleveland Indians & MLB

The Core (Cousineau's Article)

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The Core (Cousineau's Article)

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:59 pm

Nice article on the core and CC. However, I wanted to point two interesting issues that weren't covered.

First: The Indians core may eventually be together for just as long, if not longer, than the mid-90s core. Most of those players were around for about 7-10 years, and the current set of guys may be in town for the same amount of time. In particular, I believe (but may be wrong) that Thome, Nagy and Vizquel were the only core players signed to a second long-term contract (i.e., one that covered only years post-FA eligibility). The current Indians now have two in Westbrook and Pronk. Combined with any bought out FA years for other long term contracts, then I would guess that the total Indian-experience will be just as long now as then.

Second: The flip side of plotting out the next few years of the Indians contract situation gives the Negative Nellies of Indians fandom an opportunity to worry each and every year. I mean, if there was worry this year about Westbrook, Pronk and CC, then there will be worry next year if CC is unsigned, and worry in 2009 because of the post-2010 FA of V-Mart, Westbrook and Lee. And on and on until 2012 with Grady.

Sooner or later, you just have to shrug off the contract issues and just enjoy some baseball.

(By the way, this phenomenon isn't limited to baseball. It seems like since Lebron was drafted, pessimistic Clevelanders have been counting down the years until his contract expired and he could leave for a bigger market.)
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Unread postby paulcousineau » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:35 am

Great point about the 1990's Tribe. Most of those guys signed deals like the Sizemore and Peralta contracts, where the Tribe bought up the players' arbitration years for long-term security.

I think you're absolutely right that Thome, Nagy, and Vizquel were the only ones to sign extensions.

Also an excellent point on the contracts.
In Spring Training, the cry was, "we'll never sign any of them". When Westbrook signed, it was "goodbye Pronk and C.C.". Now that Hafner's in, the talk IMMEDIATELY becomes about how C.C. is destined for the West Coast.

Why can't we just enjoy the fact that the team is set up pretty nicely for a number of years, with or without C.C.?
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Unread postby Birdman » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:37 am

Excellent points and great article. With the current state of baseball contracts and the number of people that impact the club, most good franchises will face contract problems almost every year. I would guess that a lot of other fan bases deal with solid players hitting free agency on a yearly basis and don't have the same attitude as most people in Cleveland. Hopefully the recent spending splurge by the Dolan's will bring back some of the casual fans who have been missing out on an exciting season.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:19 pm

Great points, and I just wanted to note that Dolan also extended Vizquel, giving him a 2 year $15M extension since Omar was griping about that 7 year $21M deal he signed in 1994 and how he was underpaid.
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Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:55 pm

With the current state of baseball contracts and the number of people that impact the club, most good franchises will face contract problems almost every year. I would guess that a lot of other fan bases deal with solid players hitting free agency on a yearly basis and don't have the same attitude as most people in Cleveland.

Right. I think the Yankees are the only team that could sign everyone they wanted to, and even they have to make some choices...like trading away Sheffield.

I don't think Cleveland's attitude is unique, though...I imagine that some of the other smaller franchises also worry about losing their players at the same level. On the other hand, many of those teams are so poor at developing talent that it only happens every 3-4 years. If you're able to develop 2-3 good talents every year (and starting their 6-year clock at the same time), you're going to have players hitting or approaching FA constantly. Some stay, some go. It's the nature of modern sports.

(Which reminds me of a simple response to Benz's query regarding why fans are so used to multimillion dollar deals these days...I think that over the past ~15 years, the American public has gotten used to the concept that athletes are entertainers like any other, and will get paid in a similar scale to movie stars, pop musicians, etc...which have, I think, always been accepted more readily.)

EDIT: Just noticed that my title has been summarily edited to "Chowderhead" - so, I guess I'm obligated to mention that the Red Sox, Large Market/Large Payroll Team #2, let Pedro and Damon go.
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