Who is in charge around here?
Who the hell decided it was a good idea to have an opening day game start at 10:00 PM. The boy can’t stay up to see the first pitch and I will be lucky to make it till the 9th inning. Probably the same guy who decided it was a good idea to bring the San Diego Padres to Cleveland on April 7th – 10th. You just know it’s going to rain/snow one of those days, and they will try for 8 hours to get the game in because the Padres will not want to come back to Cleveland.
Lets review my 25 man roster predictions. Elliot Johnson grabbed one of the extra spots on the bench as expected. He can play any position except catcher and is fairly good at defending each position I hear. So the Indians are carrying two utility infielders who also can play the outfield. The big surprise was Jeff Francour was released and Nyjer Morgan made the team in the outfield. I thought the one position the Tribe could use help in was DH/Outfield. Jeff Francour who has had success as a power hitter and has a cannon for an arm looked perfect for the part. I think the deciding factor may have been Michael Bourn starting the season on the DL with hamstring problems. I was already worried about Bourn and it looks as though he may be the main reason the one free agent signing I really liked this winter is not on the team. Strike one Bourn! On the pitching side the Tribe added an extra arm in the bullpen which is not surprising. Acta loves extra bullpen arms. Vetern Scott Atchison who had played for Francona in Boston made the team. Francona’s last day in Boston he told Atchison he was probably not going to be back but if he ever managed again he would gladly have Atchison on his team. Well welcome to Cleveland Scott. That’s why Francona gets the most out of his players. The other spot I predicted would go to Josh Tomlin. The Indians sent him back to Columbus which isn’t a big surprise. Blake Wood took one of the other slots available in the bullpen. He had a great spring and has a 95mph plus fastball. The Tribe wanted to keep Tomlin stretched out as a starter and not flipping between starting and the bullpen. I see the logic and last year every starter was on the DL at least once. So Tomlin will be called back to Cleveland at some point, that is certain.
Money Money Money…….Money
The Tribe announced that they were suspending contract negotiations with Justin Masterson. A few weeks earlier it was reported that Masterson would be willing to negotiate a shorter contract to stay with the Tribe. Most pitchers want longer contracts and that is what keeps most teams from bidding on them. Masterson was looking for a 3 year contract at 17 million per year I hear. Now this should be a contract the Indians jump on, but they didn’t. Look if your going to offer Ubaldo Jimenez a 14.1 million per year qualifying offer, you damn well better be willing to give Masterson 17 million for 3 years. There was a rumor that the front office told Masterson that they wouldn’t have the money to sign him unless they made the World Series. Later in the week when asked about the failed negotiations Masterson said no big deal ” we just have to win the World Series.” I have met Masterson before and seen him in a few interviews. He is the most laid back individual with a great sense of humor. He leads by example and I believe is a leader in the club house. When Jack Hannahan was on the team and his wife was giving birth to their first child, Masterson got the players to rent a private jet so that Hannahan could be there to witness the birth of their daughter. If there was one player I want on Cleveland’s roster no matter what it would be Masterson. Not to mention that 17 million per year is pretty cheap for a top of the rotation starter. In fact 17 million a year probably buys you a #3 or #4 starter who makes you swear like a sailor. I don’t know what to say other than “Go win the World Series Cleveland,” or man up Dolans.
The Tribe signed Brazilian Yan Gomes to a six year 23 million dollar contract that could keep him in Cleveland through 2021. I think that tells you what the Indians think of Gomes plus the fact the Tribe is bound and determined to get Santana to 3rd base. It is a very team friendly contract with not a lot of risk for the Tribe. Lets all go get a Brazilian waxing to celebrate.
Speaking of Brazilian waxing, check out this story about the Jason Giambi’s Golden Thong. A must read!
Detroit signed Miguel Cabrera to an absurd contract this week. The big question is why. He was going to be in Detroit for 2 more years no matter what. They could have waited till the end of this year and offered him the same contract and he would not have hesitated to sign it. Miguel Cabrera does not project the image of being in shape. In fact he looks like Homer Simpson at age 31 and this contract will pay him until he is 41. Someone in Detroit better have Jenny Craig on speed dial. He is so slow now on the base paths, wait until 2024 when they use a sun dial to time him from 1st to 2nd. Cabrera has had bouts with alcoholism in years past also. I think the bigger problem is the team chemistry in Detroit. The Tigers a week earlier broke off contract negotiations with Max Scherzer, last years CY Young winner. I don’t think Detroit is as invincible as some would like you to think. The have a few holes on the team in left field and now at short stop with the injury to Jose Iglesias. The moved pitchers from their pen to the starting rotation and the bullpen was their biggest weakness last year. They gave money to a player signed for two more years after stopping negotiations with Scherzer who will be gone after this year. I don’t think some people are going to be happy in Detroit.
Predictions: I am going out and saying the Tribe wins 89 games and makes the playoffs. They are going to play better against Detroit this year. I don’t know why other than Francona (Great Manager), Kipnis (always seems to get done what needs to be done), and team chemistry ( I loved hearing that Swisher went after Kenny Lofton). No matter what they should be competitive making it a fun summer.
I’m going out tomorrow and buying a Thong just in case.