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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Cleveland Sports Weekly: Back to business as usual (10.9.13)

When Cleveland Sports update came to you last week, playoff baseball and a bright new future for the Cleveland Browns was at hand.

Then, over the course of about 24 hours, the playoffs were over already and Brian Hoyer had torn his ACL.

Sounds about right. This is Cleveland, after all.

It is not easy being a sports fan in Cleveland. The mainstream sports media often ignore the city and, when it do pay attention, it often is not positive. The focus is largely on how bad the teams are or how long it has been since any of them won a championship. Even when things go well – like when Terry Francona was hired about a year ago – the reaction is more surprise. (Why would anyone actually choose to go to Cleveland?)

Not that anyone should really care. Based on how the mainstream media make me feel about the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, I am glad Cleveland is often left out of the spotlight. I would much rather follow the underdogs fighting the giants than root for Goliath. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, October 9, 2013

 
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Ranking the final 2013 Cleveland Indians’ roster: Part two (10.8.13)

Playoff baseball returned to Cleveland this year as Terry Francona and company surged to a 92-70 record and a berth in the wild card playoff game. That berth makes 2013 a success for Cleveland, even though the team lost in the one-game playoff. Given where this team was at the end of last year, the turnaround is just tremendous.

As I do at the end of every year, here is part two of me ranking all 49 players who logged time for the big league club in 2013. I previously ranked the roster before the season, at the 40-game mark, at the All-Star break, and before September callups, so click on those links if you want to check them out. Plus, here is the first half of the rankings from Sunday if you want to check them out. If not, here are the current roster ranks.

Also note that each player’s stats are now located here instead of under the players’ capsule. It’s just much, much easier to have it all in one place. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 8, 2013

 
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Breaking down the 2013 Aeros’ hitters with Edwin Rodriguez (10.7.13)

The Akron Aeros did not defend their Eastern League championship in 2013, ultimately finishing the season 68-73, but the Aeros served a greater purpose over the course of the season. The development and improvement of the next wave of Cleveland players took precedence in 2013 as fans who came out to see the Akron Aeros saw the names who will soon play at Progressive Field.

Despite the disappointment of a losing season, Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez and his staff did a great job working with the young players that populated the Akron roster this year. Before the final home game of the season I spoke with him at length, breaking down positives and the negatives of the key members of the 2013 Aeros.

In part one today we will break down the hitters. In part two, we will take a look at the pitchers. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 7, 2013

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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Ranking the final 2013 Cleveland Indians’ roster: Part one (10.6.13)

Playoff baseball returned to Cleveland this year as Terry Francona and company surged to a 92-70 record and a berth in the wild card playoff game. That berth makes 2013 a success for Cleveland, even though the team lost in the one-game playoff. Given where this team was at the end of last year, the turnaround is just tremendous.

As I do at the end of every year, here is the ranking of all 49 players who logged time for the big league club in 2013. I previously ranked the roster before the season, at the 40-game mark, at the All-Star break, andbefore September callups, so click on those links if you want to check them out. If not, here are the current roster ranks.

Also note that each player’s stats are now located here instead of under the players’ capsule. It’s just much, much easier to have it all in one place. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 6, 2013

 
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Cleveland Sports Weekly: One game to rule them all… (10.2.13)

It has all come down to this.

One game. Tonight. The playoffs.

After the way the 2012 season ended, no rational fan should have expected Cleveland to make the playoffs this year. Yet here we are, counting down the hours to Cleveland-Tampa Bay in the American League Wild Card game.

Sure, it would be nice to have more than one guaranteed playoff game, but beggars can’t be choosers. Cleveland is one of the best teams in baseball and will get the chance to prove it tonight at Progressive Field.

Taking the mound for for the Indians tonight is rookie phenom Danny Salazar. In his 52.0 major league innings this year, Salazar owns a 3.12 ERA, and a strikeout-walk ratio of 65 to 15. He may be a rookie, but he just might be the best pitcher in terms of raw ability on the whole roster. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, October 2, 2013

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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Cleveland Sports Weekly: Time to be optimistic in Cleveland (9.25.13)

The baseball playoff push remains in full swing with Cleveland currently in the driver’s seat for one of the two wild card spots.

The Browns are riding high after a road win in Minnesota no one expected.

Is it possible the fans of Cleveland can finally just be happy?

Regardless of how September ends, no one should feel disappointed with the job Terry Francona’s crew did. Cleveland picked fifth in this past June’s draft thanks to finishing with the fifth-worst record in baseball in 2012. Now, a winning record is in the bag and the playoffs are within reach.

Despite how much it would sting to see Cleveland fall short of the playoffs, this year has already been a success. Any trips to the one-game wild card playoff, the American League Divisional Series or beyond is just icing on the cake.

The Browns’ low moment was more recent than a poor 2012 campaign. The trade of Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts last week following an 0-2 start pointed to yet another complete teardown and rebuild of the Browns.

The trade is absolutely defensible from the Browns’ perspective. Richardson’s poor 3.5 yards per carry in his Browns career could indicate he was not as good as he seemed. Plus, after only 35 yards on 13 carries in his Colts’ debut (good for an even lower 2.7 yards per carry), it is not as if Richardson is immediately making the Browns regret dealing him. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, September 25, 2013

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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Cleveland Sports Weekly: The September playoff push reaches its fever pitch (9.18.13)

Based on the recent attendance at Progressive Field, Northeast Ohio might not realize baseball’s playoff race is in full effect.

Yet, here we stand on Sept. 18 with Cleveland in the thick of the wild-card race. In fact, Fangraphs’ playoff projections have Cleveland’s chances of making the playoffs around 50 percent. That’s a simple coin flip! Take a coin out, flip it, and call it in the air.

Of course, baseball doesn’t work that way. But following last year’s 68-94 debacle, any fan would have been thrilled to know Cleveland would have a coin flip’s chance at the playoffs in mid-September. Barring some kind of historic collapse, this will be Cleveland’s first winning season since 2007 and will erase some of the bad memories formed over the last five seasons.

Even more importantly for the future, this Cleveland team is built to last. The three best position players this season are second baseman Jason Kipnis, catcher/first baseman Carlos Santana, and catcher Yan Gomes. Kipnis, Santana, and Gomes are all just entering their prime.

The typical baseball player peaks in his late-20s, and all three of these players are just hitting that age. That, plus the fact that they are under contract until 2017, gives Cleveland a strong base to build on. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, September 18, 2013

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in ZH. September 2013

 

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