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Catching Up With Steve Woodard November 26, 2014 | Steve Eby
In 1920, with fewer games and more doubleheaders, teams had more off days. But it was not uncommon for those days to be eaten up by travel (trains, not planes, in those days) and teams would actually schedule exhibition games …
The Thanksgiving turkey is starting to marinate and the first chill has already swept northeast Ohio in the last month since baseball has gone dormant.
While the Indians roster has been in hibernation for two months, the Indians front office is about to take center stage for one of their busiest times of the season. Despite a disappointing 2014, the Indians missed the playoffs by just three games and have Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, Most Valuable Player of the Year candidate Michael Brantley and solid backstop Yan Gomes to build around. With manager Terry Francona extended for two more seasons, now through 2018 (with options for 2019 and 2020) the expectation to win in 2015 will be just as strong as it was in 2014.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Thursday the addition of five minor league prospects to the organization’s 40-man roster, protecting them from inclusion in the Major League portion of December’s Rule 5 draft.
Such moves may seem inconsequential, given the difficulties presented for claiming clubs to keep selected prospects on the Major League roster for the duration of the year without sacrificing from the goal of winning. This drafting process is done to help prevent teams from hoarding talent in the minor league systems while giving these prospects the opportunity to reach the MLB level.
Let’s get this out of the way right out of the chute. The Cleveland Indians are not going to be throwing $300 million-plus at any one player any time soon, nor should they.
When the Miami Marlins signed their superstar …
April 14, 1920, dawned as the kind of day Clevelanders could expect in April by the lake. The sun shone, but the wind whipped and cold temperatures prevailed.
But nearly 20,000 hale, hearty fans were willing to brave the elements. …
The #IndiansTwitter-sphere exploded a bit on Tuesday with the tweet-announcement from Ken Rosenthal that stated that the Indians could be looking to trade Nick Swisher.
Rosenthal’s tweet said that sources implied the Indians are “exploring wide range of options, including a trade of Swisher for another player with an inflated contract.” He went on to state that since Swisher is owed $30 million in 2015 through 2016, players such as the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, the Braves’ B.J. Upton, and the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez would be examples of trades and contracts the Indians could be considering as a trade for Swisher. Rosenthal clarified that not every player mentioned is necessarily being considered, but acted as examples of the sort of inflated contract the Indians would be looking at.
Sometimes one good pitch is really all a pitcher needs.
“I got to the Major Leagues as a conventional pitcher,” former Tribe starting pitcher Tom Candiotti said. “I had a very good curveball and very good control but I didn’t throw hard enough. I was the guy who was called up and sent down all of the time and I just couldn’t stick.”
Candiotti turned to what is commonly known as a “last resort” for pitchers trying to save a career—the knuckleball.
After travel restrictions were lifted for 1919, Indians owner Jim Dunn started holding spring training in New Orleans, and 1920 spring training arrangements were going to be difficult. The Indians would be fighting for lodging and other accommodations, as the city was taken over for horse racing through April.
Dunn realized he would incur more expenses than the average owner, but thought of it as an investment, said Plain Dealer sportswriter Harry Edwards.
“Jim has spent lots of money on the team,” Edwards wrote. “The training schedule has been costly. The Indians won’t make as much out of exhibition games as most of the other clubs, but Dunn sees farther. He sees crowded stands throughout the coming season because the Indians are almost sure to be up there. And even though the training season is more costly to him, he’ll catch up with the profits later on.”
It could be argued that the Indians dynasty of the 1990s actually began Dec. 6, 1989.
Carter was the Tribe’s marquee slugger for the 1980s, hitting 151 dingers for the Tribe from 1984-1989. But he was a free agent after the 1990 season, and new Indians general manager Hank Peters decided that if he couldn’t re-sign Carter, he would trade him. Carter had turned down a five-year, $9.6 million deal after the 1988 season.
Last offseason, the Cleveland Indians made it clear their intent to lock up the young talent on the team. The moves, which inked left fielder Michael Brantley, catcher Yan Gomes, and second baseman Jason Kipnis to contract extensions that bought out several years of salary arbitration, secured three pieces of the Tribe’s future at club-friendly rates.
So far this offseason, the primary talk has revolved around doing the same with 2014 American League Cy Young winner and sudden and surprising staff ace Corey Kluber. A subsequent scenario involving right-handed closer Cody Allen has also become a whisper in the snowy winter winds of parts of northeast Ohio.
Is now the right time to lock up Allen long-term?