The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for January, 2007

Does this make him more tradable?

Posted by disappointmentzone on 31 January 2007

As anyone with even a fleeting interest in the Cavs already knows, Daniel Gibson wrested the starting PG job away from Eric Snow last night. Eric Snow had been slowly walking the ball up the court for the Cavs for over 180 straight games as a starter. That streak has finally come to the halting end everyone has hoped for for a long, long time. (1) According to Brian Windhorst, “no matter the short-term results, Gibson will remain as the starter for the foreseeable future,” so good luck to Eric Snow in his effort to re-start his streak, although not really. The decision to keep Gibson as the starting point guard — at least for the foreseeable future — no matter his play is not much of a surprise. After all, Mike Brown is still the coach and Mike Brown is nothing if not deliberate. (2) He is the Eric Wedge of Cleveland basketball.

Gibson responded to his newly-found role as NBA starter in admirable form, dropping in four three-pointers (on five attempts) for 12 points on 4-7 shooting, with three boards and two assists (and two turnovers) in 25 minutes. Eric Snow still managed to make his presence felt. He logged 16 minutes, more than he had logged in each of the past two games, both of which he started. This curious tid-bit aside, and despite Snow’s increased minutes, the Cavs managed to drop 124 points on the Golden State Warriors, which is a fairly outrageous total considering that LBJ was on the bench sporting a fashionable suit and giggling like a school girl for most of the game. Sasha Pavolivic played extremely well in his place, however, and for the moment the Cavs sans LBJ look a lot better than the Cavs with LBJ.

So the Cavs finally found an up-tempo offense, and Eric Snow has finally found the bench. Both encouraging shifts from where the Cavs were, oh, just a few days ago, really. Of course, if Gibson does turn into something approximating a servicable point guard, then the clamor for Snow to be traded will increase. Ignoring for the moment that NO TEAM will take on Snow’s entire contract, Gibson’s recent promotion raises an interesting question concerning Snow’s possible future. Is a benched Eric Snow a more tradable Eric Snow?

On one hand moving from starter to a backup is a resounding marker of what the team thinks of Snow, amplified to a degree by the fact that Gibson is an inexperienced rookie who arguably didn’t even run his team while at UT. Now he’s an NBA starter. It’s going to be difficult for GMs not to read Snow’s benching as a sign of Snow’s abilities rather than as a sign of Gibson’s.

On the other hand, benching Snow masks his inefffectiveness and might (one hopes) allow him to come in during situations in which his particular skill set — versatile defender, good “walk the ball up the court” strut, few turnovers to assists — will be maximized, thus creating the appearance that Snow is more able than he actually is.

Either way, it’s a new dawn in Cleveland.

1: Roughly 180 games
2: And by deliberate I mean, roughly: aggressively obstinate.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers | 2 Comments »

I swear I am not responsible

Posted by disappointmentzone on 29 January 2007

I swear that I am not the person responsible for the I Detest Larry Hughes blog (thanks, Ben, for pointing this out). Seriously. It’s not me.

I don’t even detest Larry Hughes. Other than the fact that I rag on him for being overpaid (which is not his fault) and taking way too many jumpers (definitely his fault) and being a complete disappointment on the basketball court (again, his fault), I have no problems with Hughes. I hear he’s an upstading citizen with an acute and active social conscious. So no, I am not responsible for the I Detest Larry Hughes blog.

You know I’m telling the truth because I’ve already used up my “fire [guy]” blog quota, and it was for this guy. You know what, though? It worked.

So perhaps we can detest Larry Hughes right into a lopsided trade that benefits the Cavs while crippling another team, preferably the Pistons.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers, flotsam and Jetsam | 2 Comments »

Banks thinks Thomas

Posted by disappointmentzone on 26 January 2007

Sports Illustrated scribe Don Banks has released his first 2007 NFL mock draft. He has the Browns drafting Joe Thomas, OT, with the third pick. Of course, the Browns have yet to secure the third pick…

I hope the Browns select either Thomas or — and this is my big, secret hope — trade down for multiple first-round picks.

UPDATE: Some fans think the Browns ought to draft a RB. One of the top RB prospects is Marshawn Lynch. Lynch now seems destined for Cincinnati. Yes. That was in very poor taste. My apologies.

Posted in Cleveland Browns | 4 Comments »

Danny Ferry II

Posted by disappointmentzone on 24 January 2007

A number of the people who have voiced their criticisms about my previous post on Danny Ferry (both in the messages below and on other sites). While most people seem to agree that Marshall was given too many years and Jones was given too much money, a lot of people seem pretty convinced that the Hughes and Ilgauskas signings were justified, or at least will be soon.

Concerning Hughes, the chorus has been the same chorus Cleveland fans have been spouting for years when it comes to such players (overpaid, underperforming). Signing Hughes was the only logical move! He’s a good player going through a rough patch! Once the team gets a PG or once he gets healthy he’ll turn into a player worth his contract! You’ve heard it before. Hughes is not good — he’s has had only one season of being above average. But I’ve said this about 39 times already.

Concerning Ilguaskas, the consensus seems to be that his contract was completely “in line” with…well, I’m not sure what his contract is actually in line with, but that’s one phrase that was used.

I assume that what was meant was that Z’s contract was in line with his productivity. After all, basketball players are paid to produce. With that in mind, I’ve begun a little analysis in an effort to compare on-court productivity to salary. I’ll write up my findings soon, but for the moment I wanted to point out how much Ferry’s signings have been worth. As the analysis becomes more fine these numbers will change slightly, but enough has already been done that there should be no drastic changes in what you are about to read.

For each player I’ve included their actual salary and the number of wins one can expect them to produce this season given how well they’ve played thus far. Then there is a figure for what their salary should be which I derived from regressing salary and the expected Wins Produced of about 225 NBA players. The final number is the difference between what they are being paid and what they ought to be paid given their performance. It’s all fairly simple.

Without further delay, then…

Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Salary: $9,442,697
Expected WP: 7.5
Salary Should Be: $6,630,937
Difference: $2,811,760 OVERPAID

Donyell Marshall
Salary: $5,633,037
Expected WP: 2.4
Salary Should Be: $3,892,123
Difference: $1,740,914 OVERPAID

Damon Jones
Salary: $3,884,678
Expected WP: 1.1
Salary Should Be: $3,209,416
Difference: $675,262 OVERPAID

Larry Hughes
Salary: $13,363,012
Expected WP: 1.8
Salary Should Be: $3,543,929
Difference: $9,819,083 OVERPAID

Notice a trend?

When you look at the entire roster, Dan Gilbert is currently paying the Cavs about half a million dollars more than they are worth. LeBron James is being underpaid by about $6.3mil, followed by Anderson Varejao, who’s being underpaid by about $4.7mil. Daniel Gibson is next: he’s being underpaid by about $2.2mil. Once James’s contract extension kicks in Gilbert will be paying the team a lot more than they will be worth given the on-court productivity (assuming no major roster changes occur). The saving grace is that LBJ is still on his rookie contract.

After scanning about half of the team in the Association, the Cavs are doing about average in this regard (I’m just eyeballing it). The Raptors as a team are being paid about $17.5mil below what they should be, but that’s a bit extreme. Most teams fall in the +$3mil to – $3mil range.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers, statistics | 12 Comments »

Danny Ferry…

Posted by disappointmentzone on 20 January 2007

I suppose there is a lot I could say about Danny Ferry, General Manager of our Cleveland Cavaliers. But instead of 1000 words on why Ferry has been disappointing — and why he’s shown no signs of improving — I’ll just allow his work to speak for itself (more or less).

In order of how much longer these players are under contracts Ferry gave them:

2010

Zydrunas Ilgauskas (b. 1975) is under contract until 2010. He’s still owed $32.4 million on his $55 million contract (none of the follow contract figures include this season). Due to a string of unfortunate injuries he plays older than he is and his current injury-free run is one of the more surprising and not-talked-about sports stories in recent Cleveland sports memory. He’s tall with a nice touch, but he’s one of the slowest players in the league, which makes him the perfect running mate for LeBron James, who is the type of player you want to surround with plodding big men.

Larry Hughes, despite being about a foot shorter and 80 pounds lighter, is an awful lot like Ilgauskas, with one glaring exception: Ilguaskas can shoot a jumper. Here is how they are alike: Hughes is still owed $38.5 million on his $60 million contract; Hughes’s career has been marred by injuries; both were overpaid by Danny Ferry. Hughes’s saving grace is that he’s a much better defender than is Ilgauskas. Then again, that’s not saying much.

2009

Donyell Marshall will come off the books in 2009. Until then the Cavs must pay him $11.6 million dollars (again, these figures don’t include the 2006/07 salaries), which is a pretty nice chunk of change for a power forward whose on-court comfort grows the farther he’s away from the basket. Unfortunately, his comfort is often at odds with his productivity. Oh, and he was born in 1973 and he can’t play defense.

Damon Jones is still owed $8.3 million, which is a pretty nice chunk of change for a shooting guard who has the height of a point guard minus all the necessary point guard skills. Or wait! He’s a point guard who is capable of knocking down a three pointer but incapable of running an offense. It’s one of the two, or both.

Miscellany

LeBron James didn’t sign a max deal this summer. That’s certainly reassuring. As a fan you always want to see your franchise player leave money and years on the table. That said, he did sign Drew Gooden, but the delay before signing him is indicative. Gooden could have signed with another team; for a while, that certainly seemed to be where things were heading. As it is he’s been the second-best player on the team this year. He’s still incredibly young and this will be the first time in his career that he’s had the same coach for two seasons in a row. Signing Gooden should never have been an issue. Now that he’s signed I must give kudos to Ferry: the Gooden contract is a great contract for the organization. Right now Gooden is the only player (other than LBJ, of course) with trade value higher than what he’s owed by the team. That he is the only such player is really unfortunate and reflects poorly on Ferry. Trading away every other player of substance (and I use that word as a joke) would result in the team taking a hit, financial or otherwise, unless Isiah Thomas is really feeling generous. Ferry was hamstrung by inheriting Eric Snow. This is worth noting. Ferry’s best — and only decent — move as a GM was trading for Flip Murry last season. When your best move is trading for a below-average shooting guard you know you have problems.

Final Note

The Cavs have $64.3 million locked up in salaries for 2007/08, $62.1 million for 2008/09, and $40.3 million for 2009/10.

Eric Snow counts for $14 million of that $166.7 million. Drew Gooden counts for $13.5 million. LBJ counts for $41.2 million.

That leaves $98 million owed to the rest of the players currently on the roster (excluding Varejao, Pollard, and Pavolvic, who all come off the books after this season).

Quick: Name me any combination of players on the team — again, excluding Varejao, Pollard, and Pavolvic — worth that much money.

…….

Times up.

Hope you enjoyed the game. On your way out, please be sure to give a warm round of applause to your host, Danny Ferry, your Cleveland Cavaliers GM!

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers | 11 Comments »

Would Corey Maggette help?

Posted by disappointmentzone on 17 January 2007

Reports have surfaced that the LA Clippers are actively seeking a trade for G/F Corey Maggette. As of Monday one columnist thinks that the Spurs, who were considered to be one of the few teams interested in Maggette, are likely out of the running to acquire the former Duke player since other teams — such as Golden State — are in better positions to offer the Clippers more. One report speculates that Cleveland is interested in Maggette and might be one of the few teams engaged in talks with the Clippers’ front office.

I cannot speak to the validity of any of these reports. The former doesn’t mention the Cavs and the later suggests that a package of Wesley, Pavlovic, and a future first-round draft pick could be enough to win over the Clippers (the article says the LAC is seeking a veteran, a young star, and a first round pick). As any of you who’ve either watched a few Cavs games this season or read this blog know, Wesley and Pavlovic are not very enticing trade prospects. Wesley hasn’t played much; when he has he’s been unproductive; and that he hasn’t played much given the utter lack of productivity from the back court is a glaring signal of his ability to contribute meaningful minutes in the NBA. Pavlovic is stuck behind LBJ, which for the moment might be a good thing because the Cavs could always spin Pavlovic as an “unproven talent with a high upside” instead of something more closely related to what he’s done as a Cavalier, which would probably read “disinterested player with a knack for being on the wrong end of highlight films” (visions of a Wade-to-Shaq by way of a behind-Sasha’s back-dribble dance in one’s head). Also, the Cavs don’t have a first round draft pick for the 2007 draft, which is a major problem for this deal because future first round draft picks are not as sought after given that a) the 2007 draft class is rich in talent and b) the Cavs are a really good team that should keep improving. Undermining the report about the Cavs acquiring Maggette, then, is the idiotic package the report cites as the sort of package that would allow the Cavs to land Maggette.

No matter. It’s fun to speculate. Let’s do so now.

Suppose the Cavs could acquire Maggette without giving up any of the starters. Would such a move help the team?

Maggette has been an above-average G/F for most of his time in the NBA; in each of the last four seasons (2004-2007) Maggette has been above-average, his below-average seasons coming in 2000, 2002-3. For his career Maggette has a Win Score per minute average of .166. This season Maggette’s Win Score per minute is .180 (average for a shooting guard is .125; for a small forward, .152) and a WP48 of .135 (average is .100), so Maggette has clearly been a productive player this season.

A weakness of his on offense is inefficient shooting — his career average of .95 points per shot is slightly below league average, mostly attributable to his unjustifiable propensity for attempting three pointers (31% career shooter from downtown) — but he makes up for his shooting from the field with excellent shooting from the line — he’s a career 82% FT shooter who routinely averages more than 10 FTA per 48 minutes. This season he’s averaging a staggering 13.1 FTA per 48 minutes. Although he’s averaging only 15.6 points per game this season, he’s averaged as many as 22 ppg in the past. So he can score.

The Cavs do not need help in the front court. Again, for anyone who’s followed this blog or the team this much should be clear. LBJ will forever be holding down the 3-spot. Gooden/Marshall/Varejao/Ilgauskas hold down the 4-5 spots. The front court is beyond solid.

The problem with the Cavs is that the team does not have a back court. I mean, there are players — Snow, Jones, Hughes, Gibson — who are put on the court with the express purpose of playing, say, shooting guard. But there is a gap between “playing shooting guard” and “playing shooting guard well”; a gap that has yet to be covered with anything approaching regularity by any of these players. As the season wears on the chasm between “play” and “play well” is bound to expand, what with Eric Snow aging like Robin Williams in Jack and the compound buildup of bumps and bruises on the fragile body of Larry Hughes posing an increasingly greater threat of missed games due to injury.

The point being that Corey Maggette would best be used — and this is the only way the trade would would make sense — as a shooting guard. An added benefit is that Maggette is big enough to spell LBJ. But any notion of Maggette as a 3 while LBJ plays the 4 and someone else (Varejao or Ilgauskas most likely) plays the 5 is questionable at best. No, Maggette would only function as a shooting guard, which means that the odd man out is Larry Hughes, presuming Hughes is still unwilling to play PG.

Corey Maggette is a better player than Larry Hughes, so if adding Corey Maggette means less Larry Hughes then it is reasonable to think that Maggette would help the Cavs.

But then what becomes of Larry Hughes? The only way Hughes will have any trade value is if he plays. Of course, if he plays he has a greater risk of injury and injured players usually don’t have much trade value. Such is the conundrum of Larry Hughes. Maggette could also become a free agent after the season (he has a player option for ’08; this is a reason why trading Gooden for Maggette would be a very dumb move), and if the Cavs are unable to trade Hughes during this season then signing Maggette would be next to impossible and also a really bad basketball move — you just don’t employ two highly-paid shooting guards on one team. If the Cavs trade for Maggette they must think they’d be able to move Hughes. “Leasing” Maggette for a season — paying him this season and then hoping he walks — would undermine any faith Hughes would feel the team has in him. If his ego is as delicate as his body, this spells disaster. So Hughes would have to go. But who would take Hughes’s big contract? Even Isiah Thomas isn’t that bad of a GM and Danny Ferry has yet to show that he possesses the sort of ability of finesse the string of deals necessary to both bring Maggette in and ship Hughes out. But this is exactly the sort of thing that would need to happen.

The chain of cause and effect with a trade such as this is more complex and requires more time than I’m willing to give it. Suffice it to say that: a) Maggette is a better guard than any other guard on the roster, so employing Maggette would improve the team, but b) to employ Maggette would require the sort of basketball management moves the Cavs are not in a position to make, so c) I do not think Maggette will be a Cav this season.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Sports, Trade Rumors | 9 Comments »

Disappointment Zone power rankings

Posted by disappointmentzone on 13 January 2007

I’ve taken a hiatus from posting because the shadow of Black Monday is long and dark. I have nothing else to say about this. Let’s move on.

1) Cleveland Cavaliers

The possibility of a perfect January went out the window on Thursday when the Cavs dropped a game against the Suns, but a perfect January was never a tenable possibility to begin with. Not only is winning 16 games in 31 days really tough, but when 10 of those games are on the road, seven of those games are on one road trip, and two of those games are the second halves of back-t0-backs…That’s a tall order. January is probably the toughest month for the Cavs this season, but suddenly the Cavs look like the sort of team that might able to deal with such a stretch with relative ease (unlike last year’s team, which played poorly on the west coast road trip). I’m not saying the Cavs will win all the road games the rest of the month, but 4-3 is a realistic expectation for this road trip and 7-3 is completely within the team’s grasp for road games in January. Plus, the Cavs are in first place in the Eastern Conference.

2) Cleveland Indians

True, the Indians lost out on the Mark Mulder sweepstakes, but nothing can damped the Indians’ offseason so far. The folks at Let’s Go Tribe have a nice break down of the current (and final?) 40-man roster and scanning through it one cannot help being filled with the sort of high hopes and soaring spirits that usually lead to the catastrophic let-downs common to Indians fans. The ground always hurts more the higher one falls, but for the moment let’s enjoy the view. We have a new second baseman who will be under our control for a long time — a second baseman who has the potential to be a stud — and the crappy bullpen from last season is almost beyond recognition. Plus, we still have Sizemore, and Hafner, and Martinez, and Sabathia, and, and, and. There is no reason not to be hopeful right now, which I understand might cause a bit of anxiety. Just try to suppress it for as long as you can.

3) Cleveland Browns

Everything went according to plan and now the Browns are but a coin flip away for the third pick in the 2007 NFL draft. You have to be excited about this. I am. The Browns would rank higher except that they finished the season 4-12 and Charlie Frye is still the quarterback.

4) Ohio State Basketball Buckeyes

Can’t beat Florida. Can’t beat Wisconsin. Can barely beat Tennessee. Whatever. We have Greg Oden. His line from the Tenn. game: 24 points (9-13 fg, 6-6 ft) and 15 rebounds. If only the team can stop turning the ball over.

5) Aston Villa

Aston Villa just lost to Man U. Aston Villa is not very good. Soccer Spot, tell us why!

6) Ohio State Football Buckeyes

I have nothing to say.

Posted in Aston Villa/English Premier League, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians, Ohio State Buckeyes | 5 Comments »

Cavaliers: 39% mark: analysis

Posted by disappointmentzone on 6 January 2007

The Cavs are 20-12 through the first 32 games of the season. We are inching up on the 40% mark and when the Cavs return home after the long west coast road trip the season to play the Orlando Magic that will be the 41st game of the season, or the 50% mark. With the last home game before that brutal run tonight against the Nets (a team that had to play very hard last night to beat the Bulls; a team that’ll have to travel to play the Cavs; a team I like our chances of beating) I figured this was as good of time as any to provide an update on how the team is doing statistically. At this point I’m not going to go into any detailed discussion of what the team is doing well (defense) or not doing well (offense). That’ll come later. Right now is only about the numbers.

WS/min = Win Score per minute
WP48 = Wins Produced per 48 minutes
WP = Wins Produced
ProjWP = Projected Wins Produced

If you have any interest in learning more about these statistics (or even if you don’t) then buy The Wages of Wins and check out the book’s blog, updated every day by one of its authors. Both are great reads.

111111.jpg

This table is organized by points scored and does not include a column for Wins Produced above average, a statistic I’ve been tracking in the Disappointment Zone boxscore. As a rule guards have lower Win Scores than forwards, who have lower Win Scores than centers. A guard with a Win Score of .133 and a center with a Win Score of .225 are both playing average basketball for their respective positions.

Now the Wins Produced (the more robust of the “Wins” statistics):

22222.jpg

These statistics have been adjusted for position, so it’s completely fair to say that Anderson Varejao has out-performed Larry Hughes, for example. LeBron James is the most productive player on the team. Drew Gooden is next. If Drew Gooden keeps putting up 31/16s then by the end of the season he may very well take the title from James, although I wouldn’t bet on this happening. Ira Newble is the worst player, but Pavolvic has been the most costly since he’s played more minutes than any of the scrubs.

So those are the numbers through 32 games. How will the team do over the rest of the season? If you project each player’s numbers out to 82 games, this is what you get:

3333333.jpg

Keep following the Wages of Wins blog to see where 48 wins would put the Cavs in Eastern Conference playoff seeding — they are doing analyses of all the NBA teams. This much is certain: 48 wins would be enough to finish first in the Atlantic Division.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers, statistics | 3 Comments »

Ryan A.’s reply to an unrelated note

Posted by disappointmentzone on 6 January 2007

This is burried in the comments section to the previous post, but it’s worth putting up front. The internal politics that lead to Willingham’s dismissal is a topic that deserves a more sutble hand than I’m willing to offer, but looking at the on-the-field results are telling. It’s also worth mentioning that everything Weis has done the past two seasons has been with Willingham’s recruits, much like when Roy Williams won the NCAAs with the players Matt Doherty recruited. Except Williams, you know, actually won something. Anyway. Thanks, Ryan. His words follow.

Let’s look at Ty Willinghan’s first two seasons in 02 and 03 compared to Charlie Weis’ first two years in 05 and 06.

2002 Ty Willingham

W Maryland (11-3, won Peach Bowl)
W Purdue (7-6, won Sun)
W Michigan (10-3, won Outback)
W Michigan State (4-8)
W Stanford (2-9)
W Pittsburgh (9-4, won Insight)
W Air Force (8-5, lost San Fransisco Bowl)
W Florida State (9-5, lost Sugar)
L Boston College (9-4, won Motor City)
W Navy (2-10)
W Rutgers (1-11)
L USC (11-2, won Orange)
L North Carolina St (11-3)

2003 Ty Willingham

W Washington St (10-3, won Holiday)
L Michigan (10-3, lost Rose)
L Michigan St (8-5, lost Alamo)
L Purdue (9-4, lost Capital One)
W Pittsburgh (8-5, lost Continental Tire)
L USC (12-1, won Rose/split national championship)
L Boston College (8-5, won San Fransisco Bowl)
W Navy (8-5, lost Houston Bowl)
W BYU (4-8)
W Stanford (2-9)
L Syracuse (6-6)

2005 Charlie Weis

W Pittsburgh (5-6)
W Michigan (7-5, Lost Alamo)
L Michigan State (5-6)
W Washington (2-9)
W Purdue (5-6)
L USC (12-1, lost Rose)
W BYU (6-6)
W Tennessee (5-6)
W Navy (8-4, won Poinsettia)
W Syracuse (1-10)
W Stanford (2-9)
L Ohio State (10-2)

2006 Charlie Weis

W Georgia Tech (9-5, lost Gator)
W Penn State (9-4, won Outback)
L Michigan (11-2, lost Rose)
W Michigan State (4-8)
W Purdue (8-6, lost Champs Sports)
W Stanford (2-9)
W UCLA (7-6, lost Emerald)
W Navy (9-4, lost Meineke)
W North Carolina (3-9)
W Air Force (4-8)
W Army (3-9)
L USC (11-2, won Rose)
L LSU (11-2)

Look at the comparisons. In Willingham’s first two years the opponent’s record was a combined 179-127 for a .585 winning percentage. For Weis, it is 159-144 for a .525 winning percentage.

Willingham faced 16 bowl teams, 9 of which won their bowl games. Weis faced 10 bowl teams, 3 of which won their bowls.

Willingham beat 9 Bowl teams; Maryland, Purdue, Michigan, Pitt, Air Force, Florida State (BCS), Washington State, Pitt (again), and Navy. Weis has defeated 7 Bowl teams; a 7-5 michigan team, Navy, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Purdue, UCLA, and Navy (again).

Also, Willingham defeated five teams that went on to WIN their bowl game, while Weis has only accomplished that feat twice.

It’s not Weis’ fault that Tennesse had their worst year in 20 years the year they played, or that michigan was down the year he beat them, or that MSU, Purdue and Air Force were all down from Willingham’s first two years, but the fact remains that Weis hasn’t defeated anybody of substance. His next big win will be his first. As of right now, his biggest wins are over the 7-5 michigan team and the near upset of USC.

Posted in flotsam and Jetsam | 7 Comments »

Quiet storm

Posted by disappointmentzone on 4 January 2007

SI.com thinks the Indians have had the second-best off season of any baseball team, topped only by the Cubs, a team that spent about three trillion dollars on an outfielder, Alfonso Soriano, who will be about sixty-seven years old when his contract expires.

The crown jewel of the Indians’ off season (so far) is Josh Barfield. Jon Heyman writes:

2. Indians. Their early-winter acquisition of Josh Barfield was one of the best moves anyone made. While the market was stocked with serviceable second basemen, Barfield was not only the best of the bunch, but the only one with only a year’s service time and thus, no leverage. While that’s nice, the real reason Cleveland will be better is that no one underachieved quite like them last year, when its young players quietly revolted against task-master manager Eric Wedge. While Wedge is back, they can’t repeat that underperformance.
Improvement: 11 wins.

Also, the PD is claiming that the Indians are about to sign Foulke to a one-year deal worth $5 million with $2 million in incentives. Foulke certainly holds less promise than Barfield — at least in the long term — but if he is healthy (a huge if) then perhaps he can recapture some of the magic he had back in Boston during his spectacular run there. But really, should any Indians fan scoff at any new signing that might contribute to the bullpen? Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

*****************

A unrelated note: Anyone who has made comments either on this blog or to me in person about how biased (or whatever) I am against Notre Dame must now eat crow. Here are a few fact: 0-9 last 9 bowls. Three losses this season. Average margin of defeat: 25 points. I mean, at least be competitive in big games. Anyway, ND was nowhere near as good as its supporters hoped the team would be and now there is absolutely no justification for any knee-jerk defense by those supporters that people like me or the liberal media (who, by the way, ranked ND #2 in the preseason) constantly undermine the talent and ability of ND’s football team. ND was probably about the 25-30th best team in the country this season. Same the season before. That’s just how things are.

Posted in Cleveland Indians | 6 Comments »