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Thread: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

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    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog...peter#20060302



    New Reds GM Wayne Krivsky wisely has tried to build the core strength of the organization instead of making helter-skelter deals. But he sees one encouragement. "Eric Milton's legs are much stronger now that he's further (removed from his) knee surgery," says Krivsky. "Last year he had no strength and was pitching up and down. Now he looks much stronger and can get much better leg drive. It can only be a lot better for him."


    One National League owner is telling employees that MLB has a plan to contract four teams, with a contraction draft already drafted.
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
    I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.

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    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    The entire article can be read here...


    Don't sleep on the Indians

    posted: Thursday, March 2, 2006

    When spring training begins, the teams that have the buzz are the ones that spent the most money or made the most moves. Like Toronto. The Mets. The White Sox. It's only natural.
    The Braves now are used to lowered expectations, as ownership does not spend for the club the way it did five years ago, and still they find a way to win division titles every year, at least dating back to when Dan Quayle was vice president and Deion Sanders was a backup outfielder.

    With the Indians, it is a little different. A year ago they charged to win 93 games, two fewer than the Yankees, more than any team in the three-division era that did not make the playoffs. But because of the convergence of a number of factors, attendance at The Jake has not come back to the way it was in the wild 'n' wonderful era of Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, et al.

    So because they could not go out and spend the money necessary to get a proven closer like Billy Wagner, or enough to get Trevor Hoffman to leave home, conventional thinking says they took a step back. They had to settle for Bob Wickman. They lost two starting pitchers -- the AL ERA leader, Kevin Millwood, and Scott Elarton -- who were a combined 20-20. They lost Bobby Howry. They traded one of their best and most popular players, Coco Crisp, for what they hope will be a future star (Andy Marte) and a power arm for the bullpen (Guillermo Mota).

    But if they stay healthy, the Indians can be every bit as good as they were last year -- OK, the record might not show it because Minnesota and Detroit might be better and they might not dominate interleague play as they did -- and challenge Chicago if its pitching in any way breaks down. The two core players in the middle of Cleveland's lineup, Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner, are in their primes (at 27 and 28, respectively) and top-of-the-game offensive players at catcher and DH, with Martinez emerging as a team leader.

    Grady Sizemore is on the brink of stardom, third in OPS among AL center fielders a year ago. Jhonny Peralta might be the most overlooked offensive player in the game, with 63 extra-base hits and a .886 OPS at shortstop at age 23. Aside from Peralta, Ronnie Belliard had 54 extra-base hits and, despite his Manny look, turned the double play as well as anyone. What the Indians need is for Jason Michaels, as he did in Philly, to give them 450-500 at-bats in the two hole behind Sizemore and in front of Peralta; for Aaron Boone to bounce back; and for first baseman Eduardo Perez to give them power against left-handers. And who knows? By August, they might get contributions from one of their two impressive young outfielders, Brad Snyder or Franklin Gutierrez, or Marte.

    "Last winter I was rehabbing," says Boone. "This winter I could work out and prepare for the season. I feel totally different. I remember I was hitting .151 in the middle of June."

    But typical of Boone, he volunteered to be Marte's mentor. "That's what we hope we have working here," says manager Eric Wedge.

    The front three of C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook won 48 games in '05. GM Mark Shapiro went out and signed Paul Byrd and Jason Johnson to replace Millwood and Elarton and to eat innings and time until the next wave of starters arrives, led by Jeremy Sowers. And it will not be long with Sowers. The sixth pick in the '04 draft out of Vanderbilt has an uncanny ability to throw pitches wherever he wants whenever he wants. The staff even believes he might be better in the majors because he is so capable of executing game plans.

    They always worry about Wickman, but the depth around and in front of him should be every bit as good as last year's crew, which led the league in bullpen ERA. Rafael Betancourt only has a 159-35 strikeout-walk ratio the last two seasons. Fernando Cabrera, Mota, Scott Sauerbeck, Matt Miller and perhaps Andrew Brown (who hit 97 on the gun Tuesday) are potential setup men, and Steve Karsay and Danny Graves have shown promise in their comebacks. Graves has shown flashes of his old sinker.

    "I'm throwing better than I have in years," says Karsay. "It's amazing what not throwing during the winter can do."

    The Indians, like the Braves, will not rely on flashy trades or signings to refuel. In the next 12 months, they will get their energy from within, from Marte, Snyder, Gutierrez, Sowers, Fausto Carmona, et al. Like Bobby Cox, Wedge has the attention of his players, in whom he has tried to instill the values of playing the game the right way.

    Do not sleep on the Indians. They will be very good again, and, if healthy, for the foreseeable future.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Bobby Cox: "Given the team he's pitching for, my pick for the American League Cy Young is Josh Beckett."


    My favorite TV ad is the Wheaties one with Vin Scully's immortal "the impossible has just happened," but I love David Wells on the motorcycle in the ESPN phone commercial.



    Lastings Milledge had a homer, double and single in the Mets' intrasquad game. He has grown into a beast, and if you watch the Mets-Puerto Rico game on ESPN Sunday, you'll see three great prospects: Milledge, RHP Mike Pelfrey and OF Fernando Martinez, a 17-year-old outfielder and potential superstar whom the Mets signed away from Boston. His Fenway Park workout is legendary.



    One scout says Angels rookie second baseman Howie Kendrick "is the best young hitter I've seen since Edgar Martinez. He squares everything."



    Jeff Francoeur: "In retrospect, I'm very fortunate that I signed to play baseball and didn't play college football (at Clemson). I think I would have had to bulk up too much. I rely on quick-twitch muscles for my bat speed, and when you go to college to play two sports, you're always subject to the football program. I think the football conditioning would have tightened me up, and you can't play baseball for four or five months and really develop."



    Omar Minaya thinks the shoe designed for Pedro Martinez eventually will pay off, but that Pedro will have to change his conditioning program, because Martinez is a fanatical runner.



    One National League owner is telling employees that MLB has a plan to contract four teams, with a contraction draft already drafted.


    Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" on MSNBC is my favorite show, but the two hours of Chris Matthews' "Hardball" and Olbermann's "Countdown" are never to be missed.



    What I worry about is how much Barry Bonds can play on his knees. He's still has to play the field, he'll still have to stand around on the bases, and whether or not he can play 100 games remains to be seen.



    One of those "oh my goodness" prospects is mammoth Braves catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Braves people think he can catch, but he has a chance to be a monster power hitter, and the Braves already have one of the best young catchers in the game in Brian McCann, who is also a big-time bat.


    Billy Beane is overjoyed at the possibility that Frank Thomas might be ready for Opening Day. "Frank's in unbelievable shape and is a man on a mission," says Beane. "He could be doing a lot more now, but we want him to take it easy."



    If Thomas stays healthy and Milton Bradley stays on the field, their combined right-handed presence should result in bigger years for Eric Chavez and Dan Johnson. The latter should be on any list of potential breakout players.



    So Beane admits he will have a tough time signing Barry Zito at the end of the year. Unless the A's fall out of the race in July -- and they're hoping to make a run at 95-100 wins if they're healthy -- then why would he trade Zito? Beane went through final seasons with free agents Jason Giambi, Jason Isringhausen, Johnny Damon and Keith Foulke, trying to win. "I have not had one call on Barry," says Beane, "nor have I made any inquiring about interest."



    The Devil Rays still are thinking about a Joey Gathright-for-Scott Olsen with Florida.


    At this point, no one knows who's going to be playing for the Marlins, except for Miguel Cabrera at third, Jeremy Hermida in right and Josh Willingham somewhere, either catcher or, more likely, left field (with Miguel Olivo behind the plate). "We don't just have good arms; we have great arms," says new manager Joe Girardi, whose energy and organization have wowed players who watched him do pole running drills with the pitchers. Expect Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco and Yusmeiro Petit to all get shots at the rotation this spring, as well as Travis Bowyer and Anibal Sanchez. Harvey Garcia, acquired with Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the Beckett deal, has opened eyes. "He's got an incredible arm," says GM Larry Beinfest.


    Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Nate Bump and Lenny Harris are the four Marlins with the longest service time, and Cabrera already has been questioned this spring about off-field problems than got him suspended for a game last September. Girardi and Beinfest are not worried, pointing to the fact that Cabrera is 22. "He's a good kid and the most talented player I've ever played with," says one ex-Marlin. "But he's got to watch it. There are no veterans there except for Lenny. There are no Latin coaches. He and Hermida won't have any protection, either."


    Scott Spiezio is in camp with the Cardinals, 37 years after his father had such a great spring for the world champion Cards that he earned a Sports Illustrated headline, "Ed Spiezio, Won't You Please Pop Up?" "I have my dad's number (26)," says the former Angel. "How many other father-son tandems each have two World Series rings? Something to shoot for."


    I would love to have seen that Norfolk AAU team with David Wright at third, B.J. Upton at short and Wright's best friend, Ryan Zimmerman, at second. "We didn't recruit Zimmerman out of high school because he weighed 150 pounds," says one ACC coach. And now Zimmerman looks like Troy Glaus.


    New Reds GM Wayne Krivsky wisely has tried to build the core strength of the organization instead of making helter-skelter deals. But he sees one encouragement. "Eric Milton's legs are much stronger now that he's further (removed from his) knee surgery," says Krivsky. "Last year he had no strength and was pitching up and down. Now he looks much stronger and can get much better leg drive. It can only be a lot better for him."
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
    I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Four?

    Or is the plan to say 4 and then talk the players union into 2?
    Go Gators!

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    4 teams huh?

    any guesses?

    I'm guessing they would be

    Tampa Bay
    Florida
    Washington
    Minnesota
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    I think two contractions would really help the game out, but I dont know four seems like an awful lot. Probaly have to agree with Krono that they will just try and introduce four so that when they finally do two, it will seem like the union got something. I dont know know that I see the union every agreeing to even two though.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Could probably throw KC and Oakland in as well

    Any team without a new stadium.
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    Four?

    Or is the plan to say 4 and then talk the players union into 2?
    I thought the same thing.

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    Any team without a new stadium.
    Just curious.

    Why are new stadiums being demanded for everyone but NY, Chicago, and Boston? (I know NYY are getting one, but it's their own decision)

    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    Could probably throw KC and Oakland in as well

    Any team without a new stadium.
    I'd be surprised if it were either KC or OAK considering both clubs started multi-year renovations on their stadiums.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    Just curious.

    Why are new stadiums being demanded for everyone but NY, Chicago, and Boston? (I know NYY are getting one, but it's their own decision)

    All three of thoses cities have stadium issues, The Cubs recently had a to do with the neighborhood, the Mets want a new park, the Yankees tried to get money form the public and the White Sox kicked off the whole run back in 1990.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    My money would be on Florida, Kansas City, Washington, and sadly Minnesota.

    I think Tampa Bay has turned the corner management-wise and they wouldn't leave the entire state Florida teamless.

    Minnesota is actually a very soild market (#11 overall I believe), they just have Carl Lindner's twin brother, Carl Pohlad in charge.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRedz
    I'd be surprised if it were either KC or OAK considering both clubs started multi-year renovations on their stadiums.
    What renovations in Oakland? That place belongs to the County and they've already let Al Davis destroy it.

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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    All three of thoses cities have stadium issues, The Cubs recently had a to do with the neighborhood, the Mets want a new park, the Yankees tried to get money form the public and the White Sox kicked off the whole run back in 1990.
    Mets just got approval for plans to build a new Ebbet's-esque park. Whether they find the funding is anyone's guess.

  15. #14
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    The Sox also spent a gadoodle of cash renovating their new stadium to make it fit the current retro push.

    The cubs don't care, the fans come anyway.
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Gammons says that 4 teams are too be contracted and that Milton...

    Sometimes I forget that Kansas City is even in the MLB.
    This is the time. The real Reds organization is back.


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