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all right, I'll start it off then!

 

I like the Tribe's ambitious early signing of Paul Byrd.  It sounds like the potential of re-signing Kevin Millwood is not that great (though not out of the question), so Byrd will be a much-needed and qualified fill in.  As for Elarton and Wickman, they remain to be seen.  It sounds like we're most aggressively going after Trevor Hoffman, who I would love to see replace the Wick!  I don't think the wick-ey one can repeat what he did last season...  Plus, we lost Howry, but I think that we'll see younger players like Cabrera step up and create a niche for themselves!

 

Now, about our pursuit of Nomar...

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yeah, and Hoffman's getting around that much (not sure exactly, though), probably a little less. 

 

the Wick had a tremendous year last year.  if you didn't watch the games and you just looked at his stat line, you'd think we were crazy to rate him as a lesser option and give him only $5 million for a year.  however, if you did get a chance to see any of his typical outings, you'd know that most of them could've gone either way!  I hope he can pull it off again and I hope that we can develop one of our tremendous young arms into a viable replacement!  it's cheaper that way...

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in other former tribe news today, former just about everybody really, the mets signed julio franco. can you believe that guy is still playing? he's like 50yrs old!

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in other former tribe news today, former just about everybody really, the mets signed julio franco. can you believe that guy is still playing? he's like 50yrs old!

 

And to think...He was once upon a time the third option for the Philadelphia Phillies at 2nd base (behind Sandberg & Samuel) about 25 years ago.

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That Julio Franco deal was for 2 years! I have to give that guy credit though he is in great shape (I don't think he is on 'roids) and he is a great person.

 

Also, I have heard that ticket sales have already topped 1 million, and that they are 3 months ahead of where they were last year with ticket sales.

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I'm pissed.  These el-cheapo Dolans are set to take any good taste out of our collective mouths from last year's surprising playoff chase.  Losing a quality reliever and closer heir apparent Bob Howry for mere penuts to the loser Cubs (for what, $12M over 3?) has opened the floodgates of doubt about the Tribe's chances next year.  I don't begrudge them Hoffman b/c he thumbed his nose at the Shapiro's better deal to stay in sunny San Diego  -- can't blame him too much, either.

 

But Milwood is all but history.  And don't try to sell me (not you guys, but the Dolans) that a career journeyman like Paul Byrd is supposed to be adequate  compensation for lights-out Milwood.  Pulllleeeeeeezzzz!!!!!

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Actually, Paul Byrd's numbers are pretty solid.  He pitched over 200 innings in two of the last three seasons (Millwood only did it once) and has had an ERA below 4.00 all three years (again, Millwood did that only once).  He strikes out three batters for every one that he walks and he's a career 4.23 pitcher.  Signing him at $6-7 million was a good bet when they can't be sure that Millwood would sign with us again for even $10 million a year.  Keeping Millwood would cost us a lot and I think that with Byrd, we've managed to add a solid arm to accommodate for his absence.  Of course I'd rather have Millwood, but it may not be a choice that's ours to make!

 

And if Elarton doesn't end up signing with us either, I think it's time for one of our youngsters to come up and get a shot.  We've got arms, let's see 'em!

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Tribe's Crisp off to Boston

Riske, Bard part of trades to get top prospect Marte

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Paul Hoynes, Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Coco Crisp's days as an Indian are over.  A weeklong drama ended Friday night as the Indians traded Crisp, right-hander David Riske and catcher Josh Bard to Boston for third baseman Andy Marte, right-hander Guillermo Mota, catcher Terry Shoppach, a player to be named and cash.  Commissioner Bud Selig had to approve the deal because the Indians received more than $1 million from Boston.

 

The second part of the trade was not so complicated.  The Indians sent left-hander Arthur Rhodes to the Phillies for outfielder Jason Michaels.  Manager Eric Wedge has the option of using Michaels and Todd Hollandsworth as a platoon in left field to replace Crisp.

 

Full story at http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/sports/11384410833510.xml&coll=2

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I have been a fan of most of Shapiro's moves. I don't know about this one.  We are giving up a lot.  Marte has some great potential, but..

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O god I love fans like you guys criticizing Shapiro; the same people who criticized him when we traded Drese for Hafner. Same people who critcized the trade of Colon for C. Lee-Sizemore-Phillips; now this. He has yet to be wrong with a trade and I saw this Marte kid play before; the game I went to he went 3 for 5 with 2 homers and a double; he is the next Manny for Cleveland.

 

Here are some thoughts... Other Fans Thoughts

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To replace Coco Crisp, The Indians trade Arthur Rhodes to the Fightin' Phils for CF Jason Michaels.

 

Reaction in Philadelphia is mixed (some thought Micheals was a bum, so good riddence, some aren't crazy about GM Pat Gillick going geriatric with the relief corps by adding Rhodes, and others are hopeful)

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I'm a life-long Yankees fan, but I have to admit that Eric Wedge did one heck of a job with what to many was a no-name lineup of talent.  Don't sell Shapiro's move short.  He's got a manager that clearly gets the most out of what others may see as marginal talent.  I would love to see Wedge (again) prove the naysayers wrong.

 

I saw the same reactions when Joe Torre was hired by the Yankees and the same criticisms were made of the initial player moves to build a team around him.  Imagine, the gall of the storied Yankees to bring in a bunch of no-name rookies like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.  Yeah... only future Hall-of-Famers.

 

 

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yeah but the yankees generally sucked for years before those guys. otoh the tribe was a definate contender last year. this trade --along with the rest of the recent outward player movement --has me plenty worried they are taking a step backward.

 

i do like wedge --- shappy is no cashman, but he isnt the worst of'em, heck he did better than his predessor hart did in texas last year. ah well, its not like we tribe fans dont live on faith we shall see what happens.

 

ps -- hard to believe spring trining is only a couple weeks away:

 

Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 17. Their first day on the field is Feb. 22. The rest of the team reports by Feb. 22 and the first full-squad workout is Feb. 24. Grapefruit League play begins Mar. 3.

 

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I like the idea that they are picking up Terry Soppach.  This leads me to beleive (even though they say he is a back up) that they have plans for Martinez at hopefully first base.  When you have an amazing offensive catcher, there is no reason to let him blow his knees out in 5 years (Sandy Alomar).  Catchers can play first base as an option for preventing these injuries.  As far as a catcher goes, they do not have to be the best hitter in the world.  Historically, they batted ninth in the lineup.  All we need is a catcher that can call a good game and block the plate.  Bat .245 a year with 8-10 HR and 90 RBI's.  With Soppach, we can have that.  There is by no means you should relie onn your catcher as the clean up hitter.  Please, save the knees of Martinez and move him to first! 

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http://www.sportstimeohio.com

 

Owned by the Dolan Family which owns the Indians....

Here is the Indians PRESS RELEASE.

 

CLEVELAND -- Who says there's nothing good on television these days?

 

Beginning this March, at least, Indians fans can tune into the team's new TV network, SportsTime Ohio, which unveiled its name, schedule and broadcast team at a Jacobs Field press conference Thursday.

 

"This [creation] eliminates the middle man as far as the team's ability to speak to the fans and to the viewers of the network," said Jim Liberatore, president of Fastball Sports Productions. "When a team can take some control of the presentation, it's important."

 

It was also important for the network to keep Mike Hegan, Rick Manning and John Sanders in the mix. The trio will return this year and rotate in a two-person television booth to call 130 regular-season games on the new network.

 

This will be the fourth straight season the veteran broadcasters have called games in the rotational system. Yet it's their first on SportsTime Ohio.

 

"The three of us have been together so long that you're not going to go out and get new voices when you change channels," said Manning, who's entering his 17th full season as a color commentator. "I wasn't really concerned [about not returning]."

 

Neither was Hegan, who enjoyed the offseason but began thinking baseball around New Year's.

 

"We were on hold," he said, referring to the delay of the SportsTime Ohio announcement. "[indians executive vice president of business] Dennis Lehman was upfront. A couple of conversations I had with him, he said, 'Hold on, it might take a while.'"

 

It did. But most of the network's pieces are now in place.

 

Among the set pieces is the Tribe's broadcast schedule. SportsTime Ohio will air a total of 158 games -- the most in team history -- including eight from Spring Training and 20 over-the-air broadcasts on WKYC-TV. The team's first broadcast, which will be tape delayed, is scheduled to air March 12 against the New York Yankees. The network's first live broadcast will take place March 18 against the Houston Astros.

 

Joining the new cable network this season is Jim Donovan, sports director at WKYC-TV and radio voice of the Cleveland Browns, who will host pregame shows and a 30-minute weekly program with news and features about Major League Baseball.

 

Donovan has some experience calling baseball games. He called a few in the 1990s when the Indians were on SportsChannel. He also helped out with some Olympic baseball games for NBC. Before coming to Cleveland, he was a Minor League broadcaster in Burlington, Vt., for a Cincinnati Reds affiliate.

 

"Really, I love baseball and I follow it religiously," he said. "I just never thought I would get the opportunity to get to call games because of my other responsibilities."

 

Indians pregame shows are now an additional responsibility for Donovan. Still, he already has an understanding of the content and structure of the show, which will be done in connection with WKYC-TV.

 

"We have a lot of ideas," Donovan said. "We would like to have a faster-paced show, a lot of information, shorter segments but probably a lot of people on the show.

 

"We definitely want the news of the day, but we want to set people up in a way for the other games that night that will have a lot of bearing on the games at Jacobs Field."

 

Fans can watch the weekly show live on Mondays at 7 p.m. ET on WKYC-TV. SportsTime Ohio will re-air the show frequently each week during the regular season. And the show will carry over into the offseason to update fans on the Tribe.

 

In addition, Liberatore announced that Indians broadcasts at The Jake will be done in high definition, giving fans a crisper picture and a rather unique perspective to the games.

 

"Very few regional sports networks are going down the high definition path because it's expensive," Liberatore said. "There will be 83 high definition games and I don't know of any other network that's doing that, other than maybe New York."

 

High definition broadcasts intrigue Hegan, as well. "I think high definition is not the thing of the future anymore; it's now," he said. "My son's got it and he said when you watch high definition and you go back to something else, you don't want to. "The fact that there are going to be 83 games in high definition is fantastic." Those games will also be broadcast in surround sound, and with 10 cameras to capture more on- and off-the-field activity.

 

More announcements should be made in the coming weeks, Liberatore said, as Fastball Productions is still in negotiations to locate the programming with area cable systems and satellite distributors.

 

"We believe that our proposals to these systems are fair and reflect the tremendous value of Indians programming, as confirmed in several different viewership surveys," he said. "We are working hard to ensure that the Indians games and the related programming are available to the widest possible audience, and we encourage fans to contact their cable company or satellite service to let them know they want to see the Indians programming."

 

In the future, Liberatore hopes that SportsTime Ohio's programming encompasses more than just the Indians. He plans to make the network full time and gear it toward Ohio sports fans.

 

"We believe there will be strong interest in programming that covers local teams and issues, and that understands and speaks to the passions of Ohio sports fans," he said.

 

Some of that additional programming might feature local high schools, colleges and Minor League teams and players. Liberatore also has a couple of particular shows in mind.

 

"We are going to get back to old regional programming," he said. "We talked to the MAC, Cleveland State and we're talking about a show called 'What if.' We'll go through the 'What ifs' of Cleveland sports -- What if The Drive had stalled? What if Earnest Byner hadn't fumbled? What if there wasn't a baseball strike?"

 

Well, what if the network's not completely in place throughout the area by the the start of the season? Liberatore has an answer.

 

"We are confident that by Opening Day, we will have 90 percent of the Cleveland market covered," he said.

 

Kevin Yanik is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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