Coast to Coast Tickets
Buy baseball tickets, MLB playoffs tickets, and World Series tickets from Coast to Coast for the best seats, including premium New York Yankees tickets, Boston Red Sox tickets and Chicago Cubs tickets. Our game selection includes everything from St. Louis Cardinals tickets to Houston Astros tickets and Dodgers tickets online!

Tell us we're wrong:

  • Email John
  • Email Curt

  • Go Home

    The Greg Maddux Watch: Stunning at 355

    Required Reading
    Whats wrong with baseball? Part I
    Part II
    Part III
    Get a registration


    Check out the Armchair GM!

    General Baseball Links
    Baseball Prospectus
    The Rumor Mill
    Hardball Times
    Retrosheet (Box Scores)
    Diamond Mind
    Baseball Truth
    Japanese Baseball

    Statistical Links
    ESPN: MLB Stats
    MLB & Minor League Stats
    More MLB & ML Stats
    2000-2003 UZR
    2003 Win Shares
    Updated Minor Lg. Stats
    Review of Online Stats
    Hardball Times Stats

    Contract Info
    Dugout Dollars
    Baseball Roster Central

    Your Team's Daily Fix
    AL East
    Red Sox Haven
    Replacement Level Yankees
    Batter's Box (TOR)
    YaGottaBelieve (TB)
    AL Central
    ChiSox Daily
    Tiger Blog
    Twins Geek
    Royals Baseball
    AL West
    Elephant's in Oakland
    Pearly Gates (Angels)
    U.S.S. Mariner
    NL East
    Phillies Fan
    No Joy in Metsville
    NL Central
    The Cubdom
    Redbird Nation
    Red Reporter
    NL West
    Dodger Thoughts
    Only Baseball Matters (SF)
    Ducksnorts (Padres)

    Other Sports Blogs
    Detroit Sports
    Baseball Musings
    14 Days of Ambivalence
    Cubs Now!
    Cubs Blog Army
    College Basketball
    Sportscenter Blog
    The Baseball Addict
    All Baseball Blogs

    Suggest Yours

    Fantasy Baseball Advice
    Fantasy Baseball
    ESPN Fantasy Baseball
    Fantasy Baseball Cafe

    03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010

    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
    Powered by Blogger Listed on Blogwise

    Baseball Told the Right Way
    In-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!

      The Indians in 2006......next year, who knows.........
    The Cleveland Indians re-signed closer Bob Wickman to a one-year $2.75M contract. I've already mentioned here how much I like the Indians. I liked them and the Padres before last season (can we forget about the Mets already?), and I like the Indians even more moving forward.

    Realistically, if the Indians' young starters take a step forward, they get one more quality SP, and fill out the bullpen, they have a very good chance at competing for a World Series next year. That is three really big "ifs" but I can see it happening.

    With that said, Bob Wickman is not the answer. Wickman has consistently been an above average reliever, and I expect him to be that again in 2005, but the Indians' problems in the pen run much deeper. They need several more quality arms.

    And now I'll separate my trust in an organization that makes sound moves (Cleveland) and one that makes me shake my head (see all previous entries below). The difference in my trust is that I think the brass in Cleveland knows Wickman is not the answer.

    I also think the Indians' brass is planning on winning the division next year, and won't be making a big push for the World Series until 2006.

    Attendance at Jacobs Field has plummeted from the 3.5 million in 2000 (when they set the record for consecutive sellouts) to 1.8 million last year. Fans in Cleveland loved the new ballpark, but they weren't willing to go watch a team in the rebuilding years.

    I think it's safe to say casual (and ballpark-going) fans lag behind the hardcore baseball fan (that I assume is reading this now) and weren't aware of just how good the Indians were getting. After 2004, though, the word is out. It's about time for the fans in Cleveland to start getting excited again. Actually, its a little overdue.

    Let Cleveland sign another solid bullpen arm, maybe pick up a Clement or a Radke off the free agent market. Make a couple relatively small moves for 2005. The fans will start coming back to the park. Then in 2006, when they start selling out Jacobs Field again, the Indians can take on some salary in trade or in free agency and they can patch any holes revealed during 2005.

    The other reason it might not be Cleveland's time yet: Their biggest weakness, the bullpen, is an area of unbearable scarcity in the free agent market. There is no Keith Foulke out there to solidify a bullpen. The best arms available all have question marks next to their names, and after the top names, there is a pretty big drop-off.

    Troy Percival already signed, good move by the Tigers jumping on the best arm early. Armando Benitez looks to be the best left. And then you have guys like Rob Nen, Rheal Cormier, Chris Hammond, who are probably the next best, but not really elite relievers. There are also guys like Jeff Nelson, Terry Adams, Chad Fox, Mike DeJean, Antonio Alfonseca, Buddy Groom, Matt Mantei, David Weathers, and Ramiro Mendoza, all guys who have had some success in the past, but are not exactly people to count on to solidify a bullpen.

    Out of all those, you can hardly hope to build a bullpen from scratch, which is essentially what the Indians would be doing. So its probablly better for them to wait, or for them to acquire somebody closer to the trading deadline.

    For anybody looking to add bullpen help (uh, everybody except the Angels) there isn't much to choose from. This is only good news to the sellers. Bad teams with a piece to trade, and Armando Benitez's agent are pretty much the only ones happy to receive that news.

    All this means is that teams with major holes in the pen will be looking for creative ways to fill them. Expect a lot of AAA relievers to be drafted in the Rule V draft. Also expect a lot of interest in someone like an Ugueth Urbina come trading season. If I were a GM, and I needed to get creative, I'd explore the option of turning one of the starters out on the market into a reliever. Some marginal starting pitcher like a Paul Byrd, or a Paul Wilson might be open to the idea of pitching long relief for a contender. Maybe someone gets lucky and hits on a good one, kind of like the Cubs did last year with the thought-to-be-washed-up Glendon Rusch. But when even Rusch is getting two year deals, you know its going to be a tight race to fill out the pen.