General

While We’re Waiting… Tribe Collapse, Weeden’s Progress and Haslam’s Opportunity

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“And just like that, it was gone… In the course of about 10 days, the Indians’ 2012 season has not only flown off of the tracks – it has now exploded into a fiery mess, leaving scorched earth all around it, threatening to burn anything remotely close to it, with everyone running for safety or attempting to explain how this could have possibly happened so profoundly and so quickly.

The descent has been meteoric and horrifying and in the course of those 10 days, the thought of contending in 2012 became regrettable, then laughable, with the entire team, organization, Front Office, and ownership so acutely in the crosshairs of a fanbase and a city that it’s jarring to think about the fact that the Indians were 2 ½ games back in the AL Central after beating Verlander and the Tigers. As a result, the usual chorus of naysayers has been joined by a much more concerning anthem of doubt from even the staunchest of defenders of the teardown of 2008/2009 and the build-up to today.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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“The notion of the “window” is intimately attached to the Ubaldo trade, but does that make sense given the failure of the trade at this point? Does Ubaldo and his 5.29 ERA this season (5.22 with Cleveland, total) define the Indians window? Given that we were in contention this year for four months, is he really the key? A successful Jimenez would certainly make a big difference, but his failures should end his association with the window. More broadly, the “window” seems constructed around an anxiety about our starting pitching. In this view then the window is not solely about Ubaldo but also his “big two” tag team partner Justin Masterson (currently sporting a 4.78 ERA). The same argument applies. The reality is the Indians, like every team, need quality starting pitching wherever it comes from. Jimenez and Masterson have certainly shown the ability at times to reach a very high level, but their inability to maintain those performances is a big part of the Indians current troubles and should dispel any notion that they are essential to the Indians future.” [Let’s Go Tribe]

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“In a strong indication of how important rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is to the future of the franchise, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says the very first thing he inquired about when talking to the team’s football boss, Mike Holmgren, was the progress of Weeden’s development. Haslam told the Canton Repository that when he sat down with Holmgren for the first time, he got straight to the point, and asked whether Holmgren believes the team has its quarterback of the future.” [Smith/Pro Football Talk]

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“I did later find out that CJ Miles was the second player in the history of Dallas’ Skyline High to have his jersey retired by the school. The first player was Larry Johnson. Larry later starred as Grandmama in a series of critically acclaimed television commercials wearing a dress. That’s where the comparions to Johnson and CJ end. To his credit, CJ has never been in a commercial wearing a dress.

He didn’t go to college either. In 2005, CJ Miles was drafted directly out of high school. He was considered to be a first rounder coming out as McDonald’s All American, but wasn’t drafted until the second. He was selected 34th overall, just after Brandon Bass, and two picks before Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova just got paid this summer btw. The contract value of Miles’ reported deal with the Cavaliers hasn’t been announced yet.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]

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Finally, if you missed it this weekend, check out Craig’s piece on Haslam and opportunity. [WFNY]

  • Harv 21

    Like Cousineau’s stuff a lot but his sole focus on the failed trades and possible mismanagement of Laporta misses the much bigger failure: drafting, drafting, drafting. Year after year, 20+ rounds with no impact position players and few good pitchers. That’s not a small market thing, and it lasted too long to be bad luck.

    This gets laid at the Dolans’ feet. The executives who oversee the amateur draft and set the team’s drafting philosophy have to be held accountable by someone. The owners must understand their own business, must understand that screwing up the draft for a decade withers a small budget team to awfulness. If they understood this they would not get seduced by some lucky trades for others’ prospects, or a lightening-in-bottle year like ’07. My problem with the Dolans is not just that they are financially way over their heads, but that they don’t seem to understand baseball. They are very nice people but that doesn’t help.

    The Dolans are about stability with no accompanying competence, like the old Rooney family pre-Chuck Noll. Please, sell. Rather have the puncher’s chance of money without stability, or wisdom without money, than this. Because this is nowhere.

  • boomhauertjs

    John Mirabelli was largely responsible for these bad drafts and instead of getting put on the street, he got a promotion. I expect Antonetti to get a contract extension and raise for his work (or lack thereof) this past offseason.

  • mgbode

    I completely agree with the lack of drafting is the biggest reason that we are in the mess we are today.

    Failing to execute the same type of net-positive trades we used to do has magnified it (when was our last “steal” trade? Blake for Santana?).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Welcome to the party pal! Like I’ve said repeatedly if you can’t afford to pay players then you better be able to draft and nurture talent. The Indians have been unable to do either. In fact most of the talent they have has come via trade. Now whether those trades were good or bad is another subject I’m strictly talking about names in the organization.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You can probably name “steal” type trades on one hand instead what the Indians do is give away actual viable talent (Lee, Sabathia, Martinez and soon Choo) and get back multiple players in which maybe one does anything. Other then that Blake for Santana deal the couple the Indians have made with the Mariners resulting in Choo or Santana are all I can recall at this moment.

  • Harv 21

    I’ve been hosting this party for quite a while, “pal.” But you’re welcome to share my whine. 😉

  • Harv 21

    The major steal was Colon for Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Sizemore but that was a one-time circumstance (dissolution of the Expo’s assets pre-sale and relocation) that couldn’t be repeated and wouldn’t have been accepted as a template by knowledgeable owners. Fans forget that before Jacobs Field brought revenue the Jacobs first hired Hank Peters, who had successfully run the Orioles, and then threw lots of their own real estate money into personnel infrastructure, rebuilding the entire farm system, including adding additional teams.

  • mgbode

    yes, that was a one time thing to get a huge influx in one trade.

    but, we kept afloat with other one-off trades like Hafner, Asdrubal, Choo, Santana, etc. those have dried up recently.

    couple that with bad drafting, getting marginal returns on CC, Lee and Victor and what has been a horrific trade thus far for Ubaldo (giving out top pitching prospect and another solid asset at the time) and it gets us to the current situation.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Great historical trade but it’s now been long enough that this deal can be forgotten. Shapiro rode it all the way to being team President, what has he done for you lately? Also that trade lost alot of it’s shine when you include the handling of Phillips. Factor in the fact they had to trade Lee and what they got and that great historical trade should be forgotten. IMO.

  • Harv 21

    I think we agree: “one-off” trades may sweeten a team a little but can’t be a foundation. The horrible Tribe teams of the 70s and 80s one-offed very good players – Mike Hargrove, Andy Thornton, Joe Carter, Doug Jones, etc. – and never floated anywhere. Because those are usually luck, and you’re as likely to be victimized as often as you win one-sided deals. It’s like the diff between learning a profession and stumbling over to the slot machine once a week and hoping for the best.

    Ok, can’t talk Dolans anymore today. Hey, anyone see the way the ball came out of Weeden’s hand today? Was it promising?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    And that trade for Jimenez is something Antonetti will be branded with for as long as he remains in Cleveland. I’m afraid Mr. Antonetti got caught between two worlds. In one world he was being aggressive and going for it like David v Goliath and in the other he realized he was taking on competitors with a BB gun and shrank back into the background spouting Tribe speak.

    All the Tribe speak makes me think of all those poor souls aboard the Titanic when it was going down who were forced to listen to those musicians play. The poor crew were the players I’ll leave the rest of the characters to the people who read this next.

  • mgbode

    yes we agree.

    and I heard that Gordon’s looking good 🙂

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    First off I’m greatly offended that I wasn’t extended a VIP invitation sooner. No soup for you! Second, I’m not a whine officianodo I prefer Kool-Aid baby. After all my body is my temple and the rest of you may only gawk upon it for you trully are not worthy! Clothing was optional right?