... in which I answer questions originally addressed to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.
Hey, Hoynsie: Is there a particular reason why Jason Davis' name rarely comes up in conversation about a future closer? He throws the hardest of anyone in the pen, his control vastly improved late last season, and he had a 2.16 ERA with seven walks in 25 innings after the All-Star break. - Patrick Cork, Vincennes, Ind.
Hey Patrick! A reason? Other than wanting to win the division you mean?
The real reason, more than any other, is that the Indians aren't going to let another young pitcher get caught up in a nonsense controversy over whether he has the mental fitness to close games. They're going to save the controversy for veterans. Whatever.
Another reason is that just throwing hard doesn't count for much against big league hitters.
Q: Hey, Hoynsie: If the Indians sign Keith Foulke, doesn't that leave one of last year's decent bullpen members out? ... How do you see it shaking out? - Jim Fehr, Annapolis, Md.
Hey Jim! For one thing, what decent relievers are you even talking about? Were there any? Ha ha, I kid the decent relievers. There were probably two or three, I just couldn't name them.
Anyway, it doesn't leave anyone out, it just leaves about six of last year's rookie relievers in Buffalo. These young pitchers, they're there for us to use and abuse as we see fit. We get three years to jerk them around between Buffalo and Cleveland, and that's basically what we're gonna do. Don't feel bad for them; even on a split contract, they're still going to make more money than any public school teacher this year.
Q: Hey, Hoynsie: Does Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro's office reside on Fantasy Island? He's counting on several fantasies coming true if the Tribe is to win the AL Central. 1. His "core" players who choked in 2004, 2005 & 2006 will not choke in 2007. 2. That a good final week of the season will magically transform a poor defensive shortstop into a good one. 3. Adding ancient and sore arms to the bullpen will solve its problems. - Larry Solden, Mentor.
Hey Larry! Wow, you are just a miserable son of a bitch!
Q: Hey, Hoynsie: As a fan, it seems like the highlight of the off-season each year is to find out where the Tribe will be holding spring training. Who cares? When will we go back to the good old days of reading about the signing of a superstar? - Jason Hargrove, Bartlett, Tenn.
Hey Jason! It's all a part of your sick Cynthia thing, man. Taking care of her dog, going to her synagogue. You're living in the f'ing past, man.
Q: Hey, Hoynsie: I watched the Indians lose, 5-3, to Minnesota last season. Four of the Twins runs resulted from poor play by shortstop Jhonny Peralta. When is the brass going to realize he's a second baseman? - Jim Smith, Sandusky.
Hey Jim! The Indians did not lose 5-3 to Minnesota at any time last season! You could look it up! I did! Or you could keep on babbling about things you know nothing about! Thanks for writing!