1) Tribe pitching links
In case you missed it yesterday, former Indians All-Star Jake Westbrook is retiring.
Trevor Bauer has a new delivery, and it's made a good impression on the coaching staff so far, writes Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. Says Terry Francona:
"He hasn't faced a hitter yet, but he looked like a different pitcher. That was nice to see."
Given Bauer's 2013 results, different sounds good to me.
Friday's edition of MLB.com's Jordan Bastian's daily notes focuses on newly acquired left-handed reliever Josh Outman, and also includes mention of a spring training FanFest to be held in Goodyear during the evening of March 22 and of an instant replay seminar that Francona and other coaches will attend on February 25.
Josh Tomlin's arbitration hearing was yesterday, and the results will be announced sometime today.
2) That should have been Giambi's job
The Indians will be operating with two hitting coaches in 2014, as Ty Van Burkleo will be joined by Matt Quatraro. Bullpen coaches have been common for a long time, but the Tribe has never before had a second hitting coach. The practice is becoming more common though, and the cost of an additional coach is next-to-nothing for an MLB team, so it makes sense.
3) Extensions, real and imagined
FanGraphs' Dave Cameron takes a look at the 6-year extension Julio Teheran and the Braves just agreed to, which guarantees the 23-year-old $32.4 million. "The risk/reward balance is still skewed towards the reward side for the signing team." If Danny Salazar were to have a good year and the Indians were interested in extending him, this contract would certainly be a comparison point for negotiations.
Cameron also attempts to work out what an extension for Mike Trout might look like, were he and the Angels to go for one. "... might sound insane, but really, it would represent Trout taking a bit less than what he's actually worth."
4) Be careful back there, Victor
New Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has asked Victor Martinez to prepare to spend some time at catcher again in 2014, this according to Tom Gage of the Detroit News. Martinez did spend 22 innings behind the plate last season, but Ausmus is looking to have him there a bit more extensively this year.
5) My kind of Jeter link
The Onion has the only Derek Jeter retrospective you need, with links to 14 of the best stories ever written about the man. It's a tough call, but I think #4 is my favorite.
6) This week's off-topic topic
This weekend's two biggest new releases (About Last Night and Robocop) are both remakes of successful movies from the 80s. There are a ton of remakes these days, most of them not very good. Some are well done though. Most of my favorites are American remakes of foreign films, which is in some ways a different category, but I'm combining them.
My favorite remakes:
6) Ocean's 11 (Ocean's 11) - Fun to watch, and looks to have been fun to make as well, which is probably why the gang got together for two sequels, neither of which was very good.
5) The Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai) - One of the first big Western to get away from the many of the genre's earlier trappings, with antiheroes instead of men in white hats.
4) The Departed (Infernal Affairs) - Weak in a couple spots, but DiCaprio and Damon both do great work in the lead roles, and much of the supporting cast is equally strong.
3) Insomnia (Insomnia) - This is the only entry on my list for which I've never actually seen the original, but I bet it's good too. This is both Pacino and Williams' best movie of the 2000s.
2) Vanilla Sky (Abre Los Ojos) - Perhaps because so many have such a strong negative reaction to Tom Cruise, this gets overlooked. I laid awake for a long time thinking about this one after I first saw it.
1) Heat (L.A. Takedown) - Did you know the film was a remake of a TV movie director Michael Mann made six years earlier? The big-screen version is leaps and bounds better.