Happy Friday, crew. The sun is shining, pitchers & catchers are hungover from all that hardcore reporting, and I've got the day off work. Hope you suckers all enjoy slaving away in your cubicles while I'm day drinking! I kid, I kid! Hopefully this bitchin' edition of news & notes will help you cope with the pain:
Indians news & notes
Belle talks Kluber, dancing | Cleveland.com - Hoynsie catches up with Tribe legend and noted jerk Albert Belle. Belle weighs in with his thoughts on the Tribe rotation, Disney movies, dancing, and his soccer-playing daughters:
"I tell them to use their elbows in soccer when somebody gets close to them..."
Can starting rotation excel all season? | Cleveland.com - The Tribe rotation undoutedly has a lot of potential but as Albert Belle pointed out, there are a lot of question marks after Corey Kluber. But while living up to last year's second half performance is unlikely, there's still a high probability of success.
Francona: rotation must be team strength | Indians.com - Tito says the rotation is going to have to lead the way if the Indians hope to contend in 2015. He also talks a bit about his famous 8-man bullpen, and teh status of Ryan Raburn.
Tribe defense needs to catch on in 2015 | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - The circus that was Indians defense in 2014 is well-documented. If the defense is to improve on 2015, the heaviest burden rests on the guys up the middle. Can Jason Kipnis and Michael Bourn play well enough to complement the solid D of Jose Ramirez and Yan Gomes?
How the front offices of the Indians and Tigers make use of payroll | Cleveland.com - Cleveland and Detroit have about as big a gap in payroll as you can get, but still each team seeks to maximize its strengths. Dave Dombrowski, blessed with glorious cardboard pizza money, is able to be a bit more aggressive with his pursuits. Chris Antonetti, on the other hand, has to deal with a penny-pinching miser doing everything he can to limit the Indians' success. In all seriousness, we all know the basics, but Zack Meisel's article includes some interesting insights from Dombrowski and Antonetti themselves.
The Indians aren't underdogs? It's getting serious | Wahoo's On First - ESPN ranked the Indians #4 in their pre-season power rankings, but don't pop the champagne yet. This is Cleveland. There are so many ways the season could fall apart.
Tidbits from around MLB
- Ken Rosenthal reports that Rob Manfred will announce new pace of play rules sometime today
- Will Leitch looks at at the most compelling players in the AL East
- Fangraphs examines how many good players were also good prospects
- CJ Nitkowski wonders if it's time to start exploring six man rotations
- Jayson Werth speaks out about his jail time