I'm gonna try not to UnderManning this intro by blabbering on through an important moment. Baseball is finally here, ladies and gentleman. Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco are locked up. Good men and women around the country have called in sick to celebrate the unofficial official national holiday. In a few hours, I'll be busy grilling up these brats so I have something to slather in Bertman's.
Here's a bunch of links you can browse through before the GLBC buzz kicks in:
Indians news & notes
Indians betting big on Kluber and Carrasco breakouts | CBS Sports - Don't call them flukes. Chris Antonetti and company are fully buying into the 2014 performances of their two top pitchers. For what it's worth, CBS' Mike Axisa agrees.
Kluber on new contract: "I wanted to be here" | Cleveland.com - We're all excited to have Klubot locked up for the next five years, but maybe not as excited as he is to stay in Cleveland. It seems like it's getting more common around these parts to see players wanting to play in Cleveland, but it never gets any less refreshing. Kudos to Shaptonetti and all parties involved for making this happen.
Keep 'em rolling: Tribe extends another starter | Burning River Baseball - BRB chimes in with their thoughts on the Carlos Carrasco extension. The piece echoes the optimism many LGTers have expressed: the fact that the Indians sought this extension means that they believe the Cookie of 2014's second half is the Cookie of the future. Count me as one of those in agreement. I expect big things from Carlos in 2015.
Tribe brass deserves credit for signing core players | Cleveland.com - First Kipnis, Brantley, and Gomes, now Kluber and Carrasco. Trying to lock up core players isn't anything new for this Tribe front office, but the large contracts represent a departure from what Dolan haters have come to expect. The miserable stretch from 2009-2012 sparked a change in approach for FO and ownership. Terry Pluto shares his insight on the team's thought process.
Series preview: Tribe begins road to post-season in Houston | Indians.com - The Indians weren't the only ones slapped on the cover of of SI and proclaimed World Series contenders. The upstart Houston Astros were too, albeit their cover referred to 2017. To start the Season of Destiny out on the right foot, the Indians turn to freshly-minted millionaire ace Corey Kluber. He'll take on Astros ace Dallas Keuchel.
Tidbits from around MLB
Padres keep building with trade for KImbrel, Upton | Fangraphs - Just because it's the day before Opening Day doesn't mean the Padres are done trading and doing crazy things. The Padres swapped a who's who of the early 2010's AL Central guys for star closer Craig Kimbrel and the artist formerly known as B.J. Upton (now Melvin Upton).
In praise of the bold Padres | Sports on Earth - Padres GM AJ Preller just completed one of the all-time great offseasons. And just in case anyone forgot, Craig Kimbrel is *really* good.
The Padres just didn't need Kimbrel | Hardball Talk - With one of the best pens in baseball in 2014, the Padres had no real need for Kimbrel. But hey, he's pretty damn good.
Red Sox, Porcello table contract talks | WEEI.com - I wonder what it's like to root for a team that can't lock up its best pitchers. Must suck.
Opening Day food porn | CBS Sports - Feast your eyes on these insane ballpark treats. Seriously guys, what's better than baseball?