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Cleveland Indians Sunday News and Notes

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Terry Francona gets ejected for knowing the rules better than the umpire crew, and a look at the role of team president in the wake of Mark Shapiro's potential move.

Terry Francona was not amused by the "neighborhood" call in yesterday's game.
Terry Francona was not amused by the "neighborhood" call in yesterday's game.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Yesterday's Game

Danny Salazar battered early as Cleveland Indians fall to New York Yankees - Let's Go Tribe

Danny Salazar done in by home run ball as Cleveland Indians fall to New York Yankees, 6-2 | cleveland.com

Luis Severino beats Indians for first MLB win | indians.com

Danny Salazar had a bad couple innings, and because of that the game was essentially over by the second inning. Francisco Lindor and Lonnie Chisenhall were seeing the ball well off Luis Severino's hand, but nobody else was; of the six Tribe hits, five of them were by the aforementioned Lindor and Chisenhall. And if you don't get to the Yankee starting pitcher, it's game over.

Indians News

Francona tossed arguing 'neighborhood play' | MLB.com

The one opportunity the Indians had of getting back into the game was derailed when Francisco Lindor was forced out at second. on a sharp grounder off the bat of Michael Brantley. The fielder's choice left runners at first and third with two outs, and Carlos Santana would strike out to end the inning. Replays showed that shortstop Didi Gregorius was not touching second base when we got the throw, but umpire crew did not feel the call was worth reviewing. Had they reviewed the play, the Indians could have had the bases loaded with one out. Perhaps Santana would have struck out again, or grounded into a double play, but that wouldn't make the decision not to review the play justified.

MLB's official policy is that the neighborhood play (in which a middle infielder has the ball near the second base bag before the runner reaches it and still is counted as a force out) is not reviewable because they want to maintain player safety on those plays. The play at second base in a double play situation is one of the few times during a baseball game that a player collision can occur during the normal course of play, and like with the home plate rules, MLB has structured things so that those collisions are largely avoided. However, Francona was arguing that Gregiorius missed the bag because of an errant throw, not because he wanted to avoid Lindor at second base. Lindor was not close to the bag when he received the ball, meaning that the Yankee shortstop wasn't jumping to avoid contact. In other words, the "neighborhood play" wasn't in effect, and the play can be reviewed just like any other one.

Umpires can make bad calls on bang-bang plays; that's part of the game. That's why there's instant replay. But to not even look at the play should go on crew chief Dan Iassogna's evaluation. I've long been in favor of MLB being able to demote umpires for poor performance, whether it be bad calls or antagonistic behavior, and what happened yesterday reinforces that view.

Five ways Cleveland Indians would be affected by President Mark Shapiro's departure | cleveland.com

A nice rundown by Paul Hoynes on the role of an MLB team president, the recent history of MLB presidents, and potential replacements for Mark Shapiro should he take the Toronto job.

Latest 25-man/40-man Roster

(click here for embiggened version)

August 23 2015

If you're as sick as I am of seeing Mike Aviles in the outfield, you probably have one more week to see it, because on September 1st, the active MLB roster expands past 25 to as much as 40 if that's what the club wants. The reason we've seen Aviles (and Jose Ramirez) in left field is because Michael Brantley has needed to DH because of a sore shoulder, and the two other outfielders on the roster (Ryan Raburn and Jerry Sands) are very poor against right-handed pitching. This would have been a golden opportunity for Carlos Moncrief to get some MLB playing time, but Moncrief has struggled this year, and is now back in Akron. Tyler Naquin is probably going to be up after his season is over, if not on September 1. Zach Walters will probably be up as well, and he can play some outfield. Then there's the newly-acquired Michael Choice, who the Indians acquired from the Rangers this weekend.