The Indians came home from a tough but successful road trip to host the Twins for a theoretically easier series before embarking on the hardest stretch from what remains of their schedule (Braves, Tigers, and then Orioles). As is often the case though, things didn't play out the way they appeared on paper, and the Tribe lost 5-1. Ubaldo Jimenez allowed just 2 runs in 6 innings. He also recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts. As has been said already around here, Ubaldo is not part of the problem these days. Oakland lost too, meaning the Indians are still only 2.5 games back of that final playoff spot, but Minnesota is a bad team, and losses to a bad team at this stage in the season are frustrating. Here's to hoping our fortunes change tonight.
Other Indians news/links:
Today is the 40th anniversary of John Adams' first game spent banging that drum from the top of the bleachers. The Plain Dealer has a nice article up about him, with a ton of neat stories in it, well worth a read.
Bastian's news and notes from Friday include word on Nick Swisher's bat warming up, Scott Kazmir and Zach McAllister swapping spots in the rotation (Kazmir will wait until Sunday to start, to get some extra rest), and Josh Tomlin's rehab progress in Columbus.
Michael Barr at Rotographs looks at Jason Kipnis' roller coaster of a season to this point. Kipnis was 0 for 4 Friday, and while he's been the Tribe's best player this season, he's in a deep slump right now.
Friday was a bad day for former (sort of, in one case) Indians pitchers: Jake Westbrook (now of the Cardinals) landed on the DL with a bad back, Meanwhile, Daisuke Matsuzaka started for the Mets Friday night, and was rolled by the Tigers(after the Tribe released him earlier this week).
On Thursday, Dave Cameron at Fangraphs posted a thought exercise: If Mike Trout were a free agent this offseason,but only wanted to sign a 1-year deal, how much would you be willing to pay him? The results from readers' responseswere posted on Friday.
I'd go $40M, maybe even a touch higher.
In a somewhat similar vein, Jonathan Bernhardt at Sports on Earth asks: Which young player (debuted in 2011 or later) would you take if you had the #2 pick in a draft to cover the next 6 to 8 years? (You've got the #2 pick instead of the #1 because otherwise Trout is the easy answer.) Bryce Harper? Manny Machado? Yasiel Puig? Paul Goldschmidt? Matt Harvey? Jose Fernandez? Jurickson Profar? Byron Buxton? Someone else entirely?
What say you?
In addition to Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs' versions of WAR, there's also WARP, which is the Baseball Prospectus version. They're going to be revamping it though, and they're interested in input from readers. While much of Baseball Prospectus' content requires a subscription, Colin Wyers' introduction and explanation of what they're doing is free to all.
Also free at BP: former MLB player Gabe Kapler's take on the PED situation in baseball. It's worth reading no matter where you stand on the issue(s), because there's food for thought for anyone with an open mind on either side of the debate.
In great news for baseball fans in the Los Angeles area and MLB.TV subscribers around the world, Vin Scully has announced that he'll be returning for his 65th year of calling Dodgers games. Scully is the best, and every additional year we get to listen to him is to be treasured.
Last week I covered my favorite Harrison movies of the 80s, so that Star Wars and Indiana Jones wouldn't dominate my 80s' lists. This week:
Top non-Harrison Ford movies of the early 80s (1980-1984):
6) Raging Bull (1980) - Robert DeNiro in one of his best roles. Martin Scorsese doing some of his best work.
5) Gremlins (1984) - A Christmas classic. Well, not really (but kind of!). I'm a fan of the sequel too, which is in many ways a different sort of movie, but a lot of fun.
4) War Games (1983) - You might expect a film from 30 years ago in which computers play a big role to feel dated, but this one holds up really well. Never mind Ferris Bueller, this is Matthew Broderick's best movie.
3) The Shining (1980) - I stupidly watched this for the first time while home alone for a weekend when I was 14 or so, and scared the everliving crap out of myself. To redrum, room 237, and having always been the caretaker.
2) Ghostbusters (1984) - Perhaps my greatest and most disastrous Halloween costume ever was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. That suit was so dang hot...
1) E.T. (1982) - Henry Thomas gave one of the best-ever performances by a child. Few actors so young are tasked with so many critical scenes, and he nailed them. I suspect a family movie in 2013 couldn't get away with his "penis breath" line though.