Indians news and links for Saturday, August 31

Gregory Shamus

Corey Kluber's return nears, Nick Swisher gives the most Nick Swisher quote ever, Baseball-Reference gets even cooler, a look at the Indians broadcast contracts from 1961, and more...


1

The Indians dropped their fourth-straight game Friday night, losing to Detroit 7-2 in a game eventually cut short by rain. Zach McAllister (who'd been sharp in his last three starts) exited in the 4th inning, have allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. In the most memorable play of the night, Michael Bourn completely lost a fly ball in the... I don't know, it wasn't the sun, maybe there was some funky twilight going on, or a bank of stadium lights in just the wrong place, I don't know. Anyway, he never had it, and what should have been the second out of the inning of a still close game instead turned into a 'double,' and caused two additional runs to cross the plate. Even more troubling, the offense continued to flounder. The Tribe put up five doubles, but still managed just the two runs.

The ship has taking on a ton of water this week (the Tribe is now 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, tied with New York (sigh...), and also behind Baltimore), without at least one win this weekend, it will be sunk.

Box score

Ryan's recap from here at Let's Go Tribe

Paul Hoynes' recap from the Plain Dealer

Bobby Nightengale's recap from MLB.com

2

Other Tribe links:

Indians Baseball Insider's Tony Lastoria reports 20-year-old shortstop Jose Ramirez is among the players who will be called up when the rosters expand in September.

The daily notes at MLB.com include word that Corey Kluber could return to the Indians rotation by next weekend.

Other roster moves include a trading for OF/DH Jason Kubel in hopes that he rebounds to his 2012 form and signing Kelly Shoppach to serve as the team's third catcher for the rest of the season.

Fangraphs' David Laurila asked a variety of Major League hitters what category they would most like to lead the league in.

"Homers, bro. Chicks dig the long ball. Score ‘em all, bro. Just be the chauffeur, driving them home."

Guess whose answer that was.

3

Fangraphs now has custom leader boards for tracking players eligible for free agency following this season. The listings (which include players with team and/or player options, meaning some of them won't actually make it to free agency) can be sorted by whatever metrics you're interested in.

If you want a more subjective ranking, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman has his picks for the top 50 free agents (he hasn't included anyone with an option, which means there are players missing from his list, who will end up being available).

4

Wladimir Balentien, who spent three years in the Major Leagues with Seattle and Cincinnati, but never found any real success, has been playing in Japan for the last three years, and is making a run at the single-season home run record there. Balentien hit his 52nd home run Friday, and has 30 games left to reach the NPB record of 55, set by the legendary Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and since matched by ex-major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera.

Through the years there has been strong sentiment in Japan that a foreigner not break the record, and pitchers often pitched around Rhodes and Cabrera during their pursuits of the record. With so much of the season left though, Baleniten is almost certain to see pitches to hit, so if he can sustain his hitting, he's got a strong chance at breaking the mark.

In related (and exciting) news, Baseball-Reference has added NPB records to its database, allowing you to search standings and leader boards going all the way back to 1936.

5

At Baseball Nation, Larry Granillo unearthed records of every team's TV/radio contracts during the 1961 season. Even then, the Indians (brought to you by Carling Brewing, Standard Oil, American Tobacco, Society National Bank, and Richman Brothers) sat in the bottom third in that particular revenue stream, but as you'll notice, the disparity between them and the top teams was not nearly as large, even accounting for the massive changes brought by inflation over the last 53 years.

It's also notable that the Reds were the only team to have all of its games televised, and the Braves (then in Milwaukee) didn't have any sort of television contract.

6

This weekend's list looks at movies from the late 1980s (1985-1989), which I don't think we're quite as good as the early 80s (though that might just be the lack of Star Wars talking). I'm going to expand on this list in the comments later, because I find it harder and harder to pick just six movies as into years I've seen many more movies from (as compared to earlier eras I was not around for).

Favorite films of 1985 to 1989

6) The Princess Bride - Andre the Giant gives the greatest performance by a professional wrestler in movie history.

5) Stand By Me - Did you know this comes from a story in same collection (by Stephen King) as The Shawshank Redemption?

4) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - As far as I'm concerned, this was the last Indiana Jones movie ever made.

3) Back to the Future - The sequels are sort of a mess, but the original is tremendous.

2) Field of Dreams - Possibly the most divisive baseball movie ever made, I'm firmly in the 'pro' camp.

1) Big - Tom Hanks has made a ton of great movies, but this is the best.

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