Sunday, October 02, 2011

An Off-Season Road-Map on A Lazy Sunday

The 2011 season is in the books and while the season recaps will continue to pour out, let’s cast our gaze forward as the Indians prepare for the most important off-season in recent memory as they attempt to maintain the momentum that their 2011 season got rolling. Additionally, they now find themselves in a position where they’re trying to start to line some of these building blocks up to form a foundation that will last through just the end of 2013, perhaps embarking on the extended run of playoff contention that eluded them in the mid-to-late-2000s.

The only thing that is certain at this point is that the Indians’ coaching staff will have a decidedly different look at Tim Tolman will not be back as bench coach (as we all wish him the best) and Sandy Alomar moves from the 1st Base Coaching Box to the role of Bench Coach…for now. Certainly Sandy may be up for the White Sox job, but the announcement that Alomar will be promoted to bench coach certainly has the feel of the Indians attempting to let Sandy know how well-thought-of he is within the organization if the White Sox were to come calling with a job offer that wasn’t that of the manager. As for who will replace Sandy at 1B, Mike Sarbaugh would figure to be the leading candidate to emerge from the Minor Leagues (where he has dominated…if a Minor League manager can dominate) to work with the group of players that he’s won titles with for the last three years. Seriously, Sarbaugh won titles in Akron in 2009 and in Columbus in 2010 and 2011…essentially with a good number of the same players that figure to populate the Indians’ roster in 2012 and beyond. So, keeping him in the fold (and adding him to the parent club coaching staff) would be the logical move to provide some continuity for what is still a very young team.

But the Tolman/Alomar/Sarbaugh move is not the big one of the week as Tim Belcher announced that he would not be returning as the Tribe pitching coach in 2012. To me, pitching coaches are always a difficult thing to truly judge as Masterson made HUGE leaps forward and Carrasco and Tomlin showed signs of promise, but Carmona remained an enigma and Huff seemed to regress after spending some time on the parent club. Certainly, the Masterson evolution trumps pretty much everything else and it’s more than just a good thing that Belcher will remain in the organization, but the Indians now find themselves in need of a pitching coach.

One obvious move would be to promote current bullpen coach Scott Radinsky to the position of pitching coach and bringing Ruben Niebla up from his pitching coach post in Columbus to handle the duties of the bullpen coach for 2012. Just as it would be with keeping Sarbaugh around this young group of players, expanding the roles of Radinsky (who did a GREAT job with the relievers this year) and Niebla would give the players some level of familiarity with the coaches. If the Indians were able to convince the Diamondbacks to allow Charles Nagy (who is Arizona’s pitching coach) to make a lateral move because of his ties to Cleveland, he would be another name to consider as he was the Clippers’ pitching coach in 2010 and would, again, have a working knowledge of the young Tribe arms. Then again, they could go off the board and bring in somebody completely different and while that would represent a sharp departure from everything that they’ve ever done, it is not outlandish to think that they could go for someone whose name is not at the front (or back) of anyone’s mind right now.

Ultimately, the coaching staff will sort itself out (and talented players have a way of making coaching staffs look good), but with the season behind us, let’s take a look at the moves that one man would make in this off-season in an attempt to position the Tribe for contention in 2012 and beyond. Much of this is not new ground if you’ve been coming around these parts, but I thought I’d put it all in one place, seeing as how talk will now turn to “what the Indians need to do/should do” with the off-season upon us. Again, some of these are ideas that you’ve seen before, but hang in there as they’ve been fleshed out a little more and “The Plan” (dare I use that term) builds up from the first suggestion to the last.

Of course, it’s easy to say “they need a RH bat at 1B and a veteran starter”, but if you’ve been coming around here for any stretch of time you know that…well, I’m not one to simply deal in these vagaries. Let’s get specific and attempt to deal in reality with some of these proposed moves. If you want to call this reality a set of “ground rules”, I attempted to stay within that $70M payroll number that’s been predicted for the team and have attempted not to go all “ESPN Trade Machine” with trade suggestions, giving up players of value to net something close to equal value because…well, Luis Valbuena, Mitch Talbot, Trevor Crowe, and Beau Mills aren’t attractive to anyone.
Yes, even if you put them in a package.

Nevertheless, here is the off-season “road-map” (if you will) for the Indians heading into 2012:
Pick up Carmona’s option, Re-Negotiate Sizemore’s option
Apparently, the Indians will have 3 days after the final game of the World Series to make these decisions, but this is something I wrote about not too long ago, so excuse the liberal cut-and-paste, but here’s where I come down on each:
Fausto Carmona
For some hard numbers, consider that in 2010, Javier Vazquez posted a 5.32 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP for the Yankees. After that season, he signed a 1-year, $7M deal with the Marlins for the 2011 season. Certainly, Vazquez’s 2009 with the Braves (2.87 ERA) played a role in the Marlins’ decision to ink Vazquez as the Marlins likely thought that Vazquez would benefit from a change in scenery (out of Gotham) and could find his former self, but if Carmona’s 2011 option is for $7M, doesn’t it stand to reason that similar demand could exist for Carmona this off-season?

With the embarrassing dearth of starting pitching (particularly starting pitching available on the FA market) league-wide, these players are going to get more money than they’re worth. That may not be telling any secrets, but just to keep the examples flying from last off-season, Brad Penny got a $3M deal last off-season from the Tigers after pitching only 55 innings with the Cards in 2010 and Brandon Webb got $3M in guaranteed money from Texas last off-season having pitched FOUR MLB innings the previous two seasons.

Going further, given some of the concerns about Fausto’s conditioning, it could probably be argued that picking up this option may not be the best idea, in terms of motivation for Carmona, but looking at the other options on the FA SP market (is Edwin Jackson or Bruce Chen or Jeff Francis much more appealing…and what kind of money/years does it take to get those guys?) this off-season and with the idea that the Indians probably shouldn’t count on Gomez/Huff/McAllister to take up TWO spots in the rotation, the Indians are best served turning their head, pinching their nose, and picking up Carmona’s option for 2012, given that it’s basically a one-year deal and the final year that these options for Carmona aren’t patently outrageous (it’s $9M next year and $12M in 2014) in terms of guaranteed money.

Grady Sizemore
Though I’ve been floating the idea of renegotiating Sizemore’s deal for some time, Pluto says in his piece a couple of weekends ago that he would “offer Sizemore a contract with a $3 million base and lots of incentives. It can even be hooked into a lucrative long-term deal if he plays 120 games, or some other indication of durability.” Let’s use this as a starting point and get a little creative with a possible solution that allows the Indians to minimize some risk, keep Sizemore on the team with reachable incentives that become lucrative for Grady, and find some common ground here.

As a starting point, the Indians would guarantee Sizemore’s $9M option, but make it payable over 3 years with those games-played-based incentives that Pluto suggested built in so Sizemore (if healthy) could earn a salary at a rate commensurate with what a healthy Sizemore would earn on the open market. Remember, they did this with Pavano a couple of years ago, with incentives tied to innings pitched building upon a base salary as Pavano’s health was in question and the Indians’ creativity is what brought Pavano onto The Reservation.

Regardless, follow me on this:
2012 - $3M guaranteed, potential for additional $6M for 140 games played
$3M guaranteed base
Additional $1.5M for 80 games played
Another additional $1.5M for 100 games played
Another additional $1.5M for 120 games played
A final additional $1.5M for 140 games played
In this scenario, he’s guaranteed $3M in 2012 and could earn up to the $9M if he plays in 140 games, earning healthy bumps in pay as he plays in games throughout the season.

2013 - $3M guaranteed, potential for additional $8M for 140 games played
$3M guaranteed base
Additional $2M for 80 games played
Another additional $2M for 100 games played
Another additional $2M for 120 games played
A final additional $2M for 140 games played
Again, Sizemore has that $3M guaranteed with the ability to earn $11M if he hits that 140 game plateau.

2014 - $3M guaranteed, potential for additional $10M for 140 games played
$3M guaranteed base
Additional $2.5M for 80 games played
Another additional $2.5M for 100 games played
Another additional $2.5M for 120 games played
A final additional $2.5M for 140 games played
You’re getting the point here, as Grady will still get the $3M guaranteed (the final 1/3 of that $9M club option) in 2014 with the possibility that he could earn $13M if he stayed healthy enough to play in 140 games.

Again, you can read the whole piece again as I’m truthfully just cutting-and-pasting here as I’ll stand by these thoughts on both Carmona and Sizemore, whose club options in their extensions once seemed like such a deal.

Speaking of club options in extensions (that hopefully the team doesn’t regret) for young players…
Extend Asdrubal Cabrera & Justin Masterson
Again, this is a topic that I hit on very recently (last week), but these are the offers I’m putting on the table to these two, with the rationale behind each extension offer contained in the linked piece and the deals looking a little something like this:
Asdrubal Carrera Contract Extension
2012 - $5.5M
2013 - $8.5M
2014 - $10M
2015 - $12M club option ($1M buyout)
2016 - $13M club option ($2M buyout)

Justin Masterson Contract Extension
2012 - $3.5M
2013 -$5.5M
2014 - $7.7M
2015 - $12M
2016 - $13M club option ($0.245M buyout)
2017 - $13.5M club option ($0.5M buyout)

All of the rationale for the years and the numbers above are in this piece…but really the first two “topics” on Carmona/Sizemore and Cabrera/Masterson are really just handling internal business and nothing new around these parts.

As for augmenting the roster externally, how about a solution for that 1B problem?

Trade Chris Perez to the Marlins for Gaby Sanchez
This is something that’s been alluded to in the past, but with Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols hitting the FA market this off-season and with the Red Sox and the Yankees not really in the market for a 1B, the final destinations for Prince and Pujols could be fairly interesting. While neither will land at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, the idea that the team that they sign with could have an “extra” 1B to use as trade bait is the rationale for Gaby Sanchez even being available. Again, the rationale for this trade idea can be found here, but Fielder and Pujols are essentially an upgrade over ANY team’s current 1B situation and there is always one team in MLB that’s ready to make that “splash” in FA that nobody sees coming. For whatever reason, the inclusion of the Marlins in rumors about Prince/Pujols reminds me of the Nationals’ pursuit of Jayson Werth last year and with the Marlins moving to a new stadium, with a new manager, and a new name (yep, they’re the Miami Marlins now), it is not outside the realm of possibility that one of them…um, takes his talent to South Beach.

If they did, the Indians should act quickly to go after Sanchez, a 28-year-old 1B with consistent, if not outstanding, numbers over the last two years. He’s a RH bat that is under club control through the 2015 season and isn’t even arbitration-eligible until after next season. He’s an average defender who has lacked the power of a “traditional” 1B, but in light of the internal alternatives for the Tribe, Sanchez’s steady bat in the lineup would be a major upgrade…and it would represent more than just a band-aid at 1B. Whether the Marlins would consider a one-for-one swap for C. Perez remains to be seen, but Perez is about to get more expensive via arbitration and if the Indians are looking to pare some money off of their payroll to make additions via FA, moving Perez for a league-minimum player like Sanchez makes sense.

Perhaps Ozzie Guillen wouldn’t have any interest in adding Perez after seeing him up close over the last couple of years (and Perez was not good against the White Sox this year), but if we know Ozzie…he doesn’t do well with unsettled bullpens. With Leo Nunez (or whatever his name really is) doesn’t figure to come back to the Marlins in 2012 (or even if he does), the Marlins could be in the market for bullpen help and the Indians may be their trade partner, particularly if Florida…um, Miami is willing to add salary, even if that salary is just for a closer.

Maybe it takes more for the Indians to pry Sanchez away from the Marlins and maybe Prince/Pujols end up elsewhere, making this entire concept a moot point, but the Indians should follow the bouncing ball that is the “Prince & Pujols Show” this off-season to see if they can find the 1B that they so desperately need via trade, acquiring a player whose spot may be taken by either Fielder or Pujols.

As for moving C. Perez, this is not a new suggestion in these parts, and I’d take Pestano and insert him into the 9th inning role, with Sipp and Smith sliding back into the 7th and 8th inning roles with the idea that one of (some of) the young arms that stand at the precipice of Cleveland can fill in the bottom rungs of the bullpen ladder.

Trade Rafael Perez, Jeanmar Gomez, and Cord Phelps, to the Mets for Jon Niese
Since most of the talk of adding to the starting rotation for 2011 has focused on adding a “veteran” starting pitcher, the usual suspects in the scrap heap start to make their way onto the Indians’ radar…at least according to most reports that come out. However, after White and Pomz were traded, there’s little question that the Indians’ rotational depth was affected and the effect of moving both White and Pomz is not something that’s going away anytime soon…unless Zach McAllister and/or Scott Barnes really assert themselves into the parent club’s plans to be more than the back-end-of-the-rotation fodder. Additionally, with the uncertainty that Carmona will be back after his 2012 season and with the outside chance that Tomlin turns back into a pumpkin, the Indians should be aggressive in targeting some younger pitchers that may be undervalued by their current teams, but who are under club control for a couple of years, even if it means acquiring arms that may be approaching arbitration.

As you can see above, I’m not talking trading for the Wandy Rodriguezes and Ricky Nolascos of the world, as I’d prefer to see the Indians target a starting pitcher (preferably LH) that actually is a “veteran” starter – in that they’ve logged significant innings in MLB – but who may be available because of their recent performance that has underwhelmed their current team and make an aggressive push for them. Pitchers like Toronto’s Brett Cecil and the Mets’ Jon Niese fit this profile as neither will be confused for front-end-of-the-rotation arms and each has thrown nearly 400 MLB IP. That may not be a “veteran” starter in the truest sense of the word, but the Indians need to add a piece that doesn’t simply represent an option to throw into the 5th starter mix in Goodyear. Rather, if they’re serious about making a move in 2012 (and, more importantly, PAST 2012), adding an arm to the middle-of-the-rotation would improve the team dramatically.

Since a friend of mine (who has an awfully good handle on the Blue Jays) passed along word to me that Brett Cecil would represent a slight upgrade or maybe comparative value to Dave Huff, asserting that Cecil’s 2010 season was the outlier, not his 2011 season, I’ll put the focus on acquiring Niese here. The focus falls to Niese mainly because he – like Cecil – is LH, under club control for a while, and may be seen as an ancillary part to their current team. By that I mean that Niese’s 2011 line of a 4.40 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and a 89 ERA+ is underwhelming and since it mirrors his 2010 season (4.20 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 94 ERA+), perhaps the Mets feel that this is what Niese is and may make him available for the right package.

The reason that a player like Niese would be intriguing would be his age (he turns 25 next month), his ability to generate K (286 K in his last 331 IP over the last two seasons), and the fact that he’s LH…a “quality” that is currently lacking in the Indians’ pitching depth, outside of Scotty Barnes and, to a lesser degree, Dave Huff. If you look deeper at Niese’s numbers, he posted the 17th best FIP (3.36) in the NL among pitchers with more than 150 IP and actually finished higher than that among the same group with a 3.28 xFIP, 10th best among NL pitchers with more than 150 IP. His 3.14 K/BB rate ranked 14th among NL starters (just ahead of Matt Garza) and his 7.89 K/9 rate ranked 16th among NL starters...this time just behind Ian Kennedy.

So…why would the Mets be willing to trade a 24-year-old LHP with those numbers?
Well, in some regards, Niese’s last two years are merely fair – in terms of the mid-4.00 ERA and the WHIP over 1.40 – meaning that Niese may be undervalued in some circles. Additionally, with the Mets needing to make some very difficult decisions about their future, they may be looking to add multiple pieces and parts that factor into their future. The Mets’ bullpen needs a complete overhaul and 2B has been an absolute disaster for them, so perhaps the Indians (with bullpen depth and a glut of 2B) could provide them with some pieces in Rafael Perez and Cord Phelps. If you look back at the initial trade proposal, I included Gomez in there in give the Mets a young arm for their rotation that they would control for longer than Niese and who may see his numbers improve in the NL.

Though this may seem like quite a bit to give up (to some) for a pitcher that had a 4.40 ERA in the NL last year, realize (again) that the only way to get value on the Trade Market is to give up value. Rafael Perez is still an unquestionably valuable reliever and Phelps’ performance in AAA this year suggests that he simply needs an extended opportunity to thrive in MLB at 2B (something that isn’t happening in Cleveland) with Gomez’s youth (still 23) offsetting some of the concerns that exist about his inability to strike hitters out.

Maybe the Mets have their eye on guys like Brantley (they need a long-term solution in the OF) or Marson (they need a long-term solution at C) or perhaps the Mets would prefer Donald over Phelps…and I don’t think the inclusion of any of those players is outrageous. Adding an arm like Niese – under club control through the 2015 season – is the kind of long-term move (that improves their short-term outlook) that the Indians should be looking at. Maybe the name isn’t Jonathan Niese and maybe the Mets aren’t the match, but the Indians’ rotation has question marks past Justin Masterson and a team that is looking to contend in 2012 and beyond needs to have more rotational answers than question marks.

Sign Mike Cuddyer to a 3-year, $30M deal
Wait…you’ve already kept Sizemore and added Sanchez, what is this about?
Frankly, I’m not counting on Sizemore to be completely healthy to start the season, nor am I counting on Hafner to be healthy throughout the season. So while signing Cuddyer when all of the positions seem to be spoken for looks like overkill, the idea to sign him would essentially provide insurance for Sizemore and/or Hafner being hurt in 2012.
Is that a big insurance policy that you’re willing to pay a premium for?

Absolutely, and the Indians need to approach this off-season to almost plan for either Sizemore and/or Hafner NOT being available, despite the money that’s going to be owed to them. As for where this Cuddyer money would come from (remember, I’m trying to stay within the $70M payroll number), the Indians would take the money saved by re-negotiating Sizemore’s contract (savings of $6M in 2012 if they re-negotiate as outlined above) trading Chris Perez and Rafael Perez and their assumed arbitration numbers (let’s say a savings of $6M combined) to spread out in a couple of ways. First, there would be the additional money for 2012 added to the Cabrera and Masterson extensions to buy out those FA years and plus what they’ll pay Gaby Sanchez and Jon Niese in their pre-arbitration years to come up with enough money for this contract for Cuddyer. Essentially, it hinges on re-negotiating the Sizemore deal and moving Perez’s assumed 2012 salary, but if you figure that Hafner’s money will come off of the books after 2012, this year is the only one in which the Indians would have to get creative to afford a deal like this for Cuddyer.

Why add Cuddyer?
Well, Cuddyer had the 23rd best wOBA (.354) in the AL in 2011 and posted the 30th best OPS (.806) in the AL in 2011 and played 1B, RF, 2B, and DH. For a team in need of a flexible bat and a RH bat to sit in the middle of their lineup, Cuddyer looks like a perfect fit. Over the last 3 years, Cuddyer has posted a .276 BA / .341 OBP / .465 SLG / .806 OPS / 117 OPS+ while averaging 22 HR, 33 2B, and 5 2B while averaging 150 games played per year. Of course it is worth noting that he is 32 years old and two full seasons from his tremendous (32 HR, .867 OPS) 2009 campaign, but his numbers since 2009 actually compare pretty favorably with the rest of MLB. Sure, he’s not in the upper echelon of players (much less hitters) in MLB, but he’s a steady player who has performed well and is likely to continue that consistent performance for the next couple of years.

Will he cost more than he’s probably worth on the FA market?
Yep, but do you want to know why the abysmal season from Matt LaPorta is so disappointing?
Because this is what a 20-HR RH bat costs on the FA market and with Hafner’s contract expiring after 2012 (I know he has that option) and with so many question marks regarding Sizemore’s health and with Choo under club control through only 2013, adding a versatile player like Cuddyer fits what the Indians need – a RH bat that can sit near the middle-of-the-lineup and move around the diamond as needed. Additionally, once Hafner moves on after the 2012 season, Cuddyer could slot into a quasi-DH role with his versatility giving different players breaks from the field by allowing them to get days off or switch spots with Cuddyer at DH. Essentially, having Cuddyer as the “DH” wouldn’t kill the roster flexibility in the way that Hafner has as Cuddyer’s ability to play all around the diamond would give the Tribe some much-needed breathing room at the DH spot…in 2013.

Would some of the “top-shelf” FA look better than Cuddyer?
Of course, but in this Brave New World of MLB, the Indians aren’t going to sit at the table with the Fielder and Pujols to crunch numbers if they’re going to venture out on the FA market and that “second-tier” of players is the top-end of where they realistically get to choose. It is true that Cuddyer probably projects to be a Type A FA (refresher on this and draft compensation here), meaning that the Indians would sacrifice a draft pick to sign him. However, the Indians are going to pick 15th in next year’s draft, which means that their 1st Round Pick would be protected if they signed a Type A FA (which Cuddyer is) and would sacrifice a 2nd Round Pick instead.
So, I suppose that final lost weekend in Detroit was good for something…

Of course, the question is bound to come up in all of this player movement that if the Tribe renegotiates Grady’s deal AND adds Sanchez AND adds Cuddyer where that leaves Mike Brantley in all of this. To that I would say that despite the fact that the Indians aren’t thrilled with Brantley’s play in CF, he would slot over there if Sizemore didn’t start the season in MLB or if he got injured and, if Sizemore was healthy, Brantley would move into the 4th OF role. It’s probably wouldn’t be a strict 4th OF role as (again) Cuddyer would be signed to be moving around quite a bit around the diamond and, frankly, Brantley’s 2011 season was less than inspiring.

There you have it and I’m not going to include the notion of adding a veteran reliever at some point because it would be a minor move. That said, if the Indians do in fact move TWO relievers out via trade in the Perezes and if you assume that Durbin isn’t coming back, the Indians are going to need some sort of a veteran middle reliever to sit there and eat up innings, unless that’s what Frank Herrmann is going to do…or maybe even Mitch Talbot in a long-man role.

When it’s all said and done, the roster would have much more balance in terms of handedness and the bench would provide some exceptional depth in case of (or is it when) injury or injuries occur:
C – Santana
1B – Sanchez
2B – Kipnis
SS – Cabrera
3B – Chisenhall
RF – Choo
CF – Sizemore
LF – Cuddyer
DH – Hafner
Bench – Marson
Bench – Donald
Bench – Duncan
Bench – Brantley
You’ll notice that Jack Hannahan is missing from this group but with Donald on hand and with Cuddyer’s versatility, there simply isn’t room for Hannahan, as fantastic as he has been this season and as much as he provides that insurance for The Chiz going forward. However, if the Indians are really looking to upgrade their roster, there will be some casualties and, in working this up, Hannahan was felled.

As for the pitching staff, the rotation would also be more balanced in terms of handedness with the addition of Niese and, though it would seem that the strength of the team (the bullpen) has been compromised by moving the Perezes out via trade, the remaining arms have more than enough talent to remain successful. Of course, those are famous last words (expecting success out of any mix of bullpen arms), but if Vinnie Pestano and Tony Sipp can arrive in the manner they did this year, it provides some optimism that players like Hagadone or Putnam or CC Lee could follow on this path. Regardless,
SP – Masterson
SP – Jimenez
SP – Niese
SP – Carmona
SP – Tomlin
Closer – Pestano
RP – Sipp
RP – Smith
RP – Reliever
RP – Hagadone
RP – Putnam
RP – Herrmann
There you have it, that’s one man’s plan for the off-season…and in less than 5,000 words!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to step away from this place for a while.
After years of putting my thoughts to paper (so to speak), I’m going to take some time off from thinking about and writing about the Indians. I’ve been dropping 10,000 words a week on you for long enough…and thanks to you for working your way through the thousands of words every couple of days for the last few years searching for some sort of analysis and meaning.

It’s entirely possible that I poke my head out every so often with thoughts on the comings and goings of the Tribe (so subscribe to the RSS feed or the Twitter feed if you want to be alerted as such) and while I don’t figure to disappear completely, the time has arrived for me to take a big step back from this endeavor and fully move into the true joys of my life, my wonderful wife (you may know her as The DiaBride), who amazingly put up with this “hobby” as long as she did, and my burgeoning family on The Reservation.

See you when I see you and…Go Tribe!

27 comments:

Cleveland Fan said...

Enjoy your family Paul, but be assured we will miss you!

sjwebber28 said...

Wow, Paul, I can't believe I just read the last two paragraphs. I had to read it twice, because I didn't believe it at first, but I certainly understand, being the father of two little ones. We're certainly going to miss your weekly articles and insights. You were the most comprehensive source if everything Tribe and it's going to be tough to replace, especially on Sunday mornings. Enjoy your family and Go Tribe!

Alex Trebek said...

Thanks Paul!

Bob said...

Hey, Good for you, Paul.

Elia said...

Great plan, Paul, for this offseason and for your life. I can relate. I played a lot of ball before kids. At one point, over 80 softball games in a spring/summer. At another time I played in four leagues at the same time. I quit cold turkey when my first daughter was born five years ago and haven't looked back. There just isn't enough time in the day.

Given that, your writings on the Indians have been the highlights of the part of my life that were Indians-centered for too long. You will be sorely missed.

Paul Cousineau said...

Thanks guys.
I really appreciate all of this.
PC

Halifax said...

Say it ain't so, Joe...say it ain't so.

I've really enjoyed your blog, Paul.
Enjoy your family!

Halifax said...

...and THANKS, DiaBride! :) A lot of wives would not do that for their husbands.

Not A Banana said...

Take a well-deserved rest, Paul. You're the best of the bunch writing about the Tribe. With all due respect to Mr. Pluto, who is busy writing about a bunch of different sports.
And if not before then, we'll see you for Spring Training. Cheers.

Unknown said...

Thanks Paul.

Joel Shapira said...

First, Jim Brown. Then Sandy Koufax, Bjorn Borg, MJ in 1993 and Barry Sanders. Now Cousineau...

Thanks Paul... for all you've done and for leaving us wanting more.

jsdowd said...

Thanks Paul. Maybe consider coming back occasionally?

Ryan Richards said...

Thanks for six years of great reading, Paul. Enjoy your time away from blogging.

KY said...

Well, this is the best and most informative Tribe blog out there so you will definitely be missed. But I can certainly understand why you'd want to take some time off. Best of luck with everything and hopefully we'll hear from you at some point later on.

RMC said...

Thanks Paul!

doby14 said...

Just returned from traveling the midwest and upper south, always a let down coming off a trip... to then read your DECISION. Wow, will miss it, but understand your reason(s). Without family, you're nothing, and you have a great one. There will be a void on lazy sunday mornings for sure. The best to you and KC+3.

t-bone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
t-bone said...

So I go on a week vacation, somewhat unplugging from the interwebs, and come back to this today. Great. Googily. Moogily.

Our little Pat Tabler is all growns up.

Being the packrat I am, I wanted to share this email I received April 9, 2005, with everyone. Sent to 11 buddies. Where it all began.



From: Paul Cousineau
Sent: Saturday, April 9, 2005 11:48 AM
Subject: Attn: Friends of the Feather

After reading the atrocious coverage on the Tribe in the PD for far too long, I've decided to put a pen to paper, so to speak, on the Indians.

Check it out a www.clevelandtribeblog.blogspot.com

Too much time on my hands? Perhaps. But at the very least, there are links to all of the pertinent websites that cover the Tribe.

The answer to the question of what the logical extension of a Little Indians Fan Club lifer has finally been answered.

Tribe '05, this is my team.

Clecago Joe said...

Something is not right in the world that Paul Hoynes (and the rest of the PD sports staff for that matter) is making a good living writing what he writes and the quality work by Cous is limited to a hobby. Paul, how much would our monthly subscription have to be to allow this to be your full time gig? Sorry, I will get to the acceptance stage soon.

Thank you Paul for years of knowledge filled posts that allowed a Chicago based Indians fan feel like he could still follow his team.

Spills said...

Great article as always, Paul. I can only hope that Shapiro/Antonetti are subscribers, and will have to offer you an official advisory position now that your thoughts will no longer on the public forum.

Sorry to hear that this is the end, but best wishes to you and your family. It's been a pleasure to spend every Sunday with you, and feel free to drop another 10,000 words on us any time.

Aaron said...

I wasn't expecting the last two paragraphs. It's been a joy reading your take on the Tribe, and I always gave my self at least an hour to read your blog. How long did it take you to write a post? Each post is very thought out and very lengthy, but worth the read!

Stay safe and enjoy the family!

Steve said...

You will be sorely missed.

When I first read the end of the article I supposed that "time off" meant sparse posting between now and Spring Training, then a return to the great stuff we've all enjoyed for the past few years.

Best of luck in everything you do.

acblack said...

Thanks Paul! Great stuff, as always.

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