Sunday, February 07, 2010

Plowing Through a Lazy Sunday

With winter imposing its snowy will on the North Coast over the weekend and after a Saturday full of shoveling, followed by moving my sister into her new house, finished up with more shoveling, let’s get going on a Lazy Sunday before my knees and back give out on me and so I can clear a spot on the couch (next to some Dortmunders) to catch up on as-yet-unwatched episodes of the brilliant “Modern Family” as well as “Band of Brothers” (being re-cast on HBO and in turn, being re-watched by me), if only to avoid the 14 or so hours of Super Bowl coverage offered today prior to the actual game.

And with that and with the Motrin kicking in…we’re off:
Another slow news week in terms of Indians’ coverage and (while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, despite everyone focusing on who the Indians could still add from the FA scrap heap) the biggest “story” of the week was Grady Sizemore addressing reporters for the first time to discuss the “coffee cup” incident that occurred earlier in the off-season. While the actual story of “The Self-Portrait of the Outfielder as a Young Man” doesn’t really interest me all that much, I was astounded at the way that the same press conference of Grady talking to reporters was covered by the local media outlets.

It was fascinating in that the tone of the pieces differed drastically once it was past the discussion of the “Earl Grey-dy” pictures as all of the outlets touched on Sizemore’s injury and how he finds himself as the elder statesman on a young team, but the avenue that they took to broach the subject was more than a little telling in terms of media coverage of the Indians these days.

For the way that you would think that the “story” would be covered, the always solid Stephanie Storm of the ABJ (and this is the first time the ABJ makes it’s appearance on a Lazy One in over a year after the moratorium on Shelly Ocker’s work) takes a pretty standard angle on Sizemore in terms of his 2009 season and what 2010 looks like for him as does Anthony Castrovince (unsurprisingly) and you can read both pieces via the links if you are interested to see how a news story is generally approached and how both hit on all the high points while also bringing the context of Grady’s 2009 and 2010 into the mix.

Pretty standard stuff in both articles, after dispensing with the pleasantries (or lack thereof) associated with talking to a man about naked pictures of him surfacing on the interwebs…Grady was hurt and it affected his performance and he now finds himself on a very young team, on which he may be asked to assume more of a leadership position.

We know the story, and there was not really any other way to cover the press conference, is there?
Well…check out the opening sentence from Paul Hoynes’ piece on the topic from Friday’s paper:
It’s good to know Grady Sizemore hasn’t been traded.

No…seriously, and it rolled right on from there:
The Indians have Sizemore, 27, under contract through 2011 with a club option for 2012.
“I hope there is a long-term future for me here,” he said. “I've always enjoyed being an Indian. I’d love to spend my career here and be a part of this organization for as long as I could.”
CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Casey Blake, Ryan Garko, Rafael Betancourt, Carl Pavano, Paul Byrd, Edward Mujica, Kelly Shoppach, Mark DeRosa and Ben Francisco probably all felt the same at one time. Over the past two years, they were traded in an on-going fire sale that has reduced the roster to a few veterans and a lot of youngsters.
“I definitely feel like I've been left behind,” Sizemore said. “Some of the close friends that you had, that you formed relationships with as friends and teammates, have all been traded and moved on.
“I definitely think this is a good chance to start over with a new group of guys. I really like the young guys we've got and the veterans that we have. I’m looking forward to starting something new this year.”

Let me just clarify here that there is something valid about Grady being “left behind” and about how the team is unquestionably starting over, but don’t let your eyes deceive you – the names of Edward Mujica, Ryan Garko (who just got a $500K deal from the Mariners…which is about $100K more than the MLB minimum to show you how Garko is regarded around the league), Carl Pavano, Paul Byrd, and Ben Francisco were just included in a sentence bemoaning players who have been traded in an attempt to put the roster turnover of the past few years into context.

The title of that article by the way in the print edition that arrived on my doorstep on Friday morning was “Sizemore apologizes, says pictures on Web were meant to be private” and while I realize that writers have virtually no control over the headline, how about the train of thought for this piece - Grady apologizes for pictures (even if he really didn’t), he’s coming off of an injury, and (here’s the jump into the irrational) he’s going to eventually get traded because that’s what the Indians do.
Simple as that, the flames are fanned.

Not to be out-done, or allow any amount of research to get in the way of covering the story, Jim Ingraham tops the Hoynes’ piece in spades however in a story so absurd and so patently false that probably should have stirred up some sort of commotion in terms of basing an entire column on a false assumption.

To wit, Ingraham presents his “facts” and opinion thusly:
Despite coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season that resulted in career lows in most offensive categories and not one but two season-ending surgeries (elbow, groin), Sizemore is 27 and moving into what should be the prime years of his career.

Put those two factors together, and it means that the clock has already started ticking down toward Sizemore’s final game as a member of the Indians. He says he hasn’t thought about any potential exit strategy from Cleveland, but he doesn’t have to.

That's General Manager Mark Shapiro's job.

These are the facts:
Given their tattered pitching staff, and lack of financial resources to improve it, the Indians, who lost 97 games last year, with a Cy Young Award winner on the team for half the season, may struggle to avoid losing 100 this year.

Sizemore’s contract expires after the 2011 season. He will make $5.6 million this year and $7.5 million next year. There is an option for 2012 for $10.5 million, which Sizemore can decline and thereby declare his free agency.
In other words, the Indians have control of Sizemore for just this year and next year. That’s the exact same scenario that applied to Lee a year ago at this time. And five months later, the Indians traded Lee to Philadelphia.

The Indians may be facing the same scenario with Sizemore this year. Clearly, Sizemore is going to become a free agent before the Indians get good again.

The Indians, like most teams, almost never are able to re-sign their players once they become free agents, or are within a year of free agency.

The highlighting was done by me as the bolded assertion that serves as the keystone of Jim Ingraham’s outrageous argument that the Indians are at the same point with Sizemore as they were with Lee and Martinez were before this season is simply not true. After checking into the matter further on Friday (something Ingraham must not have done), I was informed (after about a 5-minute delay) that his 2012 option is a CLUB OPTION and becomes a player option only if Sizemore is traded prior to the 2012 season.

So, the idea that this is the “exact same scenario that applied to Lee a year ago at this time” is incorrect in a couple of ways:
1) The 2012 option is a club option if he is still a member of the Indians
2) That 2012 option becomes a player option if he is traded (one that would most certainly be declined given the low number), meaning that if the Indians traded him even next season, the acquiring team would get Grady only for the remainder of the 2011 season as his 2012 option would become his to decline.

Thus, this article by Ingraham comes about two years too early as the Indians wouldn’t entertain trading Sizemore even in the 2011 season for the reasons listed above and the idea would be that the Indians would be closer to competing going into the 2012 season…much more so than today.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m preparing myself and the now-3-year-old DiaperTribe (who sleeps under the security of a Grady blanket every night and only responds to being called “Grady” when we’re playing catch) for the very real possibility that Grady doesn’t end the 2012 season as a Cleveland Indian…but introducing the topic a solid two years early is nothing short of irresponsible.

Looking forward, going into the 2013 season (the one where he would be a Free Agent), Grady will be 30 going on 31 after the Indians will have paid him less than $25M for his age 27, 28, and 29 seasons. If the Indians find themselves in a situation in the 2012 season that comes anywhere close to resembling this off-season, what’s going on with Grady isn’t going to be the only topic of discussion as it’s likely that we’ll all be talking about the Indians’ new General Manager as well.

You’re tired of hearing it and I’m tired of harping on it, but if you don’t see the agendas at hand for particular “beat writers” that cover the Cleveland Indians and continue to go to those old wells for your news on the Indians, it’s no longer on me…that’s on you.

If this piece by Ingraham were written by a “some guy sitting in his parents’ basement in his pajamas” and not a newspaper writer, the newspapers would jump all over it as inaccurate and incendiary and the reason that access to sports teams by beat reporters is not only important but necessary. While I don’t disagree with the idea that access to sports teams by beat reporters is necessary, this particular article was written by an ill-informed rabble-rouser who should have the wherewithal (and contacts) to take the 5 minutes to check to see if the information upon which he based his whole story was true or not. Instead of being dismissed as the rubbish that it is, it will be chalked up as an “oversight” or a “misunderstanding based on ambiguous contract language” instead of for what it really is – a mainstream “journalist” not letting facts get in the way of his obviously slanted perspective (perhaps designed to sell papers by stirring up controversy) and allowing his agenda to be laid bare for all to see.

Reading this kind of drivel from the newspapers this off-season, is anyone else reminded of the old “Talk Back” sketches on “Saturday Night Live” with Buck Henry playing a hapless show host who introduces the most absurdly provocative topics in an attempt to generate some sort of response with only silent telephones in front of him?
How ‘bout this?
“Killing Puppies -- It Doesn't Bother Me”... That's me, Frank Noland, and I LIKE dead puppies!

How is this different from what’s been put out in the newspapers this offseason?
Alas, what’s frustrating about most of the newspapers’ coverage this winter is that this off-season has represented a perfect opportunity to look back at what went wrong and to look forward to imagine what’s coming for the organization.

To that end, I received a brilliant e-mail from reader Joel Shapira (known to some as chitowntribephan), who rejects the notion that the Indians simply don’t have any money to spend on the FA market. He doesn’t make the assertion that the Indians aren’t as financially squeezed as they say to hammer away at the absurd idea that the Indians need to be spending money foolishly in an off-season prior to a “transitional year”, but only in an attempt to shed some light on all of these reports that the Indians haven’t been active on the Free Agent market because they just don’t have any money.

In support of his assertion, he examined the spending of the Indians and the attendance figures for the Indians in the context of what teams similarly sized markets (Tampa Bay, Oakland and Milwaukee), close to Cleveland in geographical proximity (Cincinnati, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Detroit), as well as including the other divisional rivals (Minnesota and Kansas City) in the exercise.

The results, which can be seen here on a Google Spreadsheet support Joel’s idea in that the Indians’ attendance over the last three years has been greater than Cincinnati and their payrolls have been generally on par with each other over those three years. Yet the Reds (just to use an example which works because of the similarities in attendance, geography, and market size) are projected to have a payroll about $8M higher than the Indians’ 2010 payroll.

Again, the exercise was meant to debunk the idea that the coffers are completely empty and that the Indians aren’t spending money because they don’t have it. It’s easy to see that they probably do have some money in reserve (and Ken Rosenthal’s tweet that the Indians were actually the high bidder on Orlando Hudson for 2-years, $10M with a lot of the money backloaded would support that idea), it’s just that they don’t feel the need to spend it on players that aren’t going to be contributors in 2011 or 2012 just so they can win an extra 3-4 games this year.

No question that the financial situation is deeper and possessing more layers than just looking at attendance, market size, and geographical location, but I’m with Joel in that I don’t blindly accept the idea that the Indians don’t have money to spend and are likely using as a crutch to deflect noise from agents or just because they don’t see the value in throwing around the type of contracts that this team doesn’t need. It is important to remember that the Dolans reportedly told the Front Office that they could keep Lee and Martinez for the 2010 season, but couldn’t make any more additions this off-season.

We all know that the FO decided to punt on 2010 by trading the two of them and while the idea that the Indians were willing to swim in the deep financial waters of red ink to make another run at it in 2010 is a noble assertion, the truth is probably closer to the notion that the total that Victor and Lee would’ve earned in 2010 ($16M in club options) was too much to spend on the payroll (add that $16M to the $62 in projected salaries from Joel’s spreadsheet and see how it compares against the other organizations’ payrolls) of a team that wasn’t able to contend with Lee and Martinez contributing and the rebuild/reload/whatever started in earnest when looking at the larger number.

That being said, I think that the team will still spend some money this off-season, but it won’t be on the FA market as I can easily see them attempting to reach deals with both Cabrera and Choo during Spring Training or just after, which could be where this money (that they “don’t have”) is being reserved for. If that’s the case and money is being “saved” to extend Asdrubal and The BLC, anyone have a problem with that strategy?

Going back to Joel’s spreadsheet, I thought it was interesting to see the build-up of the team’s salary from 2004 to last year (an increase from $34M in 2004 to $81M last year), in that the team increased their spending as their “window” of possible contention opened with a 24% increase in payroll after the 2005 season and a 22% increase in payroll after the 2007 season. After the team showed the most promise (the near-breakthrough in 2005 and the ALCS in 2007), the payroll jumped accordingly as the Indians increased spending in an attempt to lengthen their stay at or near the top of the AL Central.

What else is interesting about Joel’s spreadsheet?
How about the fact that the year after the 2005 push for the playoffs (and yes, the Indians did come up short), the payroll increased by 24% but the attendance FELL from 2005 to 2006. Yes, it was a nominal drop (2,013,763 in 2005 to 1,997,995 in 2006) that was less than a 1% percent drop, but if the Indians “spent when the time was right”, where were the fans who claimed that they would return when the team would start winning again. Even more glaring is the fact that, after the 2007 season the Indians payroll jumped 22% after their ALCS run for the 2008 season. Guess what the attendance number did in 2008? It dropped again (2,275,916 in 2007 to 2,169,760 in 2008) and while the drop again was small (almost 5%), remember that was the year following 2007, when the team was one game away from going to the World Series. Again, the payroll increased when the Indians saw contention as a possibility while the attendance didn’t just remain flat…it fell.

Take all of that for what you will, but now that we’re back to square 1 in Rebuild v2.0 and the payroll is going to drop accordingly again. The interesting development to watch in light of this exercise is to see what happens in Tampa (who, like Cleveland didn’t get the attendance bump after their contention) or what happens in Milwaukee (who are living in the “Land of 455” these days) if the next couple of years for the Rays and Brewers go like 2008 and 2009 did for the Indians. That is, the Brewers and Rays are current poster children for all that is right in mid-market baseball, but their ability to win consistently AND continue to draw out fans to supplement the payroll will determine whether they can avoid the fate that befell the Tribe.

What 2010 holds for attendance and what it means for payroll in 2011 (when Westbrook, Wood, and likely Peralta) will no longer be in the books is a topic for another day, but it’s a lot to ponder (thanks to Joel Shapira’s diligence on the spreadsheet) on a day when most eyes will be focused on the game Miami…or at least the commercials.

Regardless of what happens in Miami today, the sun in South Florida serves as a nice segue to remind you that the equipment truck leaves tomorrow morning for Goodyear…which can only mean one thing – despite the snow coming down in waves from the sky on the North Coast, Spring Training and the eternal optimism that accompanies it are not far away.

On a cold February morning, that should be enough to warm your bones…


Nino Colla said...

It's become nauseating to sit back and read some of the stuff that comes out of the media types lately.

Hoynes' negativity seems to grow by the day. Every story is skewed that way as well and it shows with the first line of that Sizemore story.

Oh and Jim Ingraham's little gaff? That's downright comical. You are spot on. If that was "just some blogger" doing it, a guy in the media would rip it to shreds. But because he's a paid journalist, he'll get a pass.

scotto313 said...

The real scandal here is that the print media is dying a painful death and they want to blame it on the internet. The reason is simple, the quality of content is very poor with most papers. The quality of what I read on the net is very high. I would pay for the Plain Dealer if I liked what they write.

Unknown said...

Ingraham is an idiot - has been for years. but it's hard to imagine he wrote what he did to "sell papers" unless the story appeared on the front page that people can actually see when they make a decision to buy.

and a point of reference. it's not Tampa, it's St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Petersburg.

GeronimoSon said...

Paul.. another interesting read.. couple of comments:

1. I didn't know that the Sheldon Ocker and the ABJ had been "paper non grata" on the DiaTribe.. Sure, both Ocker and Paul Mc-I'm-a-moron have little to offer in the way of seeing the cup half full.. Yet, does a conspiracy to sell papers seem to be at the root of their stories?

2. Hoynes is now up to 24 of his past 26 columns (Hey & others) where he's continued to express his overwhelming concern for the financial well being of his beloved wahoos.. err. not..

3. The Grady article by Jim In(mypaperIwritelies)Gram is clearly an attempt to at being a provacateur.. naked pics.. soon to be traded.. the ship is sinking.. yadda yadda.. it's only a matter of time, btw before these professional and objective journalists are calling for Manny Acta to be fired for the same reasons every other manager or coach is Cleveland has been fired for.. so that there's someone new to be writting about that needs to be fired..

It's still shocking to hear that even though the Indians were raising payroll by 20 % + each year, not a single mention of the facts have ever been seen by the readers of those newspapers. Wouldn't it be just wonderful to confront these LIARS with an AGENDA with the facts (it would have to be in a situation where they are compelled to answer the questions posed, otherwise, they would change the subject to who the money was being spent on, not their shoddy and unprofessional writing on the subject) and then they could be truly exposed for what they are.. ".. that guy not on the internet who writes lies.."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing to light what so many of us rational fans know to be true Paul. I just can't read their junk anymore. They are trying to sell papers, and they use any way to create the interest or "disinterest" in this team to do that. It is the easy way out to complain and say the team should be out signing Free Agents with tens of millions of dollars that they mysteriously have when attendance keeps decreasing even when the team is winning (and near as WS title). I may not be an economics expert, but rationality of less money coming in means less money goes out. The Indians are again adjusting to the way the baseball markets work to create their next window of opportunity.

Boudreau said...

I couldn't agree more with this piece, especially with Ingraham, who's been making these little gaffs for years. I stopped paying attention to Ocker and Hoynes (loved your rant Nino, by the way. It actually forced me to read Hoynes' piece, which likely wasn't your intent, but made me laugh just the same) a long time ago, but a blogger who used to work with Ingraham used to worship the ground he walked on. You know, he was an insider, and Ingraham was his boy. They were a part of the "high and mighty" club(ironically enough, Ingraham and this other cat both had blogs of their own).

For my Tribe coverage? Diatribe, Castro Notes, Tribe Daily, Let's Go Tribe, some Pluto, some storm, and some of the big sites.

For the most part, the local coverage is garbage, and has been for a long time...

As for the money, it is, more or less laughable that the Indians DON'T have the case. I'm sure they do, and are following the lines you have been talking about for weeks now.

Why spend money on guys who won't make a difference on a winner, much less a loser, while you are trying to rebuild.

I couldn't agree more. There are a few guys I'd like to bring in to help develop some guys...and perhaps an innings hog...

but I'm a patient guy, and you just never know what might happen when you least expect it.

If we could just sign Willie Mays Hayes...

Boudreau said...

You know the best part about it Paul? Read this article by Ingraham himself from September...

I know there's another article somewhere...

Is there anything more irresponsible than someone getting paid as much as he does, obviously not paying two cents of attention to his writing? The ONLY way you get it right, then if you're just throwing out words...or trying to sell garbage.

If you want to do that, start the enquirer...oh wait...

Cy Slapnicka said...

so let me get this straight, the fishwrap writers in cleveland are awful? really? i suppose next you're going to tell me this whole housing boom can't last? wait, its over? really?

re: attendance. keep in mind, we shit the bed both in 2006 and 2008. we know that many tribe fans buy their tix during the season. and when you start the season as we did in those years, you're not gonna sell many tix in a town like cleveland. indians fans will come out for a winner, not for "spending money when the time is right".

and to be honest, its hard to fault a cleveland sports fan's reluctance to embrace a season at its onset and buy a year's worth of tix.

btw, not only do the trucks leave today, but pitchers and catchers report in 2 weeks!

Cy Slapnicka said...

btw, when i said "indians fans", i meant the general population of "tribe fans" as a whole. the people that are still pissed thome left.

Paul Cousineau said...

Nobody’s attempting to break new ground here, just attempting to further expose these guys for what they are as slip further away from relevance. The sad factor in the equation is that those fans that you mention as the ones that still bemoan the departure of Thome have sources like this to provide their Indians’ “information” and the vicious cycle is simply perpetuated.

On the attendance thing, I agree with you on the 2006 and 2008 numbers as the performance of the team likely had something to do with the low numbers, although they weren’t drawing in either season out of the gate either.

To the idea that Indians’ fans will come out for a winner, consider these attendance numbers for the final two homestands in 2007:
From August 28th to September 2nd when the team started the homestand 74-57 and finished it at 78-58, the attendance averaged 31,198 over 7 games…which would be 70% capacity for a first place team in late August and mid-September.

From September 15th to September 23rd in 2007 when the team started the homestand with a 87-61 record and finished it with a 92-63 record, the attendance averaged 35,203 over 9 games including the final home game of the season (which proved to the AL Central clincher on a Sunday afternoon) that was not sold out. Again, that’s 81% capacity for a first-place team attempting to and eventually clinching a division in mid-to-late September.

I realize that I’m preaching to the choir here, but success in the previous season has not led to an attendance bump nor did we see an overwhelming influx of bodies at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario at the end of 2007.

You say that “its hard to fault a cleveland sports fan's reluctance to embrace a season at its onset and buy a year's worth of tix”, but isn’t that exactly what happened for all of those years in the midst of 455?

Different time, different town, and a different set of circumstances…I know.
I realize that this is a topic for another day, but what gets people back to coming to games regularly in light of that information…or has that ship sailed?

davemanddd said...

keep in mind, there weren't any browns here while the indians were selling out 455 straight games in the 90's. it was just a case of something akin to the planets all aligning in a row which allowed the indians to set attendance records that will probably never be seen in these parts again.

dick jacobs really pulled a fast one too on the dolans who were probably thinking they were going to enjoy all kinds of similar gate revenues and now they are paying the price for what has become in essence a very bad investment for them due to their own gullibility and lack of foresight.

i agree with cy, if the indians had only built upon their so-called "success" in 2005 and 2007 and not "shit the bed" (perfect analogy by the way, cy) coming out of the gate in 2006 & 2008, maybe those attendance figures would've been quite a bit better and they could have afforded to add more payroll???

by the same token, they didn't exactly spend wisely by adding payroll in the forms of washed-up has-beens and never-were veteran journeyman grinders. you know their names. fans just couldn't identify with guys who were made more like in the image of their loathsome manager. just can't get excited about that with eagerness to buy tickets well in advance of the season when the product on the field is boring.

let's face facts, talented players put more fannies in the seats and winning players too. plain and simple. people just want to see players who get them excited to come watch them play. they want to see bigger, stronger, faster players with personality, passion, fire and even some quirkiness to them, kinda like the collection of guys they had here in the 90's.

what they don't want to come see are the run-of-the-mill, hum-drum trot nixon's, casey blake's, aaron boone's, jason michaels' and david dellucci's of the world. we want to see the uber-talented guys like kenny lofton, albert belle, manny ramirez, jim thome, omar vizquel, sandy & robbie alomar, et al.

the question now is, can they ever get back to having that level of talent again??? i would like to think they can and if all the planets align again in either 2011 or 2012 with the current group of young players and prospects they have been able to assemble, maybe they just might win it all for the first time since 1948??? we can only hope.

Cy Slapnicka said...

i don't advocate only coming if they're running out a team of all-stars and i know that won't ever happen again. that is ridiculous to even think and shows a fans clear lack of understanding of the game today.

my point, however poorly made, was that people will not come in droves. as we've beat to death here in the past, 455 was the perfect storm. and unless the browns continue to suck (and the fans become bright enough to recognize they're fools with their wallets-not holding my breath) and bron-bron hits the road, we won't see that again. we also won't see the booming economy (at least in cleveland) anytime soon. the funds and butts are limited in cleveland and the indians aren't the first choice when "fans" and businesses consider spending money.

regarding 06 and 08, while the organization did fail to some degree, what really did us in (from a performance standpoint) were key players failing to meet expectations (or our expectations being unrealistic), for a variety of reasons. but i don't think the fans wouldn't have come anyway, as 2007 demonstrated. thats the reality that is indians baseball. fans will not come out for a winner, they'll come out when its the thing to do.

i understand the local media helps perpetuate this problem with their rubbish. however, i guess i believe that the people coming here are not consuming the local media's message as gospel. or if they do, they do it to make themselves angry, as i used to do. i guess my question is, do you think the people that use the local media as their source come here and go, "hmmm, this guy might be on to something"? i think we're all onboard with the local media being idiots (excluding the ususal suspects). perhaps those that aren't can show themselves so we can mock them in a public forum. then we can move on to discussing more important things, like Feb 22nd.

regarding my comment, "its hard to fault a cleveland sports fan's reluctance to embrace a season at its onset and buy a year's worth of tix", that was a joke about the fortunes of cleveland sports fans and how our blind optimism has typically been rewarded...with a swift kick to the nuts.

Paul Cousineau said...

Not to get in the way of a good rant here, but the players that contributed to the bump in payroll from 2007 to 2008 were not exactly the “washed-up has-beens and never-were veteran journeyman grinders” that you think.

Rather, the big bumps in payroll came from these players:
CC 2007 - $8.75M
CC 2008 - $11M

Westbrook 2007 - $5.6M
Westbrook 2008 - $10M

Sizemore 2007 - $750K
Sizemore 2008 - $3M

Hafner 2007 - $6.3M
Hafner 2008 - 8.05M

Martinez 2007 - $3M
Martinez 2008 - $4.25M

Peralta 2007 - $750K
Peralta 2008 - $2.25M

The bump in the 2008 payroll came from the higher numbers came later in the contracts that the Indians meted out to their own players, in the form of about $13.5M more paid to those 5 players from 2007 to 2008. Seeing as how the bump in total payroll from 2007 to 2008 was a little over $17M, there’s your increase in payroll…from within, in an attempt to create some sort of familiarity with the fans with winning sealing the deal.

The winning didn’t happen and we sit where we sit as the 2010 season approaches…

Jay said...

When is the DiaperTribe going to be DiaToiletTrained?

Paul Cousineau said...

I wish I knew Jay...I wish I knew.
Little brother is not helping the transition which one seemed so close, but now seems so far away.