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  1. WHAT THE FUCK?

    Comment by JS7 — February 11, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

  2. Victoino got more (annually)!!!

    Comment by e — February 11, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

  3. Shane Victorino :)

    Comment by Warriors — February 11, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  4. Yay

    Comment by RollTribe — February 11, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  5. Cleveland got a steal.

    Comment by Slats — February 11, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  6. The Tribe are back!

    Comment by Rippers — February 11, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

  7. What a stupid move from the Indians. How many CF’s can one team have?

    Bourn is an idiot for joining a losing franchise.

    Comment by Old School — February 11, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  8. those are some impassioned opinions you have

    Comment by Mike — February 11, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

  9. No draft pick attached

    Comment by Jeff Sullivan — February 11, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

  10. Want to hear a joke?

    Shane Victorino earning more annualy than Michael Bourn.

    Comment by Blurs — February 11, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

  11. This is a boom or bust signing and I’m leaning more to bust.

    Comment by Negrodamus — February 11, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

  12. It makes me wonder how close the Mets were and all the business with their draft pick.

    Comment by Rippers — February 11, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

  13. Please explain?

    Comment by JS7 — February 11, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

  14. “Fun times in Cleveland again. Still Cleveland. Come on down to Cleveland Town everyone. Under construction since 1868. See our river that catches on fire. It’s so polluted that all our fish have AIDS. We see the sun almost three times a year. This guy has at least two DUI’s. Flats look like a Scooby Doo ghost town. Don’t slow down in East Cleveland or you’ll die. Our economy used to based on LeBron James. Buy a house for the price of a VCR. Our main export is crippling depression. We’re so retarded that we think this is art. It could be worse though, at least we’re not Detroit! We’re not Detroit!”

    Comment by Cleveland — February 11, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

  15. Mark Reynolds, Drew Stubbs, Nick Swisher, and now Bourne. That’s about 700 K’s right there. Cleveland will be known as Whiff City

    Comment by JChang — February 11, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

  16. You’re right, Cleveland…you don’t win professional sports championships.

    XOXO

    Comment by Detroit — February 11, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

  17. Seems more likely that Swisher will move to first, leaving an OF of Brantley, Bourn, and Stubbs – lightyears better defensively. Reynolds slides to DH, though they might try to make him pretend to play third if Chisenhall crashes and burns.

    Comment by asaw780 — February 11, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

  18. 3 actually. You can play them all at the same time and maybe even save runs too!

    Comment by Colin P — February 11, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  19. Say what you will about Shane Victorino, but at least he isn’t relying on a crazy high BABIP to have value.

    Comment by Caveman Jones — February 11, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  20. LOl I have that Michael Moore Capatalism movie and just watched that video for ole times sake. CLEVELAND!!!

    Comment by Aggie E — February 11, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  21. I think this makes sense for them… heck if they wanted to, they could probably flip Bourne in a couple of months (I forget what the waiting period is) or even next offseason and end up with something better than the competitive balance pick they are surrendering.

    At this point they might want to try and make a run at Lohse on a pillow contract. He might sign relatively cheap thinking he won’t get a QO next offseason.

    Comment by Hank — February 11, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

  22. I can see why the Indians would do this. They, like the As, need to get creative in order to actually bring talent the team, as they are generally unable outspend people or attract much interest as a city. On the other hand, this is probably too many years for a guy relying on a really high BABIP for offensive success on the wrong side of 30. I don’t think this is going to work out well in the long run unless they get some star pieces. I understand wanting role players, but Cleveland still needs people to build around first.

    Comment by Caveman Jones — February 11, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

  23. I like the deal, and I hate saying that as a Tigers fan. That’s a great group of outfielders to have. It gives them a lot of flexibility, with the ability to play three centerfielders, move Swisher to first base, or figure out how to get a platoon out of it. As stated before, I also think this allows them to more properly utilize Reynolds. It is a fairly weak division and the league as a whole is a bit open (no clear favorite in the East and two wildcards). Way to come out of no where….NOW CHANGE YOUR RACIST NAME.

    Comment by Randy — February 11, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

  24. stop feeding the trolls, pls. thx!

    Comment by that guy — February 11, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

  25. This move is an expensive way to make one of the worst teams in the MLB marginally better so that a lame duck front office kinda, sorta, tries to compete-ish.

    Comment by Craig — February 11, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  26. Last seaosn Bourn had a higher BA, higher OBP, higher SLG, higher wOBA, higher wRC+, higher UZR & higher WAR compared to Victorino. How can anyone take Victorino over Bourn??

    Comment by Slats — February 11, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

  27. I’m not sure what the joke is here… That you don’t know how good Shane Victorino has been over the last 5 years? Is that it?

    Comment by crunch time — February 11, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

  28. same offer, but Bourn didn’t want to wait 2-3 weeks for them to sort out the draft pick compensation, so he took he same deal from the Indians, minus the waiting and headaches.

    Comment by kurt — February 11, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  29. I was thinking the same thing – this move may push Swish to 1st base – a position Cleveland has struggled to fill for years. Bourne, Brantley, Stubbs is a sick defensive OF – but they might combine for 25 hrs in a good year.

    Comment by Brownie — February 11, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  30. Two, one right fielder, and one fourth outfielder thank you very much.

    Comment by BX — February 11, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  31. Yes, but if two years down the road CLE still isn’t competitive, someone will make an offer on Bourn that will fetch B+ prospects, one can only assume. The contract won’t be the impediment.

    Plus, I mean…they brought in talent this offseason. If you ran the season 1000 times, I’d wager they’re in the playoffs a non-insignificant number of times. Their talent has some stink on it–Santana and Masterson–but it is still talented. If we came back in a year and say, jeez, 2013 was the year those two finally broke out, would you really be surprised?

    Comment by jcxy — February 11, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

  32. This further signifies a major flaw with the new system for a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer who isn’t a true top-tier talent. He was essentially forced into signing a long term deal for under-market value. He likely would have never found a suitor willing to give up the draft pick and give only a 1-year deal and allow him to try again next winter, whereas, if he wasn’t tied to a draft pick, he probably would have been much better off both in terms of salary and team.

    I’ll give the Indians credit for spending some coin, but I still don’t see them being a competitive enough team to get a wildcard. They just do not have the starting pitching. They’ll be fighting with the White Sox for 3rd place, behind the Tigers and Royals.

    Comment by A761506 — February 11, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

  33. How about moving Reynolds to DH and Swisher to 1B?

    Lohse may be on the table for the Indians given they only have to give up a 4th round pick. Probably can get him cheap on a 1 yr deal with an option.

    Comment by pft — February 11, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

  34. Simple. (Recent) past performance does not guarantee future results. Regress Bourn’s Babip, and thus OBP (which is like a feedback loop that impacts his BsR) and then he’s 3.5-4 wins again. Plus, he was a negative UZR player as recently as…2011.

    Don’t get me wrong, Bourn’s a phenomenal talent and at that price he’s a steal, but acting like he’s any better than a coinflip to outperform Vic is silly. Give me odds, and I’ll happily take the Victorino side on a 2013 WAR bet (GET ON THIS INTRADE!!!)

    Comment by cable fixer — February 11, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

  35. What is better? Pagan at 4/40 or Bourn at 4/48? Concur that Victorino at 3/39 is worst.

    Comment by glib — February 11, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

  36. dude not at all. alderson was never serious. he used the draf issue as a diversionary tactic to make mets fans think they weren;t punting 2013.

    Comment by Don — February 11, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

  37. It’s Chief Waahoo that has been the racist part of the team, not the moniker they use. There’s nothing wrong with “Indians” as a team name, it’s the English word used to describe indigenous people who resided in North America before European settlers came to this land and people became racially sensitive to common terms that did not imply racial contempt, in fact as you might have guessed, the word “indian” comes from the word indigenous and means “people who are indigenous to a specific region of the world.”

    Seriously people need to stop worrying about their neighbor and start worrying about themselves. Is your life so filled with cavernous amounts of time that you can sit here and bemoan the name of a sports team? It should be an honor to have a sports team recognize the native ancestral history of the north american indians, it’s not like we call them the Cleveland Savages.

    And why not comment about the Braves? You find one more racist than the other? We could complain about a name that shows both respect to native american heritage and which has a second meaning of “being valient.” Again, nobody is calling them the Atlanta Scalpers. The whole racial sensitivity is tiresome and stupid.

    Fact: the first slaves in North America were WHITES from poor birth right in Europe brought over in the 1700s to earn their freedom after a minimum of 7-20 years of servitude. When rights became better in Europe, they moved south to Africa, where the black brothers of the african americans sold the remaining men and women from conquered rival tribes.

    Fact: Indians (native americans) are given large checks from the government because their ancestors were forced onto reservations and educated for free. While most of those “Indians” embrace American culture, choose not to live on reservations, and have lost all connection with their heritage, except for the monthly checks, and little else. I speak from a point of reference as my brother-in-law is Choctaw, and I have many friends in the Northwest that are from various tribes around Puget Sound.

    It’s not like Americans are getting a check for liberating North America from the British, who would’ve done the same to the Indians and not given a check. Do you see how “not clear” the topic is when talking about Indians, so stop playing your ass(donkey)/democratic party card at your convenience, especially on a sports site.

    If you have an agenda, go to http://www.blogspot.com and agenda-yourself until you are blue-in-the-face. Otherwise, keep it baseball.

    Sorry guys, I just want to silence the ass-clowns that think baseball sites should become political overspill for the crackpot sites around the web that cater to this type of drivel.

    Comment by kurt — February 11, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

  38. Interesting article:

    Bourn vs Platooning Stubbs/Brantley.

    Comment by Shauncore — February 11, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

  39. Bourn is NOT a negative UZR player. That’s pretty clear to anyone.

    Comment by Nik — February 11, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

  40. Did the Mets have a vesting 5th year option?

    Also, the Indians have one of the great player managers of all time in Tito, that may count for something.

    Comment by pft — February 11, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

  41. Actually… They were called “Indians” because the first European settlers thought they had reached India, which is where the world’s only “Indians” live. Referring to Native Americans as “Indians” is terribly ignorant, and geographically incorrect.

    Comment by tjd — February 11, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

  42. Going to score some runs though, and if they move Swisher to 1B they will prevent runs on defense.

    Comment by pft — February 11, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

  43. So no offense here Kurt, but if what you’re worried about is the discussion getting political, I think you may have done more harm than good here.

    Comment by LK — February 11, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

  44. They go from pretty bad to kind of bad.

    Comment by Xeifrank — February 11, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

  45. I agree. Signing Lohse would be a great move for the Indians. Late enough in the offseason to get a team friendly contract (and only lose a 3rd? round pick).

    Comment by Anon — February 11, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

  46. Reynolds plays a pretty mean 1st

    Comment by Matthew Gaeta — February 11, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

  47. This is true, but on the other hand, Shane Victorino

    Comment by pitnick — February 11, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

  48. Quite right. I don’t mean to imply I believe he he provides negative defensive value, just that UZR could come to that conclusion.

    Comment by cable fixer — February 11, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

  49. as it did in 2011.

    Comment by cable fixer — February 11, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

  50. they should have signed Lohse *instead of* Bourn. Their rotation is not good enough to seriously compete.

    Comment by Spike — February 11, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

  51. well, they were supposedly up against their budget already so they’ll have to go way over to sign Lohse. and it will cost them their 3rd rd pick as Bourn costs them their Competitive Balance pick which is bet rds 2 and 3.

    Comment by Spike — February 11, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

  52. I’m not sure how Atlanta also having an inappropriate nickname somehow makes it OK for Cleveland. Unless we’re in 4th grade, that is. In any case, having a race/ethnic group as a mascot implicitly objectifies and marginalizes the group in question, regardless of the team’s intentions, and it’s particularly bad if that group has suffered at the hands of those making them their mascot. “Indians” probably isn’t as bad as “Braves” and is far better than the abhorrent “Redskins” nickname, but we’re talking degrees of insensitivity here.

    Comment by ezb230 — February 12, 2013 @ 12:03 am

  53. Indians sure are making some surprising moves this off-season. They better hope Ubaldo bounces back.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — February 12, 2013 @ 12:08 am

  54. Slats: No pun intended.

    Comment by Julian — February 12, 2013 @ 12:12 am

  55. Those HRs will be made up by Cabrera, Swisher, Reynolds and Santana though.

    Comment by Jaker — February 12, 2013 @ 12:15 am

  56. He had the option to take the Braves qualifying offer and chose not to. Sounds like he gambled and lost, not a problem with the system.

    Comment by Brian — February 12, 2013 @ 12:18 am

  57. North American slavery started in the 1700s? I mistakenly thought Columbus got it started hundreds of years earlier. Good thing you disabused me of my crackpot understanding of the matter.

    Comment by mr33 — February 12, 2013 @ 12:23 am

  58. But trolls are people, too!

    Comment by Grendel's mom — February 12, 2013 @ 12:33 am

  59. tl,dr

    Comment by jim — February 12, 2013 @ 1:23 am

  60. Just so you know the actual truth, slavery had been around long before the settlement of North America by the British.

    Secondly, you sound like you don’t have a good history of the time period or the ideologies behind restitution towards Native Americans.

    Finally, as alluded to by LK, you bring up a political topic asserting “truths” and you think this will deter political discussion?

    Comment by The Truth — February 12, 2013 @ 1:29 am

  61. Not a huge fan of bourn but was giddy with happiness when I heard the news. There was still a need at dh (aviles was the most likely candidate) and now this is covered in a great lateral move.

    Aviles to the bench. Reynolds to dh. Swisher to 1b. Stubbs to rf. Bourn to cf.

    The speed and defensive capabilities of this new outfield is impressive.

    Comment by gareth — February 12, 2013 @ 1:35 am

  62. Bourn gets a bad rap due to his lack of power, but this guy is an elite leadoff hitter. He has the kind of speed that gets the hitters behind him fastballs to hit. Will his speed decline as he gets older? Probably, but he’s only 30 and this is a 4 year deal. Figgins was 2 years older when he signed that contract with Seattle, so I don’t know how much I buy into that comparison.

    I was thinking that Stubbs could put up decent numbers in Cleveland, but with the signing of Bourn I’d like to see him as a 4th OF/pinch runner who gets most of his at bats against LHP. I think Michael Brantley is way better than people give him credit for. Hitting .288/.348/.402 in his age 25 season makes me think he can continue to improve into his prime. I admit his bat plays much better in CF than in LF, but his defense in LF will be significantly better than it was in CF, so it offsets a little.

    I know people look at the Indians record last season and assume this was a bad team, but the 2012 Indians were in the race until that disastrous 5-24 August. On July 26th the Indians had a 4 run 7th against Justin Verlander to beat the Tigers 5-3 and draw within 3.5 of 1st place in the AL Central with a 50-49 record. Clearly the season will rest on the arms of Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Indians aren’t as far away as some make them out to be. Carlos Santana is poised to have his breakout season, and guys like Cabrera, Swisher, and Kipnis should be more than solid at the plate. The bullpen is a strength, especially if the starters can throw enough innings to avoid the pen being over exposed. This is the most excited I’ve been going into a season since the ’07 season.

    Comment by Ryan — February 12, 2013 @ 3:26 am

  63. To old school:
    1-M. Bourne :OF
    2-A. Cabrera:SS
    3-C. Santana: C\1B
    4-N. Swisher: 1B\OF
    5-M. Reynolds:DH\1B\3B
    6-J. Kipnis:2B
    7-L. Chisenhall:3B
    8-M. Brantley: OF
    9-D. Stubbs: OF
    MIKE AVILES U Inf
    CHRIS McGUINESS DH/1B

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — February 12, 2013 @ 7:11 am

  64. Chang they are going to hit home runs and steal a lot of bags. Kipnis 30 stubbs 30-40 bourne 40-50?

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — February 12, 2013 @ 7:13 am

  65. Reynolds DH SWISHER @ first base. Bourne brantley and stubbs in the out field. I think cleveland could swip the most bags.i like this team. I think bringing in tito got the ball rolling. I like mark renolds at dh his WAR will show his power with out his defense which isnt that hot. But at dh could allow his value to not be harmed by his dwar. Also fans of cleveland look at zach mcallister’s strike outs. He had more k per game then ji.menez and masterson last year. I believe they have a very strong bull pen and offense . Rotation has brett myers. I think his presence could help the younger sp’s.

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — February 12, 2013 @ 7:20 am

  66. Reynolds DH SWISHER @ first base. Bourne brantley and stubbs in the out field. I think cleveland could swip the most bags.i like this team. I think bringing in tito got the ball rolling. I like mark renolds at dh his WAR will show his power with out his defense which isnt that hot. But at dh could allow his value to not be harmed by his dwar. Also fans of cleveland look at zach mcallister’s strike outs. He had more k per game then ji.menez and masterson last year. I believe they have a very strong bull pen and offense . Rotation has brett myers. I think his presence could help the younger sp’s.

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — February 12, 2013 @ 7:20 am

  67. They are not a bad team. Twins are not better royals neither. But are under rated. Chicago is not as nice as cleveland in my eyes. I expect regression from others on white sox squad. Now the tigers have pitching and offense no defense and a rookie closer.hopefullly if cleveland doesmt win division i believe they will b in mix for wild card. I like the team more then i like baltimore,tampa, and oakland is pretty close in my eyes

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — February 12, 2013 @ 7:26 am

  68. LIFE IS A BINARY

    Comment by Steve 1 — February 12, 2013 @ 7:36 am

  69. You do realize guys like Bourn tend to have crazy high BABIPs, right? With his speed, and contact, that’s just a natural result.

    Comment by Mr. Sanchez — February 12, 2013 @ 7:37 am

  70. It is hard to see Cleveland as a post season team with current SP.

    Comment by Jthom17 — February 12, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  71. CLE’s done just enough to muddy the waters behind DET, but not quite enough to increase their chances of a playoff run substantially. Might the Tribe’s primary strategy be to stock up for July 31? They’ve yielded very little in the way of compensation and signed Bourn to an appealing contract (not terrifically appealing, but appealing nonetheless). A similar sentiment might be consistent with the Reynolds signing: if he hits well, his bat (i.e. power) might have appeal at the deadline to a team making a run. Add to this a rotation with question marks, and it’s not that much of a stretch…

    Comment by chief00 — February 12, 2013 @ 8:32 am

  72. Let’s not forget, Bourn is younger and is being paid less overall than Gary Matthews Jr. was many years ago, coming off only one solid season.

    If I’m Cleveland, I say why not?

    Comment by tz — February 12, 2013 @ 8:59 am

  73. “learly the season will rest on the arms of Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez”

    And that is clearly why they aren’t really in the race.

    Comment by Ender — February 12, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  74. a hell of a lot better than the As

    Comment by Mario Mendoza — February 12, 2013 @ 9:05 am

  75. haven’t you heard? that is the only way to compete for 2nd place in the AL Central

    Comment by tylersnotes — February 12, 2013 @ 9:05 am

  76. …lineup.

    The pitching is another story.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza — February 12, 2013 @ 9:06 am

  77. “Native American” is a term from ivory-tower academia (plus it’s actually inaccurate as well, so maybe we should say “Earlier American”). Most “Native Americans” I’ve encountered both use and prefer the word “Indian.”

    Comment by jdbolick — February 12, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  78. The “Ban the Native American Nicknames” crowd lost me when they tried to appropriate the word “Warrior”. A bridge way too far.

    Comment by Vince — February 12, 2013 @ 9:13 am

  79. I’m surprised that people are imagining scenarios to keep Drew Stubbs in the lineup instead of hailing this as a means to keep him out of it. I’d much rather see Stubbs as a defensive replacement and pinch runner than a regular. Cleveland will most likely regret the last year of Bourn’s contract plus the vesting option, but for now it makes them interesting in the perpetually weak Central.

    Comment by jdbolick — February 12, 2013 @ 9:14 am

  80. Yeah, the infield is where all the power is. Though, I’m wondering now, if they do go with Brantley-Bourn-Stubbs OF, will they try to promote more fly ball tendencies from the rotation? That OF is going to be a black hole for opposing teams.

    Comment by Stuck in a slump — February 12, 2013 @ 9:18 am

  81. “The last four years, Bourn’s posted about the same WAR as Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, and Josh Hamilton.”

    This tells me two things: One, Bourn has been underrated and two, WAR is overrated.

    To quote Nina Simone and Stan Lee both, ’nuff said.

    Comment by Angelsjunky — February 12, 2013 @ 9:23 am

  82. While I’d have preferred they take Lohse over Bourn for this reason, their starting pitching has more potential than people give them credit for. Masterson, Carrasco, Ubaldo, Bauer and McAllister all have a lot of talent (McAllister not so much, but he looks like a solid back-of-rotation starter), and it would not be surprising to see all of them end up as at least average. Just because Masterson and Ubaldo were not good last year, doesn’t mean they will continue to be so not good. If those two pitch like Bill James projects them, that would be a good start. Then you have talented but inexperienced and/or coming off Tommy John surgery Bauer and Carrasco, with Myers and McAllister rounding out the rotation. The bullpen should also be quite good.

    Comment by isavage30 — February 12, 2013 @ 9:33 am

  83. The only way to really regress Bourn’s BABIP is to assume that the wheels are going to come flying off. Speedsters with decent contact skills are going to have high BABIPs, so unless you think that his legs will turn to mush next year, and you don’t discount the fact that Victorino is being moved from CF to RF, then Bourn is going to be the better player.

    Comment by Stuck in a slump — February 12, 2013 @ 9:36 am

  84. Bourn 4/48.

    Bourn is a significantly better player than Pagan.

    Comment by BX — February 12, 2013 @ 9:39 am

  85. I’d take age 30-33 Bourn over Victorino and BJ Upton right now, even if he was paid more than them.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 9:47 am

  86. No, not even close to being “a hell of a lot better than the A’s”:

    1B: Reynolds/McGuiness Vs Moss/Barton EVEN
    2B: Kipnis VS Sizemore/Lowrie/Weeks Slight nod to CLEV, depends if Sizemore is healthy
    SS: Cabrera Vs Nakajima/Lowrie CLEV
    3B: Chisenhall Vs Donaldson/Lowrie/Sizemore OAK
    C: Santana/Marson Vs Jaso/Norris CLEV
    LF: Brantley/Stubbs Vs Cespedes OAK
    CF: Bourn Vs Young/Crisp EVEN
    RF: Swisher Vs Reddick EVEN
    DH: Giambi Vs Smith EVEN

    So, no, not “hell of a lot better” more like “comparable to”.

    Cespedes is the best player out of both lineups, and the OF defense is about equal, but its funny Cleveland straight up stole Beane’s new method (all CF everything) like a month after everyone realized that’s what he was doing, that’s a record. Usually it takes a season or so. Reddick’s a natural CF who actually started there a few times last year and looked pretty good, people forget that.

    Now you all gotta have 7 working platoons and only 2 everyday guys (Cespedes & Reddick) and you can be on Bob Melvin’s level.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 9:57 am

  87. Whats the more infuriating metric people love to misunderstand: BABIP, or single-season UZR-slanted WAR?

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  88. Please remember that the Oakland A’s broke the team strikeout record last year, and all it ever got for them was a playoff berth.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  89. Please learn how BABIP is supposed to be viewed when talking about slap hitters before writing off a slap hitter by citing BABIP.

    Also, age 30-33 seasons are hardly a massive dropoff. Do you honestly think Bourn is going to be slow when he’s 32? This isn’t the 1950′s anymore, and Juan Pierre still gets work, there’s absolutely no reason to think Bourn will be a bust. His defense alone will carry him, and even if it doesn’t, this deal is pretty small, monetarily.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  90. Isn’t calling a team “The Indians” no different than calling a team “The Africans”? We wouldn’t let that second one fly, so why do we let the Braves, Indians, Redskins and Chiefs continue on with their outdated names?

    Has anyone else ever actually researched WHY these teams called themselves these names? Almost all of them were fan votes! Fans from 60+ years ago just decided it, there isn’t even any deep reason why they have these names…so the only reason why they keep them is for nostalgia…nostalgia for what? The Indians’ pretty terrible baseball team that never wins that they’ve had since 1950? You would think they’d jump at a chance to rebrand.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:16 am

  91. Lot of murkiness in these comments – so I’ll try for a little clarity.

    This deal – much like the Swisher deal – are solid signings. Both players signed reasonable contracts that they both should be able to out-perform, with health being the only potential question marks. I have argued in other places that the Dolan’s have been leaning toward finally selling the team, and these moves back up that line of thinking in my mind. Throw some of that new TV money around, collect a couple of good assets, and pump the value of your team back up. Solid business.

    The thing that people are missing with this move is not what the Indians will do with three CF’s, it’s which one will they eventually trade. Antonetti and Shapiro have done pretty well here. They held onto Cabrera and Perez, added Swisher and Bourn, and brought in a slew of reclamation projects in Stubbs, Reynolds, Dice K to join their own in Jiminez. I expect they have already been on the phone with the Mets and would it surprise anyone if a deal isn’t already in the works? Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Bourn never even dons an Indian uniform, although I am sure the team would rather deal either Brantley or Stubbs.

    As for the rotation, it’s true the Tribe is lacking there – but teams have won with mediocre starting pitching before. A colleague of mine mentioned the ’86 Angels as an example. They won a lot of 6-5, 8-6 and 10-9 games – all the way to the playoffs. Now I am not suggesting the Indians will be an offensive juggernaut – but it is undeniable they have one of the better bullpens in the AL. Joe Smith/Pestano/Perez is a pretty solid 7th/8th/9th inning. Easily better than what the Tigers can throw out there. The keys will be Bauer and Carrasco – if they can both emerge – added to Ubaldo/Masterson/Myers – that’s enough to get the ball to the 7th inning more times then not. Then the offense just has to score 6 runs often enough to win a few more ballgames.

    Comment by Ryan C — February 12, 2013 @ 10:16 am

  92. Craig sounds like a shook Tigers fan.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:17 am

  93. UZR requires 2-3 seasons of data, citing a single-season UZR is not wise. There WILL be outliers.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  94. Pagan is actually a better hitter than Bourne, they are close in base stealing, Bourne is a better defender.
    Pagan OPs+ 106 lifetime, Bourne 90 lifetime.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — February 12, 2013 @ 10:19 am

  95. BJ Upton at 5/75 is way worse than all these. Who cares that he’s younger, his defense isn’t in Bourn’s league.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:20 am

  96. 88 W’s took the division last year. That’s it.

    No doubt in my mind this at least gets the Indians into the conversation for the second Wild Card spot.

    Comment by Ryan C — February 12, 2013 @ 10:27 am

  97. I think the name “Randy” is racist. I have no empirical evidence that the name “Randy” is racist, however, it’s just the way I feel about the name “Randy”. Just like you thinking the name “Indians” is racist.

    Comment by sboston — February 12, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  98. I would be absolutely surprised to see all of them end up average.

    Carrasco has almost a career 5 ERA and is coming off of TJ.

    Ubaldo has been AWFUL the past 2 years. Maybe he could be some version of an average pitcher but his velocity declined and he can’t throw strikes.

    McAllister is McAllister.

    Bauer shouldn’t even start the season at the MLB level. Needs some work in AAA.

    Masterson is probably the only hope and projection systems like him.

    As bad as the Royals rotation might be, this rotation is much much worse.

    Comment by Shauncore — February 12, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  99. Agree. I think the Tribe may have jumped over the overachieving Pale Hose with all they’ve done this winter.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a ChiSox move or two still before the season tho. They really haven’t done anything this winter aside from Keppenger and re-signing Peavy.

    Comment by LaLoosh — February 12, 2013 @ 10:39 am

  100. Love this deal and Bourn at 4/48 is so much better than Victorino at 3/39 and Upton at 5/75. Bourn is pretty much a lock to have a WAR of at least 4 each year of this based off his defensive prowess alone.

    Also, its very disappointing to read comments by Fangraphs readers who don’t understand the stats that Fangraphs champion. For instance, all the people pointing his Bourn’s high BABIP don’t understand how BABIP works, its never ever going to go down unless he forgets how to hit entirely. Slap hitters who don’t ever try to hit homers, like Ichiro and Bourn, are always going to have very high BABIPs and wont ever regress unless its the end for them.

    The other thing about Bourn being over 30, this is for his age 30-33 seasons, if there’s anyone out there who seriously thinks Michael Bourn isn’t going to be worth $12M at age 32 because he slows down THAT much…I can’t even think of anything to say to you. You are wrong to think that. That’s it.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  101. if they can find any more $, Lohse might buy some critical wins and push them closer to a WC and he’d only cost them a 3rd rd pick.

    Comment by LaLoosh — February 12, 2013 @ 10:41 am

  102. You’ve never been around an Indian in your life, have you? Seriously, you need to go to Eastern Oklahoma, so you can get over yourself. Go to Tahlequah, Ok, and tell the Cherokee nation you are traumatized over the sports names used that hurt their people. Don’t look at all the Indian caps, the Redskins and Chief jerseys in the audience. The favorite two pro football teams around there are the Chiefs and the Cowboys, so maybe you could enlighten them how the “man” is bringing them down by using their names. They just need someone smart like you to straighten them out.

    Comment by sboston — February 12, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  103. Hah! I thought I was the only one who was seeing a Bourn to Mets trade still possible. I wouldn’t say probable bc this deal still gives the Tribe flexibility to move Reynolds or Swisher to DH and keep a great defensive OF intact. But yeah, I’ve been talking about the possibility of a sign and trade involving the Tribe and Mets for weeks now… I say, don’t be too surprised if that happens. The Mets have pitching prospects to make it work and basically just have to offer something more than the value of the comp balance pick the Tribe is losing.

    Comment by LaLoosh — February 12, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  104. Nah – sounds like a KC fan seeing the competition get tougher.

    Comment by Ryan C — February 12, 2013 @ 10:49 am

  105. They are not close in base stealing. Over the last four years Pagan has 112 SB, Bourn has 216.

    Comment by Terence — February 12, 2013 @ 10:49 am

  106. Bourn has 4 straight 4+ WAR seasons. He is not coming off only one solid season.

    Comment by Terence — February 12, 2013 @ 10:51 am

  107. Yeah, there’s a surprising amount of Drew Stubbs love in this thread, I have no idea why people are viewing him as an everyday player, I always viewed him as a 4th OF at best. His bat just doesn’t cut it.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:52 am

  108. It’s respectful? Can you name me one other human that’s a mascot? By making natives a mascot we’re essentially putting them on the level of Tigers, Cardinals, and other animals. I’m sorry, but categorizing a human as an animal is anything but respectful.

    Comment by Ty — February 12, 2013 @ 10:53 am

  109. Ooh, good one. Agreed.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 10:53 am

  110. You lost me when you suggested a team that has existed in Cleveland for 112 years has only been there since 1950. Thanks for erasing 2 World Series championships, and a history including Nap LaJoie, Rocky Colavito, Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, and Larry Doby.

    Comment by enjoymoreradio — February 12, 2013 @ 10:56 am

  111. Are you kidding me? Youre going to pull the “You’ve never been around an Indian in your life, have you?” line right off the bat? When you do that, you are admitting defeat in anything youre about to argue. Get over myself? This has nothing to do with me.

    Can’t you get it through your head just how WEIRD it is to name a sports team after a racial group of human beings? Why even go there? There’s a million things they could be named and as I said, these names have NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. Its just what someone in the 1920s (a time very different to today)

    Ok fine, lets change the Oakland A’s to the Oakland Africans then. Go on, lets see you argue that. Start up a petition, I dare you. Its the exact same as calling a team the Indians or a team a Caucasians. Its 2013, why do we still have these things? And why do people get so butt hurt when its pointed out that they are antiquated, outdated and relics from an segregated past? Look, the Indians used to have a C hat and a nice uniform before they started using the Wahoo cartoon, a great start would be to shelf Wahoo forever, and just use the C hat with whatever new name they come up with, they wouldnt even have to change uniforms.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  112. Actually @enjoymoreradio I didn’t say that. I said they were a winless team since about 1950, taking into full consideration their 1948 championship. Apologies if that wasn’t clear.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  113. Yes, they are bad. Michael Bourn will not help them enough. They have 80-1 odds to win the World Series. They are the 4th favored team to win the AL Central behind, Detroit, Chicago and KC – if you think any differently there is a lot of money for you to be made in Vegas futures. There are only 6 teams in the entire MLB with worse World Series odds. They bad.

    Comment by Xeifrank — February 12, 2013 @ 11:06 am

  114. Sure. We’ve got plenty of Trojans and Spartans, not to mention the Padres and Fighting Irish.

    Comment by enjoymoreradio — February 12, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  115. There’s almost nothing worse than a sports fan doing everything they can to protect nostalgia, no matter even if it flies in the face of many years of human rights advances. Relegating or dehumanizing a group of people should never be tolerated, and its disgusting theres people out there who really believe that the Indians, Braves, Chiefs and Redskins are “respecting the culture” of Native Americans.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  116. Its not racist to use the name by itself, but its racist to use a name to make someone into a “mascot” without their asking to be.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  117. what were the odds on the Orioles and A’s last year?

    Comment by LaLoosh — February 12, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  118. Don’t look now, but the Indians have officially spent more money than the Yankees this offseason.

    Comment by Nick C — February 12, 2013 @ 11:09 am

  119. How are people saying this makes them competitive with the Tigers? What am I missing here?

    Verlander vs. Masterson
    Scherzer vs. Jimenez
    Fister vs. Myers
    Sanchez vs. McAllister
    Porcello/Smyly vs. Bauer

    The Indians rotation is dreadful. And the Tigers have the better offense.

    Comment by Timeghoul — February 12, 2013 @ 11:18 am

  120. The thing is, say if MLB and the NFL actually did these things, and forced the Indians, Braves, Chiefs and Redskins to change their nicknames, what exactly would be the fallout of that?

    “Yeah. We made those teams stop using nicknames that were a 100 years old when it wasn’t considered weird to name your team after a race of person. Now it is, so we changed with the times to reflect that. Now they aren’t using native American culture as a “mascot”, and its not weird anymore.”

    WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH THIS?

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 11:18 am

  121. 1- Bourn – CF
    2- Kipnis – 2B
    3- Cabrera – SS
    4- Santana – C
    5- Swisher – 1B
    6- Reynolds – DH
    7- Chisenhall – 3B
    8- Brantley – RF
    9- Stubbs – LF

    Comment by Easy E — February 12, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  122. Brewers? Nationals? Mariners? Pirates?

    All professions that seem to not care.

    Comment by Duh — February 12, 2013 @ 11:39 am

  123. Read that comment again.

    Comment by Jimbob — February 12, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  124. Technically, you could have 25 CFs on the roster.

    Comment by Radivel — February 12, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  125. No lost draft pick with Victorino.

    Comment by Za — February 12, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  126. Question: When will Scott Boras settle for half of what he initially wants for his client?

    Answer: The first day of spring training. Chick in the armor exposed!

    Comment by TKDC — February 12, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  127. I think Cleveland bests KC this year.

    Comment by Za — February 12, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  128. “Implicitly objectifies and marginalizes the group…”

    Like the Virginia and Cleveland Cavaliers? Damn anti-parliamentarian bastards.

    Hofstra Flying Dutchmen? Yeah, let’s marginalize those dyke-building Heineken swillers.

    UPenn Quakers. Come out and fight ya pacifists.

    Old Dominion Monarchs. Just another word for dictators.

    Wichita State Shockers. Wheat-harvesting is all they’re good for in Wichita.

    Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Top-hatted baptist preachers.

    Simon Fraser Clan? Drunk scotsman.

    Redskin I’ll grant you, but I have no problem with Indian or Brave. Brave is an honorific.

    Comment by wobatus — February 12, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

  129. You do know that Victorino has been better than Bourn, both by career and over the past five years?

    If Victorino is on a steep decline, your point makes sense, but that’s far from clear. Odds are he will be better than Bourn for at least the next season or two…

    Comment by redsoxu571 — February 12, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  130. The projections on the Indians starters are not that bad, Bill James has their FIP as Masterson: 3.76 Ubaldo: 3.99 McAllister: 3.97 Carrasco: 4.25 … Those are more optimistic than Steamer. Brett Myers will be their 5th starter to open the year, and Bauer will be up at some point, both of those guy are projected around 4.25.

    The Indians starting rotation was 5th in ZiPS projections prior to last year; they vastly underperformed across the board. It’s a different crew this year, but all of the current crop have potential to be solid as well.

    Comment by isavage30 — February 12, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

  131. This really makes me wonder what Toronto could have signed Bourn for. As a Boras client I’m guessing he wouldn’t have taken less money to play for a strong contender, but even 4/$48 without the vesting option would have been nice.

    Then trade Rasmus for something/anything and it’s only an extra $7.3 million on their 2013 salary, with Bourn’s contract length lining up pretty well with Toronto’s plans to contend from 2013-2015. Of course it would really muddy the waters for Gose in 2014 and beyond.

    Comment by Eric — February 12, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  132. Ghana’s national football team is the Black Stars. Taken from the national flag’s black star, the lodestar of freedom, adopted from the shipping company Black Star Line incorporated by Marcus Garvey (a play on the White Star Line, and manned by all black crews and captain).

    Comment by wobatus — February 12, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  133. Bourne has a definite advantage over Crisp/Young. Bourne has not been under 4 WAR in 4 years, but Crisp has only been above 3 once in the last 5 years. Nice analysis!

    But I would edge Reddick over Swisher. He had a full win advantage in WAR last year, so even with regression, he gets the nod!

    And Scott Sizemore being healthy literally means nothing!

    Comment by SKob — February 12, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

  134. I don’t think people really believe Cleveland is now on par with Detroit, but their chances have gone from delusional hope to “realm of possibility” hope.

    Comment by Eric — February 12, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

  135. I love how the guy tanked in LA and everyone wrote him off as in steep decline.

    Comment by SKob — February 12, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

  136. Enjoymoreradio, actually, Lajoie never played for the team when they were called the Indians. When he started playing with them they were called the Cleveland Blues (the players tried to call themselves the Broncos). Then, with Lajoie as their star, the name was changed to the Naps (short for short french dictators) after a newspaper vote. They became the Molly McGuires in 1912 after the coal miners who attempted to form a union (the owner probably thought it meant bog-hopping socialists, but anything to draw the micks into the seats). They became the Indians in 1915 (probably after the Boston Braves had won the 1914 world series) after Lajoie left.

    Comment by wobatus — February 12, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

  137. Forrest, what about negro league teams?

    New York Black Yankees. New York Cubans. Newark Browns. Little Rock Black Travelers. Washington Black Senators.

    Or my favorite: Georgia Black Crackers. Wha?

    Comment by wobatus — February 12, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

  138. Hey @Skob, its a platoon of Young/Crisp. Young is as good as Bourn defensively. Crisp is also very good. I’d say the two of them could pretty easily have 2-3 WAR years, matching Bourn’s output.

    Scott Sizemore was looking very good as a 2B before his knee injury in ST last year, he was the guy everyone was predicting a breakout year from. He could come very close to putting up Kipnis-y numbers, and adding Lowrie and Weeks into that mix means its pretty close. I like Kipnis too, but the A’s new philosophy of “all platoon everything” gives them the nod because of having a stronger player to manage spilts with.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

  139. i always say “earlier americans,” humans aren’t native to anywhere other than africa

    Comment by jim — February 12, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  140. I’m really enjoying reading about how the guy who was born on Dec 27, 1982 is going to go into a steep decline because of “age” and nothing else, so his 4/48 deal isn’t good, but the other guy born on Aug 21, 1984 with a 5/75 deal, who has no obp skills or defense, is considered a “solid” acquisition.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

  141. Yes, negro league team names were awful, that’s why they haven’t existed in 60 years.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

  142. @Duh

    Those are JOBS not RACES OF HUMAN BEING.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

  143. Who are Cleveland going to trade Asdrubal for when Lindor is ready though? He’d bring in some rotation reinforcements for sure.

    Comment by Forrest Gumption — February 12, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

  144. I will gladly wager the “under” on Drew Stubbs.

    Comment by Jason B — February 12, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

  145. Being better than one of the worst contracts of recent memory is a low bar indeed…

    Comment by Jason B — February 12, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  146. “pretty much a lock to have a WAR of at least 4 each year of this based off his defensive prowess alone”

    Yes, he’s quite a good defender…but slow down a little there.

    Comment by Jason B — February 12, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

  147. I really don’t mind when chicks get in my armor, candidly.

    Comment by Jason B — February 12, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

  148. But Forrest, many of those teams were owned by african-american, or black, business owners. They don’t exist any more because the major leagues integrated, not because the team names were considered awful, racist names. Like I said above, Ghana’s national football team is the Black Stars, yes, after the black star on their flag, but that black star derives its symbolism because the people of Ghana are “black” and was adopted from the Black Star shipping line, which was fairly explicitly formed as a black enterprise.

    Sure, it is different if as a point of pride they choose to use the name, same as with the negro league teams.

    But as I pointed out above there are other similar sports names to Indians. Dutchmen. Clan (not that well-known). Actually similar to Cleveland’s nickname of Tribe. Someone else pointed out the Fighting Irish. And the Quakers, not a race but a religious group, obviously. No one thinks all Notre Dame players are Irish, or Hofstra players Dutch (I doubt any are).

    The Fightn’ Illini of Illinois have been allowed to keep the name but Chief Illinewek has been retired. At first, the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, closest living descendants of the Illinewek did not oppose the mascot at first, but after speaking with native-american students from the university changed their minds. This is as opposed to the tribes in Florida who apparently don’t mind the Florida State Seminoles. And of course Illinois (and many place names in the US) derives from an “Indian” word. In this case the french word Illinois for the Illinois river is their word for the Illinewek, a consortium of Algonquin tribes.

    OK, I am getting far afield. I think that symbols like Chief Wahoo, the tomahawk chop etc should be dropped in deference to modern sensitivities 9although i really don’t care but I suppose some do). Redskins as well. A tough call because I don’t think the intent is racist. i don’t think that people think that little Leprauchan is a real depiction of pugnacious irish people. But why offend if you can avoid it? But I think getting upset about Indians (even if that is a misnomer) and Braves is a bit too much. At some point it gets to be too much and you are talking about banning The Mets because it means metropolitan and is offensive to hicks and country-folk, or Knickerbockers because it represents a stereotype of old Dutch patroons.

    Comment by wobatus — February 12, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

  149. Personally i want to see an end to Notre Dame’s use of the name and mascot “Fightin’ Irish”

    Comment by KCExile — February 12, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  150. Fighting Irish

    Comment by KCExile — February 12, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

  151. It’s actually only a $2.325 million dollar difference as Bourn will make $7 million in 2013 per Paul Hoynes.

    Comment by Ryan — February 12, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  152. Who cares? K’s are only negligibly worse than other outs. With all four of those players in the lineup, Cleveland looks like a darkhorse contender.

    Comment by Baltar — February 12, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

  153. It doesn’t matter where you improve your team as long as you do improve it.

    Comment by Baltar — February 12, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

  154. I’m not sure why you’d want to look at a five-year or career sample. Victorino’s not likely to be 27 years old again anytime soon.

    …Oh, wait. It makes the argument include Bourn’s career worst season and Victorino’s second best. I’m sure it’s purely coincidental rather than fitting the stats to suit your argument.

    Using a more realistic three-year sample (which tends to be the standard for these comparisons), Bourn is ahead of Victorino in everything except power. That power easily makes Victorino the better hitter. It makes him 9 percent better than average for the time period, while Bourn falls just shy of average at the plate.

    But then there’s baserunning and defense and Bourn pretty much dominates both, despite 2011 being a huge UZR outlier that should be looked at with relative skepticism (feel free to be rather skeptical about 2010 and 2012 as well, if you so desire). Overall, Bourn has been the better player over the objective standard range of time typically used in these comparisons.

    So, in summation, with or without a steep Victorino decline, the odds probably aren’t in Victorino’s favor in regards to 2013-14.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — February 12, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

  155. Technically, the difference in career OBP between the two is just .003, so I think you’ve gone a little overboard by saying “no obp skills.” Same for defense, since he’s about league-average in that respect. Better than average, if you’re not looking strictly at recent performance.

    In reality, he’s got very average obp skills with a one-year aberration. And he has a ton more power, which is a skill-set that tends to age better than speed.

    Because he’s got all that extra power, and his legs are a couple years fresher, and he’s moving into an age considered (rightly or wrongly) by many to be peak years for a baseball player, it’s not hard to see the reasoning behind such beliefs.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — February 12, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

  156. Great deal for CLE. That staff is horrible, though. Only COL gave up more runs last year. Baby steps.

    Comment by ineedanap — February 12, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  157. Doesn’t matter what the A’s and Orioles odds were last year. We are talking about the 2013 Indians. If your point is that a team can out or under-perform their Vegas odds then yes I agree. If your point is that “YOU” know more than the Vegas oddsmakers and can consistently predict which teams will out or under-perform those odds then I say put your money where your mouth is.

    Comment by Xeifrank — February 13, 2013 @ 1:28 am

  158. Gumption, when it comes down to it, naming a sports team after just about anything is pretty ridiculous. Blue jays? Red socks? Ridiculousness is rather par for the course here.

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 8:37 am

  159. The Twins have Minnie and Paul, shaking hands across the river. There’s the San Diego Padre, I think he’s still around somewhere. The running presidents in Washington. Probably I’m missing some, and that’s just baseball.

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 8:38 am

  160. Oh yeah, Bernie Brewer.

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 8:40 am

  161. That’s probably a decent bet if you’ve got a huge bankroll and like longshots. I expect true odds are somewhere around 65:1. Even though the Indians aren’t very good they should still be in the mix for the WC because the division is so bad, plus the Tigers could always flame out, and there’s a ton of variance in the playoffs.

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 8:46 am

  162. Apologies for being snide and insensitive with this response (not very funny either).

    Forrest raised an interesting point. Isn’t it racist to name a team after a human race (putting aside that there’s much evidence that race is a social and not a scientific construct)? As an example, he asked, and I paraphrase, would you call a team the Africans? Then why is it ok to call them Indians?

    I don’t know that naming a team the Africans would be per se racist. It would seem odd. There isn’t a history of mixed race teams being called something like that. There were plenty of negro league teams called names like Black Yankees, Black Senators, Black Travelers, etc. Owned by black businessmen, with all black players. That they were excluded from the majors was racist, of course, but those team names were a point of pride, I think. Like Ghana Black Stars, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere.

    There are white teams named after Indians? After Indians as a general concept or race (Indians, Redskins), as fighters (Warriors, Braves), or as members of particular tribes (Seminoles, Utes, Illini, Sioux, Chippewas).

    Teams don’t call themselves Caucasions or the Whites (well, White Sox, but that’s different). When these team names came about, most teams were pretty much all white. It wouldn’t have been much of a marker. Why didn’t they call themselves the Africans or Negroes, and not Indians? If it is racist to call them Indians, and one assumes there was racism against blacks, why wouldn’t these racist teams call themselves the Blacks? They didn’t have qualms about calling their teams Indians.

    There are different kinds of racism and different ways it expresses itself. But in this case, likely there is some admiration for Indians as an opponent, as fighters, brave. Cowboys and Indians. The racism may be more that, despite the 54th in the civil war, etc., teams didn’t think of blacks that way. The white teams were ok with being thought of as Indians, and might of thought that’s a fighter, and i’d no sooner face an indian than a musketeer or a tiger or a bear. There’s a certain amount of admiration in it, if stereotyped.

    But as with names representing particular civilizations or tribes of native americans, there is also Fighting Irish, Flying Dutchmen, Knickerbockers (which just is a dutch name), or the Simon Fraser Clan (that’s a Canadian college, named after the Scottish Clan Fraser).

    The Florida Seminole tribe supports FSU’s use of the name. Chippewa’s same with Central Michigan. I am sure there are some members that don’t support it. One band of Sioux (The Spirit Lake Sioux) actually sued to stop North Dakota from dropping the nickname, but they had to due to NCAA pressure.

    Many schools have dropped Indian names. William & Mary actually had it in their charter to educate Indians and had an Indian school. They changed their name to Tribe, but had to drop the 2 feather symbol, although local native american tribes supported the continued use.

    Oregon banned high schools etc from using Indian names. Iowa, the Hawkeyes, doesn’t play non-conference games against teams with indian derived names.

    The Illini keep the name, since it can just mean people of Illinois, but got rid of Chief Illinewek. The closest related tribe ended up opposing the mascot.

    It is really the mascots and use thereof that have proven the most offensive. Calling a team Braves or Warriors isn’t different really than calling them Fighting this or that, Minutemen, Musketeers, Vikings, etc. And Seminole, if Seminoles in general are ok with it, is no different than Dutchmen or Irish.

    Indian I think is just a generic name embodying these tribes and perceived qualities, a tribe, a group, fighters, etc. A team. I don’t think it is either meant to or in fact marginalizes or objectifies native americans in some kind of hegemonic power display, or at least it doesn’t objectify any differently than team names “objectify” people, animals, generally. That’s kinda why i tried to be funny with respect to the “marginalizing and objectifying” line, which is kinda Undergrad Foucault we’ve all heard. I mean, it’s all objectifying, isn’t it?

    Redskin, on the other hand, which just means Indians, seems more offensive, although again, you had Black yankees, and Ghana Black Stars, but the redskins aren’t made up of native americans (no matter what variations of skin color they have).

    And the various mascots and chants etc I think have more power to offend, however well-intentioned the origin.

    One lawsuit against the Washington Redskin name lost on appeal (laches, i.e., the harm had gone on for too long without it being complained of) but is being tried again with younger plaintiffs.

    It doesn’t really bother me, but I grew up with that being the teams name, I’m almost 50 now, and i’m just used to it, I suppose, but on reflection I can see that name being offensive, and I could see their case that there are damages and harm from that. Same with the mascots, etc. But the generic team name Indians? I personally don’t think that’s really offensive. Many native americans seem to agree, although more of those living on reservations don’t like it. Many tribes have supported the use of the tribal names and have even opposed the dropping of the names. In many places the names are giving away anyway, as social positions on this change, and educators and politicians catch this swelling sentiment. In the end, why offend people if you can avoid it?

    Comment by wobatus — February 13, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

  163. The Irish. The Dutchmen. The Clan. Seminoles and Illini, Utes, Hoosiers and Chippewas. Yankees are people from a region.

    Comment by wobatus — February 13, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

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