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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Carlos Santana”

Tribe Contracts & Knowing Your Audience

The Cleveland Indians bought an extra year with Carlos Santana on Tuesday, reaching a deal with the catcher on a five-year contract worth $21 million.

The deal avoids any salary arbitration issues in the coming years and guarantees the Tribe will have at least one extra year of Santana’s services, if they choose, as the contract includes a club option for 2017, which would have been the first year that Santana would have been eligible for free agency.

If he plays all the way through the deal, Santana will be approaching 32 years of age when he hits free agency and the Indians will have a better understanding of his value and maybe they will have the money to resign him if they so choose (hey, stranger things have happened).

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Does Cleveland not hurt?

Wednesday night in San Francisco, Giants catcher Buster Posey suffered a brutal leg injury in a home plate collision with Florida’s Scott Cousins. Posey ended up with a broken bone in his left leg and speculation is that he also suffered ligament damage.

This lead to cries from Posey’s agent that Major League Baseball must change its rules to protect catchers in these situations (no word, though, on what the agent thinks about a runner being injured. Apparently that’s OK). Others jumped on the rule change bandwagon as well.

Funny, but we don’t remember anyone calling for rule changes when Indians catcher Carlos Santana was injured at home plate last season against Boston.

Apparently injuries are only a national crisis if the player who is hurt doesn’t play for Cleveland.

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When is a sellout not a sellout? Apparently it depends on who is doing the accounting.

According to Forbes, since attendance has become such a key component for sports leagues, the actual idea that it shows how many people are actually at a game is a fantasy.

And that includes the Indians:

In terms of Major League Baseball, sellout figures are often well below seating capacity.

Case in point, the Cleveland Indians announced last Friday that they reached a sellout for Saturday’s interleague game with the Reds, the first non-Opening Day sellout since May 24, 2008 when they played the Texas Rangers. But, when the numbers came in, you had to scratch your head.

Capacity for Progressive Field is 43,545. The announced attendance was 40,631, or 2,914 short of capacity. Sellout?

In speaking with the Indians, they explained part of the difference by saying their sellout threshold varies, but 41,721 is a good barometer, getting us to 1.090 shy of a sellout, but not to capacity.

Why the difference?

According to the Indians, that threshold was broken with comps related to several factors including rainout exchanges, Club Seat benefit for season ticket holders, group leader tickets, fan appreciation coupons from last Sept, etc.

But, that still doesn’t explain how all the variation. As an MLB source said, “We need to look into this.”

Ah, when you have a six-game lead over the second-place team in your division, we can overlook a little accounting voodoo.

That Didn’t Take Long

It only took a few weeks, but the injury bug finally caught Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana, who is scheduled to have knee surgery today at the Cleveland Clinic.

“Carlos is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of the 2011 championship season,” head trainer Lonnie Soloff said in published reports.

Let’s overlook the championship season phrasing for a minute and focus on the recovery time, which Soloff put at four to six months, which puts Santana up against the start of spring training. If he’s not ready for the start of spring training, that probably means he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season.

Here’s the best part from Sheldon Ocker’s story in the Beacon:

”This [injury] is rare in baseball, and it could have been much worse,” Soloff said in the article. ”But any time a catcher has surgery on his knee, it’s considered serious.”

Of course it is. Cleveland’s sports teams just can’t have normal injuries; they have to be rare injuries.

So begins another day in Cleveland sports paradise.

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