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Heyman: Indians Hire Acta

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Fair enough, and I don't really think our opinions are that different. A lot hinges on Westbrook and I'm not really holding my breath that he's a reliable starter this year.


From what I hear (a friend works for the Indians) Westbrook can barley pick up a phone book. Fausto needs to get another pitch. Although he does have good stuff, hitters figured him out after the one good year. He only has 3 pitches. I could guess 3/10 times what it's going to be (not that I could hit it). Sorry man I really hope I am wrong, but I see us 65-97.

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From what I hear (a friend works for the Indians) Westbrook can barley pick up a phone book.


That would....suck. Not that I'm counting on him too much, but it's a shame to hear that and know he hasn't even thrown a pitch yet.


Anyway, here's Buster writing about our former pitchers:


A new chapter for Lee and Sabathia

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | Feedback | Print Entry


The old friends pitched against each other in the first game ever at new Yankee Stadium back in April, and then afterward, CC Sabathia took Cliff Lee to his place to catch up, to hang out, to see a friend who had stopped by -- Michael Jordan. They all had dinner together.


That was just one day among many in the shared history of Lee and Sabathia, teammates for years in the Indians' organization. There are more memorable days to come. Lee and Sabathia will start against each other in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night, and depending on the decisions made by their respective managers, they could face each other in Games 4 and 7, as well.


Their lockers were side by side in the Cleveland clubhouse, and they played catch together, along with Jake Westbrook; Sabathia teased Lee good-naturedly for being a backwoods product of Arkansas. But they also helped each other get to this moment in time. Former Indians pitching coach Carl Willis recalled Monday that when Sabathia went winless for weeks in parts of 2005 and 2006, Lee was there with encouragement, assuring Sabathia that he would work through his problems on the mound. When Lee, who had won 32 games in 2005 and 2006, slumped so precipitously in 2007 that he was sent to the minors, it was Sabathia who provided some tough love and then lots of phone calls of support to Lee in Buffalo, N.Y.


Sabathia won the 2007 Cy Young Award and was traded in 2008, and when Lee won the Cy Young Award in 2008 and prepared for an uncertain future in 2009, Sabathia counseled him along the way on what to expect, on the pitfalls of putting too much pressure on yourself -- and Lee has handled this season flawlessly.


Now they will pitch from the same divot in front of the pitching rubber in Game 1 of the World Series. "Many of the lessons that Cliff has learned over the last two or three years, CC learned before him," Willis says. "They helped each other in a lot of ways. ... They went through a lot of the same struggles and learned the nuances of the game together."


They both are left-handed and, as Willis says, "incredibly competitive." Earlier in Sabathia's career, he tended to let that internal pressure get to him, overwhelm what he was trying to do on the mound, and there was concern in 2005 that he was tipping his pitches. Lee was his muse, Willis thought, someone with whom Sabathia could share and compare.


In 2007, Lee stopped doing the thing he had done so well for years -- commanding his fastball on both edges of the plate. Sabathia -- who knew firsthand about making adjustments -- was among those who talked with Lee about necessary changes, about how to work through trouble. The following January, in 2008, Lee went to Willis' home in North Carolina and began to reconstruct his ability to command his fastball, particularly on the inner half to right-handed hitters, and did what he needed to do to fix himself.


"Cliff stepped back and saw how CC handled himself," Willis says. "You learn from experience, and mostly you learn from your own experience. But sometimes you learn from other people's experience."


They both were traded, both went on to lead National League teams to the playoffs, dominating from the mound and even hitting well, and it's possible that today the two old friends are the best left-handers in Major League Baseball. "I've watched these games, and I'm so proud of the fact that these two guys -- and this is not meant to be a knock on the Pettittes and Burnetts and Hamels and Riveras -- have dominated for their teams," Willis says. "They controlled the pace of the games, the type of games they were going to be.


"I'm going to be anxious to watch Game 1; I'll probably be nervous. I'd be happy if it was 0-0 after nine innings, with each getting a hit off each other and each striking out the other. Then they could go to the bullpens; that would be enough for me."


But that probably won't be enough for Sabathia and Lee. The old friends will be out to beat each other, on baseball's greatest stage.




Asking Willis to choose between the two pitchers is like asking a parent to choose between children. But I rudely forged ahead in the conversation with Willis on Monday:


Q: Who is more competitive, Sabathia or Lee?

A: They're equal in different ways. That's a tough question. Let me answer it this way -- I've always said that if I had two guys ready to fight me, and I could take one guy from the entire clubhouse along with me, it would be Cliff Lee.


Q: Who has better pure stuff, Sabathia or Lee?

A: CC does.


Q: Who has better command, Sabathia or Lee?

A: I'd have to go with Cliff.


Q: Who is the better athlete, Sabathia or Lee?

A: CC is an unbelievable athlete. Things come a little easier for him athletically.


Q: Who is the better hitter, Sabathia or Lee?

A: CC hits for more power; Cliff will hit for the higher average.


Q: Who is the better pitcher ...


No, just kidding. I wouldn't ask Willis that question. It was clear he didn't want to be put on the spot.







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