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Brett Myers at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

Brett Myers at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario
January 2, 2013
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The Hot Stove is beyond heating up here at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario after the Cleveland Indians signed free agent, right-handed starter/reliever Brett Myers to kick off 2013. The reports are that the former Phillies/Astros/White Sox hurler has signed a one-year deal with the Indians, with a club option for a second year. As of this writing, it’s unknown how much money the Indians are giving Myers, and that ultimately will decide if this deal is a good one.

Make no mistake, Brett Myers is not an ace, nor does he have the upside to become an ace. Myers is a veteran presence that’s coming to log innings and give the middle-to-bottom-of-the-rotation consistency, and make no mistake, Myers will be in the rotation.

Brett Myers was signed to come to the Cleveland Indians as a starter, and while there have been some reports discussing the possibility of Myers working out of the bullpen, don’t believe it for a second. Myers is a starter going forward, and he immediately will be inserted into the rotation behind Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson. Here’s a quick look at the presumed Indians five-man rotation going forward, as well as the guys battling for the last spot:








Justin Masterson







Ubaldo Jimenez







Brett Myers







Zach McAllister







Trevor Bauer







Scott Kazmir (2010)







Carlos Carrasco (2011)







Corey Kluber







Jeanmar Gomez







David Huff







Obviously, it’s hard to predict the rotation past Myers at #3, and it remains a fluid process, but there should be no doubt that Brett Myers immediately becomes that #3 or #4 starter. While the numbers above showcase his use in 2012 as a reliever, as I noted last week in Corner of Carnegie and Ontario, Myers has been an extremely consistent starter for much of his career. That veteran presence and “innings eater” resume makes him the most dependable choice behind Jimenez and Masterson. Just looking at his numbers as a starter over the years gives you an idea of just how durable the 32-year old has been:













































Myers has never been a star, and he’s never been an all-star. His best season as a starter was in 2010, when he went 14-8 in 33 starts, with a 3.14 ERA. He finished tenth in Cy Young voting that season with the Astros, but followed that up with one of his worst seasons as a starter. That Astros team had the worst record in baseball.

Interestingly enough, current Indians third base coach Brad Mills was the Astros manager when Myers signed with the Astros. The Astros then signed Myers to a two-year extension to his initial deal after less than a year into his first season. After two seasons as a starter, Mills asked Myers to return to his role as a closer, and Myers was wholeheartedly on board:

"I know I'm going to enjoy it," said Myers, Houston's opening day starter last year. "It's something that I've done before. I want to give it another shot, see if I can. I look at it as a challenge for me. I like challenges," he said. "They asked me about it and ... I've always wanted to do it. I didn't like getting taken out of the role in '07, but we won the World Series the next year so it worked out for us."

Myers has always been a brash, confident player who can rub people the wrong way, but generally not in the clubhouse. He’s always been considered a leader in the clubhouse with whom other players respect on the field. Off the field, over the years, has been a different story altogether.

I’m not a judge or a jury, and not going to use this column to comment on anything right now other than baseball. I’ll let the court of public opinion weigh in on those matters that happened a long time prior to Cleveland. While I likely won’t be buying a Brett Myers jersey any time soon, I do like this move for the Tribe as a strictly baseball move.

Are there any concerns with regards to Myers going forward? Of course there are. Any pitcher at the age of 32 is a bit of a concern with regards to drops in velocity or injury issues. Myers did see a drop in velocity with regards to his fastball from 2008-2011. From 2008-2010, Myers fastball was averaging between 89-90 MPH during end of the year averages. In 2011, when he saw a drop in performance, his fastball average dropped over a MPH. This rings true with his slider and changeup, and matches with his MPH drops out of the bullpen during the 2007, as compared to the 2012 season.

The question is how well will Myers pitch with regards to the drop in velocity, and if the expectations are similar to those in 2011, was this signing worthwhile? My best bet is that in Myers, the Indians get their Paul Byrd. In 2007, Byrd was essentially their #3 starter. He managed to go 15-8, with a 4.59 ERA. His ERA was a nothing-special 4.59, but he won some big games, had some good performances, and was a stable veteran for the 20-somethings in front of him (Sabathia and Hernandez) and below him (Jake Westbrook and a slew of others). Remember, as good as Sabathia and Hernandez/Carmona were that year, the Indians struggled to find that #5 starter all year long. Byrd was a stabilizing influence.

Myers can be that guy for the Indians. Now, if Jimenez and Masterson can only step up and carry the weight.

There’s also scuttlebutt that the Indians were talking to Shawn Marcum over the past weeks. I’ll be interested to see how this all plays out, because there are several thoughts in my head with regards to Marcum, and the Indians talks.

  1. Could the Indians have been using their talks with Marcum to shield their talks with Myers? There really hasn’t been anyone of significance on “the inside” reporting that the Indians were even talking to Myers, although there certainly was some speculation in the twitter-sphere that he would make sense. Would be nice to find out that the Indians were using some of the same mojo that had been dealt to them over the years, to help them acquire a needed piece.
  2. Are the Indians planning on signing Marcum too? While I doubt that, and it’s hard to speculate since I don’t know the numbers for the Myers contract, could Myers have been the #2 guy all along? Imagine a rotation that looks like this: Masterson, Marcum, Jimenez, Myers, McAllister/Bauer/Carrasco? Seriously, isn’t that what a rotation SHOULD look like? You’d likely see McAllister come out of camp with the #5 job, while Carrasco and Bauer wait in the wings. I could then see a scenario where Carrasco and Bauer work their way into the rotation as the season progresses, moving Myers into the bullpen, when the Indians move Perez to another team. Doubtful, but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised.
  3. The most likely scenario to me is that the Indians were focused on Marcum, in the same way they were focused on Kevin Youkilis. When Marcum wouldn’t come to any sort of decision, the Indians moved to their plan B, and signed Brett Myers. Not sure, but that seems likely, especially after the Youkilis/Mark Reynolds decision.

It takes a long time for anyone to change perceptions with regards to a way to do things, but the Indians certainly are laying the foundation. There’s been a lot of complaining about the Indians willingness to overspend on Swisher, and complaining about their pick being protected in the first round. Yes, most of these complaints were being wielded from those in the big market camps, which I find utterly comical.

The Indians are clearly damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. What’s important to me right now is that they are in play at this point. I’m not sure how long this will last, but I’m going to ride the wave as long as I can.

If you’re wondering who are the players that are going to be on the bubble with regards to the 40-man roster now that the Indians are about to officially sign Swisher and Myers, your guess is as good as mine. Clearly, you have to look at guys that are in a position of depth, have a low ceiling, and perhaps lack the season flexibility and will be casualties anyways.

Looking at the 40-man roster, there are a few that are clearly on the chopping block. This is purely speculation on my part, and in no particular order:

  • Jeanmar Gomez—Out of Options, and I don’t believe has a chance to make the 25-man roster, especially with the Myers signing.
  • Ezequiel Carrera—Out of Options, but should compete for the fourth outfield spot. There are others that should be below him on this list.
  • David Huff—Out of Options, and is a lefty, which the Indians are in dire need of. He’s not going anywhere.
  • Thomas Neal—Is definitely behind Carrera, and has two options left. I’d love to know what the Indians really think about him, but he really could be on the chopping block here.
  • Juan Diaz—He is what he is, and will never be much better. He’d be my first choice, as the Indians seem to have the shortstop position wrapped up for years to come, and Diaz doesn’t fit in to the big picture.
  • Mike McDade—I’d put Yan Gomes here, but think McDade is here by default, because there is McGuiness momentum, and Gomes can play 300 positions. McDade may be the odd man out.
  • Frank Herrmann—The Indians have value in him, but I don’t. There are too many better relievers in this system.

While I like all these guys, the Indians upgrade at the top of the 40-man will make the bottom of the 40-man better by default. At the end of the day, most of the guys I listed up above are 40-man fill right now while the lower minors get seasoning. Getting rid of any of them isn’t likely to change the face of the franchise any time soon.

The Indians signed Brett Myers, and I have to admit, that took over my column today. With that said, I promised some New Year’s resolutions, and you’re going to get them. Here’s a look at some resolutions from the big league, heading into 2013.

Terry Francona: Francona may already have his resolution. He’s managing for a team in which he actually trusts management and ownership. LOL, does anyone else find that ironic?

Chris Antonetti: Antonetti’s 2013 resolution is to see how many days and how many ways he can thank Terry Francona for saving his job throughout the next 365.

Sandy Alomar Jr.: Sandy’s 2013 resolution is to learn everything he can from Terry Francona, so he can figure out how to beat him in 2014, when he’s managing his own club.

Drew Stubbs: Drew is so thankful to be out of Cincinnati, where expectations were ridiculously high. So his 2013 resolution is to finally play loose, and not like a former first round pick who was supposed to “carry the team.”

Cody Allen: Cody’s 2013 resolution is to just keep doin’ whatever it was that he was doin’. Cody was playing T-Ball at the beginning of 2012, and finished as the Indians closer…lol…well…in the bullpen. But…the story would have been better the other way. Alright, it’s pretty good anyways.

Tim Fedroff: TFed’s 2013 resolution is to hit in 90 games in a row, and bat .520, so that the Indians actually start to take him seriously offensively.

Trevor Bauer: Bauer’s 2013 resolution is to smile every day now that he’s in an organization that is grateful to have his immense talent, and not whining and moaning about his eccentricities.

Michael Brantley: His 2013 resolution is to strike out less than his total walks. He struck out 56 times in 2012, while walking 53 times.

Carlos Carrasco: His 2013 resolution is to be a #1 starter…in 2013.

Nick Hagadone: His 2013 resolution is to carry a couple of soccer-boppers in his back pocket, in case the wall or locker or water cooler or whatever starts throwing punches his way again.

Mark Reynolds: His 2013 resolu-WHIFF-tion is to try and c-WHIFF-up down on his strikeWHIFFouts.

Cord Phelps: His 2013 resolution is to get noticed (HELLO, I’M OVER HERE MR. ANTONETTI!!!)

Chris McGuiness, Mike McDade, and Yan Gomes: Their 2013 resolution is to make everyone forget Matt La…uh…what was his name again? HEY, THEY DID IT!!!

Ubaldo Jimenez: His 2013 resolution is to cut his “arsenal” of pitches to six instead of seven, and to actually throw more than one strike to at least one batter a game.

Jason Kipnis: His 2013 resolution is to play his game, instead of carrying the weight of the team’s struggles on his shoulders.

Justin Masterson: His 2013 resolution is to prove to everyone HE’S the #1 starter…

Zach McAllister: His 2013 resolution is to start the season in the rotation, then prove he’s more “Cliff Lee” than anyone is willing to admit.

Lonnie Chisenhall: His 2013 resolution is to remind everyone that he’s not too far removed from being the #1 prospect in the system.

Asdrubal Cabrera: His 2013 resolution is to skip out on dessert a couple of times a week…at least.

Chris Perez: shhhh………

Vinnie Pestano: His 2013 resolution is to take over the closer role…by June 1st.

Joe Smith: His 2013 resolution is to continue to stay behind the scenes, and continue to be the best Indians’ pitcher that nobody talks about…ever.

Carlos Santana: His 2013 resolution is pretty simple: YOU HIT THE BALL!

Tony and I will have a special edition of Smoke Signals on Thursday, January 4th at 1:00 P.M. We’re going to be focusing on all the offseason moves, especially the Nick Swisher and Brett Myers signings. Of course, if there’s anything else that happens between now and then, you can count on IBI to cover all the angles! Remember…IBI’s Smoke Signals at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday!

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

January 2, 2013 - 4:33 PM EST
Man, riddler, you are all worked up. It's just a baseball discussion. I think the pertinent answers to your questions would be, 3 MPH Myers' fastball dropped. I'm not sure if you're the type who makes comments using "only stats that suit their needs", since you've made no comment about why you like hte Myers signing, other than that I personally am wrong because I doubted they could trade Choo for a good prospect. Beyond FIP, ERA, fastball velocity, I'm not sure what stats in particular you think I'm avoiding that will make Myers look good. Tony thinks Myers will be an average pitcher, and I respect Tony's opinion, and the Indians' front office certainly agrees. Maybe he will be an average starter. I don't think he will be, and my particular reasons for that are that he's been below average the past 2 years and is moving back to starting in a tougher league, and is significantly older than when the Astros converted him back to starter in 2010. If he pitches like he did in 2011 it's a bad signing, if he pitches like he did in 2010 it's a great move. Hopefully Tony and the Indians are right and I am wrong. We'll see.
The Riddler
January 2, 2013 - 4:00 PM EST
Riddle me this? Did anyone in Cleveland think the Cliff Lee deal was a good one? Carlos Carrasco is good? Hey, let's use last season as a barometer!?! Or, how about his last month? He did have that good month of June, so hey, let's say THAT makes him a great pickup (of I were the type to only focus on the stats that suited my needs)!

Oh, I do feel free to think otherwise, and am grateful for that.
January 2, 2013 - 3:55 PM EST

What I was saying is that given Myers' history as a starter and overall effectiveness you aren't going to get better talent for the money that the team spent. Who are you going to sign on a short term deal for only 7 million?

I wasn't comparing players that the Indians should have been in on, or directly comparing player talents, just illustrating the market that was out there and that you couldn't get anyone better for the roles that Myers could fill for this team for less money. The only SP's that I've seen get signed for much less than Myers this offseason have either been extensions or are guys who's average performance looks to be about a disappointing season of Myers (Lannan, Francics, Hernandez, Baker), I think that Myers got fair market value, meaning that this was not an overpay. If he recreates his 2011 campaign, he'll have a tiny bit of excess value, if he can come closer to his 2010, he'll be a bargain (but I doubt he will).

There's nothing wrong with this deal.
The Riddler
January 2, 2013 - 3:52 PM EST
Riddle me this??? Was Myers "demoted" to the roll of closer? Did the Indians not have any insight into Myers from anyone within their organization that might have a slight bit more knowledge of the situation than, say, a cyber metric fan who only sees the stats they want to see? Who, in a bubble, sees platooning as the way to go, as opposed to a waste of roster space? Hey, the Tribe is a lock to get Kubel via trade, since the dBacks were ready to trade him when they got Bauer. Wait, they hadn't signed Ross yet? Oh, that's right, they didn't really trade Choo for Bauer. Wait, what? Ubaldo wouldn't be a good starter, that was a reach??? Nobody else predicted that? Myers has never moved from the pen to the rotation? Myers velo dropped how much over the past six years (as a starter)?
January 2, 2013 - 2:58 PM EST
Discollama- I don't see the correlation of your examples. Relievers vs. Myers who has been brought in to start, and starters we weren't really competing for. We are getting down to the bare bones in free agency, and I thought it was an overpay based on what's available. I agree Tony, this is the market we are in, I just hope the value is there, or, at least close. If anything, a lefty would have been preferable, as we are thin there, aside from Huff. I think the discussions around these types of deals are great for the most part. Love hearing all the opinions.
January 2, 2013 - 2:44 PM EST
Again, there are stats to show many things for and against the deal. Myers is clearly a guy who has some warts and who also has some value. it's why he only got 1 year, but why he also got $7 million. Bottom line, over the 7 seasons he has been exclusively in the rotation he has logged an AVERAGE of 201 innings and the season after he last was in the bullpen (2009) and went back to a starter (2010) he logged 223 innings that year. If he is healthy and performs, he should be able to log around 200 innings in 2013.
January 2, 2013 - 2:28 PM EST
Marcum is a wild card at best. He only pitched 21 games last yr and missed time with shldr and elbow injuries. He if anyone is, is an injury concern. Marcum missed 2009 with TJ surgery.The Brewers haven't been linked to him, which should tell us there is some serious injury concern. Btw, the Tribe isn't done yet. They may not land Marcum, although its still possible, but they probably will look to land yet another vet arm like Jair Jurrgens or lefty Joe Saunders to fill out the rotation. I wouldn't write off a trade to land another SP option or two either.
January 2, 2013 - 1:58 PM EST
Rich, what are the good reasons to give Stubbs a shot to re-establish himself? He was a full-time player with Cincy, it's not like they were screwing him over and not giving him a shot somehow, and Cincy a better hitter's park than Cleveland, progressive field hurts right-handed hitters the most. He hit .213/.277/.333 last year, and .243/.321/.364 the year before. He has a career OPS of .821 against LHP, and .655 against RHP. He is pretty much the definition of a good 4th outfielder, who can be effective if you maximize his massive platoon split. While I have no way to know if they could have acquired Kubel or not this year, it's pretty tough to argue that Kubel wouldn't upgrade them significantly, and a lot more than adding Myers will. Kubel with the bat is a close to a mirror image of Stubbs as you will get ... he would be a great guy to target as a free agent next year.

The biggest problem I'd have with Myers, is that it's real tough to project anything because how he'll react to starting is a pretty big unknown, and $7 million is a lot of money for the Indians. They're paying starting pitcher money for a guy who was an average-ish reliever last year, and a below average starter the year before. Saunders has never been better than average, but he's been consistently okay, and I think you can project him as an "innings-eater" in a way that you can not with Myers. We'll see who else they sign , if they still pick up Marcum, or someone, then okay, but if they picked Myers when they could've had Marcum for a little more, then, I dislike
January 2, 2013 - 1:28 PM EST
I think Meyers is a good move.

Sorry Seth, but you are starting to sound a bit like the drunk at the end of the bar who complains about everything when what he is really angry over is the barkeep took his car keys.

Saunders would have been preferable, but not by much, and certianly not enough to pull off Meyers. And while I love Jurjiens, the 'iffy' slot due to rehabbing was already taken with the Kazmir invite.

(Besides don't we already have two projects at the top of the rotation in U-bald & Bat Masterson???)

Get over Kubel as Willingham lite. Drew Stubbs is getting a full blown shot to re-establish himself here - and for good reasons - even if those reasons don't add up for Seth.

Why would the Tribe be interested in revisting talks with K.Towers - a GM who has been raked by his fanbase over moving Bauer to us - after committing to Swisher?

Kubel wearing Wahoo makes zero sense.
January 2, 2013 - 1:06 PM EST
ha, well technically the Indians got Didi Gregorious for Choo, that would be exactly the type of prospect I would expect they could get. You can never tell when a GM might do something nuts like give you Trevor Bauer for Gregorious. I also said when they dealt for Ubaldo that he would not only not be an ace, but would be lucky to be a productive starter, and that McAllister and Kluber, much less Pomeranz and White, would pitch better than him. People thought that was crazy too. And I said when they made the Cliff Lee deal, that Knapp would never make the major leagues and Carrasco was the only worthwhile pickup. But whatever, there's no reason to get anygry, it's just my opinion that Brett Myers will probably suck and was the worst pitcher to target out of Marcum, Saunders, Millwood, Myers, and spending a large percentage of their payroll on him is misguided. You are free to think otherwise.
the riddler
January 2, 2013 - 12:54 PM EST
Dear Seth, aren't you the fool that said the Indians wouldn't get a good prospect for Shin-Soo Choo? What a joke.
January 2, 2013 - 12:42 PM EST
how can i listen to smoke signals on my anroid phone?
January 2, 2013 - 12:34 PM EST
Kubel is a guy who's almost certainly available in a trade, the D-backs have excess outfielders after they signed Cody Ross. But he is just an example of a player they could have targeted other than Myers. For pitchers available, Saunders or Millwood would have been better options. When Myers was last a starter, he had a 4.46 ERA in the NL. His velocity, as a starter, and his swinging strike rate the last two years, tells me his stuff has significantly declined. To project him as an "innings-eater" who's going to be a solid starter is like projecting Ubaldo as an "ace" when they acquired him, despite the fact that Ubaldo's velocity and swinging strike rates were also way down. There's a reason Myers was moved to the bullpen. Had a 7.5% swinging strike rate when he was averaging 91mph on his fastball as a reliever ... drop that down to 88mph when he's extended for a few innings, and he's not fooling anyone.

If the Indians didn't have such limited funds, I wouldn't mind them picking up a Myers, he is certainly depth, and who knows, maybe he can hang in there, as Paul Byrd did. But how can you possible justify investing 1/10th of your payroll in Brett Myers?
January 2, 2013 - 12:28 PM EST
I really like this signing. This brings a really flexible short term, good option for the rotation and also for the pen. Flexibility in trading him, perhaps Masterson/Jimenez or Perez. Depending on how the first few months of the season go, evaluate Bauer/Carrasco and limit their workload. A contender's closer goes down, we can flip Perez. Young guys look good and Myers is pitching solid, makes it easier to flip Jimenez after a few good starts..big if. Or the best case scenario everything is clicking and Myers slots as a 3/4 innings eater, knocks out Chris Perez in a clubhouse brawl and the team shows some fire and competes for the playoffs.
January 2, 2013 - 12:11 PM EST

$7 million could have gotten you a year of League, Broxton or Affeldt. all relievers, or you could have had a year of McCarthy (2 year contract with significant injury concerns). It wouldn't have been enough to pay for a single year of Guthrie, and it would have been about enough for half a season of Dempster. 7 million is not too much for a guy of Myers' talent.
January 2, 2013 - 12:10 PM EST
ERA below 5? What in his past would lead you to that conclusion? If he performs like he has over his career then he will be a good fit in the 4 or 5 spot. Outside of an injury he will log 180+ innings while projecting to be a 2 WAR pitcher. He buys time for Bauer and Carrasco. It makes me laugh when posters claim that the "front office" has no clue and then go on to say "get Kubel instead". Like all we have to do is tell the Diamondbacks we want Kubel and you'll take what we want to give you. Anyways, I think Myers is a descent addition, but I believe that ZMac and Kluber are going to be much better this season and be bigger factors than any FA signing. Go Tribe!
January 2, 2013 - 12:04 PM EST
The $7 million was the cost of doing business. I agree that it was more than I would have paid, as I was thinking around $5 million.....but that is what it took to get him or have him sign elsewhere. Whether or not he proves to be worth it we will see, but good for once to see the Indians closing the deal on some of these guys.
January 2, 2013 - 11:28 AM EST
At the reported $7 mil. I believe it is too much. Would sooner have seen Saunders or Jurjiens. Having to overpay is a real burden on the club. This is brutal. If they are still after another pitcher and another bat, believe they will have yo go the trade route. Payroll is getting up there. Would like to see Diaz and Hermann dropped to make room on the 40 man.
January 2, 2013 - 11:10 AM EST
If they are really paying $7 million for Myers, then that pretty much puts me back to thinking the front office has no clue. I made this point the other day about why they should go after someone like Kubel, rather than signing someone like Millwood/Myers. If you through Kubel into the OF, you could project that easily as a 3-win gain. You throw Myers into the rotation, and you've added depth, but don't necessarily have any projected improvement. Granted they would have to work a trade out for Kubel specifically, but there are much better investments out there than Bretty Myers for $7 million. I will be very pleasantly surprised if Myers can manage an ERA below 5, or even stay healthy. Saunders or Millwood would've been better options than Myers as well, since they were at least starting last year.
January 2, 2013 - 8:52 AM EST
after contemplating the latest signing one thing that noone seems to be mentioning is a subtle well maybe not so subtle that is happening the the AL central division. The Tigers are one of the best if not the best team on paper top to bottom in all of baseball. The running theory was that the weakness of the division means that it wont take 93+ wins to win the division, after the significant upgrade of the royals rotation and assumed maturing of a significant young team, the tigers adding torii hunter (sanchez wasnt an addition he is a retained player) to an allready high payroll and the return of v-mart. Now the third team in the division to consider is the tribe. wow on paper what an improvement. and i do think it will be reflected in the w's and l's colume. The plus and minus of players i would assume rivals even the blue jays and i suspect that the people like gammons are gonna agree. What has happened is it appears that the yankees, red sox and rays have lost a lot of hoopla and the AL east isnt the division it has been in the past decade and the AL central has suddenly become a very good division and even though detroit looks like the winter book favorite by substantial margin 75 games within the division is gonna have a lot more mine fields than it has maybe since the advent of three divisions to the equation. Smack Dab in the middle of the improvement and maybe topping the list if anyone comes out of Goodyear smoking this division is pretty good at least at the top. The one huge difference is unlike the royals and the tigers the tribe didnt raid their top prospects to do it and are still a very young baseball team in terms of players over 30. There may not be any player left on this team born before 1980 when they break camp. And coupled with a booming young talent pool at Lake county, Carolina, and akron it doesnt take a fortune teller to not look at this team as a force to be reckoned with for quite some time in the future. Good going Chris and Mark you deserve an A+ for effort and based on track records if the team has just ordinary health the 2013 team may not be a footnote to ascention back to elite status that inevitably will happen!

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