The Indians will raise payroll “significantly” for 2012

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A funny thing happened to the Cleveland Indians in 2011. They won a lot more games than many thought they would, especially early in the season.  That led to a lot more people coming out to the ballpark — about 450,000 more — which made the team money.  And because generally smart people run the Indians, they want to continue to win more ballgames and thus continue to draw more fans.

At least that’s the conclusion I reached based on GM Mark Antonetti’s comments to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that the Indians will raise payroll “significantly” in 2012.

No idea what they’ll spend it on — Antonetti wasn’t specific — but as long as they still have a place for Shelley Duncan, I’ll be cool with it.

Joe Maddon ejected in eighth inning of NLCS Game 4 after umpires overturn a Wade Davis strikeout

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Cubs manager Joe Maddon was once again ejected from an NLCS game, this time in Game 4.

In the top of the eighth inning, closer Wade Davis found himself in a bit of a pickle. He gave up a leadoff home run to Justin Turner, cutting the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Davis then walked Yasiel Puig. He was able to get Andre Ethier to pop up, bringing up Curtis Granderson. Granderson worked the count 2-2, then fouled off a pitch. And then he appeared to swing through a curve that bounced in the dirt. Catcher Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out, but Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, so it was a foul ball.

Wolf conferred with the other umpires. After a brief delay, the strikeout was overturned and Granderson was given new life in the batter’s box. Only… replays showed that Wolf got it right the first time.

Understandably, Maddon was livid. On the broadcast, one could see Maddon gesturing to the umpires to look at the replay on the video board behind the stands in left field. The argument fell on deaf ears and he was ejected. Thankfully for the Cubs, justice prevailed and Davis struck out Granderson on the next pitch.

It’ll be interesting to see if Maddon makes any political comparisons after the game. He likened the slide rule, the impetus behind his Game 1 ejection, to the soda tax.