9.30.2008

Cliff Lee is the AL Comeback Player of the Year

The Comeback Is Complete!

Today, Cliff Lee was named American League Comeback Player of the year.

Lee got the award in the AL and Phillies' closer Brad Lidge won the award in the National League.

This figures to be the first award Cliff Lee will receive this off-season and rightfully so. The bigger prize will be the Cy Young Award.

Let's talk about how important this one is though.

Cliff was in BUFFALO last year, BUFFALO! We didn't even think he could be called down to Buffalo.

Cliff didn't take it personal, but he didn't like it and he did something about it.

Is there any other person you could pick for this award? From injuries to struggles, to Cy Young contender?

Let's take a look..

17 More Wins
ERA lowered by 3.75
104 More Strikeouts
2 Less Walks in 126 MORE Innings!

"I absolutely have no desire to go and pitch in Buffalo ever again," Lee said. "I do have another [Minor League] option left, but ... it's not something I'm considering in my mind."

Let it ring true Cliffad, Let It Ring True!


Congrats Cliff Lee
For Being Named 2008 American League
Comeback Player of the Year!


9.29.2008

End of the Year Feathers: 2008

Welcome to the First Annual Tribe Time Report Feather Awards for the 2008 Season!

It's been a great year, despite the success the Indians had wasn't were we thought it would be.

This site was something I put a lot of effort into, and I know not many people read it, but that's why I'm working hard, I want more people to read it. For those of you who started reading, at whatever point in the season, I thank you. For everyone who's left a comment or sent me an e-mail, I thank you as well.

Stick around, because I'm keeping this going as long as I can and I'll continue to promote it the best I can to get a wider audience. Right now though, I'd like to give out some end of the year love and outlook.

These are the End of the Year Feathers. I want to do it every year, so why not start now. Five Feathers is the best of the best that the Tribe had. One is not the worst, but the players who didn't get the job done this year. Three is average, two is below average and four is exceptional. At the end I'll give out two special feathers, gold and silver. A gold feather is to our Team MVP. A silver feather is the unsung hero of the team.

With out further ado, the first ever End of the Year Feathers. 2008 is officially over!

  • Hitting numbers are listed like this: AVG(Batting Average)/OBP(On Base %)/SLG(Slugging %)
  • #Lead AL
  • *Lead MLB
  • ^Lead Team
  • 300 ABs to be considered for Team Leads


Cliff Lee: (31 Starts) 22-3*, 2.54 ERA*, 1.110 WHIP, 4 CG, 2 SHO, 223.1 IP, 170 K, 34 BB, 12 HR
What can you say about Cliff Lee that already hasn't been said? His homerun numbers from his last two complete seasons (05-06) were 22 and 29 and this year, just 12. His walk numbers have decreased and of course his strikeouts have gone up. All this while pitching twenty more innings and having his hits land in between the numbers he put up in 2005 and 2006. What has Cliff Lee changed? His mentality really.

He's become much more focused at the job at hand and he says it himself. He goes along pitch by pitch and doesn't look ahead. That's why Cliff Lee has become successful and that is why this isn't some one year wonder. Will he win 22 games and post a 2.54 ERA next year? Probably not, but don't expect those other numbers like walks and innings pitched to take a hit. Things like his WHIP should remain the same as Cliff Lee progresses through his career. This is Cliff Lee and the way he pitches. The only change is his attitude and demeanor. It’s a change for the better and as long as he isn't going back to his old ways. I give five feathers to Cliff Lee and his 2008 breakout season.

Grady Sizemore: (157 G, 634 AB) .268/.374/.502, 33 HR^, 90 RBI^, 38/43 SB^, 101 R, 77 XBH#2nd, 11 HBP
Oh Grady...Where would our faith be without Grady Sizemore? His breathtaking catches in the outfield and his sudden power surge have fans chanting Hall of Famer, and he's only 26 years old!

Even though he only hit five more home runs than he did in his career high year in 2006, Grady Sizemore's power stroke has come a long way. He's making strides at the plate as a hitter year by year and this was by far, his most productive one. He joined the 30-30 club and became the first Indian to do so since Joe Carter. If production continues to increase as he enters his prime, there is no doubt he has the potential to reach the hallowed 40-40 club.

His defense is, as always, prime stuff and he surely is on his way to yet another gold glove award. People want to know if Sizemore should move down in the order to the three hole, I want to know why? Such a lethal weapon at the lead-off spot, as proved by what is now his record of most lead-off home runs in club history. If Sizemore can give you 90 home runs from the leadoff spot and you can find that production in other places, this lineup is dangerous.

Should it be any surprise to you that Grady Sizemore has earned five feathers? Continued All-Star and future Hall of Famer, Sizemore's just starting.

Jhonny Peralta:
(154 G, 605 AB) .277/.331/.473, 23 HR, 89 RBI, 3/4 SB, 103 R^, 42 2B, 68 XBH
Jhonny Peralta's year can only be summed up in one thought. How did this happen? Not so much his numbers, but his performance in the situation he was in is somewhat surprising. He put up 89 RBI mostly from the cleanup spot in the order. This was a guy who struggled to hit in the three hole when he was put in there, now he's cemented himself into the middle of the order!

Peralta had a fantastic year. After a rough start with most of his RBI's coming off the home run, he finished the year as the teams leader in runs scored, average amongst starters that started for the entire year and was second in extra base hits. Peralta still has issues with striking out, but he's nearing that .500 mark in slugging percentage which is phenomenal for a shortstop. He did lead the league in home runs at his position and he continues to flourish as a hitter.

Defensively, Jhonny still has range issues, but he had another decent year. Unfortunately decent isn't good enough with a gold-glove caliber youngster manning the reigns at second. Jhonny however gets five feathers for carrying the middle of the order through most of the year with injuries to Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez.

Shin-Soo Choo: (95 G, 317 AB) .309^/.397^/.549^, 14 HR, 66 RBI, 4/7 SB, 68 R, 28 2B, 45 XBH
What can you say about Shin-Soo Choo's second half of the season? What can you say about him as a hitter? I'll admit I counted Choo out at the start of the season and even when he came back I wasn't real impressed.

But this kid is for real. The way he takes an at-bat and the way he swings. He is a pure hitter with great plate discipline and plate vision. He knows how to work a walk or take a pitch the other way for a double; he's just a good hitter.

Choo gets five feathers for establishing himself. He's going into next year as a starting outfielder; there is no doubt about that. He had a terrific second half and really put up impressive numbers, but watching him tells you the whole story. He is for real.

Carl Willis: Pitching Staff ERA: 4.44 (20th in MLB)
You might be asking yourself why a pitching coach who's team ERA is 20th in the entire Majors has earned himself five feathers.

The Indians pitching woes do not lie with Carl Willis. They lie with a multitude of reasons beyond Willis' control. This pitching staff to start the year was lights out. They had a huge streak of scoreless innings by the starters and they were returning one of the best bullpens in the major leagues.

Trades, injuries and just let downs from certain players have led to the inflated ERA, but make no mistake about it, Carl Willis is one of the best pitching coaches in baseball. He's a friendly guy, who teaches and molds his pitchers into high caliber competitors.

Two years straight now, he is the proud coach of two AL Cy Young award winners. He's brought around Fausto Carmona, Aaron Laffey and is now working another Cliff Lee-like reclamation project in Anthony Reyes.

What did Carl Willis do to Cliff Lee to make him a great pitcher? Nothing much really, he just told him he believed in him. Something he will continue to tell Anthony Reyes as he tries and molds him into a reliable starting pitcher.

Carl Willis earns five feathers for his work. He's done an outstanding job, despite whispers about firing him a few years ago. He's a great coach and a great guy and he deserves some publicity for the success his starting pitchers have been having.


Rafael Perez: (73 Games) 4-4, 3.54 ERA, 1.179 WHIP, 2 SV, 25 HLD, 76.1 IP, 86 K, 23 BB, 8 HR
Just another day at the office for Rafael Perez. A shaky start to the season for Perez, but he found himself and became the Indians most dependable reliever. He can come in and give you two innings, face a left-hander, pitch one inning against right handers. Perez's versatility is so valuable to this bullpen.

Perez will continue to grow and will probably be next year's prime set-up man. He gets four feathers for rebounding from a tough start and being Mr. Rubber Arm and Mr. Dependable.

Kelly Shoppach: (112 G, 352 AB) .261/.348/.517, 21 HR, 55 RBI, 67 R, 27 2B, .217 CS%
Kelly Shoppach's mammoth power is something to marvel at. We always knew he had power, but did we know he could hit home runs at the major leagues at that sort of pace? He lead the entire league in home runs from the catching position and he had only half the at bats than most full-time catchers! He was just two behind the National League leaders, Geovany Soto and Brian McCann.

Shoppach sort of digressed defensively, letting up a lot of passed balls and making some poor throws behind the plate to nail base runners. But he still has his arm and if he recommits himself to that aspect of the game, he can be one of the best.

Lots of questions will surround Shoppach in the off-season. He'll be a hot commodity among teams looking for a catcher. But this year, Shoppach has earned four feathers for his breakout season. He needs to cut down on the strikeouts and his defense needs to get back to that level, but he is destined for great things.

Jensen Lewis: (51 Games) 0-4, 3.82 ERA, 1.439 WHIP, 13 SV^, 66 IP, 52 K, 27 BB, 8 HR
I've been shouting from the top of my lungs that Jensen Lewis is this team's future at closer. He's got moxie and the bulldog attitude you need from a closer.

I think his early struggles were a product of lack of fire and emotion. Jensen is a guy that feeds off the pressure and the emotion of a crowd. The situations he was put in were just not like that. This guy was BORN to be a closer where he can feed off the crowd's energy and pump a fastball in there.

I'm giving Lewis four feathers for coming in and solidifying the back end of the bullpen. We'll have plenty of discussion on where he belongs, no doubt. But for now, he had a fantastic end of the season, didn't blow a save once he got the job and when he was put in tight situations, like facing Josh Hamilton with runners on, or giving up a home run in the inning, he bounced back and found himself.

Ryan Garko: (141 G, 495 AB) .273/.346/.404, 14 HR, 90 RBI^, 61 R, 36 XBH, 8 SF^, 15 HBP#3rd
You can say what you want about Ryan Garko and the year he had. But when all is said and done, you can't deny the fact that he had one of the better batting averages and he lead the team in RBI along with Grady Sizemore.

Garko's defense has also come along way. You may be surprised by this number, but he's committed just four errors this year. While he isn't a guy who covers a lot of ground, he's work so hard at becoming a respectable first baseman. Garko also has one of the best Range Factors among American League first basemen.

Offensively, his power numbers were definitely not there. He didn't have as many doubles as I was expected and of course the home runs were not there. But he got the job done anyway you look at it. The most important thing that Garko did this year was grow as a hitter. He went through a period of time where he learned a lot about himself. He became pull-happy and was in constant denial that he was doing anything wrong.

Then, a benching for not running out a ground ball and Garko was a changed man. Not only did he get back to basics, he got humbled. He realized he could admit when he was wrong and he went back to work. You may laugh at the fact that I've given him four feathers, but he deserves them the way he bounced back late in the year. We need to hold onto Garko in the long run, he could be primed for a break out in 2009.

Jamey Carroll: (113 G, 347 AB) .277/.355/.346, 1 HR, 36 RBI, 7/10 SB, 60 R
Where would this team be without Jamey Carroll? I'm going to get this out of the way right now and tell Mark Shapiro to pick up Carroll's option. Carroll earned the nickname sparkplug from me for his ability to energize this team. He was inserted into the starting lineup after Asdrubal Cabrera was sent to the minors and Josh Barfield got hurt. He quickly energized this team and is a big reason they finished the year at .500.

He is a super utility guy that this team has needed for awhile and could be a crucial cog in the team's success next year. He can play the infield, he has a decent glove and he is a scrappy veteran hitter. He can swipe a base and he is great in the clubhouse as he energized the team with some spunk.

Jamey Carroll gets four feathers for being a professional and for being one of the bright spots in Shapiro's recent additions. It was a crafty move to bring in a solid utility player in Carroll, now let's hope we make the move to keep him.

Mark Shapiro:
Traded CC Sabathia for Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, Zach Jackson, PTBNL; Traded Luis Perdomo for Anthony Reyes; Traded Casey Blake for John Meloan and Carlos Santana; Signed Masahide Kobayashi; Traded Sean Smith for Jamey Carroll; Traded Jason Michaels for PTBNL/Cash; Signed Jorge Juilio, Brendan Donnelly, Juan Rincon to Minor League Deals
These are just some of the notable deals by General Manager Mark Shapiro and what he's done this year and in the off-season. By far the moves with the most impact were the trades of Casey Blake and CC Sabathia. Shapiro did a great job by taking advantage of a few free agents having good years and or good reputations to restock the farm system. It wasn't the move he wanted to make, but he still traded CC Sabathia mid-season after Sabathia rejected the Indians final offer for a contract extension.

When it became apparent that Shapiro had to deal Sabathia and Blake, he not only did it, he did it well. He got a great haul of players in return for Blake and Sabathia that has put the Indians farm system, back near the top. We all know about Matt LaPorta and Carlos Santana, but the prospect of John Meloan, Rob Bryson and the much debated, talented player to be named later all panning out makes these deals important.

Let's not forget the other deals he made, including the low-risk move of bringing in Anthony Reyes, trading for a bonafied utility man in Jamey Carroll, and he added another arm to his bullpen in Masa Kobayashi. He didn't make many off-season moves, but he made up for it with his mid-season deals. Shapiro gets four feathers for restocking the system and bringing in Anthony Reyes. Next year he could get five feathers for having a stellar off-season or one for making all the wrong choices, we'll see soon enough.



Ben Francisco:(121 G, 447 AB) .266/.332/.438, 15 HR, 54 RBI, 4/7 SB, 65 R, 12 Assists#2nd
For awhile there, the Indians thought they found their solution to the number two spot in the batting order in Ben Francisco. Injuries arose though and Francisco was placed into the three hole. Obviously, not something you want to do to a rookie player, but Francisco came up after the Jason Michaels trade and lit the world on fire.

He was the only hitter in the lineup that was hitting, eager to prove himself after most think he was wrongly sent to the minors after beating out both Jason Michaels and David Dellucci in spring training. Francisco cooled off, perhaps being a fastball hitter caught up to him as the league adjusted.

Francisco gets three feathers because of his fizzle and defense. He has an underrated arm in the outfield, throwing out 12 base runners, and second best in the American League. But Francisco is still learning the nuances of left and right field. He needs to make adjustments in his second year if he wants to remain successful. A player who has always hit for a higher average in the minors will need to get his average up and learn to take the ball the other way. He's definitely a dangerous threat with his power potential and quick swing.

Fausto Carmona: (22 Starts) 8-7, 5.44 ERA, 1.624 WHIP, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 120.2 IP, 58 K, 70 BB, 7 HR
Fausto pitched enough for me to give him some feathers. With that I decided that Fausto's injury would impact his feather count. I think after he got back from the hip injury he wasn't the same Fausto. All year he seemed to have problem with his control, but earlier in the year he got the double plays when he needed them.

Once he got back, he just wasn't the Fausto we know and love. He got off to a good start if you ask me, but after he returned he just wasn't the same and that's why I'm giving him three feathers. He was average, which I think is suitable.

Carmona will be back next year and hopefully he'll be healthy and ready to be himself. We signed him to a great friendly contract that could keep him here until he is 31 years old. A frustrating year for Fausto, but wasn't it for everyone not named Cliff Lee?

Aaron Laffey: (16 Starts) 5-7, 4.23 ERA, 1.431 WHIP, 93.2 IP, 43 K, 31 BB, 10 HR
Aaron came up and seemingly earned himself a rotation spot for the rest of the year, after he filled in for the likes of Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook.

But then, something hit Laffey and he was sent down. Laffey was spectacular, sort of Fausto-esque as he filled in for injured pitchers. He was in serious contention for rookie of the year until he hit a wall and was sent down. His numbers prior to the setback were phenomenal and just looking at them now they aren't bad. It turns out Laffey was dealing with some injuries down in Buffalo and he got shut down with a month left in the season.

He was better than expected, but didn't contribute enough to earn more than three feathers. Laffey is a lock down contender for a rotation spot next year and I'd expect him to win one after not winning the fifth spot last year.

Anthony Reyes (w/CLE): (6 Starts) 2-1, 1.83 ERA, 1.252 WHIP, 34.1 IP, 15 K, 12 BB, 2 HR
Anthony Reyes made quite a statement in his little time with the Tribe. He suffered a little bit of arm issues and it caused the Indians to take the cautious approach and shut him down, but since coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals, he's been brilliant.

Reyes was looked at as a low-risk, high-reward type move by Mark Shapiro, and so far the move looks like a good one. Reyes, along with Laffey will fight for a rotation spot and he is easing all Indians' fans minds in terms of what the plan is in the rotation next year. With CC Sabathia gone, Reyes was a big pick up for this team going forward.

Reyes gets three feathers for his excellent start with the Tribe, mainly because he didn't pitch enough to earn anymore. Dave Duncan might be a great pitching coach, but Carl Willis is right on his heels and Reyes will be his next success story. Anthony is comfortable in Cleveland and his talent is finally going to be able to blossom.

Asdrubal Cabrera: (114 G, 352 AB) .259/.346/.366, 6 HR, 47 RBI, 4/8 SB, 48 R
Asdrubal Cabrera has had one rocky year. After being the fan anointed "savior" to the Cleveland Indians 2007 season, Cabrera hit a wall. He was the butt of a lot of criticism from Eric Wedge, but also the butt of a lot of praise. Cabrera's glove kept him in the lineup despite his porous hitting, but it eventually sent him down to the minors.

Cabrera got the picture in Triple-A Buffalo, hitting from the moment he was sent down and not stopping until September 28. Maybe he's a second half player, I don't know, but I'd put my money on that not being true. Cabrera has worked hard with his hitting and has started to evolve, adding in the bunt single to his arsenal. Wedge had a lot to say about Cabrera's game shape and diet, so not only did he adjust hitting wise; Cabrera took a lifestyle change as well.

He needs to put on some more muscle and become a fit youngster, but Cabrera's future is bright. He gets three feathers for his outstanding defense, including the first unassisted triple play by and Indian since 1920, and his bounce back at the plate. Cabrera has put himself in the thick of next year's lineup, it just is a matter of what position will he be playing and where in the lineup will he hit.

Masahide Kobayashi: (57 Games) 4-5, 4.53 ERA, 1.419 WHIP, 6 SV, 55.2 IP, 35 K, 14 BB, 8 HR
It was a rocky debut for Masa Kobayashi to the United States. He battled through cold weather and the strange phenomenon called Wal-Mart. Joking aside, Kobayashi had to get used to the American way and the MLB, but when he did he was a joy to watch.

He isn't Hideki Okajima like everyone thought he was going to be, but he surely established himself as a reliable option out of the bullpen. He closed some games and the results were mixed, but closing in the MLB is a different animal than Japan. Going forward, Kobayashi will be much more conditioned for the 162 game season as he was pretty much not used down the stretch.

It was the most innings he's thrown in a year as a professional. But Masa has earned three feathers for his solid year. He is primed for a better 2009 with a year in the MLB under his belt, but his 2008 was not bad at all.

Sal Fasano: (15 G, 46 AB) .261/.340/.348, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R
Cleveland Indians' fans got a look into why Sal Fasano is some what of a folk hero around the Major Leagues. Not only for his signature mustache, but his calm, cool, and welcoming demeanor was something to cherish on this team.

This is a club that lost Trot Nixon, their leader of 2007. They then lost their emotional leader in Victor Martinez, so the arrival of Fasano couldn't have come at a better time. This team was fooling itself if they were going to go with Yamid Haad as their back-up catcher with Victor Martinez out almost two months.

Fasano didn't play much, but when he did, he played as well as you could hope for in a backup catcher. His rapport with Jeremy Sowers was outstanding and he really helped him grow into a better pitcher.

Fasano probably won't be back with this team as a player in 2009, which is a shame. But his value couldn't be measured. He's got a future in this game as a manager and his knowledge for not just the game, but in life is so amazing. Fasano gets three feathers, but he really deserves five.

Edward Mujica: (33 Games) 3-2, 4.45 ERA, 1.448 WHIP, 1 HLD, 38.2 IP, 27 K, 10 BB, 5 HR
No longer the shuttle reliever between Buffalo and Cleveland, Eddie Mujica finally got a shot to prove himself. He didn't really handle it that well. Mujica got a legit shot to pitch in the big leagues with all the injuries and failure and while there were some bright spots, he wasn't consistent.

He seems to struggle when used close together; he needs a lot of rest to be effective. Mujica is out of options, so this was a big year for him in terms of his future with the club. He didn't show enough to earn a spot, but he's shown some promise and he is still young enough to fight for a job next year. He gets three feathers for his year, which wasn't bad, but it wasn't spectacular.

Victor Martinez: (73 G, 226 AB) .278/.337/.365, 1 HR, 35 RBI, 30 R
Victor Martinez's year was derailed by a hamstring injury on opening day and then a floating bone chip in his elbow. It hurt his power stroke, not hitting a home run until he made his recovery and was playing again in September.

This was a lost year for Martinez, but he'll be back in 2009. He gets three feathers for showing that the injury was the reason for his struggles as he really came back and provided a spark in September. He also sort of stepped up as the emotional leader for this team with no one else there. His willingness to share the catching duties with Shoppach also shows he’s thinking for the betterment of the team.

Eric Wedge: 81-81 Record
Eric Wedge had a year that he probably will want to forget.

You can't blame him for the failed expectations; he was not the reason for that. A lot of the hitting woes can be placed onto the shoulders of Derek Shelton. However, this team got decimated with injuries to key cogs, so it’s hard to judge just how well of a job Eric Wedge did.

It isn't an excuse, but rather a hindrance on ones ability to properly grade Wedge. So for that, he's getting the average three feather salute. Wedge did his best to make due with what he had, but you can look at some of the decisions he made, and praise him or bash him.

Start with the Ben Franciso debacle, talk about the Andy Marte situation and end with the bewilderment of Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake obsession. Wedge has made plenty of questionable calls this year. But he's made due the best he can with what he had and for the most part, when his job was to find out about what we have, he did that. He still wanted to win games, but he did find out about players like Shin-Soo Choo. For that, Wedge earns three feathers. He wasn't good, but he wasn't bad.


Franklin Gutierrez: (134 G, 399 AB) .248/.307/.383, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 9/12 SB, 54 R
It was a good omen seeing Franklin Gutierrez hit a grand slam home run on opening day, at least I thought it was. Gutierrez had a pedestrian year at the plate after his great start to the season. He had every opportunity to win the starting right field job, but just could never find himself.

Gutierrez could go into next year as the fourth outfielder or he could be traded. His talent potential is high as a kid who can do it all. He has the arm, he can play defense, we know he has some pop in his bat. He is a loaded player but he needs it to click. Luckily he is still young and hope is still around. He had a sophomore dip, especially with his numbers, but I wouldn't be giving up on him. He gets two feathers for his defense, but he needs to get better at the plate.

Rafael Betancourt: (69 Games) 3-4, 5.07 ERA, 1.420 WHIP, 12 HLD, 4 SV, 71 IP, 64 K, 25 BB, 11 HR
The thing that sticks out the most about Rafael Betancourt's down season was his home run total. Last year he gave up just four home runs. This year he gave up his fourth home run in May.

Betancourt's control from last year didn't carry over, which is understandable. But, Rafael was stubborn and constantly disregarded the words of his pitching coach Carl Willis and Eric Wedge. He would not pitch inside, as many times as he would go out there, he'd continue to throw the ball outside. Because his control was not there, that ball would no longer hit the outside corner, it would float in and get hit the other way.

Betancourt started to come around down the stretch, but his year was a huge disappointment. He will have a chance to redeem himself next year, but this bullpen will not be the same if he doesn't bounce back. He had a career year in 2007, no one expects him to replicate it. But he needs to heed the word of his coaches and try and regain a little bit of that magical control. He gets two feathers for the extreme disappointment.

Josh Barfield (Cle+Buf): (85 G, 332 AB) .243/.292(Buf)/.368(Buf), 5 HR, 25 RBI, 9/14 SB, 33 R
I took into account Josh's numbers from Buffalo, seeing as he played half his year there. He wasn't what you were hoping for, but you are talking about a player who was a significant piece to San Diego's playoff run in his rookie year. He probably doesn't think he deserves to be in Triple-A.

That isn't what Barfield is thinking, but I'm sure that explains his pedestrian numbers. In Cleveland he got his shot with Asdrubal Cabrera's struggles but promptly dislocated his finger and was sidelined for two months. I think Barfield did a good job in the off-season with recommitting to the game and seeking advice from his dad. I thought he'd have the chance and he'd run with it this year, but he simply was on the bad end of luck.

He only gets two feathers, but this isn't a reflection on his performance with the big league club. He got his real shot in September and he looked like he was starting to come on. I want to see him do well in Spring Training next year before we give up on young Barfield, he has all sorts of talent.

Zach Jackson: (9 Starts) 2-3, 5.60 ERA, 1.427 WHIP, 54.2 IP, 30 K, 14 BB, 7 HR
Zach Jackson sure had an interesting by baseball standards. Four teams, including two major league ones, a trade and a first win in legendary Fenway park against Josh Beckett.

Jackson came on strong in his second batch of starts, picking up a couple of wins. He came over in the Sabathia trade as a "throw-in" and a guy the Brewers had given up on at the age of 25. Jackson probably doesn't have much of a future as a starting pitcher, but he showed he can get outs at the big league level. He might have a place on this team as a long-man next year.

Two feathers for Jackson as I was real impressed with him down the stretch. He is definitely in the mix next year, but because he is out of options, he'll have a lot to prove. I would give him three for exceeding expectations, but he didn't pitch enough.

Jeremy Sowers: (22 Starts) 4-9, 5.58 ERA, 1.488 WHIP, 121 IP, 64 K, 39 BB, 18 HR
Jeremy Sowers' had some tough luck winning games this year.

After spending the year in Buffalo, Sowers got his shot when Jake Westbrook got hurt for the second time and CC Sabathia was traded. He really started to find himself with the guidance of Sal Fasano.

Sowers has put himself in a position to compete with the likes of Aaron Laffey and Anthony Reyes next year in spring training. But, Sowers still hasn't shown the brilliance of his rookie year, which has many skeptical if he can really be what we think he can. Two feathers for a great effort, but still, Sowers is not meeting expectations.



Brendan Donnelly: (15 Games) 1-0, 8.56 ERA, 2.195 WHIP, 4 HLD, 13.2 IP, 8 K, 10 BB, 2 HR
You may want to rag on Brendan Donnelly for the high ERA and his shaky outings. But Brendan Donnelly was battling back from a tough injury. The Indians put some stock into him and let him rehab through their organization.

We'll see if that stock pays off in the off-season as they debate whether to bring him back and see if he wants to come back. Donnelly's MLB year was okay, not impressive or eye opening. His WHIP is something to scream about but Donnelly is a pro and he's been there before.

If they can bring him back on a low-risk deal, he might be worth it as a veteran. Donnelly gets one feather for his performance, but he is much better than that.

David Dellucci: (113 G, 336 AB) .238/.307/.405, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 3/5 SB, 41 R
David Dellucci is a poster child of the 2008 year, which I've deemed as the year of "Frustration." Whether it's his play or the fact that he is still on this team, Dellucci is frustrating. He "beat out" Ben Francisco to start the year, along with Jason Michaels.

Wedge claims that Dellucci is a leader in the clubhouse, which I can buy to an extent. But if he is leader, he isn't an emotional leader. Dellucci doesn't get it done with the bat the way they play him. If he was a leader and his sole purpose was to "lead" he shouldn't be playing as much as he is.

I don't think Dellucci has a place on this team, especially not with the potential of Choo and Francisco. That would make him the fourth outfielder, but he can't run, he can't play defense and he can't play every outfield spot. That makes him utterly useless. I'd rather waste a spot for Sal Fasano as the designated leader.

Either way, Dellucci had another poor year. His OBP continues to decline since his days in Texas and he is no longer a useful player. His one feather is a combination of taking up space from Francisco, Choo and Gutierrez and the fact that he is still on this team.

Travis Hafner: (57 G, 198 AB) .197/.305/.323, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 1/2 SB, 21 R
Like David Dellucci, Travis Hafner could be a fitting poster boy to that frustration mantra, but for different reasons. Hafner's injury is frustrating, as it was one that basically made his 2008 a lost cause.

Perhaps it was good though. I gave him one feather because I didn't know where else to put him. Considering this an incomplete feather, because Hafner's grade will depend on how well he plays next year. I do believe that his strength will be back next year and once he gets his timing back, we may see a rejuvenated "Pronk." I think its forced him to get back to the basics and no longer flail at those outside pitches that pitchers make him hit. He got away from what made him a dangerous hitter and when he gets back to how he used to hit, which I think the injury has made him do, he'll be the Hafner of old.

Brian Slocum (Cle+Buf): (32 Games-11 Starts) 3-7, 5.37 ERA, 1.527 WHIP, 1 SV, 3 HLD, 87.1 IP, 82 K, 42 BB, 14 HR
I included Brian Slocum in the mix because this was an important year for him with this team. He spent most of the year in Buffalo but Slocum appeared in Cleveland a few times to get absolutely lambasted.

Slocum in my opinion has no future with this team. His time is running out, he's getting older and he is a man without a pitching role. He might come into next year competing, but he'll end up on the wire. I give just one feather for Slocum for his combined effort in Buffalo and Cleveland.

Andy Marte: (80 G, 235 AB) .221/.268/.315, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 1/2 SB, 21 R
Oh Andy, Andy, Andy! Andy Marte's season is one of disgust and wonderment. First, we knew and I think most were perfectly fine keeping him around on the bench as a backup. But he simply didn't get any at bats what so ever. Then it got to a point where the team was going no where and Casey Blake was traded. Marte got his shot to prove himself.

He wasn't impressive and he didn't do what we thought he was capable of. Marte is probably a bust when it comes to high ceiling prospects. He just doesn't look like he can hit at the big league level. His glove is something to rave about, I love his defense. But he needs to hit and he is simply not doing that. He looked better once he got his shot full time, but you have to wonder about a kid who can't get it done.

He is still young, but if not now, when? Marte he has had ample time at the big league level to prove himself. Maybe he needs a change of scenery. I've given him one feather and it hurts to do so because I really like him. But, unless he comes to Spring Training in much better shape, something he didn't do this year, and starts hitting the cover off the ball. I see no future for Andy Marte in Cleveland.

Juan Rincon (w/CLE): (22 Games) 1-1, 5.13 ERA, 1.540 WHIP, 2 HLD, 26.1 IP, 19 K, 8 BB, 3 HR
Considering Juan Rincon pitched just as much for the Cleveland Indians this year as he did for the Minnesota Twins, I'm looking for improvement.

I don't really see much, other than he fixed his control problems and didn't walk as many hitters. But he still gave up runs and he still wasn't effective as he used to be.

I think Donnelly has more potential going forward than Rincon does. But, never underestimate the power of a clubhouse. Rincon has a lot of Venezuelan teammates here in Cleveland, including catcher Victor Martinez that he might be able to benefit from. I'd bring him in for a competition if he's willing. He gets just one feather because I wasn't totally impressed with what he did, like I said, he only improved in one aspect.

Derek Shelton: Runs Scored - 805, Team Average - .262
Derek Shelton's season was a rough start.

The turnaround might have saved his job, but if this team has another cold opening to the season, he will find himself on the hot seat. Shelton deserves a lot of the blame for the poor batting averages that were there at the start of the season. His sound ways of taking pitches and making the pitchers pitch to you was no longer working. Pitchers adjusted to the style of play the Indians had and they threw a lot of first pitch strikes.

Shelton did not adjust accordingly and for that he deserves just one feather. The team came on strong at the end of the year and ended up scoring an MLB top ten 800 plus runs. But it is unacceptable to start the season the way they did offensively.



Cliff Lee
Is there any other option to pick for Team MVP? It has to be Cliff Lee, who is the hands down favorite to win the AL Cy Young award and has accounted for 27 percent of his team's victories. It was Lee that was always there to stop a streak or derail a funk. He stopped multiple losing streaks on more than one occasion and when he pitched, there was a sense of immortality, as if the team wouldn't lose. He energized a defense to play well and excited an offense to support him. Cliff Lee is the hands down MVP of this 2008 team. Without him, there would be no season and there would be no good thing to look back on. He made Indians baseball watchable in the bleak periods and made it must-see TV in the bright ones. Cliff Lee is the first recipient of the Golden Feather, our Cleveland Indians Team MVP!


Jamey Carroll
This award could go in several different ways, but because the little guy is always the most liked, I bestow the silver feather onto Jamey Carroll. Carroll was big for the Indians when they didn't have a second baseman or a hitter in the two hole. Carroll stepped in and stepped up as the team's spark plug. Most memorable will be his battles with Travis Hafner over fantasy football transactions, but Carroll's clubhouse presence is also something to praise. Jamey Carroll is the silver feather recipient for the 2008 Cleveland Indians, our unsung hero!

There it is...The end of the year feathers for the 2008 Cleveland Indians. This is just the begining of our 2008 wrap-up. There is more to come!

9.28.2008

So Long Fair 2008, We Thank You

It was sort of a fitting end. I mean, Frustrating... Kind of..

I just want to say this season was a painful one to follow, but it was fun. We didn't get where we thought we would as a fanbase and I'm sure the players would admit that they've missed their expectations as well.

But, looking at the trials and tribulations, the day to day workings of a baseball team like the Indians. It gives you a greater perspective.

Like I said, I'm not done with this blog or my following of the Indians day by day. But a part of me is empty knowing that I can't sit back on a Tuesday night and watch my Tribe. They make the Summer less boring knowing that every night, or at least mostly every night, at 7:00... Like clockwork, I could turn on the TV and watch my beloved Cleveland Indians.

For better or worse, the Indians are my favorite team and despite the struggles this year, I enjoyed watching them give it their all. You cannot deny this team's effort, which makes me grateful a guy like Eric Wedge is the manager. He demands effort.

With that..

Bryan Bullington pitched decent, he was on the bad end of a Jamey Carroll error and they Indians just couldn't muster anything against Mark Buehrle (another thing, I learned to spell his name this year without peaking, yay me) who got a ton of double plays.

Jhonny Peralta ended the year with a great game, one of the guys that just had a breakout year if you ask me. It wasn't so much the stats but the production he gave you from a middle of the order spot and just his maturation as a hitter.

I think we've seen the last of Juan Rincon, just saying..

How about Grady Sizemore ending the year in style? Just another fantastic play.. I wish I had the capabilities to put together a highlight real of Grady Sizemore's year because it would be full of plays like that.

I say fitting ending because the year was frustration.. This game was frustration and the teams most frustating player in Travis Hafner had the last out. I know its injuries and I love Pronk more than the next guy, but it was frustrating to watch him struggle.. We know Pronk is better than this and I'm real positive about him going into next year, getting back and having some swings was important, a nice off-season of rest and a full Spring Training should get Pronk back.

CastroTurf posted a list of all the players that were on our roster this year.. Take a look..

I'll be giving out End of the Year Feathers tomorrow, hopefully. So I won't go into a whole shmeal of impressions and what not.. I'll do a few looking forward pieces not just for here but for Bleacher Report, the new few weeks are going to be fun because A) I don't have much at school due, i just had a bunch of tests and B) This is the most exciting part of the year as a sports fan

So.. Expect rampant updates and end of the year fun in the coming days..

With that.... Thank You Tribe for the Season.. Next Year.......... WORLD SERIES!

9.27.2008

Hey Ozzie....


Payback can be a bitch dude... Sorry about your pitching..



I think if I posted just that, It would have been plenty but I just have to add in how proud I am of this team. This offense is really coming together.. Zajack was pretty damn good tonight, Lewis gave up the home run but he battled through.. Garko, Peralta, Chew, Sparkplug, Droobs.. I mean big hits for everyone tonight all around.

One more game to go..... Savor it!

Update It Up Baby

You might be noticing some updates happening around the site.. Yes, it's happening.

The off-season is going to begin the minute we play our last game against Chicago. I'm preparing a big time send off to end the year and we IMMEDIATELY look towards 2009!

The start of that is the Rule V Draft Eligibility chart that I've now added.. It is a work in progress...

You can now no longer decipher the awful rules and confusing wording of the Rule V draft when it comes to Indians players.. The only name that needs resolving this year is Kelvin De La Cruz, who is unclear if he will be eligible this year or not because of the date he signed. Tony from the Cleveland Indians Minor League Insider blog, who is in full force with tying up the 2008 season is trying to get to the bottom of it.

So, take the information for what its worth, for now.. Its a lot of numbers and names to read through but I've organized them based on draft/sign year.. If there are any errors, please point them out, because it could happen.

Starting MONDAY when everything gets kicked off, you will see an Off-Season Chart. Right now the link doesn't work, but Monday I'll put it up.. It has my full list of players that the Indians should be considering at the different positions, 40 man roster projection, our own free agents and arbitration players, and probably more.

Everything else.. Active Roster is out of commission for the most part, it won't get updated for the most part.. 40 man has now switched over to 2009 and is a WIP.. All the guys that are signed for next year have updated salaries, but pre arb and arbitration players' salaries are last year.. Option years, arbitration years have all been updated. That will be updated based on moves financially..

The Depth Chart will be updated sparingly.. It will be a projection mostly.. Right now it is also a WIP.. Its tough to project an entire organization but for the most part it will be shifted as we learn things and I'm sure symbols will dicate which is expected and what isn't.. Fun times.

So.. That's that.. The side organization box with the team logos is now updated, much smaller to cut down on length and load time and added the Columbus logo, yay. I'm looking for a better format there.

Monday, WE START the march to 2009!

Who Do You HATE More?!

Garko, SMASH!

Do you dislike? The White Sox or the Twins?

I hate the Tigers, but if I had to pick a team to go to the playoffs, It'd be the Twins, they do it the right way like the Indians do.

So it gives me great pleasure to down the Sox and help the Twins reach the post-season.

I also like them a whole lot more with Hunter gone and with the Angels. He was the one guy that always jawed with us it seemed like. The Twins are a likable team though.

The Jhonny Peralta move was the big story of course, but it was the man replacing him at short that made the headlines.

First.. Clearing it up.

"We're short-handed without Andy [Marte]," Wedge said. "We can't run Jamey [Carroll] out there all the way through."

There... Point Proven.

Still, I think its one of those cover our butts.

Bring in a few third baseman and second baseman to compete with Marte and Barfield.. If only one works out, you have OPTIONS.. So..

Moving on..

Cabrera, Orlando and Asdrubal were both shaky at short last night. Let's focus on Asdrubal though as he made a few errors and let up a few easy plays.

Weird to say the least. Not sure why he had the problem on that specific night.

Garko was huge though. Quietly he is now second on the team in RBI and could hit the 90 mark in these final two games. I'm sticking to my opinion that we need to hold onto Garko, I think hes primed to have a rebound year and the whole "singles hitter" that people like Bruce Drennan like to harp on is a fallacy.

Tonight, watch Javier Vazquez implode.. He's taken some harsh words from his manager about being able to pitch when it counts.. He'll probably do it again today.

9.26.2008

I've got your third baseman RIGHTARRRRYEE

I'm not sure if its due to the injury of Andy Marte, but Jhonny Peralta will start at third base tonight.

"I can play third base," said Peralta. "I played a half-season there at Buffalo. I don't know how I'll do there [Friday], but I'll do my best."

If Andy Marte isn't injured, this probably wouldn't have happened.

While Asdrubal could play at third even if it was just for one game to give Carroll a break, Jhonny Peralta makes more sense. Not only that, if Peralta handles it well it could give them a "last resort" option if they can't find someone suitable to take over next year.

This is going to be the biggest position to watch.

Jhonny has the numbers to play there. Does he have the glove? Like he said, he's played there before and his range might actually suit him better. Jhonny is a decent shortstop though.

You can't deny the fact that this defense gets much better with Peralta and Cabrera up the middle though.

I see this breaking down a few different ways.

They bring in a solid option at third base and let Andy Marte go..

They bring in a few options, none being better than the other, and let them compete with Marte for the spot in spring training.

They do the second option, NONE of them work out and they continue to monitor Jhonny Peralta at third. None of them work out after giving all of them a shot in some way, and Peralta makes the move.

I think option two is most likeliest, but I'd rather see option three than spend money or deal with a competition in spring training, that is if Jhonny can handle it.

It's gonna be interesting..

Anyway, kudos to Eric Wedge for saying Cliff Lee would start IF Sunday's game means something.. BUT, if Cliff Lee is really battling a stiff neck, I think he should sit. We'll still be playing our starters, no doubt, but if Cliff Lee could hurt himself in this start, I'd say, look, we want to be respectful to the Twins, but this is how it is. He is our best pitcher, we can't risk him.

Bryan Bullington was limited in his AWESOME relief apperance the other night, which means he'll go on Sunday if Cliff doesn't.

Looks like its a given.. Adam Miller will be competiing for a bullpen spot, not a rotation spot. He was good in his first Arizona Instructional League game.

Oh and um.. As for that suspensions stuff. Fausto Carmona played it beatifully. He won't miss a start as it will spill over into next season, it started last night. But he'll probably start the second game of the season, after he serves the one game that will spill over on opening day.

Victor Martinez got his reduced to two games and he is in the middle of serving it now.

9.24.2008

Awwwwwwwwwwww Don't Lose

Its sort of demoralizing to watch the Red Sox party at your expense two years in a row on their home field.

Grrrrrrrr

Then to have the comeback we did tonight only to be squandered by our best relief pitcher.

Crapppppy.....

Bullington was nails, that was pretty awesome to see, but I still can't see him lasting till next year.

Fausto's year ends with a bit of a rough patch, but he'll be back.. Healthy, feeling good and well rested.. No doubt Fausto is primed for a better year in 2009.

How about Josh Barfield these past few games? Huh huh whaddayasaytothat?! What did I say about that.. Shame it took a Marte injury and a Cabrera suspension for him to get some time.

Pronk roped a double tonight, he's not back fully but he no longer looks attrocious at the plate. Timing will come with regular start time, which he will get next year.

Kinda keeping it short but felt like I needed to post tonight. I was kinda peeved at Josh Beckett's comments about Ryan Garko.. Garko said enough, he was spot on with everything.. Beckett just was looking for someone to blame if you ask me.. Like Garko said, about half his team wears the same type of pads.

Anyway, wanted to pass along this link for all you minor league nuts, no pun intended.

The team is the South Georgia Peanuts and their collective goal is to get back into the MLB affiliated Minor Leagues. They are managed by Wally Backman and you can watch a documentary on their season here. John Fitzgerald, the man behind this project, this was kind enough to e-mail me about it and I think its definitely worth a look-see if your looking for something to to do. Check it out!

Anyway... Let's salvage this four game series with a tie, pleaase? I don't wanna finish the year below .500.. 80 wins would be nice, ya know? It looks a lot better than something in the 70's.

9.23.2008

Updated: Let the 40 Man Roster Purge, BEGIN!

The first domino in what will be many for the Cleveland Indians' 2009 Roster has fallen.

His name is Brad Snyder.

They've officially waved the white flag on Snyder's chances with the Tribe. After ripping it up for a few years and then hitting a wall in the past few, Snyder's time with the Cleveland Indians has come to an end.

Snyder was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. Clearing up his 40 man roster spot, for a much more important piece to the puzzle.

There are plenty of players in this organization that will need 40 man roster protection, which puts the 40 man roster spot at a premium.

Snyder has become a bust..

His spot was needed and don't expect this to be the last.

Other possible 40 man roster spots that could be cleared via cut or trade.

Brian Slocum
Bryan Bullington
Tom Mastny
Edward Mujica
Michael Aubrey
David Dellucci
Andy Marte

Don't forget.. Jamey Carroll has an option (Which I'd expect to be picked up considering Barfield can't play third and couldn't be our utility man), Sal Fasano, Juan Rincon and Brendan Donnelly are all FA's that could come off the 40 man if they aren't re-signed.

As promised, the full off-season chart and updates to all the roster boards are coming. It's going to be a fun off-season!

UPDATED: Looks like another one has fallen and it is one of those guys in Akron.

Reid Santos, reliever has been claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays. That's two spots open and surely more to come..

9.22.2008

LOLTribe: Detroit Brawl Edition

So, what will probably be the next to the last LOLTribe of the regular season.. Its an AWL BRAWL edition.. I'm sorry if you don't get my references.. But I've provided a link to one of them. Bwahahaha.



An amazing picture when you look at it though..



I can't even see Jamey Carroll.



I could have gone into any direction with this one, but I had to be difficult.....



For an explanation, please watch this. FYI Mature Audiences Only.



Poor Chooster.. In this realm, he would be called SHIN SEW CHEW!!11



Many Thx Garko!


Okay so, update on the Brawl.. Check out CastroTurf's plethora of quotes from Sheffield, who is STILL RUNNING THIS MOUTH

Just... I don't get it.. He keeps going and going and going. By the by, Six Game suspension for Fausto, Four for Sheff, Three for Drubes and Victor. Vic and Cabrera will eventually serve theirs this year, and as Castrovince said Carmona will probably make one more start to avoid putting the Indians in a pickle and then finish the rest of it out next year.

9.20.2008

Headlock and Pummel!


Do I need to say anything more? This is the best picture of the season right here.. Expect a big LOLTribe when this series is over..

That is all.. Thank you and Sheffield still sucks.

9.19.2008

Gary Sheffield Gets Pounded.. Tribe Winnnn

Seriously Gary, you old, washed-up, no-good, excuse for a hitter.

Whining and complaining how you want to play the field because you don't feel like a baseball player anymore.

NEWS FLASH..

You aren't.. So Just Retire.

Sheffields antics in this game just scream of him being over eager.. Like he is with the fast ball, Sheffield was looking for a fight that wasn't there.

I mean seriously. You get hit, just take your base. Why would Carmona try and put his team in even more of a hole?

Sheffield stares down Carmona like he just murdered his parents, Carmona not backing down stares back. Fausto isn't scared... He'll pound Sheff into dust then run circles around him.

Carmona tries to catch the hot-headed Sheff off the bag at first and whoaa Gary, I guess we can't do that, because he takes it personal.

Note to all pitchers out there.. Don't throw to first base, EVER when Gary Sheffield is on it.. That is if he ever reaches first base ever again.

Then Fausto lays the smacketh down on Sheffield by giving him a few good shots to the top of the dome.

Fausto.. I love you bud. The fact that you'll probably miss ther est of the season is really no big deal, that was well worth it. Sheff deserved a beating for being an idiot.

Love Victor protecting his guy, love Sal Fasano out there playing piece maker, love little Drubby out there pounding away on Sheff as well... It might be wrong, but you know what this team needs some fire, and damnit Sheffield I don't think you realized it, but you turned the tide of that game. It was heading towards an Indians loss, but you woke up a sleeping dragon.

For the first time all year, this team felt alive and I felt as if we were watching the team that was supposed to be out there.

Shin-Soo Choo has all but locked up the RF spot next year... I think its a given even if the job is open in Spring Training. He's the man for the job.. This kid is just hitting the cover off the ball and he's finally reaching that point that we've been waiting for. The Solo Jack, the big three run home run... BEWSH

Jamey Carroll coming up in the clutch after Garko just sends one the other way to get Barfield to third.

HELLLLLL OF A GAME!!!

Sheffield.. He'll get suspended for being dumb.. Carmona will probably get five, which takes him out of his next start.. Probably could make one more if they don't give him 10 which would be two starts.. Victor I don't think we'll get anything, I mean I didn't see him do anything, but you never know. Inge basically tackled him at one point. Drubal will definitely get some if they review the tape. Polanco got tossed, but I'm gonna take a stab and say that was just to make it even between the sides in terms of number of people ejected.

Oh well.. That's just what we needed.. A spark.. This is the team we've been waiting to see and its a great sign going into 2009, we need to see them finish on a high note though.

[BOXSCORE]

Goodbye to the House that Ruth Built, We Forever Own You

As the Yankees prepare to end a historic era in their ultra historic stadium and then shift their focus to the April 16th New Stadium Opener against the Cleveland Indians, I would like to take this time to make fun of them.

I'd like to remind you all of the last ever playoff game in Yankee Stadium.



Winnnnnerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Yes.. In fact the last team to win a playoff game in Yankee's Fabled Stadium will forever be the Cleveland Indians of North East Ohio Central America.

How do you like them apples?

Let's place the Indian stamp on another piece of history and win the FIRST ever game at the new Yankee Stadium?

Yes.. We Own them and that stadium..... I have declared.

Cliff Lee... Started the last game at Yankee Stadium for the winning team.

So.. Like I said.. Cleveland.. Owns Yankees Stadium and its final memories.. We Are Awesome.

Speaking of Lee, he participated in the Direct Energy Backyard Challenge this year, I'm sure you've seen the commercials.

That one needs a little more glitter. You can't fax glitter, btw.. At least not with that attitude.

What wasn't glittery was Cliff's ERA. He got lit the heck up by a few kids..
To put a little perspective on Lee's rocky outing, which came just 17 hours after a no-decision Wednesday against the Twins, the two innings were good for an ERA of 63.00. The 14 runs he surrendered at the mercy of boys and girls ages 5-14 were more than he allowed in his past five Major League starts combined.
Yikes Cliff. Don't bring that effort in your last two games.

Oh and I really have come to love Carl Willis. A lot of people wanted Carl out and didn't like the job he was doing a few years ago. But the Indians stuck with him and oh look at this, one Cy Young award winner, another on the way. Success stories like Fausto Carmona, Cliff Lee of course and what looks to be a reclamation project in Anthony Reyes.

Carl is a talker as evidence by this article here, but it's nice to see Carl have so much success after people wanted him out. He's a top notch guy. Not the greatest pitching coach, but a damn good one that has a lot of bragging rights with a couple of Cy Young winners to be.

And oh.. It's official.. Columbus is coming to town, or at least we are coming to Columbus. Hurrah.

9.18.2008

Tribe to Columbus Almost Done?

Bob DiBiasio is on All Bets are Off with Bruce Drennen right now and he says the Indians are close to making Columbus their Triple-A affiliate.

The Columbus Dispatch is saying the deal has been agreed upon for four years to 2012.

CastroTurf is saying the deal is unofficial
.

The announcement is expected today or tomorrow. Today was the first day for official negotiations, but this move has been in the works for a year plus.

New Park for the Indians Triple-A team as well.. Close to home.. Match made in heaven!

Anyyyyway.. I can now update the board with the new name and start putting up Columbus digs around here.. That didn't take long!

9.17.2008

VICTOR!; Reyes, Cliff, New Signing; 09 Schedule

Hey Hey Hey!

I never would have stayed up till 11:45 had I not thought we had a chance to win that game, especially with early classes in the morning.

But Victor Delivers!

Great moment for him.. It's been a tough season and for him to do that just makes it a little better. You could see the excitement on his face.

AND HOW ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE RALLY PIE?!

Been a long time since we saw that, I didn't catch who did it, but thank you to whoever it was.

Now we go for a sweep of the Twins and.. Look who is on the mound.. Not a good series for the Twins as their AL Central hopes are taking a huge hit with this. After losing that game in that fashion and eying a sweep.. They will want to do their damnest to salvage this series.. So let's go Cliffaaaad

"We got him once," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't know how we did it, but we got him."

Remember that the Twins are one two teams to beat him, so let's see if they have him again.

If you didn't hear, the Indians are shutting down Anthony Reyes for the year.. Precautionary... No reason to risk it, Reyes knows he will have a good shot at winning a rotation spot next year.

Scott Lewis will probably join him if he continues this.. I mean there is no reason to say he can't compete if he keeps throwing up zeros against Major League offenses. I still think he'll end up starting the year in Triple-A but who knows, he might not finish there.

Hey the Schedule for 2009 is out!

Pretty interesting stuff.. Let's just go down here right quick.

Home Opener is April 10th against Toronto, so never fear, an AL East team that can easily be made up if anything happens. We will open the year in TEXAS on the 6th! So, I like that.. Hot weather is what works well for this team and starting right out of the gate for it should be good.

Cleveland will be involved in a little bit of history..

It is in fact the Tribe that will be helping the Yankees kick off their new era in their new stadium. The Yankees home opener is scheduled for April 16th against the Tribe to kick off a four game series. That will be fun.

Interleague Teams: Cincinnati of course, @Pittsburgh and Chicago.. I may have to jaunt over to PNC to check that out.. Then we welcome in St. Louis and...... Milwaukee! I don't think CC will be there but, hey hey that'd be nuts.. Don't think CC would sign in the central either so we'll see how that pans out.

September looks goooood for us as we have 18 home games to just 10 road games with two 9 game road trips.. We end the year in October against the Red Sox with a FOUR GAME series in Fenway.. That will be nuts!

Of course we'll examine the schedule further when we find out the national games and all that fun stuff.

How about this new signing we had? Chen-Chang Lee!!! I watched Cuba play in the Olympics and they are one touuuuuuuuuugh team. Lee pitched well against them so that's encouraging. Anyway he'll start the year in Kinston and he's only 21 so that's one guy to watch. The Indians have been watching him since he was 16 years old.

Some places are calling him Lee-Chen Chang.. I've seen Chaing.. I've seen Chen-Chang Lee the most though, so that's what we'll go with..

9.15.2008

LOLTribe: Tom Mastny is done; Hillman takes the Trojans

I don't want to rip on most of the Cleveland fans, because I know if you are an Indians fan, you are probably a Browns fan and a fan of the Buckeyes.. Well I'm sorry to say I'm not a fan of either, but don't let that change your opinion of me.

I'm sorry to have fun at your expense this week with the Royals and the LOLTribe, but it must be done. With that, I also think its time to stick a fork in Tom Mastny.



JAHWEY needs explained, but I can't.. It's folklore. You need to say it like "JOWWEEY"



Jhonny looks angry in this picture, which is the only reason I think he wants to hit Miguel Olivo.



Must I explain?



Sorry.. Really, I am..



Shinjirarenai needs explained. Wiki Trey Hillman and you will find out that he used to say that in one year with his Japan team.. It translates to Unbelievable.



I don't really know on this one..



This was actually from the Baltimore series but it just furthers proves how the photographers are working to get Drubes in very position humanly possible.

That's it for me.. Big win tonight eh? Scott Lewis is a bit of a stud and throwing himself into the rotation race.. This 2009 team is starting to shape up like the 2007 one, lots of pitching depth ready to step up if need be.. NICE TO HAVE!

9.14.2008

I get it.... MELOAN, FINALLY!

"I understood that I'd be limited when I came up," said Meloan. "The last couple of years I've pitched out of the bullpen. This year I've thrown about twice as many innings so they want to be careful.

"It shows me they care about my arm." (Plain Dealer)

I get it.. He was a starter this year and hes logged a lot of innings.

Still.. They waited way too long to get this guy in there.. How about that debut? Two punchouts and he is the MAN!

I've been impatiently waiting for him to be thrown in there.

I like this guy going forward.. I'm going to be doing a lot of projecting and predicting here in the off-season as we add or don't add players in positions.. I feel good about his chances.. I think there's going to be open competition in that bullpen. My early thought or idea is to sign a guy like Jason Isringhausen, who many said are done, but who he himself feels like he has some left in the tank and is looking for an incentive laden based deal. You bring him in and say, okay you and Jensen, better guy gets the job... I really think and feel strongly about Jensen's long term future at closer and bringing in a guy like Izzy would be a way to say.. Alright Jensen, be on standby because the minute t his dude goes down, if he goes down, its your job.

That leaves a few other spots.. I can see us bringing back both Donnelly and Rincon on those incentive like deals because we gave them chances.. Give them a shot to win jobs.. Guys like Rundles or Mastny (if we don't need the 40 man roster spots), Meloan and of course Adam Miller would be in the mix..

Anyway.. MELOAN!

Love this kid, glad to see him get in there.

Laying off on Eric Wedge after the way he played the double header.. Gave JP a game off, played Carroll at 2nd and was starting to FREAK OUT MAN.. He got Barfield in there though and Marte TWO Starts, TWO! Holy Cow!

He did pinch hit Marte late though, jerk..

Ill die off on that though, he handled the DH well.

Even though we got pounded.. Ouch..

9.12.2008

TWENTY TWO, CLIFF LEEEEEEEE

Hey NOW?

I'm in a trancey mood where I don't feel like doing much.. That seems to be a theme lately, school is wearing me out.

But CLIFF LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE energizes MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

How can you NOT love watching this guy pitch?

Not only does he play well every time out, the defense plays up a level when Lee is on the mound because they know history and they know how awesome he is. They want to do everything they can to help.

I've given up on stats until the end of the year. He just keeps breaking records and setting marks, let's just wait till the end of the year to tally them up.

It was almost eerie how the rain stopped for Cliff Lee and like 5 games got rained out tonight but Cleveland of all places didn't.

Like they were saying on the broadcast, even mother nature stops to see Cliff Lee pitch. The man is THE MAN.

Holy Cow this offense!

I got the three guys that homered on different fantasy teams in the playoffs.. So I'm pumped. Thanks Kelly, Choo and Drubes.

Everyone got in on the action though. Everyone had a hit or an RBI, only Garko and Peralta failed to score runs.

Grady busted out of his slump in a big way. Just a great night all around guys.

Tomorrow its a Double Header.. Which is odd since there's going to be 50 double headers tomorrow. But, Greinke and Fausto go in the daycap and while everyone is watching OSU and USC, I'll be flipping back and forth to see Bryan You Mess with the Bullington You get the Fastball take on Robinson Tejeda and a cast of Yakuzai Kazabutis.

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9.10.2008

Scott Lewis.... WOW?

WHAT IS ERIC WEDGE DOING?!

For the love of god.

Okay so Kobayashi finally retired the 2nd out but a run has scored.

WHERE IS JOHN MELOAN!?!

WHY IS SCOTT LEWIS NOT OUT THERE?

UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH

Why call up John Meloan if you aren't going to use him, this is the perfect situation.

DONT BRING IN KOBAYASHI, HES BURNT

IM JUST SO FRUSTRATED AT THIS POINT!

Its not even because the season is over. it just makes no sense what so ever.

What is Wedge doing?

I'm just so..

Fed Up at this point with Wedge.. I try not bash him, I really don't want to.

But these types of things are the things that tick me the hell off.

This is Scott Lewis' night..

I don't want to take away from it.. But DAMNIT WEDGE

Enough is enough guy.. Put some of these guys out there. I could give a damn about Jamey Carroll and Masahide Kobayashi at this point in the season.

Scott Lewis..

He gave up 3 hits.. Kobayashi came in and gave up three hits and a run.. So, go freaking figure.

I'm so incredibly hot right now.. That an I sat Kelly Shoppach in my fantasy league because Victor was playing tonight. The rotating catcher finally got me..

Great offemse, Drubes is ripping it up. Just amazing right now. He'll be well over .250 by the time the season is over, and that is saying something. Up to 36 RBI, just awesome sir.

Series win tomorrow in the final game of a four game meet.

Zachariah Jackson Vs I guess Brian Bass who is now with the O's rather than the Twins. Well then.

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9.09.2008

One Last Cheer for the PRONK

How GOOD was it to see Travis Hafner in the Indians lineup.

Good.

How GREAT was it to see Travis Hafner swinging the bat.

GREAT.

How AWESOME was it to see Travis Hafner get two hits in his first two at bats.

AWESOME

I realize I never answered my questions, nor did I actually put a question mark, but shut up.

IT WAS DAMN GOOD TO SEE PRONK!

I mean for the first time in a long time, he looked comfortable in the Indians uniform, swinging the bat.

Its great for him to come back and play an do well. He did go 2-4 with the walk and K.. But man he jumped on those pitches, going the other way and then yanking one into right field.

Everyone knows my man love for Pronk is ridiculous. I'm just so happy to see him playing and I think for sure we have our Pronkster back. He probably won't hit many home runs or bombs or Pronklike shots the remaining games left, but he'll play and I think next year is the Year of the Pronk.

Anyway.. just a good game. Could have had more runs like Jeremy Sowers said, but good stuff all around. Asdrubal is on a bit of a rip here and ANDY MARTE was partying tonight. Good swinging from him and MISTA Aubrey tonight.

Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy. This was the Jeremy Sowers of his rookie year.. Where has this Jeremy been?

Can we get more of that Jeremy and maybe we won't have to worry about another starter for next year.. JEREMY!

Best he's been all year with his control. Walked just one and struck out 7.. He wont strike out seven a lot but the key to him is keeping the walks down. It let him get the quick innings and he only threw 96 pitches thru the 8 innings.

Great job all around damint.

Tomorrow its a few youngsters. I believe Chris Waters was called up from Double A awhile ago. Scott Lewis makes his Major League Debut fresh from the Double-A playoffs.

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What Could Have Been: Luke Scott

Luke ScottLuke Scott
Baltimore Orioles

Outfielder
6'1" 200
4/8/1979
B/T: L/R
Acquired: 2001 Draft, 9th Round
How he got away: Claimed by Baltimore off Waivers in January, 2007

Its rather interesting how we provided the Houston Astros with two starting outfielders at some point these past few years. Luke Scott is pretty much ripping it up for Baltimore this year after coming over in the Miguel Tejada trade. Luke hit for the cycle in his rookie year with the Astros and he has some pop in the bat. In just his second full year in the majors as a starter, Scott is hitting .270 with over 20 home runs. He'll surely pass his career high in RBIs and he's carrying a career OBP well over .360.

So, the kicker and why we gave him away.

Jeroime Roberterson.................. OH MAN

Yes Jeroime Robertson, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2004, with the Tribe.

Bru...tal..

You think we could use a corner outfielder like Scott last year or this year? You bet we could.. Granted, Choo looks good and Francisco is alright, but Scott is showing he can do it.

Not onlt that.. Luke is a barber, an English teacher and student of the game.

This one hurts.. Scott is a good player, that can realistically fit in our outfield.. Corner bat, with some pop and gets on base. He would fit in fine with what we have now.

Jeriome Robertson.. GIVE ME A BREAK.. UGH!

9.08.2008

Rant Revisted; Hafner and Bullington to be activated

Well..

I bring it up about Jamey Carroll playing second and LOW AN BEHOLD

There he is at second base..

WHERE IS JOSH BARFIELD?!

Are you trying to completely nix him out of this equation damnit.

Anyway.. Travis Hafner made his return with the team in Baltimore today, took BP and all indications are he will be activated tomorrow.

HORRAY!

Pronk is OFFICIALLY Back! Party Time.

Now the question becomes when does he see his first bit of action.

and How long before he decapitates Jamey Carroll for taking over the Fantasy Football League?

Bryan Bullington will be activated to the Active roster for the start on Saturday in the double header. This is a no-brainer, considering he is on the 40 man roster. Why waste a spot, it's just one start and hell, its the Royals.

We'll see what Bullington has.. He is just a sitting duck though if you ask me. They have prospects that need protection and Bullington is one of those guys that could clear a spot for them.

HOW ABOUT CHOO IN THE THREE HOLE?

This kid is on fire. He's really figuring out a lot of the Indians issues. I'd really like to see Dellucci jetisoned and them go with the four man rotation of Grady, Ben and Choo with Gutierrez as the fourth OF. It fits perfectly. It also is one less position you need to pay attention to in Free Agency. I'm putting together a mega chart for the off-season.. I think our prime needs would be Third Base, Starting Pitcher and Bullpen. We'll tackle that when there is nothing to talk about though.

Tomorrow or Wednesay wil be probably our final What Could Have Been of the year.. Maybe we'll do one more in the regular season, maybe not. But, this one will be on Baltimore outfielder Luke Scott.

Fausto is pitching well right now. Offense nees to kick up a few more runs though with the way the O's offense runs. Aubrey Huff is partier.. I tell ya what.

9.07.2008

Sunday Morning Rant

I got a little bit of stuff to say here on this lovely Sunday Morning.

The last time I checked, the calender has turned to September.

So.. With that.. We've got some extra players on the roster now.

Why is Eric Wedge not USING THEM?!

I've yet to see Josh Barfield, John Meloan and Michael Aubrey.

Eric Wedge has been ho-hum about Josh Barfield and if he'll even see time this year.

WHAT COULD IT HURT?!

I mean seriously guy.. You need to see what he has this year. If you can find at-bats for David Dellucci, you can find at bats for Josh Barfield.

If you can find innings for Edwin Mujica, you can find innings for John Meloan.

I mean really dude.. STOP PLAYING TO WIN EVERY GAME.

It's nice to win, but we need to figure this out, and you can't continue to pitch Rafael Perez in every given situation. Give someone else a chance to prove themselves.

I'm just getting really sick of this win at all costs mentality Eric Wedge is taking in a season that IS NOT WINNABLE. I wanna win as much as the next guy.. I get excited at the 10 game win streaks.. It's great.

But, those wins will come.. Its not like you are benching Peralta or Cabrera for weeks at a time. I'm talking about a start here or a start there.

Jamey Carroll has no business playing second base anymore.. Play him at third when Marte sits.. Play Barfield when Peralta or Cabrera need a break.

There is no reason for Rafael Perez to be coming into a game with a 5 run lead or a 4 run deficet. Bring in someone else.. Stop killing Perez with these stupid apperances.. A 4 run deficet isn't a position to be bringing in your ace set-up man, sorry to say. Bring in Betancourt or something if anything.

Boy, just ticked off.

Also Travis Hafner as I saw him last night.

If he isn't called up tomorrow, I'll be even more ticked off..

Last night, he looked fine, he was swinging free and easy, hitting the home run to right and the deep fly ball to left. He's gone through four at-bats two days in a row so don't tell me he can't handle a 3 at-bat game every other day. Don't even FEED me that garbage.

Call him up.. Get him in the lineup every other day, and stop screwing around.. That or shut him down...

It just puzzling to see some of the decisions this team is making with the injuries an the fact that this team ISNT GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!

Stop winning at all costs in September.. Its nice when you win, we need to win some games, but playing Josh Barfield once in a great while over Asdrubal Cabrera isn't going to cost you a billions of wins.

9.06.2008

Hafner Helps Aeros Advance to EL Championship

Boy was Hafner swinging.

I was fortunate to sit right behind the Home on-deck circle so I watched Travis Hafner pretty much lurk around and wait for his at-bats.

To recap.

Matt LaPorta walked in the bottom of the first with two outs to bring up Pronk. After working the count and fouling some pitches off, Hafner blasted a line drive home run into the right field bleachers.

At that point, it was over.

Hafner would knock in another run later on a bases loaded hit by pitch. The reliever was coming in with one out and three on and basically said "hey go ahead, face Travis Freaking Hafner". He hit Travis on the first pitch.

His next two at-bats were both stung shots. One to left field in which he absolutely smashed and a hard grounder to second base. He looked real good swinging the bat.

Matt LaPorta is a players ladies and gentleman. He is a player! It was the eigth inning, he could have mailed it in with the Aeros up by four runs, but instead on a weak slow rolling grounder in the infield he ran hard and almost beat it out. He isn't mailing it at all even though he could.

Oh, he also hit a home run over the left field wall. I swear it left the park, but who knows.

Walk up Music.

The walk-up music was very interesting.. I don't know if you've ever watch Rob & Big on MTV, but the song "Dirty Girl" was LaPorta's walk up music. Hafner's was the theme song to WWE wrestler John Cena. Go figure.

The Aeros bat boy on the vistors side of the field was playing the air guitar to all the songs between innings. He was very entertaining cause when he'd pick up the bat, he'd pretend he was shooting a gun at random people in the crowd.

Reid Santos is a flithy little pitcher, I enjoyed watching him throw the ball. He was getting guys to wave at some really puzzling pitches.

I bought an Aeros hat, so I'm all set. The store was out of any XL shirt imaginable so I couldn't get a shirt. Restock!

Frank Herrmann was lights out tonight, just setting the Baysox down. Just three hits and no walks in his seven innings of work.

In just the two games with the Aeros, Hafner had 7 RBI.. Damn sir, I'm sure Bowie isn't pleased about that.

Anyway, I had a great time and might go to one of the Championship games next week, but I won't like, Hafner is the main reason I went. Congrats to the Aeros.

Here are a few pictures from where I was sitting, I was only on my phone so they are blurry, but it gives you an idea. That is Pronk walking around wearing number 50 with LaPorta at bat.





Great stuff.. Anyway the Tribe's 10 game road win streak is snapped. Oh well, Gil Meche had it on lockdown again and Zach Jackson looks like aside from one inning, was pretty damn good.

I beg to differ...

CastroTurf always has a great sub-line under the title of the blog that is periodically updated.

Right now it says..

"The Official Web Site of Sal Fasano"

I beg to differ, but whatever.. Any Sal Fasano love is good Sal Fasano love.

Anthony Reyes left the game last night with some elbow soreness. Oh man.

Reyes seems confident he will start next Wednesday, so we'll hope for that, if not we may see.. Lord only knows.... Aaron Laffey is shut down, David Huff is shut down, who knows what would be thrown out there.

Travis Hafner starts again tonight for the Aeros, I did not make it out to the game because of the rain, it got me down.. I will go tonight for sure though.. Hit another one for me Pronkster.

That's all for now I guess. Report later tonight or tomorrow morning on the Akron game. Go Aeros, Go Sal Fasano, Go Pronk!

9.05.2008

Grand PRONK

Travis Hafner has hit a grand slam to support the Aeros in their third game against Bowie in the playoffs. I flaked out on the game tonight because of the weather and I'm really kicking myself now. I'm definitely going to be down there tomorrow though and hopefully Akron holds on so tomorrow can be the clincher.

Anyway, he walked and hit the grandslam to centerfield, so that's good to hear. Hopefully he plays tomorrow as well because indications are that if he doesn't play in back to back games soon, he'll be shut down.

LaPorta better have a good night with Hafner hitting right behind him.. Ryan Edell is pitching well..

Full update tomorrow and hopefully I get down to Canal Park tomorrow.

Victor Martinez is catching tonight for the first time.

9.04.2008

LOLTribe: White Sox, Cliff Lee Has a Secret

You know, the pictures on Yahoo are getting low.. They didn't even put one up for the White Sox series, so I had to rely on ESPN's photos.

No Photoshop Off-Day because I'm lazy.. I wanted to do this instead.



Cliff Lee's secret isn't much of a secret. The secret is he's the freaking man!



I sort of was reminded about this song I sung back in Catholic School.. And I lifffftt you up on EEEEAGGGLES WINGS!! It was really bad.. I didn't sing though, I just blended in by moving my lips. Damn You



If Asdrubal Cabrera were a fish, what kind of fish would he be?



Alexei Ramirez is fast becoming one of my most hated players in the game. I don't like this picture.. He also looks like a twig.



I don't need to say much more.. Do I?

Minor Issues: Hey, This LaPorta Kid is Clutch!

The much anticipated Akron playoff game was last night.

An appearance of me at Canal Park, hinged on a win either last night or tonight, I'm thinking of going on Friday or Saturday.

Anyway. Akron is a winner in 12 innings over Bowie in game one of the Eastern League Playoff match up.

Matt LaPorta, simply carried the Aeros on his back.

4-5 with two runs scored, 2 home runs and 4 RBI including the go-ahead RBI single in the 12th inning.

"It was really good to get that big hit," LaPorta said. "But again, nobody comes in if there's nobody on base. It was a great team effort." (MILB.com)

LaPorta hit a solo shot in the 4th inning and a 2-run bomb in the 6th. Wyatt Toregas hit one in the ninth to presumably give the Aeros a lead, that was until Bowie grounded into a RBI forceout against closer Randy Newsome.

Scott Lewis got the start with 5.2 innings of three run ball. Neil Wagner was huge going three relief innings allowing no runs and picking up the win.

JD Martin goes tonight for the Aeros as they try and take a two game lead.

Lake County also picked up a win in their first game, this one was more of a no-doubter though.

"It's great to jump out to this one game lead with two games left at home", Captains manager Aaron Holbert said. "Hopefully the great fans of Eastlake and Lake County will come out and the guys will rally behind them". "Getting the early lead in a big game like this was very important and we just kept the pressure on the rest of the way, Holbert continued. (MILB.com)

Juan Valdes led the charge, going 2-4 with a three run home run and four RBI. Karexon Sanchez also went deep with Dustin Realini and Matty McBride knocking in a run apiece.

Joey Mahalic was nails, going five innings and allowing just four hits and striking out three.

Chris Archer goes for the Captains in Game 2. Big wins for both teams getting Game one on the road.

Williamsport beat Mahoning Valley in regular season play. Lonnie Chisenhall knocked in a run, Zach Booker knocked in two and Jeremie Tice hit a 2-run home run.

9.03.2008

They just wanna win... Go Get Em Tribe

Not to say they are cheating or anything......

Go Get Em.. Ladybugs.. Frisky Dingo Reference.

So I tried to update this morning, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that when I have an 8:50 class and I'm getting up at 7 and taking 20 minutes to eat pop tarts, and not getting into the parking deck until like... 8:20, that I on;y have time to walk to my first class and fill out my fantasy lineups (all.. 8 of them).

But..

Buffalo is no more, officially.. We will see when Columbus is more, officially.. OFFICIALLY

Travis Hafner will go to Akron or Lake County or Mahoning Valley to rehab.. We gotta see how his batting session went first.

Gaylord Perry commented on Cliff Lee

"I won a lot of my games in the eighth or ninth inning, because teammates made some plays or got some hits," Perry said. "It's about twice as tough to win 20 now. When somebody does that, you better keep him." (Indians.com)

Aaron Laffey has an injury and will be shut down rather than move to a six man rotation. Makes sense why he was struggled.

And John "Don't Call Me Jon" Meloan.

I posed the question to CastroTurf on the sudden use of "H" in the name John for John Meloan.

He answered
, like we always know he will. He asked the Indians to put the H in after the trade. So.. Great. I gotta go back and change everything in the tags to JOHN now.. Damnit!

Oh and a SQUIRREL made his presence felt.

I was at the game a few years ago against the Yankees in which the Squirrel completely took over. The one today didn't really take over, but he was entertaining in his own right with his army crawl. Choo and people in right tried to corner him into the bullpen, he ran onto the infield when Rich Rundles came in to face Thome, he almost ran into the third base umpire.

He was the man!

Remember a few years ago when Coco Crisp laid down a bunt and beat the throw to first with a head first slide. They broke up a game against the Yankees and Mariano Rivera that night and it was exciting as all get out. The guys on the scoreboard were having fun putting Indians jerseys on Yankee fans in attendance. They then put one on the Squirrel as he was dubbed the "Rally Squirrel"

Fun times.

Today the Squirrel wasn't much luck. Jeremy Sowers pitched well early.. He either pitches well early and blows up later or he blows up early and gets stronger, the guy is nuts.

Javier Vazquez was making the Tribe bats look silly. Jhonny Peralta finally broke through with a two run double in the 6th inning, and after that they had plenty of chances, but double plays and just bad at-bats killed any sort of rally or chance the Indians had. Every inning after that they threatened but just couldn't punch the run though. They didn't even need hits at times either.

Juan Rincon was pretty solid out of the pen. Going 2.1 innings with just one hit at the end of it was huge. Rafael Betancourt was as perfect as you can ask for throwing 9 strikes out of 10 pitches to get three outs.

That now brings us to an off-day, but at least we WIN a series over the Sox, happy days at least.

After the off-day, you get Brandon Duckworth in Kansas City with Anthony Reyes going for the Tribe.

[BOXSCORE]