Matt Cassel's Brother and One of the Coolest Names in Baseball

Thing is...

I've quickly realized Wednesday is going to be what is called, the day of hell, especially if snow is on the ground.

It's like, up at 6:30, get to campus, first class at 7:45, another class right after that. An hour break that really lets me do nothing, another class, another hour break to get lunch, another class. Then I can go home. But, I have to go back for a 5:10 class. Well I left home at 4:30 and walked into class exactly at 5:10. My drive usually takes 10 minutes at least, sometimes 15. That's how bad the snow was yesterday.

For all you Ohio people, really, get off the freaking road. It was madness yesterday. Cars on in the middle of the freeway buried in the snow. One screw-up and you are with them, even if you have an SUV.

Anyway.. That's my complaint about the snow. The good news is, I planned my schedule to where I get Tuesday and Thursday off and I tell you, it's quite refreshing. I might have five classes on Wednesday and four on Monday, but just three on Friday and the awesomeness that is two whole days off. It's like a recharging. It also leads me to a four day break with MLK day coming up.

Alright, let me cut it out and get to the news, because we got plenty.

Let's start with the silent news that hasn't even been released by someone else. Baseball America has this little tidbit.

The Indians signed pitcher Jack Cassel. Who's Jack Cassel? Well he's the brother of Matt Cassel, Quarterback of the New England Patriots. Cassel is 28 and has 50 some innings of experience in the big leagues with San Diego and most recently Houston.

So. Minor League deal I'm going to guess with an invite to big league camp.

The Indians also made official the singing and invite we already knew in Greg Aquino. But also the announcement of Kirk Saarloos, getting a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Saarloos is such a cool name.

It looks like some character deezenuts, and that is so clever by the way, has made it his goal to terrorize the good people that read and reply to CastroTurf and Anthony himself.

Anyway. Kirk Saarloos, starting pitching, Aquino, relief pitcher. Saarloos, 29 years old, Aquino 30.

They join Tomo Ohka as the pitchers with some major league experience signed to minor league deals for the Indians.

The Indians also extended invites to some minor league players within their system. Matt LaPorta, David Huff, and Wes Hodges are just some of the names. Here is the current list of non-roster invitees as it stands now.

Greg Aquino
Tomo Ohka
Kirk Saarloos
David Huff*
Ryan Edell*

Damaso Espino, C+
Michael Aubrey, 1B*
Jordan Brown, 1B*
Stephen Head, 1B/OF*
Wes Hodges, 3B*
Jesus Merchan, INF
Wilson Valdez, INF
Beau Mills, 1B/3B*
Andy Cannizaro, INF+

Matt LaPorta*
Mike Brantley*

That stands at 16 and I would think they would get some more outfielders into the mix. Where is Trevor Crowe? I think there are more invites still left to be given out.

Let's move to Ryan Garko, who is probably impacted the most by the Kelly Shoppach deal, besides Shoppach himself.

Garko could lose playing time if Kelly Shoppach plays well or he plays poor.


I love Garko. He is my guy and I want him on this team because I really believe he has a special bat.

He just has to stay focused and do what he does best and that's knock in runs and hit doubles.
"We'll see how it goes," said Garko, checking in recently from Phoenix. "The one thing I'm focused on is staying in the present and working every day to get a little bit better."
That's fine. Eric Wedge was on All Bets Are Off the other day and I forgot to mention it. But his interview by the by was outstanding. I think we saw Wedge in a new light with that. One thing he said that encouraged me about Garko is that he's a big Ryan Garko fan. You know I joke he doesn't like the Stanford boys and he seems to have a bias against a guy like Ryan Garko.

But I think he truely likes Ryan and wants to give him every chance to succeed.

The best thing Ryan can do is what he did in 2007 and not give him any other choice but to get him in the lineup on a daily basis. He should have an inside track on doing that.

I think something that hurt him was Victor and Hafner being hurt. He was all of a sudden the guy and he didn't adjust well to that. Now he's got those guys back, the pressure is off in terms of being the man in the lineup, and he has made those adjustments.

Ah well.

As I was saying about Wedge. I got a new found appreciation for the guy. I've supported Wedge, not like YEAH ERIC WEDGE IS THE BEST MANAGER EVER. Or anything like that, but I'm going to defend him more than I'll call for his head, because he really does have command of that clubhouse. All of these players have bought into the Eric Wedge idea. It's taken years, but they are a team and Wedge is the reason for a lot of that.

He's also a hard-ass. I'd like to see im get a little more upset and storm the field once and awhile, but he does a good job.

ONE THING though that I took away from the interview and it's about that final bench spot.

Don't underestimate the idea of Josh Barfield getting it.


Wedge brought up an aspect I didn't count on because I wasn't aware of Wedge having that much importance in it.


With guys that can't run, Wedge needs a guy on the bench that has some speed for late in the game.

Dellucci is your 4th outfielder most of the night, he is slow. Carroll is the utility guy with a decent amount, but your other infielder is Andy Marte and he isn't fast by any means.

That's something that just jumped out of me when Eric Wedge brought it up. I can't believe I didn't consider that.

So, keep that in mind when we are looking at the final roster spot.

With that. Have a good one and avoid that snow. If you get a chance.. Stab a snowman... Evil Demon Ice Monsters..

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