The Reason Manny Acta Wears Fedoras

I'm praying this is the last big snow of the winter that we're getting.

Of course the snow must know I have to travel the 45 mile trek eastward to Youngstown, because it only seems to snow when I have to.

I'll lead off with this piece of negativity.

I tweeted this link yesterday after I found it. I'm sure Nick Carrabine (never heard of him) appreciates being linked to on Cleveland Plain Dealer, or doesn't after the way he was ripped up by commenters in his blog entry. Of course CPD commenters for the most part took this guy's side because they are cynical jerks who seem to think Paul Hoynes takes it easy on the Indians and is a Dolan apologist.

Yeah that couldn't be further from the truth. CPD commenters make me go crazy. We all know my beef with Hoynes and his negativity. This guy's "ripping" is child's play to me. What I take issue with is the fence-riding headline. Since it's a blog and not an article, I'm going to just assume he had the title himself. Not only that, but he clear-as-day rides the fence in his entry.
This offense isn’t 1995 Cleveland Indian dangerous, but dangerous enough where this team — which is expected to flirt with triple digit losses — isn’t going to be a pushover.
Someone tell me if I'm reading this right. What the hell does that even mean? How do you be horrid yet not a pushover?

I define horrid and horrible as being.... HORRIBLE! There is no word to define horrible.

When you can't define a word with another word, then there is typically no higher or lower you can go in expression.

That's like saying.... Oh yeah Rafael Nadal was the worst tennis player today, but he still took Roger Federer to five sets!

Those two thoughts just don't go together.

Anyway, I don't know who Nick Carrabine is and didn't until this blog entry was linked. It seems as if he's a reporter of actual news with an  interest in Cleveland sports who will occasionally blog about it.

So Mr. Carrabine can write absolute baffling blog entries once and awhile, get CPD to link him up, and yet someone like Paul Cousineau, who writes more fantastic entries in one day than Carrabine writes in his whole life, can only get mentioned by the only guy at the Plain Dealer who seems to know what's going on, Terry Pluto once in awhile.

Here I sit, giving you gems such as Eric Wedge's fake twitter account. Eh forget it, the deserves no notice what so ever. In fact, that needs to have dirt properly shoveled on top of it with a properly placed tombstone.

Let's get to the news, shall we?

Before we get started...As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, there are things that go on in terms of features for other blogs, collaborative efforts and all that stuff. Daniel runs C70 At the Bat and is the founder of the BBA. He asked us BBA members of the Tribe to contribute to his "Playing Pepper Series" and I obliged. Tony from IPI contributed as well, take a gander.

Russell Branyan has arrived at camp and is ready to go for his new-old team.You can check out a few videos of Branyan talking, one at the CPD site and another on Indians.com. Russell talked about the opportunity he had in Seattle and how he feels about the situation he's coming into at Cleveland. 
"I was fortunate to come across that situation in Seattle," Branyan said Thursday. "They let me go through my ups and downs. I showed myself what I can do at the big league level when given the chance to play against righties and lefties." 

"I've spoken to [general manager] Mark [Shapiro] and Manny, and the way they want to handle it is to do whatever's best for the ballclub," Branyan said. "They're trying to create a winner in Cleveland, and whatever it takes is what's going to happen." 

"A lot of things went through my mind with the decision," he said. "The relationship I built with Mark and knowing what his intentions are with this ballclub, and knowing that he's trying to do it in a way that's respectable ... they do things right here, and I'm glad to be a part of that."
If you watched that CPD video and are confused as to what is going on, let me clear it up, considering the reporters (sounded like Sheldon Ocker, of course) couldn't understand it.

Russell Branyan was told he was the starting first baseman, but he was tentative about it because he never got that type of opportunity to be the starter right from the get-go. That's what he meant by second guessing.

So we talked yesterday about what the revelation that Branyan would be the starting first baseman would mean for other players, specifically Michael Brantley and LaPorta. Mike spoke on the issue.
"I'm worried about my business. I can't worry about what business decisions get made. I'm just going to go out there, give 110 percent at all times and see what decision they make at the end of spring training."
I decided that this spring will be boring if we just sit here and talk about the news everyday. So my idea was to profile a bunch of the new faces we've got around camp. Since that's a boring idea and I already talked enough about the players, I figured why not profile the coaches? But then I came across the stupid little box on the side of this article on CPD. So I'm not going to steal their idea. I will think of something else in the coming days for next week and beyond.

I will mention this bit of coaching news though. AC has a piece on Steve Smith and his experience on the Amazing Race. I found one quote in particular, hilarious.
"When you're coaching third base, you're out there [near the fans]," Smith said. "If you do something stupid on the show, you're never going to hear the end of it." 
I guess he hasn't spoken with Joel Skinner yet. And Eric Wedge fans will be pleased to know that, while he may be gone, there is still a proponent of "grinding it out" on staff.
"You grind every day, game by game, and you don't get to appreciate it until afterward," he said. "Then when you get a ring three or four months later, you look back and go, wow, that's a goal you had your whole life. It's well worth the wait. It was quite an experience." 

Okay, whatever, let's get to current manager, Manny Acta and his thoughts on the bullpen.
"I really like our bullpen. I know they didn't pitch well last year, but we have a lot of guys back there with the potential to miss bats. We have Joe Smith back healthy this year. It's going to be a tough competition. We've brought some quality arms in to camp."    
Last night on STO's Spring Training Daily, they talked to Hector Ambriz. Acta also mentioned that Ambriz will probably get more of an opportunity than guys like Jason Grilli and Jamey Wright based on the fact that they are working with a limited time frame.

I must commend the historic moment that Anthony Castrovince will forever cherish when his blog entry was able to correct a few grammar issues that were on the walls of the complex in Goodyear.

If there's anything I've learned in my history with the internet though, it would be to not correct someone's grammar. Why? Because you inevitably will make a mistake yourself and be subject to some hawk coming out of the woodwork to correct you when you do make a mistake.

And I make plenty of them. I've spelled players names wrong for months and not realized it (Sorry Vinnie Pestano). So you won't see me doing that anytime soon. I may be a writer, but I've got grammar issues of my own. I take the mad scientist approach to things though. So excuse me if I make errors.

That all being set aside, there are a few Indians notes from Castrovince's latest entry that we must tackle, hopefully grammatically correct.

^ That has the potentially of being awkward phrasing and perhaps even wrong. But I'm leaving it, because I'm like that.

We've got our first new nickname. While I think it's been agreed upon that Acta will be called Actavision at times, he coronated himself as "Vincente Lombardo" yesterday. So he's the Spanish Vince Lombardi?


You can expect some crazy photoshop stuff with this revelation. Hell, it could make a great t-shirt as well.

Anyway, Acta said he's saving his best Vincente Lombardo stuff for Friday.

I just picture him saying something like Jim Valvano did.

Gentlemen, we'll be successful this year if you can focus on three things, and three things only. Your family, your religion........and the Green Bay Packers

Errr.. The Cleveland Indians!


Seriousness.... Acta updated us on the progress of Carlos Santana's English.
"He's not an introverted type of kid," Acta said of Santana. "He's not afraid to speak, he's not shy. His English is going to continue to improve. He knows how important it is, and he's going to put as much effort as possible into that."
That along with defense is probably what will determine when he gets up here. We've heard many times and I've mentioned just as many that his bat is just about major league ready. It's the defense and communication that are not there yet.

Finally.. It was a discussion on Spring Training Daily and in CastroTurf, so you KNOW we have to touch up on it here.

David Huff will be switching from 58 to 28 this year, the number formally worn by Jeff Datz. Huff wore 24 with Akron, 54 with Buffalo, 58 last year. Tony Sipp has already changed his number a few times himself. He occupied 49 and had to give it up.

Not to Jason Grilli, who wanted the number, but to pitching coach Tim Belcher. Grilli is wearing 35. Sipp switched to 33, but is now 46 after Russell Branyan took it.

33 was worn by Trot Nixon a few years ago.

Tim Tolman is wearing 29. Whenever I make it, he'll have to give it up.

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