In the books and off and running

Here's my quick rant about stuff... I hate how my town is a little farm area. Okay I don't live in farmland or anything that drastic, but there is just really bad signals all around my house, cell phone, radio, whatever. I can't pick up anything clearly and because of the MLB's blackout restrictions, I can't pick up an internet stream of the game from the WTAM or WMMS. That being said, could the MLB just throw us a bone with the spring training games? Are they really losing out on all that much money by not letting stations broadcast games that are mostly comprised of players like Doug Mathis and Dave Sappelt?


Finally, let's play ball...

Good Sunday Afternoon, but more importantly, HAPPY BASEBALL! Today the Indians will hit the field to play the Cincinnati Reds and we can actually start keeping unofficial statistics and drool over the fact that a ball is being thrown and a bat is being swung. Today baseball officially unofficially starts. Let's not waste any more time.


Eating Crowe and Shirts...Thanks Chad

I really can't believe we just signed Chad Durbin... Seriously, this makes absolutely no sense. What is the point? Does this mean I'm really going to stuff the Peralta shirt in my mouth and run into a wall? Well, I guess you'll just have to read on to find out for sure.


Chad Durbin? I call bunk on that one

When I'm at home, it is becoming a chore to do anything on the internet. It takes me twice as long just to post something because Time Warner is horrific. It took me 10 minutes just to log into blogger and I'm not exaggerating. I really don't understand how Time Warner can charge so much for such horrible service. We're switching to Verizon as soon as possible.


Peace, Hawks, and Kenny Lofton

I only got four to five lines to make an entrance now, so it is now becoming more difficult to not ramble about a story or something. The upside, that may be good a thing. The downside, we may miss out on discussions about Asdrubal the headless horseman or whatever it was I was on about two years ago. I guess, just because I have four or five lines, doesn't mean I have to use them. Right? Inside we've got Kenny Lofton, prospects and hawk tattoos.


Pronk Hair entering the DANGA ZONE!

I'm at an even point in the semester. I've sort of ahead on a lot of assignments and really, I'm golden until spring break. Of course I know that I'll return from spring break and then the heat will set in. I guess that's fitting as the weather SHOULD be heating up, but we'll hold our breath on that one. I don't enjoy piling through two to three days worth of spring training news, so in an effort to live up to the name, our second daily update in a row!


Snowy outside? Come read about the Tribe!

Do I even bother mention the snow? I mean, I'm used to this kind of insanity, and by now so should you. Why even bother? I mean, it was the worst driving conditions I think I've ever been a part of. Took me 50 or so minutes to get home last night when it usually takes 10. The reason it was so bad? My windshield was sucking it up and my contact fell out. It's okay, baseball is almost here and at least they've got semi-good weather in Arizona. Right? Right! Kind of...


Updating Sites and Positions

It will take some time to get used to, but the blog has a bit of a new and futuristic look.

Okay maybe not futuristic, but definitely modern and I don't know about you, faster loading. The old one always hung up on me when I'm at home (because Time Warner is garbage). I've streamlined things a bit and now to view whole posts, you have to click the "Read More" tab. For all past posts, to access the entire thing, just click on the post title. I'm not going to go through thousands of posts and fix them. So test it out! Hit Read More.


They're Here...Errr.. There!!!

Where do we start? A few days of spring training primers, a few days of me being absolutely swamped and de-energized... We've got baseball to talk about and a lot of it!

If you were worried that every inch of the Tribe wouldn't be covered with the change in MLB.com beat-writers, fear not for Jordan Bastian is wall-to-wall Tribe this week, covering every inch of ground in Goodyear. Which gives me relief, because the linking to Hoynes will be minimal.

I'm going to tackle everything we have the best way I know how.


What Should Happen to this Jhonny Peralta Shirt?

We interrupt your spring training glory to bring you this nonsense driven poll.

I posed the question to Twitter and Facebook yesterday and now full details on the blog...

What should happen to this unique and worn out, over-sized Jhonny Peralta t-shirt? Let's be honest, half my Indians wardrobe is out of date. I can still wear CC and Jody Gerut t-shirts to bed, but this Peralta shirt. It has to go. Not only is it too big, it's Jhonny Peralta.

So let's celebrate in style... What should happen to it? You decide. I'll film the ceremonies and everything. I threw out some options and tweeters have suggested their own.


2011 Spring Training Primer: The Final Overview

2011 Cleveland Indians Spring Training Primer

As I say every year.... Today is the day we've been waiting for...Maybe.

Officially, pitchers and catchers will report to Goodyear, Arizona at the now two-year-old Spring Training Complex for the Indians.

This is the extravagant and long winded bow ceremony for everything we've done over the past two days in regards to prepping our spring training gift. The Spring Training Primer concludes with the actual primer, the entire overview. Most of the team is already there, but officially, all the pitchers and all the catchers should be there, which means we get to talk about baseball again.

Happy Spring Training Day Everyone! Let's get to it.


2011 Spring Training Primer: 40-Man Roster - Position Players

As usual, our final section of the Spring Training Primer ends with all position players on the 40-man roster. The overview comes tomorrow.

Just a reminder that not all 40-man players are guaranteed spots, especially with NRI's fighting hard and well, surprise signings like the Orlando Cabrera deal that just throw monkey wrenches into this process.

Each player gets profiled as we discuss what to expect from them in the spring and what they're fighting for.

*With Orlando Cabrera's signing still not official, there will be a 40-man roster removal. Right now, I've included Cabrera, but take in mind one of the players listed here may be ousted off the 40-man at some point in the next few days.

$ - Indicates Free Agent Signing
T - Indicates Trade Acquisition
5 - Indicates Rule V Pick Up
# - Indicates Cleveland Minor League Player
Previous Club Listed


Cabrera's Effect: A Deeper Look at the Cabrera Addition

I tweeted this, but like clockwork, the Indians make a signing just as I start to put out the Spring Primer. Inevitably making what I post slightly incorrect.

We still don't know what spot Orlando Cabrera will occupy on the 40-man roster, only that he'll occupy one. With the 40-Man Position Players part due tomorrow, it obviously stands to be altered.

This morning, the Cabrera signing has certainly made some waves, so were going to do a little bit of a round-up around the web. Tomorrow and Tuesday the primer will finish as P&C's report and I'll probably throw myself off a cliff Wednesday, so yes, this works.


2011 Spring Training Primer: 40-Man Roster - Pitchers

As always, the Spring Training Primer takes another section of the team on, all the pitchers on the 40-man roster.

We enter a different situation for the pitching staff this year than we did last year. Most of the rotation spots are nailed down, with four of the five spots assumed to four of last year's starters. The fifth spot is still up in the air and it is a battle between many different options, all of which are pretty much on the 40-man roster. The bullpen battle also takes on a similar situation. The option status for all of these pitchers are going to make for some interesting competitions.

Each player gets profiled as we discuss what to expect from them in the spring and what they're fighting for.

$ - Indicates Free Agent Signing
T - Indicates Trade Acquisition
5 - Indicates Rule V Pick Up
# - Indicates Cleveland Minor League Player
Previous Club Listed


2011 Spring Training Primer: Non-Roster Invitees

I welcome you to the yearly tradition here at The Tribe Daily, the Spring Training Primer!

We kick things off every year with a look at all the Non-Roster Invitees, also known as NRI's. These are the veteran players brought in that are just looking for an opportunity on the roster, prospects not yet on the 40-man just looking to show their stuff with the big league club and anyone else in between that isn't on the 40-man roster.

Each player gets profiled as we discuss what to expect from them in the spring and what they're fighting for.

$ - Indicates Minor League Deal
# - Indicates Cleveland Minor League Player
Previous Club Listed


The Return of the Spring Training Primer

Happy morning to you all.. I come with a big announcement.

Well not really. But yeah, it is kind of a big announcement.

Why is it so big? The announcement itself is not big, but it is rather the thing that the announcement is about, is big...

So I have an announcement on a big thing.

The spring training primer returns, TOMORROW! Spring training is indeed, that big thing.

Tomorrow we'll kick off the primer as usual with the preview of all the Non-Roster Invitees. But guess what, we are hitting things full-on.

Friday, the primer continues with a preview of the 40-man pitchers and on Monday, the 40-man position players

All of this leading up to the big piece on the big thing. The big overview part of the primer the day that pitchers and catchers officially report.

Four week days, four editions of the primer. Can you wait? No, you can't, which is why it all starts tomorrow. Now onto our FINAL... Yes.. FINAL offseason news link roundup thingamabob of the offseason. I told you this was a big deal.


The happy news of the week is about Carlos Santana and the status update we've received concerning him and this whole, spring training is coming thing. The Indians have received full clearance from Dr. Rick Parker in regards to baseball activities with no restrictions. In other words, Aye Carlos, VAMANOS!

He can catch bullpens and take batting practice, go full-on in his workouts and even play in games once they start on the 27th. Spring is here and Santana is ready, this is great news. When I talk about this team, I keep forgetting about this incredible stud behind the plate and if there are no troubles stemming from this surgery, the middle of the order is going to be exciting.

Speaking of lineups, that was a main point of contention in the latest Bastian Mailbag. You know that is a main part of the primer, so that will be up for contention here next week, but Bastian says Choo and Santana will make up the 3-4 spots and for now, Hafner will claim the fifth spot.


With less than a week to go now before pitchers and catchers report, there should be some urgency for players negotiating deals to get those deals done. Yet with Scott Boras, he probably will find a way, despite not being in much of a position of power, to get Kevin Millwood a major league contract for 2011.

I hope to the heavens above it is not the Cleveland Indians.

The latest on Millwood is that he is talking to the Indians, Yankees and Mets. Seems like a perfect scenario to me as those two will. Bastian says that the Indians could be tempted into making a major league signing, it would probably be Millwood considering no one in their right mind is offering Bonderman a major league deal, which means the Indians shouldn't and won't.

The sudden re-opening of the Millwood rumors seem to be coming from the fact that things have come to a stop with Bonderman. Again, the guy wants a major league deal, but no one wants to give it to him. Why would you?

I'd rather have neither of these guys if one of them was going to get a guaranteed contract. Especially if you wanted to give $5 million to Millwood. A guy shouldn't make the same number of millions as his ERA three of the past four years.

I'd rather let David Huff go out there and give the same production for 1/00th of the price...


I seem to forget about my 2010 man-crush on David Huff. I was all over the guy, he was the guy who was going to make Jeremy Sowers a distant memory and make us think that spending picks on soft-tossing lefties wasn't a bad thing, because Huff wasn't as soft of a tosser and he actually could throw a breaking-pitch.

Take a look at the case made over at Let's Go Tribe for David Huff to not be given up on quite yet.

"But of course we all know Huff's real sin is that he is a soft-tossing lefty.  Although actually he is not.  Ben Lindbergh put together the 2010 data a week ago and it turns out the average major league starting LHP has an average fastball velocity of just 89.4 mph.  Huff's was an above-average 90.6 in 2010, up from 90.1 in 2009.  If Huff can tweek his change and slider, regain some of his (excellent) minor league control, and figure out how to use his pitches more effectively, Huff can still be a major league pitcher. "

He isn't a soft-tossing lefty. At least not in the realm of Jeremy Sowers. He can hit 90 mph on a consistent basis, not once every five starts. And as mentioned in the post, he actually has had above-average off-speed and breaking pitches in the past.

We have redemption stories all the time. I really would love to see this be Huff's redemption story as everyone has counted him out. You always get production from unexpected places and who's to say 2011 won't get some unexpected production from the guy people have counted out?

I wouldn't give up on Huff. I know some are and I may have at one point last season. Maybe it is the optimism of spring or whatever, but Huff is not Jeremy Sowers repeated. Does that mean he'll turn out to be successful? No, but he won't be the incredible half-season fluke that turned into utter crap that Sowers was.


Here is your primer for the primer with Jordan Bastian's Spring Training Preview. I say, sure the Indians didn't add much, but they certainly didn't lose much either (check the end portion entitled "Long Gone" for a nod of approval).

Last Friday was moving day for the trucks. The equipment loaded up and shipped off to Goodyear. Is there any other situation in life that we get excited about equipment trucks leaving? I mean really? Are we that sad?

The answer, is yes... We are that sad. And it feels good to be sad.

MLBTR first broke through with the link and Tony at IPI has since confirmed it, but the Indians were one of six teams to sign a Dominican League prospect. Kevin Calderon has been signed to a deal worth  $80K. Calderon is a 16-year old catcher and the word from, whoever is giving out the word, is that he is good defensively.

Speaking of prospects, go ahead and check out my fellow TCF writer Al Ciammiachella and his Top 50 Countdown list. He's got 40-31 up and it looks like today he'll cover 30-21.

Look, if you have twitter and you aren't following me, I can forgive you. But if you aren't following Chris Perez by now, we're going to have issues. The man has an arm like a FN cannon, so why would you disrespect him in this way?

In all seriousness, follow the man. We've finally got an Indian on Twitter that is not just interactive, but he is really engaging in what he tweets. You know I love Jensen Lewis, but the guy tweets nothing but shutouts to his friends, Josh Cribbs, and Las Vegas.

The big news, as far as I'm concerned, is the fact that Chris cut his hair. Fear not for he still has a nice long base and surely by the time the season rolls around, he'll be back to a more normal badass length that intimidates and frightens hitters.

You might also miss the excellent commentary provided by Castrovince on the rooms CFP decides to snap these photographs in. No one dare make fun of him for having a room with a Finding Nemo mural though, because we know how that would end for you.

Finally, I missed this, but Assistant GM Mike Chernoff (get used to seeing him a lot more as he takes over the Antonetti duties) attended SABR Day. If you don't know what SABR Day is, don't worry, I'm not sure what it is either and the thought of celebrating numbers scares me. But Chernoff shared quite a bit about the team and fielded some questions. Check out everything he had to say.

Most interesting comments... The Cliff Lee-Matt LaPorta situation comparison. It is a given that LaPorta is poised for a break out, but will it happen? Also how all the teams call about Michael Brantley. That should give us a nice bit of hope, that others teams also see Brantley as a viable major league center fielder.

There's also some great things about Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.. So go ahead and check it out. One of the most informative things you'll read all offseason.

Set your DVRs for tonight.. Or just don't... I don't care. Will I watch "Hot in Cleveland" tonight just because Grady Sizemore is going to make a cameo appearance? If I remember and there is nothing else on, then maybe I will. Or I'll just wait for a Youtube clip to surface, because watching an entire 30-minute program just for a few seconds of Grady is not how I envision spending a Wednesday evening.

Now if you could guarantee me a leaked nude picture joke from Betty White... Then I might give in.


Do you want a Bonderman?

This is all sorts of wonderful with this ice, ya know?


Well, we've gone all this time without signing a starting pitcher to a minor league deal. I mean, I figure Anthony Reyes is enough fodder for us.

But it looks like the Indians are trying hard to get one in the fold.

Bastian says the Indians are close to an agreement with Jeremy Bonderman, ON A MAJOR LEAGUE contract.... Ugh.

I have no issue with signing Bonderman, honestly I think it would be a nice add.

But for a minor league deal. A major league deal almost tells me that he's pretty much guaranteed a spot if he's healthy. And that if, could be a IF. That's an all-caps if.

With the Tigers presumably out of the running, because they wanted Bonderman on a minor league deal (gee the Tigers outsmarted us for once there), it looks like the Indians could add the 28-year-old. It would pretty much end any sort of rotation battle, because if we are presuming that four spots are going to Carmona, Talbot, ,Masterson, and Carrasco, you could pretty much lock in the final spot to Bonderman.

Wait, he's only 28? Yeah he's been around since he was 20, that's a long time. He's also had several injury concerns the pat few years, but again this is the type of signing the Indians need to do when it comes to starting pitching.

I'm just not so sure this is the right time to do it for a major league deal.


Bravo to the Indians organization for a well-run Tribe on Tour Event. I'd say it was a success due to the mass-amounts of people that showed up at each stop. I'm a witness to just how many crowded up Summit Mall on Sunday. If you believe Jim Rosenhaus, it was the most packed stop on the tour. Who knows how big Strongsville turned out.

It was a mad-house. We got there just a little bit after 11:30 and were still pretty far back in line, I can't imagine how the people in the way way back felt. Tony Sipp rotated out of the main spot before we got up to the front. Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley both made their way around and I managed to get them to sign my Indians baseball. Thankfully Choo was still there by the time we got to the front (some two and a half hours later, the main players didn't show til well after the noon start time).

I'm not going to complain considering a lot of people didn't get the chance to meet Choo, but I was a little disappointed I wasn't able to get a chance to have Mike Hargrove or Manny Acta sign anything. I did snap a photo of Acta though.

I think people were more open to this event as opposed to the last one where you had to pay money. This was a way better opportunity for people, even though it didn't cover as many stops. I'd probably expect them to do the same thing next year with some minor tweaks.

The highlight of the tour had to be this picture that found its way onto twitter.


This quick note from the Sports Business Journal. Remember how Castrovince said Shapiro said Snow Days would be back? Here's some more. I'm going to use this as a focal piece of a new TCF piece, so I'll let you conclude from it what you will for now.

"The Cleveland Indians concluded the debut run of their Snow Days winter carnival at Progressive Field with a final attendance of more than 50,000. The figure was less than the 60,000 previously projected by club officials for the five-week run and a fiscal loss, which was expected., is likely due to the initial capital expense of equipment such as snowmaking gear. The even, however, generated revenue in tat least the high six figures, an amount not subject to MLB revenue-sharing rules, and team officials said the event proved effective at attracting families as well as young adults."

The Indians should incorporate some of their award winning introduction videos into Snow Days if they haven't already. They've won an Achievement Award (whatever that is?) for their 2010 Introductory Video at Progressive Field. More Achievement Awards than Cy Youngs in the past decade, awesome.

Jordan Bastian's Around the Horn feature now takes a look at the Infield. He highlights Matt LaPorta, who by the by did look really good in person. I mean it is hard to tell considering he always wears those stupid tight shirts, but he certainly didn't look "out of shape" or anything like that.

"I actually got to prepare for a Major League season," LaPorta said. "It's a lot different than last year. It's been great. It's been fun actually to do stuff. It's given me more confidence."

Bastian also has a new Inbox up where he actually talked to Keith Law about the 17th spot for the Indians in his org. rankings.

"He and I have known each other for a few years now and we actually discussed his recent evaluation of the Indians' farm system. Know that Law has seen many of Cleveland's key prospects first-hand, which obviously plays a big role in his ranking. 

Is Law's ranking law? (See what I did there?) No, of course not. It's his opinion, based on what he has seen of Cleveland's prospects compared to those in other organizations. If you prefer to go the Baseball America route, maybe it will bring some comfort to know that the publication rated Cleveland's farm system seventh overall in the big leagues."

Finally, the best news of this week is that tomorrow, we officially begin the countdown...