Pulse of the Tribe: The Ohio Cup

It has become almost a legend.
Ohio Pennant? What? - Wikipedia


The Ohio Cup.

This morning, it kept up it's residency in Cleveland, with the Red Legs from Cincinnati failing to bring home the coveted desired sought-after mildly interested in take-it-or leave it piece of hardware.

Where in Cleveland is another question. We think it is somewhere in Progressive Field, but no one is sure. It only makes an appearance once a year, and then goes away again. It's like the Easter Bunny, only without chocolate filled eggs or jelly beans.

So now that we have the Ohio Cup, what do we do? Can you really consider it a win with the series split yet again? No one has actually really won the cup in a few years. The Indians just keep winning it by default really.

Should we gloat? Parade around any Reds fan that we know?

Or just act sarcastic about the whole thing, like I'm doing now?

Let's just see what the world thinks...

Morning Rundown: Kazmir, Brantley Help Cleveland Claim the Cup

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
The Cup is OURS!

Sorta. Whatever. A split is huge. Coming off five straight losses, to come back and find a way to win both home games against a really good NL Central team and playoff contender was a big way to start off this mini-homestand. The Indians are about to enter into that AL East portion of their schedule once again.

So, this was big. And it came down to one big inning that people should still be talking about.

REDS - 1 | INDIANS - 7
W: Scott Kazmir (3-2)
L: Homer Bailey (3-4)

We've kind of been throwing it around and talking about how awesome the Indians seem to be with two outs and runners in scoring position. It's a nice little aspect to this team. It is a great thing for this club to be able to do. It makes them lethal. When you can come up with the clutch hit and do it well, you will win some games.


Morning Rundown: Masty Busts Streak On Way to 8th Win

So the Reds starting pitching has been really good. They had gone pretty much the entire month of May without being saddled with a loss, just short of a few days at the beginning and now thanks to the Indians, at the end.

Despite the fact that he was coming off a shaky outing from last week, the Indians ACE did what ACES do. He busted a slump.

REDS - 2 | INDIANS - 5
W: Justin Masterson (8-3)
L: Bronson Arroyo (5-5)

Terry Francona said before the game that his team has passed through the losing streak with flying colors, and that he actually felt better about his team, despite current struggles.


Morning Rundown: Step Away From the Ledge; Indians Drop 4th Straight

You know it is kind of funny. Well, not really funny, but you'll get what I'm about to say.

We sat here not more than a week ago talking about how the Cleveland Indians, ahem, YOUR Cleveland Indians were the hottest team in baseball.

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
Now there seems to be some panicking setting in.

Lemme just say, no panicking, please. Just like you shouldn't have ran out and bought playoff tickets last week, you shouldn't go burning down houses this week. Baseball is a marathon. I shouldn't have to repeat that cheesy cliche, but sometimes it needs to be said for you to remember it. Especially during a stretch like this one.

INDIANS - 2 | REDS - 4
W: Jonathan Broxton (2-1)
L: Nick Hagadone (0-1)
S: Aroldis Chapman (13)


Morning Rundown: Bullpen Breaks in Boston, But Kluber Dazzles

The only thing more painful than watching the events of Sunday afternoon unfold on your smart phone is Perez's arm. Or maybe watching it unfold live on television or in person. I mean either way. Not knowing what exactly is going on, but knowing that the game is unraveling is maddening.

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
Look guys, I got nothing. I'm as upset as you all are at what transpired this weekend. After winning the first game, dropping the last three, especially the last two, and even more especially on Sunday, times a thousand multiplied by infinity, I'm disappointed.

Times a thousand multiplied by infinity and all I can say is I'm disappointed?

Yeah I guess so. I've had time to cool off and I also realize that it's just two games of the 162.

W: Craig Breslow (2-0)
L: Chris Perez (2-1)


Sunday Grazing: Reynolds Friendly Fire, Mini-Drubes, and A-Rod's Weird Painting

We're going to try something new on the weekends here, as long as I have the time and or energy to do so. The beauty of this is that it's a little different than what you are used to from me, only it is exactly what you are used to from me.

So with that, and no real formal introduction, I bring to you on this abnormally chilly morning, Sunday Grazing, a little bit of an outside the diamond look at the Cleveland Indians.


I hate the All-Star balloting rigmarole. So much so that I have given up on trying to do anything with it. I have stopped voting, I have stopped campaigning to vote, I've stopped caring. See what this has done to me?

If you are new to this site, perhaps you don't know the storied history of my efforts. From the Vote Asdrubal Cabrera campaign to the infamous Write In Jack Hannahan plea, I've tried to spur the efforts to get Indians in the All-Star game. I used to be totally down with the idea of going up against the big boys.


Tribe Daily Invitational II: All Alone at the Top

I'm just sitting up at the top. No big deal.

The namesake to Chiz in the Hall isn't fairing so hot this season, he's down in Triple-A after a rough start to his season.

But Chiz in the Hall? Who's going to stop the machine? It's rolling.

Granted, we're only less than two months into this MLB season, so there's plenty of time to go, but I'm building a lead that I'm aiming for no one to touch.

So with that, if you are out there in places 2nd through 10th, I'm asking you to find a groove and try and challenge me. Because I'll run away with this if you let me. As a little bit of a different twist, I'll give my quick thought on each team and rate how much I'm scared of them with the Fear Factor.


Morning Rundown: Complete Offense Carries Tito Back Into Boston

This lineup is good. They are not going anywhere. Figuratively of course, they will not regress or take a nose dive, or fizzle out.

They won't score 12 runs every night, but if you are sitting there thinking that the offense may not be for real, you are going to be mistaken, especially if you watched this club last night.

I can't definitively say that about the pitching. We saw Ubaldo struggle, and who knows if Zach McAllister will be brilliant all year. You still have to wonder about Masterson staying consistent and yada yada, you can make claims about the pitching, with no argument from me.

But I defy you to make an argument about this team's offense. Last year's offense had no staying power, was charged by a couple of hot streaks and a few consistent players.

This year's offense is charged by a lineup full of productive players and you saw that last night.


Morning Rundown: He's Back! Ewwbaldo and Rain Curtail Offensive Momentum

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I don't think I've ever flip-flopped between wanting a game to restart and not wanting a game to restart as much as I did with this rainy-mess of a game. Of course you would love to erase a 9-2 deficit and forget about the whole thing, because you might as chalk that one up to a loss.

But when you suddenly score three runs to make it some sort of a ball-game, then things get interesting.

Tack on a few more to make it a two-run game, and all of a sudden you feel like you have a chance.

Of course when it was all said and done, rain couldn't prevail and neither did the Indians.

W: Justin Verlander (5-4)
L: Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3)


Positive Swish: Cy Young? No Problem.

You are probably still feeling a little let-down after the game last night. That's fine, it was a little deflating to see Max Scherzer go out there and carve up the lineup.

But today is a new day and as we've talked non-top about, the Indians feast on Cy Young pitching.

Who's pitching tonight?

Seems like a perfect time to instill a little positivity with your favorite Bro.

Morning Rundown: Red Hot Tribe Run Into Superb Scherzer

Some nights, you can't do much. There's always things you can do differently. There's always things that could have went your way and there's always things you analyze as to what went wrong.

That happens and that happened against the Tigers on Tuesday. However, there was one thing that the Indians could do absolutely nothing about.

As hard as they tried, even if certain things went their way or they did things a little differently, there was one thing that was not being messed with.

Those nights happen. And those nights make losing easier to stomach. It isn't fun, especially with the team that the Indians figure to be locking horns with all summer, but you can at least rest a little easier knowing that what ultimately happened was out of your control and you got beat by the better guy having an awesome night.

W: Max Scherzer (6-0)
L: Corey Kluber (3-3)


Tribe Versus: Detroit 5/21-5/22

Your first place Cleveland Indians. The beauty of this series is that the Indians will exit it still in first place. What could be more beautiful? Winning both games. Going up more than four games on the Tigers and beating their two heavy-hitters? Look, you'll settle for a split, want to avoid losing both, but if you can sweep?

Oh if you can sweep, it will be a so sweet May. The Indians send Kluber and Jimenez, the Tigs have their guys in Scherzer and Verlander. Scherzer is undefeated, Verlander is coming off two tough spots (one against the Indians). Kluber coming off one of his better starts, while Jimenez is on a run of confidence boosting starts. The Indians offense is running on all cylinders, and the Tigers can catch fire at any time.

If this series is uneventful, it may be the biggest disappointment of the young baseball season.

Morning Rundown: Even Their Backups Are Good!




Use words of awe, amazement, disbelief. There is this weird twist of joy, hope, and trepidation with this team right now.

We are joyful for what's happening on the field. We hold around the hope that this is for real. Yet we carry around the trepidation after what has happened the past two years.

I believe at one point last year, I told everyone, myself included, that it's just time to enjoy this. Set aside the trepidation and suspend your desire to buy in or cash out. Just enjoy what the Indians were doing.

I'm not going to do that this year. You do what you want. You take the approach you want to follow this team with as they enter the summer months. You can be hopeful, awestruck, tentative, not convinced, a straight-up believer, or you can just choose to enjoy it.

You can be excited.

You can choose to believe.

Do what you want. I'm going to go ahead and buy in. If I get burned, so what. I'm not only enjoying what this team is doing, I'm buying into it. Hook, line, and sinker. I'm in the water.


Morning Rundown: The Cleveland Indians, Hottest Team in Baseball

Regardless of what the Tigers did against the Rangers on Sunday Night Baseball, YOUR Cleveland Indians were coming into this week in first place of the AL Central and the hottest team in baseball. They've got one more left against the Mariners, and win or lose, they're going to welcome Detroit into Cleveland as the leaders of the AL Central for a first place show down.

Is this what it's going to be all summer? Because it sure as heck looks like it. Detroit and Cleveland look like the class of the Central right now. Kansas City looks okay and they may be in it, but the way the Indians look? Detroit and Cleveland could be taking this one to September.
Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports

First things first of course. There's this little matter of Eric Wedge's Seattle Mariners, who are one game away from being swept in four games.

W: Justin Masterson (7-2)
L: Felix Hernandez (5-3)

In his past three starts now, Justin Masterson has had ONE bad inning.


Pulse of the Tribe: Cleveland Hates Chris Perez

The last time I did this little adventure into the world of Twitter searches, I came away amazed at how creative some people were at bashing Ubaldo Jimenez.

We reached the brink of insanity with watching Ubaldo after he went out and had one of the worst games of his Indians career. Twitter exploded. I even had enough. I was ready to discard Jimenez along with his dirty socks.

This time, it's a little different. Maybe I'm preying on the vulnerability of Cleveland with this, but I'm sick and tired of seeing Chris Perez bashed for his pitching.

You can hate him for his mouth, which got him in trouble last year, but to wish death upon another human being over a baseball game? Perhaps it is the anonymity of Twitter that let's people get away with these things. I have no clue why people say the things they say.

They still say it. I'll have some good tweets for your viewing pleasure. The ones that can be creative in their dissing of Chris Perez get their just due. They're clever, witty, and tasteful. If you can rip someone in good fun, you are a good fan.

If you wish death upon someone because they gave up a few home runs, you need to seek help.. Or you need me to tell you why you are wrong, which I'll most absolutely do.


A Tale of Two Tribes: Between 2012 and Now, Talent is the Key

Do you remember where the Cleveland Indians were on May 18th last year?

Do you want to remember?

Trust me, it isn't bad. It's actually quite good. It's what followed makes the memory a touchy subject. The Indians went 46-77 after May 18th. A steady slide down the standings. That record was the worst in the AL Central over the span of May 19th to the end of the year. If they had not caught fire to start the season, they might have made the Astros look good.

The losing streak, the implosion of the rotation, the left field mess, the injuries. There wasn't much good going on with the Tribe after May.

Yet we sat here, with our Indians three games up on the Tigers in the division, thinking, hoping, and believing that perhaps, there would be a run made out of this start. We weren't sure how, but maybe this rag-tag bunch of players that were assembled had some sort of extra factor that helped over come the talent gap other teams had over the Indians.

Yeah about that.

That's the word there, talent. When it comes down to it all, you can do a lot with an "it factor" or intangibles, and leadership. But none of that means anything unless you have talent. No team goes to the playoffs without talent. They can win a World Series with the other stuff, but they can't get to that position without players.

We're talking major players.

And that's your separation. That makes this year's Cleveland Indians team much better than last year's team. Take a trip with me as I show the incredibly different Cleveland Indians teams that share the same record.


Morning Rundown: Dazzling Masty and Kipnis Help Earn Split

If you asked me before the double header if I'd take a split, you know I most certainly would. Yes, I would. Why am I good with a split? Because nothing changes going into the rest of the week and that to me is the important thing. Nothing changing based off two games with the Yankees.

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
Say what you want about this lineup that seems to be pieced together with scotch tape and Elmer's glue, but the Yankees are in first place and after the first two games, just to win one would have been ideal.

Of course two wins would have been better, but after Sunday's big comeback, you had to wonder if the steam that has been powering the Indians train would soon run a little low.

W: Justin Masterson (6-2)
L: David Phelps (1-2)

It wouldn't be in the first game, that was for sure. In fact things started great right out from the start with Jason Kipnis' home run.


Morning Rundown: Tribe Put Tigers On Notice With Series Win

Indians fever...Be a believer...In the Cleveland....INDIANS!

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
First place say whaaaaat?

You just get that feeling, especially after beating Justin Verlander on Saturday, that it didn't matter that the Indians hadn't led for a single pitch of Sunday's game until the top of the 10th inning. That club was going to find a way to take this series and send out the opening salvo to Detroit.

Statement made.

You're not taking the AL Central without a fight Detroit. Put up your dukes.

W: Joe Smith (1-0)
L: Darin Downs (0-1)
S: Cody Allen (1)


Indians Hot Play May Be More Than Just a Streak

Not much has changed since we last talked. The swelling in my face has gone up and come back down in the span that the Indians swept the A's and have won four straight.

And to be quite honest, I spent a large part of my three days recovering watching the Indians at night. I did a lot of day naps so passing the time was hard, until the Tribe came on. So the fact that they were winning was a good thing.

Who knows how painful that would have been.

I still have some chipmunk features and there's a little pain, but I'm getting back into the routine. I could have just waited til Monday and took the entire week, but that seems like an awfully long time to not say something about the way this team is playing. So I'm going a little throwback here and doing this a way I haven't really done in awhile. You all know the 9-2 win yesterday, blah blah sweep, 10 of the last 12 for wins, just a game and a half out of first place, yada yada.

There are just some astonishing things going on with this club right now and I'll try to get to all of them.


Morning Rundown: Streaking Into Sunday, Indians Fall in Series Finale

Today was the day I have been dreading for awhile. Perhaps, years... I didn't think it would ever come.

Today I'm getting my wisdom teeth out. Depending on when you are reading this, I may be currently in surgery or passed out in my bed hoping to wake up without any sort of agonizing pain. Or you are reading it so quickly after it posted that I'm actually just awake roaming around nervously before my surgery.

Either way, I'm not looking forward to this experience as everyone has a story, and none of those stories involve anything other than some sort of pain or discomfort.

Of course you didn't come here for me to tell you about my teeth, but I did feel I should share that tidbit, as it means I will be out of action here for a few days. It shouldn't prevent you from voting for Bro of the Month though, because you only have a few days for that.

So, the last rundown for, like maybe a day, two at the most I guess. I won't let a few teeth keep me down too long.


Positive Swish: Stubbs! You Kiddin' Me?!

I think that even though the Indians have won five straight, because they never even won more than four games in a row last year, we have a small reason to celebrate.

And while I thought we would be reserving Positive Swish for the occasions when we needed a pick-me-up, I think after I used him after the Indians destroyed the Astros too, all occasions are acceptable. Including walk-off victories and five game win streaks.

If anything, Positive Swish can turn the tide, or keep it moving positively in the right direction. So if it leads to six and even seven wins in a row, why not? And don't worry, I know the rest of the team might be getting jealous that there is Positive Swish and Bro of the Month, but none of them have run around on the field like an airplane.


Bro of the Month: April 2013

For the past few years, we've done this little thing around the blog were we've voted for the player of the month, every month.

It had a fancy title, because Manny Acta, the former manager, wore fedoras. It was a play off the idea of the "golden sombrero" only this was something you were okay with being saddled with.

Manny Acta is now gone though, so to continue the tradition of having a Manny Acta Golden Fedora of the Month would be really, weird. And awkward.

So the search began for months after Acta's dismissal as to what would happen. Would we abandoned the concept completely? Would we choose a new person and unique trait about them to represent the award? Would we just call it Indians Player of the Month?


Morning Rundown: Rakin' Raburn, Walkin' Bauer, Winnin' Tribe

I may have dreamed it. Yeah I think it definitely was a dream, because this actually wouldn't happen. Somehow I remember seeing a bunch of people picking the Indians to win the division or win a wild card spot.

Because I don't remember specifics, it had to be a dream, because I don't have any names, website, television network, or news source that I saw this on. Cleveland! In the playoffs, I said. What the heck are all these people doing now on the Indians bandwagon?

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
So now the Indians have infiltrated my dreams. As much as I love our Tribe, I don't think I've ever had a dream that I remembered where the Indians were involved, so maybe something is speaking to me. Maybe there's something at play here that no one can control.

Maybe the tide is turning.

Or maybe I'm just crazy.

W: Trevor Bauer (1-1)
L: Cliff Lee (2-2)

Now look, fourth place has never looked so good as the Indians are just three games out of first place with their two-game sweep of the Phillies and the four straight they've pulled off. And baseball is so mish-mash right now, that the four games constitutes as baseball's hottest team. No wonder I'm dreaming, Indians fever is contagious, everyone is catching it.


Mini Rundown: Indians Ambush Halladay and Phillies, Pile Up Homers

Speechless. Absolutely speechless as to what the heck is going on with this offense right now. Three days in a row now that this offense has suddenly erupted. And while beating up on a guy just called up from the minor leagues is one thing, getting to Wade Davis is another, absolutely ambushing Roy Halladay is a whole different story.

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
I don't care if it is Roy Halladay's former self, a Halladay that is not as good as he used to be. It's still Roy Halladay, a capable major league starter even at this stage of his career.

The Indians made him look like Will Smith.

Who is this offense and where did they come from? Is this the offense that we all thought was possible when this lineup was assembled? I mean, I think it is what they are capable of, and that's without Bourn setting the table.

W: Zach McAllister (2-3)
L: Roy Halladay (2-3)

On the win over the Phillies, Jason Giambi pretty much summed up what I said right up there in a few shorter sentences.