Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How 'bout Them Browns?

As the Indians season winds down to just 18 games left, I'll reflect a bit on another "disappointing" season.

The Tribe this year had everyone reliving the glory days. Which was a good thing. Whenever I watched the Indians this year, they had me reminiscing about the good days with guys like the Alomar brothers, Omar, Manny, Kenny and so many other great players of the 90's Indians. I don't know how many times I watched Asdrubal make a great play at short and say to myself "Wow!! He's a chubbier version of Omar!!". This team had me thinking they could do something special. As the season progressed, the great plays still came, but the winning ways were left behind. After the All-Star break we could not get anything going offensively and winning was hard to come by. As the months past and play-off baseball drew closer, the Indians were falling behind. As of right now the Indians are tied for 2nd place in the Central with the Sox and 11.5 behind Detroit for first place. Barring a miracle, the Indians will be headed to another disappointing off-season.

As depressed as I am about the Indians, I have things to look forward to. Next season the Tribe will (hopefully) bring back the core of this young team and expectations will certainly be higher then they were to start this season. Instead of being looked over, we'll be looked at as contenders. Something to look forward to. Finally.

Just as the regular season is coming to a close for the Tribe, the Browns start their new season with fresh faces and a new head coach. While the first game left many people, including myself, saying "here we go again" don't count the Browns out...yet. The defense looked good just about the whole game except for the biggest play of the game. In what baffled fans and seemingly everyone else in the world, the Browns hung out in the huddle just a bit too long and let the lowly Bengals fool them. Had Joe Haden simply been beat on a route, okay, we can deal with that. That was not what happened. They pulled a "Cleveland" and let Cinci steal the game.

In a way I should have expected this kind of performance. Just like every season though, I am brainwashed as a Cleveland sports fan to think that this years team will be different. Still too early to tell but things are not looking good. Colt McCoy is too short for his own good and our O line is pitiful. Not to mention their punting game was atrocious. Luckily the Browns just signed a new punter whose name I've already forgotten. In a way Reggie Hodges affected the game the most on Sunday. Those first two scoring drives the Bengals had started inside the Browns 50. Why? Because of awful punts by Richmond McGee.

We can only hope that the Browns fair better against the Manning-less Colts this Sunday. Although I'm not counting on it. The optimism quickly fades after week one for me. 1 game and I'm already doubting if we can finish the season ahead of Cinci. Time will tell.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Games. What If?

Today is August 2nd, just 2 months of regular season baseball left. Only 2 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers. At this point last season the Indians had a record of 45-61 and were 15 games in back of first place. A lot can change in a year. What exactly has changed? Everything. Most importantly the mindset of not only the team and it's players but of the fans. This year the Indians haven't given up and broken down. Just when it looks like they might be heading into a downward spiral of no return, they surprise us. Down but not out.

The "What If?" slogan chosen for this 2011 season was chosen to fire up the fans. It has not disappointed. When i first heard and saw the What If? commercials i was taken aback. First they are so well done. Second, they mix together the old with the new. They bring back memories I've shared with friends and family. They honestly gave me chills listening to them. So when the season started i was not only hopeful, i was pumped. However this really was no different than any other year. Before the start of every season i am generally full of excitement for Tribe baseball. I expect them to win and am most certainly disappointed when they lose. But when i listened to that What If? commercial, i knew something was different.

The Tribe have now played a total of 106 games this year and are just 2 games out of first place. That What If? slogan has been playing through my mind all season and i can't even count how many times the word playoffs has come to mind. Am i setting myself up for another Cleveland letdown? No, that would be too easy. Expect the unexpected. Expect the Tribe to make a big push and separate themselves. If we fall short, well so be it. One thing i can say about this group of Indians though is that they don't give up. They can't. It's easy for me to get down about a lose or a couple of loses, but i have to stay positive. Tribe fans have to stay positive and hopeful.

So it was about a month since my last post. I'm not gonna let that happen again. These last two months of baseball will be too exciting and too much fun not to write about. So expect more. GO TRIBE.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

4th Of July. Can We Get Some Fireworks Tonight?

Happy 4th everybody!!! Hope you all enjoy this day of independence! I'll be at the game tonight and Wednesday so I'll be doing some live in-game tweeting. I've been wanting to do it all year I just haven't gotten around to it. Jeter is supposed to be back in the lineup for the Yanks and needs just 6 hits to reach 3,000. Back to back years now I have had the opportunity to witness some pretty amazing milestones in the careers of two Yankees, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod didn't pull through last year when they were in town so we'll see if Jeter can come up with those 6 hits by Wednesday. In no way am I saying I want Jeter to get 6 hits this series but it would be something cool to tell my kids.

So the Tribe come up short yesterday after falling behind early and end up losing 7-5 to the Reds. We couldn't get that season series sweep but we definitely owned the other Ohio team this year. In the six games played against the Reds, we outscored them 35-19. It was obvious early on that Mitch Talbot did not have his stuff going and he was pulled after just 4 innings giving up 10 hits and 6 runs. Our bullpen kept the Reds in line for the rest of the game but they had what proved to be too big of a lead even with our offense getting some runs back. Not a great way to finish interleague play but overall the Indians held strong and finished with a 11-7 record against NL teams. I know that Manny Acta, Tribe fans, and Travis Hafner are happy to finally get through the long stretch of games in NL ballparks to get back home and get Pronk back in this lineup. His presence will be greatly needed in these next two series against the Yanks and Blue Jays.

Alright that'll do it for the Tribe but someone asked my thoughts on the Cavs yesterday and I said I'd put it in my next post so here goes. First I'll start off with the draft. Kyrie Irving and Triston Thompson will be immediate impacts for the team in the 2012. Here's why; Irving is a legitimate PG. He's quick and can get to the basket and finish. Yes we have Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions but who really thinks Davis will be with us very long? We'll see what happens in the off season with the lockout but get ready for Sessions and Kyrie to battle it out for that starting spot. It may be closer than you think. Let's get to Thompson now. I think I probably saw him play once or twice and was quite surprised that the Cavs picked him up. While he is more proven than Irving it'll be tough to say what kind of impact he will have, but he will have one.

J.J. Hickson is a goner. Cavs fans have been expecting this for some time now, and if you weren't then you should have. It'll be sad to see J.J. go but he was simply inconsistent and never reached his full potential with the Cavs. However, keep an eye on him. He is still young and could make the Cavs front office regret this trade. Now what did we get? We got another unproven potential starter at the small forward position. While we don't have a small forward and we needed one, I don't think Casspi will flourish with the Cavs this first season. All together I think the Cavs will have a competitive team next year but in no way do I believe they will be competing for a playoff spot. That is about as optimistic as I will get about the Cavs this early in the year. Expect the worst so if we do good we can be happy and if we're bad then you can say you expected it. Better to be safe than sorry and embarrassed.

Hopefully that wasn't too long and boring for you but I had a lot to write. That's two posts in two days. Be happy. Be grateful. Who knows when I'll get the chance again but hopefully it'll be soon. That's it for today. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable 4th. GO TRIBE!!!

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Rise And Fall..And Rise Of The Cleveland Indians.

It has been a roller-coaster of a season so far for the Tribe and I'll give you 2 reasons as to why. Although the Tribe hold a game and a half lead over the Tigers with just 8 games left to play before the break, one can wonder how much longer we can hold this slim lead.

First I'll start off with injuries. With a healthy club at the start of the season (excluding Sizemore) the Tribe was fresh and energetic. Since then Mitch Talbot, Carlos Carrasco, Travis Hafner, Vinnie Pestano, Matt LaPorta, Shin-Soo Choo, Travis Buck, and Fausto Carmona have all spent time off the field with injuries. While those four pitchers listed above were missed (Fausto is out but if anything that was a blessing in disguise) our pitching staff has been excellent all season long. Without the run support from guys like Pronk, LaPorta and Choo, our pitchers have been wasting starts. For example; you have a guy like Justin Masterson who started the season with 5 wins in 5 tries. Since then he has started 11 games with only one win. In those 11 games he lost 5 and had no decisions in 5. He gave up a total of 22 earned runs in those 11 starts, which averages out to be 2 runs per game in that span. In only two of those starts he gave up more than 2 runs. If he would have gotten the run support from just those injured guys alone, he had the potential to have over 10 wins before the break. You would think a guy would have more than 6 wins through 22 starts that posts an ERA of 2.85.

Moving right along we'll go with the month of June. 17 loses in 27 games. The Indians were lucky to get off to a great start because not to many teams would be sitting atop first place in their division with a month like they had. 5 out of the 17 loses were shutouts and 10 out of those 17 we failed to score more than 4. In 4 of the 17 loses we were blown out but you'll have that. What is more frustrating is how many games we lost by one run (5). The blame game can be played to multiple sides with that last stat. Some of those close loses were due to blown saves, blown chances with RISP, or dumb management. Altogether you have to look at the general trend in that month which can be categorized by one word. SLUMP. The Indians went through a huge slump in the month of June in every category there is. While some of this was due to the aforementioned injuries, some was due to guys tapering off.

While July has gotten off to a better start (2-0) I can see these same problems popping up the rest of the season. As long as our guys are able to weather the storm and stay confident, playoffs are in the future for this young team. With Choo out Michael Brantly has stepped up and been a huge contributor and will continue to help during the time Choo is out.

Well that'll do it for today's post. Sorry for the lack of posts in the past couple months. Job and Girlfriend take up almost 100% of my time. I had almost forgotten how much fun writing was so it feels good to be back. Check back soon for more.

GO TRIBE!!!!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Wins, 30 Reasons To Love The Tribe. Part II

Well as promised here are the final 15 reasons to love the Tribe.

16. Sandy Alomar.
-I just love that I can turn on a Tribe game and still see Sandy in that Indians uni.
17. PRONK.
Travis Hafner might be one of the more surprising players this season. 
18. Jacobs Field (AKA The Prog)
-John Adams, Slider, Sugardale dogs, Lines for the bathrooms. All things to love about going to the Jake.
19. 15 Games Above .500
-Tied for the best start in club history.
20. 7 Game Lead Over Detroit in the Central.
-Getting off to a fast start will be what helps the Tribe the most this season.
21. +67 Run Differential.
-The second best run differential is +50. Looks like some teams have some catching up to do.
22. Top Ten In Team Batting, Pitching and Fielding.
-One of the many reasons why the Tribe are the best team in baseball.
23. Manny Acta.
-Picked by the Rangers manager Ron Washington to be one of the 3 coaches on this years AL All-Star coaching staff.
24. Grady Sizemore.
-After missing the start of the season, he returned looking refreshed. Just a couple weeks later though and he's back on the DL. Don't know how much longer he'll be able to keep this up.
25. Dollar Dog Nights.
-1 dollar hot dogs. Doesn't get much better than that. 
26. ESPN Web Gems.
-Asdrubal Cabrera has already had 2. They just add to the fun and excitement of Cleveland Indians Baseball.
27. Pretenders To Contenders.
-Though the first 10-15 games there were many skeptics. Now 46 games in, the Indians are looking like real contenders.
28. #1 In Power Rankings.
-I may be wrong (don't really feel like checking the truth of this) but this is the Indians first time back at the top of the power rankings since 2007. Last time I checked 2007 was a pretty special year.   
29. 17-5 Home Record.
-About to be 17-6 with the bludgeoning the BoSox are putting on right now, but even so the Tribe are winning at home. With or without a sellout crowd.
30. This Blog.
-Without the Tribe I would be bored. They give me something to write about, something exciting to write about.

Well that concludes this post. I might just make a set day for posts just so I can make time to write. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and tell me what day you think. Maybe I'll even put up a poll? Who knows. GO TRIBE!!!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

30 Wins, 30 Reasons To Love The Tribe. Part I

Well I'm back. It's been nearly a month and it's been killing me. What with work, girlfriend, friends and more work, I've had a really tough time making space for this blog in my busy schedule. So I just want to apologize right off the bat (pun is definitely intended) for neglecting you all. No promises but I'll try to make more time.

Alright on to the main event. Instead of recapping every game that I've missed and boring the heck out of everyone, I'll give you my 30 reasons to love the Tribe. Here is the First 15. Check back shortly for Part II

1. The national media attention.
-Not just for the Indians, but for the City of Cleveland. It's good to be back in the spotlight.
2. Sweeping The Battle Of Ohio.
-First sweep of the Reds in 7 years. Do I need to say more?
3. Tom Hamilton.
-Going on 22 seasons with the Tribe. Best play-by-play announcer in baseball.
4. The Fans.
-We got off to a slow start but have picked it up and are now averaging just a little over 18,000 a game.
5. The Bandwagon Fans.
I've heard so many of my friends and co-workers bash the Tribe over the years..guess who their favorite team is now?
6.Cheap Tickets.
-I payed 6 dollars for lower level tickets right on the third base side earlier this year.
7. Chris Perez.
-13 saves and now tied for the most saves in the AL with the great Mariano Rivera.
8. Bullpen.
-The bullpen has been phenomenal this year, keeping those blown saves to a minimal (just 5).
9. Jack Hanahan.
-One of the better fielding 3rd basemen the Tribe has had in awhile. Let's just hope his hitting can sustain and he can stay with the club for the duration of the season.
10. Best Record In Baseball.
-First to 30. 30-15. Speaks for itself.
11. Role Players.
-From Travis Buck to Lou Marson. The Indians bench players are performing at a high level day in and day out.
12. Late Inning Heroics.
-I've lost count of how many late inning comebacks the Tribe has had this year. I'm not complaining. Riveting baseball!
13. Asdrubal Cabrera.
-He's the best shortstop since Omar, and he has the potential to be better. Not only can he field the heck out of a ground ball, he also leads the Tribe in homers.
14. Starting Pitching.
-Josh Tomlin just recorded his 6th win of the year. Tied with a couple other players for most wins in baseball.
15. The Weather.
-The season started off a bit cold but has since warmed up and excluding those two rainouts against Seattle, the rain has held off..for now.

Well that'll do it for tonight. I work in 4 hours..Should be a good day!! Everyday is a good day when the Tribe play. GO TRIBE!!!

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

One More Win, One Step Closer.

What a week for Cleveland sports fans. First the Indians end the month of April with 5 straight wins all the while securing the best record they have ever had in this first month of baseball. In dramatic fashion too. On Thursday night the Tribe had a little more in them the the Tigers expected and came back from 3-0 and 5-2 deficits; taking the lead on the last hit of the game, a Carlos Santana grand slam. This Indians team is scrappy. They fall behind but never give up. Their never out of a game and they never look that way. This is the late 90s teams reincarnated. 

I got a chance to go to the game on Saturday with some friends and family and boy was it a blast. Before the game we all met up at my grandmas. As we were about to leave they pulled in and were just arriving home. My grandpa parked the car and got out to talk to us. His words were awesome. I hadn't seen him this excited about Indians baseball in years. He talked about Santana's slam and how great it is to have the Tribe back at the top of the standings. He was so enthusiastic about them and he just knew there might be something special with these 2011 Cleveland Indians. Let's hope you're right gramps. 

Alright time for yesterdays game. It was amazing. Best ball game I've been to since the first game against the Yanks in the 2007 playoffs. It was truly amazing to see the long lines leading into the stadium and even longer ones for the ticket office. This was the most people I had seen at a the Prog since that playoff game 4 years ago. 26,433 in attendance. Opening day aside, that was the most people at an Indians home game. The crowd was electric. You know Cleveland baseball is back when you have lines to the ladies room. I'll say it again, it was amazing. It was almost a little awkward though. We had all loved the Tribe but since our slide after the 2007 season, we had drifted away from them a bit. But on this night, we were all coming back to home. After Santana's and Brantley's bombs I high five'd everyone within a 10 foot reach. It was amazing. After every huge double play we turned or strike out we recorded, the place went crazy and my hands ended up being sore by the end of the night, not to mention my voice was gone. This was vintage Tribe baseball. After Cabrera's single to center ended the game, we all stood and cheered and sang for about 10 minutes. I hadn't seen that many people stay for that long after a game in years. Granted there were fireworks after but still, they all stayed. Another thing I'd like to mention is that it was John Adams 3000th game. For those of you who don't know, John is the drummer in the left field bleachers who bangs that drum all game long. He's been around for forever it seems and to me and a lot of other Tribe fans, he's apart of Indians Baseball. I remember a couple years back we were walking back to Tower City and John Adams was outside walking along with the fans, or at least trying to walk. He would never get more than a couple steps before he was stopped for an autograph or picture. This man is a legend and he will continue to stick by his Tribe for as long as he can, Congratulations Mr. Adams. 

A great day for baseball and now I have been to 2 games this year and we have 2 wins in those 2 games. Don't even ask when the last time that happened was. Can't wait for many more games like that. Couldn't have asked for better baseball. I would also like to say that I caught a t-shirt thrown out to the fans. This was the first and probably the last thing I'll ever catch out in the stands, but it was another thing to add to my Indians baseball memories. GO TRIBE!!!!

I would talk about the Browns draft or Peyton Hillis making the cover of Madden 2012 but I think we've all heard enough about that. So I'll spare you the boredom. That's all for today...maybe. I might post something else later but this was a pretty lengthy post so probably not. We'll see. Stay tuned. 

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Off day..A Couple Off Days Actually.

Well I haven't posted in awhile. In fact it's been a week today since I last posted. I just started a new job and am still working my other. This will all be over next week and hopefully I'll get back to posting on a regular basis. Enough of that.

The Tribe have been a bit of a disappointment  recently, losing 4 out of their last 5. They blew a comeback opportunity when Carlos Santana decided he had played enough baseball for the night and ended the game on 3 straight strikes. They bounced back though and got the win the next night. In the final game of the series we saw some of the old Chris Perez. Recording his first blown save of the year in a 3-2 lose. We can't win them all and we showed that we weren't invincible. Adding to the blown comeback and save, we had a blowout. Not in our favor though, with the Twins absolutely dismantling Carmona for his second lopsided lose of the season after a couple solid outings. Still a lot of questions with Carmona; hopefully he and the Tribe pitching staff can answer some of those questions and get him straightened out soon, or we might see our "ace" get demoted to the number 2 spot. Finally to end the series the Tribe fought until the end but couldn't pull out the victory in the rain shortened series against the Twins. All things considered I don't think there is too much to worry about (other than Carrasco going down with an elbow issue).

The Tribe had an off week where they looked much different than the team who scraped and fought hard to win games. With some better starting pitching and clutch hits we can get back to our winning ways. The Indians are back home tomorrow after an off day today to start another series with the Royals and hopefully notch a couple more wins to their belt and keep themselves atop the standings. Finishing the first month strong and a couple of games above .500 will do wonders for the Tribe and keep them confidant. Which will be a major factor for these young guys. Let's get em boys!!! One game at a time.

Voting for the Madden cover ends this week and Peyton Hillis needs all the help he can get. As a Cleveland fan I know it would mean the world to me to see a Browns player on the cover. I'm sure many of you agree. Let's make it happen, let's make history! Here is the link to vote: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/feature/madden2012cover

Well that's all. A longer post than I had originally planned but I had a lot to talk about. I'll try to keep up so this doesn't happen again. Thanks for the support and goodnight.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Great White Buffalo. And A Tribe Win.

Peyton Hillis has reached the finals of the ESPN Madden Cover Voting. Beating out the favorite and reigning super bowl champ Aaron Rodgers. Hillis has some tough competition, going up against a former Madden cover alum, Mike Vick. A lot of people are questioning why Vick is even in the running considering his recent legal troubles and the fact he's already been on the cover. But somehow he's made it through every round and is now facing an upset machine in Hillis.

I don't really think Vick has a chance. For one you have all of Browns nation backing Hillis up, and that is not a small contingent. Add the fact that anyone who still hates Vick for his dog killing days are going to to be voting against him, and we may see the first white non-quarterback on the cover of Madden 12. Also the first Cleveland Brown to ever grace the cover of one of the most successful video game franchises in history. As a Cleveland sports fan I honestly don't give a hoot about the "Madden curse". Peyton deserves to be on that cover and it will be a great day in the Cleveland sports world when he wins the title. GO HILLIS!!!

My summary on the Tribe will be short tonight. The games is going late and I have work early. Never a good combo. It took 10 innings but the Tribe finally broke the Royals pitching staff. Grady has another great game, going 3 for 5 with another double. Carasco worked out of several jams but he was clearly losing it at the end of his start. Great situational base running put together by the Tribe in the 10th. Couldn't ask for a better game. Hopefully tomorrow us Tribe fans will be able to relax a little more than tonight.

Well that's all for tonight. Great win for the Tribe which gives them the tie with Colorado for the best record in baseball and a two game lead in the Central. I can sleep easy tonight. GO TRIBE!!!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Tribe Does Some Spring Cleaning Today. Sweep The O's.

Well there you have it. Another day, another Tribe W. There wasn't much to complain about today. Carmona notched his first win of the young season, going for 7 innings and striking out 5. He put himself into a lot of jams today but worked out of all but one unblemished. Another quality start from an Indians starter.

Scoring early has been the key for the Indians success this year. Scoring 3 runs in the first four innings was key and kept Carmona pitching with the lead. Somehow someway the Tribe have figured out the winning formula in just the first 15 games this season. Quality starts combined with solid defense and the offense to back it up.

Grady Sizemore. What can you say about this guy. He hadn't played in a major league game in nearly a year and he didn't skip a beat. Going deep in his second at bat with an 0-2 count. Then in his third at-bat he doubles; he might have had some rust but it didn't take long for him to shake it off. There wasn't much going on in the field for Sizemore, just one fly ball. I can't wait to see him start laying out for balls again. Welcome back Grady, we missed you.

While in no way do I think Santana is out of his slump, but that homer in the second was a good sign. He went hitless in his last 3 at bats. The big rip had to have boosted Santana's confidence, but he is still just 1 for his last 28 at-bats. It's only a matter of time before we see the true potential that he possesses.

It's looking like Travis Hafner is for real this year. He homered again today and had a solid single, which raised his batting average to .354. A hot start for Hafner is just what he and the Tribe need. It's looking like we now have a legitimate lineup now with guys 1 through 9 contributing. So far this year we are looking offensively competent. Something that wasn't the case all of last year.

Well that'll do it for today. The Indians are now 11-4 heading into the series against the Royals, which surprisingly should be a very interesting series. Kansas City is currently down 2 heading into the bottom of the 7th with Seattle. If they lose the Indians will be in sole possession of first place in the A.L. Central. Not too shabby. GO TRIBE!!

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Chance Of A Win In The Forecast For The Tribe? I Think So.

O-Cab gets to second on the wild throw by the O's third baseman then scores on the Travis Buck single. Maybe Buck is worth another look. We'll see what he can do the rest of the day. Grady doubles to right in the 5th, continues to impress on his first day back for the Tribe. Choo with a deep ball to center but Pie makes a flailing catch to end the inning. Carmona gets another double play and works out of a jam in the 5th. Solid pitching so far from the only pitcher on the Tribe without a win. PRONK. Hafner gets a solo shot to right field. Gotta love and respect the power of
3.the Tribe this year, unexpected but accepted. The chances of Carmona getting the win is looking better and better each inning while the Tribe continue to pour on the runs. Indians 4 Orioles 1 at the end of 6 in Cleveland. GO TRIBE!!!

Check back at the end of the game for more.

Grady Is Back.

Finally get to watch a game for once. Carmona is pitching his lights out right now. Through 3 innings he has 3 strikeouts and mostly groundouts. Santana homers in the second to put the Indians up 1-0! Good to see a hit finally from him..it's been too long. Grady is back!!!! I questioned Acta for putting him at the lead-off spot. I should have known that was wrong. It's good to have you back Grady, keep up the good work. Carmona is getting himself in a bit of trouble right now. The Orioles finally break him and grab a run off of the double play. Indians 2 Orioles 1. Carmona gets Guerrero to strike out, that's now 4 in the game. So far so good for the Tribe. Looks to be another good game.

Check back in the 6th for more updates and analysis.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This Can't Be Real...Or Can It?

Wow. Indians win their second straight against the Baltimore Orioles. That alone is not too impressive. What's impressive is the 10-4 record they hold this year. Who's to say this isn't just some early season excitement and young players exceeding expectations? No, this is more than that. This is Tribe baseball like I remember it. Growing up during the 90s I guess you could say I was spoiled. With teams that headlined Manny, Thome, the Alomar Brothers, Omar, and don't even get me started about their pitching! Those were the Indians I remember, on any given night it was almost expected that the Tribe was going to win. Guaranteed. In the late 1990s the Indians were UNSTOPPABLE. Well..almost. This years team, though early in the season still, is giving me those same feelings. We may not have the household names like we did back in the day, but we're just getting started.

With another win tonight the Tribe keep rolling. Keep fighting. Never giving up. Winning attitude. It's all there. Veteran leadership, young talent, guys going in to every game trying to prove what they have and earn their spot on the big stage. Although some of the guys who have been performing extremely well struggled tonight (Brantly and Asdrubal Cabrera) Hafner continued to look every bit like the old Pronk we used to know. Santana's batting woes continued tonight. I hope for the Indians sake and for the fans that this is nothing to worry about and once he settles in will start hitting on a regular basis. Don't know how long Travis Buck will continue to play for the Indians but he certainly made the most out of what playing time he got tonight, going 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Buck will presumably be moved out soon to make room for Sizemore who is apparently game ready and just waiting to hear the word.

With another dominating pitching performance from one of our "young guns", Josh Tomlin notched another victory to his belt. The Tribe now have two starting pitchers with 3 wins, and we're just a little over halfway through the month of April. I think all the doubters are beginning to doubt themselves. The Tribe are for real.

With a delayed start, and on and off rain throughout the day, the attendance dropped back down. Just a little over 10,000 for tonights game. So maybe it was just the hot dogs that brought in fans on Friday night, but it's only a matter of time before the rest of the fans wake up and realize that there is baseball once again in Cleveland. GO TRIBE!!!

That's all for tonight. Sorry for the tardiness on the post. Worked all day and got to chill with a good friend for most of the night. I'll be better tomorrow. I promise.

UPDATE: Got on Twitter this morning to find out Grady will be starting in his center field position and batting lead-off!!! I'm kinda shocked about all this news. Not that Grady is finally making it back from surgery that has led to him being out for almost a year, no, it's the fact that Travis Buck, who everyone had assumed would be shipped out to some minor league ball club is in the starting lineup today. Yes you heard right. Travis Buck will be in the lineup today starting in LF and batting 7th. I'm seriously baffled by this. It came out of left field (pun intended). Why bench one of the better hitters on the team in Brantly, and honestly a better hitter too. Travis buck had 3 hits last night. Big deal? Not really. He'll struggle today and things will be back in order by Monday.

Tweet of the Day:

For some reason this tweet is super small. When I tried changing the size it only came up as text. I'll try to work is out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dollar Dog Night..Nuff Said.

Just got outta work..got a chance to listen to a bit on my break but that's it. Bummer. Got a text from my brother that simply said "Matt LaPorta!!!!!". From that text alone I knew things were going good. From what I heard on the radio after the game, Masterson pitched a gem. Going 3-0 in his first three starts is very impressive and hopefully a sign of good things to come for the young right-hander. Michael Brantly continues to impress me at the lead-off spot and it will be fun to see him stay at that position when Grady comes back. Another thing I'd like to point out is the attendance for tonights game. Just like I predicted in my earlier post, fans came pouring in for those hot dogs (and maybe to see the Tribe play some awesome baseball). According to ESPN.com, The Prog pulled in a little over 16,000 fans. That's quite an improvement over the last couple games played at home for the Tribe, with just over 19,000 fans combined in the two games following opening day. Tomorrow will be the real test to see if it just wasn't some fluke because of dollar dog night.

With a 1:05 start time tomorrow and the weather supposed to be bad (52 degrees and stormy) I wouldn't be surprised to see a delay. For the Tribe on the mound will be Josh Tomlin (2-0, 2.63 ERA) going up against Jeremy Guthrie (1-1, 0.64 ERA) in what should be another good match-up. Tomlin has been strong for the Indians this year and if the bats continue like they did tonight we'll have no problem notching the second win of the series.

Another prediction that was really just a foolish assumption, was the lose 2 win 8 trend that the Indians have started. With the win tonight they might have just started another 8 game win streak. Obviously this is just a ridiculous trend that I'm sure will end soon; but for the time being it's nothing I can't hope for. The Tribe are 9-4 and in first place in the Central division. Hopefully the Tribes winning ways persist and this isn't just some fools gold. GO TRIBE!!

P.S. Don't forget to vote on the poll of the week!!

Tweet of the Day:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Future star of the Cavs?! Next big thing for the Browns?!?! Probably not.

Quick tidbit of the day: Peyton Hillis is supposedly leading Aaron Rodgers in the Madden Cover Voting.

With the NFL draft just two weeks away now, the speculation is building as to who the Browns will select with the 6th pick in the draft. Just listing to local radio shows tells me that the Browns are leaning towards selecting a wide receiver, either A.J. Green out of Georgia or Julio Jones from Alabama. Didn't get to see much of either play but i'd chose Jones purely based on the great football name. I think offense is the way to go for the Browns. Their D was solid last year and with the other picks they have I'm sure they'll pick up a linebacker or defensive end. With second year QB Colt McCoy leading the way he'll need a quality go to guy to throw to. Either way having the 6th pick we'll help us get some much needed talent.

On to the Cavs. I was thinking yesterday that it doesn't really matter to me what pick the Cavs get or even who they get. I've seen too little of Kyrie Irving to know what his full potential is but he seems explosive. Personally I think he is more explosive and stronger than John Wall, but at the same time is not that great a shooter. I'd like to see the Cavs pick up someone like a Derrick Williams type player. Not necessarily Williams though. Harrison Barnes would be my pick over Williams, but I don't really like any of the players in the draft this year which is why i don't particularly care. There is not a Lebron James or Derrick Rose or a Blake Griffin caliber player in this draft and really I don't think any of the players would make an immediate impact for the Cavs. Alot of fans from Ohio would like to see Jared Sullinger but I honestly thought he was overrated and too small and too slow to be a major threat at the higher level.

Now some baseball? Sure!! Today I got my first chance to get outside and play some catch!! It was not a baseball however (sad). In preparation for the upcoming church league softball season my girlfriend and I threw around a softball for about 20-25 minutes. It was fun, and funny. The lady friend was a little rusty but i think she has some real potential. A dark horse perhaps on my team? A man can dream can't he. It was hopefully the first of many opportunities I will get to bond with my girl on a nice day throwing around the baseba...softball.

Indians had a much needed off day today. Hopefully they used it wisely and decided to get their heads straight for this home-stand against the Orioles. First dollar dog night of the season and with our recent winning ways i hope The Prog can pull in some fans and at least make it look like we care about our team (even if it's only to eat some delicious sugardale hotdogs!). After losing back to back games against the Angels; hopefully the Tribe and pull it together and get on another winning tear.

Well that's all for tonight. I probably won't post anything again until late tomorrow so be sure to check back then. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter if you haven't already done so and I'll try and see if I can make the comments available to anyone and not just members. Would really like to see some feedback and not have to force people to make an account. That's asking for too much.


Some thoughts on the Indians season so far..

It's an early season so far for the tribe, just 12 games in, but I'm starting to see what we have as a team. So far Choo and Santana have disappointed with their bats, with .205 and  .200 batting averages. It's still a young season and I expect Choo to pick it up like he does every year, Santana on the other hand is a bit of a worry. He is hitless in the past 5 games going 0 for 18 during that stretch. Through the first couple games he looked like the Santana we saw mid-season last year before he had that season ending injury. He was hitting the ball hard and making good contact. Over the last five games it seems like he is trying too hard; Going 0 for 6 in the last two games is understandable since he faced two very good pitchers, but in the last two games against Seattle and the first game against LA he shouldn't have had a problem facing sub-par pitching. At least he's doing a fine job behind the plate or we would have some major problems here.

On the flip side are two surprises for me this year. The first is the Tribe's lead-off hitter, Michael Brantly. In 45 at bats he carries a .311 batting average with 6 RBI. Not too shabby for a young lead-off hitter early in the season. Whether or not he keeps that spot in the lineup will depend on what manager Manny Acta wants to do when Grady Sizemore comes back from injury (Which could be very soon). The second surprise this year is Asdrubal Cabrera. Not only has he shown some power, 4 homers, but has been a consistent hitter in the clutch. Combine that with his impressive fielding so far (Minus that awful play last night) and you have a legitimate shortstop. Still early but I think this could be a breakout year for him.

Final thought: The Tribe lost their first two then won eight in a row and followed that up with two consecutive loses. They head back home today and play the Orioles tomorrow, get ready to see some more winning from the Indians. If this trend of lose two win eight continues, we'll have a good season. In no way do i actually believe this will happen, it's still wouldn't hurt to wish it would.

Tweet of the Day:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Update: Cavs win..Indians lose.

The Indians took it into 12 innings but couldn't pull out the win. With Tony Sipp having to go two innings because neither team could decide who wanted to win, and Chris Perez only working his limit (1 inning) Manny Acta was forced to dig deep and pull Chad Durbin out of the bullpen. Let's just say things didn't go well. Poor pitching=loses. The Tribe couldn't manufacture runs tonight like they've done so well this season and the result was not surprisingly a lose. Indians head back home to face the Orioles in what should be a good series. GO TRIBE!

Cavs finish season strong. Props. Conventional wisdom says that the Cavs should have tanked their season in order to have a better chance to secure that coveted #1 pick in the upcoming draft. Byron Scott says, "fuck it let's win some damn games". Alright well he didn't actually say that (not to my knowledge at least) but you know he was thinking it when these last 10 or so games were played. When you lose a record 26 games straight, you want to win. You can't tell me that every single one of the Cavs players (Luke Harangody, Semih Erden, and Baron Davis excluded) did not want to win and weren't going to give it all they got to win these last few games. When you experience such an up and down season like the Cavs did, you can't blame them for not tanking and doing what they could to give these great fans something to cheer for.

There is always next year...

Joe Tait's last game..Indians looking to bounce back.

So far so..good? Cavs off to a slow start but have picked it up and are within 3 at the half. Joe Tait is doing the play by play for what will be his last game as the announcer for the Cavs, and the least they could do is put up a fight and make it fun for Joe.

Listening to basketball never felt so good. (Side note: Indians tied going into ninth and by the time i post this will hopefully pull out the win) Joe Tait has made listening to the Cavs easy and often times better than actually watching them live or on TV. This season has been rough for the Cavs and to add insult to injury Tait has been out for most of the season due to illness. While his fill-in (can't remember his name nor do i even care) has done a decent job, he is no where near the caliber broadcaster that Tait is. There is just no way anyone will be able to fill the large shoes of Joe Tait.

Tait lives about 10 miles from my home in Lafayette, Ohio. I worked at a gas station for two years that is about a mile away from his home. He frequently stopped by to buy lottery tickets and i swear the man never said more than 4 or 5 words. But when he did, i got chills down my spine. From his catch phrases to his signature sign-off, Tait will be missed greatly. All the best to the hall of fame broadcaster.

Now to the Indians. This year us Tribe fans have been spoiled by the great play of these scrappy Indians. Before this season i had never heard of Vinnie Pestano or Jack Hanahan, I know who they are now! In the past two games Pestano has come on to pitch two scoreless innings of relief and has showed that he could be a lifesaver for the Indians this season. Hanahan has been a solid 3rd baseman so far defensively and has shown that he isn't completely worthless at the bat. Good signs.

Starting pitching is going to be an issue all year. During our 8 game winning streak our starting pitching was phenomenal, while i don't think this can go on all season it's a good sign to see some early success. It remains to be seen whether they'll be able to keep it up once mid season comes around and we start seeing the best of the best.

THE BULLPEN!!! This will most likely be the strong point and most solid group for the Tribe this season. With one of the best closers in the league last season, Chris Perez, and our set-up guy Tony Sipp has continued to be consistent this year. Pair those two with the aforementioned Vinnie Pestano and we have quite a deadly combination. Also cannot leave out Rafael Perez who has also shown some guts early this year as well.

If we can keep up the solid and timely hitting to back up what should be shaky starting pitching, the Indians could surprise some people and make a late run at the playoffs.

Well that's all for now. First post. Gonna try and do this on a daily basis or weekly basis. Depends on how well the Indians do. While this was primarily a Cavs and Tribe post I'll try to be more diverse and expand to other things like the NBA Playoffs.

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