Today in Tribe History: December 8, 1997 December 8, 2016 | Bob Toth
Indians Can Provide Valuable Lessons for Pirates Shopping McCutchen... December 7, 2016 | Vince Guerrieri
Today in Tribe History: December 7, 1989 December 7, 2016 | Bob Toth
Actress Margaret Whitton, Major League’s Rachel Phelps, Passes Away... December 6, 2016 | Bob Toth
The fluke finger injury sustained by Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer prior to the start of the American League Championship Series with the Toronto Blue Jays garnered plenty of negative attention to the young right-handed starter, as his pinkie laceration became another blow to a rotation already down two of its top three starting pitchers.
Bauer’s injury may have changed how the ALCS played out, but the Indians remained victorious and the starter was able to return to his role for a pair of World Series starts. Although he was unable to bring home a win in either of those two outings, he did his part to give the Indians everything that he had left to try to bring a second championship to Cleveland, the center of the 2016 sports universe.
While Bauer became an easy target for backlash from fans for the unfortunate outcome of his atypical encounter with one of his drones and his willingness to address his critics on the social media platform Twitter, too many fans forgot the role that Bauer played in helping the Indians even get to the postseason in the first place.
The upcoming National Baseball Hall of Fame Class added its first members for 2017 induction on Sunday night as the Today’s Game Era committee announced that two former baseball executives had gained entrance to Cooperstown.
Longtime baseball execs John Schuerholz and Bud Selig were both selected in the 16-vote balloting process. They were two of the ten men up for consideration for the Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and are the first to be selected by the newest of the veteran’s committees established to evaluate those who made contributions to the game of baseball and players who have last played at least 15 seasons ago.
The Today’s Game Era committee focuses on those who made their biggest marks on the game of baseball from 1988 to the present. Four former Indians players were on the ballot this year, including Albert Belle, Orel Hershiser, Harold Baines, and Lou Piniella. They were joined by players Will Clark and Mark McGwire, manager Davey Johnson, and executive George Steinbrenner.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, a fun exhibition to get the sport’s best players on the field at the same time, will be just that once again. After 14 seasons of trying to give the Midsummer Classic a little extra meaning, the league’s powers that be finally restored it to what it should be.
The newest collective bargaining agreement, inked by the game’s owners and players union in the late hours of Wednesday night, wiped out the rule that home field advantage in the World Series would be decided by which side won the mid-July contest. It was a good move to go back to that all-important edge being decided in games that count and going to the team with the best record.
Granted, the now-vanquished award for winning the All-Star Game did help the Cleveland Indians this past year. The Chicago Cubs were far and away the best team in baseball during the regular season. They were the only club to hit the 100-win mark. However, because the American League squad won this season’s 87th All-Star Game, it was the Tribe that hosted four of the seven Fall Classic contests and had the chance to have the deciding Game 7 on familiar grounds. Even though that final game did not go the Indians’ way, playing a seventh game of a postseason series at home is always more of an advantage than hitting the road.
New Indians general manager Frank Lane makes his first trade for Cleveland, sending starting pitcher Early Wynn and outfielder Al Smith to the Chicago White Sox for former Tribe outfielder Minnie Minoso and infielder Fred Hatfield.
The Major League Baseball deadline for extending offers to arbitration eligible players came and went on Friday and the Cleveland Indians tendered contracts to eight of the nine players that were set to exchange salary figures when clubs and players meet in January.
The large group of players, including five relievers, two starters, and two outfielders, were given their decisions by the Indians, with all but Jeff Manship retained. The 31-year-old veteran right-hander now becomes a free agent.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Thursday the addition of two free agents on minor league contracts with invites to spring training in February.
Utility man Michael Martinez, who was outrighted to Triple-A Columbus on November 23 after spending a chunk of the season and all of the playoffs on the Indians roster, will return to the organization for a third season. Catcher Erik Kratz also joined the club on the minor league tender.