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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | November 20, 2017

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Posts By Bob Toth

A Team With A New Direction

February 10, 2013 |

When the Cleveland Indians’ season officially ended last October, it left the organization with more questions than answers.

What happened? Who was to blame? How did a competitive roster carried over from the 2011 season fall apart midway through the 2012 season? Why did Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez struggle throughout the year? How could the team address the deficiencies on offense against left-handed pitching? Is this core a core worth building around, or is it time for another rebuilding process? What steps would need to be taken to prevent a similar catastrophe from happening again in 2013?

All of these questions are difficult to address and even more difficult to resolve. Yet looking back on what the Indians organization has been able to do in just a few short months this offseason, it would be safe to say they have attended to some of, if not all of, the above questions. The team has retooled and now has a new brand new face to the organization. They are a team with a new direction.

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The End to a Lost Era

February 3, 2013 |

The signing of Travis Hafner by the New York Yankees on Friday effectively signified an end to what should have been a period of glory and high accolades in the history of the Cleveland Indians.

Hafner was part of a collection of players who will forever be remembered in Cleveland for falling short of the lofty expectations placed upon them. After the team’s impressive run at the end of the 1990’s, Hafner and his teammates of the mid- to late-2000’s were thought to have the potential to be perennial playoff contenders, maybe even being able to reach the great heights of the World Series and bringing home the coveted World Series Championship that has eluded the city since 1948.

Instead, Hafner and his peers left the organization and its fans wondering, “what if”?

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Passing on Pronk and Thome

January 27, 2013 |

The Cleveland Indians have addressed nearly all of their off-season roster concerns and have managed to do so quickly and, for the most part, quietly. The roster itself has a brand new face.

The starting rotation was bolstered for the present, with the signing of Brett Myers, and the future, with the trade for Trevor Bauer. A lack of offensive production from the corner infielders has been filled with free agent signee Mark Reynolds. Holes in the outfield have been plugged by Nick Swisher and Drew Stubbs. Acquiring Mike Aviles has given the bench a versatile veteran presence.

Despite all of the roster moves, the designated hitter position is noticeably void. While the front office seems open to considering adding a left-handed bat with some pop to balance out the lineup, free agent retreads like Jim Thome and Travis Hafner are not the answer.

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Fans Flock to Tribe Fest

January 20, 2013 |

By Bob Toth

The Kansas City Royals were hitless through eight innings. Francisco Lindor had given Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians a 4-0 lead after sending a pair of triples into the right field corner. In control, Lindor eyed the competition, cracked a smile, and said, “bring back the kid, you can’t hit me.”

Three pitches later, a seeing-eye single just under the glove of Indians’ second baseman Jason Kipnis ended Lindor’s no hitter. A brief sigh of disappointment escaped his lungs as he let go of the controller and took a temporary step away from the Playstation 3 “MLB 12 The Show™” display at Day One of Tribe Fest, having just fallen short of virtual immortality. Lindor’s five or so young challengers, who combined to control the Royals for nine innings, were only able to muster that one lone hit.

Lindor was just one of more than a dozen attractions at Progressive Field on Saturday afternoon as the Indians played host to thousands of their fans for the first-ever Tribe Fest.

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Making Sense of the Hall of Fame Vote

January 13, 2013 |

By Bob Toth

There were undoubtedly some surprises that stemmed from the announcement Wednesday afternoon that no players from the ballot would be voted in as part of the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction class. It was the eighth election by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that failed to produce a new member to the Hall, and the first such election since 1996.

This vote, unlike many others in recent history, came with its fair share of controversy. This year’s ballot marked the first appearances of tainted legends Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa. Additionally, several other former stars, including Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, have pasts linked to performance enhancers as well.

This ballot became quite possibly the most criticized ballot of players in the history of baseball. Maybe even the most criticized in the history of sports.

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Learning from the Past

November 11, 2012 |

Recently, Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com had a conversation with Cleveland Indians’ team president Mark Shapiro, who talked about his challenges and interests in baseball, the recent history of the team, and his vision moving forward. Following will be a series of opinions and insight about Shapiro’s responses and how they apply to where the team was, how the team got to where it is now, and most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here.

This is part three in the series – part one; part two.

By Bob Toth

One of the biggest keys to the Cleveland Indians’ success of the 1990’s was acquiring the right talent, whether it was through the draft, trades, or free agency.

Every team will have its share of misses. They too will have their share of surprise prospects rising through the system and making unexpected contributions to the major league squad.

When you start having repeated failures in any one or more of these areas of your organization, the entire unit becomes unstable.

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Lefty Huff Could Be Piece of the Pitching Puzzle

November 1, 2012 |

After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today, we examine a player who is out of minor league options, meaning they must be on the 25-man roster.

David Huff’s 2012 season did not go as he might have planned.

After spending nearly all of the year in the minor leagues at Triple-A Columbus, the 28-year-old pitcher now finds himself fighting for a job with the Cleveland Indians. If he is not able to succeed in securing a spot on the 25-man roster at the end of spring training, it could spell the end of his time in the Indians’ organization.

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The Challenges Facing Shapiro

October 28, 2012 |

Recently, Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com had a conversation with Cleveland Indians’ team president Mark Shapiro, who talked about his challenges and interests in baseball, the recent history of the team, and his vision moving forward. Following will be a series of opinions and insight about Shapiro’s responses and how they apply to where the team was, how the team got to where it is now, and most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here.

 

This is part one in the series.

While Major League Baseball and its fans watch the culmination of the 2012 season in Detroit as the Tigers trail the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, Mark Shapiro and the Cleveland Indians’ front office continue their work seeking ways to improve upon a disappointing season.

Their work is cut out for them.

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Uncertain Future Ahead for Sizemore

October 23, 2012 |

After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today, we consider if Grady Sizemore should return to the Indians.

Sometimes, calculated risks pay off.

The Cleveland Indians elected to go all in and gambled $5 million on fan favorite free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore after the team declined its $8.5 million team option on him following the 2011 season. They were willing to ante up even more money, as much as another $4 million, in the event that Sizemore was able to reach several performance-based incentives in his contract.

The team and its fans lost on the bet.

Now, the Indians face the same debate again with the free agent Sizemore. Do they attempt to resign the veteran, or do they allow him to walk away?

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Marson Hopes for Increased Opportunities in 2013

October 18, 2012 |

After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today we analyze one of the many players facing salary arbitration this winter.

While it certainly was not the intention at the time of the trade, backup catcher Lou Marson has been the most consistent of the prospects acquired by Cleveland in July of 2009 from the Philadelphia Phillies, in exchange for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco, to grace the Indians’ roster.

When trading away Cy Young award winning pitchers, most teams have to hope the highlight of the trade three years later is not a reserve catcher.

So goes the Indians’ subpar prospect hauls and their erratic play over the last few years.

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Pestano’s Performance Solidifies Bullpen

October 11, 2012 |

After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. This week we analyze the Tribe’s young core of players moving forward.

It was a Cleveland Indians’ record-breaking season for setup man Vinnie Pestano in 2012. Along with Joe Smith and Chris Perez, the three formed one of the more formidable back ends in the major leagues.

Unfortunately for the Indians, their second-half collapse gave the team too few opportunities to hand the ball to the trio with the game at stake.

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