Posts By Bob Toth
The Cleveland Indians will face a familiar foe this week when they battle the Minnesota Twins in a pair of midweek games. The location, however, will be anything but the norm for the two clubs.
Baseball heads abroad and returns to Estadio Hiram Bithorn in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this week for the first time since June 28-30, 2010, when the Florida Marlins (and Puerto Rican interim manager Edwin Rodriguez) faced the New York Mets. San Juan has hosted 47 games in its history, with the bulk of the activity coming in 2003 and 2004 when the Montreal Expos spent a portion of the two seasons playing on the island.
For the Indians (8-6), they have a long history with Puerto Rico, as some of the island’s better players have suited up over the years for the club, including current members of the team Francisco Lindor and Roberto Perez and past players, Carlos Baerga, Juan Gonzalez, Vic Power, and the Alomar brothers Roberto and Sandy, just to name a few. The Indians have had a long layoff, as they last played on Friday night in a disappointing 8-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays after allowing eight unanswered runs in the ball game. That loss has sat and stewed for several extra days, as contests with the Jays on Saturday and Sunday were both postponed by heavy rains before Monday’s off day.
Free agent moves of Major League players get the majority of attention in the offseason, but plenty of role players and other prospects still hoping for a chance at a big league pay day bounce around the country when their pro contracts come to an end. A handful of Indians farmhands were on the move over the winter, with several others still unsigned.
The Baltimore Orioles came sniffing around the Tribe’s former prospects, including snatching one up through a Rule 5 claim.
Many accomplishments in Major League Baseball history have come and gone, to be expected on some level with the 162-game schedule and 30 teams competing on a nightly basis for six months of the year. Yet some records and performances have withstood the test of time and somewhat surprisingly, Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter remains one of them.
It was on April 16, 1940, that Feller started the regular season with the first and only no-hitter in baseball history. Despite 39 Cleveland modern openers before it and the 78 openers that have followed, the historic effort has yet to be replicated.
While weather played havoc with the annual celebration of the life of Jackie Robinson, the lighter MLB schedule does not prohibit us at Did The Tribe Win Last Night from looking back at the time Robinson’s playing career brought him through the city of Cleveland.
On April 15th of every year, Major League Baseball takes pause to recognize the contributions of Jackie Robinson to the advancement of African-Americans and minorities as a whole in professional sports and, in a much larger construct, in the society as we know it today.
Teams honor the life and legacy of Robinson by removing their traditional names and numbers from the backs of their jerseys, instead wearing a nameless #42, which returns to diamonds across the country on the anniversary of his breaking of the color barrier. While inclement weather at stops all across the country led to the cancellation of a half dozen games on Sunday, it will lead to an extended commemoration of Robinson as those 42 jerseys will be “unretired” again during make-up games in May and June for the ten affected clubs.
As feared, the series finale between the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays was washed away by rains on Sunday afternoon.
The scheduling blunders of April, which include several long homestands with opponents making their lone trips to Progressive Field for the season, took front seat this weekend as the Blue Jays will now need to return for a second visit to Cleveland. Sunday’s postponed game has now been moved to May 3 as part of a doubleheader, joining Saturday’s previously rescheduled contest.
Fans who had tickets to the April 15 contest can exchange them for admission to both games of a traditional doubleheader that day, but ticket holders to Saturday’s game will have priority on ticket availability. If fans are unable to attend that double dip, the Sunday tickets can be exchanged for one of two other dates on the calendar – the game on Sunday, June 17, against the Minnesota Twins or their game Wednesday, June 20, against the Chicago White Sox. For more details on the exchange, go to Indians.com/schedulechanges.
Heavy and steady rains in the northeast Ohio area spoiled the Cleveland Indians’ second Saturday home date of the 2018 schedule as their game with the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed.
A makeup date has been scheduled on Thursday, May 3, at 1:10 PM ET. Ticket holders to Saturday’s game are encouraged to attend that date. Exchange details are available at Indians.com/schedulechanges. Fans who cannot attend the rescheduled contest can exchange their tickets for games on either Friday, May 11, or Saturday, May 12, against the Kansas City Royals.
The Indians could not protect an early 4-0 lead as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied with four runs in the fourth inning off of starter Mike Clevinger and tacked on four more runs late against the Cleveland bullpen to claim an 8-4 win in the series opener on Friday from Progressive Field.
While it is certainly no 22-game winning streak, the Indians’ current five-game streak has done wonders to quell some of the concerns about Cleveland’s early offensive woes.
The Indians (8-5) have ripped off five straight wins and have won six of the first seven games of their ten-game homestand. After a tough 2-4 road trip through Seattle and Anaheim, the Indians came home to an AL Central battle with the Kansas City Royals, taking two of three. They completed the difficult four-game sweep during the week, handling the Detroit Tigers while the bats woke up late in the series as the weather in Cleveland took a notable turn for the better.