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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | April 23, 2018

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2016 Spring Training

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 0

April 4, 2016 |

As Did The Tribe Win Last Night helps fans count down the days until the Indians retake the field in an official Major League game, we look back at some of the players who wore the Cleveland jersey with pride.

Countdown to Opening Day – 0 days

This is it, the moment baseball fans in Cleveland have waited six long months for – the return of the game you must enjoy at least a little bit if you are on a baseball blog in the first week of April.

The final number in our nearly three month long series brings about one candidate who has worn zero and two who wore double-zeroes during the long, storied history of the Cleveland Indians organization. Read More

Indians Announce Roster Moves Heading into Opening Day

April 3, 2016 |

The Cleveland Indians announced several roster moves Sunday afternoon in advance of their season opening game with the Boston Red Sox Monday afternoon at Progressive Field.

In need of several spots on the 40-man roster for outfielder Marlon Byrd and reliever Ross Detwiler, the Indians have designated utility man Zach Walters and reliever Giovanni Soto for assignment.

The team has also formally placed outfielders Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall retroactively on the 15-day disabled list to create spots on the 25-man roster for the two players. Read More

Cleveland’s All-Time Opening Day Starting Lineup

April 3, 2016 |

Opening Day is like no other day of the year for baseball fans.

The stadium is sold out. Warm weather is on the way. There’s optimism. Everybody is tied for first place. A win can catapult a fan base’s spirit and a loss can crush early dreams.

No other day is full of overreactions quite like Opening Day.

So which Cleveland players have vaulted hopes on the season’s first day the best? I thought it might be interesting to find out and construct a lineup.

In order to be fair, I decided that the player must be in the top three number of games played in Openers started at their position and must have at least five games in under his belt, too. This eliminates any player who went 3-3 in their lone Opening Day contest as well as any pinch hitter who maybe went 1-1 with a home run in their lone Opener. Read More

Can Cleveland Catch Kansas City for the Central Crown?

April 3, 2016 |

The Kansas City Royals got off to a hot start in 2015, maintained that frantic pace, and withstood a cold month of September to claim the American League Central crown, capture the AL pennant, and knock off the New York Mets in five games in the World Series to take home their first hardware since 1985.

If there is any team that needs to be reminded of the importance of starting the season strong, it is the Cleveland Indians, and hopefully they took note about that and several other things that their division rivals have managed to do right over the last couple of seasons. The KC club has not been an offensive juggernaut, but they have manufactured the runs, got reliable (but not dominating) starting pitching, and handed the ball to a trustworthy and hard-throwing bullpen to slam the door shut. They have done so by developing from within and supplementing from outside.

The Royals will have the target on their respective backs for the first time in a long time, but they have returned much of the same team and will be prepared to defend. Read More

Can Young Twins Overtake Tribe Again in the Standings?

April 2, 2016 |

Compared to the rest of the teams in the American League Central, the Minnesota Twins were extremely quiet this offseason, even though they were coming off of a surprising (to most) second place finish in the division last season.

Powered by a young lineup joined by a handful of veterans, a balanced offensive attack with eight different players amassing at least ten homers and eight guys with at least 50 RBI helped a team that was not aggressive on the base paths and that managed to get outscored by its opposition by four runs on the year.

Instead of hitting the Brinks truck and spending bags and bags of money on free agents, the organization opted to allow manager Paul Molitor to move forward with nearly the same lineup for the 2016 season. Read More

Indians Need to Reverse Trend of Recent Opening Months

April 2, 2016 |

How does a 7-14 record sound? OK, 11-17? Perhaps 11-13 will suit you a little better?

Those have been the records put up by the Cleveland Indians during the first month of the season over their three years under manager Terry Francona – not exactly starts to the season to remember. Due, in part, to their slow April starts, the Tribe has not had many memorable finishes to their campaigns, either.

Of course, that is not the case in 2013 when an 11-13 opening month ended up with a 92-70 record and a trip to the American League Wild Card game. Of course, a slightly better start to that year and the Tribe may well have won the A.L. Central Division and experienced an October to remember rather than being one-and-done after the postseason ouster at the hand of the Tampa Bay Rays. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 2: Catching Up With Einar Diaz

April 2, 2016 | | 2 Comments

As Did The Tribe Win Last Night helps fans count down the days until the Indians retake the field in an official Major League game, we look back at some of the players who wore the Cleveland jersey with pride.

Countdown to Opening Day – 2 days

When former Indians catcher Einar Diaz was traded away from the team on December 6, 2002, the Tribe pulled off a heist and received one of the greatest sluggers in team history. Travis Hafner, who came along from Texas with pitcher Aaron Myette in exchange for Diaz and pitcher Ryan Drese, eventually became the Indians’ all-time leader with 187 home runs as a designated hitter and is eighth all-time on the franchise’s home run list with 199. It’s clear that the Indians received the obvious upper-hand in the trade, but Diaz was seen at the time to be a solid, everyday starting catcher due to his previous experience with the Tribe.

Over the course of seven seasons with the Indians, Diaz – who wore #2 throughout his time in Cleveland – played in 456 games while batting .259 with 15 home runs and 139 RBI. Not exactly a prototypical catcher, Diaz also swiped 16 bases during his time with the Indians, including eleven during his first year as a regular in 1999. Prior to that, Diaz had played very sparingly for the Major League club as a September call-up from 1996-98.

“Those were the years that we won a lot of games,” Diaz remembered. “We had some good teams until 2002. Those were good years, man. We had fun over there.” Read More

Can Cleveland Solve Southpaws of Chicago’s Southside?

April 1, 2016 | | One Comment

The Chicago White Sox have learned that winning the offseason does not always equate to winning in the season. It did not stop them from shuffling their roster around to try to fill the holes that emerged during the 2015 season.

After repairing a problematic bullpen, the team looked to be in good shape entering last season, but between defensive issues and inconsistent bats, the team just could not do enough to support a starting rotation that should have been good enough to compete. And curiously, despite several pending free agents on the roster, the White Sox stood still at the deadline and watched some movable commodities walk away for free at season’s end with nothing to show for it. Cleveland could be to thank for that, as the Indians were swept in a four-game series at Progressive Field and were outscored 26-5 as the MLB schedule entered the final week of July.

Those Indians, meanwhile, added several right-handed bats with a little bit of pop to them among their offseason additions, which could do wonders after a lefty heavy lineup in the past had to contend against the likes of a southpaw dominated starting rotation in Chi-town. One of the right-handed bats that the team had reportedly shown interest in, but ultimately did not acquire, was third baseman Todd Frazier, who found himself traded from Cincinnati to Chicago during the winter.

The two clubs will get reacquainted quickly, as the Tribe will head to the south side of Chicago next weekend on the front end of their first road trip of 2016. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 3: Earl Averill

April 1, 2016 |

As Did The Tribe Win Last Night helps fans count down the days until the Indians retake the field in an official Major League game, we look back at some of the players who wore the Cleveland jersey with pride.

Countdown to Opening Day – 3 days

Former Indians center fielder Earl Averill may have gotten a late start to his Major League career, but it not prevent him from putting together one of the better careers of any player to wear a Cleveland uniform on the baseball diamond, let alone the number three.

Averill broke into the professional baseball circuit in 1926 at the age of 23, starting a three-year stint with the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League after previously playing semi-pro ball. After three consistent seasons with the bat, showing both an ability to hit for high average and for power, the Indians purchased him from the minor league club for the lofty sum of $50,000.

When looking at the undersized 5’9” Averill, then-Indians owner Alva Bradley reportedly shared with Tribe general manager Billy Evans, “You paid all that money for a midget.” Evans replied, “Wait until you see him with his shirt off.” Averill had worked as a logger in his hometown and fit the build, earning the nickname “The Rock” for his physique while swinging a 44-ounce bat. Proving it was money well spent, he homered in his first at bat for the Tribe as a 26-year-old rookie in 1929. Read More

Can the Tribe Tame the Tigers in 2016?

March 31, 2016 | | One Comment

If the Cleveland Indians have any sorts of playoff dreams in 2016, those hopes have a much better shot at becoming a reality if they can handle business in the American League Central Division.

They did not have success in the Central last season, a factor that undoubtedly loomed large as they finished on the outside of the divisional race and the playoffs altogether. They fell short of a winning record against all four regular opponents and their 7-11 mark against the Detroit Tigers was the second worst of the bunch. Those Motor City Kitties plated more runs off of Tribe pitching than any other division rival and did so while playing one fewer game against them due to a pair of rainouts in the middle of September.

For 2016, the Indians will see the Tigers the usual 19 games, including six matchups in Cleveland’s first 27 games this season. They will also have three games in Detroit at the end of June, three at home in July, and seven games in the last half of September, as divisional battles at the end of the year could factor in any of the Indians’ postseason chances. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 4: Catching Up With David Bell

March 31, 2016 |

As Did The Tribe Win Last Night helps fans count down the days until the Indians retake the field in an official Major League game, we look back at some of the players who wore the Cleveland jersey with pride.

Countdown to Opening Day – 4 days

Former infielder David Bell may have only worn the Indians #4 jersey for two games, but the first one, at least, was a very memorable one.

A top prospect in the Tribe system through the early 90’s, the middle infielder was the son of former Tribe All-Star and bench coach Buddy Bell. When he made his Major League debut in May of 1995, his dad was in the dugout as manager Mike Hargrove’s right-hand-man.

“Being in the dugout that day was the best and the worst thing because I was nervous as hell,” the elder Bell said. “It being at the Big League level made it that much worse.” Read More

Francisco Lindor Versus the Sophomore Slump

March 30, 2016 |

Major League Baseball was shocked last season by the rise of a ton of young talent including Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant and Corey Seager. There’s an obvious youth movement that’s passing through the MLB, and the Indians are right in the core of it. They’ve been blessed with some quality drafting over the last four years or more. Aside from Jason Kipnis, who was drafted in 2008, their most exciting draft pick to come up through the system of late was Francisco Lindor.

Lindor, 22, took the league by storm last year when he finally broke into the majors after working on a “litany” of things in Triple-A to start the season. After he made his debut on June 14 and despite starting off slow, he went on to have a monster second half and posted a WAR of 4.6. He was runner-up as rookie of the year to Correa, and has now situated himself as one of the top shortstops in the game.

The question coming into this season though is: how much regression can we expect from Lindor? Can he survive the dreaded sophomore slump? Read More