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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | March 26, 2017

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2017 Offseason

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 14 – Larry Doby

March 20, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 14 days

To this day, Larry Doby does not get the credit that he deserves for the doors that he helped open in Major League Baseball, professional sports as a whole, or for the American society over the course of his baseball career with the Cleveland Indians and others.

The Indians honored his efforts on the field by retiring his number 14 on July 3, 1994, making him the fifth player (Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Earl Averill, Mel Harder) recognized by the club in such a manner. The ceremony came almost 47 years to the date of his first game in a Cleveland Indians uniform. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 15 – Sandy Alomar

March 19, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 15 days

Some baseball players have a special connection with a city because of their outstanding talent. Some players have a special connection because of their outstanding personalities.

Former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar had both. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 32

March 2, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 32

The number 32 has been missing in regular action on the diamond for the Cleveland Indians for the last three years. That could continue on into 2017, as no player currently holds the number as his own with spring training well under way from Goodyear, Arizona.

Pitchers have been the primary wearer of 32 in recent Indians history and the last to do so, Matt Albers in 2013, was no different. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 33

March 1, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 33 days

The number 33 has a curious place in Indians history. It has been worn by a handful of prolific sluggers, generally outside of their glory years on the diamond, and at other times was on the backs of some of the better pitchers on the roster through the 1960s.

It may be unfortunate that a number linked to some great hitters was tarnished some over the last few years after being claimed by Nick Swisher. The large sum of money given to the one-time free agent, returning from the Big Apple to his former Ohio stomping grounds, may go down as one of the worst expenditures in the long history of the Indians franchise. To be fair, injuries took the wind out of Swisher’s sails and the pressures of being a cleanup hitter in the Tribe’s lineup were expectations he never was able to live up to fully. Now, Swisher has formally hung up the cleats after brief time in Atlanta and back in the minors with the New York Yankees last season and will assume the full-time roles of father and husband before his inevitable sports media career begins.

Prior to Swisher, fans trying to recall some of their favorite seasons in recent Cleveland memory may recall a pair of forces in the lineup that both contributed to playoff teams. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 34 – Zach McAllister

February 28, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 34

Any questions about whether or not Zach McAllister would return to the Cleveland Indians for the 2017 season were answered in early January when he and the club agreed to a one-year, $1.825 million contract to avoid arbitration eligibility for the second consecutive year.

The Indians tinkered with their bullpen this offseason, starting by not extending an offer to Jeff Manship, who had joined McAllister and others in the middle of a Tribe bullpen that went from questionable to exceptional with the midseason addition of All-Star left-hander Andrew Miller from New York.

For McAllister, his retention by the club was another vote of confidence from the organization that he has spent parts of the last seven seasons playing for. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 35 – Abraham Almonte

February 27, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 35

Will this be the season that the Cleveland Indians see all that Abraham Almonte can provide the club at the Major League level?

It may be cliché to say, but this spring camp may be the biggest one of the lengthy professional career for the switch-hitting outfielder Almonte, who joins a crowded outfield mix in Goodyear, Arizona, looking to latch on to a job as a platoon outfielder or bench piece for the reigning American League champions. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 36 – Gaylord Perry

February 26, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 36

Jesus Aguilar had occupied the number 36 for the Indians for a few cups of coffee over the last three seasons, but he surrendered his claim to the digits when Cleveland designated him for assignment during the offseason. Now a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the 26-year-old slugger will hope that a change of location will be the move that he needed in order to stick in the Major Leagues for a more pronounced length of time.

Production from three-sixes in Indians history has historically been minimal, with Aguilar’s years with the number exceeding the majority of those to wear it before him. A total of 50 players have reportedly worn the number for the Tribe in regular season action, but only a handful have spent more than a few seasons representing it on the field.

One of the best to do so, without argument, was Gaylord Perry, who joined the Indians organization following the 1971 season. Read More

Host of Spring Invites Looking to be Tribe’s Next Winter Find

February 26, 2017 |

Over the last couple of years, the Cleveland Indians have done well in finding veteran free agents no one else wanted and watching them become diamonds in the rough, so to speak.

Dan Otero last year and Jeff Manship in 2015 were both free agent relievers the Tribe was able to bring to spring training on minor league contracts. Both had histories of past success but were trying to rejuvenate careers that had fallen off in the seasons before joining the Indians.

Both veteran relievers proved to be strong contributors to Cleveland’s bullpen. Manship spent two seasons with the Indians before being casualty of management deciding not to make him an arbitration offer this past winter. Part of the reason was the emergence last year of Otero, giving Cleveland a deep bullpen without Manship. Both hurlers were important parts of an Indians club that went to the 2016 World Series. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 37 – Cody Allen

February 25, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 37

Cody Allen is the closer of the Cleveland Indians. It is a nod that is deserved and should come without mention, but the mere presence of All-Star left-hander Andrew Miller forced manager Terry Francona to be clear with the media on his bullpen expectations for the coming 2017 season.

That Francona even had to specify the role for Allen, who has worked in the closer’s role for the club in some capacity dating back to his third season in the Majors in 2014, is yet another reminder of the lack of respect that the underappreciated right-hander gets around the league for the work that he does on the mound. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 38 – Eric Plunk

February 24, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 38 days

There were 38 Cleveland Indians players to wear #38 as their jersey numbers prior to the 2016 season, so if the Tribe’s front office wanted to just be ironic, they could have chosen to never pass out the number again and retire it up in the mezzanine level at Progressive Field.

If they were going to retire #38 – not that they should – the man who deserves it the most is probably former reliever Eric Plunk. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 39 – Giovanny Urshela

February 23, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 39

Has the window of opportunity already closed in Cleveland for Giovanny Urshela? Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 40 – Bartolo Colon

February 22, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 40

There is something about Bartolo Colon that makes him beloved by fans across the nation and the world.

Sure, he has had a long and sometimes successful Major League career, keeping his name in the news during springs and summers since debuting with the Cleveland Indians in 1997. But now, many years removed from a slimmer, more dominating flame-throwing version of himself, Colon now looks like an everyman, resembling more of a middle-aged man who had let himself go and now is attempting to squeeze himself into a pair of baseball pants in some sort of midlife crisis.

Colon takes the brunt of the jokes for being out of shape and being a really, really lousy looker while standing in the batter’s box.

But the joke’s on you – the 43-year-old right-hander signed a $12.5 million deal in November to join the starting rotation of the Atlanta Braves, providing lots and lots of life experience and veteran leadership to a young team, now constructed by John Hart, a very familiar face for Colon from his time in Cleveland. Read More