While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 17 days
The number 17 had disappeared from the diamond for Cleveland in recent years, but it is ready to make a big return in 2018.
In recent years, the number had been assigned to manager Terry Francona, who tends to take the field in anything but an Indians jersey (his far more familiar attire has been a sweatshirt or hoodie, neither of which have been emblazoned with his number). In December, it was reported that Tito had switched to the number 77, passing along his 17 to Francisco Mejia, but the young catching propsect instead is back in the number 27, digits he wore while playing with the Class-A Lake County Captains years ago.
Yonder Alonso, the club’s biggest offseason addition, will now wear the 17, a number he wore in Oakland over the last two seasons.
It wasn’t a third inning at bat by Shin-Soo Choo that would have Progressive Field quaking on this date in 2011, but he would get the fans rocking in the bottom of the ninth as his three-run walk-off home run gave the Indians a 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Seattle Mariners in game one of a doubleheader.
Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to Opening Day!
Countdown to Opening Day – 17
The number 17 has disappeared from the diamond for the Cleveland Indians in recent years, last seen on the back of Shin-Soo Choo in his final season for the club in 2012.
That offseason, the Indians hired manager Terry Francona, who was spotted with the number 47 in his introductory press conference. After Choo was dealt to Cincinnati in a three-team trade that included Arizona, Francona switched over to 17. Unlike other managers around the league, Francona opts for other attire while in the dugout, so his new 17 has been replaced by an Indians hoodie, among other gear.
It wasn’t a third inning at bat by Shin-Soo Choo that would have Progressive Field quaking and shaking today, but he would get the fans rocking in the bottom of the ninth as his three-run walk-off home run gave the Indians a 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Seattle Mariners in game one of a doubleheader.
In the 1980s, the Cavaliers had an alarming tendency to make terrible trades. They were so bad at it, in fact, that at one point, the NBA Commissioner stepped in to approve any trade. Many teams benefitted from the Cavs’ front office ineptitude, with Dick Motta going so far as to say, “I was afraid to go to lunch for fear I’d miss a call from Cleveland.”
Given their history over the past 20 years, Indians management must feel the same way about the Mariners. Although Indians and Mariners fans can relate to rooting for a team that’s either terrible, not quite good enough, or able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the Indians have been able to take great talent from the Mariners without giving up much in return.
After the 1993 season, the Indians traded starting shortstop Felix Fermin and spare outfielder Reggie Jefferson to the M’s for their shortstop, Omar Vizquel. Both infielders were regarded as good-field, no-hit. But while Fermin was out of baseball in two years, while Vizquel raised his average 30 points in Cleveland and became one of the mainstays of those great Tribe teams of the 1990s. He was inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame last month, and perhaps a plaque at Cooperstown awaits him as well.
It has been a little over a year since former Indians manager Manny Acta uttered what was probably his most famous quote.
After the Indians dropped an 8-4 road game to the Los Angeles Angels, they were 54-64. It was August 15, 2012, and the team was in the middle of a horrendous month that saw it go from playoff contender to also-ran.
Acta was asked about his team’s needs. The manager, perhaps annoyed with the losses piling up and seeing his job in jeopardy, basically took a shot at Cleveland’s management and the way the team was built.
In this week’s Wahoo Watch podcast, Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian and Mike Brandyberry break down the three team trade between the Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks that got the Tribe Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. The trio …
It’s time to give Chris Antonetti some credit.
The Indians General Manager has deservedly received his fair share of criticism for the Tribe’s struggles over the last few seasons, but after several decisions that resulted in disappointment, he seems to have made a very positive move Tuesday evening.
“We need to do a better job of shaping our roster,” Antonetti said at his season end press conference in October. “There were some decisions we made last year that didn’t turn out the way that we had hoped. We certainly need to reinvent our process that led to those decisions.”
Tuesday’s three-way trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald to the Cincinnati Reds and Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson to the Arizona Diamondbacks isn’t the only move to change the shape of the roster, but it is the biggest. The Indians received Drew Stubbs in return from Cincinnati and Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from Arizona.
The Cleveland Indians have traded outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in part of a three-team deal with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Indians dealt Choo and infielder Jason Donald to Cincinnati for Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs and Diamondbacks starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and right-handed relief pitchers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. The Indians sent Didi Gregorius from the Reds, plus left-handed relief pitcher Tony Sipp, minor league first baseman Lars Anderson and cash considerations to the Diamondbacks
Choo, a right fielder with the Indians, is expected to become the Reds center fielder. Cincinnati hopes to recuperate what they will lose in Choo’s defense with his increased offense. Choo rebounded from an injury-riddled 2011 to hit .283, with 16 home runs and 67 runs batted in during 2012, primarily in the Tribe’s leadoff spot. It is expected that Cincinnati will insert him into the top of their order to hit in front of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.
By Bob Toth
The baseball season is a grueling one.
A total of 162 games are played over a six-month span. Teams travel all across the country, staying in one road city no more than four games at a time, and rarely at home for any stretch above nine games.
Winning streaks and losing streaks are inevitabilities of the season. Slumps and injuries factor into both.
But all of it is for naught if your team is not sitting in first place on the last day of the season.