Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 24 days
Domingo Santana will look to do something that his predecessor in the number 24, Carlos Gonzalez, was unable to do during a short stint in Cleveland a year ago – contribute consistently to the team’s success.
Two weeks ago marked the anniversary of the hiring of manager Terry Francona, whose return to the Indians organization was formally announced on October 6, 2012. He took over for interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr., who has remained on his staff throughout Francona’s tenure.
As Francona enters year eight at the helm in Cleveland, he still looks like the right man for the job, even with his flaws and occasional suspect moves on the diamond. Few have had the success that he has in the Cleveland dugout, and few around the game today can claim the resume that he has built over 19 years of big league managerial work. That body of work is why he is one of the longest tenured skippers currently at work.
Gerrit Cole spoiled the return to the mound of Cleveland’s Danny Salazar on Thursday by allowing a run on four hits over seven innings to win his ninth straight as the Houston Astros defeated the host Indians by a 7-1 final.
Another solid start from Cole was backed by good offensive support from his Astros teammates as Houston moved to 70-40 on the season. Cole, who is the Majors’ leader in strikeouts, won for the ninth straight decision and has not lost a game since May 22.
Indians manager and former designated hitter Terry Francona is born in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He is born one month and one day after his father, outfielder and first baseman Tito Francona, was acquired by Cleveland from the Detroit Tigers.
Sunday, April 7, marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the beloved movie “Major League”. Written and directed by Rhode Islander David Ward (writer of box office hits like “The Sting” and “Sleepless in Seattle”) and featuring a star-studded cast, the movie follows efforts by Indians ownership to tank the season in order to set record-low attendance figures that would allow the widowed Rachel Phelps to move the franchise to Miami. Instead, hilarity and success ensue as the young upstart club finds itself under the guidance of manager Lou Brown and veteran catcher Jake Taylor. Today, we look back on a unique story that arose from the movie, as written by author Jonathan Knight in 2015. – BT
Picture Robert Stack in a dark overcoat meandering toward camera through a foggy alley. Over the opening chords of that tinkly theme song he speaks the following words in a low, gravelly voice that makes you think he’s passing along state secrets:
It’s a typical Tuesday night, and everybody’s settling in to watch the Indians’ latest textbook example of how not to score runs.
Just after the game begins (and the Indians strand their first runner in scoring position), venerable MLB.com reporter Jordan Bastian posts an intriguing little story. To coincide with that evening’s much-anticipated “Major League Night” at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Bastian chatted with Tribe manager Terry Francona about an enigmatic comment he made before the game.
With the wailing and gnashing of teeth this off-season, it’s easy to forget how good we have it (relatively speaking) as Indians fans. I can still remember the doldrums of the 1980s, when terrible teams played in a decrepit stadium in front of a crowd of my family and what seemed like about 1,200 of our closest friends.
A lot of the Tribe’s recent good fortune is due in large part to one man: Terry Francona, who took the job in 2013. And thanks to a contract extension, it appears he’ll be in the Indians dugout for years to come.
The Indians announced a two-year contract extension Wednesday morning that will keep Francona as Tribe manager through 2022. If he finishes the contract out – and absent some terrible scandal, I still believe the only way he leaves is on his own accord – he’ll be the longest-tenured Indians manager, eclipsing Lou Boudreau.
It’s hard to believe, but we are less than three weeks away from the first pitches of the 2019 Major League Baseball season. Today, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night continue our countdown to Opening Day. – BT
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 17
For the first time since 2012, the number 17 was back in circulation for Cleveland as free agent addition Yonder Alonso took it to first base with him during 145 contests in what proved to be his lone season as a member of the Indians.
The Tribe got solid and steady production out of the 31-year-old slugger, who was looking to build upon a career season in 2017 when he made his first career All-Star team and set personal bests across the stat sheet while splitting time in the American League West with the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners. His contract with the Indians allowed him to call Ohio home for the second time in his career, following his stint with the Cincinnati Reds to begin his Major League service time in 2010 and 2011.
Major League Baseball is now less than a month away from the start of the 2019 season, its earliest start ever (excluding international openers). All 30 teams will take the field on March 28 this year. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 24 days
Joyce is off to an inauspicious start of his own, going 0-for-12 to start the spring slate with four strikeouts, one walk, and one run batted in over five games. At Goodyear on a non-roster invitation from his minor league deal signed during the second week of February, Joyce has a chance to fill one of the Indians’ outfield voids, but he will have to show a whole lot more at the plate in order to do so. The 34-year-old is an eleven-year veteran and a former 2011 All-Star for the Tampa Bay Rays who had spent the last two years in Oakland with the A’s. He hit a career-high 25 homers in 2017 there before he was limited to 83 games while hitting .208 a season ago.