Renovations on Schedule as Progress Made at Progressive Field... December 21, 2014 | Bob Toth
Floyd Could be Solid Veteran Presence For Young Rotation... December 20, 2014 | Craig Gifford
Yankees Make Most of Four-Game Set; Tribe Falls into Tie for First... December 19, 2014 | Vince Guerrieri
Off Season Brings Minor League Managerial Changes... December 18, 2014 | Laurel Wilder
Former pitcher Rick Waits will always be remembered in Cleveland as a solid lefthander who won 74 games for the Indians over a nine year stretch, but baseball history will likely remember him for one game that led to one of baseball’s most historic moments.
On the last day of the season in 1978, Waits was the starter for the sixth-place Tribe at Yankee Stadium against the first place New York Yankees. The Yanks were looking for a win to clinch the American League Eastern Division, while most of the Indians were ready to schedule their tee-times for the following week. Waits, however, had the task at hand fully on his mind.
“I don’t want to speak for the other guys and what they were thinking that day with it being the last day of the season and we weren’t going anywhere,” Waits said, “but I always got up for every game that I pitched.”
The Indians went 20-12 in their month-long road trip, having left Cleveland clinging to a 1 ½-game lead. In that time, they’d visited every city in the American League , finishing up with a four-game set at the Polo Grounds. …
There’s an old adage, “some of the best trades are the ones that are never made.”
It’s probably even more truer in free agency and the Indians are no better example. Two years ago the Tribe surprised its fan base and much of baseball when it spent an uncharacteristic $112 million on free agents Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds. Almost immediately it was obvious that Myers was a bad decision, and after a storm of homers in the first six weeks, Reynolds too was let go before 2013 ended.
A winter ago, the Indians were much more quiet, signing David Murphy and John Axford. Each were supposed to be veteran presence, lightening the load and pressure on the younger players around them. Instead, Axford was replaced as closer by Cody Allen after six weeks and Murphy had his second straight disappointing season. Mistakes in free agency can be costly and it has cost the Tribe in excess of $130 million over the last two winters. It’s no wonder the Indians have not been linked to any free agents this winter, not to mention the roster is full of players under team control for the foreseeable future.
With Johnny Manziel-mania having already swept through Cleveland, Berea and Browns Backer’s bars across the nation, the rookie quarterback who had never taken an NFL snap brought his fanfare and Hollywood-like swagger to Progressive Field on Wednesday night, June 4.
Manziel, along with cornerback and eighth overall pick Justin Gilbert, was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Indians final game against the Boston Red Sox. Not since former President Bill Clinton tossed out the first pitch on Opening Day over 20 years ago has the approximately 15-second pregame ceremony gotten so much fanfare. Tribe fans were ready to stampede the box office to get a glimpse of Johnny Football’s first “pass” in Cleveland’s city limits.
If you followed along with the heavily active Winter Meetings this past week and came away disappointed that the Cleveland Indians were not more active, you were probably not alone.
After an 85-77 finish to follow a wild run to the AL Wild Card game the previous season, there were holes to consider filling on the roster, but so far, the Indians have made just one substantial roster move.
It really should be of no surprise. The Indians, strapped by the financial limitations of a small market club that has failed to place fans in the seats with regularity, seem to feel content with the returning roster and have hopes that some of those players (i.e. Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis) who have not quite lived up to their paychecks, whether it be due to injuries, struggles on the field, or a combination of both, find a way to play closer to the expectations set by their more successful efforts in years past.
When the Indians swung a deal with the Oakland Athletics on Monday to acquire veteran first baseman and outfielder Brandon Moss it was a bit of a surprise. However, it should certainly be viewed a pleasant one.
Granted the deal had been rumored since late last week, it was surprising in that Tribe management made a move to upgrade the everyday lineup after maintaining from the start of the offseason that the pitching staff would be the top priority this winter.
The Yankees, an also-ran in the American League since they relocated to New York from Baltimore in 1903, might not have fully formed in 1920 as the dynasty they would become, but they were already the biggest draw in Major …
With the Indians’ acquisition of Brandon Moss, the talks have started that someone will need to go in order to make room on the field for the first baseman/outfielder. The only question is, who would that be?
Carlos Santana will be returning as the Tribe’s first baseman, while the entire outfield is back in Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, and David Murphy. Ryan Raburn is also in the mix as an option in the outfield and as DH. Of course, Nick Swisher is another member of the Tribe’s roster whose status is a question mark with the Moss trade.
Former Indian Kevin Seitzer had to wait until the end of his long career before finally making it to the postseason with Cleveland, but by that time he had already made an impression on Major League Baseball long ago.
As a rookie for the Kansas City Royals in 1987, Seitzer had one of the greatest seasons by a first year player in the past half century. He played in 161 games logging an AL best 725 plate appearances while batting .323 with 15 homeruns, 83 RBI, 33 doubles, eight triples and a league best 207 hits during his first year. Seitzer was the first rookie to amass 200 hits since 1964, when Tony Oliva of the Twins and Dick Allen of the Phillies both accomplished the feat, and was just the 12th rookie ever to do it. Only Nomar Garciaparra of Boston in 1997 and Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle in 2001 have done it since.
The 2014 season was a big year for the Double-A Akron team.
After owner Ken Babby decided it was time to change the team name from the Akron Aeros to the Akron RubberDucks, it was time for this team to start bringing back their fans and show Akron why they are important to this city. In order to do that, the RubberDucks front office had to get creative in ways to attract fans and fill the seats at Canal Park. At the end of their inaugural year of the name change, the RubberDucks seemed to have achieved that goal. In recognition of their success, the Akron RubberDucks were nominated for the Larry MacPhail award for exemplifying creative promotions and marketing throughout the season.