The Cleveland Indians made a lot of moves in the offseason that have worked very well to this point. From free agent signings in Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, to bargain-bin shopping with Ryan Raburn, to trading for Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles, to the hiring of manager Terry Francona, most of what the Tribe did in the winter has helped the team have success through the season’s first two months.
One acquisition that was looking bad over the initial few weeks was giving $7 million dollars to 32-year-old Brett Myers and making the 2012 reliever a starter. Through his first four appearances, three starts, covering 21 and 1/3 innings, the veteran right-hander was not very good. He was 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA. He had allowed a league-high 11 home runs.
The Cleveland Indians started the season with high hopes. They added several key offensive players and looked to have a lineup ready to contend. The biggest question mark going into the year, and the one that changed the least from last season was the pitching; more specifically the starting pitching. With Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson coming off the worst seasons of their careers, a rookie pitcher that had ups and downs in Zach McAllister, a newly added starter turned reliever turned starter Brett Myers, and a plethora of young uncertain arms to fill the five hole, the rotation looked like a potential mess.
Through 44 games the Indians rotation has been okay. Masterson and McAllister have had strong starts, Jimenez was shaky, and then seemed to string a few good starts together, and Bauer has shown control issues but pitched well. The pitchers deserve a lot of credit for what they have done so far, but the defense behind them deserves some too.
Can we all just admit that Cleveland isn’t a Tribe Town?
Regardless of how well the Indians do, they will always be a distant second to the Browns.
This is coming from the same guy who, last season, wrote multiple times incredulous as to why fans weren’t going to the ballpark to watch a competitive team (Those columns were obviously written before August).
Without a doubt, Ty Cobb is the greatest player to ever don a Tigers’ uniform.
The Georgia Peach, nearly 90 years after his retirement, still holds the record for highest career batting average with .366. At one point, he also held the career record for stolen bases (862) and hits (4,191).
And he could have done it in an Indians uniform.
The Indians are in first place in May. We’ve heard this before.
This afternoon the Indians go for a four game sweep of the Seattle Mariners and their fifth straight win. Heading in to the game, the Indians have a two game lead on the Detroit Tigers, whose starting pitching is starting to become a question mark of their own. Instead, the Indians seem to be hitting on all cylinders as they are winners of 17 of their last 21 games. While Detroit seems to be stalling at the quarter mark, the Tribe seems to be hitting the gas and starting to speed ahead.
“In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there…” – Harry Doyle, Major League
Frustratingly lost in the shuffle of another Cleveland Indians walkoff victory on Saturday afternoon was more undesired focus on the fans.
It was not in regards to all fans as a whole. Nor was it related to their attendance, a much belabored point because of the miniscule, pathetic, and disgraceful turnout through the turnstiles this season at Progressive Field.
The Indians made quite a few highly publicized moves over the offseason. One move that did not get a lot of attention was the first one the team made, on Nov. 3. That day, the Tribe dealt middle-reliever Esmil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays for utility infielder Mike Aviles and a developmental rookie in Yan Gomes.
Since returning from his finger injury Indians center fielder Michael Bourn has a .365 on-base percentage and two stolen bases in five games. On the season Bourn is hitting .286/.348/.476 in 15 games. He currently has only three steals but that will change, fans can count on him to rack up at least 30 more stolen bases by seasons end. He was on a roll, batting .333 on the season before getting hurt on a slide into first base on April 14th. He had a hit in eight of the Indians ten games and kick started the Indians offense at the top of the order.
Every once in a while, something happens in our lives that helps us realize that there are many more important things in life than baseball.
However, during those same times, we realize just how great baseball is.
Without getting into too much detail, recent events have taken their toll on my mom and me. The one thing that we have in common is our ability to turn to baseball – and specifically the Indians – for solace.
Ahhh, Mother’s Day. What better way to show your love to Mom than treating her to a baseball game?
Well, my mother would appreciate the thought, but not necessarily the game. In fact, she was the first to admit it, which is why I can count on one hand the number of baseball games to which she accompanied us.
Sunday morning the Brandyberry family loaded up and drove to Detroit to fulfill Mom’s Mother’s Day wish of seeing a baseball game with her family. Other than realizing for the one-millionth time in my life that my wife is pretty awesome, I realized a couple other things as I watched the Tribe come from behind Sunday afternoon to win 4-3 in 10 innings.
First, it was pretty cold for Mother’s Day, Opening Day or any other day for a regular season baseball game. It was a tough day to watch baseball and the Indians didn’t play very well for much of the game.
The average pitcher does not return from the hardships that Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir has seen over the last few years.
Kazmir went from being one of the more feared left-handed pitchers in all of baseball to being out of the game altogether, just two seasons after starting Game 1 and Game 5 of the 2008 World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kazmir had it all.