Posts By Steve Eby
By Steve Eby
Did you know that the Major League record for inside the park homeruns was held by a former Cleveland Hall of Famer?
The former Cleveland Spider was named Jesse Burkett and was nicknamed “The Crab”, and he hit 55 inside-the-parkers during his Hall of Fame career from 1890-1905. That ridiculous total has to make you wonder if baseball was played back in the 1800’s without fences, outfielders or maybe even 90-foot bases.
Nowadays, records like the one held by The Crab are probably safe forever, but that doesn’t stop baseball people from keeping track of every little detail and statistic from each and every game. Milestones occur so often that we really only take notice when the accomplishment breaks a record or ends in at least two zeroes.
Several Indians on the 2013 team are poised to set their own personal milestones and/or have a chance to pass some names on either baseball’s or the franchise’s all-time list. Some are obviously more impressive than others, but milestones are milestones nevertheless.
After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today, we examine a player who is out of minor league options, meaning they must be on the 25-man roster.
Where have you gone Coco Crisp?
Not since the Indians traded the outfielder with the funny name to Boston in 2005 has the Tribe had a solid force in left field. Names like Shelley Duncan, Johnny Damon, Trevor Crowe, Austin Kearns, Ben Francisco, Jason Michaels and David Dellucci have all been given regular playing time in left since the Indians traded Crisp and all of the players underperformed or underachieved for the Tribe. Crisp batted .300 with 16 homeruns and 15 stolen bases in ‘05 and no left fielder has come even close to matching that production since.
“We have to examine what’s transpired, not just this year, but where we are organizationally moving forward because the mix we had wasn’t working,” Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti said. “We need to figure out ways to be better.”
After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today we analyze a potential trade piece for the Tribe this winter.
Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is a free agent following the 2013 season. His agent is the hard-nosed Scott Boras who does not understand the term “hometown discount.” The Cleveland Indians have a history of trading their big-name players prior to free agency. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see what is probably coming.
Choo is arguably the best player on the Indians roster. Since being acquired in a trade from Seattle for Ben Broussard in 2006, Choo has batted .292 with 83 homeruns, 372 RBI, 85 stolen bases and 48 outfield assists. It is hard to look back and find a player on the Indians that has been as productive over the last six seasons.
Everyone has big life decisions to make. But for the Tribe’s top second base prospect Tony Wolters, his decision was separated by over 2,400 miles.
“After I got drafted I didn’t know if I was going to go to school or not,” Wolters said.
Wolters attended Rancho Buena Vista High School, about 40 miles from downtown San Diego, California. He was given a full scholarship from the University of San Diego, but before he was able to attend a class, he was drafted in the third round of the 2010 Amateur Draft by the Indians.
“I waited to sign and it gave me a lot of time to weigh my pros and cons,” Wolters said. “I was really comfortable with USD because that’s where my sister went and it’s only about 45 minutes from where I live.”
The lure of playing professional baseball can also be a bit misleading. Most players that play professionally never make it to “The Show.” Playing in the minor leagues is a grind and the patience that it takes can take its toll on a lot of players. “I had a lot of friends that got drafted too,” Wolters said. “I got to talk to them and pick their brains about what pro ball is all about. I knew what I was getting myself into.”
By Steve Eby
First of all, let me say that I love the Cleveland Browns. I love the way that the defense is shaping up (although no Phil Taylor scares me) and I LOVE the idea of having Trent Richardson. I think that Brandon Weeden was a stretch of a draft pick at #22, but I’m thrilled that I don’t have to watch Colt McCoy throw wobbly ducks around the shores of Lake Erie anymore.
I love the Browns. I’ll love them forever. Brown and orange runs through my veins! I wish them nothing but the best…but they always let me down and they make me so mad.
The Browns franchise is a joke. Actually, let me clarify…the new franchise is a joke…not the real one that left in 1995. They make stupid decision after stupid decision. They went through a decade of terrible draft picks. They have a head coach that last season seemed to be getting dumber by the game last year. They went through free agency this offseason and the NFL Draft knowing that they didn’t have a REAL wide receiver on their roster. As of the end of May, they STILL don’t have a REAL wide receiver on their roster. It sucks because now I have to watch Mohamed Massaquoi be overused and run bad routes for another year. I have to watch Josh Cribbs be an “average at best” receiver and a not-as-awesome-as-he-should-be special teamer because he is going to be wasting his time and energy playing offense. I also have to watch Greg Little dr… actually I really like Greg Little and think he’ll be pretty good one day. I think I’ll lay off this one for now.