“And you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free”…John 8:32
Everyone has heard a rumor and will hear and read many rumors in their lifetimes. If you are Jensen Lewis and yesterday you read that you were put on waivers by way of the media only to be told its a rumor, it is quite unsettling. After all, in reading Jensen Lewis’s tweets, no one did more for me from a public relations standpoint than Jensen Lewis in helping me feel excited about the Tribe and Opening Day 2011.
Jensen moved out to AZ to get closer to the year round training facility in Goodyear. He was pumped about Spring Training, pitchers and catcher reporting, pitching in games. It is refreshing to see a professional athlete getting excited like a kid on Christmas, wanting to perform, wanting to do well, cheering for the hometown team. So often, we see these athletes as ones just trying to do well enough to get the big contract and shuffle off when the time allows. Jensen wants/wanted to do well with the Indians.
Now Jensen is going to Columbus. This is understandable. He has had a 14.29 ERA in the Spring. However, the way it was communicated and rumored through the media by the Indians causes me concern. Why did Jensen find out through the media release and not told by the Indians days before?
Acta said he wanted to find the best pitchers to help the team. He said that there were no guarantees, no for certains. He wants to find the best five pitchers in no certain order for the rotation and pitchers that can pitch multiple innings for the bullpen and said that everyone on the club knew this going into camp what the expectations and goals were for the team. Someone forgot to remind Lewis. He was acting as though it was a given that he was going to be part of the 2011 Indians from start to finish.
I am confident that the Indians are making the right decision as it stands now. I also believe Jensen Lewis will be back up in Cleveland some time this season. However I think Jensen is learning how often the business and fan side of things do not always mesh. My advice to Jensen is this quote from one of his followers, “If you’re motivated by what other people think, then you’re not in it for the right reasons” Fight on Jensen and prove that you still belong in Major League Baseball and hopefully on the Cleveland Indians. If not, then move on! God has a plan for you.
I know! I know I’m a whiner! However, I would like to play a game called “what is different between the two pictures?”
I hate when these types of calls are what decide a team’s fate. Both were in Yankee Stadium, old or new. What is the need for instant replay, if this cannot be reviewed fairly? I saw the fan’s mitt enter into the field of play and interfere with Crowe’s glove today. I often wonder if this was Paul O’Neil in the top picture and Nick Swisher in the picture below if the call would have been called differently.When the umpire decides the momentum, it just gets UGLY! It was not an act of God with the midges. It was an umpire’s choice! To prevent a riot, the umpires did what they felt was the safe call. However, I saw a blownup version of the play and clearly saw the fan with the black hat and black mitt collide with Crowe. Now this does not excuse what the bullpen did to ruin Pavano’s excellent start. Perez, not able to get people out and Jensen Lewis giving up another homer to right field in relief just is not acceptable. What upset me further was Choo’s giving up on a ball down the left field line that landed fairly. It is games like this that I don’t want to hear cause us to lose out on playoffs in October. I hear often, a team cannot win a division in April, but they sure can lose one.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have to go home and win series, PERIOD! It was nice to earn a split in the Bronx but we had the chance to get 3 out of 4. However sloppy play, controversy and bad decisions led to this loss. Losses happen, yes! This one however needs some explanation which the umpires did not explain. Controversy looms!
I’m going to focus on the farm teams tomorrow and rejoin the Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday! Thanks for your feedback, readers. Your comments are appreciated and very much welcome.
Greetings from the Grand Canyon!
Yesterday my family and I went to Goodyear for the first time. One thing you notice is the Indians complex seems to be the only thing in town. One wonders what the residents of the town did before Cleveland came to play baseball here. The weather has been spectacular for those who have had 40’s for a long time. (Now that I am at the Grand Canyon, those Cleveland, OH temps have returned.) Anyway, prepare yourselves with plenty of sunscreen if you come down here to Goodyear.
When we got here, two fields were being used by various members of the team. We caught the last bit of running drills. I never was able to get an idea of how each player did. Hopefully, I will have another opportunity to watch this more carefully. When you have a family with you however, no matter how much I like to watch baseball, they always come first.
We did see some excellent fielding drills. One position I focused on during these drills was third base. The players there performing groundball drills and cutoff drills were Jamie Carroll, Mark DeRosa, Tony Graffinino and Andy Marte. Grounder after grounder were fielded cleanly by all. Yet I was looking at something that most reporters may not cover when reporting a story. That issue is heart.
Andy Marte seemed to be going through the motions. He did not seem to care. Everything was just routine and there was no passion. Its like he’s there to take up space. This is something that I would think he would change seeing that he might want to impress another team. Oh well, I wonder if he even enjoys the game by what he showed today.
Jamie Carroll really showed a different intensity. Even though he was not going to play in the game, he still treated the drills like he cared, fielding and throwing crisply and showing me that he is a winner who wants to win.
Mark DeRosa started for another day and was showing the leadership that was needed in these drills telling the others that he had the play, yelling out commands to the outfielders where to throw the ball. It was great to see.
Tony Graffinino was also showing intensity making sure that balls were caught and balls were thrown in the direction of the plate. I was really impressed with his way of practicing.
These evaluations carried over to the game. When we got there, it was $5 to park on grass. When we arrived, Arizona was completing batting practice. It was nice to see former Indian Matt Williams giving instruction with some intensity to the Arizona hitters. I always enjoyed his play when he was here in Cleveland.
Anyway, back to the game. We sat in the right field area right by the foul pole. Mark DeRosa started once again and had a nice double. He looks really focused and ready to play well for Team USA. We shall see. The person that really caught my focus in between trips to the various parts of the park with family was Tony Graffinino. He really showed me that he wants to be a part of this team. For example, as I recall, he carried over the intensity from practice cutting off this ball from left field and threw to the shortstop covering third. Even though he did get a hit, he walked and came home on a wild pitch once he moved to third.
One thing I also was able to recall was three of the four errors. It was what happened after that really made me happy. Remember, Anthony Castrovince said the sun was intense. He is not lying. There was a lazy fly ball between Matt LaPorta and Grady Sizemore that was simply missed played by LaPorta. Yet in true “Wedge team ball fashion”, Matt LaPorta made up for it by hitting a homer to the grassy area behind the fence. The ball was crushed.
Laffey pitched well despite misfielding a play at first. He pitched out of trouble and really showed me that he wants to be that fifth starter. One thing about the pitchers. At least for Laffey and Jensen Lewis, whom I observed directly. It was interesting to see these pitchers continue to do running drills on the playing field even though the game was still going on. To avoid problems, they tried their best to run in between batters.
Another error I observed was done by Steven Head, who was playing right field at the time. It was upsetting to me at the time. However, he also made up for it by hitting the ball with an “excuse me” like swing. Yet he ran it out with such intensity that he was safe. I really think my intense yelling “Run it out” helped.
Yes, the score resulted in a loss but the intensity and ability to work through mistakes gave me great hope that things are going to get better just in time for the marathon to begin on April 6th.
For those that were expecting pictures, I must explain that I have nowhere to download the pictures from the camera onto the current labtop I am using. Don’t worry, pictures will be shared hopefully after I go to the game next Monday. Now onto the canyon with my family.
I received a call today that I was sort of expecting that I was not exactly in the best of health. the test brought back the results I was expecting. Don’t worry readers, I will adjust my medications and diet and increase my exercise especially on this upcoming trip and be better in no time. However, to remain healthy will be a constant struggle and must be a refocus for me from now on. Luckily, I have the support and love and refound passion to make it happen! Let’s just say former Indians pitcher Jason Johnson and I share something in common. We both are Type 1 diabetics and have insulin pumps. Jason, throughout his career has been a role model for me. He now has a minor league contract with the archrival Bronx Bombers and is battling to be their fifth starter in Spring training. Its great to know that he is still an active player in the game.
For the Tribe, health is going to be a recurring issue on and off the field especially for the pitchers. Eric Wedge added on Sunday that six of the seven pitchers are set and one of the pitching spots are up for grabs. In years past, the camp seemed like an all-out patchwork job but not this year! Kerry Wood, Rafael Perez, Rafael Betancourt, Jensen Lewis, Joe Smith and Masa Kobayashi were the six pitchers mentioned whose roles were defined. Still when one sees this group, it is great to see the acquired depth the Indians have to fill in given the injury history of last year for the Tribe as well as the tendencies that some of the pitchers show from their past. This depth is also great to see concerning the rotation and their injury history.
In the off season, we signed pitchers Kerry Wood and Carl Pavano. Both these pitchers have injury-riddled pasts that make Yankee fans and Cub fans cringe. I really believe they are diamonds in the rough for our organization and can really excel but I’ll let their play speak for them. I hope they will live up to their billing
If you ask me, for some of the other pitchers like Kobayashi, the adjustment to the major leagues caused him to have some difficulty. Betancourt also had some issues to struggle with.
Joe Smith also has issues of switching leagues.
This being said, Rafael Perez and Jensen seemed to be the healthiest of the bunch.
Still it is nice to have depth and focus going into 2009 who like me want to turn things around and rise again to the top of the division and deep into the playoffs. I truly hope they do too. I look forward to seeing their progress in about a week.
According to dictionary.com, the definitions of wood and smith are very fitting names for rebuilding. Wood is defined as the trunks or main stems of trees as suitable for architectural and other purposes; timber or lumber. Smith is defined as one who makes or works at something specified. Often used in combination: a locksmith; a wordsmith.
In terms of baseball for the Cleveland Indians, Wood fits this definition because he has been deemed architectually sound and suitable to rebuild our bullpen so that the Tribe can return hopefully to where they were in 2007 and beyond, We will be knocking on Wood to close out ballgames. Hopefully, Wood’s intimidation factor and ability can be dominant as a closer because he is as good as they get when healthy. Still, it is nice to have the insurance of Jensen Lewis down the stretch just in case.
Wood is not the only addition. Joe Smith, added to the Tribe in a trade earlier this week in a three team, twelve player blockbuster. He fits the definition of his name too as because he works hard at keeping the ball down and keeping his team in close games. This approach is one I enjoy because it creates the possibility for the defense to shine and have a lot of double plays and groundouts.
With these two additions added from the Winter Meetings as well as the nucleus strong from the end of last year returning, the Tribe’s bullpen looks again like one to be strong once again in 09′ As I plan to say throughout 2009, the Tribe, with additions like these, has the opportunity to shine! Welcome to Joe Smith and Kerry Wood! Let the rebuilding and strengthening begin!
Last season, all Indians fans can share how they felt when the Tribe lost the ALCS. When hearing that the Indians were going to stand pat, I was not one that simply agreed with this decision. After all, this team did not even win the AL with the team they had so how could one think this year would be one to bring us a World Series championship.
This is why I very much welcome the Indians’ plans to be relentless, rather than complacent. I hope this will bring us the players we need to regain control of the AL Central or Wildcard just so we can pursue that which has eluded our city since 1948 for the Indians.
Their plans include a series of wise investments involving a closer, an infielder and a top-tier starter for next year.
1. The closer will either come by trade or be Jensen Lewis. I am satisfied with Jensen Lewis. I look forward to seeing what kind of move they make regarding this issue. If I had to guess, Jensen is the closer for 2009.
2. The Indians plan to sign a top-tier pitcher for their staff. This gives me great confidence. I am just wondering who they may be trying to target for their team.
3. An infielder: Notice I did not say a specific position on the infield. This leaves the door wide open for them to make wise financial decisions. All in all, the team will improve on paper. 2009 may be a season for us all to remember if the offseason promises are truly fulfilled.
My questions to all the Indian fans would be who would you sign? What would you do if you were Mark Shapiro?