STO or Sportstime Ohio is the Cleveland cable/satellite provider for Cleveland Indians Baseball. People will come up with signs that have these letters in the sign. A sign I was thinking about making since the end of last season was Seize The Opportunity To Shine in 2009, a palindrome STO-style. As frustrating as this season has been on the pitching end thus far, it was nice to see that Scott Lewis, a former Ohio State Buckeye representing Cleveland will be going up against Scott Richmond, a native Canadian. This will be a true classic and a great way to show the local talent from both organizations and both countries.
The games against the Rangers showed me great hope that the offense was doing much better. The starting pitching needs to do much better. Hopefully some home cooking will help them to right this ship all over again.
We shall see later today.
This news brought welcome relief to my weary soul. With the World Baseball Classic over, I have prepared myself to move forward. Yet, yesterday, I found myself dragging myself down wondering what I should write about. I just wrote about the NL West and what I hope to see in 2009. More previews will be coming. Yet the state of the Indians seemed to be stalled. With all the rain today in the Cleveland area, I felt like this car.
C’mon, move already! My ideas and motivation felt stranded. I just could not get the energy to move out of this mess. Another 2-2 tie. Everything just is not coming to me. Suggestions from friends and family and co-workers ranged from “Write about the recent cuts the Tribe made.” to “Write about the NL Central” to “take the rest of the preseason off.” After taking all these suggestions to heart, the news came across the wire that helped me use the rain to my advantage and get the car, or in this case, “talk about the Tribe” moving again. All of a sudden, I went from feeling hopeless to feeling like Gene Kelly.
The car loaded with ideas was moving and I was rejoicing over the news of the starting rotation being set. My soul exhaled with euphoria over this decision. “Finally” I thought, for better or worse, what a great relief! I was definitely thinking “for the better”, however. I am definitely excited when I see this rotation.
Although Cliff Lee had a career year in 2008, he goes into 2009 with a great attitude and wanting to give the Indians the opportunity to win each and every game he pitches. If he can give us 15 or more wins, I will be satisfied. I am looking forward to seeing what he can give us this 2009 season and how we respond.
Fausto Carmona is looking like the true ace of our staff so far in 2009. However, it has been Spring Training. If you would ask me to decide, I would make Fausto the #1 starter. However, Cliff has the experience of acing the staff last season down the stretch after CC Sabathia was traded. Being the defending 2008 Cy Young Award Winner gets him the ranking. However, one can bet that like in 2007, if Fausto can become the #1A or true #1, Cliff Lee will not be upset and the team will benefit from this decision tremendously. I hope Fausto can stay healthy down the stretch and really make this team great again.
Carl Pavano is the unproven #3 who we are banking on to be like he was with the Marlins. It is my hope that I see solid efforts from Carl keeping us in games and making the games interesting for our team. If we can recapture that “promised” effort seen with the Marlins, look out! We are going to be a team to be reckoned with. The key is HEALTH. With good HEALTH, comes WEALTH!
Anthony Reyes is our best effort at #4. Hopefully, he can gain some momentum to keep us in ballgames and gain us some much needed wins down the stretch. He will be an asset for us down the stretch if he stays healthy.
Finally, Mr. Lewis is one that has shown the maturity that is needed to take the ball when called upon. I really like his emotional makeup and am excited to see how he does as our #5.
Bottom Line: With all these starters, there is a confidence that we are sending our best five starters out there. I pray for health and consistency from these men and really think these men have what it takes to take the Indians where they want to go in 2009. This decision has me dancing. I believe these five can help us match up best against the American League. I am looking forward to April 6th now more than I was this morning! Way to go Tribe!
This night I was thinking about the song “You Gotta Have Heart” in the musical Damn Yankees.
When hearing the song, I was thinking of two Cleveland teams. First the Cleveland Indians down 4-0 ironically had a kid named Scott Lewis with a lot of heart go out there and SHOW that he has the will and desire to be the fifth starter or at least a spot on this major league roster for the 2009 Cleveland Indians. Down 6-5 when coming in to the game, Scott made sure he was going to do everything he could possibly do to make sure the A’s were not going to score again. Thanks to his five innings of shutout ball, Scott Lewis showed that he wants to stay with Cleveland on April 6th and be able to throw in Cleveland in 2009. His numbers showed a man wanting to be #5 in the rotation
IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Lewis, S (W, 1-1) 5.0 4 0 0 2 4 0 3.52
Also, the Cleveland State Vikings showed tremendous heart by blowing out the Demon Deacons from Wake Forest 84-69 and now will face Arizona in the second round. Way to go! Way to show heart all around Cleveland State. Best of luck to you in Round 2.
Let us remember when dealing with Cleveland in basketball or baseball, there is a lot of heart out there leading our teams to victory. Let’s hope this effort continues to push us as we strive to move forward with the odds against us. Way to go Cleveland!
Yesterday afternoon I found myself right by the Indians bullpen watching each scheduled pitcher warm up before going out to pitch. It was truly a sight to behold. It was also my first road game that I saw of the Tribe in my life. This was a very exciting event for me.
The game began with me observing batting practice.
Matt LaPorta’s batting practice would pay off as he would get the game’s frst hit. Batting practice as routine as it looks really tries to focus on pregame preparation. LaPorta’s stats were 1-2 with the game’s first hit.
Eric Wedge would go over pregame preparation with Brian Datz before the game began.
The pitching was outstanding. Carl Pavano gave up no runs on no hits in his work today. He started by stretching out his muscles with a stretchcord. He also performed long toss and finally pitched off the mound. Let me tell you first appearances can be deceiving but he appears to be an intense guy who really is focusing on proving the Yankees and the rest of Major League Baseball wrong.Here he was walking back to the dugout before the game after warmups..Carl ended up pitching two innings of shutout ball
Outstanding pitching prevailed as Scott Lewis came in to preserve a no-hitter and keep Oakland from scoring.Another two innings of shutout ball was thrown by him. Scott’s delivery was outstanding wth pinpoint control. It was outstanding to see how his focus was unwavering.
Rafael Perez picked up where he left off last year while also preserving the shutout. He had two innings of no hit baseball. He picked up where he left off from the previous year.
Here is an example of what happens after each spring training game when one has to run in the outfield after the pitcher has completed the amount of innings he has thrown.
Edward Mujica was the only pitcher who was afficted with any damage. I noticed that the bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez was giving him some pointers of how to get the ball lower in the strikezone mind you as he was warming up. He gave up the only run and two hits against the A’s this day.
Hector Rondon pitched well. He was one that was able to clean up the mess. I was impressed with his great composure. His stats showed one inning of shutout baseball. I hope he will have a future in the Tribe’s bullpen soon.
All in all it was a very good day to see the Tribe’s pitching almost reach perfection. Unfortunately, it did not happen. Still it was fun at the old ball game.
Congratulations go out to Scott Lewis, whose undefeated September really helped catapult the Tribe to reach .500. Due to this excellent effort, Lewis achieved the American League Rookie of the Month for September. Also, Slider became just the fourth Major League Mascot in history to be inducted in the Mascot Hall of Fame.
I was fortunate to attend all three games for the final weekend series with the Tigers. Talk about saving the best for last. One could argue this homestand did just that for the team.
On Friday night, I attended the game with my wife, sister-in-law and two children. The weather was beautiful. We just sat down right after Choo hit his first homer of the night. We went walking around and then heard the score was 2-1. Grady then hit homerun #32 into the cool night in right centerfield. I remember asking my sister-in-law, “Wouldn’t it be something to see Grady become a 40-40 man?” She thought I was crazy to think this. However, with a great historic, last week, I thought that he could do it. We left again to do something. When we returned to pay attention to the score, it was now 4-2 Detroit.
Then everything changed!
With the score 4-2 Detroit, Sheff spoiled my appetite and enraged my passions. Now it was more personal and beyond just the score. I was so pleased to see how Fausto defended himself and our turf. After all, getting hit with baseballs are just part of the game. Now I wanted to win in a major way, just to stick it to Gary and the rest of the Tiger fans.However, when observing the fight from up above, thoughts of OSU-Michigan, and Cavs-Pistons, came into play also for me.
I went down to stand near the first base line and wanted to find a way to get these fans from Michigan to be quiet. Instead, they became louder as the Tigers scored another run and made it 5-2.
What should we do? My family and I decided to go to the seats near KidsLand near the right field line. With two runners on, Choo came back up to the plate. Just like it was imagined, Choo launched one into the night and tied the game back up, 5-5. It was like we were being stabbed all night long and finally got revenge that took the life right out of Detroit. I was thinking, “Take that, Gary!”
The final inning, “Mighty Mouse” Jamey Carroll really did save the day and launched one down the line to help the Indians win. Do we really understand that the team really has nothing to play for? Hogwash! Throw out the records! This is like Ohio State-Michigan!
Everyone now, O–H–I–O!
We returned without the kids as they were being babysat by my parents Saturday. We were then able to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to see this exhibit describing how music has affected baseball. It was interesting to see this video that had the players describing what groups help them relax and play better as a result.
Saturday night had a different attitude! The boo was louder than the Choo initially unlike the night before. I thought they would want Sheff to sit down. Instead, he played and faced the music. On one of Sheff’s at bats, I remember saying out loud, “Let’s turn two, now boys!” The next pitch had Sheff do just that in a 4-6-3 fashion. I knew that this was our game, our night, our series when I saw things like this that just didn’t happen consistently.
The next thing I really noticed was the pitches that Verlander was throwing. He was playing the game to lose, not win. Ball 4, wild pitch, Ball 4, FC, score a run. Is it really this easy? When we needed a strikeout, we got one, when we needed a hit, we got one, early! It just seemed the Tigers were all talk and little action, like Gary Sheffield!
The conversation I remember having about this game was thinking of sayings like The Tigers Season has been ruined, compliments of the Sheff or This Sheff’s menu has been contaminated by his excessive spice and little substance, our sincere regrets.
Also, I kept thinking about how the Tigers spent all this money and find themselves going all the way, all the way to the cellar. This remains true, even tonight after Monday’s loss to the Royals 6-2. Their effort found them playing pathetically! I think major league baseball owners should learn not to spend money friviously. Remember, money can’t buy you love. as the Beatles would say.
Sunday should have been sign day! I even got into the act trying to emphasize STO in the sign seeing that the Indians play most of their games on their STO network. I saw signs like Sheff and Tigers KO’d by Tribe. Another one I thought of was Sheff, Team first, nOt self. Thus in each, the STO was emphasized.
The Indians had Ohio State pitcher Scott Lewis pitching for them against a Michigan team! Coincedence? Perhaps?
Call it luck, if you are a Tiger fan, yet every time Scott would get in a jam, even to give up a run here or there, he never totally caved in.
Yet, the Indians were just really knocking the Tigers out. “Maggie Pie” Ordonez as my wife likes to call him because he won’t cut his hair is really showing that he will not play right field well lately.
It was great to see the Indians finish the Tigers off. It was win 6 iin a row, 78 wins and the first time above .500 in four months. It wa wonderful to know that the Tigers were now where we were earlier.
The intensity I saw these last three days will stew over the offseason. Hopefully, the Indians will continue to do well for the rest of the season and look to build upon this rivalry and make it back to the playoffs for 2009. Time will tell! See you on the road!