Its the first day of Spring! Hooray! What does this mean? It depends on who you ask?
For some, it means Spring Cleaning!
For others, its means continued soul searching
For some its time to think about getting the lawn back in shape
Some desire to get thin after the long Winter slumber!
Whatever the reason or motivation, the change from Winter to Spring is great, yet challenging. For the Indians organization, this was no exception. As was reported from various Indians media sources, quite a lot of things happened in the last few days.
First, Adam Miller, one of the Indians top prospects was reported to have to have career threatening surgery unless he can learn to change the way he throws and gain enough command to maintain the ability to compete as a pitcher.
Next, the great trim happened for 15 players on the Spring Training Roster.
Along with Adam Miller, RHPs John Meloan and Juan Salas, LHP Tony Sipp and 2B Luis Valbuena were optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
RHP Hector Rondon and C Carlos Santana were optioned to Double-A Akron.
RHP Jack Cassel, LHP David Huff, C Armando Camacaro, 1B Jordan Brown, 3B Wes Hodges, INF Jesus Merchan, 1B Beau Mills and OF Stephen Head were reassigned to Minor League camp.
Just when I thought the routine was over, the news broke that Fausto Carmona now was bruised in the forearm in an intrasquad game and is now day to day. Quick, someone get these guys healthy for April 6th. I want to think we have a team left not looking like this before the season starts.
Luckily Aaron Laffey came out healthy again. His stats against the Brewers at Maryvale Stadium were 4 innings pitched, 3 runs all earned, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and no homeruns. There was nothing that told me the fifth starter wasn’t his to have, still.
Today, Carl Pavano is scheduled to faceoff against the A’s in Goodyear. My goals are to stay in good health and just hang on until April 6th. I just hope all the players and coaches can just hang on, stay healthy out of camp and continue healthy throughout the upcoming 2009 season.
After all, in Ohio, its all about hanging on…
By the way, good luck to Ohio State and Cleveland State today. Hopefully both can hang on today also in the 64 team NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. We shall see.
This news announced Thursday from Indians MLB.com beat reporter Anthony Castrovince found here was not news to us Tribe fans including this one and me. Andy Marte was released. It was expected. However, it was a story that brought back a lot of memories for me to reflect upon.
The Arrival of Coco Crisp
It began August 7, 2002. On this day, Coco Crisp came to the Indians. At the time, my daughter was 2 and my son just turned 1. I was already a big fan of the game. After watching Coco one night against the Angels, I decided this would be the player I would tell my children to emulate when playing or watching the game. The way he played the game was one i wanted my kids to follow. I kept repeating his name every time I sat down to watch baseball telling my children to watch his every at bat. I remember one such at bat. Coco was up with the bases loaded against the Reds at the time as I recall against their closer at the time, Danny Graves. A shot up the middle from Crisp and the winning run scored. “We came back and won, kids, thanks to Coco Crisp” I guess what helped make him so memorable was that he reminded us all of Snap Crackle and Pop.
The Arrival of Andy Marte
This news hit me hard. It was hard to tell the kids. I think it was harder for me to tell about than it was for them to take. They simply went on to like other players. I, however felt like I lost another Rocky Colavito. Still I was optimistic and moved on. I heard and read many good reports about Andy and was willing to watch him develop into an All-Star third baseman.
We fans expected Andy to be but all we got was Andy had so much potential but just never lived up to his billing.
It was hard for him and hard for us. I was happy to see him go and try to succeed elsewhere. After all I was tired of singing the name game and needing one of these when talking about Marte.
I was also tired of the jokes about K-mart or Wal-Mart and relating them to Andy. It just didn’t work out and needed to change.
The arrival of De Rosa and promise of Hodges
With DeRosa, I feel very confident that we are in good shape. I wrote earlier about DeRosa here and just feel so much better about the situation. Also after seeing Wes Hodges play in Akron, I really believe we have some promise there that could be well worth the price of admission in the future. i know I was impressed with what I saw even though gas was at $4 a gallon. It was well worth the one hour there and back from my house, even at those prices. Perhaps i will need to go two hours to Columbus to continue to see his progress. Hopefully I will see De Rosa and Hodges in some action when I go in a few days to Goodyear. I know no matter what, it will be well worth it.
Image credits: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/fantasy/baseball/news/2003/05/01/nl_report/t1_graves_all.jpg