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Posted by Mar - 6 - 2013 0 Comment


With a little over a month until the 2013 Tribe season starts, and another week before the Tribe Home Opener, I feel it is time for the “Training Camp Seventh Inning Stretch”.  No there will be no singing take me out to the ballgame, or whatever Karaoke song is now played at “The Jake”.  No tee-shirts shot from cannons.  No, just a little break to get ready for the REAL games to begin.  So, let’s give it a go.

Injuries: So far (knock on wood) nothing of a serious, gotta look for someone, nature has taken place. Michael Brantley’s injury could have happened at any point of the season and was not one to impede his return to the line-up. Yes it did delay the meshing of our three CF’ers into a cohesive OF, but since DStubbs and Bourn Identity are all natural OF’ers, this trio should be able to get their game together before the Tribe “Breaks Camp”!  (BTW-if the Tribe ‘Breaks Camp’ before the Reds, where do the Reds finish their Spring Training? hehehehe!)   Chris Perez’s injury does give me a little concern, but given the fact that all indications are this will not be (I HOPE) a long re-hab kind of injury, glad it happened NOW and not in season.  Also doesn’t it feel good to know that the “Closer in waiting” Vinny P is there to slip right in, until Pure Rage gets his groove back?  Also everyone in the Bullie (IMO the strongest part of the team) just moves up a slot or Terry moves VP and adds another arm in there without moving the rest.  Anyway you look at it, happening now was the best time for this kind of injury.

Rumors: When was the last time that you or old man here, can remember a spring training with little or no player rumors going on?  It has been a while.  So what does that mean? Maybe this is a solid “team” given to Terry by Chris Antonetti.  Major league…say it again..MAJOR LEAGUE talent will make up the 25 man roster on opening day.  No need to ask, when will the C’Bus Express make its first trip up or down I-71?  Other than early season moves that all teams make coning out of spring training, I see a set roster and for a change that is what is needed to be a team that hopes to be in contention.  Go back to the “Perfect Storm Years” AKA the mid-90’s, that was a very set roster and only when John Hart felt a piece was needed, was any move made.  Players knew their collective roles; didn’t worry; and just did what they did best, played some awesome baseball.  This team is not anywhere near those teams, but the first step has been taken to build toward that.


The Manager:  Not since “Grover” has the Tribe had someone in the dugout that EVERYONE knew and RESPECTED! That includes the players; the coaches; the front office; and even us…the fans!  I could say that NOW for Charley Manuel, but not at the time he had “Mgr.” before his name.  No, no one until now could command and receive the respect that a two time World Series winning manager brings with him!  The cache Terry has, really showed with the off season moves made by the Tribe. Nick Swisher was the one to break the log jam of players questioning whether to come to Cleveland and play for the Tribe.  Now it is players who WANT to come to Cleveland and play FOR the Tribe AND Terry.  Getting Terry was such a fantastic move by both Mark and Chris, I for one cannot express how that got me juiced (in the right way) for the Tribe. Especially after the past four miserable years of baseball with Manny Acta; and before that Eric Wedge.  When I see Terry come storming out of the dugout arms a flaying; going toe-to-toe with an umpire, will be the first time in a LONG time the players will see that the Skipper has their backs.  Whether he prevails or not (which he most assuredly will not) defending his players and team at key moments of a game, will go far in keeping the team unified.  That, along with managing egos, is the most important role a manager plays.  As they (BTW: who is “they’?) say, give it up for Chris; Mark and for sure Terry.  And finally,

The Players: Nick Swisher. Michael Bourn. Asdrubal Cabrera; Jason Kipnis. Michael Brantley. Chris Perez. Vinny Pestano. Justin Masterson. Carlos Santana. Lonnie Chisenhall. Kevin Reynolds. Drew Stubbs. Trevor Bauer. Brett Myers. MAJOR LEAGUE players! Not because they are on the roster of a Major League Baseball team, but BECAUSE they all carry major league credentials with them.  No more, let’s see what they can do. Or, no more how many options do they have remaining? Or, no more we have to keep him.  Qualified, bona fide players!  That is all I can ask for.  They will be wearing the Chief on their caps; fronting the “Indians” or “Cleveland” on the uni’s!

If you still cannot get pumped for opening day; if you can’t get pumped for THIS Tribe team; then I guess you can just wallow in talking the value of a trading down for more draft choices. Or the need to get in or not get in the lottery. For me, baseball springs eternal and that is just around the corner at Ontario and Carnegie!


@jnmentor on Twitter

Categories: Cleveland Indians

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