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Posted by Mar - 17 - 2013 0 Comment


Many of us have superstitions, and those who play a sport, have some outrageous ones.  Me, I always wore #13! Why? First I was born on the 13th, and NO it was NOT Friday the 13th! Some would say it was because I was; am; will always be a non-conformist. Like everyone fears “Triskaidekaphobia”! You know the fear of the number 13! (BTW-shouldn’t Triskaidekaphobia be written in 13 letters instead of 17?) Well, I embraced the number. Yes I will seek out ladders to walk under! Break glass on Friday the 13th! We do have a black cat at home! And my auto tags always have “13” in them! So instead of having a certain number of questions to pose in this post, I’m doing….YEP! 13! and here goes!

1.) The ONE single thing about the Tribe that did to get the fans (me included) excited for 2013? Me-the hiring of Terry Francona.  If you out there reading this and are an avid Tribe fan, “Tito” is THE singular person this team will revolve around. Normally one could say a player, but here in Tribe Town, after all the past frustrating seasons, “Tito” is…da man dis year!!

2). The TWO most important pitchers this year have to be Masterson and Himinez. IF, yes a relatively BIG if, they have seasons they are capable of having, the rotation will be just fine!  Then that leads to the Bullpen, that even with Pure Rages’ little set back, is still one of the best in the Bigs and our advantage within our division.

3.) Can THREE Center fielders blend into one of the fastest and best OF in MLB? Yes I believe they can.  If you play this game, you know that CF is THE spot that needs very specific skills. Going gap-to-gap; calling off the RF/LF when necessary; moving the others around a little.  In other words, QB’ing the OF.  I think it is easier to have a true CFer adapt to RF/LF then the other way around.  So, once the THREE Amigos get comfortable together, opposing teams will be hard pressed to get one between them and hit the gap. Look for more “cut off doubles into singles” then ever before.

4.)  In the number FOUR hole, batting will be…? Before this year, that was always the ?-Mark of the line-up. From Grinder Wedgie to Stoic Acta, no one knew who the regular clean-up hitter was going to be, because…well we didn’t have one! The one spot in a line-up that is needed to be filled with a consistent person, will be taken care of this year.  That will only stretch the line up and down, and keep it consistent, which will only help all the players.

5.) Will the FIVE starters, for all intents and purposes, the same ones who start the season? Yes there will be moments when someone may miss a start, but if by September we are all taking about how Masterson; Himinez; Myers; McAllister; and Kasmir kept the Tribe in games then to turn it over to the bullpen…we should be playing then in October and hopefully November!

6.)  What SIX players do you think will be improved over last season? Here are mine, in no specific order.  Asdrubal; Santana; Masterson; Ubaldo; Chisenhall; and “Hafyear’s” replacement. The last one I will look at the stats of this yrs “slugger” v. Hafyear.

7.) Will any of our speed guys hit SEVEN or more triples?  If yes, this will be a fun offense to watch!

8.)  Will inning EIGHT belong to Pestano?  If Vinnie comes in for relief more times in the 8th than any other inning, the SP and Middle relief are doing their jobs to get to Vinnie who will then…

9.)  Make sure that inning NINE belongs to Chris Perez!  Seriously, how many teams can claim a 1-2 punch at the back end of the rotation that the Tribe can with Pestano and Perez? Imagine a warm summer evening, Vinny shuts them down in the 8th, turns it over to Perez in the 9th and fireworks take place! Oh baby…can’t wait!

10.) When the Tribe starts the season, with the number of additions to the pitching staff during the year be over or under TEN?  Last season 24…yes 24 pitchers appeared in a game for the Tribe at some point of the season.  The “Columbus Choo-Choo” was converted from a stop at all points between C’Town and C’bus to an express rail service with no stops in between.  That has to end, in order for the season to be successful.  Me, I’m picking UNDER!

11.) Last season the Tribe had ELEVEN players in double digits in WALKS.  Will that increase or decrease this year.  If that increases, that means better strike zone awareness and more base runners.  AND better plate discipline which I felt was sorely lacking last year.

12.)  I will be going to at least TWELVE games this season? How many for you?


13.)  What do these THIRTEEN baseball players all have in common? Alex Rodriguez; Omar Visquel; Asdrubal Carbrera; Ralph Branca; Lance Parrish; Roberto Clemente; John “Blue Moon” Odom’ Ozzie Guillen; Dave Conception; Billy Wagner; John Valentine; and Buck Martinez!

@jnmentor   Twitter

Categories: Cleveland Indians

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