Saturday, November 24, 2007


The Cleveland Indians came within one game of going to the World Series this past season. It was an exciting season that ended in heartbreak for some of the best sports fans in the world who certainly are deserving of a better fate.
Still, the team has amassed a number of post season awards that give much credit and recognition to an organization that truly competed in valiant style, waging war armed with a small to mid-market payroll against the talent-laden Yankees and Red Sox.
Grady Sizemore received a Golden Glove.
Eric Wedge was voted American League Manager of the Year.
C.C. Sabathia earned the Cy Young Award.
General Manager Mark Shapiro was elected Executive of the Year.
These are great accomplishments for the Indians and a true indicator that they are pointed in the right direction.
However, I can’t help but think there is still an award yet to be bestowed, one for someone who represents the fans of this team in a most positive and optimistic way.
I am talking about bleacher drummer, John Adams.
This man is an incredible fan. John Adams has been lugging his over sized bass drum to Indians games for 34 years. The most amazing part of this is that he has only missed 34 games in as many years. Is that possible? How many home games have there been in that time? Well, John started going to the games with bass drum in tow on August 24th, 1973 and he continues to beat out his rally rudiments through the 2007 season. By my count, there have been 2693 games played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and Jacobs Field in that time span. That means that he has missed only 1.3% of those games. And that is just home games. We are not even considering out of town games, or in the case of this past season, out of town “home” games.
Why so incredible? This guy, who generally pays for a ticket for himself and one for the drum, has maintained an attendance record that rivals many of the game’s hallowed and revered records. In comparison, the average fan, holding down a job has got to do a great deal of juggling just to catch most of the games on television. I went to about 30 games in 2007 and watched all but 1 or 2 of the remaining 131 games on T.V. (but I was able to listen to those 1 or 2 games on the radio). Was it difficult? You bet! But I have had great practice over the years with a transistor radio in my pocket with an earphone hidden in my sleeve, cupped by my hand over an ear. I did get nailed once in 1964 at the Cleveland Playhouse during a high school field trip to “Henry the IV” (BARF!) when the earphone accidentally unplugged during a Leon “Daddy Wags” Wagner home run. Even the actors on stage paused to scowl at me.
But John Adams gets to the games!
Cal Ripken Jr. played in 2632 consecutive games, a tremendous feat and accomplishment. But he worked there…it was his job!
The Indians have honored John Adams with being the only fan to have a bobble head modeled after him and given away on “John Adams Bobble-Head Night" at Jacobs Field.

He has also thrown out the first pitch, most recently for the first playoff game vs. the Yankees this past season.

John Adams does not receive a salary for banging out rhythmic rallies. John Adams holds down a job while pursuing his baseball fantasy and passion.
I s there a way to further honor the Cleveland Indians #1 fan who more than represents us all?
The Cleveland Indians have always been a class organization and you can bet they will continue to honor this incredibly dedicated fan!
Thinking of John Adams brings to mind other memorable characters, some of whom work the concessions at Jacobs Field. Anyone who has ever been to the Jake has been amused by the beer salesman who is a dead ringer for a former Tribe star. As he enters the area, he promptly announced, “Who wants to buy a beer from Julio Franco?”
Another beer man can not only be heard across the stadium, but on television and radio as well. As he peddles his beer, he booms out a tremendous chorus of something that startles most people and is impossible to understand. Ringing through the stands and over the airwaves is something that sounds like, “HYPA-HYPA-HEP-HO!”
Then there is the raspy voiced peanut vendor who will throw the bag of peanuts to his customers who become instant stars as he critiques each catch. Most times he will force out a grating “Nice one-handed catch, sir!”
Last but not least is the somewhat meek looking beer man who proudly totes his beer case to the top of the aisle, takes in a deep breath, and bellows, “Here’s your beer man!” Jacobs Field is truly a one of a kind place and John Adams is the defining figure there, providing the heart beat of the Cleveland Indians.
Spring Training begins in less than 90 days!
Opening day is only 126 days away!
I can hear the faint Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom of John Adam’s drum getting closer again.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pass The Mustard...What A Relief!

The Cleveland Indians announced that they have signed a new reliever from Japan. "Frankly" I didn't know Kobayashi could pitch, too. The on again, off again world champion of gluttony will bring his talents to the Indians in a tandem of late inning relief with Joe Borowski.

This is great news to the Indian's marketing and concessions!
Think of the promotions; All You Can Eat Hot Dog Night...beat Kobayashi and your dogs are free!

Perhaps the Indians have solved the naming rights to Jacobs Field, "Alka-Seltzer Park?"

Wait, what do you mean, there is another Kobayashi?
This is Masahide, not Takeru?
No Hot Dog championship in Cleveland?
Dang, thought we had some kinda championship!

Oh well, in other related news, the Cleveland Indians have created an alternate uniform going back to the block letters, no names on the back, and Chief Wahoo on the sleeve.

Pictured above is Indian's third base coach Joel Skinner modeling the new look uniform. Notice there is no stop sign on his chest.

Friday, November 16, 2007

HGH Is A No-No!

What fate awaits Major League baseball's all-time home run leader after being charged with steroid usage? Is this just the beginning of "Roid-Gate?" Who else visited or received shipments from the good dentist in Florida? Only time will tell as MLB collects evidence and brings charges against other stars who also probably thought they were using arthritis balm and flax seed oil. Personally, when I inject those items on a daily basis, I too would be stunned to learn that they were, in fact, steroids.

Seeing the "Barry before and after 'roids" pictures above leads one to be very sceptical of others in the baseball world.

Above is proof positive that Ryan Garko of the Cleveland Indians has enhanced his body and improved his performance with foreign substances. Shown on the left is Ryan prior to his addictions to the "growth enhanced" brontosaurus burgers and mammoth ribs that make up his daily diet.

Certainly Aaron Fultz should get his money back from the good dentist if he is a user. Whatever he's taking did nothing to improve his performance or looks!

It appears even baseball is not insulated at the executive level as well!

Where and when will it all end?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cleveland Celebrates A Manager Of The Year After Receiving A Wedgie In The ALCS

Congratulations to Cleveland Indians Manager Eric Wedge on being named "Manager of the Year" for the American League in 2007. If Wedge is anything, he is consistent. In just his fifth year as a manager, Wedge has grown and learned quickly to earn the award, as well as the respect of his peers.
Wedge has had some bumps along the way, finishing the 2005 season just missing the playoffs by losing six out of the last seven games, a disappointing 2006 season, and the fun-filled 2007 season in which the team failed to deliver the knockout punch to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.
The award is well deserved. However, there is still much work to be done to get to the goal in sight, winning the World Series in 2008. Here is hoping Wedge has grown enough as a manager to accept no less.

1948 World Champion Cleveland Indians!

2008 picture goes here...


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Big "Cy" For C.C.!

Congratulations to C.C. Sabathia as he is awarded the Cy Young Award this afternoon. Often quoted for having his focus on the team and not personal gains, C.C. finally gets the personal recognition he deserves. C.C. is only the second player in Cleveland Indians history to win the award, the other being Gaylord Perry in 1972. That in itself seems odd as Cy Young pitched for Cleveland from 1890 -1898 and again from 1909-1911.

Sabathia put up a 19-7 record with a 3.21 ERA in 34 starts. The win total, ERA mark and number of starts were all career bests for Sabathia, as were his strikeout total of 209 and his innings total of 241, which led the Majors.

A fitting finish to this story would be a signed contract with the Indians.

Here is hoping the two camps get together and get this done ASAP.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What You Talkin' 'Bout, Willis?

As the Indians attempt to play their hand from a position of strength (and depth), things are getting interesting. It is no secret that the Indians would like very much to get third baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins in the Wigwam. It is also no secret that Cabrera would like to leave Florida. Interestingly, the Tigers are showing a keen interest in pitcher Dontrelle Willis of the Marlins to replace Kenny Rogers. The Indians cannot afford to let that happen! It is time now to put together the blockbuster trade that will bring both Cabrera and Willis to the Indians. Imagine our top three starters; C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, and Dontrelle Willis! With Cabrera at third and Casey Blake moving to right field, buy your World Series tickets now! The Indians truly can afford to make this trade happen. They have a crop of expendables in Andy Marte, Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey, Ben Francisco, and, if necessary, Franklin Gutierrez. Toss in Kelly Shoppach and David Delucci and that is an incredible talent pool to mix and match a huge deal!
Willis, who will be 26 years old in January, has a career 3.78 ERA. He is coming off a 10-15 season with the Marlins, a season in which he surely would have reached a higher winning record with the Indians.
Mark Shapiro, do not let this guy go to the Tigers...put him under a Wahoo ball cap!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This Week In (Indians') Baseball

  • Grady Sizemore is awarded a Golden Glove!

  • Vice-President and General Manager Mark Shapiro is awarded MLB Executive of the Year!

  • The general managers agree to put limited instant replay on the docket for the baseball winter meeting. Mark Shapiro was in favor of this even before the Indians were involved in three "challenges" for fair-foul-in-out home runs during the playoffs. Mark makes a great point when he explains that the game is delayed while the umpires meet on the play in question, why not utilize technology and get the call right.

  • Shapiro makes it clear that he intends to sign C.C. Sabathia soon. Negotiations are presently ongoing.

  • Indians owner Paul Dolan stated that he is still not over the loss in seven games to the Red Sox in the playoffs, especially after being up three games to one. He sympathized with the Indians' fans as many of us are not over it yet either.

  • The Indians signed Paul Byrd, Joe Borowski, and Aaron Fultz to contracts this week.

  • Mark Shapiro made overtures to Marlins talented third baseman Miguel Cabrera. The 24 year old batted .320 with 34 home runs and 119 RBIs. Cabrera has made it known that he wants to leave Florida. His stock continues to rise based on A-Rod opting out of his Yankee contract. The deal appears to be dead but don't be surprised if it comes up again. The Marlins are looking for starting pitching and the Indians can answer that call with Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers, and/or Aaron Laffey. I see a blockbuster trade on the horizon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Golden Glove Grady!

Congratulations to Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore on his selection to receive the Golden Glove Award for the 2007 season. Grady's jump on the ball, incredible dexterity, and his penchant for making acrobatic catches has earned him this distinction.

Managers and coaches from each Major League club vote for the best defensive players in their respective leagues and are excluded from voting for players on their own teams. Sizemore joined the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki and the Twins' Torii Hunter in landing the AL outfield honor in '07.
Sizemore is the first Indians player to win a Gold Glove since shortstop Omar Vizquel and second baseman Roberto Alomar received the honor in 2001. He is the first Cleveland outfielder to win one since center fielder Kenny Lofton did so in 1996.
The 25 year old Sizemore made only 2 errors in 405 for a .995 fielding percentage.
Below are the 2007 Golden Glove recipients by position:

The Indians and their management staff keep racking up the honors.

This is all good if the proper moves are made to win the 2008 World Series.

Nothing less will be acceptable.

For Byrd Watchers...

This just in from ESPN...

Pitcher Paul Byrd, whose admitted use of human growth hormone served as a backdrop to the end of Cleveland's season, had his $7.5 million club option for 2008 picked up by the Indians on Tuesday. Before Game 7 the American League Championship Series in Boston, Byrd acknowledged taking HGH after the San Francisco Chronicle reported he spent nearly $25,000 on the banned drug and syringes between 2002 and 2005. The 36-year-old Byrd claims he took HGH for a medical condition and did so only under a doctor's supervision.
Byrd is expected to meet with Major League Baseball to discuss his use of the performance-enhancing drug.
The Indians also exercised their $4 million option on closer Joe Borowski, who led the AL with 45 saves last season, and $1.5 million option on left-handed reliever Aaron Fultz.
Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said he was unaware of Byrd's use of HGH until two days before Game 7. The newspaper reported Byrd had purchased HGH while pitching for Kansas City, Atlanta and the Los Angeles Angels.
Last week, Shapiro said he had not heard from baseball officials about Byrd. The GM added that in deciding whether to pick up the option he would consider only the right-hander's performance on the field.
Byrd went 15-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 31 starts during the regular season.
It was his highest win total since 2002, when he was with the Royals.
During the AL playoffs, Byrd beat New York in Game 4 as the Indians knocked out the Yankees. He also won Game 4 of the ALCS over the Red Sox, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate Cleveland before sweeping Colorado in the World Series.
Byrd held a news conference before Game 7 at Fenway Park, where he said he was taking HGH for a "pituitary tumor." He wouldn't elaborate on his condition and would not answer questions about whether he was still taking the drug.
Byrd strongly denied hiding his use of HGH, banned by baseball in 2005. The newspaper reported Byrd made his final purchase of HGH a week before the ban began.
Byrd said baseball officials knew he had been taking the drug, which he said he often stored in clubhouse refrigerators.

Exec Of The Year!

Congratulations to Cleveland Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro for being named the 2007 Major League Baseball Executive of the Year by the Sporting News. The Cleveland Indians tied the Boston Red Sox for the best record in all of baseball by winning 96 games. They beat the New York Yankees in a best of 5 series in the playoffs, but fell short of going to the World Series when they lost to the Red Sox in 7 games after being up 3 games to 1. Mark last won this award after the 2005 season when his Indians won 93 games but failed to make the playoffs due to a collapse, losing 6 out of their last 7 games.
Mark, want to win it two years in a row?
It will not be enough to just get into the World Series…you gotta win the World Series!
How will he do it?
Rock n' Roll baby, Rock n' Roll!

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's A Long Way To The Top...

There is quite a bit on Cleveland Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro’s plate right now. He has three pitchers due to be signed; Paul Byrd, Joe Borowski, and Aaron Fultz.
Joe Borowski should be signed without hesitation. Yes, he gave us all cardiac arrest attaining 45 saves in 53 chances, but without those 45 saves, we would not have tied for the best record in all of baseball in 2007.
Aaron Fultz is a different story. This pitcher is highly rated with a career 4.26 ERA and a 25 and 15 won/loss record. Thinking back to the second half of the season, he was pretty much ineffective, getting into trouble often. Remember game 3 vs. the Yankees in the playoffs? He faced 3 batters and 2 scored. Supposedly he suffered an oblique muscle pull half way through the season. I don’t recall that but if he is OK, let’s trade him while he has value. So yes, let’s sign him with the intention of trading him. What is up with the oblique muscle pulls on this team? Fultz, Westbrook, and Lee this year and Sabathia last year…sounds like a conditioning issue!
What about Paul Byrd? Faced with a possible HGH suspension from the league, Byrd had a very good year. He was 15 – 8 with a 4.59 ERA. He will be 37 years old next month. The fact is, if we sign him and he receives the suspension, we do not have to pay him during that time off. Sign him, even if to trade him.
Soon the baseball winter meetings will take place. Shapiro will go to the meetings probably not looking to shop the free agency market again. According to Shapiro, he feels comfortable with the offense and defense of this team but is looking to improve the bullpen. I agree with improving the bullpen but not with standing pat on the offense. With Kenny Lofton destined to leave again, are we strong enough in the outfield with Sizemore, Gutierrez, and Michaels? With Nixon filing for free agency, we do not have a lefty pinch hitter. Is Ben Francisco ready to play everyday? What about Marte and Barfield? Lots of question marks remain, too many to overlook the one-time purchase of a free agent that secures the outfield question with a big stick as well.
What about replays? This is sure to be on the agenda for the winter meetings. Shapiro has been quoted as being in favor of replays in a limited capacity. Why not? We have the technology…use it! The game is delayed anyway while the umpires huddle on a fair/foul or in/out home runs!
Lots going on and the Indians will not get to the series unless they improve.
108 days until the start of spring training...tick, tick, tick...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

How Odd Is This Game?!

    Baseball is a wonderful game (even more wonderful when your team isn't choking in the ALCS). America's past time is full of odd occurences, freaky injuries, and unusual quotes as well. Let's take a look at some just for fun. What the hell, we only have 149 days to kill until opening day!

  • In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.

  • The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

  • One day in 1934, Brooklyn Dodger manager Casey Stengel went out to the mound to remove his battered pitcher, Walter "Boom-Boom" Beck. Boom-Boom, in a fit of temper, wheeled and threw the ball at the right-field wall. Dodger right fielder Hack Wilson, whose head was lowered and whose eyes were shut from the effects of an awful hangover, heard the ball hit the wall. He raced over, picked it up, and threw it into second base before discovering that no one had hit it.

  • One of the all-time baseball greats was the major leagues' first American Indian player, Louis Sockalexis, whom author Gilbert Patten used as his real-life model for the fictional sports hero Frank Merriwell. Socklexis joined the Cleveland club as an outfielder in 1897, after leaving the Penobscot Indian Reservation in Maine and playing in small-time leagues. So spectacular were his play and leadership that the team, known as the Cleveland Spiders when Sockalexis first joined it, eventually changed its name to the Indians. Unfortunately, the story has a tragic ending. Sockalexis was introduced to alcohol at a team party and became an alcoholic. He lasted only three seasons in the major leagues and died back on the Penobscot Reservation in 1913 at the age of 42.

  • On May 30, 1922, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs played a doubleheader. In the first game Max Flack played in the outfield for the Cubs, and Cliff Heathcote was in the Cardinal outfield. Between games they were traded for each other, so in the second game Heathcote played in the Cub outfield while Flack chased fly balls for the Cardinals.

  • On April 26, 1962 the Cleveland Indians traded catcher Harry Chiti to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. A few weeks later, The Mets sent Chiti back to the Indians as the player to be named later.

  • John Smoltz once burned his chest while ironing a shirt ... which he was still wearing.

  • Chicago Cubs’ Eddie Waitkus’s bright career took an infamously tragic turn after he received a cryptic note summoning him to meet a young fan, Ruth Steinhagen. When Waitkus entered her hotel room, she proclaimed, “I have a surprise for you,” and then she just as quickly shot him in the chest. Waitkus survived and Steinhagen went to a state mental hospital for nearly three years.

Casey Stengel said...

  • “I don't like them fellas who drive in two runs and let in three.”

  • “The trouble is not that players have sex the night before a game. It's that they stay out all night looking for it.”

  • “They say some of my stars drink whiskey, but I have found that ones who drink milkshakes don't win many ball games.”

  • “We are in such a slump that even the ones that aren't drinkin' aren't hittin'!”
More freaky occurences...

  • Adam Eaton missed a start in 2001 after stabbing himself with a paring knife while attempting to open a DVD box.

  • Charlie Hough broke his pinky finger while shaking hands.

  • Mickey Tettleton went on the DL with a severe case of athlete's foot - caused by tying his shoes too tight.

  • Jose Cardenal missed a game in 1972 because he was kept awake all night by crickets chirping in his hotel room.

  • Jose Cardenal also missed a game in 1974, because he couldn't blink. He swore his eyes were stuck open.

  • In 1998, Cleveland's Brian Giles missed a few games due to spider bites.

  • Bob Feller scalded himself with 200-degree water after he lost control of the hose in a whirlpool. He scalded himself from the waste down, and couldn't do anything for a week.

  • Russ Davis missed a game after he slept wrong and awoke with a sore shoulder.

  • David Cone missed a start after getting bit by his mother-in-law's dog, a Jack Russell Terrier.

  • Sammy Sosa missed a game after sleeping wrong on his shoulder.

  • Jim Corsi slipped coming out of the shower and sprained his wrist. Corsi has poor eyesight, wasn't wearing contacts, and misjudged his step.

  • Bob Stanley missed a couple of games slipping down the stairs while taking out the trash.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. got a sore back lifting boxes.

  • Carlos Perez broke his nose in a car he was trying to pass the team bus.

  • Brian Anderson suffered nerve damage in his elbow after a cab ride.

  • Tony Gwynn missed a couple of games after he smashed his thumb in the door of his luxury car...while going to the bank.

  • Rickey Henderson missed several games because of frost- August.

  • Vince Coleman missed the 1985 World Series when he got rolled up in the tarp machine.

  • Pascual Perez missed a start in Atlanta when he circled the city for more than two hours searching for the exit ramp from Highway 285 to Fulton County Stadium.

  • Kevin Mitchell strained a muscle while vomiting.

  • Twins farmhand David Foster was knocked out for the season when a lightning strike through a phone line zapped him while he was making a call.

  • Pitcher Steve Foster injured his shoulder knocking over milk bottles during a segment with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."

  • Wade Boggs missed several games after straining his back while pulling on his cowboy boots.

  • Paul Molitor dislocated a knuckle when it got stuck in another player's glove.

  • Milwaukee's Dave Nilsson missed part of this season with Ross River Fever, a mosquito-borne virus that annually affects 200 out of Australia's 17 million residents.

  • Twins general manager Terry Ryan required dozens of stitches when he was scouting a game and a bat flew out of the hitter's hands, sailed through a space in the backstop and struck him in the forehead.

  • Pitcher Jeff Juden had a start early in the 1994 season pushed back after getting an infection from a tattoo.

  • Outfielder Bret Barberie missed a game when he accidentally rubbed chili juice in his eye.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. missed a game after his protective cup slipped and pinched a testicle.

  • Doc Gooden missed a start when Vince Coleman accidentally hit him with a golf club in the Mets' clubhouse.

  • Mark Portugal missed a start because of food poisoning from eating bad mahi-mahi.

  • Pitcher Steve Sparks dislocated his shoulder while tearing a phone book in half, as he was trying to emulate a motivational speaker.

  • Reliever Larry Anderson strained a rib muscle getting out of a Jucuzzi.

  • Pitcher Ted Power pulled a hamstring jumping off the bullpen bench to join a brawl.

  • Kent Hrbek missed the final 10 games of the 1990 season when he sprained an ankle while wrestling with a clubhouse attendant.

  • Florida's Randy Veres hurt his hand pounding on a hotel room wall trying to get the people in the next room to quiet down.

  • Dennis Martinez injured his arm tossing his luggage onto the team bus. He was diagnosed with Samsonitis.

  • Chris Brown missed a game with a strained eyelid after sleeping on an eye a funny way.

  • Former Seattle shortstop Rey Quinones was unavailable as a pinch-hitter because he was in the clubhouse playing Nintendo.

  • Terry Harper (Atlanta, OF) injured his shoulder after giving another player a high five.

  • Greg Harris (Texas, pitcher) injured his shoulder trying to flick sunflower seeds into the stands from the bullpen.

  • Baltimore's Mark Smith was hurt when he stuck his hand in an air conditioner to see why it wasn't working properly.

  • Glenallen Hill missed a few games after falling out of his bed while having an arachnophobic dream about spiders. He dreamt that spiders were devouring him, jumped off his bed, fell through a glass table, and crawled through the shards of glass.

How fast can we pass these next 149 days until we hear that familiar and welcome call, "Play Ball!"