Saturday, August 16, 2008

Grover in Indian’s Hall of Fame

This afternoon, former Indian’s player and manager Mike Hargrove will be inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame in Heritage Park at Progressive Field. This career .290 hitter won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1974. He was known as the “Human Rain Delay” because of his compulsive routine of stepping out of the batter’s box and adjusting his batting gloves, sleeves, helmet, etc. after each pitch. As manager of the Cleveland Indians, Hargrove holds (as in "to date") a record of 721 – 591, guiding the Indians to 5 consecutive American League Central Division titles and two American League pennants in 1995 and 1997.
When reflecting back on those days, I find the 1997 team to have been amazing over-achievers. The team consisted of 1st baseman Jim Thome (.286), 2nd baseman Tony Fernandez (.286), short stop Omar Visquel (.280), 3rd baseman Matt Williams (.263), outfielders Bip Roberts (.271), Manny Ramirez (.328), Marquis Grissom (.262), Brian Giles (.268), catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. (.324), and designated hitter David Justice (.329).
Pitchers included Charles Nagy, Bartolon Colon, Orel Hershiser, Chad Ogea, Jarred Wright, and Jose Mesa. This team eventually lost to the Florida Marlins in the World Series in 7 games. It would be great to return to those days when a championship was not only possible year after year, it was expected.
Mike Hargrove, being interviewed last night by Rick Manning and Matt Underwood during the telecast of the Indian’s game, expressed his desire to manage again.
He wants to manage again!
He wants to manage again!!
He wants to manage again!!!

Meanwhile, congratulations to Indian’s starting (and finishing) pitcher Cliff Lee in attaining his 17th victory of the season last night. This was an excellent game against the Angels, who own the best record in baseball. The Angels took an early 1-0 lead. The Indians tied it in the 4th, the Angels went back ahead 2-1 in the 5th, and the Indians retook the lead for good in the 6th, 3-2. The Angels kept the game under control with some excellent plays in the outfield but it was the Indians infield prowess that kept them within striking distance and eventually preserved the win for Lee. Astrubal Cabrera is an incredible fielder and playmaker.
This game kept even the casual fan riveted to the action from start to finish. I love playing this team because they are such a good team. Vlad is so strong at bat and his throws from the outfield are dramatically accurate. Garrett Anderson can play for me any day. He brings a great work ethic to the ballpark everyday that just further enhances his exceptional talent. There is the ever dangerous Torii Hunter. Figgins and Teixeira round out this run and gun team. This was a very intense game and I was exhausted after 9 innings just watching.

Did I mention that Mike Hargrove wants to manage again??????

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