Tagged: Kelly Shoppach

Rearranging

So my New Year’s Resolution this year is too start writing again. I am going to try to schedule it into my day so I can get back into the habit of writing. I apologize for the long absence but I just got busy and eventually I got out of the habit of posting anything. 

You may have noticed that m title changed. I decided that I will probably talk about the St. Louis Cardinals enough for them to get a mention in my title. I will always love St. Louis so why not talk about them too?

Indians
The Indians have not done too much this off season. They lost a player and gained a player in the Rule 5 and have only made a few other moves, including signing Anthony Reyes to a minor league deal after non-tendering him.
Probably their most significant so far has been trading Kelly Shoppach to the Rays for a PTNBL. This leaves the catcher position to Lou Marson, who seems like he could be a very solid player until Santana is ready. I liked Marson a lot from what I saw at the end of 2009.
Cardinals
The Cardinals have had a much more exciting Hot Stove season. They lost Mark DeRosa to the Giants, which made me sad but is probably best for both parties. They signed Brad Penny which is fine with me, just fine. They lost Troy Glaus to the Braves (most likely) which is another move that I approve of. They are currently pursuing Matt Holliday who has reportedly refused their first offer. 
Here is what I want from this offseason for the Cardinals:
1) Matt Holliday- for a reasonable price. With Scott Boras as an agent that may be asking too much. However the market for him does not appear to be too large but you never know what may happen.
2) John Smoltz- I just like him a lot.
3) No more Rick Ankiel- He has a great story but I think it’s time he go somewhere else. I wish him well wherever that is.

Tigers
The football Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Georgia Tech, solidifying my hatred for the Yellow Jackets. They went on to the Music City Bowl which was obviously a much worse bowl than they deserved and is a prime example of how the bowl system is screwed up and beat Kentucky. Although they looked terrible doing it. I got to go and it was a lot of fun. It was very cold though. It even started flurrying which prompted cries of “Snow!” from the Clemson fans and no reaction from the Kentucky fans. I will miss CJ Spiller next year and I hope the NFL sees how much better he is than the College Football world gives him credit for and he goes with a very early pick in the Draft.
The basketball Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Illinois during Finals week. I was there and it was terrible watching the Illini climb back into the game after Clemson led by 20 points at one time. I don’t have very high hopes for this team this year; they just don’t seem as smart as they did last year.
Stuff you expected me to mention…
Grady’s pictures- I haven’t seen them and I don’t plan on it. It was stupid for him to put them on the Internet if he didn’t want anyone to see them. That is my only comment.
Picture of the Day
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Lou Marson- What’s not to like?

Every word you say, say something sweet…

The Indians stomped the Twins last night. Amazingly the Indians scored runs behind Cliff Lee. Not just some runs though: ten runs. TEN RUNS. They only needed two. Then Kerry Wood would have gotten a rare save opportunity but, hey, we won and everyone else in teh AL Central lost. It was good day for the Tribe. Also Asdrubal Cabrera’s shoulder injury is not as bad as originally thought and he will probably be back in 2-4 weeks. A very good day for the Tribe.

Also Cliff Lee and Carlos Gomez got into it again. Early in the game Carlos Gomez bunted with two strikes and it went foul so he was out. This was a stupid move on his part and he looked a little bit like a fool and a bit cocky too. Cliff Lee did not like this move so later when Gomez flew out he said something to him. Rick Manning and Jim Rosenhaus (filling in for Matt Underwood, more on that later) thought he said something like “Should have bunted.” Carlos Gomez did not like that so he charged the mound when Cliff Lee’s back was turned (low) and Victor martinez, being awesome as usual, ran interference. The benches semi-cleared shortly and it seemed over. 
The next inning Ryan Garko was hit by a pitch in the first at bat. I do not think this was intentional. Then one batter later Kelly Shoppach gets hit. Still not intentional in my opinion. The umpire agreed with me and did not issue any warnings or anything. Later Kelly Shoppach was hit again. I still do not think this was intentional I just like the fact that we have something we are good at. We are now leading the Majors in hit by pitches at 39. Kelly Shoppach leads the league with ten. We call him the Ball Magnet.
Matt Underwood, the Indians play-by-play announcer is back in Cleveland with his mom who is very ill. So please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Maybe this time I can follow through

#10!!!!

Thanks everyone for visiting and reading. Thanks to you I am now #10 in the Latest leaders. My first visit to the Top 10!
In honor of my ranking this time this entry is dedicated to Kelly Shoppach.
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Kelly is the Indians’ current slightly more than a backup catcher. Kelly was drafted by the Red Sox in 2001 after receiving the Johnny Bench Award for best collegiate catcher and being named the Big 12 Player of the Year at Baylor. He is one of few catchers in the Majors right now who has actually been a catcher his entire baseball career. He made his Major League debut in 2005 with the Red Sox after entering the season as the Red Sox top catching prospect. He only appeared in 9 games for the Red Sox in 2005. In 2006 Shoppach was sent to the Indians and spent most of his time that year as the backup catcher and some time in AAA Buffalo. Later in the season he saw some more playing time when Victor Martinez played first occasionally. 2008 saw Kelly break out of his role as backup catcher for the Indians and really shine. Due to an injury to Victor Martinez Kelly was called on to catch every day and he made the most of it. He led all American League catchers in home runs. This year because of his success last year he has been promised more playing time than an average backup catcher and is guaranteed to catch every day Cliff Lee pitches and so far has caught most of Pavano’s starts as well. He is sort of an all-or-nothing hitter and seems to always be swinging for the fences but he always plays hard and is a great all-around guy. He is from Fort Worth, Texas, and is married with three daughters.

Bio: mlb.com

Stadium Review: The New Kauffman Stadium
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Yesterday my mom and I drove across the state to watch the Indians take on the Royals in the Royals newly renovated stadium. We got to see Zach Greinke and Carl Pavano. Both pitchers were very evenly matched with Greinke giving up one less run and Pavano giving up two less hits. Both pitched for six innings and then it was up to the bullpens. The Royals’ bullpen wasted no time giving up Greinke’s one-run lead while the Indians bullpen showed flashes of the incompetency Indians fans are so accustomed to but managed to give up no more runs while the offense scored six runs in two innings to win the game 8-3. It was a very good game to go to for me. I saw great starting pitching from both sides and the Indians’ offense finally came to life at the same time all of the pitching decided to work. Plus I got to see Grady from about twenty feet away and he is about ten times cuter in person. Also he got a hit, walked twice, and sac bunted twice. Good game for the Gradester. He is supposed to back in center for the series this weekend against the Reds.
Now to the stadium. It is very nice. You can walk around the whole stadium and they have a lot of new amenities for their fans. On a hot day like yesterday sitting in the new seats underneath the fountains would be very nice. I have always like the K and it is now even better. Great job on the renovations.

Royals’ Fans
Royals’ fans have all of a sudden become very obnoxious and cocky. A little bit of success and they suddenly act like the rule the world. It probably does not help they all tailgate before the game and get drunk before they start drinking more at the game so that by the third inning or so they are completely gone. Unfortunately since most Royals fans have not been to many baseball game sin the past ten years or so they are not very aware of fan etiquette. For example do not stand up for like ten minutes waving your arm around while talking on your cell phone. Also do not go to your seats in the middle of a play. And beach balls? Seriously? As my mom said, “This isn’t a rock concert.” And when the screens tell you to get loud do not stop being loud as soon as they turn off. If the Royals keep playing well maybe they will learn. However I am happy to see that the Royals are drawing crowds and the crowds do get into close games and they do cheer very loudly when something good happens for them. 

My Pictures

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Behind the fountains
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Jhonny and Valbuena warming up
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Ben Francisco stretches while Grady and Jamey Carroll talk to the trainer
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Pavano warming up
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Jamey carroll apparently knew this guy because he talked to him for like ten minutes
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Grady stretching. Grady turned around every time I tried to take his picture. Annoying.
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Grady batting.
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Zach Greinke pitching
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New scoreboard looking the best it will look all season 😉
Shout out to the Cardinals: Sweeping the Cubs right out of St. Louis. That’s how we roll. haha

My Boys Spoil Yankee Stadium Opener

UPDATE:
My next entry will be my 100th entry. I refuse to write my 100th entry until the Indians win (or in the event of a strategically placed off day, like Monday. Don’t worry this won’t be never-ending.). So anything I have to say I will add to this entry.
The Indians lost today but it was a well-fought battle. The Bronx Bombers were out in full force hitting five solo home runs to win the game 6-5. Some poor umpiring at the plate and an error by Vinnie Chulk contributed to the loss today. To be far the umpire was inconsistent with both teams but it seemed to affect the Indians a little more. I was pretty happy with this game despite the loss because the Indians battled hard and showed they can fight back from behind, something we had yet to see this year. 
Fun fact: The first person to hit a grand slam in the old Yankee Stadium: Tris Speaker, Cleveland Indians’ center fielder. Good job Grady. Channel Tris.
Interesting News: A crazy preacher man has been terrorizing the Clemson campus recently. He stands in police barricades and tells Clemson students how we are all going to Hell because we wear flip-flops and things like that. It is ridiculous. He claims he has never sinned which is a sin right there because it is a lie. I feel truly sorry for this man and I hope he gets the professional help he needs. Here is a YouTue video of him. I didn’t watch it through because it makes me sad. It may get explicit because he really upsets people. One girl left crying yesterday. It is horrible.

First run scored in New Yankee Stadium History: Ben Francisco

First RBI in New Yankee Stadium History: Kelly Shoppach
First Grand Slam in New Yankee Stadium History: GRADY SIZEMORE
First Winning Pitcher in New Yankee Stadium History: Cliff Lee
First Victory in New Yankee Stadium History: CLEVELAND INDIANS
Final score of the first game in New Yankee Stadium History: 10-2, Cleveland
Question: Who won the last ever playoff game in the old Yankee Stadium? 

Answer: Cleveland Indians

Question: Who has handed the Yankees their three worst losses in franchise history?

Answer: Cleveland Indians

I am so happy right now. The Indians beat the Yankees and start their first winning streak of the season. Granted it’s only two games but it’s all we’ve got so let me savor it.
I forgive Grady for starting slow. I forgive Cliff Lee for being terrible in his first two starts. I forgive Kelly Shoppach for striking out so much. I forgive Trevor Crowe for taking nine at bats before getting his first Major League hit (I actually forgave him a long time ago, but since we’re forgiving…). I even, barely, forgive Rafael Betancourt for loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth today. I forgive Eric Wedge for failing in Aprils in general. None of that matters right now because in the words of Gus Sinsky in For Love of the Game, “We don’t [stink] right now. Right now we’re the best team in baseball.” Okay maybe not the best but at least the happiest. 
This game really was a good game. For the first six innings it was a straight pitchers duel. CC left with one out in the top of the sixth with both teams locked in a 1-1 tie. In the bottom of the sixth Cliff pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Then in the seventh those of you who like a lot of offense would get your wish. The Indians rock the Yankees’ bullpen for nine runs including a bases loaded walk drawn by my project Trevor Crowe and of course a Grand Slam by Grady Sizemore immediately after. Victor Martinez, not to be done, followed one hitter later with another home run. After the seventh the Indians bullpen gave up only one more run despite their best efforts to give up more. This game had a little bit of everything. 
The stadium looks beautiful. I was a little disappointed in the Yankees fans who left after the seventh. It’s Opening Day of your $1.5 billion stadium and you have box seats and you are going to leave? I don’t care how bad your team is losing, you stay. 
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Okay Grady let’s see about 37 more of those home run smiles this year. Then how about 39 more stolen base smirks.
See you tomorrow New York.
Pictures:

First Workout and Basketball

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The Indians will have their first full official workout today from 10-1 in Arizona. So in about 2 hours all of the 60 spring training invitees will be on the field in Goodyear. I am so excited. I am actually very upset right now that they are not in Florida because if they were they would have started already. Instead I have to wait an extra 3 hours for everything to happen in Arizona. Pacific time zone stinks!

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The Indians still are not sure what they are doing about the catcher situation. I know y’all are probably sick of hearing about this silly catcher situation if you are not Indians fans (or maybe even if you are) but it is kind of important. Basically the Indians have two catchers. However one of them can play first base as well. I think right now the plan is for Kelly Shoppach to catch Cliff Lee for sure and for Victor Martinez to catch Fausto Carmona for sure, but that is all they know right now. When Shoppach is catching Victor will most likely be playing first or maybe DHing depending on how Travis Hafner is doing. That means our everyday first baseman Ryan Garko may need to learn some new positions like outfield. Personally I think the outfield is an odd choice for Grako since he is not the fastest person in the world but again I trust Wedge and maybe it will work out. Still all I really see right now is the outfielders doing sprints with Garko lagging way behind everyone else. It is actually kind of a funny picture in my head. So the Indians will have a very different looking infield and possibly outfield than they have had in the past. 
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Look! It’s my picture in my head, except he’s keeping up!
All the changes and newness makes me excited. I want to see how everything works out. Apparently Grady going to the WBC is actually going to help the entire team out a lot because it will give Wedge time to try different players in center to find a true backup center fielder after we traded Franklin Gutierrez this winter. So while some people may say Grady is abandoning his team to play in the WBC he is actually helping them out!
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That is Tanner Smith on the bottom. My roommate knows him; they were in Sociology together last semester. 🙂
One more thing, tonight Clemson plays Maryland at Littlejohn Colosseum in Clemson. I will be there in the front row! So look for me! I will give you a hint: I will not be my natural color. 😉
Cleveland Pictures: Photos from the Plain Dealer http://photos.cleveland.com/plain-dealer/
Basketball Picture: http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2009/01/03/18/688-E_Carolina_Clemson_Basketba_04.embedded.prod_affiliate.138.JPG