Tagged: Kerry Wood

Change

The Indians won again tonight! Aaron Laffey, Lewis’ replacement, nearly gave me a heart attack in the first inning but he got out of a bases loaded one out jam beautifully and it was smooth sailing until the sixth inning from there. Unfortunately for aaron Jensen Lewis was not quite as commanding as he has been recently and gave up two runs that were charged to Laffey taking away his chance for a win on his 24th birthday. But the Indians won on his 24th birthday and Kerry Wood collected his first save as an Indian. It was a great game and I was thrilled to finally see another victory. 

I have a song of encouragement for my boys as they head off to New York to face my most favorite team ever (sarcasm definitely intended) the Yankees.
Change- Taylor Swift
And it’s a sad picture, the final blow hits ya,
Somebody else gets what you wanted again
You know its all the same, another time and place,
Repeating history and you’re getting sick of it
But I believe in whatever you do 
And I’ll do anything to see it through
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It was the night things changed
Can you see it now?
Those walls that they put up to hold us back fell down?
This revolution, throw your hands up,
because we never gave in
We’ll sing hallelujah, we sang hallelujah, hallelujah
The Indians’ season so far has been rather sad and they have watched for years as everyone else seems to get what they want but eventually it will change. They will eventually start winning. I just hope it starts in New York where it does not really seem fair that this team that will definitely be struggling to keep it together in these economic times has to play a team that can spend billions of dollars on players and a new stadium. I am not blaming the Yankees for having money, it just does not seem fair. Bu the Indians can win and I hope they do. I hope they take this win today as a sign that they have the talent to win any game this season. GO TRIBE!
I strongly suggest clicking on the thumbnails and seeing what I named the pictures. Especially if your name is Jordan and if I remember right you think my names for pictures are funny.
Pictures:
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What do Dontrelle Willis and I have in common?

The Indians won today. Mark DeRosa hit two home runs and a double that was nearly a home run. Grady Sizemore went 2-4 with a single and a triple. I love triples and stolen bases and bunt singles; anything that involves speed is incredibly attractive to me. Probably also why I like soccer players. Fausto Carmona had another strong outing and Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless seventh. Good day for the Indians.

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Not such a good day for the Detroit Tigers and Dontrelle Willis however, which is why I am really writing this post right now. Dontrelle Willis was placed on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder. Here is where you learn something special about me. I, too, have and still do struggle with an anxiety disorder. It is not really that serious but there are times when it becomes very overwhelming and sometimes almost paralyzing. I do not know what kind of anxiety Willis may be experiencing but I would assume it is probably very similar to mine as mine comes from a desire to be perfect all the time. This sometimes causes me to feel an overwhelming fear of doing assignments. Since Willis is a professional athlete and most athletes are perfectionists I would assume he probably feels similarly. His recent struggles would probably cause him to become very nervous before pitching and would probably interrupt his performance. I was very sad to read this story on mlb.com and I feel for him. I hope he recovers as quickly and as easily as the Detroit doctor’s seem to think. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers; I know what he must be feeling. Having to start the year on the DL probably did nothing to help him feel better about himself; he probably just views this as another failure. I hope he is able to overcome this struggle. It may not be the most serious injury/illness he could have but it is sad to hear.
I am going to start leaving y’all with a favorite quote. These quotes may be from anywhere. Today I chose a happy quote since this post is a bit of a downer.
“Too high, too high.” “What do you mean too high?” “At first it was really high!” “Who gives a **** it’s gone!”
Name that movie.
Pictures:

Why the Indians Win It All in 2009

Toady is a off day in Spring Training for the Indians so there is no real news to report so far. 

Ryan at Prose and Ivy recently asked me to comment on his blog about why I think the Indians will win the World Series in 2009. This got me thinking that it would be a great blog post on my blog.
So here it is: Why the Indians Win It All in 2009
1) The offseason was a great one for a mid-market team with limited resources this year that will definitely be hit hard by the economic crisis. They began the offseason with a list of priorities. The first was a closer. They got a top rate closer in Kerry Wood. They could have waited until he was cheaper or a cheaper option was available. However being passive in the offseason clearly did not work last year so they had a target and they hit it. Next they wanted an infielder that was not a first baseman. A third baseman would be ideal but a second baseman or shortstop would work as well. What did they do? They got Mark DeRosa who can play really anywhere and made him their third baseman. DeRosa actually says he feels most comfortable at third. Their third priority was a middle of the rotation starter. They got Carl Pavano. So far this is their most risky and questionable move. I think it will work out for them. He may not be like he was a few years ago but he says he feels more comfortable in Cleveland and feels healthy. So far his spring has not been too impressive but he claims he is fine. The one thing the Indians are giving him that no one else would is a chance. They are showing him that they believe in him and they are willing to let him try to come back. I think this will do a lot for him.
2) The Indians’ offense is shaping up to be one of the most potent offenses in the Majors. Just look at the projected lineup:

Grady Sizemore CF

Mark DeRosa 3B

Victor Martinez C/1B

Jhonny Peralta SS

Travis Hafner DH

Shin Soo Choo RF

Ben Francisco LF

Ryan Garko 1B

Asdrubal Cabrera 2B

Insert Kelly Shoppach for Ryan Garko on days Cliff Lee pitches and whenever else Eric Wedge feels like playing him.

The first six batters are all legit home run threats. Even without home runs there are some scary things happening in that lineup for opposing pitchers. If Grady gets on DeRosa has already said that he would love to figure something out with Grady to make it easier for Grady steal some more bases this year. So there is the stolen base threat. Then there is the RBI threat without a home run. This entire lineup is capable of hitting to drive runs in. 

3) The Indians injury problems seem to be fixed this year. With the exception of Jake Westbrook all of the players that the Indians lost to injury in 2008 are back. Hafner may not be back to his Pronk state just yet but he says he feels great and it is just a matter of time until he gets his rhythm back and finally starts to really drive the ball. Martinez has already shown that his power stroke is back. He has a great spring so far including a few home runs. Anthony Reyes’ elbow problems seem to be fixed. He has had a very dominant spring and has shown his ability to be a very effective fourth starter for the Indians this year. In my opinion Reyes could easily be the third starter for the Indians. He may be if Pavano gets hurt or does not work out as expected. 
4) The Indians bullpen was awful in 2008. In 2009 however it looks to be solid. The bullpen is much more organized; everyone has a role and everyone knows their role. Kerry Wood is already becoming the leader of the pen. His leadership will go a long way in solidifying the bullpen and making the younger pitchers more successful pitchers.
5) Fausto Carmona appears to be back. So far this spring he has shown better command of his pitches and seems to have his rhythm back. His return could be reminiscent of a certain Cliff Lee last year. In 2006 Cliff Lee was very good for the Indians but in 2007 he suffered an injury and was never able to fully recover and return to his previous form. In 2008 he started the season in the Majors and was able to return  to 2006 form and improve on it. I hope the same happens with Carmona and so far it looks that way. It is true that Spring Training numbers do not mean a whole lot in the long run but he is pitching with more confidence and command than he showed last year and that will matter in the long run.
6) Two words: Grady Sizemore. Grady had a small setback early in the spring but he appears to be 100% recovered from his minor groin injury that kept him out of the World Baseball Classic. In my opinion Grady is set to have another monster year for the Indians. I think there is a real chance he will have a 40/40 year. One thing I think Grady can do more of this year is bunt for base hits. I think this will help his average a lot and get him more stolen bases. I also think this is what the team needs more of this year. They have the people back who can hit home runs; they do not need him to be their power bat anymore. I love home runs as much as the next girl but Grady’s first priority this season should be to get on base I think.
The only problem is the starting rotation. If Carl Pavano pitches a solid season the rotation is great. If not, it is shot. I know everyone is saying that the key to the season is Pronk’s return or Martinez’ return. I disagree. Pavano is the key. Everything else is pretty much set. There are very few other questions or unsolved issues. I think his season will set the tone for the rest of the rotation. If the Indians have solid third starter it takes the pressure off of the first two as well as the last two. If Pavano can do that the Indians are good to go. If he is not able to put together at least a solid season I see the Indians finishing still finishing first or second in the division. If they finish first and make the playoffs I do not see them being able to make the World Series let alone win it. 
What do you think about your team’s chances this year? I know everyone is supposed to think that this is the year for their team but I know a lot of you do not think that. I would love to know why and who you think does win it all this year.

Indians on 30 in 30!

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Last night the Indians were featured on 30 Clubs in 30 Days on MLB Network. It was a great show and was a lot of fun to watch for Indians fans. They had a lot of interviews which was very interesting to see. I loved hearing what the players had to say about themselves and 2009. I think the two best interviews were Kerry Wood’s and Carl Pavano’s. In Wood’s he talked about the difference between being a starter and a closer. He believes that the closer’s job is a lot less forgiving. Basically he said that closer’s have to go out and be pretty much perfect every time they pitch while starters have a little bit more room for error. He seemed ready to take on both the leadership role in the bullpen and the intensity of being a closer. Pavano talked about feeling healthy and better than he has in a long time. This is exciting to hear and very relieving. I hope it is true because we need him to be strong to be able to be a serious contender. They also talked to Grady. Grady said he was not really happy with his performance in 2008. He did say that he was happy with how the team finished and is happy to be considered a leader on the team. Overall it was a great show and I suggest watching the show about your team if you can. It is a great series.

The Indians play Texas today and Cliff Lee will be starting. So far this spring he has not been too impressive as far as ERA and things go. However last year he was not that great either and look what happened. The important thing is that he feels good and he feels like he is improving and getting ready for the season.
I am currently still working on getting a closer for my Fantasy Team. I think I should have at least one by the time the season starts. I would just really like one. I was very unfortunate when it came to getting closers. I would keep having a closer picked out and then someone would take him just before my pick. Unfortunately this would throw me off so I would not be able to plan my next closer until the next round when the same thing would happen. It was weird. I had backup plans for everything except closers. Bad choice.

What did Grady Sizemore do on his Day off?

Hey everyone!

The Indians lost yesterday, 8-4, to the Angels. BUT they got Jared Weaver out of the game in less than an inning, Travis Hafner had his first multi-hit game this Spring, and Kerry Wood pitched a perfect inning. This game also featured Ryan Garko in right who made a great basket catch that reminded the announcers of Willy Mays Hayes from Major League. So this was really not a loss at all! See how much I care about the scores of ST games?
Grady was off yesterday and thanks to Orangebird we know what he was doing with his extra time:
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He was catching up on my blog! haha
Speech
So I thought I would post my rough-rough draft of my speech. I had some computer issues so I had to rewrite the Introduction at like 2 in the morning so that part may not be that great. I will also be adding things from the books I got and MLB Networks 30 Clubs in 30 Days special next Tuesday night. I will also have to take a few things out because it is way too long right now. But this is the general direction I am taking.

History of Cleveland Baseball

Introduction

I. It is Game 7 of the ALCS. The
Red Sox are leading 3-2 in the top of the seventh. Kenny Lofton is on second
thanks to an error by shortstop Julio Lugo. Franklin Gutierrez hits a shot down
the third base line. It ricochets of the wall into short left center where
Manny Ramirez picks it up. Kenny Lofton is held at third for fear of being
thrown out at home. Casey Blake, one of the best clutch hitters in the league
steps in. He hits into an inning ending double play. Can the Tribe come back in
the late innings and pull off a Game 7 victory and make it to the World Series
for the first time in ten years?

II. Cleveland has a long and rich
baseball history dating all the way back to 1869.

III. Cleveland’s early years range
from the worst in baseball to the best in baseball. Cleveland baseball teams
have won two World Series Championships: 1920 and 1948. However the Curse of
Rocky Colavito has kept them from another championship ring for sixty years,
the second longest unbroken championship drought in baseball. The future of the
Cleveland Indians is bright and filled with rising stars.

Body

            I.
The early years of Cleveland baseball saw baseball in Cleveland rise from             the
worst to the best.

                        A.
Cleveland’s owner sent its best players, including Cy Young, to St.                                     Louis
to popularize baseball there causing the Cleveland Spiders to                                     achieve
the worst record in baseball history, 20-134.

                        B.  In 1901 Ben Johnson, the creator of the
American League, founded                                     his
league and created a team in Cleveland making the Cleveland                                     Indians
one of the four charter members of the American League.

                        C.
Early Cleveland stars included Napoleon Lajoie, giving the team                                     their
first nickname The Naps, Addie Joss, and Joe Jackson of Black Sox                         Scandal
fame.

                        D.
Cy Young returned to Cleveland in 1909 to finish his career where                                     he
got his start.

                        E.
After the 1914 season the nickname Indians was chosen for the                                     team.

            II.
The Indians have won two World Series Championships in their history.

                        A.
In 1920 the Indians played the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World                                            Series.
They beat the Dodgers five games to two.

                                    1.
The road to the Series was a tough one. The shortstop of the                                                 Indians
was fatally hit by a pitch while playing the Yankees in                                                 August.
Joe Sowell replaced him and began his own All satr                                                 career.

                                    2.
The Indians’ Elmer Smith hit the first grand slam in World                                                 Series
history in game 5.

                        B.
The Indians won their next World Series in 1948. They beat the                                     Boston
Braves in six games.

                                    1.
The Indians led the league in batting average, earned run                                                 average,
and fielding percentage in the 1948 season.

                                    2.
The road to the World Series included a historic one game                                                 playoff
for the pennant against the Boston Red Sox.

            III.
The Indians have not won another World Series in over sixty years giving                         them
the second longest unbroken Championship drought in baseball behind only
the Cubs. Like the Cubs the Indians have a curse which has supposedly kept
World Series wins from them, the Curse of Rocky Colavito.

                        A.
Colavito was one of the Indians’ top young players in 1955.

                        B.
In 1960 the new management of the Indians traded Colavito to the                                     Indians’
biggest rival, the Detroit Tigers.

            IV.
The Cleveland Indians’ future looks bright despite 2008’s struggles with             the
emergence of young, rising stars.

                        A.
The 2008 season marked a year of struggle and disappointment for                                     the
Indians.

                                    1.
The Indians’ designated hitter, Travis Hafner, and star                                                 catcher,
Victor Martinez, were sidelined early with injuries.

                                    2.
Without the bats of Hafner and Martinez the Indians had                                                 trouble
adjusting and could not get their offense going.

                                    3.
With the exception of Cliff Lee the Indians pitchers suffered                                                 without
the foundation of a strong bullpen and starter Jake Westbrook who was out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.                                              

                                    4.
Midseason saw the Indians trade away their Cy Young                                                 Award
winner CC Sabathia to the Brewers.

                                    5.
Despite being last in the division the Indians climbed to third                                     in
the division with an 81-81 record during the second half of the season.                                             

                        B.
Grady Sizemore is the Indians’ centerfielder.

                                    1.
He has been to three consecutive All Star Games.

                                    2.
He has won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards.

                                    3.
Last year he won his first Silver Slugger Award.

                                    4.
Last year he also became only the second Indians player and                                                 sixth
American League player to steal thirty bases and hit thirty home runs in one season.                                                 

                                    5.
He is incredibly humble and shy and shuns the spotlight and                                                 is
consequently believed by experts to be one of the most underrated players in the game.         

                        C.
Cliff Lee is the Indians staff ace.

                                    1.
In 2007 Lee battled through injury issues and never found                                                 his
rhythm.

                                    2.
Last season he came back and won twenty-two games and                                                 lost
only three to become the American League Cy Young Award winner.                                            

Conclusion

            I.
In Cleveland baseball’s early years Cleveland saw the worst team in baseball grow                        into the best. The nickname of Indians was also chosen during this
time. In 1920 and 1948 the Indians won the only two championships the franchise
has ever won. In 1960 the Curse of Rocky Colavito is said to have taken
affect and has allegedly kept the Indians from winning a Championship since.
Although 2008 saw the Indians stumble the Indians appear to have             bright
future with young stars like Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee.

            II.
So did the Indians manage to come back and beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the
2007 ALCS? Well in the bottom of the seventh Rafael Betancourt comes on
in relief of Jake Westbrook. Casey Blake makes an error allowing Jacoby Ellsbury
to get on base and bringing Dustin Pedroia up to bat. Betancourt gives
up a two run home run to Pedroia giving the Red Sox a five to two lead to
end the seventh. The Indians were unable to figure out Boston’s closer Jonathan
Papelbon in the next two innings but the Red Sox managed to score six
more runs to give the Red Sox the eleven to two win and send them to the World
Series. However these struggles have not stopped Cleveland fans from believing,
“It’s Tribe time now!”


I’m sorry if it is hard to read. My computer issues appear to have transferred to here as well so I did my best to make it readable but it may not be. Yes I did almost cry writing that Introduction and Conclusion. It was very upsetting.

Thanks and Updates

I just wanted to thank everyone for being so helpful and supportive with my recent decision. Y’all are great!

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Isn’t that a cool card? I would love to get that in the mail.
Grady
Grady will be sharing the DH spot with Travis Hafner tomorrow. Both are scheduled to get two at bats I think. I am really excited. I hope he does not strike out twice. That is definitely something he would do. Just kidding. I think he will do fine.
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Look at those forearms! haha
Kerry Wood
Kerry Wood pitched a simulated two inning game today. He gave up a long fly ball to David Dellucci, a line drive and hard ground ball to Grady. He says he’s ready and that everything went well. You have to like his confidence. It is comforting. Confidence is really important to closers so I love to see him bursting with it in every interview he gives. 
Informative Speech
In Public Speaking we are giving informative speeches in a couple of weeks. This was the perfect opportunity to for me to talk about baseball uninterrupted for 5-7 minutes so I took it. I will be giving my speech on the History of baseball in Cleveland. I read the history on MLB.com and it looks really interesting. I also found out, thanks to Elizabeth, that I can use MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days show on the Indians as a source since they have a section on the history of the team at the end of every show. I was already planning on using that because I need three different types of sources and five total. So far I have two types and two, maybe three, total. 
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Argument Paper
In History we have to write a paper about a technology and its effect on society. I chose Instant replay in sports but I will probably focus mostly on baseball because it is so recently controversial. My professor loved this topic. I am supposed to share it in class on Monday. If y’all want I can post copies of both my speech and paper on here. I know you are all interested in stuff like that so I thought I would see if you wanted to see what I was saying. I think I will have to wait until I turn in my history paper to post it because it uses turnitin.com and I am concerned that it would say I was plagiarizing myself when it scans the Internet. If anyone knows more about that technology and I am wrong you can tell me.
Clemson Baseball
Short update on the Tigers: We beat the number 2 ranked Tarheels yesterday but lost 5-2 today. We were tied 1-1 for awhile today though so at least we held them for a little bit.

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Clemson Basketball
The Basketball Tigers play the Demon deacons of Wake Forest tomorrow. This is their last game of the regular season and will determine their seed in the ACC Tournament next weekend. They beat us when they came here so I say we return the favor and beat them at home.
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Yeah Terrence Oglesby shoots over Scheyer of Duke. And yes I will continue to hold that win over anyone’s head forever.
Pictures:
1) http://tennesseejoy.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/baseball-thank-you-001.jpg
2) http://blog.cleveland.com/sports/2008/06/gradyhrcc.jpg
3) http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zhGDMDQ2osM/RwOpoPpn0fI/AAAAAAAAANA/63hDm2ed-zk/s400/scan0001.jpg
4) http://thecollegebaseballblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/2014172.jpg
5) http://media.scout.com/media/image/63/639059.jpg

Back into the Swing of Things

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Isn’t this a funny picture?

Kerry Wood has been dealing with a sore back for a few days. It is fortunately not anything to worry about according to Wood, Carl Willis (Indians’ Pitching coach), Eric Wedge, and the Cubs’ trainer. Wood says this happens every year at the beginning of the Spring and it usually only sets him back a day or two. Since the Indians were already planning on easing him back into baseball there is very little concern over Wood’s health in Goodyear.

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Baseball players are goofy aren’t they?

Also Mark DeRosa and Lou Pinella get along just fine. They actually talked to DeRosa today and I can not see how anyone would not get along with him. He was very affable and personable and I really like him. I also liked it when he called Grady “the best leadoff hitter in baseball.” I completely agree.
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The Indians lost again today, but I do not care that much. It is just fun to be watching baseball again. We had the lead for awhile and scored 9 runs so I think we did okay. Our pitching was fine until we got into late relief. It was good to get some new guys out there and get them some experience too. I also love seeing the new players and really getting to see where the Indians are going. I see big things in their future from what I have seen this spring. 
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This is something I want to see a lot this year.
I am so excited for this season. If Grady and DeRosa keep up what they have been doing in Spring Training we will have a very potent 1-2 punch at the beginning of the lineup. And we should Victor and Hafner back strong with a powerful Jhonny Peralta and a powerful Choo as well. Our lineup is going to be scary. I am ready to see it in action.
Hat List
Sorry I forgot to put this up yesterday. I was really tired.

Los Angeles Angels: 1
Oakland Atletics: 0 
Texas Rangers: 0
Seattle Mariners: 0
Chicago White Sox: 3 (2)
Cleveland Indians: 2 (1)
Kansas City Royals: 1 (1) I also did not think I would ever see one of these.
Minnesota Twins: 0
Detroit Tigers: 4 (3)
Boston Red Sox: 14 (8)
New York Yankees: 11 (6) 
Toronto Blue Jays: 1 (Never thought I’d see one of those!)
Baltimore Orioles: 2 (1)
Tampa Bay Rays: 0 
Chicago Cubs: 5 (1)
St. Louis Cardinals: 1 
Milwaukee Brewers: 0
Pi
ttsburgh Pirates: 1 (1) 
Houston Astros: 0
Cincinnati Reds: 0
San Diego Padres: 1 (1)
Arizona Diamondbacks: 1 
Los Angeles Dodgers: 2 (1)
San Francisco Giants: 1 (1)
Colorado Rockies: 0
Atlanta Braves: 15 (5)
Washington Nationals: 1 
New York Mets: 1 (1)
Philadelphia Phillies: 1(1) 
Florida Marlins: 0

Today’s Winner:

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I have a question for Tribe fans: Since I was not raised an Indians fan I just want to know how big a deal the rivalry between the Tigers and Indians really is? As a Cardinals fan as well I am used to Cards/Cubs, which is a huge deal, and I just do not get the feeling that the Tigers/Indians rivalry is as big. Maybe I am wrong. I feel like for me anyway there is more of a rivalry with the Yankees and Red Sox even though they are not in our division. Maybe that is just because i do not like them (well the Red Sox are growing on me) or maybe it is just because they are good teams or maybe it comes from the playoffs 2 years ago. I do not know. Give me oyur thoughts, I am just srt of curious.

Picture Credits: Photos from the Plain Dealer http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/
Thanks to MLB.com for the stories on Wood and DeRosa.