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Read Scott's books about the
Cleveland Indians
And How Their Teams Were Built

Over Too Soon

by scott longert on 10/15/17

I had waited a little bit before posting because I believed the Indians would beat the Yankees in at least four games. I was then going to write about the Indians versus the Astros.

That certainly did not happen and tons of articles have been written about what went wrong. My main complaint is about starting Bauer at game four. The Tribe had Mike Clevenger ready to go and possibly Danny Salazar. Josh Tomlin had already pitched two innings but he could have been ready in relief. Bauer pitched on three days rest and we saw the results. 

In looking at the offense it was obvious Brantley and Chisenhall were not ready to play but were pressed in to service. For a team that hit well during the regular season, they were unable to hit when it mattered.  

So what now? Do the Indians make some changes in the off season or spend their money keeping Santana, Brantley, Shaw and possibly Bruce for another year? The front office has some big decisions to make.

There will be a new book hopefully in print some time next summer. I have a tentative title of "Bad Boys, Bad Times" about the Indians in the late 1930's and up to the start of World War II. I am really pleased with it as it explores a neglected topic in the near overthrow of Manager Oscar Vitt in June of 1940. 
Stay tuned for more!

Another Streak

by scott longert on 09/21/17

The big streak ended, but instead of slumping, the Indians have won four straight games. Now they are chasing the Dodgers for home field advantage for the entire post-season. A month ago this did not seem possible but here we are.

Last night Frankie Lindor hit his thirty-first home run of the season, an incredible feat. His second base partner, jose Ramirez is not far behind. I believe the Indians have the best second base -shortstop combination in all of Baseball.

I am eager to see who is going to make the post season roster other than the obvious choices. Right now they have about seven outfield choices including Jason Kipnis. Are they going to stay with him in the outfield and have Yandy Diaz remain at third? Should Greg Allen get a spot in the outfield? We have six starting pitchers plus Ryan Merritt as a fill in. It is going to be interesting to see what the final roster looks like.

Now it seems hitting twenty or twenty-five home runs is the norm. You have to hit thirty or better to get noticed. I look at the Baltimore Orioles with just about everybody in the starting lineup with twenty or more home runs and they have only a slim chance of making the wild card. Pitching still rules in the Major Leagues.

Team Streak

by scott longert on 09/11/17

As the entire world knows, the Indians have been on an remarkable winning streak. It comes at the best time possible when the top teams need to bring their "A" game. As well as the Indians are playing teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox and Astros are struggling. It all bodes well for Cleveland.

Cleveland's streak comes at a time when three key members are out with injuries. Andrew Miller , Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley all have missed significant playing time yet the team has not missed a beat. Players like Urshela, Diaz and pitchers Olson and veteran Craig Breslow have done their parts to help. This looks to be a team really  on a roll.

I am amazed at the home run total of Frankie Lindor. I though he could be a guy that hits 15 or 16 homers a year and bats over .300 As I write this Lindor is close to having a thirty home run season. Where did the power come from? He has really carried the load until Encarnacion and Santana have begun to step it up. With Jay Bruce added the Indians are a good long ball hitting team to go along with the tremendous pitching. 

Do we see a another World Series appearance and this time a win? I would not bet against it!

Big Series

by scott longert on 08/03/17

The Yankees are in town for a four game series which should tell a lot about the Indians and the rest of the season. The Tribe lost two games in Boston, one in spectacular fashion. Both Boston and New York are certain to be in the post-season and the Indians must show they are for real. They need to at the very worst split the series with the Yankees or take three out of four. 

The pitching staff has lost Andrew Miller on the 10 day DL and Josh Tomlin for about six weeks. Now is a real test for the guys to step up and fill in until they are back to full strength. Losing Miller for any length of time is a major problem

I was at the Indians- Angels game last Thursday. Trevor Bauer pitched well, being in command for eight innings. It was a fun game to watch with 28,000 people in attendance for an afternoon game. It may have been because the team was giving away beach towels.

One of my favorite things to watch is the number of balls thrown out for a new ball. Any pitch that the catcher drops, even if it barely touches the ground is removed for a new ball. In the fifth or sixth inning the Angels pitcher finished his warm-ups and the catcher threw down to second base. The ball was flipped to the third baseman who dropped the ball. He picked it up, walked towards third and lobbed the ball into the stands. The home umpire threw a new ball to the pitcher. 

Maybe there is a rule about this, but the ball barely touched the ground and had to be removed. I don't think I have ever seen that before!


by scott longert on 07/14/17

The 2017 All-Star game was not the most exciting, but it was great to see five Indians picked for the team. Jose Ramirez and Andrew Miller had their moments on the National Stage.

I am wondering if Home Run Derby is starting to upstage the event itself. When you have guys like Judge, Stanton and the rest the game might be a little anti-climactic. Us old folks remember Home Run Derby from the early 1960's that was taped and shown on the weekends. All the big stars were on it and it was independent of the All-Star game. Each program had two guys competing.

The All-Star game started in 1933 in Chicago. it was the idea of Arch Ward, a writer for the Chicago Tribune. The plan was for a game between the best players of both leagues and the proceeds would go to retired ball players who needed financial help. The game was held in conjunction with the World's Fair to take advantage of the people already in the area. 

The first home run was hit by, you guessed it, Babe Ruth. He had  an ability to produce at the right time which few other players could. The game was a big success (won by the American League) and the baseball owners agreed to make it an annual event. Earl Averill of the Indians was on the team and he would get selected for six straight All-Star teams. Pitcher Mel Harder was a standout in three appearances, not allowing a run each time he pitched. The 1935 game was played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and drew a crowd of nearly 70,000, a record for many years.

With the second half of the season beginning, I look for the Indians to gradually pull away from Kansas City and Minnesota. The team needs another starting pitcher whether that be Danny Salazar or somebody in a trade. One way or another I am sure the problem will be solved.

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