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

The Season Begins

by scott longert on 03/30/18

We got the good and bad from the Indians last night. Corey Kluber pitched his usual excellent game while he got no support from the offense. He made one bad pitch to Nelson Cruz and that was the ball game, 2-1.
I believe the Indians will hit just fine this year and Kluber will win his share of games. It is way too early to make any judgements on who will hit and who will not.
Yesterday Giancarlo Stanton started to earn his mega millions by hitting two home runs for the Yankees. It is going to be fun to watch New York and see how many home runs will be flying out of the park. I have a feeling a few records are going to be set.
Right now the Indians home opener is set to be played with a forecast of 37 degrees for the day. It appears to be a winter coat day once again for the Cleveland fans. It reminds me of a fan comment from the late 1930's when the opening day temperatures were below freezing. He got to his seat, stood up and said loudly, "What time is the kick-off?" Good luck to everybody at the game!

The Wait Continues

by scott longert on 01/09/18

I have been watching for the Indians to sign a free agent or two and or make a significant trade. The only move so far was the free agent signing of first baseman Yonder Alonso. My first reaction was why not Logan Morrison or Matt Adams? Alonso had a great power year in 2017, but I am concerned he has hit 20 homers or better only once. The other guys have a better track record but the Indians chose Alonso. We shall see.

There is still a lot of time for a trade before spring training. The Tribe could use another big bat and several relief pitchers. I don't want them to go into the season with no additions to the current roster. I know they invited a number of pitchers to camp and Either Tomlin or Clevenger could be moved to the bullpen however they are somewhat thin as it stands. 

I worry a key injury to Brantley, Kipnis or Chisenhall could really set them back, particularly in the outfield. We still don't know how well Bradley Zimmer is going to hit for a full season or what can be expected of Brandon Guyer. I hope the Indians do trade for a veteran corner outfielder that can supply some production. 

It is still early January yet I am totally ready for spring training to start. I have already begun playing my Strat-O-Matic baseball game though only exhibitions for now. Kluber is really piling up the strikeouts!

Coming and Going

by scott longert on 11/13/17

Free agency is just about here and the Indians have some major decisions to make. The Tribe has Brian Shaw, Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana on the market. It is no secret they will lose one or possibly two, hopefully not all three.

I know Jay Bruce wants big money, but the Indians should do whatever they have to get him signed. The outfield has been done by committee for too long. They need a stable outfield with at least two full-time players out there. Having Bruce in right and Bradley Zimmer in center would be the best option. The Indians can platoon in left field all they want but stability is the key.

I know the money is way too much but I would like to see  J.D. Martinez here or Eric Hosmer. Either one of these guys would bring all the offense the team is lacking in getting back to another World Series. If both Santana and Bruce leave, that will make available some extra dollars to spend. I know I am dreaming a bit, but why not?

My new book has been sent off to my publisher. I believe it is the best of my trilogy of Indians baseball from the 1920 World Series up to World War II. It is about the beginning of night baseball in Cleveland, the emergence of a young Bob Feller and one of the most controversial events in baseball history, the Cry Babies of 1940.

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.

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