Kansas City Blast

kcMan oh MAN does it feel good to be back in this situation.  FINALLY we are back playing good old baseball, and doing it in the good old Indians way.  Until this point I will be honest, I was pretty terrified of where the season was going.  Yes I know that with baseball, anything can change at any time, and I know that this could be some false hope, but I would rather have this than another W.  Plus, no matter what you say, it’s nice to WIN a 4 game series.

There are a few things that accounted into this great victory, for one, we are actually playing like the Tribe that earned a spot in the playoffs last season.  From our batting, to our pitching, we just had it all on this series, and we showed that we weren’t going to go down easy.  It was thrilling to see our runs not just scored from walks and a big double, but single after single after single, especially in the series wrap up.  We needed out bats to get going, and gain some confidence in ourselves from an offensive standpoint, and this really did the trick.

However, without pitching, we wouldn’t be able to win.  While most of the klubpitching this series was quite impressive, nothing more than the incredible arm of Kluber.  9 innings in only 101 pitches, that was something people and teams dream of, and something Cleveland has been in desperate needs of this season when our relievers feel like starters.  Especially given the sub-par starts Kluber has given us so far, it is nice to see his arm falling into place.

All in all, I honestly feel that all we needed was a little hope, a little time, and just a few good starts.  We were never a team that started perfectly right out of the gate, and we never will be, especially with a team this young.  Granted, things can change, and we can fall back, but we have already shown that we can stand with the big guns, and we’re ready for them at all corners.

USA vs. Canada right in Downtown CLE.

jaysTo be completely honest, I love seeing the Indians play the Blue Jays, even when it doesn’t pan out how it should like this series did.  Why you ask?  For some reason, it is amazing to see, and hear, the U-S-A chants all game long no matter what, and it is also pretty cool to see two different cultures collide on something that both treasure.  Cleveland is relatively close to Canada, and since the Blue Jays are their only MLB team, it is not surprising that a lot of their fans leak down into progressive field, sometimes even just as much as Indians fans.  Thankfully, Canadians are pretty awesome people, and the games turn into one massive love fest for the game itself, and sometimes the score doesn’t even matter.

Nonetheless, we obviously still want the tribe to win.  Sadly in this case, we just couldn’t get it done.  While there are some glimmering signs of improvement, we still are falling into the same old issues that seem to plague us forever.  To be blunt, we should’ve won that first game.  We essentially did if it wasn’t for that one bad inning from scrabble.  If we had had that one on lockdown, I guarantee the outcome would have been different.  I actually blame that one on Tito for over-managing the team, Masterson could’ve finished that inning, and we could have been going home with the W.

In any case, the Tribe, minus a few *CoughBourn’sbattingaverageCOUGH* things, are actually starting to pick up.  While I don’t really see us having the time we did last year, though don’t count us out of the playoffs yet, I see this year as more of a struggle than we have ever had before.  It is going to test us all as fans, but that is definitely something we can handle…as always.

Slow Engines Lead to a Tough Ending

jkghHere we are again, falling behind to teams that we should easily beat.  Just like the past couple years, it’s always the same story.  We start off slow, dropping games to teams like Chicago, that were easily in our hands, only to have to make all that ground up later.  We have always had the ability to pull this feat off, and somehow come out on top int he end, but for once it would be nice to start ahead and stay ahead.  Alas, this is Cleveland, and we are rarely offered such a luxury.  We are actually starting off better than we did last year technically, but after last year, I think we were all kind of hoping that our entire season wouldn’t be one massive catch up game.

The problem is that, for some reason, and no matter what we do, we can never seem to get the gears turning right off the bat like we need to.  It always seems like it takes us 6-7 innings just to realize we are actually playing a baseball game.  For instance the final game of the Chicago series.  That was a game that shouldn’t have ended the way it did.  I honestly don’t even blame Axford, be has been amazing to this point, and we can’t rely on him to have a perfect record in saves, it just won’t happen.  Sadly, it took us 9 innings just to get back into a 3 point game, something that should never happen against the White Sox.

Unfortunately, with the Tigers being up next on the schedule,  I don’t see much improvement from the club in the next couple games, I just don’t have the faith at the moment.  This doesn’t mean that they can’t surprise me and win, or sweep the series.  However, with our current play, you can’t help but be skeptical.  Though I will admit that it is nice how Murphy is catching on to the club.murphy

With the additions of Bourn and Giambi in the next couple days, it might be that our team will finally come back to Cleveland and help us back to the playoffs, though like usual, it will probably be a sprint to the finish line.  Sigh.

An Opening Series to Forget

We finally did it!  We wonasdfasdfasd a home opener!  We haven’t done that since what?  2008?  At first it seemed like we finally got over that bump we had in Oakland to kick it all off..but then we went right back to the same old same old.  Is it panic time yet?  No.  Should we be concerned however?  Maybe a little.

Granted, last year at this time we were doing no better.  Even our best hitter, Kipnis, was only batting .200, and almost lost his spot in the order.  Francona stood by his skill however, and eventually he became one of the keys to our success on offense last season.  So all of the fans will just have to do the same.  After all, waiting is what we are bred for.

This doesn’t forgive all of the problems that we had over this series against the Twins.  The Twins we should have, and could have beaten all three games.  We just let things get to our head, and is cost us in the long run.

Nonetheless, there were some silver linings to this disaster of a series, one of them actually being our hitting.  Granted, the first two games were dismal, but there was finally some gleaming light in the final game, and some hope that maybe we were finally working the bugs out.asdfads

The Hot

1:  It’s actually hard to think of anything that fit into this category, but if I had to think of anything, it would be our ability to always keep in the game.  Even though the games got away from us, we still kept trying.

2:  Swisher and Gomes.  At this point, these are they only guys we can rely on.  They finally have gotten their bats swinging, and on the field these guys will literally leave it all, especially Gomes.  He doesn’t always come through with the throw to second, but you can be sure he is at least going to try.

The Not

Everything else.  Seriously.  Especially our starting pitching, as I have zero confidence in them currently, even Masterson.  We need work all around, and if we don’t do something quick, we might get ourself in quite a bit of a hole.  We played sloppy, **COUGHinfieldCOUGH**, and we couldn’t get our bats around…again.  Hopefully we will be playing true MLB quality baseball soon.

a;lsdkjfAll in All

All in all, I am still confident that we will be able to hold through.  Watching other games no one else, besides Detroit of course, is playing up to their abilities either.  It’s the beginning of a long year, and they are getting the bugs out still.

As I said, there are still some silver linings, for instance our batting.  While it has been awful lately, the last game did show some promise, and some hope.  Our Indians are just being Indians, and they will never let us down, and when they do, we will keep following anyway.

Oooooooooakland: A Typical Beginning

indexFinally the season is back and into full swing!….and we are still being the same ol’ Tribe.  What much can you really say about it?  Even though the Indians were on a better track that they have been in the past couple of years, we still managed to, quite literally, scare the hell out of everyone who watched.  To be completely honest, it doesn’t even feel that good.  Sure, we won the series, which is all that matters at the end of the day, but there are some serious red flags that need to be addressed.

I can’t be the only one who got a little nervous when we started out with the same issues we had last year, I mean I thought we were going to learn.  Nonetheless, I am happy it turned out the way it did, and now it is time to move on and  continue the streak here in good old CLE at opening day!  As for the first series, here is a little bit about what I saw.

The Hot

1:  OUR ROOKIES.  Seriously, if it weren’t for some of the new and younger faces on the team, this blog post could be a whole lot different.  Every year it is key that you bring in good talent, and you expect them new guys to carry their own.  But winning the game for the team?  That’s almost unheard of.  Even with Morgans annoying swing he does in between pitches, he can do that all day long for all I care, as long as he keeps it up.

2:  Our relief pitching.  For most seasons, but this one the most, we always have high expectations on what our pitchers are going to do.  We expect nothing but the best every year, especially this one.  So to those people who were worried about our relief in the bullpen, I think after this series you can finally eat your words, they sure saved our buts this time.  I can’t even begin to express how amazing it is to have confidence in a closing pitcher again.  AX man?  You’re alright.

3:  Shutout ability.  Even before this season started, individuals -coughEPSNcough- claimed we were a fluke, and that we would never be able to win those close 1-0 games again that got us to the playoffs before.  However, since the FIRST GAME we had a shut out, I think we can all finally agree that some people…….just hate the Tribe, and will never have confidence in us.  I have never seen a team that can hold on to such a slim margin and still win, it’s insane.  While it scares us all to death, and probably will all season, you can’t deny we seem to always pull something out of our back pocket to keep us ahead.

The NOT

asdfds1:  Our starting pitchers.  Seriously, what the heck happened??? Of course I am completely ignoring Masterson, as he did amazing like we all expected, the others were just downright awful.  Neither Kluber nor McAllister could even find the strike zone, let alone have an inning where we didn’t have at least one base runner.  Granted, Kluber has never done well against the A’s but still, they need to calm themselves and work on some serious issues on the mound before they get the teams confidence back.

2:  Our batting.  Dear Lord…I mean I knew we weren’t the best hitting team in the league, but I thought we were at least past the old days of 1,2,3 innings EVERY inning with just pop ups to the corners.  Thank fully we had our ROOKIES to keep us in the game, and thanks to Brantley for sealing the deal and taking it home in the 3rd game.  It was sad how bad the veterans were actually doing hitting-wise, and a little concerning.  I didn’t really expect much from Swisher, but even Kipnis was having his issues.

dazfgadfAll In All

We came home with 2 W’s, and that’s all that matters when it comes to the end of the day, however we do need some serious work in our pitching and hitting.  Our fielding was great, but we can’t always rely on those 2-0 innings, especially with Detroit.

We took a little bit to warm up, but after a while we began to feel comfortable in our own shoes and picked up the pace.  It might have been a little scary seeing our beloved Indians falling into the same problems they always do, however now that the cobwebs are all shaken off, I fully feel that the tribe will fall into a positive swing, no pun intended.  It was scary, but they got it done like always.  Once some of the bugs are worked our, it will be TRIBE TIME in CLE.

A Spring Update, and a Hopefull Summer

asodifTo be completely honest, I didn’t think that I would be posting about the Tribe the entire spring training, as I wanted to recap the entire thing into one solid, post.  However, I was assuming that we were going to see the same old Indians in the same old situation, but as we all know, the Tribe is not that predictable.

Currently, right now, the Indians are 12-2 in the cactus league, ranking them first.  That’s right, FIRST.  I know how the critics are feeling, and I now what they are going to say.  It’s just a fluke and means nothing at all.  Honestly, I would normally agree.  Spring training is just that, training.  It’s just the warm ups of what could be an entirely volatile season.  There have been many times when a team has had an amazing preseason, and then completely messed it up when it mattered.  There have also been times when a team has done amazing in the preseason, then went on to win the series.  Truth be told, we just don’t know.  It’s impossible.  However, you can’t deny that this is one of the best things that could happen to all of us Cleveland fans, especially after last season.

There will be more to talk about when it is all said and done, but there is no way this can’t help with at least the emotional aspect of the game.  To have this going into the regular season will give us the edge over anyone, and anything we face.  We are ready, and as long as that stays the same, this could really be the time.

Indian Fever: Is It back?

asdfhFINALLY.  Spring training is in full swing, and the team took their first full-squad practice the other day.  As I am sitting here looking out my window at the snow, all I can think is that maybe there is something finally brewing over there in Goodyear, Arizona.  Something that we have been waiting for for a very very long time.  Honestly, it sure feels that way, and it is something that I don’t really every remember having before.  I understand that this might sound like we are all fair weather fans after our success of last season, but when you look at it, all of they hype that the tribe is stirring up is justified.

For the past couple seasons when spring training came around, it was always more of a “let’s see who we can bring up to maybe give us a better chance” type of deal.  There really was no guarantee that we were going to make any progress at all, and it was almost more of a therapy session.  I would watch the games thinking “well…maybe, but the conditions have to be right.”  We all had hope that maybe they could be something, but it was always shadowed by the misfortunes of our past.  However, it’s a little different this time around, and I am not just saying that because I am a super fan or because we actually did well last season, I just think we finally have met those conditions.

Terry Francona

Wikipedia

First off, even though we lost in the wild card game last season…we STILL made it to the playoffs.  Also, while some teams would come home disappointed and it would rock them into the next season, for us Cleveland fans, it gave us HOPE and opened up the skies to make us realize that we really do have something going here.  For seasons we have always been the team that kind of drags their feet, and worries about what will happen by the end of the season, but now that we got a little taste of the glory, we know what we can do.  Momentum is key in all sports, and just that little preview of what we are capable of gave us that momentum, and is still going strong into spring training.

Next, we have (finally) one of the best coaches in the league.  Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed when we got  him, but boy did I eat my words.  Yes yes yes I know that some super fans still have a bitter taste in their mouth for what he did with the Red Sox against us, but who cares, he is with US now, and that’s all that matters.  Plus the fact that he essentially turned this team around in a single season!  That is something that few can do.  He has a drive and a level of expectation that is hard to meet, but because of this, our players try their hardest and know that the minute they mess up, they are on the bench.  Not to mention the rest of the front office.  For  a while I was skeptical of them for their decisions, but I trusted them.  Thank God I did.

-af2df12ad21143c0Finally, and most importantly, the team itself.  Over the years I have been following the Tribe, I have never seen a team this cohesive and supporting of each other and the fans.  They look like, and act like, a team of backyard baseball players.  While this might sound like a bad thing, it really isn’t.  It shows how confident they really are with each other and with the team.  They truly enjoy stepping on the field every game and work together perfectly as a unit.  Also, they are GOOD.  They can actually play ball, and might be one of the best up and coming teams in the league.

I see lots of good things coming up for these guys, and I truly think these next few years will be the best Indians baseball we have seen in quite a long time.

Indians Baseball: The Best Sport to Watch in Person

img_0410.jpg

Paul Laux Photography

Maybe I am biased, or maybe I am just right, but let’s be honest, there is nothing better than sitting back on a nice cool night watching  a baseball game under the lights.  This is especially true right here in Cleveland.  Just imagine it, you’re sitting in the lower level of Progressive Field as Giambi smashes one to homerun alley after it goes into extra innings.  Get the feels?  I sure did.

For a while I always thought the following was personal opinion, but after a while, I soon realized that a lot of people began to feel the same way as me.  That is, there really is no bad seat in the stadium.  I can have an excellent time, and view, from the lower level, to lower reserved, to upper level, to even the bleachers.  Every seat and section gives a unique experience to the game, and since the game is played over the entire field every moment, no matter where you sit, you’re guaranteed to see something cool.  Also, baseball is the only sport where the “cheap” seats get you more of a chance to be in on the action of the game itself by catching a foul ball.

I’ll admit, while this is a Cleveland Indians blog, this does apply to pretty much every field not just in the MLB, but pretty much ever.  I have been to Safeco field in Seattle, Chase field in Phoenix, and several others including Chicago and New York, and they all offer the same thing.  There is just something about a baseball stadium that just makes  you feel like you’re part of the action no matter where you sit.  Every different section has something new you can see, and something new to experience.

26CTRIBEC

Cleveland.com

However, as hard as they may try, I still feel that Progressive Field is still the best stadium to see a baseball game.  As I said before, I have been to a couple other baseball stadiums, so I have the right to say that I feel this is the best.  Sure, we don’t have the field on a river like down in Cincinnati, and we don’t have a history like over at Wrigley, or a roof like they do in sunny Phoenix,  but what we do have is something that only Cleveland can offer, and that is Cleveland itself.

Unlike most cities and ballparks I have been to, Progressive field does something that is quite unique, and that is actually let you IN the city and be a part of downtown Cleveland itself.  As weird as it sounds, ball parks are not usually downtown in its home city, but rather in a suburb…no Cleveland.  The ballpark is located in one of my favorite parts of town, and the view is awesome.  From the field you can see Key Tower, Rhodes Tower, and all the other buildings that make Cleveland what it is.  Sure, they aren’t the fanciest buildings in the world, but they are what make us Clevelanders, they are what make us, well…us.  Plus the fact that, after the game, you can head right to the beach and hang out at beautiful Lake Erie.

Discover Cleveland

Discover Cleveland

Some people will laugh at this and think I am crazy for making Cleveland sound so amazing with this description of the ballpark, but you know what?  It is that amazing.  Out of all the ballparks I have been to, there has never been a park that isn’t more centrally located in the heart of the downtown area than Progressive.  There hasn’t been one with a better view of the skyline that truly defines what Cleveland is (sorry Seattle, Safeco is cool and all…but it’s facing the wrong way!!  You’re sky is cool though).  Finally, there hasn’t been a stadium that makes you feel like you’re part of the action, no matter where you sit, better than Progressive.

Baseball games are amazing and something that everyone needs to experience, even if you don’t love the game.  And if you’re going to go to a great game on a cool summer evening, why not pick the greatest park in the league right?

The 5 Most Underrated Cleveland Indians

They always say that baseball is one of the most team-oriented sports that exists.  Since players are so specialized, especially with pitching, there is no way that a good team can be good  because of one person alone.  Granted, there is always going to be those couple players that make the team shine like the Ortiz-s or the Sabathia-s, however there are a lot of people that never get any credit at all.  Just think about it, can you name EVERY player that played for the Red Sox when they won the World Series last year?  I mean ALL of them?  The answer is probably no.  So let’s take a moment, and think about that.  Here are, to me, the most underrated Indians players of the modern era.

5.  Aaron Fultz – Pitcher

lkjhI know what you’re thinking and I can already feel the judgement, but let’s be honest, for the one season we had him on the main roster, he really was pretty good!  First off, he was with us that classic year of 2007, which should instantly put some noteritey on this guy.  He was usually pretty quiet however.  He ended the season with a 4-3 record, however he ended with an ERA of 2.92…yes 2.92!  A lot of people gave him flack saying his arm would never hold up to the test of time, and while he never really had the star studded career he did with the Giants, he surely was worth what what we paid him.  Honestly, I think if we used him a little more that season the results might have been a little different.  While he did give up 31 hits, he was pretty reliable for what he was worth.

Sadly, the 2007 season with the Indians was his last.  After this season he tried to look elsewhere for a home, but never quite found one.  He hasn’t been heard from since, and is probably just at home polishing that chiseled face of his.

4.  David Dellucci – Outfielder

medium_Dellucci-designated for-assignmentHailing from Louisiana, David Dellucci is one of the most underrated outfielders that has probably ever played for the Indians.  Shadowed by the big headed players of the late 2000’s like Grady Sizemore, a lot of people forget just about how amazing of a fielder he actually was, let alone his reliable hitting.

For all three seasons with the Indians, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage recording 2,400 outs his first two seasons!  He was an animal and, quite literally, never let anything by him.  The only fault that was accredited him was the fact that he was only 5’10”,  a stature that is very rare with outfielders.  However, even though this never affected his game, he was forever shadowed by the other “greats” of the 2007-09 seasons, even with his batting average of almost .275 for three straight years.  He wasn’t the guy you’d call up for the grand slam, but he sure got on base if you wanted him to.  Sadly, the horrible cloud of steroid use started to float above his head as well, and he could never quite recover.

After he was cut halfway through the 2009 season, he headed over to Toronto for the rest of his career, where he began to fall off.  After that season  he was cut, and hasn’t returned to baseball since.

3.  Paul Byrd – Pitcher

indians6Out of everyone on this list, Paul Byrd is the only one that really got any sort of recognition, and while he still might ring in peoples minds, he sadly never got credit for the things he accomplished.

While he had an average ERA riding around 5 or 6 the three seasons he was in Cleveland, in 2007, the year that mattered, he went 15-8, and scored one of the best records for a pitcher that season.  His wind up and throw was oddly equal to his name with that funky thing he would do with his arms, but hey, it worked.  Unfortunately, he also fell under greats that he just would never be able to pass up, and while he was never a hall of fame pitcher for the club, he was a key reason we got as far was we did in 2007.  Something that rarely is ever attached to his name.

Oddly enough, the following season he rubbed salt in Cleveland’s wounds and headed to Boston to finish up his career.  However, he became nothing more then a back up there, and faded away into the dark.

2.  Matt Laporta – Infield/Outfield

laporta“LaPorta-Potty?  Really?”  Okay I get it, he has a HORRIBLE connotation with the Cleveland fans, but if you look past all of the artificial things we hate about him, he actually was a very essential part to the team!  For one thing, he never played for any other team, and was with us his entire career…even though that was only 4 seasons.

One thing that people seem to forget about is the fact that his was essentially impossible to hit past, seriously, this guy was like a vacuum.  In 2010 and 2011 he had 2,400 outs each, and when he played first base…forget it, you were done.  It was like he had the reach of Mr. Fantastic.  However this always seems to get past fans who remember him playing, and they can only seem him as the…odd…guy he really was.  He won games for us though in the long run, which is all that should matter.

He had a moderate swing, and almost led the team in homeruns for two seasons, though that also never helped his case for some reason, and he was always the butt of peoples jokes.  Don’t worry Matt, I think you’re cool.

1.  Lou Marson – Catcher

LouMarsonPointsLast, but not least, the guy we love, the guy we hate, and honestly… the guy no one ever remembers.  He has to claim the number one spot simply for how weird of a player he really was, and while he wasn’t the gold gem we thought he was going to be, he was still pretty good.

However let’s get this out of the way by admitting his batting was HORRIBLE…seriously, he couldn’t hit a beach-ball.  Though when you think about it, there are a lot of  our more well known players that couldn’t hit anything…I’m looking at you Hafner.

Anyways, putting that aside let’s look at his catching skills.  I honestly think even now he might be one of the best catchers in the AL.  For two seasons, he had MORE outs then some infielders!  What is that!  Plus, the pitchers loved him.  His calls were clear and he always knew how to trick a batter and jam him up.  So why did we hate him so much?  Why don’t people remember him?  The truth of it is, he wasn’t a good hitter.  Let’s be honest, if a player doesn’t hit well, or make amazing dive catches, the audience doesn’t really notice.  They never notice  how great a player can be behind the scenes until he is gone…case and point.

Sadly his last season here in CLE was plagued by injuries, and he took a long time to recover.  This sent him back to the minors, and out of the light completely.  And when he was ready to come back, we just kind of pushed him away back to Philly.

Without a doubt, Lou is one of the greatest underrated players we have ever had, which is sad.  He was a truly cool dude and needed some more time here, but unfortunately the organization never thought the same.

So next time you’re looking at the Indians rosters, remember these guys and what they did for us.  While they might not be a household name, they were still Indians.

The Great Giambino…Back for one more?

ESPN.com

ESPN.com

Mr. Jason Giambi, what a great guy right?  43 years old and he plays better than anyone I know, which makes me feel funny, but good.

Let’s be honest, we were all a little scared last season when we first heard the news that good ol’ Giambi was headed to Cleveland after his deal with becoming the COACH, not a player, of the Rockies fell through.  But in all honesty I really didn’t feel that confident with the decisions of that off-season anyway…man I was wrong.  With only a few swings of the bat and a great award-winning smile, he quickly became the fan favorite, and a man-crush to many…except anyone who lives in Chicago or has once admitted that they were a fan of the White Sox, and for good reason.

Funny story about Giambi.  When I was in 5th grade back in 2001 (again showing my age), we had this project to teach us how to write and mail a letter.  Those were the good old days…..anyways, my teacher was big into baseball, and coming from someone who is also big into baseball, this guy even beat me…and I write on a blog!  I remember he  had a huge deck of baseball cards sitting on his desk, and one at a time we had our names called, and when we went to the front of the room we had to pick a card, and whoever you got was the player you sent a fan letter too.

Now seriously, I was how young?  So naturally I had NO idea who any of these people were, even though I was pretty into the game for a kid.  They were essentially just faces of people with baseball bats and MLB logos, I had no idea what was going on.  But that day when I got called to the front, it was destiny as I picked up the card from the Jason himself, from one of the years he played for the OAKLAND A’s, I think it was 1998 if I can remember correctly.

Cleveland.com

Cleveland.com

A lot of other students got rookies, which was good for them.  After we wrote our letters weeks began to pass by.  The other kids who wrote to rookies got stuff back within days.  Mostly with another letter from the player, but some with actual autographed stuff!  I loved baseball, so naturally I got envious as weeks passed by, nothing.  Months passed by, nothing.  YEARS passed by…still nothing.  After a while I forgot I ever sent him a letter at all, a letter from a young ball player simply asking for a response.

I won’t lie to you, I got a little upset with him, though I began to realize his agent probably intercepted it and honestly he probably never even ever laid his eyes on it.  However,  I couldn’t help but be a little mad.  When I heard he was head to my home land, it brought a little anger back.  Though I put feelings aside, and waited to see what he could do, and I am glad I did.

It became apparent very quickly once he started with the team that he was something special for the Indians and that, maybe my negative feelings towards him were unjustified.

Cleveland.com

Cleveland.com

After his first pinch hit homerun, and then his SECOND pinch hit walk off against Chicago, I realized that all the hate I ever had for him was gone, and he quickly became one of my favorite people on the team.  The last season was magical, and he was a huge part of that.  Not only did he play amazing on the field, it was clear that he was one of the most loved guys in the clubhouse and added energy to the team that helped push us into the post season for the first time in years.  He even would give PEREZ hugs after the games he blew “because he needed it.”  With a personality like that, there is no way you’re not only going to win over the crowd, but become a players favorite as well.

A lot of people hate him, or don’t think that he belongs in the league because of his age and needs to hang it up.  Remember though, he tried that in Colorado, it just wasn’t his time…their loss.  Besides all of the personality pluses he has, he actually is an amazing DH for his age.  He is one of the MOST reliable DH’s in the league besides maybe Ortiz over there in Boston.  While he is always swinging for the fences, if he needs to hit…he will.  He might not be the best runner in world, but if you hit it to the gap, who cares about that anyway?  That’s what a pinch runner is for.

ESPN.com

ESPN.com

All in all, even though he never sent me that card back, I still love Giambi in Cleveland.  I think he has a lot to offer in this season, however, I do agree with the minor league contract.  He is getting old, and that might have just been a magical season, but I do think he needs another shot at it, and hey, if he doesn’t do well in Arizona, at least we have him as a coach!

So Giambi, even though you never returned my letter and baseball card from when I was kid, I have faith in you and boy am I glad you’re an Indian.  I really only see amazing things coming from this guy, both as a player and as a coach, and maybe one day, when all the hype dies down…you can finally send me back that card.