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Indians television schedule announced

By jcfortun Published: January 29, 2009

All 162 Cleveland Indians baseball games and seven spring training games will be telecast this season, the Indians announced Thursday in a press release.

Of the 162 games, 154 of them will be broadcast on SportsTime Ohio. Fox has the rights to other eight regular season games. The Spring training games will be on SportsTime Ohio.

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No room on roster for Marte

By jcfortun Published: January 29, 2009

In a bit of shocking news, Cleveland Indians third baseman of the future Andy Marte has little time left in Cleveland, MLB.com beat writer Anthony Castrovince reports.

Marte has not performed up to expectations in his three seasons with the organization, although he didn't have many opportunities to either.

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Torre takes a few jabs at Pavano

By jcfortun Published: January 29, 2009

Apparently Joe Torre wasn’t a fan of former Yankee and current Indians pitcher Carl Pavano, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.

Kepner is currently reading the Joe Torre/Tom Verducci collaboration, The Yankee Years, as fast as he can. Although he isn't done, he took some time to list some previously unpublished juicy tidbits about the Indians free agent acquisition and many others.

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New Front Office simulator released

By jcfortun Published: January 27, 2009

Monday marked the release of a new game and possibly a new era for baseball fans when 2k Sports released its newest game: MLB Front Office Manager.

The game -- which is now available on PlayStation 3, Xbox360 and PC --puts gamers into the front office. Players must recruit the world, find gems in the amatuer draft, control minor league rosters, develop the entire organization, make trades and lead your team to a World Series title. Everything a real general manager does for his team.

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Sean Casey Looking to Retire

By sstorm Published: January 25, 2009

I thought it was too bad to see this short report By MLB.Com's Steve Gilbert on former Indian Sean Casey. I always loved the Big Guy.

'The Mayor' hit .302 in 12 seasons with five different clubs

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Manny won't return to Tribe, MLB.com says

By jcfortun Published: January 24, 2009

The LA times decided to give us an update on the ongoing saga with Manny Ramirez. Bill Shaikin's update?

There is no update.

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ESPN: Indians have five in top prospects

By Ron Published: January 22, 2009

ESPN's Keith Law has put together his top 100 prospects in baseball. It is behind ESPN's paided-content wall but here are the Indians minor-leaguers he has chosen.
13. Carlos Santana, catcher
27. Matt LaPorta, first baseman
58. Adam Miller, pitcher
61. Nick Weglarz, outfielder/first baseman
66. David Huff, pitcher

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Vizquel signs deal with Rangers

By jcfortun Published: January 22, 2009

Former Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel is officially a member of the Texas Rangers, well sort of.

Vizquel has signed a minor league contract with the Rangers and will be invited to Spring training. Vizquel is expected to be the insurance policy should 20-year-old prospect Elvis Andrus struggle in his first major league season. Gold Glove shortstop Michael Young has already been asked to move to third to make room for Andrus.

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Jeff Kent to announce retirement

By jcfortun Published: January 21, 2009

One of the best offensive second basemen of the last 20 years has decided to call it quits. Jeff Kent, who once saw 102 at bats for the Indians in 1996, will announce his retirement Thursday.

Kent leaves the game with 2,461 hits, 377 home runs and 1,518 RBI in his 17-year career. His career line is: .356 OBP/.500 SLG/.290 AVG.

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Indians to be well represented at WBC

By jcfortun Published: January 21, 2009

The Cleveland Indians should be well represented at the World Baseball Classic, MLB.com beat writer Anthony Castrovince reported two days ago.

Fourteen Indians players could be competing in the WBC:

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Don't forget Choo on fantasy draft day

By jcfortun Published: January 21, 2009

The baseball blog, Fangraphs, recently reminded us that Shin-Soo Choo may be a valuable fantasy league pickup this season.

Fangraphs points out that the left-handed hitting Choo did have some success against lefties last year, albeit in 84 at bats.

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Vizquel now eyed by Rangers

By jcfortun Published: January 17, 2009

As it turns out the report earlier in the week stating former Indian shortstop Omar Vizquel was taking his act out to San Diego was a little premature. The Padres filled that role with 2002 World Series fan favorite David Eckstein.

Meanwhile, the 1997 World Series shortstop -- that diving stop in game 6 will always be amazing -- is still without a job. New reports have Omar on the verge of joining the Texas Rangers, which would put him right in the middle of the Michael Young - Elvis Andrus fiasco.

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Pedro to Indians? Possible

By Ron Published: January 17, 2009

A published report in Pittsburgh on Saturday listed the Indians among several teams who have an interest in free-agent pitcher Pedro Martinez.

Martinez, 37, has professed a foremost interest in returning to the New York Mets but has had exploratory talks with the Indians, Pirates and Florida Marlins.

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Two more invited to Tribe camp

By Ron Published: January 16, 2009

The Indians continue to add to the pitchers who will be in camp in Arizona in less than a month. Friday, they added Matt Herges and Jack Cassel. Both are right-handed, and both are non-roster invitees.

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Hall Player to be Named in Paul Byrd Trade

By sstorm Published: January 16, 2009

The Cleveland Indians announced late Thursday that they acquired minor league outfielder Mickey Hall from the Boston Red Sox to complete the August 12th trade that sent veteran right-hander Paul Byrd to the Red Sox for a Player to be Named later.

Hall, 24, spent most of last season at Double-A Portland, where he hit .232 (61-for-263) with 16 2B, 13 HR and 35 RBI in 82 games with the Sea Dogs. Hall also spent time with the Class-A Lancaster JetHawks where he hit .216 (8-for-37) in 12 games. The Marietta, GA native was a second-round pick by the Red Sox in the 2003 draft and owns a 6-year minor league career average of .239 (434-for-1815) in 538 games.

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Hafner says he's on schedule to start Opening Day

By sstorm Published: January 15, 2009

Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner met with local media Thursday afternoon in the Tribe locker room at Progressive Field to give an update on his health status since having offseason surgery to clean out his right shoulder.
The slimmed-down Hafner was in good spirits while discussing how he lost 10 pounds and how well his rehab schedule is going.
Hafner, who has not swung a bat since the end of last seson, said he will begin a hitting program next week when he arrives at the club's new spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz.
"It feels like I haven't played for so long, I'm excited to get back out there and play again," he said.

Here's some of the topics the left-handed slugger talked about:

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LaPorta, Brantley get training camp invites

By jcfortun Published: January 15, 2009

Some of the Indians best prospects, including Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley, will be in Arizona with the major-league club this preseason. Here is the press release:

The Cleveland Indians today invited eight (8) players to Major League camp from their player development system, bringing the total number of non-roster spring invitees to 16 for the 2009 spring (listed at the bottom)

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Byrd intends to sit out first half of season

By jcfortun Published: January 14, 2009

Former Indians pitcher Paul Byrd is taking the Roger Clemens approach to semiretirement: sit out half a season and try to sign with a contender midway through, Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com reported.

Rosenthal writes:

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Vizquel to Padres?

By jcfortun Published: January 14, 2009

Channel 4 San Diego's Emmy winning sports reporter John Weisbarth reported yesterday former Indian short stop Omar Vizquel could join the San Diego Padres as soon as today.

Vizquel didn't hit much last year for the San Francisco Giants, but his Gold Glove defensive hasn't slipped much at all.

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Indians sign two to minor league contracts

By jcfortun Published: January 14, 2009

The Cleveland Indians signed right-handed pitchers Kirk Saarloos and Greg Aquino to minor league contracts today. The two will be non-rsoter invitees to Spring training.

Saarloos is a journeyman pitcher who began his seven-year career with the Houston Astros. He has also pitched with the Reds and, most recently, the Oakland A's. His career record is 29-30 with a 5.02 ERA.

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Checking in on Manny Ramirez

By jcfortun Published: January 13, 2009

San Francisco Giants beat writer Henry Schulman recently posted a little bit more on the possibility of former Indian/Red Sox/Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez signing with the Giants.

Schulman breaks down the financial demands of Scott Boras and implications of ManRam in the Bay. A signing doesn't look imminent.

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Former farmhand Max Ramirez doing well

By jcfortun Published: January 13, 2009

Former Indians farmhand Max Ramirez is excelling in the Texas Rangers organization. The catcher is the No. 8 prospect in the Rangers organization, according to Baseball America.

Ramirez just won Rookie of the Year in the Venezuelan Winter League on Tuesday, MLB.com reports.

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Around baseball: Henderson, Rice make Hall

By jcfortun Published: January 12, 2009

On Monday afternoon former Boston Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice was finally -- after 15 years of waiting -- voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rickey Henderson, who is arguably considered the greatest lead off hitter of all time, was also voted in. It is Henderson's first year of eligibility. Below is a collection of thoughts from around baseball on the Cooperstown selections.

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News says the voters got it half right, with Rice being the player who he says is still undeserving. He also implies that pitcher Bert Blyleven deserved more than his 62.7 percent of the votes.

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Rangers Young will be tough to trade

By jcfortun Published: January 12, 2009

Texas Rangers short stop Michael Young was recently asked to move from his position of shortstop to third base in order to make room for super prospect Elvis Andrus, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the Mark Texiera trade.

How did Young respond? By asking for a trade, reports MLB.com.

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Two Tribe members look to hit the comeback trail

By sstorm Published: January 12, 2009

I like this story by the Canton Rep's Josh Weir on possible Comeback-Player-of-the-Year candidates - including two Indians in newcomer and right-handed pitcher Carl Pavano and All-Star catcher Victor Martinez. Of course, designated hitter Travis Hafner could have easily made the list as well.

Around baseball: Several players hope to recapture old magic in new locations

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Indians avoid arbitration with Shoppach, Aubrey back

By jcfortun Published: January 12, 2009

The Cleveland Indians avoided salary arbitration with catcher Kelly Shoppach Monday by signing him to a one-year deal, MLB.com staff writer Anthony Castrovince reports on his Indians blog, Castroturf. It is also now in an MLB.com story, which can be read here.

Castrovince is also reporting that first baseman Michael Aubrey, who was designated for assignment when Carl Pavano was signed last week, cleared waivers and has been out righted to Triple-A Columbus. He will be a non-roster invitee to spring training.

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Miller rehabbing, Choo playing in WBC

By jcfortun Published: January 10, 2009

Right-handed pitching prospect Adam Miller has started putting together some meaningful rehabilitation work in the Caribbean this off season, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports.

Miller, who was the Indians top-rated prospect for three-consecutive seasons by Baseball America, has battled injuries through out his young career. Last year it was finger problems that ended his season. This passage from Mayo's story was rather intriguing:

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Pavano likes fresh start

By Ron Published: January 9, 2009

Carl Pavano sounds very relieved to be out of New York and to be playing with the Indians.

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Shapiro puts Indians in position to win

By Sheldon Published: January 9, 2009

But for the depressed economy, the Indians would be the proud caretakers of a roster that includes Manny Ramirez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Rodriguez.

OK, maybe not. Not even General Manager Mark Shapiro would allow himself the luxury of imagining such a fantasy. Especially Shapiro, who is charged with the job of making hard-headed decisions for a team with definite budgetary limits.

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Reyes and other notes

By Sheldon Published: January 9, 2009

Anthony Reyes made an immediate impact after being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the second half of last season for the Indians. Now, he has earned a spot in the rotation.

‘‘Certainly if he is healthy, Reyes is going to be in our rotation,’’ Gbc Mark Gec GM Mark Shapiro said.

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Lee wins Bullet Rogan Award

By jcfortun Published: January 9, 2009

Cleveland Indian’s starting pitcher Cliff Lee seems to be racking up the accolades this off season.

The 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner is set to receive the Bullet Rogan Award as the American League’s best pitcher Saturday night at the Ninth Annual Legacy Awards of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

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Tribe adds to roster, minor league depth kept in check

By sstorm Published: January 9, 2009

A parent club rarely makes the kind of off-season additions to its major league club that the Indians have this winter without having to dip deep into their pool of minor league prospects.

Yet, with Tribe general manager Mark Shapiro admitting he’s likely done dealing with players set to begin reporting to spring training next month, much-needed additions such as closer Kerry Wood, third baseman Mark DeRosa, starting pitcher Carl Pavano and reliever Joe Smith may have cost the club a wad of cash, but little by way of bodies.

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Time to extend Lee's contract?

By jcfortun Published: January 8, 2009

Anthony Castrovince, the Cleveland Indians beat writer for MLB.com, is reporting it may be the right time to offer American League Cy Young winner Cliff Lee a contract extension. More importantly Lee may be willing to do it this offseason.

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Vizquel still looking for work

By jcfortun Published: January 8, 2009

Former Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel hasn't packed up his ball glove just yet. The 42-year-old, 11-time Gold Glove winner is still out searching for a new contract despite hitting .222 in a reduced role for the San Francisco Giants last season.

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Sickels releases his Indians prospect list

By jcfortun Published: January 8, 2009

Baseball writer John Sickels has been prepping his upcoming book, the 2009 Baseball Prospect Handbook, on his blog by releasing the top prospects for each team.

He recently released his top Cleveland Indians prospects with letter grades. Although the material on each is rather thin, it at least gives an indication as to organizational depth. Without further ado, here is his list:

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Tricky Trevor Hoffman signs with Brew crew

By jcfortun Published: January 8, 2009

Free agent closer Trevor Hoffman pulled the old switcheroo over the night miffing everyone -- read "Me" -- by passing on an offer by the home town Los Angeles Dodgers and signing with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The former San Diego Padre was thought to be keen on staying close to his Anaheim home. He played 16 seasons with the Padres and is baseball's all-time saves leader with 554 saves in 621 chances.

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Baldelli officially signs with Red Sox, Smoltz being finalized

By jcfortun Published: January 8, 2009

The Boston Globe's Red Sox blog, Extra Bases, has an update on the signing of former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli and future Hall of Famer John Smoltz.

Baldelli officially has joined the Red Sox on a one year contract.

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Lee says no to Team USA

By Ron Published: January 8, 2009

Cleveland.com has a report that Indians pitcher Cliff Lee told Team USA that he doesn't want to be considered for the roster in the World Baseball Classic. Grady Sizemore and Mark DeRosa have accepted invitations to play. The tournament starts March 7. The championship game is March 23 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

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Baldelli close with Red Sox, Smoltz just as close?

By jcfortun Published: January 8, 2009

Nick Cafardo, of The Boston Globe, is reporting that former Tampa Bay rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli is close to signing a contract with the Boston Red Sox.

The real interesting tidbit in the post though is this:

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Where will Ramirez land?

By jcfortun Published: January 7, 2009

Where, oh where will Manny Ramirez land? It wasn’t that long ago when ManRam had this to say after his Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs:

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Pavano newest Indians pitcher

By sstorm Published: January 7, 2009

The Indians are hoping free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano can turn around in one year in low-key Cleveland what he failed to do in four amid the bright lights of New York, signing the veteran right-hander to an incentive-laden one-year deal Tuesday.

The Indians hope Pavano, who turns 33 Thursday, can bolster their starting rotation, possibly sliding into the third spot behind reigning Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and young right-hander Fausto Carmona.

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Hoffman down to Dodgers, Brewers

By jcfortun Published: January 7, 2009

It appears as if former San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman is down to a decision between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Haudricourt doesn't like his team's chances of signing the Padre legend:

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