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Manny Acta on Bob Feller

By sstorm Published: March 31, 2011

Second-year Indians manager Manny Acta summed up the life of former Indians pitching great Bob Feller rather poignantly when he adressed the media Thursday before the Indians workout prior to Friday's season-opener against the Chicago White Sox.

"It's too bad that a big majority of the young people in our country don't know what Bob Feller actually meant to America and to baseball," Acta said after attending Feller's public memorial service earlier in the day. "Bob Feller gave his life, his soul to the Cleveland Indians, Major League baseball and most importantly, to America. I don't know how many athletes in any sport - you name it - at 23 years of age would volunteer to go right now to Afghanistan for four years in the middle of their prime."

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Tribe acquires minor league outfielder

By Sheldon Published: March 31, 2011

The Indians obtained minor-league outfielder Bubba Bell from the Red Sox for cash considerations.

Bell, 28, batted .293 with 17 doubles, six home runs, 46 runs and 49 RBI at Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010. He was a 39th-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Nicholls State and has been assigned to Columbus.

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Tribe roster set

By Sheldon Published: March 28, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: The Indians made four more cuts to trim the major-league camp to 33 players.

Nevertheless, they have picked their 25-man roster, and the only chore remaining is to clear spots on the 40-man roster to make room for non-roster players who made the club.

This morning moves mean that Lou Marson will be the backup catcher, Frank Herrmann, Justin Germano and Vinnie Pestano will join the bullpen and that Adam Everett will be the utility infielder, specializing in shortstop.

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Tribe delays final decisions one more day

By Sheldon Published: March 27, 2011

GLENDALE, ARIZ. Spring training is almost over. The Indians' deep thinkers should know who they want on the team, so why haven't the final announcements been made?

Will it be Lou Marson at backup catcher and Adam Everett at the utility infield spot? How about the bullpen? Will Frank Herrmann, Vinnie Pestano and Justin Germano fill out the bullpen?

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Tomlin struggles in Tribe loss to Giants

By Sheldon Published: March 27, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: For one of the few times spring, Josh Tomlin had problems retiring batters, as the Indians lost to the Giants 8-5 Saturday night.

Tomlin extricated himself from a bases-loaded jam in the first and retired the side in order in the second but gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Belt in the third. After an uneventful fourth, Tomlin got in trouble in the fifth, allowing a two-run homer to Roger Kieschnick and a bloop RBI single to Belt.

Altogether, Tomlin gave up five runs, eight hits and one walk, striking out five and throwing two wild pitches in five innings. Late last week, Tomlin was officially named to the rotation. Did he have a letdown after his intensive drive to win the job? Nobody knows for sure.

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Tomlin fifth starter; Duncan, Buck reserve outfielders

By Sheldon Published: March 25, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: The Indians announced that Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan officially have made the team as reserve outfielders and that Jack Hannahan would open the season at third.

The Tribe also reduced the training camp roster to five, leaving 38 players. Left-hander David Huff, right-hander Jeanmar Gomez and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera were optioned to Columbus. Right-handers Anthony Reyes and Doug Mathis were re-assigned to the minor-league camp.

Reyes' bid to win a job in the rotation hit a snag because of a sore elbow. He has returned to the mound but did not have enough time to contend for the 25-man roster. Mathis, signed to a minor-league contract, has an out-clause in his deal. He will take a day or two to decide whether he wants to accept the assignment to Triple-A or become a free agent.

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Huff stops Giants but probably too late to make the club

By Sheldon Published: March 25, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.: David Huff pitched five shutut innings against the Giants Thursday night, but his impressive performance probably was too little, too late in his quest to win a job in the Indians' rotation.

Manager Manny Acta announced earlier in the day that he would reveal the identity of the pitcher who will fill the only vacant spot in the rotation. The overwhelming favorite is Josh Tomlin.

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More social media at Progressive Field

By sstorm Published: March 24, 2011

The Cleveland Indians announced the launch of the club’s social media strategy for the 2011 Major League Baseball Season. In 2011, the Tribe will build upon a successful social media foothold established in 2010 to further engage fans and promote the Indians brand, the game of baseball, Progressive Field and the City of Cleveland.

Quickly becoming one of “MLB’s most Twitter-friendly teams” according to ESPN the Magazine, the Indians plan to offer increased access to members of the organization in 2011 via social media platforms and interactive events. The Tribe’s strategic plan also includes a physical enhancement at Progressive Field to capitalize on the Tribe’s social media success in 2010 and the launch of a new innovative social media ticket offer.

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Vintage Base Ball’s National Convention Comes to Cleveland

By sstorm Published: March 24, 2011

The Cleveland Blues Base Ball Club is proud to host this year’s official Vintage Base Ball Association (VBBA) Convention.
This weekend, almost 60 players will represent more than 40 teams from across the country. Dressed in period attire, teams will face-off in 1800’s-era, bare-handed base ball matches at Cleveland’s historic League Park.

On Saturday from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m., “hurlers” and “behinds” will report to League Park. Fans – or “cranks” – are invited to tour Cleveland’s legendary ballpark and view vintage base ball matches as they would have been played over a century ago. Games will be held rain or shine. Street parking is available and lawn chairs are permitted.

Attendees at this year’s VBBA Convention will hear from radio 100.1’s “Ed in the Morning,” author and baseball historian Scott Longert and more. The VBBA is now entering its 16th year of operation. The organization has grown from 13 clubs to over 70 during that time.

As a direct result of the efforts of the VBBA, the game of vintage base ball has grown, by some estimates, to over 250 clubs in North America. Visit www.vbba.org for more information.

This year’s VBBA Convention is brought to you by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cleveland Blues Base Ball Club, League Park Society, Cleveland Indians, City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sport Commission, Positively Cleveland, The Clevelander Bar & Grill, Bertman’s Ballpark Mustard and many more.

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Lewis off to Columbus; Smith likely to start season on DL

By Sheldon Published: March 22, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Jensen Lewis cleared waivers this morning and was outrighted to Columbus, ending his bid to capture a spot in the bullpen.

When he came to camp, he was one of the favorites to win one of two jobs as a reliever, but in his last two appearances he struggled to get anyone out. The final straw with his bosses probably was giving up two, three-run homers in the same innings in a game against Milwaukee last week.

""He's had some success in the past, and we need to get him back on track,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""Maybe he can help us down the road. Plus we can't be unfair to the other guys who are throwing the ball well.''

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Report: Lewis on waivers

By Sheldon Published: March 21, 2011

SURPRISE, ARIZ.: According to an internet report, Jensen Lewis has been placed on waivers, which is no surprise if it is true.

Lewis has struggled in his past two outings and seems to have put his spot in the bullpen in jeopardy. Because he is out of options, the Indians cannot send him to Triple-A unless he clears waivers. Moreover, the club can find out if a team is willing to make a deal for Lewis if his name is on the waiver wire.

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Weglarz injures knee; Sizemore makes spring debut

By Sheldon Published: March 20, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Outfielder Nick Weglarz is back in Cleveland to get a second opinion after tearing the meniscus in his left knee last Thursday while he was running the bases.

Doctors here made the initial diagnosis. Weglarz will see Dr. Rick Parker at the Cleveland Clinic to determine the treatment, which could include surgery. Weglarz, 23, is a promising power hitter who hit 13 home runs (combined) at Akron and Columbus in 87 games last year.

Grady Sizemore tested his surgically repaired left knee in a game for tghe first time since May 16, 2010, when he led off as the designated hitter and grounded to second base.

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Donald out until early, mid April

By Sheldon Published: March 19, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: After Jason Donald continued to experience pain in his left hand, he underwent a C-T scan that showed a crack in the bone of his middle finger.

""Jason had residual symptoms during his minor-league (defensive) work a few days ago,'' head trainer Lonnie Soloff said this morning. ""A C-T scan showed a small crack at the base of his long finger. He will have no baseball activity for seven days, at which time he will return to hitting.''

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Judy among latest cuts

By Sheldon Published: March 19, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: The Indians cut three more players from the spring roster, including promising reliever Josh Judy.

Judy was optioned to Columbus, and right-handers Joe Martinez and Yohan Pino were reassigned to the minor-league camp. Forty-four players remain in camp.

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Tribe blasts Rangers

By Sheldon Published: March 19, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: The Indians hammered 10 hits, including six for extra bases, in Friday night's 12-6 win over the Rangers at Goodyear Ballpark.

Asdrubal Cabrera contributed a solo homer and a two-run double; Shin-Soo Choo ripped a bases loaded triple and a double, and Matt LaPorta doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored three.

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Gomez, Huff ineffective

By Sheldon Published: March 18, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: If they were still in the competition to become the Tribe's No. 5 starter (they probably were not), Jeanmar Gomez and David Huff did nothing to help themselves this afternoon in a split-squad game won by the Royals 6-5.

Gomez started and gave up three runs, four hits and two walks in four innings, raising his spring ERA to 6.43. Huff followedand allowed three runs ande six hits in 2 1/3 innings, lifting his ERA to 8.25. Neither pitcher has been able to keep pace with Josh Tomlin, the likely winner in the battle to round out the rotation.

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Aeros and Clippers to play two early April exhibition games

By sstorm Published: March 18, 2011

The Aeros will play an exhibition game against the Indians Triple-A affiliate Columbus at Canal Park Monday, April 4 at 6:05 p.m.

All tickets will be $5 and seating will be General Admission for this exhibition game against the Clippers.

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Smith return delayed

By Sheldon Published: March 17, 2011

Joe Smith, sidelined with a strained ab muscle, doesn't know when he will be able to return to the mound.

""I played catch a couple of days ago, and I still felt it,'' he said this morning. ""I'm supposed to try again over the weekend.'' The injury occurred when Smith threw a pitch.

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Lofton back in camp

By Sheldon Published: March 17, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Kenny Lofton returned to camp for the second time this spring to help educate players on the art of playing the outfield and running the bases.

The former Tribe All-Star was here earlier and spent a week instructing players and telling stores. Lofton will remain in camp through Sunday.

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Aeros add more to the menu at Canal Park

By sstorm Published: March 17, 2011

The Akron Aeros have spent much of the off -season developing unique food items such as the “WonderDog”, the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, the “Nice 2 Meat You” Burger and “3 Dog Night”.

Now, the club is pleased to add the “Farmer’s Market” concession stand, with multiple healthy food options, to the Canal Park menu this season.

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Chisenhall among latest cuts

By Sheldon Published: March 14, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: The Indians trimmed seven more players from big-league camp, including third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.

Right-hander Zach McAllister and outfielder Nick Weglarz were optioned to Columbus; right-handers Zach Putnam and Alex White, catcher Juan Apodaca, second baseman Jason Kipnis and Chisenhall were reassigned to the minor-league camp.

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Bad news for Donald; good news for Reyes

By Sheldon Published: March 13, 2011

PEORIA, ARIZ.: Jason Donald's bruised left hand will keep him out of the lineup until at least Wednesday. By that time, Anthony Reyes will be back on the mound.

Donald was scratched from Saturday's game and has been told to limit his baseball activities to throwing and playing catch for three days.

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Key step for Sizemore

By Sheldon Published: March 12, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Grady Sizemore will begin the final test of his surgically repaired knee on Sunday, when he runs the bases.

""If everything keeps progressing, he will play in games some time between the 20th and 30th,'' said manager Manny Acta, purposely trying to be vague. More than likely, if Sizemore suffers no setbacks, it will be much closer to the 20th than the 30th.

Even when Sizemore begins to play center field or be the designated hitter in exhibition games, you won't see him playing nine innings.

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Johnson arrives with wrist immobilized; eight players sent packing

By Sheldon Published: March 11, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Nick Johnson, who has been in the Phoenix area for five months trying to stay in shape, reported to the Indians' camp this morning with his right wrist immobilized.

He underwent a fourth operation to repair the wrist last month at the Cleveland Clinic, so don't expect him to be out taking batting practice any time soon.

Asked when he might be able to play, Johnson said, ""I don't klnow. I had the stitches out today. Now, I need to get my range of motion back and get the stiffness out, then I can start swinging. They took the tendon out of the wrist, so hopefully there won't be any more pain.''

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Donald might return Thursday; Reyes still throwing bullpens

By Sheldon Published: March 9, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Jason Donald (bruised hand) took batting practice this morning and expects to play third base in Thursday's game against the Cubs. Anthony Reyes (elbow soreness) will throw his third bullpen session Friday and hopes to cleared to pitch in a game after that.

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Akron Aeros Single-Game Tickets on Sale Saturday

By sstorm Published: March 9, 2011

With the Aeros 2011 season at Canal Park less than one month away, single-game tickets will go on sale Saturday, March 12 at 9 a.m.

Single-game tickets for the 2011 season will be available for purchase at 9 a.m. through the Aeros website (www.akronaeros.com). Aeros single-game tickets will go on sale by phone (330.253.5153) at 10 a.m. Canal Park’s box office and Infield Outfitters (the Aeros Team Shop at Canal Park) will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 for in-person ticket purchases.

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Crowe's shoulder shows improvement

By Sheldon Published: March 8, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Trevor Crowe has begun taking dry swings in the batting cage and might start a throwing program next week.

Neither of those activities is likely to allow him to compete for a backup spot in the Indians' outfield before the end of spring training. But at least surgery remains a distant option for now.

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Tribe signs Nick Johnson

By Sheldon Published: March 7, 2011

GLENDALE, ARIZ.: As expected, the Indians signed veteran first baseman Nick Johnson to a minor-league contract this afternoon, but the talented and oft-injured ex-Yankee won't be seeing the field for awhile.

Since last May, the 32-year-old has undergone three operations on his right wrist, the most recent in February at the Cleveland Clinic. He has a career .401 on-base percentage and .270 batting average with New York, Washington, and Florida. The wrist injury limited him to 24 games in 2010.

Johnson will report to big-league camp next week to continue his rehabilitation.

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All but three Tribe players under contract

By Sheldon Published: March 7, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: The Indians announced the signing of 25 players to one-year contracts, leaving only three holdouts on the 40-man roster.

Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco, Ezequiel Carrera, Trevor Crowe, Kelvin De La Cruz, Jason Donald, Shelley Duncan, Jared Goedert, Nick Hagadone, Frank Herrmann, David Huff, Josh Judy, Corey Kluber, Matt LaPorta, Lou Marson, Justin Masterson, Zach McAllister, Jayson Nix, Vinnie Pestano, Hector Rondon, Tony Sipp, Mitch Talbot, Jess Todd, Luis Valbuena and Nick Weglarz all agreed to terms.

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X-rays negative on Donald's hand

By Sheldon Published: March 5, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Jason Donald's sore left hand turned out to be only a bruinse.

After the Indians' third baseman was struck in the hand in the second inning with a fastball thrown by White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, he stayed in the game to play third but was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the third. He was taken for X-rays, which showed fracture to any of the bones in the top of the hand.

""It was a heater from Floyd that got me pretty good in the hand,'' Donald said. ""But X-rays were negative, thankfully. Hopefully, in a day or two I can play again.''

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Donald leaves game after being hit in hand

By Sheldon Published: March 5, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Jason Donald got hit in the left hand with a Gavin Floyd fastball in the second inning of today's game between the Indians and White Sox.

He stayed in to play third in the top of the third but was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the third and was taken for X-rays, the results of which are not known yet.

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Fire at Goodyear Ballpark

By Sheldon Published: March 4, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: A blaze broke out in the laundry room when a clothes dryer caught fire at Goodyear Ballpark about 6 this morning.

There was little damage beyond the room, except for standing water near an indoor batting cage. Nobody was injured, and todays' game was to be played on schedule.

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Acta praises Talbot, Tomlin and never mind the numbers

By Sheldon Published: March 3, 2011

SURPRISE, ARIZ.: Depite giving up a combined three runs and eight hits in five innings, manager Manny Acta praised the workmanship of Mitch Talbot and Josh Tomlin in the Indians' 11-9 loss to the Rangers today.

""I liked the way Talbot threw first-pitch strikes,'' Acta said. ""Only one guy was ahead 1-and-0. I also liked the way Tomlin went to his curveball the last inning. It's a good pitch, and he needs to throw all his pitches.''

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Laffey jettisoned to clear roster spot

By Sheldon Published: March 3, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The trade that sent Aaron Laffey to the Mariners in exchange for a minor-league second baseman was consummated mostly to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Chad Durbin.

""We had to make a difficult decision for our roster,'' General Manager Chris Antonetti said this morning. ""Ultimately, we were able to place Aaron on a team that had room on its 40-man, but primarily it was to clear a spot for Chad Durbin.''

Laffey was one of five nominal contenders to be the Indians' fifth starter, but his chances of beating out Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, Anthony Reyes and David Huff were slim.

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Tribe trainer: Grady is where we hoped he would be

By Sheldon Published: March 2, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: While Indians fans might be prone to hand-wringing and frustration at the plight of Grady Sizemore, the club's heaed trainer, Lonnie Soloff, is pleased with the outfielder's progress after undergoing microfracture surgery to his knee last summer.

Asked whether Sizemore is behind or keeping up with the rehab schedule, Soloff said, ""He's where we hoped he would be.''

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Durbin signing offical; roster move next

By Sheldon Published: March 1, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians made the Chad Durbin signing official, but he won't throw in games for seven to 10 days, because he has not been in a spring training camp.

The next issue is who gets lopped off the 40-man roster to make room for Durbin. It appears that Luis Valbuena is the most vulnerable.
The Tribe is well-covered at second base, and Valbuena has declined as a hitter the past two years. Another possibility: Aaton Laffey might be expendable, but he is left-handed, can start and relieve and is more tradeable than Valbuena.

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Sizemore not likely to start season on time

By Sheldon Published: March 1, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: What has long been suspected about Grady Sizemore was stated officially by General Manager Chris Antonetti this morning.

""There is still a possibility, but it's less likely than more likely he'll be ready for the start of the season,'' Antonetti said. ""We're hoping it will be close to the start. Whether it's a few days or a few weeks, we don't know yet.''

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Kearns reveals DUI arrest

By Sheldon Published: March 1, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Indians outfielder Austin Kearns revealed this morning that he was arrested on a DUI charge in his hometown of Lexington, Ky. on Feb. 12, a few days before coming to spring training.

An off-duty Lexington police officer made the arrest, and a March 10 court date has been set for a hearing.

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