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Indians brave threatening skies and chilly temperatures

By Sheldon Published: February 28, 2010

Dark and threatening skies did not stop the Indians from doing their work outdoors this morning.

Thunderstorms and showers overnight dissipated into drizzle by 10 o'clock in the morning and then nothing. As Charles Nagy said, ""It only looks like it's going to rain.''

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Morning edition: Who's hitting second?

By Ron Published: February 28, 2010

Manny Acta is putting his mark on the Indians right away this spring, announcing that Grady Sizemore will be batting second in his lineup. Some have been calling for Grady to move down in the lineup, and Eric Wedge did tinkering with him lower in the lineup on occasion. Here is the story.

Acta also announced that Chris Perez will be his setup to get to Kerry Wood, who will close. Here is the notebook,

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Name from the past surfaces

By Sheldon Published: February 27, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: When is the last time you heard the name Ronnie Duncan uttered in a public place?

It's been years since Duncan's sports anchoring days on Cleveland television. He went on to be a ring announcer for boxing shows in Columbus, I believe, and today he surfaced at the Goodyear ballpark.

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Morning edition: Acta plays Wooden

By Ron Published: February 27, 2010

The first thing a manager does every spring when the full team arrives at camp is set the tone with a speech.

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Workouts start with curious innovation

By Sheldon Published: February 26, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians' first full squad workout this morning featured the usual fielding drills plus batting practice off live pitching, with one difference -- nobody swung.

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Reexamining the Indians 2007 prospects

By jcfortun Published: February 26, 2010

Four years ago Baseball America annointed the Indians farm system the 10th best in baseball.

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Morning edition: More on Big Russ

By Ron Published: February 26, 2010

Today is the first day of full workouts in camp at Goodyear, Ariz., with the first game coming next weekend.

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De La Cruz on Tribe's radar

By Sheldon Published: February 25, 2010

Kelvin De La Cruz was given some personalized instruction by pitching coach Tim Belcher during his bullpen session this morning.

De La Cruz has no chance to make the team out of training camp, but he was one of the Indians' brightest pitching prospects before he hurt his elbow early last season and was shut down for the duration. He probably will have to start the season at Class A Kinston again, but if he produces as expected, it won't be long until he is promoted to Double-A Akron.

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Signing Branyan brings more questions than answers

By sstorm Published: February 25, 2010

The Tribe finally signed veteran Russell Branyan yesterday after a week of speculation.

The signing didn't make any initial waves locally until first-year manager Manny Acta quickly then promptly dubbed Branyan the team's everyday first baseman.

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Morning edition: Who's on first?

By Ron Published: February 25, 2010

The Indians made it official Wednesday that Russell Branyan is on the roster. The surprise came in the announcement that he is the first baseman and that there is no plans to platoon him with youngster Matt LaPorta. Here is the story from Goodyear.

The notebook is about what players do to get focus before they pitch or hit. Sheldon focuses this on reliever Joe Smith. Here is the notebook.

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Branyan on, Gimenez off 40-man roster

By sstorm Published: February 24, 2010

A text from an Indians official said the Russell Branyan deal is now official. To make room on the Tribe's 40-man roster, the Indians outrighted catcher/utility man Chris Gimenez. Gimenez now becomes a spring training invitee.

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5 Tribe minor-leaguers in BA's top 100

By sstorm Published: February 24, 2010

While we wait with baited breath for the Indians to finalize their free-agent deal with veteran Russell Branyan (as a 40-man add, someone else has to be taken off - the hold up according to our Tribe beat writer Sheldon Ocker), let's switch our attention to where the Tribe's future really lies.

The following Indians farm hands were selected as a Top 100 prospect in all of minor league baseball by Baseball America.

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Tribe expects to make Branyan signing official today

By Sheldon Published: February 24, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians expected to announce Russell Branyan's signing some time this afternoon, but the process was being delayed while the front office figured out a way to make room for him on the 40-man roster.

Branyan, himself, was not expected to make an appearance at training camp until at least tomorrow, the day before the first official workout.

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Morning edition

By Ron Published: February 24, 2010

The Indians seem set for four of the five men in the starting rotation. One of the guys who is working to be that fifth man is David Huff. He led the Indians in wins last season. Yes, David Huff did with 11.

Here is Sheldon's main story on Huff.

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Branyan watch continues

By Sheldon Published: February 23, 2010

It's noon at the Indians' spring training complex, and the Russell Branyan watch is on.

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Indians reportedly reach deal with Branyan

By Dan Published: February 19, 2010

ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney is reporting that the Indians have reached a one-year deal with first baseman/designated hitter Russell Branyan. The deal is worth $2 million. Writes Olney:

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Spring in our step

By Ron Published: February 19, 2010

Our Indians coverage is about to ramp up again for the 2010 season.
Sheldon Ocker will have a spring analysis that will run in the paper on Sunday and should be available online late Saturday night.
He flies out to Goodyear, Ariz., on Sunday and his daily reportings will begin for Tuesday's paper.
We will continue to supplement the blog with opinions, notes and other items we think you Indians fans will like.
Make sure to email us with suggestions for the blog and our coverage. The best way to reach me is Sheldon can be reached at Stephanie Storm ( and others on the staff will continue to contribute to our coverage online, on this blog and in the Akron Beacon Journal.

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Question and Answers from Thursday's press conference

By sstorm Published: February 18, 2010

Indians fans, below please find the best nuggets of Thursday's press conference during the question-and-answer session following the announcement of promotions for the front office's Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti.

Question: Any particular reason for making the move right now, if nothing is effective until the end of the season?

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Quotes from Tribe press conference introduction

By sstorm Published: February 18, 2010

There were smiles around the room Thursday as Indians president Paul Dolan announced that current GM Mark Shapiro and current assistant GM Chris Antonetti were being promoted to club president and general manager, respectively, at the end of the upcoming 2010 season.

Both men have worked very closely over the last decade in their current roles, and have a great deal of respect for each other. Below is some of the best comments from the press conference's introduction:

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Tribe promotes Shapiro and Antonetti in front office

By sstorm Published: February 18, 2010

The Indians met with the local press early Thursday afternoon, announcing a front office move (although not effective until the end of the upcoming 2010 season) in which current general manager Mark Shapiro will assume the role of club President and current assistant general manager Chris Antonetti will be promoted to general manager.

In making the announcement, current team president Paul Dolan added that he will then assume the role of chairman/CEO at season’s end.

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Nunnally knows the Tribe

By sstorm Published: February 16, 2010

Having spent the last few months coaching in Venezuela where he led Caracas to a pennant, new Indians hitting coach Jon Nunnally took time out of his busy schedule before heading to spring training to talk with Tribe reporters about some of the organization's hitters he worked with last season while serving as the hitting coach at Triple-A Columbus.

Nunnally on 3B/1B Andy Marte"
"Andy Marte is a powerful hitter. There's still some adjustments and things he has to make in terms of going the other way, which is staying on his leg a little more. He tends to come up and out of the zone with his swing a litle bit, gets a little pull conscious. (His stunning transformation) could have been just the right time, the right sitaution where he was willing and put up the effort."

Nunnally on Tribe DH Travis Hafner:
"I think Hafner's gonna be fine. When he came down to Triple-A las year, his shoulder was still tired, it wasn't that long after surgery. The shoulder just wasn't strong enough yet. It takes awhile. Me being injured myself as a player, it sometimes takes a little bit longer to get your strength back, the feel back."

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More Tribe blog mail

By sstorm Published: February 13, 2010

Our friend Sean recently wrote about the decision making of Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. Sean wrote:

"How many ridiculous contracts and millions of Dolan dollars has Mark Shapiro wasted on mediocre players since he replaced John Hart?... What is his success rate when signing free agents or extending contracts? Maybe the owners need to take a very close look at how their finances have been spent this past decade."

Well Sean, that's a question I get asked a lot, believe it or not. Honestly, I always feel stuck in the middle when trying to answer it.

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Blogmail response on Hafner

By sstorm Published: February 7, 2010

In response to a few recent questions in our new online Tribe mailbag feature, let's dig into some fan angst regarding Travis Hafner, the Indians left-handed power hitter.

Hafner has been no where near the monster hitter he was a few years ago when he signed a huge contract extension in line with the Indians traditional policy of trying to lock up their young stars early before they reach free agency.

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Sizemore wants to remain an Indian for years to come

By sstorm Published: February 5, 2010

All baseball fans have to do to realize how much the Indians have changed since the club was one win away from going to the World Series in 2007 is take a look at the current 40-man roster.

Gone are pitchers C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee, both Cy Young award winners. Traded in the middle of last season was All-Star catcher Victor Martinez.

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Hudson heads to Minnesota

By jcfortun Published: February 5, 2010

Well, that didn't take long.

Yesterday it was reported that four-time Gold Glove winner Orlando Hudson was mulling over offers from the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.

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Could the O-Dog be headed for Ohio?

By jcfortun Published: February 4, 2010

For the second consecutive year, free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson has been available deep into the off season.

Could the Cleveland Indians be his destination this season?

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Sizemore wants to move past "embarrassing" photos

By sstorm Published: February 4, 2010

In the visitor's lockerroom at Progressive Field, all but one stall was bare.

The name plate at the top of the locker read: Sizemore.
A few articles of clothing, an Indians hat, a bat and red shoes were strategically placed inside the locker in an effort to make it look lived-in.

Having been kicked out of his real lockerroom down the hall with to a banquet being held in there, Indians centerfielder Grady Sizemore sauntered into the other lockerroom Thursday morning.

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Smart phone update

By Ron Published: February 4, 2010

Those of you who view this on your iPhone and some other smart phones can now view this blog easier on your mobile web browser.  Software has been added to this site. Just put the URL on your mobile browser and it should load in a much easier screen to view.


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Got a question about the Indians?

By Ron Published: February 3, 2010

We are adding a new feature to Tribe Matters.

If you have a question about the Indians, we want to hear it. Sheldon Ocker and Stephanie Storm will answer them.

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Tribe adds pair of pitchers to spring camp

By sstorm Published: February 2, 2010

The Indians invited two minor league right-handed pitchers in Josh Judy and Zach Putnam to major league camp Tuesday, giving the club nine internal invites and 18 non-roster invitees for the upcoming 2010 Spring Training camp in Goodyear, Arizona.

Judy opened the season at Class-A Kinston but spent a majority of last year serving as the closer at Double-A Akron when Vinnie Pestano went down with a season-ending arm injury.

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