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Cleveland Indians

Workouts start with curious innovation

By Sheldon Published: February 26, 2010
Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, second from left, lectures his players on base running during baseball spring training practice Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

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.

That's right. Pitchers threw and batters watched. It's called tracking, and apparently no team does it except the Tribe. But I will address this in more detail in other stories.

Carlos Baerga was a visitor to camp. The former second baseman from Cleveland's glory years of the '90s was just updating himself for when he works as a commsntator on ESPN Deportes Monday games, an assignment he also had last year.

Former Tribe outfielder Candy Maldonado is one of ESPN Deportes' voices on its Sunday night schedule. Baerga said that Maldonado was hired as general manager of a Dominican Republic winter league team and radically turned around the team's fortunes the past season.

Baerga asked if Albert Belle had come around. The answer is no, not this spring nor last spring. The former slugger with volatile personality the lives across town in Paradise Valley.

Many of the Indians' business executives arrived in Goodyear Friday for meetings involving both the business and baseball side of the franchise. Why hold the meetings in Arizona? General Manager Mark Shapiro, who will become club president after he season, can take part in the discussions. Shapiro will have authority over both aspects of the operation.

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