Day Two of Indians camp with pitchers and catchers working out (technically Day Three of Steph reporting from Goodyear) came and went Friday, but not without its share of standard developments and interesting tidbits.
For developments, you’ll have to check out the Akron Beacon Journal and/or Ohio.com for my Indians story about why Tribe skipper Terry Francona loves him some pitchers (in honor of Valentine’s Day, of course) and my notebook that touches on a handful of hurlers in Trevor Bauer, Justin Masterson, Chris Perez, Jake Westbrook and Josh Tomlin.
However, for the off-the-wall tidbits, you’ve come to the right place. So sit back, grab a cold one and a hot dog and let’s go…
DATE NIGHT – Being Valentine’s Day and all, it didn’t initially seem all that odd that Francona was so excited about his plans later in the evening following his daily chat with the media. But hold on, probably not for the reason you might initially think.
A University of Arizona alum and big-time Wildcats athletic supporter, Francona’s big plans were to attend the big Arizona/Arizona State rivalry basketball game later that night. Mind you it was 11:30 a.m. - not even lunchtime. Tip off wasn’t until 7 p.m. in Tempe and yet Francona was already fired up for the game to start. But I suppose, everyone is passionate about something. Me, I have baseball. Francona has baseball and hoops.
MR. ENTHUSIASTIC –Another guy whose enthusiasm continues to impress me is Clint Frazier. The Indians first-round pick last season is a prepster out of Georgia known to the Twitter verse as @ClintFrazierr. At 2:15 p.m. Friday he tweeted: “I’m feeling very good about this season.”
Nothing more, nothing less. Just seven little words from the redheaded slugger, and I already love the kid. However, one guy that’s gonna take some time to warm up to is veteran outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who is in camp on a minor league contract.
RUDE GREETING – Morgan, who signed with the Indians as a free agent after spending last season playing in Japan, made a memorable (not necessarily good) first impression on longtime Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes. Anyone who’d ever talked to the Plain Dealer’s Hoynsie knows what a great guy he is. But Morgan never gave Hoynes a chance when he approached the outfielder in the locker room after morning practice Friday.
“I don’t talk to the media, you’all gotta earn my trust,” Morgan said. “But it’s nice meeting you.”
SETTLING IN – Many Tribe fans know charismatic first baseman Nick Swisher for the animated way in which he talks, the silly sayings he tends to come up with such as “Brohio” and the fact that he seems to call everyone “Bro” – whether he’s talking to a guy or not. But you might be surprised to learn that Mr. Swisher is quite the neat freak.
One of the first things he did upon arriving at spring camp for the first time Friday (a day ahead of today’s position player reporting deadline) was to neatly arrange his locker. He neatly arranged pictures, ball caps and various trinkets just so, just like how he organized his caps and OSU buckeye bead necklace last season at Progressive Field using those little 3M plastic hooks that can stick to any surface and be pulled off when done without any damage. But hey, we all have our little idiosyncrasies, right? I for one can think of a lot of wore things than being a neat nick.
RESOLUTIONS MADE TO BE BROKEN –No? Well, that’s what always seems to happen to mine, anyway. Turns out I’m not the only one. Francona shared Friday that he’d made a New Year’s resolution to curse less. Just a month and a half later and he’s already failing miserably.
“It just happens, man,” Francona said. “I put a uniform on and I start cursing.”
I don’t even need a uniform for that. So, let’s cut the skipper a little slack. Alright, bro?
TRIPLE DOWN BLACKJACK