Quick Hits from the Underworld

   The fourth spring training under Indians Manager Eric Wedge has a different feel than any of the previous camps.  This team is built to contend for the Central Division Championship and beyond.  Looking around camp you don’t see alot of 6th year minor league free agents in camp trying to earn a roster spot.  The Indians only brought 23 pitchers to Florida as opposed to as many as 33 in the past.  This team has a confident air about it that tells anyone who is watching they expect to win in 2006.

   Many of the young players in camp are signs that things have changed for the better.  In years past these players would be fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster.  This year they represent the future of the Indians, and from what I’ve seen this spring, the future is bright.  Players like Ryan Garko, Andy Marte, Brad Snyder and Ryan Mulhern are very close to being major-league ready.  Pitchers Andrew Brown, Jeremy Sowers, Fausto Carmona and Tony Sipp are evidence that the Indians have solid young reserves in supply at AAA Buffalo.

   QUICK HITS

  • The only thing hotter than third baseman Aaron Boone (.500 avg, 2 HR, 2 2b, 4 rbi) this spring has been the weather.  Its been 75-80 degrees every day and not a trace of rain this month.
  • The only thing worse than the Devil Rays pitching staff has been the traffic on I-4.  Between the construction and overpopulation its enough to make you pull your hair out.
  • Speaking of Tampa Bay, I spoke to Devil Rays broadcaster Joe Magrane the other day.  He thought my blog had something to do with bizarre cult rituals because of the title "Underworld".  Joe has a pretty warped sense of humor but, its always a treat to play Tampa just to hear what he’ll say next.
  • Bob Feller has been a fixture at Indians Spring Training for more than a decade.  He still gets in full uniform and throws out a few ceremonial first pitches while signing autographs for hours.  Bob has amazing recall about his career and can take even the most ardent political analyst to task over current issues involving our country.
  • Speaking of Feller, October Productions has released a detailed biography of Feller’s life and baseball career.  Its available for purchase at Indians team shops and will also be broadcast by WVIZ in Cleveland on March 23rd at 8pm and re-aired Sunday April 2nd at 11am.
  • And finally, is anyone watching the WBC?  The games that I have seen have been fairly entertaining but, its hard to get past the fact that most of these guys just aren’t ready for highly competitive play at this point in the year.

6 Comments

“is anyone watching the WBC?”

Is anyone not? One of the best things I have ever seen in decades of baseball, and the ninth inning between Venezuela and the Dominican was another example of how this feels exactly like late October.

There’s definitely some truth to your last sentence when looking at some of the MLB stars’ hitting woes (see: Teixeira, Abreu, Cabrera, etc.), but there have also been a lot of exceptions (ie Pudge, Beltran, Junior and one Seung Yeop Lee). And the intensity has superceded it, anyway.

Am sure you’re happy to have the top-rated fantasy catcher on his way to camp.

Please tell my Uncle Johnny Goryl in camp that Mullion said hi, he’ll know who you’re talking about. 🙂

Mark/MLB.com

I only watch when I want a baseball fix. I would much rather have these quys in their own major league camps. It doesn’t matter at all to me who wins the WBC championship.

It must be good from some of the scouts and if Selig insists on continuing this series they should hold it in Latin America and the Far East.

WBC – Worthless Baseball Classic. Nothing “classic” about it. Oh yeah, it’s March 19, 2006 and C.C Sabathis still *****!

Could anyone answer this question for me? I’m from Columbus, Oh. And with all this new Indians Network stuff, will the tribe still be on FSN? I would certainly hope that Clev. doesn’t leave the capital out of tribe time!! thanks

It’s great to hear that Aaron Boone is doing well in spring. Hopefully, we can see some production this year. I think if Marte is breathing down his neck that will help him produce. Hopefully, Aaron can coax some more “Souvenier City!” calls out of Mr. Underwood.

indications are that all the Columbus Major cable systems will have SportsTime Ohio by opening day..FSN Ohio will no longer be carrying the Indians.

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