Tagged: Travis Hafner

The drum that still sounds

09drummer_1_600.jpgJohn Adams started the tradition at Cleveland Stadium in 1973 in a game against the Texas Rangers. He sits in the highest seat in the left field bleachers possible: and is a season ticket holder. Adams was so influential he got his own bobble head day. Him and his bass drum are at every game; and are always there for the Tribe when they need him. He is a true fan: and I respect his loyalty.


You can always here him banging his drum and keeping the Indians hopes alive when there is a runner in scoring position: or when the Indians need to get out of an inning. He is almost like an energizer bunny – very lively and hyper is John. The Indians hearts almost beat on the sound of his drum: as they count on him to bring them alive.


It is almost crazy the way he pumps up the crowd; and the atmosphere he creates is stereotypical. His booming drum – splashes into the ears of everyone in the stadium: and there isn’t any other thing you want to do except clap with it. It gets you so involved in the game – you can feel as if you almost are in it. Without him – we wouldn’t be who we are, the Cleveland Indians.


Fresh off of a three game sweep of the Tigers: the Indians battled, and fought their way back into the game: and almost pulled out a win – but once again came up close. It seems like their forte now that they have this young, bearing team. It’s almost as if they come so close: but don’t reach it. It’s almost like ripping the hair off of your back right now – as the Indians are way off of the road ahead.

Jonathan Adams.jpg 

The starting pitching hasn’t held and the bullpen has faltered. It’s tough when you face a team like the Tigers – who can score at any time of the game unwillingly. Jim Leyland has really mastered the art of the game and has taught it and spread it to every Tigers player in the locker room. It is unreal how well those guys play: And it is also amazing how they aren’t 20 or so games over.


The speed finally kicked in like an energy shot today: as Brantley finally stole his first base in the majors. I am sure he got to keep the bag like Rickey Henderson did when he stole his record setting base! Nah haha. But Brantley also was caught stealing today – a sight to be seen. It was a win and a loss for the Indians in this case. They lost the game: but they did come back.


It’s almost like a movie; but with a twist. You get so behind – and come back and almost have it — but then you lose it for good. It sucks – and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. We missed John Adams today: as I am sure he would have helped us through the hard times. He would have lifted us into the heavens, helping the starting pitching, the offense, the team itself.


John is our good luck charm: his presence brings a comfort of angelic belonging. His drum brings out the best of the Indians over the years – and the biggest failures of all time. He brings out the emotions in the fans to the boiling point which disturbs the inner mind to the point where it explodes. He eases the tension from which the body nestles quietly into the seat: ready to be happy again, and reduce all bad thoughts about losing.
indians ew.jpg 


The intruiging thought of letting the drum hit the mind with a hypnotic spell sending thee into the world of baseball, able to go back to when the Indians were good. The memory’s of sweet smelling face paint: smeared on the faces of die hards who were at every game. The memory of how great the game really was before the steroids and all of the cheaters that we deal with now in the game. The relative smack to the face that this year isn’t our year – wait your turn!


He convinces you to love and hate the Indians all at once: with a twist of strong belief in a winning season and a playoff run at whole. The thought sends chills down the spine: and really tricks you into thinking this is ‘our’ year. He is a mastermind: with a drum and always has a strong influence on the fan-base. He is the normal dude who started out as one regular attending the games. John believed, that one day the Indians were going to have it good: and he was right.

The intriguing thought of him becoming our little ‘drummer boy’ and no one else had him was one of the first sweet-tasting victory smell ever to be set down on a table. The fan-base loved the idea and swallowed the thought of having a drummer for ever game. It was almost like he was the bait: so that we could throw out the line and real the fish in.


John is a wonder boy – all suited up for duty, making the thought of being an Indians fan haggle at every other fan who wasn’t us. No one knows who he is: yet he has a strong bond with so many sub-ordinate fans and the team itself. He is the reason we scream at the television, and have the un-fan-like attitude to turn on ‘Deal or No Deal’ instead of the game. He is the reason we love the Tribe and every mo-hawk wearing, face paint loving, Tribe talkin’ wahoo brother in the house.


He gives Grady Sizemore the chills, and sends Grady’s Ladies into a tailspin of forgotten memories of the guy who was their life. John put the ‘I’ in Indians: as he is always manipulating the crowd into cheering and dancing when they are behind by 4 runs. He is the light of the game, who just beats his drum with no intentions what-so-ever. But the effect,… is huge.


He is the one who starts the rallies, the one who makes Pronkville jump to their feet. He is the one who makes Shapiro believe and get lost in the hypnotic beating sound. John is the puppet master and we are all the guys who follow his every command. The beat, is up beat yo. And he keeps it fresh and the same every game. So the next time you wanna go to the Indians game: get lost in the drum – and get lost in the game. You go John!

‘I tell it straight and to the point.’










Young guys are proving they can play – the bullpen is showing it can shut opponents down. I think this team is ready. I give us a good two years to contend. The Indians will be AL Central Champs again, and playoff baseball will be brought back to Cleveland. The thought of it sends chills down my spine – remembering the 07 playoff run.


Every team in their brother in this offseason will be looking for ways to get Matt Laporta and Andy Marte out this next year. They will exploit their weaknesses and go after them. Next year should be a tough year for both and Valbuena so don’t be so sure of powerhouse number’s. Let me show you an example.


In 2007 Asdrubal Cabrera hit .283 with 30 runs in 159 at bats. He wasn’t quite figured out until the next year when he went .259 with 48 runs in 352 at bats. When getting almost double the at bats he did in the first season: his number’s slipped because opposing pitcher’s figured out how to pitch to him over the course of the season. They exploited his weakness’s and made him ground out again and again. Once they figure you out – its awful hard to come back strong.


indiansrooting.jpgThis year: although Asdrubal is hitting .315 with 16 stolen bases and 67 runs. He has been one of the leader’s on the team and has really shown he can fight at the plate. He learned how to hit the away pitch – and every pitch for that matter, and just lines every thing back where it came from. He has come a long way, and it has finally payed off.


The pitching just isn’t deep enough to contend next year: even if Carrasco dazzles. The fact is – that Laffey should be your one starter, with Masterson at two, Huff at three, Carmona four, and Carrasco five.  That means Sowers is out – or could fight Fausto for his job. Carmona hasn’t been controlling his pitches at all: and like Masterson, has really gotten behind hitters. Fausto walks alot of people which is what leads to many runs scoring. In his past ten starts: Carmona has walked more than one batter all but once.


That just shows me the batter’s are starting to work him – and he isn’t able to keep pounding the strike zone consistantly. He hasn’t shown he can keep the Indians in ball games giving up 4 or more runs in 5 of his last 10 games pitched. Where did the dominant Fausto go: where he won 19 games? That Fausto controlled his sinker and was one of the most dominant pitcher’s in the game. Until he finds his mojo – the Indians won’t have the pitching.


In 2011 – I figure that we will have Carlos Santana behind the dish: and nor Wyatt Toregas or Lou Marson will have the job. Santana has an absolute gun behind the plate and is a true hitter. Carlos is hitting .290 with 21 homers and 93 RBI at the AA level. Those are some very good numbers: especially for a young guy like Carlos. I expect next year he will get a promotion: and if he can hit at the AAA level, I think he will be a for sure midseason call-up. What have we got to lose?


alcs2007_01.jpgPlayoff fever back in Cleveland would feel amazing. The 07 ALDS was a memory I will always have. The crowd was going crazy: waving their “Its Tribe Time Now” towels all crazily in the air. You couldn’t hear anything – and no one was going to miss any part of the game for oh: a bathroom break, food, or an Indians team shop.


People in the street were happily playing guitars: and playing hermonica’s all for the joy of playoff baseball. I tell you – we have some of the most true fans over here in Cleveland: we aren’t band wagon at all. We love the Indians and have from day one. Some of Red Sox nation and probably a third of the Yankee’s fans: don’t know anything about them. They just like them cuz they are good. That isn’t what being a fan is like though. Winning all the time: just isn’t fun.


When you are on the brink of elimination – and everyone in the stadium is biting their nails: that is fun. Like when Travis Hafner hits a walk off to win the game in the ALDS – that is fun. But what fun is winning 100 games year after year and winning the division? Then you take the playoffs by storm and win the world series: is it that fun to repeatedly say “We win, we win!” And do you cheer? Or do you try to cheer? Like you don’t have the inner fan: to start shouting and screaming and romp around the house.


The Rays made alot of die hards happy when they made it to the world series: something that no one expected them to do. Now that is baseball – the celebration: fans not giving up on one of the worst teams in baseball, and then celebrating the huge win and the world series birth. In fact: I would be happy just to be a part in the world series.


Travis you dog.jpgThe last time we were in it, 1997: the dang Marlins got us. They came back on us in game 7 and beat us. My dad was there – he experienced it all. The heart break: the long trip back home: the angst of losing. It sucked, but that is what a true fan is being like: always there rooting your team on.


When playoff baseball comes back – I will treat it like church. I will be attending almost every game: ready to cheer on the Tribe. In 2011 the year I picked: I will be there, ready for the Indians to go to the world series. Jon Adams will be there banging his drum of course.


But we need pitching in order to get there: In my eyes – with the talent coming up we have a potent lineup that I would compare to the Red Sox. We have to make our starting pitching better though – we can’t get to the playoffs without pitcher’s who can go 6 to 7 innings giving us a chance to win every night. Hopefully all the young guys will have it figured out by then and will perform well: but you can’t guaruntee anything. That is why I am not so sure about 2011: “Is the pitching going to be there?”


I can’t answer yes. The pitching was there in 07. Although Sabathia sucked in the postseason: he still won the Cy Young, and really led the Indians to the playoffs. Fausto Carmona was a stud: having won 19 games and really showing he could pitch. Paul Byrd had a good 15 wins adding on to the Indians 96-66 record. They have to be complete: and I believe this team can do it.


Game+7+ALCS_10.jpgSo reserve your playoff tickets for 2011 Cleveland, make sure you grab them quick: they are selling fast. Make sure we come out with new towels and signs too – we can’t have the old “Its Tribe Time Now” rally towels anymore. Jon Adams: bang away as loud as we can – and we will be yelling with you. Let’s go Tribe – its our turn to win!



Lovin it Luis!

Valbuensta#2.jpgLuis Valbuena
, again, decided the game for the Cleveland Indians. In the eighth inning of Monday nights game he hit a three run homer to put the Indians on top of the Royals, 7-5.

“I’m not going to try to do that every night,” Valbuena said through an interpreter. “I’m just trying to make good contact.” Well, Valbuena is good at making contact, and hitting the ball far when doing so. He hit a walk off homer Saturday night, to give the Indians the win.

“I’ve been working hard in BP,” Valbuena said. “I’m lucky enough that I’m getting good pitches that I can turn on and drive the ball.”

Valbuena has been stroking the ball as of late. He has really been seeing it well, and has gotten alot of pitches to hit. The only thing I noticed that needs work, is that when he gets into hitters counts, he tends to give some at bats away. In yesterday’s game, Valbuena was in a 3-0 count, and swung at an outside pitch. That isn’t a pitch he should be swinging at! The next pitch was high and outside. Another pitch he should just lay off and take ball four. He ended up walking, but that is just what I noticed.

Oh yeah, did you know Travis Hafner had 4 RBI?

Ole’ Travis hit a three run dinger in the fourth, giving the Indians the 3-0 lead. His fourth RBI came in the sixth inning off of Gil Meche. Travis got a pitch to his liking, and went with it hitting it in the left center field gap and scored Shin-Soo Choo who tripled.

When was the last time you saw Pronk do that? Jeremy Sowers had a great game for the Indians, going 7 strong, giving up 5 ER. I noticed, that he kept his stamina the whole game, and just let the Royals score big in one inning (the fifth) and came back and pitched well after that. Good game Jeremy! Way to keep your head in it and way to keep pounding the strike zone.

“Working through seven innings gives you more opportunities for your teammates to pick you up,” Sowers said. And that is totally true. It also gives you more chances to possibly mess up though. With Sowers fastball topping out at 90 MPH he has to live on the corners, and have good location. What I have noticed is that he tends to pound the strike zone with his cutter, fastball and change up regardless of how hard he throws.

I admire that! When a pitcher shows me that he isn’t scared, I will take him any day.

Great game all around. If you wanna join in the conversation, click here. And if you wanna check out the Indians website click here.

Indians, 10-6

Aces Are Wild

It was then, I knew the Indians were going to win the game. In the bottom of the 1st, a (1-1) game, 1 out, 1 baserunner, with a (1-1) count, while Jhonny Peralta was at the plate. Justin Masterson gave up 1 unearned run in his masterful start. Matt Laporta had his 1st three RBI
aces.gif game of his career. The Indians scored 11 runs. Last but not least, 1 player on the Angels, (Bobby Abreu) had more than 1 hit. The ‘Aces Were Wild’ last night, and they played to the Indians advantage. Oh yeah, the Indians took 1 out of three from the Angels.

Besides all of the Aces, there was a game to be played. Justin Masterson let up one unearned run in the first inning, and then didn’t think about letting another runner get to second. He was “masterful”, as he went 6 1/3 strong innings giving up 1 unearned on 3 hits and 4 BB. “That’s the hardest I’ve seen him throw, and we’ve faced him a few times,” said Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, who entered the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs in his career against Masterson. “He kind of slings it. Sometimes it goes straight, sometimes it sinks. He threw the ball well.”

Ted’s Take: Justin threw the ball great, as he had nasty movement on his two seam, and had his slider working as well. Masterson used his slider primarily to be a setup pitch so he could jam the hitters in with his two seamer. He pounded the strike zone, and made hitters hit in pitcher’s counts. There is room for improvement though, as he gave away some at bats while he was 0-2 or 1-2. Great game pitched Justin!


Shades of yesterday scared me, as the offense didn’t score again until the sixth. But, with great pitching from Masterson, the Indians knew they were in it. They kept battling and finally got that big inning, which they have done alot this year. It looks as if they get to the pitcher late in his start and get him good. Which they really turned Lackey’s beautiful start, into just another bad one… The Indians offense has really improved with these young guys, and I tip
laporta3.jpgmy cap off to Matt Laporta.

The offense didn’t seem to figure John Lackey out until the sixth inning, while it was still a (1-1) game. The Indians, again put together a string of hits to really put down the Angels. Shin-Soo Choo got it all started when he singled to start it off, followed by Jhonny Peralta’s single which Choo went first to third. Travis “hitting backwards” Hafner came up to the plate next, and some how hit a double down the right field line, but wasn’t able to score Peralta.

After Luis Valbuena walked, Kelly Shoppach hit a sac fly to score Choo, and to advance Hafner to third. At that point, Matt Laporta came up and doubled down the left field line scoring a pair making it (5-1) Tribe. Three hits later the scoring stopped and it was (8-1) Tribe.

Ted’s Take: The Indians always find those big innings to score in late in the game when the pitcher doesn’t have his “stuff” he did early on. It was big that Choo singled to start off the inning, because he is saying to the team ‘Hey guys, he doesn’t have anything that we can’t hit.’ With Jhonny following that up with a single, you knew the Indians were in business.

And I would like to shout-out to Matt Laporta. His first game back with the Tribe, he has three RBI and a huge clutch double in the sixth. Matt Laporta, believe it or not, was the reason the Indians scored eight runs. His double was huge and he ended up continuing the rally. Great job Matt.


Call to the bullpen: The Indians have had a pretty decent bullpen, ever since they traded Rafael Betancourt, and brought some people up, they have been half good. The bullpen is built around Rafael Perez and Kerry Wood. And they both have been pretty decent since the break. I tip my hat off to Tony Sipp though, as he has pitched phenomanaly for the Indians throughout the year. Getting out of jams, weaving his way through innings, Tony Sipp is a guy you never here the name of, but he is a top relief pitcher in my eyes.

Tony my man.jpgIt all started in the seventh, when Justin Masterson got the bases loaded with one out. The Indians brought in lefty, Tony Sipp. He came right in and struck out the first batter and got a flyout to right to end the inning. He also is a game saver for the Indians. That could have been a big inning for the Angels if Tony didn’t pitch good.

Oh Joe, you did it again. Joe Smith gave up a big two run home run to Kendry Morales, his 27th, and completed his inning of work against the Halo’s offense. Rafael Perez came in for the ninth and gave up one hit and striking out one, in route to the Indians victory.

Ted’s Take: No one knows who Tony Sipp is, just yet anyways. He will be a great relief pitcher in years to come, and everyone is going to want him, I guaruntee you! He came right in and shut the door on the Angels with the bases loaded! That is one of the toughest things to do as a relief pitcher, is how to not let inherited runners score. Sipp did that though, because he constantly pounds the strike zone and gets ahead of hitters.

Joe Smith does the opposite of Tony Sipp and nibbles at the corners, and gets behind hitters, thus having to give them meat balls to hit out of the stadium. If you want to keep your job, keep the ball low Joe! Rafael Perez, did great in the ninth for the Tribe. He came in, and besides giving up a hit, was perfect. He used his curveball nice, and mixed it well with the fastball. Look to see more of Rafael Perez instead of Kerry Wood.



-Tribe Talk With Ted




Traditions have been going on and on for the Cleveland Indians, every new stadium comes new traditions, but the old ones never stay behind. I like to look at how these traditions began, and how they have grown since they were first used.

cr.gifProgressive Field really has some great traditions, as they really focus on the Indians past. I will be visiting some of these traditions tomorrow as I am going to a Cleveland Indians game against the Angels. The Tribe has only lost once while I have been in attendance so don’t worry about losing. Just don’t jinx me okay!


Opening Day 2007 celebrated the opening of Heritage Park at Progressive Field, the exciting new home of the Indians Hall of Fame and other exhibits honoring the franchise’s rich history.

Located in the centerfield area of Progressive Field, Heritage Park will be available to fans before, during and after games, as well as available for special events throughout the season.

heritage park.jpg(http://indians.mlb.com/)

Ted’s Take: Heritage Park is a great way to honor the great Indians of the past such as Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, and others. It gives you the background on how the organization started, and how far the Indians have come from zero, to hero. It is one of my favorite things about Progressive Field.


Travis Hafner‘s catchy nickname was spawned into a new creation: “Pronkville,” a mezzanine section in right field of Jacobs Field where Cleveland’s designated hitter has launched some of his longest home runs.

“It’s cool,” Hafner said. “I was pretty happy about the T-shirts they made up. They fit into my wardrobe nicely.”


Ted’s Take: Travis Hafner also said that Pronkville was probably bigger and had more residents then his hometown, Sykeston, N.D., where he grew up in. The place has 154 residents.

Pronkville.jpgPronkville features almost all of Travis Hafner’s home runs, and also an eatery right behind it. It is truly a two for one deal. You get to eat for low prices, and watch Pronk deliver a long ball to you almost all the time! Talk about tradition.


Ted’s Take: Grady’s Ladies, oh what ladies… They started up just about when Grady Sizemore entered his prime, a sisterhood that always brought signs that showed who they were, “The Grady’s Ladies,” would come to almost every home game and root on the Tribe and their favorite player, Grady Sizemore. Most of Grady’s Ladies got to meet Grady himself because they were so popular and a for sure #1 fan of Grady.

gradys_ladies.jpgSoon after Grady’s Ladies had started, the guys couldn’t let the girls top them. So,… a sign or two got created and bang! Grady’s Guys were created for a game or two. Just kind of mimicing the Ladies they would follow Grady around everywhere and cheer for him. What great traditions Cleveland.


Yes, Grady’s Guys rock!

-Tribe Talk With Ted