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Tag:Fausto Carmona
Posted on: April 27, 2011 5:38 pm
Edited on: April 27, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Love Letters: The Boston Stinks (or Not) edition

I picked the Red Sox to win the World Series this year. They started 2-10, so a bunch of folks flooded me with notes. So now, with the Red Sox having won five of their past six and charging toward .500 (10-12) I'm sharing those notes (along with some reaction to other things). As for Boston, how about now we just see what the rest of the season brings?

From: Jeff P.

Scott you're high. The Red Sox won't even make playoffs.

Not high. It's Mountain Dew.

From: Shawn

Your Red Sox pick isn't looking very good.

Great thing about Boston is, so far nobody's noticed I picked the White Sox to win the AL Central, too.

From: Voodoo

BoSox worst team in baseball at 2-9.

They've gone 8-3 since then, and I noticed I haven't heard from you.

From: Rebecca

If the Yankees are the best second-place team $200 million can buy, then it follows that the Red Sox are the best last-place team that 160 million can buy!

It followed for about a week. So you've got that going for you.

From: Jeff

Really ... you think predicting Doc Halladay as a Cy Young winner [last year] was impressive? Come on ... and Boston? Lots of hype, but no pitching help.

Matter of fact, I think picking both Halladay and Felix Hernandez for the Cy awards in pre-season last year, and correctly picking Zack Greinke as the AL Cy winner coming out of spring training in 2009, is darned impressive. Yes.

From: Chuck

Season predictions: BoSox will grab most trophies, including W.S. Heh, heh, heh.

I hope all you folks taking the time to needle check back with me six months from now.

From: Amie T.
Re. These Virginia sluggers miss more than they connect

Come on, Scott! What was it a slow news day or something? If you compare the amount of talent in all college and professional sports that come out of the Tidewater area, my hometown, and compare it to a few MLB guys who strike out a lot -- the strikeouts are but a small drop in the bucket. Have you ever spent a spring weekend observing at any organized Little League baseball park in Hampton Roads? What you would see is dedication and love of the sport. We are a hard-working, military and industrial community -- very blue collar -- and we deserve better than this. I have always enjoyed reading your articles, but I take GREAT exception to this! You can do better.

Loosen up, Amie. The column was written in good fun, and it's clear that Michael Cuddyer, David Wright, Justin Upton and the rest enjoy teasing each other. They're class acts and you're lucky to have them.

From: Mike C.

As a point of interest, the Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge played for U of Virginia Commonwealth. I enjoy your columns.

Yes he did, and thanks for bringing him into the conversation, Mike. But he's not nearly as adept at whiffing as the others!

From: Bill H.
Re. Baseball the best medicine for Padres coaches battling cancer

Scott,

Great story on the Padres coaches. The kind of behind-the-scenes piece you do really well. I enjoyed your spring training reports, as always.

Thanks, Bill. And the best part is that bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds learned the other day that the tumor on his pancreas has continued to shrink, so hopefully he'll be a candidate for surgery soon.

From: Joe W.
Re.: Oblique injury is in, so beward of the sneeze

Acid wash to skinny (jeans)? Even your 80-year-old community college prof would have picked up on your lack of concern for details. Don't rush the color, Scott.

Must admit, I've never been scolded before over the subject of blue jeans. But I feel lucky to have a job where that sort of thing can come up.

From: Jim B.
Re.: For a team with no expectations, Indians are making headway

Hey Scott,

Pitching and defense win games. The Tribe has had great pitching and defense this year. Signs are that Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson will take their excellence deep into the season. Expect Carlos Carrasco to be good all year, too. The injury bug is always an issue for pitchers, and it will likely bite them this year, too. Being a young staff does suggest less risk. With David Huff waiting in the wings, they have a high-quality backup ready to enter center stage. Over the long season, depth becomes important. After passing the quality arm test, the starting rotation will have to pass the endurance test before they can be considered top-notch.

True. But, at least, so far, so good.

From: Matt B.

Mr. Miller,

Indians fan here, getting the MLB package on cable. Trouble is, I can't watch my team when they play the O's or the Nat's because somehow Cary, NC -- near Raleigh -- is in the viewing market for D.C./Baltimore. We are approximately 300 miles from the D.C. area, or 73.12 hours if you drive it. Plus, there are no cable stations in my area that show either Nats or O's games. Does MLB care about its fans?

I think the answer is yes, but you sure couldn't tell it by the blackout areas on the Extra Innings package. That's long been controversial and so much of it seems to make no sense. I'm pretty sure that the blackout areas and TV areas were drawn up for MLB by untrained monkeys. I'll pass along your complaint.

Posted on: March 12, 2010 5:11 pm
 

Another step forward for Indians' Westbrook

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro will tell you there are three clear keys to the Indians' 2010 season: Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson, who right now are the top three starters.

Shapiro thinks the Indians will score enough runs, he likes their bullpen and they have several candidates -- young, but experienced -- to pick from for the fourth and fifth starters' slots.

As for those first three starters, there are issues with each. Westbrook hasn't started a regular season game in nearly two years because of reconstructive elbow surgery. Carmona has never been able to replicate his 2007 command. And Masterson, after bouncing between the rotation and bullpen in Boston, has yet to prove himself as a starter.

So each time out for that trio is a test this spring, and on Friday, against a Los Angeles Angels' split-squad, it was Westbrook's turn in his second start of the spring. Though the numbers didn't look good (three hits and four earned runs allowed in 2 1/3 innings), Westbrook sailed through in fine form and said he felt "great."

"I gave up four runs total, but I felt 100 times better than when I gave up one run last outing," said Westbrook, who allowed a run on one hit and three walks in 1 2/3 innings against Arizona on March 8 in Tucson. "I feel so much better confidence-wise, and how I attacked the hitters."

Westbrook, who won 44 games for the Indians from 2004-20006, was mainly hurt when he left a fastball up to Mike Napoli, who crushed it for a three-run homer. If you're grading on the curve, Napoli has crushed everything in sight this spring: With 21 total bases in 16 at-bats, his slugging percentage is 1.312 and he's hitting .438 (7 for 16).

After surrendering a double, single and homer to start, Westbrook retired the next six hitters in what mostly was an Angels 'B' lineup -- and seven of the next eight.

"Another step," Westbrook said. "Another step toward getting back to full strength. I feel like I'm definitely back to full healthy."

Sunblock Day? Don't look now but it actually hit 70 degrees here today. Whoo-hoo! Still chilly enough in the shade that jeans are preferable to shorts.

Likes: Woodjock, a charity event hosted by White Sox starter Jake Peavy, went off splendidly Thursday night in Scottsdale. Peavy, a beginning country crooner, held it together and played a couple of songs he's written. Former Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams is terrific on the guitar, as you've probably heard. Excellent rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and nice solo on James Taylor's You've Got a Friend. Retired big leaguer Ben Broussard and his band probably was the best -- he's really good. Bronson Arroyo's emo singing  wasn't bad, either. Aubrey Huff? I'll pass. Great crowd, roughly 1,400 folks showed up. You should have seen the line out front just before the doors opened. And fine job by Rick Sutcliffe as master of ceremonies... Love the framed photo in the Goodyear press box with the caption "Did anybody pack the snake?" The photo shows the Indians' press corps hard at work in the old press box in Winter Haven, Fla., where the Indians trained until last year, and it's a reference to the time a snake literally slithered into the press box near Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and scared the poor guy half to death. ... Also like all the airplanes just sitting in the desert far over the right-field fence here in Goodyear. It's a giant parking lot for dozens of airplanes. ... Everyone loves Rerun and the old 1970s television show What's Happening!!, don't they? And, who wouldn't want to watch the classic theme song once more?

Dislikes: The plethora of cameras along the interstate and at red lights in Arizona looking to bust you and take money out of your pocket. It's unbelievable how many there are. I've seen plenty of red-light cameras, but here there are cameras set up along the freeways to catch speeders. Big brother is always watching you in the state of Arizona. Be careful, it's disgusting.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"You bitch about the present
"And blame it on the past
"I'd like to find your inner child
"And kick it's little ass"

-- The Eagles, Get Over It

Posted on: March 11, 2009 6:38 pm
 

Double Dutchin' it with the Indians

 GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Think anybody inside baseball clubhouses noticed that Team Netherlands bounced the vaunted Dominican Republic from the World Baseball Classic?

Cleveland ace Fausto Carmona, from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, arrived at his locker bright and early Wednesday morning and found ... an official, bright orange Team Netherlands cap carefully placed at his locker.

The culprit?

"I don't know," Carmona said. "Maybe Ben Francisco, I think."

The replay of the Netherlands-D.R. game was dominating the televisions in the Indians' clubhouse, and though Carmona was trying to ignore it, he couldn't help but steal a few glances.

Don't ask him what happened to his native country, though.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't want to talk about that."

Besides, he didn't have time to discuss the outcome. The prankster had removed Carmona's Indians cap while placing the Netherlands cap in his locker.

As the Indians were preparing to head outside for the morning practice, Carmona had already searched all through his locker looking for his Cleveland cap and had moved on to sweep-search the clubhouse. Last I saw, he was rifling through Francisco's locker.

But the Netherlands cap didn't leave his locker.

--------

On the other side of the clubhouse, left-hander Jeremy Sowers was reminded of what his coach at Vanderbilt University preached during the season.

"Every time we played a 'midweek' team, our coach would say, 'If you let these guys stick around long enough, they'll believe they can beat you,'" said Sowers, who is fighting for a spot as Cleveland's No. 5 starter this spring.

"The Netherlands got a couple of bounces and that was that. Baseball's an unfair sport. On any given day, anybody can win."

--------

They're pretty loose here in Indians camp this spring, though like many clubs, they'd like to see more from their rotation.

"I've been very happy with most of what's happened in camp," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said. "If you point to one area of concern, it would be the rotation.

"Carmona has thrown the ball well. He's leveraged the ball more consistently than last year. He's demonstrated more power. Anthony Reyes in a couple of looks has been good. He's healthy, which is our primary concern."

Cliff Lee, who surrendered four runs (three earned) to Colorado on Wednesday, is going to be fine. And Shapiro likes what he sees of Carl Pavano.

"One spot in the rotation, we're waiting for someone to step up and take the job," he said.

Aaron Laffey, Sowers, Scott Lewis, David Huff and Zach Jackson all are in the mix. Sowers followed Lee to the mound Wednesday and didn't allow a run in three innings.

Part of the difficulty of sorting things out for the Indians involves the elongated spring, which is an extra week this year because of the WBC.

"Those guys are going every fifth day, but to get them their innings, we have to spot them out of the bullpen right now," pitching coach Carl Willis said. "Until the minor leaguers come in, there just aren't enough games to give all of them their starts."

Partly because of that and partly because there's still so much time left in camp, Shapiro is trying to keep from making hard decisions right now.

"It's tough overall to evaluate. We feel like we should be close to making decisions, but we still have three-and-a-half weeks to go," Shapiro said. "You have to discipline yourself not to think that we've been here a month already. It's how much time is left."

Likes: Very nice complex here in Goodyear, which eventually will house both the Indians and the Reds. Both logos, in fact, already are up on the scoreboard. "I work so much more efficiently here," Indians pitching coach Carl Willis says, compared to at the club's old complex in Winter Haven, Fla. "There, I couldn't put guys on certain fields because there would be a hole here, a hole there. ..." ... Bumper sticker philosophy (seen out near Texas' complex in Surprise the other day): "If God isn't a Broncos fan, then why are sunsets orange?" ... Really happy to see Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central win its boys' basketball district tournament opener on Monday night. Pulling for Coach Ray Lauwers to lead the Falcons past Ann Arbor Greenhills in the next round. ... Will take Jon Stewart over Jim Cramer. And over Rick Santelli. Not even close.

Dislikes: Butler losing in the Horizon League title game. 


Sunblock day? Nice. Temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s.


Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Well you walk into a restaurant
"Strung out from the road
"You can feel the eyes upon you
"As you're shaking off the cold
"You pretend it doesn't bother you
"But you just want to explode"

-- Bob Seger, Turn the Page

 

 
 
 
 
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