August 26, 2014

The Top Infield & Catching Groups of the Past 20 Years

Roberto Alomar Omar Vizquel

In the next part of our series, we take a look back at the best infield/catching groups of the Jacobs/Progressive Field era. The Indians of the mid to late had so many stars and big bats, but once the turn of the century rolled around and the payroll cuts came into play, lets be honest, there was a lot of dreck. So much so that I really could only come up with four groups that were worth discussing.

I mean lets face it, even the two most recent playoff team (’07 & ’13) didn’t exactly have all stars at every position. Ryan Garko, Josh Barfield/Asdrubal Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta, and Casey Blake would probably get the nod over the cavalcade of first baseman, Jason Kipnis, Cabrera, and the Lonnie Chisenhall/Mike Aviles/Mark Reynolds triumvirate. But even still, both crews miss the cut. The top four though are all worthy. So without further ado…… [Read more...]

Toronto Sun: Robbie Wants Sandy To Land Blue Jays Manager Position

Roberto Alomar, currently a special assistant for the Toronto Blue Jays organization, has come out in support of his brother, Sandy Alomar Jr., being the next manager of the Jays, The Toronto Sun reports.

“”I hope it’s my brother,” Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar said Wednesday. We need someone who wants to put his heart and soul into his team. Someone who wants to be here.”

Alomar Jr. lost out to Terry Francona in the Indians’ search to replace the recently dismissed Manny Acta. The prevailing belief is that Sandy would stay on the staff as Francona’s bench coach should he not find a managerial job. Alomar Jr. was 3-3 as interim manager following Acta’s termination at the end of September.

Robbie Alomar Returns to Cleveland to be Honored

New Hall of Famers Robbie Alomar and Bert Blyleven will return to Cleveland on Friday night to be honored by the team and the fans. There is no question that the Indians have struggled to find a consistent second base option since Alomar left. Rookie Jason Kipnis may have the best chance of the bunch, but he has a long way to go to come close to Alomar defensively.

Alomar took a few minutes in advance of that function to speak to the Cleveland media. He said that his induction into Cooperstown was “An unbelievable feeling. One of the biggest moments of my life.” He also spoke fondly of his time here in Cleveland.

“The best years I had, I had in Cleveland numbers wise. One of my dreams was to play with my brother.”

That relationship between Robbie and Sandy Alomar is a special bond. “My brother is my best friend. We supported each other since day one as kids. He’s a Hall of Famer in my heart.” [Read more...]

Francisco Lindor and the Robbie Alomar Effect

Like many kids his age, Francisco Lindor wears the jersey number of the player who he considers to be his idol. Unlike many players his age, Lindor has the opportunity to play for the same team his idol played for as he absorbed the game of baseball through his formative years.

As he was turning countless double plays with shortstop Omar Vizquel, former Indians second baseman and recent Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Alomar proudly wore Chief Wahoo on his hat while Lindor - the Indians’ most-recent first round draft selection - was honing his skills as an infielder in Puerto Rico, the native country of both men.  Naturally, we use the term “man” loosely for the 17-year-old Lindor who is still soaking in the events of the past week.

“I was with my family watching the draft on the television, and when they called my name, I put my head in my hands and tears came to my eyes,” Lindor told the media via conference call on Thursday afternoon. “My mom and dad were hugging me. It was a great feeling.”

[Read more...]

Former Indians Alomar, Blyleven Enter MLB Hall of Fame

In baseball news from earlier in the week, former Cleveland Indians stars Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven earned enough votes for entry into the MLB Hall of Fame. Both earned the required votes for the hall despite very different track records of success over the years with the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Despite their  success with the Indians over the years, neither will be wearing the Cleveland cap in their hall of fame plaques. They both selected their championship teams with Alomar selecting the Toronto Blue Jays and Blyleven entering with the Minnesota Twins.

But for both players, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal had stories to share in an article from Sunday’s paper about their legacy as stars for the good and the bad.

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While We’re Waiting… Brady Quinn’s Future, Roberto Alomar and Akron Zips Soccer

Hope you are fully recovered from your overdose of turkey from the past two days. Thanks for stopping by the site today, as While We’re Waiting always serves up an early morning plate of goodies for our readers. Here we usually share things pertinent to Cleveland sports and the greater Ohio area. Have something else you think that relates to that general topic? Feel free to send it over to us in the tips e-mail address in the right sidebar.

Brian Daboll and Brady QuinnHey Team Brady, check out this promising article about your favorite Notre Dame product. These comments from Daboll will maybe lift your spirits for the next few weeks of this depressing season. “Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said he has “high hopes” for Brady Quinn’s future. ‘I think he’s a smart guy who has all of the intangibles that you look for,’ said Daboll. ‘You have to remember, he’s a young guy. He’s started eight games. If you go back, I am not going to compare him in history, but there’s a lot of numbers you can look at. How was Peyton (Manning) going to be after eight games? He had 11 touchdowns, 16 picks, 1-7 [record].’” [Mary Kay Cabot/Cleveland Plain Dealer]

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World Baseball Classic: Choo, Yes. Carmona, No.

A little while back, we expressed some concern regarding the amount of players on the Indians roster that were slated to partake in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.  After all…Fourteen players from one team seems a bit extensive.  Well, with pitchers and catchers reporting today, Tribe GM Mark Shapiro has decided to give the Zydrunas Ilgauskas treatment to right-handed starter Fausto Carmona.

“Fausto Carmona, who won just eight games last year while slowed by a left hip injury, was not among the early arrivals. Carmona was on the provisional roster to pitch in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic next month, but the Indians will not allow that.  “We had the ability to stop that and we did,” said GM Mark Shapiro, who arrived at the facility today.”

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While We’re Waiting… Mangini’s Family Ties, More Amare Trade Rumors and a Look Back at “No Excuses”

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

 

Ron Shapiro, Mark’s father, is releasing a book on his tricks of the trade.  The book document’s Shapiro’s relationship with Browns coach Eric Mangini.  “Mangini said Shapiro has taken preparation – for a football game, a negotiation, a job interview – and turned it into a science. Shapiro’s latest book contains a preparation “checklist” to help people precisely define their goals and strategies.  “He has a way to prepare to prepare. He’s put a process in place to make sure you’re systematic,” Mangini said.

Mangini said he has long been a believer. Shapiro helped his transition after the regular season from coaching the New York Jets to taking over with Cleveland. Shapiro’s book recounts how Mangini, while in New York, had his players practice in a driving rain and surrounded by speakers blaring loud music. He wanted them to be prepared for a game on a sloppy field in front of hostile fans.”  [Baltimore Sun via Eric Musselman]

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Report: Roberto Alomar Victim of Lawsuit, AIDS

 

Wow.  They talk about falls from grace, but today’s news out of New York may be one of the more shocking stories that I have read in quite some time. 

Former Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar, now 41-years of age, is currently on the unfortunate end of a lawsuit that claims he had sexual intercourse with then girlfriend while knowing he was a victim of the HIV Virus. [Read more...]

Congratulations, Omar

Omar VizquelWe’re a bit late on this one, but I didn’t want to write much about it over the weekend.  But if you were anywhere near a TV or computer over the last 48 hours, you’re likely aware that Omar Vizquel is now the all-time leader for games played at shortstop – with 2,584 games under his belt.

Now 41-years young, Vizquel has returned to the field after missing a large chunk of the season while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, thus allowing him to break the record.  Good news is, for Omar fans, that retirement plans are yet to be decided.  But even if the veteran were to hang them up tomorrow, there would be many of fans lauding his career.

[Read more...]