Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time To Fix Blame

CLEVELAND, OH - Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge announced that after 44 years of service with the Tribe he was sending bullpen coach Luis Issac packing. For most, this firing was a long time coming as it was no secret that Joe Borowski had paid off Issac to remain quite when his fastball was topping out at 79 MPH in the bullpen on April 14th.

Wedge also announced that he would be replacing bleacher drummer John Adams. Wedge commented, "He defiantly could have been drumming more passionately when we need him the most." Wedge is said to be interviewing several fair-weather fans to be Adams replacement. When asked if he had the authority to bar Adams from the stadium Wedge said, "he can still come, just leave that damn drum at home!"

Wedge further surprised the media assembled for the press conference when he announced that the "Beer Man" would be let go. Wedge explained "he spends too much time showing off his vocal capabilities instead of selling beer. Do you realize how much more we would have to spend on free agency this winter if he was selling more?"

No doubt, the heads will continued to roll.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Pronk Is Back!

CLEVELAND, OH - During the fourth inning of Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins, Travis Hafner smashed a home run to right center field. During the radio broadcast Mike Hegan exclaimed "The Pronk Is Back!"

One might assume this is a little premature and probably an example of a broadcaster getting a little ahead of himself until it was also discovered that Matt Underwood made the same pronouncement during the STO broadcast of game. It was then reported that the Progressive Field fans were chanting "Pronk Is Back, Pronk Is Back!". The side of the mezzanine level in right field now reads "Welcome BACK to Pronkville". There is also a billboard on I-90 West as you are coming into Cleveland that proclaims the same. We feel sorry for the Tribe fan base in Cleveland, as it is obvious that this is something that has been weighing heavily on them for some time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Perez Delivers His Message

CLEVELAND, OH - Rafeal Perez, left-handed relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, had enough of the recent treatment he had been receiving. It finally boiled over Thursday, August 14 against the Baltimore Orioles. While in the club house preparing for that night's game, even with Jensen Lewis jamming on Guitar Hero with the volume way up, Perez overheard an interview between indians.com reporter, Andrew Gribble and Tribe pitching coach Carl Willis. He heard Willis' mentioning of how they were keeping an eye on Masa Kobayashi because he has already pitched more innings this year then all of last year in Japan.

This left Perez thinking, I guest that is the difference between making $3 million a year and the league minimum. When the team has a lot invested in you, they worried about your physical condition. When you're making $400K a year, they're willing to pitch you two innings a night, every night, until your arm falls off. Perez may be referring to fact that he had already pitched 61 innings this year coming into Thursday's game, compared to 60.2 all of last year with a month and a half left in the season.

Perez entered Thursday game determined to take things into his own hands, he figured if he gave up some runs, it would lessen his use in future games for the remainder of the season. So, Perez promptly allowed three hits along with four runs and then was pulled for Edward Mujica. Perez continued his plan the following Friday night in Arlington, allowing the Rangers to put up three runs on the board in two innings.

Unfortunately for Perez, it does not seem that his message has been heard. Following Cleveland's 7-5 victory over Texas Friday night, Wedge commented to reporters that "What hell do you expect me to do. If I don't bring Perez in, I'm bringing in someone that is certain to allow 3-4 runs. Do you realize I was AL manager of the year last year? I have a reputation to uphold. If a pitcher can't handle pitching every game, perhaps they would like to go back to doing what they did before baseball!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shoppach Switching To Maple Bats

TORONTO, ON - Kelly Shoppach, currently serving as full-time catcher with Victor Martinez on the DL, was seen with his right thigh wrapped in ice following Cleveland's 4-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Shoppach snapped his bat over his leg in the fourth inning after striking out for the third time in the game, leaving runners on first and third.

When asked by reports about the ice, Shoppach responded "I did the same stupid thing last year in July. My leg hurt for a couple of days, but I wasn't playing every day last year, so I was able to hide my injury using Lonnie's...uh...I...mean...anyways, I'm going to be switching to maple bats since they are easier to break. This should lessen the likelihood of injury."

The beat reporters then turned off their recording devices and put their notepads away and headed over to Cliff Lee's locker to ask him about his eight innings of shutout baseball, 17 total this year against the Jays. However our top notch beat reporter here at LFL stayed behind. He noticed something about Shoppach’s comments; he had begun to elaborate on hiding his injury last year, but stopped himself mid-sentence. He initially stated he had no comment when asked by LFL about this, but after a little bit of prodding, Shoppach revealed that upon arriving in Cleveland in the trade with Boston, he was given "Lonnie Soloff's Guide to Injury Hiding" - a four page pamphlet explaining how to best hide nagging injuries from coaches, front office personnel, fans and even the finest beat reports in Cleveland. He said it covers everything from avoiding questions regarding icing your shoulder after a game, even though you are the DH. To pretending you injured your hamstring, so no one will notice your elbow is killing you. To even paying off the bullpen radar gun operator so Luis Isaac won't notice your fastball is topping out at 79 MPH prior to the ninth inning.

Wedge responded to questions regarding this by saying, “Kelly has a vivid imagination, I wouldn’t take him too serious."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Latest Summer Blockbuster

Coming to a theater near you:

Left Field Lampoon's Summer Vacation

It is a sad story of a small market GM working for a business-savvy team president who is forced to say goodbye to the super-star ace pitcher that he helped raise from a raw draft pick to Cy Young Award winner when the pitcher's "expectations" don't align with the team's "abilities". Sadness turns to anger when it is reveled that off season inactivity by the GM is what ultimately lead to his demise.

Follow along as the story takes you from the ineffective contract talks in spring training, to the disappointing first three months of the season (in which the entire team struggles, but no one is to blame except a greasy-haired outfielder), to the eventual trading for prospects and PTBNL. Ride the emotional roller coaster as the bullpen blows lead after lead, as the offense squanders opportunity after opportunity and kills rally after rally. Watch the reining AL Cy Young Award winner start the season 0-3 with 13.50 ERA.

Meet the key characters like the peculiar and unemotional manager Cousin Wedgie, who is determined to have his players act in a professional manner and keep their egos in-check by never offering any praise. Paul Dolan, the business-mined, spend-what-you-bring-in team president. Doug Melvin, the general manager with a "the future is NOW!" mentality. Mark Shapiro, the can-do-no-wrong general manager who always comes out looking good. And CC, the fun-loving teddy bear of man who just wants to live his dream and play baseball for the Cleveland Indians.

What others are saying:

Roger Ebert: "...my root cancel without Novocain was more enjoyable and thankfully, shorter than this movie..."

Chevy Chase: "...my attorneys are drafting something up right now..."

CC Sabathia: "...Thanks For 10 Great Years..."

Another Quality Post Inspired By The Serial Posters @ The DiaTribe

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sabathia Fires Website Design Firm

MILWAUKEE, WI - CC Sabathia, recently traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, has relieved the design team of his player website (ccsabathia52.com) of their duties. Sabathia, in a request through his publiCCist, asked that the media refer to him as CC without the periods. However, upon reviewing his player website, Sabathia disCCovered several instances were his name was still noted as "C.C.". When questioned about the decision, CC stated "CClearly they do not take that HONOR of designing and maintaining my website serious. It is obvious that they do not realize my importanCCe and that people are lining up for a CChance to design my site." CC CContinued, somewhat CChoked up, "How can I expect the media to honor my request, when my own website design team disregards it! It is simply unaCCCCeptable!" CC then slammed his CCap to the loCCker room floor and stormed out, pouting like the CC we CCame to love in the early part of his CCareer.

LFL, doing it's own review of CC's site, CCounted a total of 15 times that CC is "C.C.". We also found it still mentions him as being a CCleveland Indian, something CC surely would be disappointed to know.

LFL also learned that CC's request for the period removal went even farther; he has requested that when writing a story that references him, reporters are to use double-Cs throughout the story. For example: "CC pitCChed nine CComplete innings, leading the Brewers to viCCtory." Apparently to drive home the point of his importanCCe. He also requested that Bob UeCCker CCall "CC-Ya-Later" whenever CC goes yard during a Brewers radio broadCCast.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Cleveland Traded C...C...

Now that C...C...'s departure to the Brewers for Matt LaPorta, two PANBNMHs (Player Already Named But Not Mentioned Here) and one PTBNL (Player To Be Named Later) is official, we continue our Top 10 Reasons series with a little different prospective.

This represents the Top 10 reasons the Indians gave up on re-signing Sabathia and traded him to Milwaukee.

Let The Countdown Begin...

10. Paying by the pound finally proved too costly

9. After a few months in Milwaukee receiving run support and having the lead he left the bullpen with being held. Shapiro claims: "He'll be begging us to bring him back."

8. Last remaining member of the Crooked-Cap Club is finally gone

7. 2007 Postseason

6. Two Words, Barry Zito

5. You can get two Faustos for the price of one C...C...

4. Reunite him with good friends Russell Branyan and David Riske

3. Who needs C...C... Sabathia when you got Jeff Weaver

2. Emotion occasionally displayed on the field was determined unacceptable for a "Professional" ballplayer by Manager Eric Wedge

1. When agreeing to allow the Tribe to play a three game series against the Angles last year in Miller Park, Brewers GM Doug Melvin informed Indians GM Mark Shapiro, "Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But uh, until that day, accept this...as a gift..."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top 10 Reasons C.C. Should Re-sign

In light of the Indians' season spiraling out-of-control and C.C. heading to the mound tonight for what might be his last appearance in an Indians uniform. It seemed appropriate to post the first of four "Top 10 Reasons" lists relating to C.C.'s pending FA/trade departure.

This represents the Top 10 Reasons C.C. should decide to stay with the Tribe.

Drum roll please...

10. Great opportunity to teach your son a life lesson in loyalty.

9. Think Cleveland fans are harsh? Try starting 0-3 with 13.50 ERA in New York.

8. A home-grown star choosing Cleveland over the money, could be King, well at least Mayor.

7. Trouble pitching in Oakland? Try pitching half your games there.

6. Melting down the Ramirez and Thome statues may yield enough material for your own statue.

5. Most managers will yell and scream when their players are vastly under performing.

4. Additional money will disappear when adjusted for New York/California cost of living rates.

3. Dollar Dog Night.

2. Cleveland's dental converge is the best in the league.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Are You "IN" The Tribe?

CLEVELAND, OH - You've seen the ads on STO broadcasts of Indians games advertising the new Indians fan club "The Tribe". Well, apparently the marketing department has come under fire for some of those ads. Several viewers have written letters to STO claiming the team they (STO) portrayed in those ads was not the team they (whiny Indians fans) paid money to see at Progressive Field. So, to avoid potential lawsuits for false advertising, the marketing department has produced several new "In The Tribe" commercials. They posted the first on YouTube and it is linked here.

For those of you unfamiliar with "The Tribe" fan club, let's review. For only $19.95 you get entry into the premier Indians fan club.

Membership includes :

• a year subscription to MLB Gameday Audio

• a shinny plastic membership card

• an exclusive, password-protected, area of Indians.com with links to content available in the public areas of the site

• a customer service email for members-only, where your emails are guaranteed to go unanswered.

• a "members-only" message board where you, and the six other morons who shelled out $19.95 for this stupid fan club, can chat about all things Indians.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Indians Announce New Promotional Schedule

CLEVELAND, OH - In response to low attendance at newly renamed Progressive Field, the Cleveland Indians have announced a new promotional schedule for the remainder of the 2008 season. Victor Gregovits, Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing, stated that attendance started a downward trend in 2002 with the departure of Jim Thome, which signaled the beginning of the recent rebuilding phase. He said it has been obvious that last year's Central Division Championship was not enough and that this year's "slow start" has not helped either. The new promotional schedule includes the following changes and/or additions.

• "You’re Fired!" Fridays - In place of "Fireworks" Friday, every Friday one lucky fan will be selected to fire a front office executive, the manager, any of the coaches, or designate a player for assignment.

• You Be The Manager Saturdays - All fans arriving at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the game will be given the opportunity to submit a starting lineup. The lineup receiving the most submissions will be used for that night's game.

• Sunday Kids Fun Days - All kids 14 and under (and one adult that can convince stadium personnel that their child is unable to run the bases alone) will be able to run the bases after the game. However, as an added bonus, all Indians players will be required to run the bases to show fans what it could have looked like during the game.

• $1 Beer Nights - During select home games plastic bottles of your favorite brew will be available for only $1. Also, it is recommended that plastic bottles are retained and filled with urine. Fans are encouraged to shower the field with their urine bottles after blown saves, rally-killing ground/strike outs, etc.

• Pronk MIA Value Plan- Seats in the Mezzanine Level (Pronkville) will be discounted $.50 for every day Travis Hafner remains on the DL. As of June 23, Hafner has been on the DL for 29 days which equals a savings of $14.50 off the price of a single game ticket!!!

• Blown Save Savers - All fans, still in attendance, will receive a 1/2 coupon for a future Tribe game when ever a reliever blows a save. please note: games with multiple blown save will still only count as one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Freedom of Information Act

CLEVELAND, OH - It started with Borowski's triceps injury suffered during spring training, that he had been trying to "work through" until Manny Ramirez deposited his 83 MPH fastball on the Toyota Homerun Porch. Then there was the revelation that Hafner's shoulder had been ailing for sometime. And finally, Victor Martinez has landed on the DL after the acknowledgment that he was also trying to "work through" his elbow soreness. All this has finally boiled over and under mounting pressure from fans and sports writers alike, the Cleveland Indians have come clean with who is truly suffering from injuries.

Casey Blake - Blake is suffering from emotional distress brought on by the negative reporting at sites like Dump Casey Blake and other such Indians blogs as well as Tribe Internet Forums. The effects can no longer be ignored, his batting average in front of the rabid fans at Progressive Field is .193, as opposed to batting .336 in what should be more unfriendly confines. Fortunately, Blake has been able to get "caught up in the moment" when runners are in scoring position, posting a .424 average in that situation.

Jhonny Peralta - Apparently Peralta is going through a relapse with his Lasik surgery, rendering him helpless to distinguish outside curve balls with two strikes. Peralta is currently posting a .126 average with two strikes, which is more than 40 points lower than his career average. Hopefully with this newly released information there will be increased pressure for Peralta to re-visit with the eye specialist at the Cleveland Clinic that preformed the surgery.

Ryan Garko - Garko stubbed his toe in April while walking through the locker room barefooted. The soreness in his toe forces him to put all his weight on his back foot causing him to have an exaggerated upper-cut, thus increasing his pop-up rate.

Andy Marte - Similar to Adam Miller, except his blisters are on his rear-end from too much time spent on the bench earlier this season. Now Wedge is forced to keep Marte on the bench until his backside has healed. The Indians reportedly sent Marte to the same specialist that saw Miller and Josh Barfield. Marte returned from the appointment and reported "You idiots, he is a 'hand' specialist!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Indians Propose Division Re-Alignment

CLEVELAND, OH – Cleveland Indians Team President Paul Dolan, responding to the suggestions of GM Mark Shapiro and Manager Eric Wedge, has apparently sent a letter to MLB pushing them for a division re-alignment. Dolan's proposal would move the Texas Rangers from the AL West into the AL Central and move the Minnesota Twins from the AL Central to the AL West.

Details have been limited, but reports are that Dolan’s reasons are that Arlington is no more a western town than Minneapolis. Also Dolan is hoping to drive up attendance by bringing hometown favorite, Milton Bradley into Progressive Field more frequently and give the fans something to cheer (well, in this case boo) about. It would also allow for the “Playing Cowboys and Indians” marketing campaign by making the Rangers a regular opponent and hopefully a bitter rival.

Clearly Dolan has lost his mind. We here at LFL feel this is just a front for the real reasons behind this effort. Arlington is no more a western town than Minneapolis? Come on. Arlington is just outside of Dallas and what is more western than Dallas? Milton Bradley? Does anyone other than Tom Hamilton really care about Milton Bradley and his propensity for being thrown out of games by arguing bases and strikes?

Our crack team here at LFL did a little research, we believe we’ve found the real reason for this proposal. The Indians, clearly slumping offensively, are batting .312 with 10 HR and 54 runs scored against the Rangers in 7 games as opposed to .241 with 3 HR and 31 run scored in 5 games against the Twins.

As long as Dolan is at it, why not propose moving Detroit to the NL Central and Chicago to the NL East and bring Pittsburgh and Washington to the AL Central. Obvious Dolan is hoping to hide the deficiencies of this club by trying to turn the Al Central back to the playground the Indians enjoyed in the late nineties.

Stay tuned, as it is still early, and this is only going to get more bizarre.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SI Cover Jinx?

There is good news, bad news and could-go-either-way news. Your Cleveland Indians (more specifically Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner) are going to be featured on the upcoming cover of Sports Illustrated. That, for all you why-does-New-York-and-Boston-get-all-the-coverage complainers, would be the good news.

Now for the bad news; it is quite simple, are you a believer of the SI Cover Jinx (SICJ)? Do you remember the April 6th, 1987 cover of SI, titled “Indian Uprising”? If you don’t, perhaps you'll remember how the cover preceded a 1987 campaign in which the Tribe finished 61-101 and 37 (yes a three, followed by a seven) games out for first place. So, if you aren’t a believer of the SICJ you have a difficult time explaining that outcome.

To explain the could-go-either-way part, it needs to be pointed out that usually the SICJ recipients are on their way up or are experiencing an exceptional season. So, if you can follow the logic, a negative cover story should have the reverse effect on Martinez, Hafner and the entire Indians team, thus propelling them into an extended winning streak that will place them firmly atop the Central Division. Well, at least we can hope and with the way this season has gone, we'll take any hope we can get.

The SI issue goes deeper than just the cover story. There is any interesting story on the controversial maple bats that more and more players have been switching to, consequently leading to an increase in shattering bats. It also features a piece on the Wedge-Blake connection and Wedge’s sometimes ill placed loyalty to certain players. There is an article about how Joel Skinner's over cautious approach to base running cost the Indians the 2007 ALCS. Finally there is a fascinating commentary about C.C.’s future and a revisiting of him being spotted in a Yankee cap a few years back.

Overall, the issue is a great read and is highly recommended for all Tribe fans regardless of your position on the SICJ.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indians Hitters Have A New Approach

CLEVELAND, OH - Indians Manager Eric Wedge is confident that the slumping offense is about to turn the corner. Wedge, talking about Travis Hafner, said "he's been stroking the ball to all parts of the field during BP, we are all very encouraged by this. We've seen improvement in most of the other guys recently as well." Wedge attributed the marked improvement to a new plan-of-attack implemented by Hitting Coach Derek Shelton.

Talking with Shelton, LFL learned his new strategies included recently investing in a half dozen Nintendo Wii consoles with the MLB Power Pros game. Shelton explained, "They've been averaging 10 runs and 16 hits when playing computer controlled Central Division opponents in the game. Of course they had to tweak their player ratings and download some cheats from the internet, but I still think it is a good sign." Shelton continued, "Pronk's batting something like .600 with an OPS of 1.400! I don't see how that can't pour over into real-time game situations. It has too, right?"

Shelton further explained how they also purchased a few Derek Jeter Hurricane Batting Trainers and the players are required to take 250 practice swings on one before each game. Shelton reasoned, "Jeter wouldn't put his name on something that doesn't work, plus we got some free Reaction Balls for the infielders. Peralta and Blake play with their balls before every game."

The final approach was to purchase several Ripken Baseball: The Fundamentals of Hitting DVDs. Players are required to watch the video after every game that they post an 0-for. Shelton defended his decision, "A lot of people question why I would select Ripken's video. They say that his career batting average is .276. My response to that is, hey, for most of our guys, .276 would be a vast improvement. You have to set reasonable goals for yourself, you know."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fan Interaction In Chicago

CHICAGO, IL - Fan interaction is nothing new in the South Side of Chicago during White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field. There have been several occasions when fans (usually intoxicated) have decided to take part in the on-field activities. Recent events include, but are not limited to:

Unfortunately there is another incident to add to the list. Last night, following the 7-2 victory against the Cleveland Indians, a disgruntled and somewhat inebriated Indians fan stormed the field when hitting coach, Derek Shelton, emerged from the dugout. The fan jumped the wall on the first base side of the field and took off after Shelton screaming "How 'bout a hitting lesson you inept piece of s#@%!"

Indians Manager Eric Wedge stood idly by while Shelton’s life was in danger, stating afterward “I find it is best to sit back and not get involved, these things usually work themselves out in the end. That's been my approach from day one.”

Thankfully for Shelton, White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen was unwilling to allow this attack to ensue. Guillen quickly grabbed A.J. Pierzynski, his enforcer, and they ran to Shelton’s defense quickly subduing the thug. During the post game interview Guillen expressed, “Have you noticed how pathetic their offense is? We have a plan to win this division this year, and part of that plan includes the Indians believing their slump will magically correct itself. We don’t want them doing anything about it until it is too late.”

During a press conference early this morning, the police informed the media that the Tribe fan disclosed to them that he got the idea from reading the comments posted on The DiaTribe, a popular Indians blog. Police further explained how their investigation led them to the authors of those comments, but the authors denied any wrongdoing and claimed they did not know the hooligan.

However, digging a little deeper, LFL has discovered that some of the serial posters of the blog have started a charity drive to help cover the fan’s legal fees. A conversation with the individual heading up the campaign explained to us that they have had an overwhelming response and have already raised $30. He also expressed that while they don’t endorse the actions, they are worried about the fan’s likelihood of receiving a fair trial in Chicago.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Borowski To Return From DL

KISSIMMEE, FL - Reports are that Joe Borowski's recovery from a tricep strain is progressing well at an anti-aging clinic in Florida. He is expected to return from the DL in time for this weekend's series in Cincinnati. An anonymous source has told LFL that Borowski's MRI on April, 15th was conducted by Paul Byrd's dentist in Florida (we’ll let you draw your own conclusions to that).

Apparently “JoeBlow” (a nickname given to him by his faithful fans) is healing "faster" than expected and along with rehabbing his rubber arm; he is also working on his mechanics. When he returns to the Tribe he will be sporting a brand-new double-windup hand lick, which is surely to disgust the opposing batters, rendering them powerless to offer at his 83 MPH fastball.

Upon his return, Borowski will replace Rafael Betancourt as the team's closer. When ask about the demotion in an exclusive LFL interview, Betancourt responded "No espere que me a seguir celebrando el plomo, sólo para verla volado. En serio, estamos todos jodidos!" (Roll Over For Translation)

When questioned about Borowski's return, Indians manager, Eric Wedge stated "I understand there will be some outrage from the fans. Let me explain our thought process on this; our starting pitching is keeping teams from scoring and our offense appears to be coming around, so hopefully by the ninth inning our lead will be four or more runs and none of this will mater."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Failed Pronk Experiment

The combination of science and baseball is nothing new, but it has recently taken a strange and controversial path. An LFL investigative report as learned some startling information regarding how far baseball executives will go to produce a winning baseball team.

Our story begins in the spring of 2000 in Arlington, TX. Desperate for a team that could not only continue to compete in the AL west, but also one that could make it beyond the first round of the playoffs and win its first World Series title in team history, Texas Rangers GM Doug Melvin got creative, real creative.

Melvin contacted the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is famous for its controversial cloning of a sheep named "Dolly".
Melvin spoke with Dr. Ian Wilmut, who spearheaded the Dolly project, to discuss any ideas he had for creating the ultimate baseball player. Dr. Wilmut informed Melvin that he and Prof. Keith Campbell had actually started on research along those same lines. Dr. Wilmut explained that their research discovered the best combination would be that of donkey DNA and human DNA. The choice of donkey DNA was due to its strength and ability to handle adverse environmental conditions.

Melvin liked what he was hearing, the two parties came to an agreement that would require the Roslin Institute to supply the donkey and Melvin would be responsible for the human subject. Melvin had the perfect person in mind, Travis Hafner, a mostly unknown prospect in the Ranger farm system. Hafner came from a small town in North Dakota, so small his high school graduating class had only eight people. Melvin figured that his use would go unnoticed.

By the beginning of 2001, the project was complete and thus, Pronk was born. Melvin kept the project mostly to himself, but unfortunately, never stayed in Texas long enough to see his experiment through to the end. He did, however, inform incoming GM John Hart of the “Pronk Project”. Hart, being a baseball traditionalist, felt this was perverse and wanted no part of it and on December 6, 2002 transfered the “Pronk Project” to the Mark Shapiro, GM of the Cleveland Indians. Shapiro was open to the project because he was looking for a cheap replacement for Jim Thome, who was likely to depart via free agency at the end of the season.

Through the first five seasons, the gamble paid off as Pronk was one of the most feared DHs in the league, hitting monstrous homers and consistently driving in runs. This would begin to change in 2007 and it was clear heading into the all-star break that year, the experiment had taken a turn for the worst. Pronk had begun a downward spiral that included a lost in power and helplessness at the plate to recognize pitches out of the zone or off-speed pitches.

This change of events put Shapiro in a though situation, it was obvious he needed to rid himself of the “Pronk Project”. Pronk, however, had a different plan; he wanted to stay in Cleveland and knew Shapiro was hinting that he indented to transfer the project to another team before the trade deadline. He went to Shapiro and threatened to go public about the experiment and thus forced Shapiro's hand to offer Pronk a contract extension.

It has now been over a year since the beginning of Pronk’s demise and the Indians and their fans will continue to suffer until the “Pronk Project” is concluded. Unfortunately only Pronk can determine when that will be.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Proposed Perk Package for C.C.

With C.C.'s contract negotiations expected to resume at the conclusion of this season, LFL took the opportunity to speak with Mark Shaprio about how the talks are progressing. Shapiro informed us that they learned a lot from the failed attempt to resign Jim Thome at the conclusion of the 2002 season. Some may remember that instead of a guaranteed sixth year, the Indians offered Thome an extensive list of perks. Some of the perks included a no trade clause and statue of Thome outside Progressive Field, similar to Bob Feller's. Many say that this was too little too late and if it had been offered earlier in the contract talks, it would have sealed the deal. Learning from past failures, Shapiro decided to offer a similar perk package to C.C. during the negotiations in spring training. In an LFL exclusive, we've obtained the list of the perks and outline them below.

  • Rename the Terrace Club to the Crooked Cap Club.

  • Exemption from West Coast road trips involving games against Oakland.

  • Guarantee from marketing department that there will never again be a 1970 Retro C.C. Bobblehead night or anything similar.

  • Matt Underwood will be required to scream "C.C. Ya Later!" ever time Sabathia strikes out a batter on an STO broadcast.

  • Hafner will sit out games in which Sabathia starts, Sabathia will be allowed to bat for himself.

  • Hot dog vendors will be required to make stops in the Indians dugout on Dollar Dog Night.

  • Rename Eagle Avenue to Hefty Lefty Boulevard.

  • Creation of the C.C. Under Achievers Club. It will reward students who get only C's on their report cards.

  • A statue outside the stadium next to Bob Feller's, which will be named Big Feller. Along with the promise to never desecrate it with a "It's Tribe Time" t-shirt during future playoff series.

  • A promise from the Dolan family to "Spend when the time is right" to put together a line-up that can average more than two runs a game.
  • Friday, April 25, 2008

    Dear Mr. Shapiro

    Mr. Mark Shapiro
    Cleveland Indians
    2401 Ontario Street
    Cleveland, OH 44115

    Dear Mr. Shapiro:

    Let me first thank you for giving the opportunity to be a productive member of the Major League club (even if for only four days). I hope that you recognize that I’ve been giving it my best effort, even though my playing time has been limited.

    Now, I know you’re going to have to make a though decision tomorrow. Let me try to make is easier for you. If the “always-wet” blonde hair is a selling point, let me tell you now, I’m willing to wear a wig if it means I get to stay here in Cleveland. Also, if having a beard means playing time (as it seems others are benefiting from that policy) I’m willing to grow one. Hell, I’ll wear the wig and grow a beard.

    If there are defensive concerns let me assure you that I would have caught that ball last night that made a certain somebody look silly. Also, my superb vision allows me to distinguish between Metrodome ceiling cloth and baseball leather.

    I just hope you hear the screams from the fans; after all they pay your salary and mine.


    Ben Francisco
    Left Fielder
    Cleveland Indians

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Tribe Sends Manager Wedge to the DL

    KANSAS CITY, MO - In a surprising and unprecedented development, the Cleveland Indians have placed their mild-mannered manager on the 15-day disabled list. Tribe manager Eric Wedge said in a telephone interview with LFL that he injured his vocal cords in spring training and felt he could work through it. Wedge spent the first nineteen games being unable to argue blown calls and floating strike zones. The final blow came Tuesday night when Wedge was unable to successfully argue players being granted timeouts while C.C. was beginning his windup. After the game Wedge unselfishly sought the advice of team trainers. After several tests were conducted, it was determined, for the sake of his career that Wedge should take some time off to rest his vocal cords.

    Mark Sharpiro, once again showing his outstanding GM skills, passed on assigning interim managerial duties to bench coach Jeff Datz or third base coach Joel Skinner. He instead traded hitting coach Derek Shelton to the Mississippi Braves (Atlanta's AA affiliate) for their manager Phillip Wellman (showing his managerial abilities in the above YouTube video).

    Shapiro, taking advantage of road trip that stopped in Kansas City, convinced Royals vice president of baseball operations, George Brett to resign from his position and replace Shelton as Cleveland's new hitting coach.

    Shapiro's hope is that these two hot-heads will help to inspire the young Tribe to show some emotion and maybe play to their potential, but at the very least, give the fans something to cheer about.

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Welcome Statement

    As all Cleveland Indians fans know, sometimes coping with the effects of being a fan of said sports team can be tough. I could ramble on and on about what could have been or should be, but I'll leave that to more qualified writers. The purpose of this blog is to offer a place that can help take your mind off of what is really going on with the Cleveland Indians.

    Let me warn you, I have no formal literary training (outside of a Technical Writing class in college) and if not for the Wild Wild Web, would have no hope having my "witty" content being published. Blogspot's website does offer a spell check (as long as I don't forget to use it), but it does not offer a grammar/English check (so, please forgive me, English is my 1st language and I'm still learning). My 8th grade English teacher would be proud.

    My goal is to try to add a new post about once a week or so. If you like what you find here, check back often, I'll try to keep it fresh. If you don't like what you find here, then check back often, I'll try to continue disappointing you. If you'd like to comment, positive or negative, please do I would like know what you think.

    Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy your stay.