Tomorrow the Indians and the Reds square off at 1:05 p.m. MT (or 3:05 for those of us in the east) in the first official spring training game for 2013. Giovanny Soto will be on the mound for the Tribe to start the game and it will be broadcast on WTAM 1100. Soto, who was acquired in the Jhonny Peralta trade a couple of years ago, will be leaving camp to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Because of that fact, they wanted to get him a start before he leaves (since nobody knows how long some of these teams will stay alive in the tournament). Tomorrow’s starting lineup for the Tribe consists of all of the regulars; they’ll be in the game for at least a couple of innings before the substitutions begin.
Here is the lineup:
Michael Bourn, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Nick Swisher, 1B
Michael Brantley, LF
Carlos Santana, C
Mark Reynolds, DH
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
Drew Stubbs, RF
I was kind of surprised to see Santana so far down in the lineup, but I really like the idea of Stubbs batting ninth. With his speed, if he’s able to get on base it’s almost like having two leadoff guys in a row. This lineup is so much better than last year’s. There was a point where you were past all of the good players and you had what I referred to as “the wasteland” until you got back to the more talented guys.
A few other notes:
– Edwin Jackson said that his decision this offseason basically came down to the Cubs and the Indians. He ended up signing a four year, $52 million deal with the Cubs. While I like Jackson, I’m not sure if I like him at that price…even with the Indians’ need for pitching.
– In this article by CBS Sports’ Scott Miller, Michael Bourn discusses the ups and downs of free agency. His decision ultimately came down to the Indians and Mets, after Atlanta signed B.J. Upton and the Phillies and Nationals traded for Ben Revere and Denard Span, respectively. It sounds as if Bourn took the Upton signing in stride, but was shocked by the trade of the two Twins outfielders. He thought that Philly and Washington may be two teams fighting over his services, but the trades filled their needs.
– Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Dodgers had “big-time” interest in Chris Perez this offseason. He thinks that the Indians could still deal Perez, depending on the type of start the team has. Since the Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitchers, perhaps Perez could be flipped for one of them?
– Last week, Terry Pluto reported that the Indians made Bourn an offer last November, willing to offer roughly the same amount they offered to Shane Victorino. At the time, Bourn’s agent Scott Boras still thought he could get Bourn a deal in the $100 million range. It was quite an overreach on his part, but at least the Indians’ patience paid off.
– If you simply can’t wait until tomorrow to listen to some baseball on the radio, you may want to check out this video of some of Tom Hamilton’s famous calls. (It’s on YouTube, but it’s basically audio with some pictures). My personal favorite is near the beginning – the comeback game against the Mariners in 2001. I remember I was in Ocean City, Maryland, and was on my way home. I stopped to call my dad from a payphone (I did not even own a cell phone yet) and he told me the Mariners were up by 12. I had been trying to get in WTAM on the car radio, but basically gave up at that point. I got home late and went to bed without checking the score. When I woke up the next morning and saw the score on the crawl at the bottom of the news, I thought I was hallucinating. Fortunately it was on ESPN Classic almost immediately and I got to see it.
– Speaking of watching old broadcasts, I just happened to notice the other day that the MLB app on the Ipad has a bunch of classic games you can watch from start to finish. (I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before). Two of the games available are Game 6 of the 1995 World Series and Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. So if you’re ever looking for an activity on a night you feel like sitting around drinking and crying, you can watch those games!
It’s just 40 days until Opening Day in Toronto!