A tale of two teams: Cleveland Indians first half recap

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness” in Cleveland. Charles Dickens famous words are a cliché perhaps, but the Indians have made that cliché all too true throughout the first half of 2011. After starting an improbable 30-15, the best start in the majors, the Tribe went just 17-27, leaving them with a 47-42 record, good for 2nd in the AL Central.

What went wrong for the Tribe during that rough patch? And can they turn it around and stick with the Tigers in the apparent two-team battle for the Central? [Read more…]

Cleveland Indian Shin-Soo Choo’s on-field problems, DUI solved with a hug.

Indian's Shin-Soo Choo

Quick question: Before the season started, who had the Cleveland Indians atop the A.L. Central, leading the league in run differential and seemingly trading back and forth daily with the Philadelphia Phillies for the best record in baseball by mid-May?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  Just about everything has been clicking for the Tribe as of late, but amidst the fanfare and joy that only the best home start since 1901 can bring, it seems there is one Indian who has yet to join the party:  Shin-Soo Choo.

By: Jeff Beck

Photosource: Keith Allison

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Why the Cleveland Indians Success Will Not Continue

The Cleveland Indians are the surprise team of baseball. Sitting atop the AL Central, the Tribe is tied for the best record in the MLB. Most analysts did not believe the Indians would see this much success. Most now sit patiently, waiting for the Indians to revert back to their losing ways. And despite the success of this team, the return to failure is imminent.

Go here for an explanation of why this surprisingly good start might continue

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Why the Cleveland Indians’ Early Success Will Continue in 2011

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The most surprising team in baseball, the Cleveland Indians (22-10), are still tied for the best record in the MLB. Few analysts believed the Tribe would stand a chance in 2011, and almost none believed the Tribe would lead the AL Central. Despite this, the pesky Indians continue to find ways to win.

For an explanation of why this early success will NOT continue go here (Only after 8:11 AM CT on 5/9/11- when link goes live)

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Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera named Co-AL Player of the Week

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Asdrubal Cabrera’s impressive offensive numbers have been pivotal in the Indians’ fast start, and have been strong enough to earn him the Co-AL Player of the Week, sharing the title with Paul Konerko of the White Sox.

Cabrera is most often associated with his strong defensive abilities, but has taken his offense to a whole new level this season. Off to a solid .316 start, the shortstop already has three home runs and nine RBI’s this season, leading the Tribe in both categories. To add some perspective to that stat, Cabrera has never hit more than six home runs in an entire season.

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Despite Doubts, Cleveland Indians Offense Poised to Carry Team

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Cleveland Indians fans have heard the same arguments again and again: Travis Hafner is past his prime, none of the young players have developed, and the Indians offense will be one of the weakest in the MLB. It may be early in the season, but thus far, the Indians have shown that their offense has the potential to be far more potent than a anticipated.

Hafner appears to have regained some of his old swagger in the early games this season. Though his production last season was far below his bloated salary’s worth, he managed to hit .278 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI’s, not completely terrible production. As he had a slow start last season, most of those numbers came as the year progressed, and thus far Pronk has brought that momentum into 2011. He is tied for the team lead in home runs, batting average, and hits, going 7 for his first 19. His production this season has already likely outdone what most fans and experts expected from him.

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Cleveland Indians Offseason in Review

After a dreadful 69-93 season, the Cleveland Indians seemed like they were centuries away from their fantastic teams of the ’90s. Like the Royals, a lot of this team’s success depends on whether or not prospects develop.

The Indians do have All-Star type of players in guys like Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore and even Fausto Carmona, whose 13-14 season wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. But the Indians are also full of players with more question marks than last year’s Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault case.

Fun fact: Orlando Cabrera has played for five teams in the last four years. Must be a great locker room guy to put around young players…

Let’s check out the squad.

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Hak-Ju Lee could be the Cubs’ next Hee-Seop Choi

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Current Peoria Chiefs shortstop Hak-Ju Lee is rated the sixth best prospects in the Minor League system of the Chicago Cubs. During the “Road to Wrigley” game earlier this month, I asked the infielder about which players he looked up to his as he continued his development in the Cubs system. The Jeonju, South Korea native mentioned former Cub Hee-Seop Choi, and current Cleveland Indians star Shin-Soo Choo. Lee described Choi as a “really good hitter,” and Choo’s current numbers

Choi spent four seasons in the Cubs farm system where he was considered one of the organization’s top prospects. Then On September 3, 2002, Choi made his Major League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers and became the first Korean-born position player to play in the Major Leagues.

By Paul M. Banks

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Cabrera’s injury latest symptom for Cleveland “platoonism”

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When Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera fractured his arm on Monday night, it added injury to injury — the Tribe suffers from “platoonism.” Look at Cleveland’s day-to-day roster and you’ll find few regulars taking to the fresh-cut grass every day. And that is a dangerous place to be for the Indians.

By Kevin Hunt

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