Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Early last week, I received an e-mail from Devin Clancy at USA Today’s SportsWeekly, as part of a season-long series that they’re running on bloggers from each team. The first Q & A featured the guys from Cardinals Diaspora and the second will feature…drumroll, please…yours truly.

It’s scheduled to hit newsstands tomorrow, so head out and spend the $1.50 for some in-depth coverage of MLB (and something else happening in the NFL this weekend) and see The DiaTriber’s first foray into the printed word. I know that some of you have subscriptions to SportsWeekly, so check it out. If not, pick one up…that is, if you can find one in NE Ohio.

Not being sure what they’ll use in the article, here’s a sampling of the Q & A:
What's the best move by management in recent memory?
Locking up Grady Sizemore, after less than 2 years of MLB service time, to a contract that runs through 2012. That 2012 club option pays him $8.5M…6 years from now! This for a player that became the 4th player in MLB history to hit 50 2B’s, 10 3B’s, and 25 HR (Lou Gehrig, Chuck Klein, and Ducky Medwick are the others) at the ripe old age of 23.

If you bought the team, who, if anyone, would you fire first?
The mascot Slider – a disgusting amalgamation of pink, yellow, and the Electric Slide. Apparently inspired by the Phillie Phanatic, he simply looks like a rejected character from Fraggle Rock that has either a case of nasty allergies or is unaware that Kleenex has been invented. Unless, of course, it’s suddenly revealed that Tribe legend Bob Feller is actually the man behind the mask.

Favorite current player and why?
Grady SuperSizemore (think Morgan Spurlock meets the Man of Steel), who basically pulls an Austin Powers – “Women want him, men want to be him.” He’s 24, a multimillionaire, one of the top10 players in all of MLB, and he looks like Vinnie Chase from Entourage. He runs into walls, he swats balls over the fence, he flies around the basepaths like he’s still running the option (he was recruited by Washington to play QB), and he’s basically the coolest guy in the room. A full-blown man crush is the next logical step.

All-time favorite player?
Pat Tabler, who as a 1B/DH, put his arm around a certain 10-year-old at Municipal Stadium during a fielding clinic put on by the “Little Indians’ Fan Club” as said 10-year-old stared open-mouthed at the glory that was the great Pat Tabler.

Do the Indians have a bitter rival or does it change based on which AL Central team is good at a given time?
Since realignment created the AL Central, the Indians chief rival has gone from Chicago to Minnesota to Chicago to whoever is in front. Ask Indians fans and they’ll tell you it’s the Yankees, although for Yankee fans, the Indians fall somewhere between the Blue Jays and Tigers. At least we beat them in that one-game playoff when Willie Mays Hayes scored from 2B on Jake Taylor’s bunt. Wait…that was just a movie?

What will it take for Cleveland to start another 454-sellout streak?
The Browns would have to move again and LeBron would have to move on. The sellout streak was a perfect storm of desperate Browns’ fans looking for a sports’ outlet and place to throw their money, the Cavs being in the midst of what is known as the “Shawn Kemp Era”, the opening of a new ballpark that quickly became “the place to be” in town, and the maturation of an unprecedented number of Hall of Fame caliber players (Ramirez, Thome, and Vizquel) and other luminaries (Belle, Baerga, and Lofton) on the same beer-league softball team.

How close is the team to getting there?
To consistently contending for multiple Central, AL, and WS Championships? Closer than people think. The young, talented core of Sizemore, Hafner, Sabathia, Sowers, etc. are all under control until at least the end of 2008. With solid prospects (like Atom Miller and Trevor Crowe) ready to step in as holes are identified, the team is built for the long haul. Much like the 1994 Tribe, this Indians team stands at the precipice of consistent contention in the AL. One can only hope that this time, the Indians can actually come away with the team’s first WS pennant since 1948.

Heading to the Jake tomorrow night for the first visit to the Mezzanine in 2007.

I’m looking forward to seeing Bob the Beer Guy, the guy with the headphones that keeps score, the guy that has missed only one game since the Jake opened, and all of my other summer camp friends.

1 comment:

rodells said...

Took me long enough to figure out how to sign in the new way. Yikes.

Anyways, on to BBTN.

I used to watch BBTN alot, but not much since Reynolds was let go. He was the glue to that show, made Kruk watchable with their banter, and had a great repore with Ravech (who is also very good imo). Now Ravech is all by himself unless an insider (Gamm/Kur/Olney) is on.

Not sure about the superstar approach, if someone is good then they are good. Kruk should be phased out, but not for someone like Orestes Destrada or whatever his name is.

Now this gets me thinking, what's better....Fox NFL panel (Bradshaw, etc) or TNT NBA panel (Barkley, etc)? Can't think of any other crews that compare to those two. Might have to side with TNT right now. Ernie (better than Ravech but with a better supporting cast), Kenny, Chuck and occasionally Magic are tough to beat.