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Old 03-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cleveland Indians- 1963

I'm starting a dynasty with the Indians in 1963, trying to give them a shot in the wild and wacky American League in the 1960's. I don't have the flashy graphics like some of the others here do. But I like to think I know enough about the game so it might make for an interesting read... I hope some of you might read and enjoy it!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great!

My sims usually crap the bed in the 50's (lack of hard drive space) so I've never gotten to see some of those talented 50's players hit their peak

BTW, I was getting ready to start a Dynasty report as well, and Imugr and Photobucket are free to sign up...screen shot and then upload...when you post, you can attach the link...I am making a suggestion to have OOTP automatically upload to those instead of Facebook or Twitter
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice! I've replayed this period before as well - kinda "where it all went wrong" for the Indians. Go Tribe!
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cleveland Indians 1963 Starting Rotation

Dick Donovan (R)

The ace of the 4-man staff, Dick was a solid pitcher for some very good record White Sox teams in the mid 50's, posting 15-9, 16-6, and 15-14 records. After an injury laden year in 1960 where he finished with a 6-1 record, but an ugly 5.38 ERA, he bounced back in '61 with a 10-10 record and a career best 2.40 ERA for the Senators. After being traded to Cleveland before the 1962 season, he bounced back even farther with a career high 20-10 mark. With a 103-74 lifetime record, the main question isn't whether he can pitch... but rather... at 35 years of age, how much gas does he have left in the tank?

Mudcat Grant (R)

The Cat has been a solid pitcher for the Indians since his rookie year in 1958, putting up 10 or more wins 3 times in 5 years, including a career best 15-9 mark in 1961. However, he is coming off a down year in '62 (career low 7 wins against 10 losses with a 4.27 ERA). At 27 years old and with a 51-45 career record, Mudcat enters his prime needing to find some consistency if the Tribe is going to make any noise in the next few years.

Pedro Ramos (R)

Pedro has been a hard luck pitcher throughout his career, being cursed to play for the lowly Washington Senators. He has been a bright light in dark times for the club, however, winning 10 or more for 7 straight years after coming up to the big leagues at the tender age of 20. He was 10-12 with a 3.71 ERA last year for the Minnesota Twins, and the question with Pedro is... at 27 and still with a lot of upside, has his years in Washington/Minnesota damaged his psyche? If Cleveland puts a decent team around him... can he respond and pitch accordingly?

Jim Perry (R)

Jim came up in 1959 at the age of 23, and posted a career best 18-10 in 1960. He owns a 52-49 career record, averaging 13 wins per season against about 12 losses. He's just 27 and also entering his prime. Like Grant, he needs to be consistent if Cleveland has any hope of being competitive against the machine that is the New York Yankees.

SUMMARY

On paper, this looks to be a fairly solid rotation. I'm not sure about Donovan at 35, and will be watching him closely. I may shop him around and see what we may be able to get for him. After 20 wins in 1962, we might be able to sell high. The other three are all 27 and in the middle of what SHOULD be the best part of their careers. I say that cautiously... none of the three are great... but solid enough... maybe.

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Old 03-06-2014, 10:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok... what do you all think?

I started shopping some guys around, just to see if there was any interest. What I was offered made no sense whatsoever. I never messed with any of the settings, but I was offered...


Maury Wills for Bob Chance
Tony Oliva for Fred Whitfield
Orlando Cepeda for Max Alvis
Willie Stargell for Vic Davalillo
Zoilo Versalles for Larry Brown
Brooks Robinson for Woodie Held


I accepted the trades, but now my team looks STACKED offensively... what do you guys think? This is getting TOO good WAYYYYYY too quickly, and these trades make less than no sense at all!!
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hm.. What are your trade settings at?
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, I would change the settings to hard and maybe favor prospects. Sometimes it can be a bit too easy to obtain young stars otherwise.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah I think I will. I couldn't BELIEVE some of those trades!! I was like, "You've gotta be KIDDING me!!"
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Let's reboot this sucker and try it again...


Looking over the Indians' 1963 roster, it is filled with a bunch of VERY average pitchers (though a young Tommy John and Sam McDowell are waiting in the wings... they may help) and a bunch of guys who hit about .220-.230 with 10-15 homeruns... not enough of either average OR power to justify them playing every day... but they have to because there are no other options.


I think I have my work cut out for me!! LOL


Their record in 1962 was 80-82, and I think this bunch will be lucky to win 70-75 in '63.

I am using the OOTP development engine do its' thing... so maybe Bob Chance or Fred Whitfield (or both) will turn into stars. Maybe Tommy John and Sam McDowell can turn into an AL version of Koufax and Drysdale. Not likely... but who knows??

Here is my rotation...

Dick Donovan
Pedro Ramos
Mudcat Grant
Jim Perry

Bullpen...

Early Wynn
Bob G. Allen
Gary Bell
Jack Curtis
Barry Latman
Ted W. Abernathy

Hall of Famer Early Wynn (at 43 years old) will be middle relief, and get a spot start now and then. Bell and Curtis will be middle relief. Latman will be long relief and he and Curtis will both have mop-up duty. Allen will be my set-up man, and Abernathy will serve as the closer, as he has the best overall stuff (which says something about the state of the bullpen).

Starting Lineup...

Vic Davalillo CF
Larry Brown 2B
Max Alvis 3B
Fred Whitfield 1B
Ellis Burton RF
Woodie Held SS
Al Luplow LF
John Romano C

Davalillo is the only one with any decent speed... though Burton can run a LITTLE and he's a decent bunter (according to the scouting report), so I may end up with him batting second. Luplow would be best served as my 4th outfielder, but he has to start. Alvis, Whitfield, Held and Romano all have 20 homerun power along with low batting averages. And Brown probably won't even hit 10 homers, but he'll contribute with a .225 average.

Bench...

Gene Green C
Joe Adcock 1B
Mike De la Hoz Utility IF
Jerry Kindall Utility IF
Tito Francona OF
Willie Kirkland OF
Willie Tasby OF

More of the same... Francona is the best overall hitter in the bunch, and Adcock provides the most power... but he's 35 years old. Green could be serviceable as a backup catcher. He wants to start... he'll get his chance.

Prospects...

Tommy John and Sam McDowell on the mound (PLEASE let the OOTP development engine DEVELOP those two!!), Bob Chance as a 1B/RF... and that's pretty much it. I'm using a reserve roster instead of minor leagues... the reserves are the only ones who would really count as major leaguers, anyway. Besides... not having to keep up with the minor leagues is one less headache I have to put up with!!

So... basically... the Cleveland Indians in 1963 had a bunch of spare parts that they tried to make a legitimate baseball team with. Let's see if I can help turn them around to back in their heyday... in the late 40's to mid-50's... when they were the best team in baseball NOT named the Yankees or Dodgers.

It will either be a lot of fun or so damn frustrating I want to throw my computer out the window!! Hopefully a few of you will enjoy it... or enjoy laughing at my feeble attempts to put the Tribe BACK on the warpath!!

Either way... LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!

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Old 03-10-2014, 08:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, spring training is over. We finished with a VERY surprising 14-10 record. After a 1-4 start, we had a 13-6 finish. Early projections had us with an 84-78 record, and the final guess was an 81-81 mark, which is what our owner expects also... a .500 record. Seems reasonable enough, but I'm not sure this bunch can do it. I tried to explore some trades, but in all honesty, I don't have many trade chips to play with.


I'll do a month by month summary, along with some highlights and lowlights for each month... plus any transactions that may take place. Hope a few of you might like it, anyway!!
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, I got through the 1963 season. The Cleveland Indians were absolutely HAMMERED by injuries, but managed to use a roster made up of basically spare parts and still finish with a 79-83 record... good for 7th place in the American League... which was won by the Chicago White Sox with a 97-65 record. They defeated the crosstown Cubs (yeah I know)... who had a 93-69 record... 4-3 in the World Series.


For the Indians, Early Wynn led the staff with 13 wins. He also had 9 losses. Pedro Ramos had an 11-17 mark, and led the club with 245 and 2/3 innings pitched. They were the only ones with at least 10 wins. Jim Perry's season was a disaster, with an 8-19 record in 207 innings pitched. The bullpen was, surprisingly, pretty solid, as Ted Abernathy and Al McBean for an 8-7 record with 15 saves and a 2.36 ERA. We got McBean in a trade with the Pirates for Max Alvis, who hit just .215 with 7 homeruns in 205 at-bats.

Early on, we traded backup catcher Gene Green to the Giants for 3rd baseman Harvey Kuenn, who ended up hitting .301 to easily lead the team, along with 8 homeruns and 64 RBI. He's 32... but he can still rake. Our young guys did well. Fred Whitfield hit .270 with 19 homers and 56 RBI, while Bob Chance hit .264 with 19 doubles, 12 homers and 48 RBI. At 25 and 22, respectively, they both should get MUCH better.

We traded Ellis Burton and Tommie Agee to the Twins for Bob Allison, and also picked up Rocky Colavito from Detroit for SS Woodie Held (.211, 9 HR and 23 RBI in 209 AB). They combined for 27 homeruns and 79 RBI in about half a season. Other contributors were Al Luplow (.267, 17 HR, 56 RBI in 374 AB) John Romano (14 HR and 47 RBI in 255 AB) Scoring runs shouldn't be a problem for the next 3-4 years or so... we've got good power right now. I'd like to add some speed though... we only had 32 stolen bases as a team, and hit just .253 (which back in 1963, really wasn't that bad).

The draft is coming up and we're picking 8th, so we should be able to get somebody that can help us. I'd LOVE to get Bert Campaneris... he's EXACTLY what I'd like to have at the top of the order, speed-wise. Luis Tiant and Mel Stottlemyre are available on the mound also... we'll see who's still on the board when our time comes around.

I'll try and do this in real time... like OOTP is trying to do with the Cardinals... AWESOME dynasty by the way... if I can get this going day-to-day... it will be easier for me to do and I won't feel so rushed to get it in.

Anyway... 1963 is in the books... let's hope we can do better in '64!!

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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1963-64 Offseason

There were changes galore with the Tribe in this offseason... starting with firing pitching coach George Murrell and not offering a contract to hitting coach Ivan Rodriguez. I wanted to upgrade both of those coaching positions, and did so with Mike Sellers as the new hitting coach and Byron Porter will work with the pitchers. Both of these guys are rated as excellent in working with both rookies and veterans. Hopefully that will show up in the stats this coming year.

In the draft I got my speed guy in Bert Campaneris, who will step in immediately as our shortstop and leadoff hitter. We selected pitchers Billy McCool and Phil Niekro with our next two picks, followed by catcher Dave Duncan, 2nd baseman Hal Lanier, and outfielders Joe Nossek and Dave Wissman. I think McCool and Niekro can help us in the bullpen at some point. Duncan may turn into something behind the plate, and the others just provide depth on our reserve roster.

We dickered back and forth with the Dodgers on a trade that finally went through. It morphed from a 2-for-1 deal, which would have sent RP Gary Bell and C John Romano to LA for SP Joey Jay... into a 4-for-3 trade which saw us send Bell, OF Dave Wissman, C Smoky Burgess, and RP Jack Curtis to Hollywood in exchange for SP Jay, C John Roseboro, and 3B-1B Ken McMullen. I think Jay can help us either in the rotation or out of the pen, Roseboro could help form a solid L/R platoon with Romano at catcher, and McMullen is solid defensively at both corner positions and has a little pop in his bat.

As we enter spring training in 1964 our roster looks like this:

ROTATION

Sam McDowell
Pedro Ramos
Tommy John
Joey Jay

SPOT STARTERS

Mudcat Grant
Jim Perry
Dick Donovan

BULLPEN

Al McBean
Tommie Sisk
Barry Latman
Bob Allen
Ted Abernathy

ROOKIES

Phil Niekro
Billy McCool

BATTING ORDER (RHP)

Bert Campaneris SS
Harvey Kuenn 3B
Rocky Colavito LF
Bob Allison RF
Fred Whitfield 1B
John Roseboro C
Vic Davalillo CF
Mike de la Hoz 2B
Pitcher

BATTING ORDER (LHP)

Bert Campaneris SS
Harvey Kuenn 3B
Rocky Colavito LF
Bob Allison RF
John Romano C
Fred Whitfield 1B
Vic Davalillo CF
Mike de la Hoz 2B
Pitcher

BENCH

Ken McMullen 1B-3B
Larry Brown 2B-SS
Al Luplow LF-RF
Tito Francona OF-1B
Bob Chance RF-1B

I'll start the spring games tomorrow and get caught up to the present day and take it one day at a time from there. I'm anxious to see how the pitching staff develops. Right now, we have 7 guys listed as starters. One of them (Tommy John) is coming off an injury, one (Jim Perry) is coming off an awful year, and two (Phil Niekro and Billy McCool) want to prove they belong with the parent club.

On the offensive side of things, I want to see Campaneris use his speed to jump-start things, and I want to see Whitfield and Chance improve. Speaking of Chance, he may be the odd man out. He brings a left handed power bat, which is great and something we need... but he is defensively challenged... to say the least. Allison is a MUCH better outfielder, and our pitchers need all the leather they can get.

We will see how things shake out... hopefully Cleveland is at the start of a new era, and can bring a pennant and World Series championship home to their win-starved fans!! STAY TUNED!!

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Old 03-18-2014, 02:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Before our first spring training game I called up the entire reserve roster to give us enough depth to make through these games. I want my starters to get enough work in without being injured, so it's all hands on deck as we try to figure this thing out.


Well, we lost to the Kansas City Athletics, 2-0 in the first exhibition game of the spring and all I can say is "Who cares?" I just want my guys to stay healthy.


I was wanting to see how Tommy John did in his first appearance since getting hurt last year, and he did NOT disappoint!! He had a line of 2.1 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts. EXCELLENT performance and a real confidence booster for him!! We allowed just 7 hits total in the game, walking 3 and punching out 6. Rookies Billy McCool and Phil Niekro both went an inning apiece and showed no reservations about pitching to big-league hitters... they both did fine.

On the offensive side, it was...well...offensive. We had just 6 hits, and 2 of those were by pitchers Jim Perry and Mudcat Grant. My hot-shot rookie Bert Campaneris went 0-4 in the leadoff spot and also struck out. He has plenty of speed, but if you can't get on base... what good is it? Grant took the loss and part of the reason why was he threw only 16 out of 32 pitches for strikes. He needs to come up with better control. The guy who came in after him, Dick Donovan, threw just 11 out of 21 pitches in the zone and gave up the 2-run triple to Ed Charles that drove in the only runs in the game. By contrast, the others who pitched: Tommy John, Phil Niekro and Billy McCool, pounded the zone with 55 out of 83 pitches. The rookies hit on 19 out of 26.

All in all I can't complain... it's so early and everybody came through it unscathed. I REALLY like what I saw out of Tommy John and the two rookies. Like I said, it's WAY early... but it's never too early to start off on the right note. We've got the Angels next, and it's just a couple more days and I'll be caught up to the present day. Then it will be just that day's game... and we'll see how long before I get too impatient and start playing ahead (like I always do)!! LOL I hope not though!

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I know it's VERY early, and right now everybody's trying to ease back into it, but we have now scored all of ONE run in two games. We have 11 hits in two games... with 2 of those by pitchers. We have ONE extra-base hit in two games. Rookie Joe Nossek led off the bottom of the 10th with a double, and scored the winning run on old pro Harvey Kuenn's single, as we beat the Angels 1-0 to even our spring record at 1-1.


We were held hitless until the 4th, when Ken McMullen lined a single to center. We had 5 hits total in the game, though we DID work 5 walks out of the Angels. On the other hand, we didn't walk a single hitter, and struck out 8. The pitching may be ahead of the hitting at this point, but our staff seems to be responding to new pitching coach Byron Porter.

I'm trying to split up the playing time and give everybody a look, but I think for the next game I'm going with the regulars and treat it more like a real game. I'd like to see us start scoring some more runs, because all that power I talked about in an earlier post has NOT materialized as of yet. But again... it is still early. Bert Campaneris is now 0-6 this spring... not the start either of us had in mind. I'm not too worried... yet. We can't go the whole spring hitting like this... can we?

Next game is against the Senators. We'll see if the regular lineup can generate something.

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Old 03-18-2014, 05:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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We cranked out 7 hits... 4 in one inning... and came up with 7 walks to beat Washington, 5-2. We were behind 1-0 when Mike de la Hoz drilled a 2-run double to give us the lead. Starting pitcher Sam McDowell then hit a double of his own to make it 3-1 in the top of the 2nd inning. Another plus is Bert Campaneris got his first hit of the spring... then he was promptly thrown out trying to steal. I hope that isn't a foreshadowing of things to come. Our other runs came on an RBI single by Fred Whitfield and a bases loaded walk to Vic Davalillo.

After McDowell's so-so start (3 hits, 1 walk, 1 k, and 1 run in 2 IP), Dick Donovan came in and was light's out... going 3 innings and allowing just 1 hit while striking out 2. Rookie Billy McCool came on and got 2 quick outs, but then gave up 2 soft hits and walked a couple, forcing in a run. He's just 19, so he has a LOT of growing up to do. After McCool, Phil Niekro, Al McBean, and Bob Allen combined for 3 and 1/3 innings with NO hits and NO walks... great job by the bullpen today. They only struck out one guy, which puts even more importance on our defense. We HAVE to play solid defense and not give teams 2-3 extra outs a game... defense is crucial.

While we DID hit a little better, we still have just 2 extra base hits in 3 games, and one of those is by a pitcher. As always, it's early, but I'd like to start seeing some more thunder out of these hitters. We scored 3 runs on 4 hits in our big inning today... then had just 3 hits the rest of the game. We WERE patient, however... drawing 7 walks... 3 by Bob Allison. Pitchers have 3 of our hits this spring... what's up with that?

Next game is against the White Sox. I want to see our starters start stretching out their innings a bit more. We'll have our first cut after 8 games, so there's still a little ways to go before we get there. We're at 35 right now... so we just have to cut 10. I'll probably do a 4-3-3 sequence... depends on what happens over the next 5 games.

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Old 03-18-2014, 06:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think the hitting is starting to come around, as we had a season-high 9 hits and 5 of them were for extra bases, as the Indians edged the White Sox 3-2 in 10 innings.


We took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd when Dave Duncan doubled and Willie Tasby launched the Indians' first homer of the spring. The pitching was both good and bad... good to the tune of only giving up 4 hits, but beyond bad with also giving up 9 walks!! Luckily, we turned 2 double plays to bail us out.


With the score tied at 2, Campaneris doubled to left center with one out and later raced home on a ball hit by Ken McMullen that was bobbled for an error. Speed kills... makes the infield try and handle the ball quicker than they normally do... and it put us in the win column in this one.

I gave most of the regulars a day off and gave the reserves and rookies some solid time. I kept Campy in there to try and get his bat going, and it finally happened in his last at-bat. Tomorrow we'll split time with everyone and then give the regulars a full day. The MAIN thing through all of this is to try and stay healthy... so far so good.

Next we play the OTHER Sox... trading White for Red. The bats need to keep heating up and the pitchers need to rediscover their control!! We won't beat ANYBODY issuing 9 walks in a game!! THAT is freakin' ridiculous!!!

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Old 03-19-2014, 05:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The bats kept rolling as we had a spring high 8 runs on 11 hits, including 2 3-run homers, but we had to survive a 5-run bottom of the 8th and we let the tying run get to 3rd in the 9th, before we finally subdued the Red Sox, 8-7... our 4th straight win after an opening loss.


Tommy John struck out 4 in 3 and 1/3 innings, but was touched for 2 runs in the bottom of the first when some dude they call Yaz had an RBI triple and then scored on a grounder. Fred Whitfield doubled and scored for us in the 2nd, and then Mike de la Hoz drilled a 3-run jack to give us a 4-2 lead in the 4th. We added a run in the 5th, and looked like we put the game away on rookie Joe Nossek's 3-run blast in the top of the 8th. After TJ was done, we got 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings from Barry Latman, Ted Abernathy and Billy McCool. Leading 8-2, I was starting to relax.

I should know better. Dick Donovan came in and pitched to 4 guys... he gave up 3 hits and hit one. And when Lou Clinton hit a 2-out, 3-run shot off of Jim Perry... all of a sudden it was 8-7. Perry got the last out in the 8th, and then the first 2 in the 9th... before giving up back-to-back singles to put the tying and winning runs at first and third... before getting a fly out to FINALLY end it.

Bert Campaneris had a hit, reached on an error, stole his first TWO bases of the spring... and scored on a balk. His speed... and all the ways it can help us... was on full display today. Bob Allison had his first hit of the spring, and other than Donovan, the bullpen did some pretty good work. BUT... I don't like turning an 8-2 lead into a nail-biter!!

Nobody got hurt, either... and that's ALWAYS a good thing!! Next up is the Orioles. We're getting closer to the first cut... the next couple of games will make the difference for a couple of guys sticking around or heading back to the reserve roster. We're going to start stretching out our starters a little bit more... but just a bit. I don't need any injuries by being stupid!!

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Old 03-19-2014, 07:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Question...


I have looked all over to find a screen that will show me our spring training stats. I KNOW there is one somewhere, but I can't find it. Where the $$#@@ is the damn thing?? LOL
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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IIRC, on your batting and pitching reports it's a filter (like 'this season, last season, career, Night games during a full moon, etc.)
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