whenever a player who's been on the team for a long period of time is traded or becomes a free agent and then signs elsewhere, i typically write a goodbye blog containing a few kind words and maybe a nice memory or two. i haven't done one of these in a while, but Shaw's departure is certainly worthy of a formal farewell.
Shaw has been a vital member of the Tribe's bullpen since 2013. in each of his five seasons with us, he made at least 70 regular season appearances and pitched no less than 64.0 innings. in the last four years, he appeared in at least 74 games. the right-hander set a single-season franchise record in 2014 by pitching in an MLB-best 80 games. he was also tied for the most appearances in baseball this past season with 79. basically, all the guy does is pitch.
more importantly, he never gets hurt. you would think that all these outings in consecutive years would catch up with him sometime, but Shaw never
had any significant injury issues during his Indians tenure. clearly he knew how to prepare for his job and do it well. there is no one else on our team, and quite possibly in all of baseball, who can match Shaw's indestructibility. he was an attractive FA and he earned his new contract, but it was not one that the Indians were ever going to give him as far as years and money were concerned. now, as some in the organization have already said, the Tribe will need two guys to fill the vacancy he left in the pen.
that's not to say he was perfect. in fact, many fans were extremely harsh (quite often unfairly, in my opinion) on Shaw when he would give up hits and blow games. still, the durable setup man was one of the Tribe's most reliable arms, always willing to take the ball no matter what happened on the mound the night before. the workhorse was one of the most incredible relievers our team has had in the last decade and i am very sorry to see him go.
while he never really developed a fun fan moniker with the Tribe, Shaw nicknamed himself "Geek" for MLB Players Weekend due to his abilities with electronics. years ago, i used to refer to anyone he struck out as having been "Shawshank'd."🤷
|photo courtesy of www.mlb.com/indians/fans/miniteam|
over the past two seasons, Shaw would come out of the bullpen to Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)." prior to that, he used what was my favorite intro song for him, AWOLNATION's "Sail." it just sounded so ridiculously good blasting over the PA at Progressive Field and every time i hear that song from now on, i will think of Shaw fondly.
despite the Tribe supporters who did not care for him, Shaw ignored the noise/twitter hate. he was always nice to fans and a genuine guy. i saw him sign autographs for people after games in the players parking lot on numerous occasions. i myself got his autograph twice. he and his wife also volunteered their time by participating in several charitable causes throughout the Cleveland community.👍
so when will we cross paths with Shaw again? well, the Indians do not have any Interleague games on the schedule against the Rockies in 2018, and other than one game in spring training on March 9 against Colorado, we will not see Shaw unless both our teams meet in the World Series.😮
i guess the only thing left to say is thanks for the memories. whether or not Indians fans want to admit it, you will be missed, Bry. i'm appreciative of everything you did for us. goodbye and good luck to you and Kristen in Colorado.👋 the Rockies got a good one.
do you have any stories you want to share about Shaw? leave them in a comment below!
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