Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Is This Michael Brantley's Final Year as a Cleveland Indian?

it's not a question i wanted to pose and i hate being a Debbie Downer, but i haven't been able to get this off my mind for some time now. i do NOT want to see this happen under any circumstances but, unfortunately, there are many reasons that support this as being a real possibility. so i figured i should just write a blog and list out exactly why 2017 could be Michael Brantley's final year as a Cleveland Indian.😟

before i get started though, i want to discourage any smart-aleck remarks that this blog might produce. i am fully aware that a lot of fans at this point in time don't think Michael is ever going to get healthy and be able to play baseball again. and i've seen the "Michael should hang up his cleats" comments and tweets from fans. those people probably wouldn't think twice if Michael wasn't playing on the Tribe past this season, but i didn't write this for them. i wrote it because, as much as i don't want it to be true, i know that it could be and i felt compelled to acknowledge that. and i'm certain that Michael has other fans out there like me, who believe in him, have stuck with him through his difficulties, want him to come back, and would be genuinely upset if he were to leave the Indians any sooner than he has to contractually. so please save the "who cares?" utterances because some people still do.

note: i read the strangely similar rant article published by Paul Hoynes on February 19 on cleveland.com comparing Michael to

Friday, February 24, 2017

Brantley's February 2017 Hitting Progressions (Pre-Spring Games)

Indians spring training games begin tomorrow! finally, the boys are back in action! well, all except one. sadly, Michael Brantley is not ready to play in spring games yet because the team is being extra careful with him and taking his rehab slowly. so as we wait for Michael to get the all clear, i thought i'd post an updates blog with details about his February hitting progressions--from tee work to batting practice!--prior to Cactus League games. there are a lot of photos of Michael in here, too!👍

and, in an unprecedented twist, FIVE different baseball writers published false information regarding Michael this month. not on purpose, of course, but it's quite astonishing that so many people would make mistakes within a similar time period and in relation to the same player. for three of these guys especially, that's a rarity because they are typically some of my most credible sources when it comes to all things Tribe. nevertheless, i called attention to those faux pas, as you would expect, and then corrected them, as you will soon discover.

before i get started though, if you'd like to see any of the updates between Michael's biceps tenodesis surgery on August 15, 2016, and Tribe Fest on January 28, 2017, check out

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Brantley Ranked 74th in MLB Network's Top 100 Players Right Now

spring training games are set to start in just over a week, which is a little earlier than usual this year due to the World Baseball Classic. so for some of us, Indians fans especially, this baseball offseason flew by very quickly. but before the games get underway, it's time for MLB Network to reveal their annual list of "Top 100 Players Right Now." Greg Amsinger, Bill Ripken, and Ron Darling once again hosted the three-day countdown of the Top 100 Players currently in Major League Baseball going into the 2017 season. the list was unveiled from February 15-17 in five one-hour installments featuring 20 players per show. tonight, on February 15, the second part of the series aired at 10 pm ET.

photo courtesy of @MLBNetwork on twitter

MLBN's Top 100 list is assembled by their research staff and based on

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Save the Chief! Revised

i posted a blog about this at the end of 2014, but because i didn't have a lot of viewers back then, not many people ever read it. now, after the January 27 announcement that the Cleveland Indians are set to host the 2019 All Star Game, fans are suspecting that the terms and conditions of the Tribe winning the bid were that they'll have to get rid of the Chief Wahoo prior to the event. so i figure this would be a good time to revisit this topic and write up a revised version of my initial post.

talks about the Wahoo are currently ongoing between the Indians' owner and MLB's commissioner. from Paul Hoynes' article on cleveland.com, Commissioner Rob Manfred said, "i think we'll produce a result that will be good for the Indians and good for baseball. but what exactly that is, i don't want to speculate." that certainly doesn't sound like he plans on just leaving the Wahoo alone. i'd guess there's a high probability that it be will completely abolished within the next two years. i strongly believe this change would be a mistake, however, and i'm going to support my pro-Wahoo position right now.

the following contains excerpts from my Where Are You, Chief Wahoo? Save The Chief! blog, published back on December 15, 2014, combined with corresponding thoughts and updates of how things are today in 2017. i've also included some brand new sections that address subjects that most people don't usually bring up when referring to this hot button issue.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Brantley's January 2017 Hitting Progressions + Other News & Pics

hello there, Brantley fans! spring training is right around the corner and that's when we'll start to get a much better idea of where Michael is at physically and how he can handle the day-to-day activities that baseball requires of him. but for now, i have accumulated every bit of news that came out about Michael in the month of January, including his hitting progressions, rehab information, quotes, and pictures. so let's get into it!


January 3: Jordan Bastian tweeted that Michael began some non-contact swinging over the holiday break while back home and will continue his rehab in Cleveland this week.

January 4: in his first Indians Inbox of 2017 on indians.com, Bastian addressed Jonah Keri's statement on Michael--"this is a horrific, horrifically bad injury and there's some problems"--from December 23, 2016. Bastian sensibly pointed out that nothing else yet thus far supports Keri's claim and because this is the middle of the offseason, everything right now should be treated as speculation. he also remarked

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Brantley Ranked 5th in MLB Network's Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now

it's that time again, baseball fans! time to rank the best of the best in Major League Baseball by position. MLB Network began airing their annual Top 10 lists last Sunday, which was oddly changed from Thursdays in past years, i might add. and tonight, on January 22 at 10 pm ET, their "Top 10 Right Now: Left Fielders" show premiered.

screenshot cropped from a video on m.mlb.com

Brian Kenny, who was joined by Eric Byrnes, hosted the reveal of this year's Top 10 Left Field players currently in baseball going into the 2017 season as ranked by MLB Network's Shredder. an analytic methodology known as The Shredder, which operates without emotion or bias, assembles these rankings based on

Friday, January 13, 2017

Brantley Confirmed For Tribe Fest 2017

Happy 2017, Brantley fans! i am back with some exciting news for you all! today, on January 13, the Indians posted that Michael Brantley has confirmed to attend the 5th annual Tribe Fest, presented by KeyBank.

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

like last year, Tribe Fest will not be held at Progressive Field due to ongoing construction on the service level. instead, the one-day event will be on Saturday, January 28, at the

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Brantley News & Updates from November & December 2016

Happy New Year's Eve, Brantley fans! since the conclusion of the World Series, there really hasn't been a whole lot of notable information on the update front other than the plan for Michael's upcoming hitting progression being unveiled during the Winter Meetings. the rumor mill, however, was abuzz with unfounded gossip around the Christmas holiday. so before the clock strikes midnight and we start the new year, i present you with this last bit of news about Michael in 2016 from both November and December.


November News & Updates

November 4: the Indians twitter account reported that Michael is expected to resume baseball activities in December and be ready for spring training. Jordan Bastian followed up by tweeting the Indians are planning on Michael being ready for a normal spring training and will navigate the offseason with that expectation.

"Michael's progressing really well," Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said in Bastian's article on indians.com. "he's right on schedule for his rehab." and from a video on indians.com, Antonetti further elaborated, "he'll complete all of his normal physical work and then begin baseball activities at

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tribe Needs: Looking Ahead to 2017

in 2016, the Cleveland Indians were one win away from achieving their ultimate goal of becoming World Series Champions. now i'm going to look ahead and determine what they have to do--specifically, what moves they need to make--in order to claim the title next year.

the good news is they don't require a complete overhaul. in fact, they're luckier than most teams because the Indians are going to retain the majority of their 2016 roster, including all of their core players. not only that, but the players who were injured in October/November will also be starting the upcoming season at full health. (knock on wood.) so if they can just add a few more pieces, then the Indians should be primed and ready for another run towards a championship. in the meantime, i'm taking on the role of the front office.

this blog is comprised of several sections containing:
--Indians players already on the 2017 roster
--the approximate 2017 payroll
--players the Indians have lost and/or may lose to free agency
--contract extension ideas
--Tribe needs for 2017
--players within the organization who could be used in a trade
--Major League players on the free agent market who could be viable options to acquire
--front office changes

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Terry Francona Wins BBWAA's 2016 AL Manager of the Year Award!

today, on November 15, it was announced that Terry Francona won Baseball Writers' Association of America's 2016 American League Manager of the Year Award! this is Francona's second MOY award while with the Indians, as he previously won it in his first year managing the club in 2013. the only other Indians skipper in franchise history to win Manager of the Year is Eric Wedge (2007). congratulations, Tito!

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

Francona was a finalist this year along with Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers (who won the award last season) and Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles. he finished with