Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sneak Peek of the Michael Brantley Bobblehead Giveaway

photo from

here it is. the Michael Brantley bobblehead that's being given away to the first 12,500 fans who attend the Labor Day game vs. the Detroit Tigers on September 1, 2014. this is not the best photo of the bobble, but it's the only one i could find online right now. so let's critique it, shall we?

i know bobbles don't normally look much like the player, but at first glance i think this is one of the worst bobbles i've ever seen. unless i need to go get my eyes checked, this pic makes Michael look light-skinned. so right off the bat, i'm not feeling this.

and what is this pose? the Indians obviously wanted to make this a catch bobble, but that's a very unrealistic catch position. they couldn't make an over-the-shoulder catch? or at least put his glove hand down so the ball is falling into his glove. i wasn't expecting a diving catch because they just did one of those for Bourn earlier this year, but even a newbie baseball fan knows that a player doesn't just hold his arm up next to his head to make a catch. and his footing doesn't work with this "catch" either. the best theory i can come up with for this bobblehead is that Michael is currently in the middle of transferring the ball from his glove to his throwing hand and is about to throw the ball in to a cut-off man. and even that's a bit of a stretch. i mean why would you want to capture that moment in bobble form? i don't get it.

why couldn't they just make Michael's bobble an All Star bobble? that would have been a sweet bobblehead. even Michael in his batting stance would have been better. seriously, who was the designer of this concept? it's not great.

i also dislike that they gave him the cream colored home jersey. so, if this is true to form, that means his name's not going to be on the back of the jersey; only his number (23) will. (when i actually get this bobble in my possession, i will confirm or deny this in a new blog. with bigger pictures.) and because he's wearing the cream jersey, he's gotta wear the hat that goes with it, the C instead of the Wahoo. i'd rather he be rocking the chief on his hat. not to mention i don't like that he's got long sleeves on. is that supposed to represent him at the home opener when it was cold or something? idk.

i'm disappointed in the (lack of) likeness of this bobble, i can't lie. there are many other player bobbleheads out there that are more true to reality and i'm sad his isn't. and because Michael is currently the best player on the team, i think this bobblehead really should have been made with better attention to detail. but maybe i'm just biased because i'm his #1 fan.

regardless, i will be attending the Labor Day game and getting this bobble. who knows? i might actually like it when i see it in person lol i've wanted the Tribe to do a Michael bobble giveaway for so long and i'm very happy he finally got one. if i'm lucky, i'll get Michael to sign it, but considering the fact that i haven't gotten his autograph once yet this season, i'm not going to hold my breath. hopefully he'll take time after the game and sign autos in the players parking lot and i can get it then.

so congrats on your bobble, Michael! and good luck to you in your final month of the season. this has been one hell of a career year for you and i am so proud of you! =D

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Well Wishes For Bob Tayek

i thought something didn't sound right. literally. it was during the Arizona Diamondbacks versus Cleveland Indians game on August 12, before the rain delay/postponement, that i watched a video from my GameDay. and i could tell that the announcer in the background was not Bob, but i didn't think much of it at the time. he gets games off sometimes, it's not a big deal. shortly before 8 pm, the game was delayed due to rain. after a very long 3 hours and 40 minutes, they finally announced that the game would be postponed and it was rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader the next day.

so today, on August 13, before Game 1 of the doubleheader vs. the D-backs, i saw Hoynsie tweet that Bob Tayek would be out for the rest of the season due to personal reasons. and immediately i thought back to the video i watched last night and how that wasn't Bob's voice. that explains it.

but i'm thinking, there's still about 7 weeks left in this season. what kind of personal reason would keep someone out of their job for THAT long? can't be a death in the family. so my mind went right to health issues. and i really hope it's not cancer. now don't misread that, i have no inside scoop on his condition, it's just a process of elimination guess on my part. i tend to fear the worst in these situations, and the big C is definitely one of the worst things a person could encounter in life. maybe he needs to have a surgery that will take him a few months to fully heal from. i don't know, and i'm not going to pretend to know.

i think Bob is a guy who can sometimes be forgotten or taken for granted as part of our Tribe family. but he is very appreciated, as no other replacement voice can quite satisfy and due justice the way his can. so whatever the personal reason, i wish Bob all the best. i hope that the issue gets taken care of with ease and that he fully recovers, if a recovery process is necessary. here's hoping he'll be back at Progressive Field next year and ready to go for Opening Day 2015. til then, we'll miss you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Goodbye Harvard Heat

the Indians lost their final member of the old Bullpen Mafia when they released Frank Herrmann earlier today. Frankie was pitching for the Columbus Clippers this season. he had Tommy John surgery during spring training of 2013 and missed that entire season. he went through the standard year-long rehab process, and finally made a few appearances in Cactus League games this year. but he was nowhere near the pitcher he used to be, and it was clear that after spring training, he would be spending a lot of the 2014 season in Triple A refining his pitches. and now, for the second time in one week, the Indians decided to part ways with another reliever--the Hermmannator.

Frankie spent his entire career (up to this point anyways) in the Indians organization after signing with them in 2005, so this is another sad move. he pitched with the Tribe from 2010-2012 and was one of the more stable (long) relief men in our bullpen. based on his past, i was confident that after putting in the necessary time at Columbus this season, "The Professor" would be able to get that Harvard Heater back and rejoin/strengthen our bullpen again. but alas, it was not meant to be.

if memory serves, i have his autograph on a baseball and a Batter Up! i know i say this about a lot of players, but he was another one who was very good to his fans. there are certain guys who make an attempt to get their autograph a challenge, but i don't remember Frankie being that way. he was a nice man, he's got himself a nice little family, and i wish him, his wife Johanna, and baby Frankie all the best. i hope he finds himself with another ballclub and gets a chance to pitch in the big leagues again soon, because he has worked hard and he does deserve it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Brantley's Career High 74 RBI

Michael Brantley is in the midst of a career year, and for the 3rd day in a row, he broke a personal record. in this afternoon's game against the New York Yankees, he set another new career high for himself. Michael now has 74 RBI in a season for the first time in his career. and it's only August 9!

the Indians were leading the game, 2-0, in the top of the 8th inning at Yankee Stadium when Michael faced right-handed relief pitcher Chase Whitley. Michael was DHing in the game because Terry Francona wanted to give his legs a rest from playing in the outfield, but still keep his bat in the lineup. and it's a good thing he did because after a 1-1 count, Michael hit a home run high and deep to right field off the top of the foul pole. i mean really, is there a better way to acquire your new career high RBI total than by driving yourself in with a home run? that was career high home run #17, and RBI #74 for Michael.

photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer
photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer
screenshots cropped from 2 different videos on

Hammy and Rosey interviewed Michael on the radio after the game, which the Indians won, 3-0, and here is some of what he had to say. "my mom and dad are from New York, so i had family in the stands watching. it was exciting. hopefully they had fun watching."

on the home run that hit off the top of the foul pole: "it wasn't a bad pitch. it was more of a reaction type swing. luckily it stayed fair."

on how he's been handling being the DH the last 2 games: "i try to stay warm, do a lot of jogging in the tunnel, and hit off the tee. it's an adjustment period that i'm going through, but i'm learning from it."

last season, Michael got his 73rd RBI on September 26, and that was where his career high/RBI total for 2013 topped out. i was really happy with that number and thought it was great to see him excel at the plate with runners on base. now that he's already beat that previous career high, i am very excited to see how many more RBI he can add to this new career total in these last 45 games of the season. he's on pace to drive in between 90-100 runners. my mind is seriously being blown at just how amazing a year Michael is putting together. i have cried so many tears of joy, it's almost ridiculous lol #soproudofmyboy

and if you're keeping track, Michael has now set career highs this season in the following categories:
hit by pitches, 6/10 (currently has 6)
home runs, 6/15 (currently has 17)
runs scored, 7/21 (currently has 77)
extra base hits, 8/7 (currently has 50)
total bases, 8/8 (currently has 229)
RBI, 8/9 (currently has 74)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Brantley's Career High 223 Total Bases

another game, another career high. tonight, on August 8, in the top of the 6th inning in the game against the New York Yankees, Michael hit a leadoff double down the left field line off former Cleveland Indian David Huff after an 0-1 count. (he would later score on David Murphy's 1-out single to left-center field.) this double gave Michael 223 total bases, a new career high. his old career high in this category came in 2012, when he had 222 total bases for the year.

with 46 games to go, it's obvious that Michael will continue to add to this new career high several times before the season is over. right now i think it's very realistic to assume that he finishes with at least 250 TB, and possibly as many as 275. we shall see.

so congrats, Michael! you are literally knocking stats outta the park this year with all your career highs. and although you may not care about individual statistics at the moment, especially since the Indians have lost these last 2 games that you set personal records in, i for one am loving this. thank you! ;D

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Brantley's Career High 48 Extra Base Hits

Michael's done it again. tonight he set a new career high with 48 extra base hits. his previous career high of 47 extra base hits was set in 2012.

photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer

the Indians played their final game against the Cincinnati Reds this year in Great American Ball Park on August 7. Michael's extra base hit came after a 1-0 count when he hit a 2-out double down the right field line in the top of the 1st inning against Homer Bailey. it was his only hit of the game, but it was all he needed to set a new record for himself.

Michael has been on a tear this year, having already set a new career high in home runs, so it was only a matter of time before he passed his old XBH high. Michael still has up to 47 games left to play in before this season wraps up, so i fully anticipate him re-setting this new career high repeatedly until 2014 is done. and i can't wait to see how many XBH he ends up with. could he hit 60? or 65? it's exciting to think about. =D

Goodbye VFP

looks like the Indians will never see Vinnie Fucking Pestano run out of their bullpen and race to the mound in record time ever again. in a surprising minor move today, the Indians traded relief pitcher Pestano, who was currently a member of the Columbus Clippers, to the LA Angels for Single A RHP Michael Clevinger. i don't know anything about this guy and i'm not sure why the Indians wanted to acquire him; he sure as hell isn't going to help us out anytime soon. i'm also not sure why the Indians desired to trade Vinnie. the move seems to imply that they gave up on him, which makes me sad.

Vinnie was an integral part of our bullpen in 2011 and 2012. he was an awesome 8th inning man, a freakin' strikeout machine, and there was even talk of him becoming our closer some day. but he had some elbow injuries he was trying to work through and that negatively impacted his performance. he was demoted to the Clippers last year after having continual tough times on the mound. he started 2014 with the Indians, but was quickly sent down to Columbus, where he stayed for a while. he was brought back up in June for a short stint before going back down to Triple A in July before now being traded.

even while pitching for C-bus, i was anticipating that he'd get things fixed, get back to striking batters out on the regular, and then be called up to Cleveland again to stay here for good. so much for that happening. honestly, he was slowly starting to improve. he made minor changes to his delivery and was getting right-handed batters out with ease again. but apparently the progress was not fast enough for the Indians to tolerate anymore.

upon hearing the news that he was traded, Vinnie tweeted the following. "What can be said after 9yrs? Thanks isnt enough. I am extremely grateful to the for the opportunity and the belief they had in me. Drafting me knowing I needed surgery and giving me a chance to fulfill my dreams is something I will never get to repay. To the fans who stuck by me through my highest highs and my lowest lows thank you for your support and I’ll miss your cheers very much. Im thankful for the new opportunity with the organization and could not have thought of a better place to go than where I grew up."

in a phone interview with Jordan Bastian, Vinnie also said this. "i saw the writing on the wall a little bit. there are some other guys that [the Indians] are more fond of. it's part of the game and i get that. i'm excited for a new opportunity. it's good to feel wanted. you're always pitching for 29 other teams--not just your own. i'm glad to get a fresh start with somebody else and an opportunity to impact their club. i'm not upset or mad or anything. i've been in the shadow of that halo for a while, so it'll be nice to get back out there."

when i think about Vinnie's time with us, two major things come to mind. the way he would seriously RACE out to the mound when he was summoned out of the bullpen is what i remember Vin for the most. nobody else did that, and i loved it. the other thing i loved about Vin? his fucking awesome intro music. he had, by far, the best music imo because i love rock. Volbeat's "A Warrior's Call," Pantera's "Walk," and Five Finger Death Punch's "Lift Me Up" were my favorite songs that he ran out and warmed up to. hearing that music blasting throughout the park got me so pumped up, and it will definitely be missed.

Vinnie was very fan friendly. he was active on twitter and did many Q&As with fans. he also took time to sign autographs for fans in the players parking lot after games. i've gotten his auto several times on my baseball cards, baseballs, and Batter Ups!

Jason Kipnis was his best friend/roommate for a long time. he was sad enough when Vinnie was sent down to Columbus, so i'm sure he's taking this trade pretty hard. as luck would have it though, Vinnie could possibly reunite with an old bullpen mafia member in the future, submarine style relief pitcher Joe Smith. but for now, Vinnie will be reporting to LA's Triple A club, the Salt Lake Bees. i wish him very good luck in the LA organization and i hope he gets back to the major league level real soon.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Brantley Passes Father's Career High Home Run Total with 2nd Walk-off HR This Season

wow. i knew i'd be writing a blog when Michael hit his next home run, because that would be homer #16, making him the new career high home run leader in the Brantley family. but i never could have imagined the circumstances that would surround it. the fact that Michael's 16th home run was also his 2nd walk-off homer of this year, and his career, well that just makes it even more special.

photo courtesy of @Indians twitter

earlier today on August 3, the Indians played the Texas Rangers. David Murphy hit a 2-run bomb in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game at 3 and take it to extra innings. nobody on either side could score in the 10th or 11th innings.

with the game still tied in the bottom of the 12th inning, Michael was the lead off batter. he faced right-handed pitcher Phil Klein. after a 3-2 count, Michael fouled the next pitch off. then, on the 7th pitch of the at bat, Michael sent a fastball over the fence into the visitors' bullpen for his 2nd walk-off home run of the season and the Indians' 7 walk-off win of the year! and because the Indians won the game, they completed the 3-game sweep at home over the deflated Rangers.

photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo cropped off
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe

as is tradition, Michael got drenched with water after he rounded the bases and ran to home plate, where his teammates were waiting to celebrate with him.

photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photos cropped from a video on

he got outta that quick lol

photo cropped from a video on

and here come all the congratulatory hugs and hand slaps.

photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer
photo courtesy of TribeVibe
photos cropped from a video on

in his postgame interview, Michael had this to say about his walk-off homer. "i was able to get down on time this time, put a good swing on it, and it went over the fence. [today was] very important. the guys did a great job in the 9th inning. Murphy came up with a huge home run to give us that, this opportunity. without that swing, without those guys working those good at bats in the 9th, that's not possible. so it was a team effort tonight and it was a great win for this team."

photo cropped from a video on

this 2nd walk-off homer also made Michael the first Indians player to have 2 extra-inning walk-off home runs in the same season since Jim Thome had 3 in 2001. did you forget or not know about Michael's first walk-off homer this year on May 19? no worries, i have all those deets here.

additionally, Michael's homer marks the Indians' 5th walk-off win in extra innings this year, tying them for the 2nd most in the major leagues behind Baltimore (which has 6). it was also the 75th walk-off home run at Progressive Field since its opening in 1994, and that is the most by any team in these past 20 years.

what's even more exciting is that Michael's 16th home run adds to his new career high not only for himself, but for the Brantley family. Mickey Brantley hit a career high 15 homers during his 1988 season with the Seattle Mariners. in Michael's previous seasons as a big leaguer, it was questionable as to whether he'd ever be able to tie or break his father's record. but when Michael put his newfound power on display earlier this year, i think it became clear that he would, and it was just a matter of when. and today was that day! so congratulations Michael on your 2nd walk-off home run AND on your new bragging rights with your father! =D