Archive for the ‘ Ask the Indians ’ Category

Fan Forum conference call with Tom Hamilton takes place Wednesday at 3:00pm

The Indians will be holding a Fan Forum conference call with Indians Radio Broadcaster Tom Hamilton on Wednesday afternoon, beginning at 3:00pm ET. Fans will have the opportunity to submit questions to the long-time voice of the Tribe, and Season Ticket Holders will have priority access to asking questions to Hamilton.

Fans interested in joining the call will have several options available to participate. Season Ticket Holders will receive a call at their primary phone number with an option to opt-in to the call. Alternatively, all fans will have the option to dial in around 3:00pm, using the information below:

Dial: 877-229-8493
Enter Pin-code: 13595
Date: Wednesday, September 3
Time: 3:00pm ET

The Indians are in the midst of a key 11-game homestand, with 4 games vs. Detroit, a weekend series against the White Sox, then one game vs. LA and a 3-game series with Minnesota. Visit Indians.com for complete details on the upcoming schedule, and where the Indians stand in the postseason race.

Fan Forum Conference Call with Terry Francona takes place Thursday at 6:15pm

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The Indians will be holding a Fan Forum Conference Call with Indians Manager Terry Francona on Thursday evening, beginning at 6:15pm ET. Fans will have the opportunity to submit questions to the Tribe’s manager, and Season Ticket Holders will have priority access to asking questions to Francona.

Fans interested in joining the call will have several options available to participate. Season Ticket Holders will receive a call at their primary phone number with an option to opt-in to the call. Alternatively, all fans will have the option to dial in around 6:15pm, using the information below:

Dial: 877-229-8493
Enter Pin-code: 13595
Date: Thursday, July 24
Time: 6:15pm ET

The Indians return home to Progressive Field on Tuesday, July 29 for an 8-game homestand, with series against Seattle, Texas, and intra-state rivals Cincinnati. Visit Indians.com for complete details on the upcoming schedule.

 

Indians meet at Progressive Field ahead of Wild Card; discuss their preparation for the postseason

Believe it or not, Nick Swisher is in there somewhere, as he and his teammates met the media on Tuesday evening ahead of the AL Wild Card game.

Believe it or not, Nick Swisher is in there somewhere, as he and his teammates met the media on Tuesday evening ahead of the AL Wild Card game.

Indians players and coaches were at Progressive Field on Tuesday afternoon, as they held a practice and team meetings at the ballpark on the day before the Tribe’s crucial AL Wild Card clash with the Tampa Bay Rays. The players spoke with TribeVibe about their approach ahead of Wednesday night’s game.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis

On the team’s momentum heading into the postseason…

I think momentum is on our side, but at this time Tampa, and even Texas, everyone was playing good coming down the stretch. I think this team is in a good place right now, and I think we got to rest up for another day, but I don’t think it’s too long where we’ll be rusty or anything like that, and we’ve still got some good momentum and guys are ready to go.

On what he has learned from the veteran players during the stretch run…

You take bits and pieces from all of them. It’s impressive what they were able to do because the whole time while they’re trying to help out the young guys, those are some big names, and some big important parts for us down this home stretch. So they had to worry about their own games, and they still went through their normal routine, and treated it as the same game, and handled their business, and kept the atmosphere loose in here.

 

First Baseman/Outfielder Nick Swisher

On the mentality heading into the postseason…

Yeah, you know I think just with this team and the mojo that we have, it’s not necessarily one of the stressful things. It’s just a great opportunity to be there for us, and I think just what we’ve been doing of late, or at least the last 10-15 games, we’ve almost been taking it as, ‘Hey, this is just gonna be another game in the season, and there’s going to be another game tomorrow.’

I think if we just continue to keep that ‘lax, chill attitude, and just go out there and get great pitching and timely hitting, we’ll get a chance to win.”

INF/Outfielder Ryan Raburn

On the difference between one-game playoff and a series…

It’s about the same, but these one-game playoffs are a lot more intense than a regular playoff series. It’s like a Game 7 of the World Series where if you don’t win you go home, so it’s really intense, but it’s a lot of fun. We’ve worked really hard all year, and really turned it around from where this team has been all year, and I couldn’t be happier for this group of guys, and all that we’ve worked for.

On sharing his postseason experience with younger players…

The little bit that I’ve had, I’ve really just told the guys when we get in those long winning streaks to keep working because it’s a long year, and crazy things happen, and really that’s all the guys did. They worked hard all year and never gave up and hopefully we can continue.

Outfielder Drew Stubbs

On how the AL Wild Card compares to his previous postseason experience…

This is the first time I’ve done a Wild Card game, so obviously this game tomorrow night is going to determine whether we move on or not. Other than that, the similarities would be that the anticipation and the level of excitement are about the same.

On his advice to younger teammates…

Don’t get overwhelmed by the pressure or excitement. Just go out and play the same game you’ve played all year.

Outfielder Michael Brantley

On what it means to be in the postseason…

It’s great. This is what we played for, and this is what we worked so hard to get to, and I’m excited to be a part of it with this team, and I can’t wait for the game.

On whether he plans to change any part of his routine…

I don’t plan on it. I plan to go through the same routine I do for every game, just make sure that I’m prepared and what pitchers we’re facing and go out there and do my best.

Infielder Mike Aviles

On the level of excitement in the clubhouse for postseason…

In all honesty I don’t know how much more amped up it’s going to get, because we always got music going, and we’re always having fun, and that’s been our thing since day one…We were coming here and just saying ‘let’s play, let’s do our work, and take care of business.’

On what the current 10-game winning streak means for the postseason…

All 10 [wins] in a row means is that we get to play here tomorrow. Everything we did for all 162 games, and all the Rays did for 163 games means nothing, and that’s what it comes down to. Tomorrow is all about tomorrow, and that’s really all there is.

Bench Coach Sandy Alomar

On the difference in preparing for postseason as a coach…

You’ve got to organize it in detail, the scouting report, so you can present to the players, and help them go through the game. As a player you just wait for that information to come to you, but as a coach you have to gather that information and present it to them. You get it ahead of time, and you get more familiar with it, so when the game comes, it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Relief Pitcher Cody Allen

On whether preparation will change at all for the Wild Card game…

The only thing that’s going to be different is that it’s one game right now for this Wild Card spot. But other than that, we’ve won 10 games in a row at the end of the year, and just getting ready for the games like we always do: staying loose, being prepared, being ready, and just playing hard.

We’re trying to keep things as routine as possible, and not change anything up, and putting any more pressure on any one person. We ended the season playing good baseball. Let’s keep playing good baseball.

–TribeVibe contributors Max Lom and Anne Keegan

Fans ask the questions with new “Ask the Tribe” feature

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Fans recently took the time to submit questions for their favorite Cleveland Indians players in this week’s version of “Ask the Tribe.” Be sure to follow the Cleveland Indians on Twitter (@Indians) and on Facebook for your chance to submit a question.

Question for Michael Brantley:
What routine do you go through before you go up to bat? – William, Cleveland
I go up to the on-deck circle; I take a couple swings, try to time the pitcher. I separate my hands and my feet and get down in time to make sure that I’m on time. Then I go up to the plate.

Questions for Mark Reynolds:
What kind of car do you drive? – Alex, North Ridgeville
A Ford F-250.

Who on the team has the weirdest habit? – Andrew, Cleveland
Michael Brantley has had the same pair of cleats for three years.

Where did you get the power to hit so well? – Zalen, Madison County, Ohio
I just grew up with it. I was blessed, I guess.

Question for Chris Perez:
What do you think of the comparisons people make of you and the “Wild Thing,” Rick Vaughn? – Chris, Columbus
I think they’re inevitable just because of the position I’m in, but I don’t think they’re based on much. Obviously, if you remember the movie, Vaughn was a starter, and they put him in the bullpen because he couldn’t start. It comes with the territory of being a closer on the Indians; the Indians were in that movie, and I’m the closer. Off the field, I definitely don’t live like that. It’s cool, I go with it. It gets a little annoying sometimes when people ask me to cut my hair like that or come in with the glasses on. It’s cool, though.

Question for Asdrubal Cabrera:
Do you have any pre-game rituals? – Matthew, Lorain
Many [rituals]. I come to the ballpark. I try to be ready, and I go to the training room for a little bit and work out. I go to the cage, get a little BP outside, take a ground ball, and get ready for the game.

Questions for Nick Swisher:
What was it like being on “How I Met Your Mother”? – Anonymous
It was awesome. They have such a well-oiled machine over there. They have [director and producer] Pam [Fryman] running the show over there. She’s the jam. Great cast. Something fun to be a part of.

What is your favorite TV show? – Meg, Cleveland
It would probably have to be Reba, a little old-school Reba.

If you played football, what position would you play? – Alexandra, North Ridgeville
I’d have to be like a strong safety. That’s what I played in high school. I think I’d have a feel for it.

If you could make the same amount of money and do anything except baseball, what would you do? – Brian, Parma
Man, that’s a good question. There’s nothing in the world I like doing as much as what I’m doing right now. Other than my family and baseball, that’s really what I got. Maybe when I retire I’ll find something.

Question for Jason Kipnis:
Besides Cleveland, which park is your favorite one to play in? – Todd, Galion
Either Fenway or St. Louis (Busch Stadium). I think both of them are really nice stadiums with great fans. They’re usually always sellouts, and they’re great atmospheres to play in.

-TribeVibe contributor Megan Golden

Inside Working in Sports: Omar Jufko (Part 3)

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TribeVibe chatted with Cleveland Indians Dockmaster Omar Jufko, a graduate of Cleveland State University with degrees in Sports Management and Public Relations, to get the inside track on how to break into the highly coveted sports industry. Jufko began working as a Visiting Clubhouse Intern under fellow TribeVibe star and Head Visiting Clubhouse Manager, Willie Jenks. Since 2009, Omar has worked in the Visiting and Home Clubhouses and the Indians Executive Office Front Desk. In 2012, Jufko was promoted to Dockmaster within the Ballpark Operations department. Jufko was kind enough to meet with TribeVibe to discuss his journey through the Indians Organization.

TV: How did you transition to being the Dockmaster?

OJ: The job was open and I saw it as an opportunity to take another step. I went from being unpaid, to being paid but still part-time/seasonal, to having a full-time position in the face of the general public. I looked forward to having another full-time position that dealt more with the infrastructure of the organization. It was another chance to challenge myself. I’ve never dealt with shipping and receiving from a big scope before so, I knew I was going to have to learn on the fly. It was just another challenge. The day you stop challenging yourself and become complacent is the day you should just hang it up.

TV: For those who are not familiar with what a “Dockmaster” is, can you tell us what the job entails?

OJ: 75% to 80% is basic shipping and receiving, but not like a mom and pop corner shop – it’s a huge organization with huge needs. I’m  talking player personnel and equipment, 53-foot TV trucks for broadcasts, all the freight  for merchandising all of the goods that come in for Corporate Partnerships, print materials for Communications, electronics and tech gear for Information Systems and I touch every part of this business on a daily basis. In-season, I have a staff of about 20 security guys in fixed points throughout the ballpark. I have my own assistant that helps with the shipping and receiving. My personal mission with him is to help him grow and evolve professionally and in his personal life as well. When I started I was about his age – early 20’s – and Willie was a mentor to me so, I’d like to pay that guidance forward to someone else. My mentors definitely helped me find myself.

TV: That’s an interesting point, what advice would you give to young people trying to find themselves professionally? Especially people in their 20’s who are working but, would like to on a path toward upward mobility?

OJ: You really need to take a long hard look at the opportunities that you may or may not have in front of you. It’s a lot of soul searching. Sometimes you have to veer off the road that you want, to do something else but, always know in the back of your mind where you ultimately want to be [in your career]. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sometimes the decision isn’t so easy. Keep your goals in focus and make sure your [career choices] keep in line with that.

Just think about what you and I are doing right now, we’re sitting in an empty ballpark. Sometimes you get these surreal moments [working here]. I’ve hung out with the Yankees in the Visiting Clubhouse or have taken someone’s Mercedes to the airport but, it’s the little things like this that matter most to me – sitting here in a quiet ballpark. It’s almost like my home; I spend the better part of my year here.

TV: We do spend a lot of time here. Tell us about the time commitments of working in this industry for those who may not know.

OJ: It’s intense! It’s unlike most professions – outside of an ER doctor or someone in medicine. You’re looking at 15-20 hour workdays depending on your assignment. Fans see the show when it’s on TV but really have no idea all the work it takes to pull the ballpark experience off.

TV: How do you balance your personal life?

OJ: I see my work life as a parallel to the game of baseball. It’s all a process, a grind and a routine. I arrive here early, around 5 or 5:30AM, get a work out in, get to my desk by 6AM, answer all my e-mails and get ready for the first shipments at 7AM. I try to stay focused and on task so I don’t get stressed.

TV: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

OJ: Hunger and humility. Never be complacent and always look for the next step. At the same time, understand that you’re not above anyone or any task.

-Erin Parker, TribeVibe Contributor

 

 

Inside Working in Sports: Omar Jufko (Part 2)

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TribeVibe chatted with Cleveland Indians Dockmaster Omar Jufko, a graduate of Cleveland State University with degrees in Sports Management and Public Relations, to get the inside track on how to break into the highly coveted sports industry. Jufko began working as a Visiting Clubhouse Intern under fellow TribeVibe star and Head Visiting Clubhouse Manager, Willie Jenks. Since 2009, Omar has worked in the Visiting and Home Clubhouses and the Indians Executive Office Front Desk. In 2012, Jufko was promoted to Dockmaster within the Ballpark Operations department. Jufko was kind enough to meet with TribeVibe to discuss his journey through the Indians Organization.

TV: What’s the biggest challenge facing Sports Management majors today?

OJ: Too many people romanticize the idea of working in sports and think they’ll graduate and work for someone like Scott Boras or work shoulder to shoulder with Alex Rodriguez. That will most likely not happen. If that’s their goal they should keep their eye on the prize, but focus on their specialty whether it’s PR, marketing or finance and go after it. From the outside looking it, this looks like the greatest job on the planet – not to say that it isn’t but, there’s always this misconception that all we do is hang out with athletes. People should really realize the hard work you need to put in to be successful in this industry.

TV: So why did you leave the Home Clubhouse to manage the Executive Office Front Desk?

OJ: I wanted to learn more and expand what I do here [at the organization]. I needed security and to evolve. It’s such a short ceiling down there [in the clubhouse]. For as much as I loved it, I knew I had advance myself as a professional and diversify myself and my resume. I saw the Front Desk opportunity to prove myself to the organization that [I] was willing to wear multiple hats. The Front Desk role is unique and it doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. The person in that job is the first and last impression to everyone who enters our building. It’s very much a help desk; you can get out of towners asking where they can get a good meal all the way to the Fortune 500 Execs coming to meet with Mark Shapiro or Mr. Dolan. It’s sort of like the Clubhouse where no two days are exactly the same. You’re always on your toes.

TV: Since you were the front lines of the office, what’s your perspective on our fans?

OJ: They’re hungry. This city is just hungry for sustained success from our teams. At the same time they’re a little impatient, understandably so because they have been waiting so long. I believe in the guys we have here on the field. Baseball is one of those games where you get five or six pieces to gel and grow together and you build around that. Anything is possible.  I tried to project to the fans that would walk into the Front Office. I wanted people to recognize that good things were happening around here.

TV: That’s going above and beyond your job description. What made you go the extra mile to connect with the fans?

OJ: Is it too corny to say that I felt like it was my duty? Particularly in that role, I don’t think many people in the organization – outside of game day staff – get a chance to interact with fans so intimately as the person that sits at the Front Desk. I felt like I needed to make a good impression. Unfortunately, we’re in a situation where we need to win over as many hearts and minds as possible. Most of the staff in the organization cannot control what goes on on-the-field, but we can control our personal interactions and business relationships. So that was the attitude I took that job with. Look the part, speak the part and project a positive image because there has been negative energy around the club for some years now – from a general public standpoint.

 

-Erin Parker, TribeVibe Contributor

 

Inside Working in Sports: Omar Jufko (Part 1)

 

photo (28)So, you want to be a Sports Management major? Are you in a quest to snag a job with a sports franchise? Well, TribeVibe chatted with Cleveland Indians Dockmaster Omar Jufko, a graduate of Cleveland State University with degrees in Sports Management and Public Relations, to get the inside track on how to break into the highly coveted sports industry. Jufko began working as a Visiting Clubhouse Intern under fellow TribeVibe star and Head Visiting Clubhouse Manager, Willie Jenks. Since 2009, Omar has worked in the Visiting and Home Clubhouses and the Indians Executive Office Front Desk. In 2012, Jufko was promoted to Dockmaster within the Ballpark Operations department. Jufko was kind enough to meet with TribeVibe to discuss his journey through the Indians Organization.

TribeVibe: What made you want to be a Sports Management Major?

Omar Jufko: Growing up I was always really active. I never excelled at any one sport but, I played everything. I played football, baseball, soccer, track, basketball. I was always actively involved in athletics. My Father was a Browns Season Ticket Holder for 30+ years and he was a Season Ticket Holder with [the Indians] from 1989 through 1999. [Sports] were always in my life growing up. There was never one point where I said “I’m going to do this as a career,” but I always knew I was going to be involved in athletics.

In school, I studied Public Relations and Sports Management while at Cleveland State. While I was at Cleveland State, I worked for the basketball team; first, as a student manager – where I was nothing more than a towel boy my freshman year.  I made enough of an impression that by the time my sophomore year rolled around, [Cleveland State] said to me ‘Here’s X amount of dollars, hire a staff and we’ll pay you through work study.’ So I became the head manager. I handled all my staff, all the player course scheduling, connected them with tutors and any additional academic help they needed. Mostly, I handled all of the road trip logistics – all the busing, food, workout plans and itineraries for road trips. I t takes so much effort and man power to move a team from city to city. So, it got my gears going and made me think that this could be a legitimate career choice.

TV: What initially kept you motivated to take on that job while still going to school?

OJ: [Motivation] is something that had been instilled in me by – as cheesy as it sounds – by my parents. When I was 14 or 15, I played soccer the summer before I started High School and Reebok had come out with this cleat called the Sidewinder. I just wanted a pair of Sidewinders really bad. I think these Sidewinders were $100. Back then in 1997, that price was just insane for a pair of cleats. I remember approaching my parents about it and they said, ‘Ok, walk down the street to the supermarket, fill out an application, get a job, and once you get your first paycheck you’ll have enough to buy your own cleats.’ That was always the mindset of my household – if you want something, you work hard, you’ll be able to get it. And that’s probably the greatest lesson I’ve ever gotten from my parents. Humility and work ethic.

[My family], we’re working class. A lot of people in [Cleveland] are. I grew up 15 minutes from [Progressive Field]. I grew up in the concrete jungle and that’s always grounded me. I’ve always had the mindset that no one is going to give me anything. I’m not the world’s smartest man, but I know I can always rely on my work ethic, accountability, and quality of work.

TV: How did you start with the Indians?

OJ: Well, I spent a year and a half after I graduated college in Brazil working for a basketball team and expected that it would be easy for me to land a job in Professional Sports and it didn’t happen that way. So, I started working for the Gap as a merchandiser basically dressing mannequins overnight and doing new floor sets for the store. After a year, I decided I was either going to work in Public Relations or I was going to try one more time to get into sports.

I saw a Visiting Clubhouse Intern posted on Indians.com. It was an unpaid internship under Willie Jenks the current Visiting Clubhouse Manager. I had some exposure to this world because I had a friend in high school that worked in the Indians Clubhouse. So, I already knew the basics of the job – you show up, load the equipment and do whatever is necessary for the team. So I thought ‘What the hell I’ll apply for it.’ Willie had over 300 applicants for the job and only brought in three people for interviews and I was one of the lucky few and got the job, thankfully.  I was the first intern in Cleveland Indians Clubhouse history.

TV: So was it just dumb luck and timing?

OJ: It’s really a little bit of everything. I like to believe that my experiences at Cleveland State and in Brazil played a role in getting me the job. I definitely felt that Willie and I always had a level of comfort with one another, and we still are very close. It’s special to have someone in your professional life that you can sit down with and be very candid with, vent when you need to vent but, also work through the issues of the daily grind.

TV: Do you find that relationships (like yours with Willie) are essential to your longevity with the organization?

OJ: Absolutely and it’s probably the same across all industries, but especially here. You give up so much of your time and your personal life for this industry. [People who work in baseball] give up sort of the prime time of the year. When the sun is out and people are having fun, you’re at work grinding away. It’s a lot of time commitment, a lot of stress, but then again, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t enjoy doing it.

Willie Jenks (left) and Omar Jufko (right).

Willie Jenks (left) and Omar Jufko (right).

TV: Tell us about your experience working in the Visiting Clubhouse.

OJ: I worked with Willie and felt that the season went really well. I learned how to run off 4-5 hours of sleep in a 48 hour window. Just the inner workings of baseball. Many people think that we lay dormant 4-5 months out of the year in the off-season, but business continues 12 months out of the year – we never stop. After the 2009 season had ended, I saw an opening for a Clubhouse Manager for Lake County so, I spoke to Willie about it, got his recommendation, got the Home Clubhouse Manager’s recommendation. Then about a few days later, the Indians came to me and asked me to stay and I said ‘I’m in,’ and I became part of the Home Clubhouse staff for the 2010 season.

TV: What’s the most memorable moment from working in the clubhouse?

OJ: I always joke with people when I get that question. There are probably two answers to that question. One answer I probably will never be able to tell you (Sorry, TribeVibe Fans) because it’s one of those guarded secrets that could probably be exposed in a book one day. To nail down one experience or one memory might be too hard because you find yourself in so many different situations – one day it could be picking up a top player from the airport, another day it could be helping a player purchase a car. I truly think the camaraderie is what stands out to me most. You’re in the eye of the storm, if you will, you see the good, the bad and the ugly. [Guys in the Clubhouse] have more exposure to [the players] than [the players’] families do and you see that human side to professional athletes that a lot of people will never get the chance to see. I know how hard those [players] work and anytime something great happens to [the team] they deserve it. Just the Cleveland kid in me wants the team to do well. The friend and Indians personnel side of me wants them to do well because I truly think they deserve it.

-Erin Parker, TribeVibe Contributor

Indians players describe their Thanksgiving plans

Indians employees took part in a Day of Giving last Sunday, November 18 in the Terrace Club.

As people across the U.S. take part in their annual Thanksgiving traditions, Indians players are making their own holiday preparations. TribeVibe caught up with several players to hear their plans for Thanksgiving this year, which range from 50+-person family gatherings to trans-Atlantic vacations.

Pitcher Joe Smith:

“I’ll head over to my aunt Wanda and Uncle Ray’s house where most the family goes. My aunt Judy always passes around a sign-in sheet because they like looking back and seeing who all has made it. It’s usually around 50-60 of us with too much food, of course. After we eat, some of my cousins, my grandpa, friends and Uncle Ray will pack in downstairs to get away from the crowd, and do what everyone likes to do after thanksgiving meal: Football and Nap.”

Pitcher Vinnie Pestano:

“I’m going back home to California for Thanksgiving. My Mom is having it at my parents’ house so it’ll be good to see my whole family. I’m thankful I have a wonderful cast of people in my support system without which I would not be the   person or player I am today.”

Infielder Jack Hannahan:

“Where do I start? My side of the family (16 people) will be coming over to the house where I will be preparing a 22 pound turkey on the Big Green Egg!

“350 [degrees] for four hours and the big boy will be singing!

“I’m thankful for my loving and supportive family, a healthy baby boy, my loving wife and the baby on the way. I’m thankful for a mother and a father who have been married 37 years. They worked so hard to put four kids through private schools.”

Pitcher Justin Masterson:

“I am heading to the in-laws for thanksgiving in South Bend, Indiana.  We get together with friends and family there and then on Friday we’ll have a party with my family.  So I get two turkey dinners in a row.  It’s just a good blessing to have food on the table and be amongst those whom we love.   I think we need to make everyday Thanksgiving.”

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis is using part of the weekend to head overseas to begin a two-week vacation in Spain. His destinations include Granada, Sevilla, the Canary Islands, and Barcelona – where he plans on attending a bull fight and an FC Barcelona soccer game.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Indians and TribeVibe!

Francona discusses recent trade, off-season forecast on PD Sports Insider

Indians Manager Terry Francona was the special guest on this afternoon’s episode of the PD Sports Insider on Cleveland.com.  Francona joined hosts Bud Shaw and Dennis Manoloff from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Glenn Moore of Cleveland.com to discuss a range of questions surrounding the club.

With off-season activity gearing up, Francona spoke at length about the outlook for the club’s winter, and what the club hopes to accomplish heading into next season. He also offered his take on the recent trade with the Blue Jays which sent reliever Esmil Rogers to Toronto for infielder Mike Aviles and catcher Yan Gomes.

“You hate to give up any pitching arms, but to get good players [sometimes] you have to do that,” Francona said on the show. “Toronto really regarded Esmil Rogers highly, and we get back a guy in Mike Aviles that can play Second, Third  and Short, and probably left and right. He’s a guy who can play everyday, or he can move all over the diamond. He gives you a guy with great baseball acumen. He loves to compete – whether he’s in the lineup or on the bench – he’ll always bring something positive to a team. He’s got a little edge to him, which is good.”

Francona also offered his take on Gomes, 25, who hit .328 with 13HR and 59 RBI in 79 games at AAA last year.

“Yan Gomes is a guy that can play the corners and can catch,” said Francona. “He probably got caught up in an organization that had a lot of catching, which not too many teams can say. So again, we had a chance to bring in two good players for one, and where we are situation right now, I thought it made sense.”

The full interview is available on Cleveland.com: Watch Here

– TribeVibe contributor Max Lom

Indians team President Mark Shapiro sits down with FOXSportsOhio.com

Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro sat down recently with Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com for an extended interview covering topics ranging from the club’s future plans to his own beginnings in baseball to his transition from General Manager to team President.

An excerpt from the interview is below, and you can read it in its entirety at FOXSportsOhio.com:

Question: Talk about these two years as president after so many years as a GM.

Answer: There’s not a day I don’t feel fortunate to have a job like this. Adding the business component in has been an incredible amount to learn. So two years in, I feel like I’ve learned a tremendous amount new about the business of baseball. Adding that to my experiences of my operation on the field has given me a pretty global perspective of the business of the game in Major League Baseball. To sit here at 45 years old and now I have a much more detailed understanding of the business side and the Major League Baseball function and the commissioner’s office as well as the on-field, I feel very fortunate to have that perspective.

Q: What one or two things were the most challenging to learn as you made the transition?

Click Here for the full transcript of the interview.

 

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