Results tagged ‘ Chris Antonetti ’
New to camp today: Bourn, Santana and more!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
This year’s Tribe Fest has a full slate of fun activities on the KeyBank Main Stage! Here’s a schedule:
10:10AM-10:40: “Chat with the President,” with Mark Shapiro, hosted by Tom Hamilton
10:40-11:10: Noon-12:35PM: “Progressive Field Evolution,” with VP Andrew Miller
11:25-12:25PM: “Minute to Win It,” with players and hosted by Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus
12:40-1:40: “Glory Days in Tribe Town,” with Tom Hamilton and Terry Pluto
1:55-2:55: “Toeing the Rubber,” with players, pitching coach Mickey Callaway and hosted by Jim Rosenhaus
Members of the Cleveland Indians front office, including owner Paul Dolan, President Mark Shapiro, GM Chris Antonetti and more served Thanksgiving to nearly 300 people on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.The event was made possible, for the fifth straight year, by the Tribe’s partners at Delaware North Cos.
Folks from five area charities — Our Lady of the Wayside, Shoes and Clothes for Kids, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Ohio Guidestone and City Misssion — enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal prepared and served by members of the Indians front office. Slider and the hot dogs also made an appearance, as evidenced by their lack of help serving in the video below!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
ICYMI: Terry Francona signed a contract extension through 2018 this morning, and Tribe GM Chris Antonetti joined Bill Wills on WTAM this morning to discuss the news.
Click the play button above to listen to Antonetti discuss why the man they call “Tito” is so valuable to the Tribe.
Indians Manager Terry Francona and General Manager Chris Antonetti chatted with media on Monday, a day after the club’s season finale against Tampa Bay on Sunday. They addressed a number of topics, including offseason goals, positives from 2014 and more.
Skipper first …
MANAGER TERRY FRANCONA
It’s still hard today … We don’t have all the answers.
Couple things I do know: We were faced with w lot of challenges: Some health, some guys not quite doing what we thought they’d do. Through it all, we managed to compete all the way to the end. That wasn’t our goal; our goal was to win. … I was really proud of the effort, of the players, of the front office guys. We always seem to do it together.
This year, it wasn’t enough to get us over the hump and into the playoffs, but it helped give us our best chance.
When it’s all said and done, you never want to leave it on the field, to have regrets. If you do, you’re kicking yourself if you end up a game or two short. That’s opposed to leaving it all out there, and not really having any regrets. It wasn’t good enough for us but we have no regrets.
We’re happy with how some of the young guys did, but we still need to get better. I’m not just talking about going out and getting players … I’m talking about everything, putting players in the best position to win.
On the team’s defense
There were a number of reasons where we weren’t really clean. It was flat out making errors, to maybe not getting to some balls earlier in the season. We spent a majority of the season trying to unshoot our foot. That’s a hard way to play. What we talk about is the more work we can get done at high intensity, the better.
Re: positives of 2014
We are disappointed. The goal is to get to the Postseason and keep playing. But part of what excites me so much fi the effort our guys gave to get us to where we got.
Look at some of the core group we have in place:
- Yan Gomes is a bona fide All-Star. There’s a lot to like there : his energy, his game-calling ability.
- Brantley turned into one of the top position players in the league. And his impact goes far beyond the numbers.
On Corey Kluber
I don’t know if he’s going to win the Cy Young or not, but he should. Look at (Seattle’s) Felix (Hernandez) and you look at Kluber — If you took their names off of it and put their resumes side by side, Kluber would win the Cy Young. That’s the best endorsement I can give Klubes. The reason I say that is that I went and did it – didn’t want to be a homer. I actually felt like Kluber deserved it, and I didn’t know whose numbers was who.
There are three reasons why I’m so happy here: One is our players, I love the players. Another is the atmosphere Chris and his guys have fostered here, which I think is remarkable. The third one is, I just like the city.
I grew up around here, spent first six years of my life here. There are challenges ahead of us, but it’ll be more special when we figure it out and put it all together.
GENERAL MANAGER CHRIS ANTONETTI
It’s disappointing to not still be playing. Our goal is to win the World Series and to do that you have to be in the Postseason.
But stepping back from that, I couldn’t be more proud of our players and coaching staff and how they persevered. No matter how difficult the loss the night before, they showed up ready the next day. Tito, our coaches and players deserve a lot of credit for the way they handled things.
After you get past the disappointment of not making it and reflect back, there were a lot of positives this year – especially when you look at the development and progress for a lot of our younger players. We were alive on a really young roster to make a postseason push.
We had developments from Michael Brantley’s emergence as star, to Yan (Gomes), to Lonnie (Chisenhall)… Up and down, see progress they made. You see that and look forward and that’s incredibly exciting to us. We’ve never gone into an offseason in a better position of strength.
Our younger guys gained incredible experience. We asked a lot of them – to make the transition to the big leagues and the environment, and then make a postseason push. In exit meetings, a lot of guys referenced that experience. We’ll benefit from that.
This year obviously was not the script we drew up. We had some injuries, some inconsistencies from our veterans, and we placed a big burden on some of our younger guys.
There are a number of ways we improve this offseason:
- The young guys who contributed this year can continue to progress
- Our veteran guys return to health and perform the way they’re capable
- And we’ll look externally and find ways we can improve
Re: Swisher’s surgeries
It’s important to get the surgeries out of the way, especially as we look to next year. Retrospectively, I don’t think we knew what he was trying to battle through and perform through. It’s easy to look back now and wonder if we could have done it differently, done the surgeries sooner. To his credit, he worked hard and tried to play through it for the team. Encouraging: He should come in to Spring Training ready to go and contribute the way we all know he’s capable of contributing.
On the positives from 2014:
In the rotation, look at the emergence of young, extraordinary pitching staff. We set the MLB record for strikeouts, which is an incredible accomplishment given youth. They’ll all be here for the foreseeable future. Look at the progress they made and where they go forward, it’s exciting.
Michael Brantley has emerged into what we believe is a star player in the league. Yan Gomes established himself as one of the best catchers in the AL if not baseball. Lonnie (Chisenhall put together a very good season especially for a young player. There were a lot of individual performances in all aspects of the club that are promising.
Our defense is an area we need to better in. It was better in the second half than the first half, but we have to be better there.
(Editor’s note: This story reprinted with permission from the Akron Beacon Journal.)
BY MARLA RIDENOUR
Akron Beacon Journal
BOSTON: Bryson Bourn and Giovanni Brantley chased each other around a table in the Indians’ clubhouse after a recent Sunday home game. It was not an unusual sight; baseball players’ sons have been coming to the park with their fathers for decades.
But what was going on nearby was not the norm. At another table sat three little girls who looked to be ages 4 to 6, who were eating, chatting and ignoring the raucous boys.
All season, Indians’ fathers have been bringing their daughters into the postgame clubhouse on Sundays at Progressive Field. The idea came from designated hitter Jason Giambi, who said he was thinking outside the box as he prepared to interview for the Colorado Rockies’ managerial vacancy before the 2013 season. Giambi has a 2½-year-old daughter, London.
“I had to take a step back. ‘If I’m managing, how would the team represent me?’ ” Giambi said Saturday before the Indians faced the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. “That’s what you have to do, you have to have that connection with your players. There’s so many little girls, and daddies always have their little girls. It would be something cool they could share.”
Manager Terry Francona, who grew up going to major league games with his father, Tito, and General Manager Chris Antonetti signed off on the plan. The Indians were overwhelmingly in favor.
“We’ve got like 35 to 40 kids on this team. This is by far the most I’ve ever been a part of,” nine-year veteran Nick Swisher said.
“Obviously everybody was OK with it because there’s 900 daughters on this team,” said Mike Aviles. He has three — Kyla, 9, and twins Adriana and Maiya, 3.
Home clubhouse and equipment manager Tony Amato loved the idea and found garment racks that the Indians hang their street clothes on when they dress before the game. The racks are rolled into the shower area near the trainers’ room for later, when the doors open for the kids.
Right fielder David Murphy, with daughters Madison, 6, and Faith, 5, and son Cole, 3, likes that the Indians are teaching their children equality, even if they don’t know it yet.
“Ever since they’ve been old enough to realize my son can come in the clubhouse any time, they get a little jealous,” Murphy said of his girls. “We try to make this game and the organization as family-friendly as possible, but in a lot of situations it has to exclude females. I think it’s awesome the way the girls have gotten to come in the clubhouse because they want to see what daddy does as much as our little boys do. It makes them feel special and I guess it makes them feel on the inside of things as opposed to the outside.”
Nick Swisher said his 1-year-old daughter, Emerson, grabs the bag in his locker and plays with the baseballs. She’s enjoying a little of what Nick saw as a kid when his father, Steve, played for the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres.
“She’s having a blast,” Swisher said. “I grew up in the locker room; it’s the only thing I’ve ever known in my life. Now to be able to give that gift — I guess you could call it a gift — to my daughter. There’s so many guys who have daughters. We said, ‘We can’t be pushing them out and just letting the boys come in.’ ”
Aviles said Swisher once taped his twins’ wrists, so they go straight for the tape.
“They pull it out and think it’s a lasso,” Aviles said.
Aviles said Ryan Raburn’s daughter Taytum, 3, wants to go to the batting cage. Murphy’s daughters love the candy. On the recent Sunday, Corey Kluber cracked a rare smile as his daughters Kendall and Kennedy spun around in the black leather chairs in front of his locker.
“That’s a big day,” Giambi said, acknowledging Kluber’s stoicism.
The first time London Giambi visited, the Indians had just returned from spring training, and the families’ personal items and kids’ toys lined the hallway to the dugout.
“She was like, ‘I want that bike and that bike.’ She thought it was Christmas,” said Giambi, 43. “I’ve been a lot of years in this game and I never had that. When they’re old enough, girls will take those memories with them.”
Ever wonder what the inside of a MLB team’s draft room looks like? Here’s a sneak peek into ours.
–Photos by David Cleveland
You probably saw this photo on Friday, in our Photo Gallery from the Home Opener against Minnesota, and wondered, just what the heck is Jason Kipnis doing ?
Here’s a little back story: In the news conference Friday morning to announce Kipnis’ new six-year deal – he remains one of 16 current Tribe players under team control through 2016! – General Manager Chris Antonetti and Manager Terry Francona joined Kipnis on the dais.
After Antonetti and Kipnis shared their thoughts on the deal and how it got done, Tito was asked by MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, “You heard about Kipnis before you got (to Cleveland), you’d seen him before. What have you felt about his growth as a player?”
With his young second baseman sitting right next to him, it was slightly awkward, thus Kipnis’ faux-adoring, “How am I doing, dad?” pose for the cameras during the question.
Tito’s response: “He’s sitting right here, man, this is hard! Last year, everybody kept asking (during Kipnis’ early season struggles), ‘When are you going to hit him eighth?’ I said, ‘He’s a good player, he’s going to be fine.’ And then last June he literally played himself onto the All-Star team.
“The part about Kip that sums it up in a nutshell was the other night in Oakland, when he didn’t get a bunt down. He found a way to extend the at-bat, put the ball in play and then ran to first like his pants were on fire (to eliminate a double play). That swayed the game in our favor. We all see what he can do, banging the ball off the wall, stealing bases, hitting home runs. All the contract is going to do is to allow him to enjoy the game. He’s never going to back off the gas pedal, but this will allow him to enjoy the game a lot more, with some security.”
And that’s how a funny photo happens.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond/Photo by David Cleveland
Chris Antonetti and Jason Kipnis discussed the second baseman’s contract extension with members of the media on Friday morning, an extra bonus for the Opening Day festivities at Progressive Field.
Check out each’s comments:
We’re thrilled we were able to get (this contract done). Talking to Kip, it’s a long story: Since he arrived in the majors in 2011, he’s emerged as one of the best second basemen in baseball. He has a unique combination of power and speed, which has made him one of the best players at his position and in the American League.
Even more remarkable, when you look back and realize he was drafted as an outfielder and was converted to a second baseman, that speaks to Kip and his work ethic and his determination to become an All-Star and an MVP-caliber player.
That work didn’t happen alone, so I wanted to recognize our scouting and player development staffs. Our amateur scouting group got to know Kip better than any other organization. Our player development staff then spent a lot of time with him, and through a lot of hard work, he established himself as a great player.
As we sit here today, I wanted to reflect back on where we are as organization. We have 16 players under club control through the 2016 season. That would not have happened without the incredible support of the Dolan family and our ownership, who have made a significant financial impact to make this happen.
Today’s very special. It’s an amazing feeling to get something done. I’ve wanted to stay here, I’m excited about being here. When you sign guys like Brantley and Gomes, you have core guys coming back, guys you’re going to be with for a long time. It’s the ownership showing us that they believe in us, that we have the guys who can win games now. I’m excited to be a part of the core that’s coming back.
It was a long day on Thursday – we got in about 8AM (from Oakland) and I had to (undergo a physical) – the last two days, the ball was rolling and we were getting things done for it were exciting.
My phone’s been going off since the Indians announced it. It’ll be nice to get back to baseball today. I’m just happy we were able to get it done.
Then to now
When I got drafted here, the organization was in a rut. I wanted to be a part of the transformation of the organization, be a part of a group of players that could get this going in the right direction. Signing back here, I wanted to see us and Brantley and Gomes turn Cleveland around. We want to finish the job.
How important was last year
It made it easier for me, proving that we had the guys in the locker room, having Tito here. We knew we were going in the right direction. The management is backing it up, by signing guys and keeping guys here. That made it a lot easier for me to sign up for the long-term. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that?
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond
Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti and outfielder Michael Brantley met with media in Goodyear on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the Indians made Brantley’s four-year contract extension official.
Here’s a look at what the duo had to say:
Opening Statement from Chris Antonetti:
On the field, Michael is a complete player. He impacts the game offensively and defensively and he plays the game the right way. Beyond what he does on the field, Michael earned this extension for the way he approaches the game. He is a tireless worker, a great teammate and a complete professional in every sense of the word. When you are making an investment of this magnitude, those are the things you look for. He really embodies everything we look for in our players. There is no one more deserving of this than Michael.
Opening Statement from Michael Brantley:
First off, I want to thank the Cleveland organization for giving me this opportunity; I very much appreciate it. I want to thank the Dolan family as well, and everyone who helped me get to this point: the front office, my teammates, the clubbies, and the coaching staff; they are all a big part of this. I have to thank my family, my mother and father for raising me the right way and getting me to the field. I want to thank my wife for being such a good supporter and my children. This is a great day, it’s a blessing and I’m very happy to be part of the Cleveland organization.
On the motivation behind wanting to sign a long-term deal:
MB: First of all, Cleveland gave me the first opportunity to play at the Major League level. That does not go unnoticed, and I really appreciate that. We made some great strides last year and I feel like we can player even better as a group. We have such a great group of guys in the locker room and I’m excited to be part of it for years to come.
We have a great group of core guys – we are young and coming up. We feed off each other, we have great energy, great team chemistry; when you have that, it’s fun and exciting to come to work every day. I think we did great last year, but we can do even better this year. Everybody in that right room right now is all smiles; it’s just really part to be a part of (this team).
How tough was it to give up three arbitration years and one year of free agency?
MB: It’s not tough at all. The front office takes good care of you and that’s where you want to be. My family is comfortable here, I’m happy here and to put on Cleveland Indians uniform each and every day is a blessing. I’m excited to do that for years to come.
On his versatility:
MB: I always believe team comes first. I am a team player first and foremost. I want to pick up my teammates as much as they pick me up. We have a great group of guys in that locker room that makes sure we stay positive each and every day. When you go through rough patches, your teammates are there. When you have that great group of guys with you every day, it’s easy to play baseball here.
I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I want to win baseball games. I don’t care what it takes — I want to win. The strides we took last year, we are moving forward in a fast direction – it’s fun and exciting and a really great time to be a Cleveland Indians fan.
On how he approaches each at-bat:
MB: I am a firm believer in the game dictates what is going to happen (in each at-bat). If you are a leadoff hitter, you only lead off once a game – you just start the game off. I feel like the game dictates what you have to do in each situation. If nobody is on, you have to get on base for the guy behind you. If a guy is on third with fewer than two outs, you have to get him in. Little things like that will dictate the approach that I’ll have at the plate during that time. Moving up and down in the lineup, if it helps the team, I’m willing to do it.
How much does Michael’s versatility help the team?
CA: Michael’s contributions had a huge impact. Not only did he provide versatility in the outfield, but versatility in the lineup and how Tito constructed the lineup. It’s not easy to do what he did – to bounce selflessly between any spot in the lineup. He was willing to do whatever he could to help the team. That’s a huge advantage for us as an organization and Tito as a manager in putting the best team forward every night.
As I said earlier, it’s a competitive advantage. As Michael said, what enables him to do that is his entire focus is on the team and how we can win games. A lot of guys talk about that, but Michael lives that every day. He does it with how he approaches the game, his work ethic, the teammate he is in the locker room and with how he supports other players. He lives that. I think that approach allows him to view it that way.
On his father’s impact on his career:
MB: We always talked about going to the plate each time with an approach. That started when I was really young. I just made sure that I kept that same mindset and focus each and every at-bat. I try to never give an at-bat away and just making sure that I can do the best for my team. I feel like if you have an approach and a plan at the plate it is easier to execute each and every time.
On the core of the team:
MB: That’s what made us thrive so much last year – we had great leadership. The guys that we brought in plus the young core that we had all came together as one. When you all play as one team, and are all pulling on the same rope as they say, good things are going to happen. I look at it as each and every day we come to work, we have fun doing it, and with the strides that we made last year we are going to continue to get better. I am here, I am a part of it and it’s going to be fun.
CA: The continuity is important. Like Michael said, we feel really good about the core group of guys that we have and we want to try to keep them together for as long as we can. To do that it takes not only an extraordinary commitment from ownership, but also willingness from the players to want to be here. We are lucky that guys like Michael have placed an importance on wanting to be here and staying a Cleveland Indian.
On being traded to Cleveland:
CA: When you make a trade you have some sense from your scouting reports on what a player’s on-field abilities might be and you try to get the best you can to understand of their makeup and what makes them tick. With Michael, we had some sense of those things, but I don’t think we could fully appreciate how great of a worker and teammate he really is. It’s difficult to access those things, but I think having the chance to be with Michael for a couple of years it’s fun to be able to reflect back on bringing him over and he’s been able to excel in the way that he has.
MB: It was a tough transition. I was the player to be named later so I didn’t come over until after the season was over. There were a lot of rumors and speculation that I was going to be a Cleveland Indian. Once I got over here the front office and coaching staff really welcomed me with open arms and made it an easy transition. When I came over here I only knew the guys that I got traded with. The teammates and the good guys that we have all took care of me. It wasn’t a situation where it was tough to gel or make friends. It was an easy transition and that has a lot to do with the front office and who they had in here before me. They made it comfortable for me to be here at that time.
On Dr. Smooth:
MB: I embraced it! The fans embrace it, I embrace it – it’s fun. It’s a cool nickname.
On potentially winning a Gold Glove in the future:
My job is to do the best I can for my teammates. There is no other way around that. If I play well in the field then I am happy. The gold glove, all the extra stuff is just bonus. It’s about winning baseball games.
–Michael Stimpert, Indians Communications/Photo by Dan Mendlik