Results tagged ‘ Cleveland Indians ’
Sunday marked yet another day for Tribe manager Terry Francona’s Friends of Francona program, through which he invites a military veteran and his or her family and friends to the ballpark.
Sgt. Tina Harper, who has been in the Army Reserves since 1999 was assigned to the 660th Transportation Company out of Cadiz/Zanesville Ohio. Harper was then deployed on December 7, 2003 to Indiana for training then to Kuwait to wait for the signal to move forward into Iraq. While in Iraq her unit was assigned to drive M915A2’s (freightliner semi-trucks) pulling 7,500-gallon fuel tankers.
Sgt. Harper has been a Tribe fan her whole life: “30-some years…. (laughs)” as she’s holding her 3-month old son, Brock, with an Indians hat on. Her favorite player is Omar Vizquel: “My mother and I loved watched him play and his defense.”
Operating over 230 missions, and driving over a million miles was no easy task for Sgt. Harper and her unit. Since her return, she has been dealing with a chronic back issue and is slated to have surgery.
“I’d like to thank the Indians and Terry Francona and that it’s a great service that he does for people that wouldn’t be able to do this otherwise. I’m very appreciative,” she said Sunday.
Past Friends of Francona participants:
Despite only playing right field since early June, Lonnie Chisenhall has made quite the impact in the Indians outfield — even getting national attention for his stellar defense. Chisenhall was named ESPN’s SweetSpot Defensive Player of the month for August due to his huge strides and future promise as a great outfielder.
The selection might surprise you, but it’s one made on merit. Chisenhall is the SweetSpot Defensive Player of the Month for August.
Chisenhall wins the award despite never having played right field in the major leagues before the past few days in July. He finished August with eight Defensive Runs Saved, showing skill both at catching fly balls and using his throwing arm to deter baserunners.
It was a great month all around for Chisenhall, who hit .403 with a 1.026 OPS in 67 August at-bats.
Chisenhall may not have the flash of Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who won the award in June and closed August with a spectacular home run robbery of Manny Machado. But he might get to that point someday given the skills he’s shown.
Chisenhall’s switch may have slid under the national radar, as the Indians hadn’t been in wild-card contention until a recent six-game winning streak boosted them in the standings, but it’s been a smooth transition.
Read ESPN’s full article here.
We will be holding an exclusive conference call with Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor TODAY at 4:45 PM ET from Toronto.
Fans will have the opportunity to submit questions to the Tribe’s American League Rookie of the Year candidate!
If you are interested in joining the call, dial 1-877-229-8493 and enter the pin Code 13595.
The Cleveland Indians will honor South Euclid patrolman Steve Wilson as part of the club’s Law Enforcement Night on September 11.
The night will feature a short introduction regarding the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and Museum honoring the victims of 9/11/2001. After, a ceremonial first pitch will be tossed from Patrolman Steve Wilson of the South Euclid Police Department. Wilson was named National Officer of the Month in August of 2015.
Honor Guard duties will be led by the Akron Police Department, with the National Anthem being preformed by Detective Regina Dudley of the Columbus Police Department. Clint Eastwood will even get in on the action with a scoreboard message PSA.
Ticket Packages available at www.indians.com/lawenforcement include:
+ $54 Field Box Seats
+ $39 Lower Box Seats
+ $23 Upper Reserved Seats
Use special offer code: Law Enforcement, and the first 275 orders receive a challenge coin! $5 from every ticket will be donated to the NLEOMF.
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and make it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,538 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.”
-TribeVibe Contributor, Ryan Delgado
Transcript: Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro and Owner Paul Dolan discuss Shapiro taking Blue Jays president job
Shapiro Opening Statement:
So I did get a live notification from MLB.com before I walked up here to listen in live and hear Mark Shapiro talk about the Blue Jays CEO/President job, but that’s not what I am here to do. I’m here to talk about Cleveland, to talk about 24 years and a decision I had to make and what is meaningful to me in that decision, which certainly is the opportunity going forward. But the majority of my remarks today and the answers to my questions will be more about the time I have had here.
I am going to initially acknowledge my wife Lissa. I have had opportunities before but it’s only because of her support and her belief that I can even consider this one. I’m not going to look at her, but thanks to her and my kids for being so open to something so big, exciting and new. Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t have even had to consider it.
It’s hard for me to believe, but about 24 years ago or a little less than that, my little brother and I loaded up a U-Haul truck and drove down Ontario Street and I pointed out to David, ‘Hey, that’s where Jacobs Field is going to be.’ There was one more building that was getting demo’d the week I was in my plush, temporary, downtown housing – executive housing is how they sold it to me. So began the construction of Jacobs Field, but more for me, began an incredible juncture in my life marked by unbelievable relationships, marked by championships, marked by rings and marked by celebrations, but really more by friendships made and bonds that were created, both in this community and certainly within the organization and beyond. Those relationships, those bonds, are what made this decision so incredibly difficult and painful at times for me over the past weeks. The team, the community, the culture of this organization that I believe so incredibly deeply in, the values that brought this group together — that our team demonstrates on the field day-to-day – those are the things that kept me here through so many other junctures and alternatives in a lifetime in professional baseball.
The opportunity to steward this organization and go forward doing that was not one that was unattractive to me. It was one that I enjoyed every single day that I was here. The decision really came down to two things: one, just how compelling and unique the opportunity in Toronto is. I feel like through all professional sports, this is one that fits my skill set and fits what provides fulfillment to me on a daily basis. When I think about who I am as a person – and for those of you that know me – I’m a lot about wanting to become better, wanting to grow, wanting to develop. To do that, you have to be challenged. To do that, you have to take on new challenges and sometimes be a little uncomfortable. This opportunity for me would be the right challenge at the right time of our lives and of my life. It’s with mixed emotions because of that history here and how I feel about Cleveland that I am also excited to take on this challenge and this opportunity.
I feel good about the leadership in place – extremely good about it. It is a strong group of people who are mature, who understand the challenges in place and have committed both to the values that bond them together and to the strategies that are going to help them overcome those challenges, and most importantly the challenge they are going to overcome to bring a championship to the city of Cleveland. I think that foundation is in place and when that championship happens, regardless of where I am, I will celebrate with you. There will be a piece of me that celebrates with this organization and with the city.
The city, our friendships that we shared, this organization, wherever I am and wherever I go it will always be a part of me. Twenty-four years does not get set aside, it becomes what you carry with you every day. I met my wife here, we raised our kids here. I’ll leave with this being part of my personal foundation and my professional foundation moving forward.
Just a couple minutes to indulge me on a few thank yous. First, to Larry Dolan who is not here and to Paul Dolan, who put tremendous confidence in me and an opportunity to lead this organization at two of the highest levels, at two different junctures. I can’t repay that and I can’t thank them enough for that. Secondly, to two gentlemen that are not here. John Hart and Dan O’Dowd. Lissa said when we walked in that it doesn’t seem like that long ago we sat in this exact spot with the announcement that you’d be taking over the Indians from John the following season. Those two guys showed unbelievable confidence in me and empowered me to a level frankly beyond expectation and belief for a kid at that age. From the time I was 24 years old and joined the organization, I owe a lot of my professional development but certainly owe my start in this game and in this organization to both John and Dan. Too many people in this organization to think about and when I do, I will clearly not be able to answer questions or finish to Johnny Goryl to the hundreds of people who have come through the building and left a lasting imprint on who I am both as a person and a professional. Finally, to Chris Antonetti because I am both a better executive and a better man for having worked with him.
Opening Statement from Paul Dolan
Mark sits here by my side today as he has both literally and figuratively for the last 16 years. He has done so as a leader, as a mentor, as an adviser and mostly as a friend. Today, first and foremost is a sad day for me, as it is for my family and our whole organization. It should be understood that Mark leaves us with our blessing and our complete support. We wish him well and the best of luck except when we are playing Toronto.
We are able to do this in part because Mark leaves us with an organization that is widely regarded throughout Major League Baseball as one of its strongest, which is probably why Toronto wanted Mark. Any strong organization is more than just the person at the top. Mark has assembled and built a very strong leadership team that is very capable of taking this organization forward, which is why I will look to this team to lead the organization going forward. I will not look for external replacements for Mark. Rather, we will take our time and settle on the best internal structure to run this team going forward with complete confidence that the foundation that was laid by Mark will be the foundation upon which we can build a successful organization on and off the field.
What are you most proud of?
SHAPIRO: I really spent exactly half my life here. That’s incredible.
I think just the people that I have had a part in playing some small part in their development and their life experiences. I don’t want to say that I played a huge role in their development but just to think about the strength of the people that we have assembled over the years that have gone on elsewhere and that remain here. To think about how they then cascaded their influence down – the strengths and the values that bound those people together, the driving sense of urgency that we are going to wake up every day with the mandate to get better, improve and grow. The understanding that we were going to do that in a culture where credit and blame were not a part of it and that no energy would be spent in those things – those were inefficiencies – the universal understanding of that throughout the people that work here now and that have worked here in the past. I think more than any superficial accomplishments, award or recognitions, those relationships and those people are what I am most proud of and will continue to be.
What has been your biggest challenge working in the Indians organization and whatyou’re your relationship with John Hart meant to his career?
SHAPIRO: The biggest challenge is probably the Major League Baseball system and how that relates to a market of Cleveland’s size. So, it’s no one’s fault, but I think the challenge is not that dynamic, the challenge is to never let that be an excuse. The challenge is to create both a structure, a process for solving those challenges and a group of people who don’t readily fall back and rely on that as a reason why we can’t win championships and be successful. I would say that would be the overarching challenge. John, there are so many different things about him. It’s taken me different junctions in my career, and I have expressed this to him personally, to recognize and be aware just how special the level of empowerment he gave me at such a young age was. From the simplest thing of bringing me in when they handed me the farm system after only having worked a few years in professional baseball. I told John my ideas for the player development system and planning process for players. To have him just go, ‘Hey, you’re our guy, I’m with you, let’s go.’ A lifelong baseball guy who played and coached and was in a big league uniform, for him to tell me that and his belief in me, I think created both a platform for me to believe in others and understand the power of that level of belief and empowerment. John and Dan (O’Dowd), the understanding of what level of preparation can be a difference maker, and his high expectations and standards, clearly he had them. Those two guys together, they complimented each other well and they both established a clear pathway for me to be a leader and did it at a level at an age that to me is remarkable. I have tried to pay that forward every step of the way with the people we have hired here and even when I am not directly involved with the hiring, I have tried to pay that forward in the understanding that every single person is important and that contributions can come from anywhere and are good if they come from everywhere.
How disappointing is it to not win a world championship?
SHAPIRO: I don’t tend to dwell on those things. The only productive place that disappointment plays is as fuel to move forward and accomplish those goals. As I depart Cleveland, regrets are not a big part of my life, they are not a big part of my vocabulary. I leave here with a group of people who are going to end that disappointment and move the organization forward. I believe that they will do that. That being said, there are plenty of times that I wake up and think about 2007 and how close we were. I think Chris (Antonetti) and I just talked about it the other day. Then you let it go, because you have to move on and move forward and dwelling on that, unless there is something to learn from that the next time you are there, dwelling on that is completely inefficient and not productive.
When did the talks with Toronto begin and what was your initial reaction?
SHAPIRO: I do not remember exact timing, sometime probably in late July, but they obviously called and asked permission.
DOLAN: Mark and I have had a dialogue since the day he started in this role and he said almost from the day he started that there would come a day when he sort of built an organization that he would no longer need to be a part of. When he first brought up the idea that Toronto was an option for him, we had not talked about it in a while so I might have been a little surprised, but overall not surprised and very supportive.
In taking over as president, how will your duties change and will you be involved in any baseball decisions?
DOLAN: I do not recall saying that I was taking over as team President. I’m not sure that we will fill that role, but de facto, Mark’s direct reports will report to me as CEO and owner and I am not sure that will affect any real change other than I will do what I can to support our leadership team so that they can do their jobs. Mark uniquely, as a President, brought a great deal of baseball experience and knowledge, so I think he is a great adviser to Chris (Antonetti). I will not be able to play that role for Chris and if he needs help because of Mark’s absence, he will go out and get it.
SHAPIRO: He doesn’t need any help.
Was this a compensation (i.e. players in return) issue with the Blue Jays?
DOLAN: My relationship with Mark was such that he had the ability to do this when the time was right for him. It was not a compensation issue.
Any conflict with the Indians playing the Blue Jays this week?
SHAPIRO: I’m not conflicted. Until I leave this building, which is not going to be until the end of September, I am a Cleveland Indian and it’s probably going to take a long to feel any differently. The day I strap on a Blue Jays uniform, all my energy and all my focus will be on the Toronto Blue Jays, but that is not happening for a month or maybe longer. When I watch the game tonight, I will certainly be a little more interested in the opponent than I have in the past, but I will be a Cleveland Indian. I think there will be a part of me that, if they are not playing the team I am working for, I will always be a Cleveland Indian.
On Terry Francona and his opt-out clause:
DOLAN: I think Terry has actually spoken directly to that, but I’m very confident that he is happy here and that he looks forward to being the Cleveland Indians manager for a long time.
SHAPIRO: I can build off of that. Having sat with Chris and Terry a lot in the past week, he may have come here because of his relationship with both Chris and I, but the relationship he has forged with Chris over the past few years is one of the most unique ones I have seen in my time in the game. I would say there is zero question about Terry. He is here, he is committed here and committed to his partnership with Chris.
How has the relationship between the fans and team changed?
SHAPIRO: There is really nothing new to that story. I think what is underlying and what is consistent is the passion of the fan base and what has maybe fluctuated has been the attendance. Those things are driven by so many different variables that it is hard to concisely tie them into a short conversation and frankly, we have had that conversation so many different times that today it does not feel like it is worth having again. There was an alignment of conditions in the mid-90s that were probably unrepeatable that created an incredible era that we celebrate of Indians baseball. What was the heart of that era was the passionate fan base that is still there today and that was there before that period, even in the old stadium. We appreciate our fans, we appreciate their passion, their desire to win drives us and we always want more to be here, but we understand the dynamic.
Will you be considering anyone inside the Indians organization for Toronto?
SHAPIRO: Paul, Chris and I have talked openly about that. Right now, I’m not considering anyone. I still care deeply about (the Indians) organization. If that’s a conversation going forward, it’s one that I’ll have with the utmost respect for what’s being done here. My web in the game is pretty deep, runs deep. They’re doing well (in Toronto). My nature is to go in and meet the people there, understand their own challenges, the structure, the process, who’s there, and after that we can see if there will be any changes.
(Current Blue Jays GM) Alex Anthopolous has mentioned you in the past as someone who he’s leaned on for advice. Can you speak to your relationship with him?
SHAPIRO: I’ve had this conversation with (retiring Jays CEO) Paul Beeston. Out of respect to where they are as a team, what they’re doing, how special it is right now … and out of respect to Paul Beeston and his incredible tenure, I will not have situation specific comments about Toronto. Now’s not the time.
Terry Francona is one of the managers in the game that has a bigger say in how the team is run. Does this change his voice in the organization?
DOLAN: Absolutely not.
The perception of the fans today is one of the reasons the Toronto opportunity is attractive to you is that they don’t operate under the same financial constraints that you’ve had here. Can you address that?
SHAPIRO: While I can understand why that might be the impression from the outside, I can assure you that played very little, if at all, into my decision-making process. Every situation has its own challenges. They play in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox. You can’t look at pure payroll as a driver for the change. It truly is a leadership position that I feel is a unique one for a lot of different reasons that’ll talk about in a couple months. It’s an incredibly different place that will allow me to grow and develop. There’s no contrast between Cleveland and Toronto. I love and celebrate Cleveland and there are things I’m excited to learn and celebrate in Toronto.
How come a championship has not happened yet?
SHAPIRO: If I could answer that, we’d have already won it.
You said this is just the right time for you to move. What made it that right opportunity?
SHAPIRO: Internally, organizationally and professionally, even though I’d been in one place for 24 years, if you look at my career trajectory, I’ve had different jobs. I’ve always had the opportunity to be challenged and grow. When I became GM, I matured and the opportunity to become president intrigued me because I wanted to learn about the business side and Major League Baseball. I was incredibly fortunate to have that confidence put in me here. At some point, I outgrew any role here unless Paul wants to hand the team to me from an ownership perspective. It just became, ‘how do I continue to grow and develop?’ This afforded a greater opportunity to even expand my leadership beyond what it is here. For us personally – the ages our kids are at, the dynamic of that city and what it could bring to our lives – my wife and I sat down once the kids demonstrated openness, it was the two of us saying, could we envision ourselves living here and are we open and up to the adventure? We might not create the incredible community and life that we have in Cleveland, but maybe we’ll find a new one that will help us grow in some ways as a family.
You mentioned hesitations. How much did not winning a World Series play into that hesitation?
SHAPIRO: It’s on the list of considerations. I want to be here when it’s done and I believe it’s going to happen. The biggest challenges for me in weighing it were, I’m not unhappy here. There are a lot of really great things here, most importantly people I love deeply and care about and respect. There’s a culture that we’ve collectively worked hard to put in place and there’s a life we feel good about in our community.
How much will your experience with the Progressive Field renovations help you in Toronto?
SHAPIRO: I will have a laundry list of things to get acquainted with. Their stadium is a mature stadium that is in need of redevelopment. I think process, more than particulars, will be helpful in leading that process.
Do you have a timetable on finding a replacement for Mark internally?
DOLAN: I don’t think we’ll have a replacement per se. Mark’s direct reports will report directly to me; that’s a more traditional baseball alignment anyway. There aren’t many teams that have presidents that functioned as Mark did and will. Internally we’ll look at it to see if there’s a gap we need to fill but right now our plan is to move forward as is.
Cleveland Indians statements regarding Mark Shapiro being named Blue Jays and Rogers Centre President, CEO
The Cleveland Indians today provided statements from Indians Owner PAUL DOLAN and departing Indians President MARK SHAPIRO regarding his decision to become Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre President & CEO this November.
Mark Shapiro Statement:
Through my 24 years as part of the Cleveland Indians, I have developed a deep emotional and civic attachment to the Indians organization and the Cleveland community. The root of those ties is in the personal relationships that my family and I have built. While weighing those bonds carefully and seriously, I feel the unique and compelling nature of the Blue Jays President/CEO position warranted my consideration. This position represents a unique opportunity for me and one that I felt was the right new challenge to undertake. With mixed emotions, I will assume the Toronto Blue Jays CEO position upon the conclusion of the 2015 season. As the Indians organization moves forward, I am confident the current leadership represents a strong foundation to field a championship caliber team moving forward. The relationships we have enjoyed here will be lifelong bonds and will ensure that I will always be a fan of the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Indians organization.
Paul Dolan Statement:
Given the person that Mark is, the significant leadership and values that he has brought to the organization and with everything he has helped us accomplish, it will be extremely difficult to see him leave. However, I hope that this new challenge brings happiness and fulfillment for Mark and his family. As we move forward, I will not be seeking an external replacement for Mark and will continue to rely on the existing strong leadership group to guide us forward. Mark and I are confident that moving forward through this transition, we have a very strong foundation in place to build championship level success on and off the field.
Francisco Lindor is making a serious case for American League Rookie of the Year.
Lindor, who made his debut in mid-June, not only has been one of the best rookies in the second half, but one of the best players in the American League, period.
In the second half and among AL players, Lindor ranks (numbers as of morning of Sept. 3):
- T2nd in FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement Metric (2.6)
- T3rd in hits (63)
- Fourth in average (.358)
- 16th in runs scored (27)
- 17th in OPS (.908)
Among AL rookies for the full season, he ranks:
- First in hitting (.308)
- Fourth in on-base percentage (.347)
- T2nd in multi-hit games (28)
- (Billy Burns, the leader with 38, has played 105 games. Eddie Rosario, T2nd with 28, has played 96. Lindor has played 70 games.)
- Fourth in hits (86)
In August, Lindor hit .370 (40-for-108) with 8 doubles, 12 RBI and posted an OBP of .413.
Defensively, Lindor leads AL shortstops in Fangraphs’ Defensive Runs Saved metric, with seven.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik and Sarah Sachs
The Indians won their fourth straight, seventh of nine overall and nine of their last 11 at home with an 8-3 victory over the Angels on Saturday night.
Cleveland scored five in the eighth before former Indians reliever Joe Smith recorded an out:
- Francisco Lindor singled
- Michael Brantley singled
- Carlos Santana doubled home Lindor
- Lonnie Chisenhall was intentionally walked
- Yan Gomes hit his first career Grand Slam
The Indians tied the game on a Gomes sac fly in the second, and took a 3-1 lead in the third – after the rain delay – on Chisenhall’s two-run single. The Angels, though, re-tied it in the fourth before the Tribe’s eighth-inning rally.
- Chisenhall extended his hit streak 10 games, in which he’s hitting .483 (14-29)
- Since his callup on July 30, Chisenhall is hitting .408 (29-71)
- Lindor extended his hit streak to eight games, in which he’s hitting .516 (16-31)
- In August, Lindor is hitting .386 (39-101)
We ❤️ Lindor: To: Megan. Great dance moves. Thanks for dancing with me. Francisco Lindor pic.twitter.com/RHF5qPkR3h
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 29, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsOn Saturday, Megan Komar and her family (Mom, Dad, and two brothers) took in batting practice and had a meet-and-greet with Cleveland Indians players, thanks to the Indians, Miracle League of Northeast Ohio and the Sons of Baseball Foundation.
Megan was born with a syndrome called hydrocephalus, which affects her condition and has caused many health problems for the 12-year-old.
But through the Miracle League, as developed a love for baseball and even plays two days a week. Megan and her family were greeted on the field by members of the Indians during batting practice — and it turned into one big dance party:
Touching moment during BP: Francisco made 12-year-old Megan Komar’s day. pic.twitter.com/QjjfrJLtSX
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 29, 2015
Megan, who also danced with Mike Aviles, suffers from a brain condition. Clearly, though, she’s in good spirits! pic.twitter.com/iKxKjJsmUc
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 29, 2015
Cleveland Indians Mentor of the Year nominee Liam McCarthy visits Progressive Field, helps with team photo
Liam McCarty was nominated for our annual Mentor of the Year contest in January. Just one problem: Our rules stated that the winner had to be 18 or older.
Liam is 12.
So while we had plenty of great candidates and our winners, Ned Barnes and Michael Gong from Carroll Ballers, were worthy, we wanted to recognize Liam for his hard work as a leader and mentor in our community – especially because of his age.
On Saturday, Liam and his friend, Zach, helped Tribe staff with the team’s annual photo day, meeting some of the players and even standing in on a photo with the team.
The treat was well deserved.
According to Liam’s dad, Andrew, Liam has been actively involved in fundraising for worthy causes since he was 6.
“After his first birthday party (at age 6), he decided that all gifts from then on needed to go to a cause,” Andrew said.
Since then, Liam has done multiple food drives for the 2nd Harvest Food Bank of Lorain County, the most recent pair of which generated over 2,000 pounds of soup donations.
The youngster is on the board of Empty Bowls by the Lake, which brings awareness to homelessness and food uncertainty in our community. He’s also a board member for Light up Avon Lake, raising money for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in its inaugural year.
He’s been awarded a citation by the City of Avon for his community service work, and was a special guest at 2nd Harvest’s groundbreaking last year. He’s also inspired others his age to get involved, as his friends have turned their birthday parties into charitable events.
In addition to his service work, Liam is an A student in Avon, and is involved in Student Council and Band. He plays lacrosse, basketball, and baseball.
Thanks, Liam, for positively impacting our community!
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond