The Tribe started playing intrasquad games today in preparation for Grapefruit League play. With the roster predominantly set, minus a couple spots, here is what I feel the Indians need to get from everybody in order to fulfill the hopes and dreams of the Tribe Faithful with a World Series title in 2008.
Los Rafaeles - I expect a little drop off from you guys but if you can keep the ERAs in the low 2.00 range and get out there 50 - 60 times this year that is a good thing. Also, I hear Betancourt is a little quicker on the wind-up this year and that Perez has developed a change-up. I am giddy.
Fultzy - Just get lefties out. Honestly, that's why you are hear. If you don't do it you are out of here. It's the last year of your contract and you are on Roberto Hernandez Double Secret Probation.
Masa - Just be solid in your first year in the US so Los Rafaeles don't have to pitch in 90 games apiece. Also, and I can't stress this enough, please do not appear in any Japanese alternative lifestyle films. Not that there's anything wrong with that... I just don't want hear about it.
Jenny Lewis - Just be another option in the 7th and 8th. I have this wacky feeling that you have future closer written all over you but for now we need you to be that middle inning guy who nips any potential trouble in the proverbial bud.
Mastny - Be like you were in the playoffs and step up. Your inconsistencies kill you and if you do it in camp you are headed back to Buffalo.
Iron Joe - Continue to be fearless and have balls. Don't let your arm fall off like it has in past years. And if it's no to much to ask, can we please have some 1-2-3 innings? I mean the 45 saves is impressive, despite the ERA, but you are going to give somebody a heart attack at some point. I'm not joking. Let's try and prevent that and try and keep that ERA around 3.00.
Juan Lara - Just get well and have a normal life. If you can come back and play baseball it's a bonus. Get well, mi amigo.
C. C. - I'm not expecting another Cy Young season but 17+ wins, an ERA in the low 3.00 range and 200 innings would be great. Also, the realization that you will be idolized forever if you stay here even if it means less money.
Fausto El Diablo - I completely expect a bit of a fall off but 25+ starts and the continued wickedness of that sinker would be great. Just continue to grow because if C. C. bolts you are the man.
Jake The Snake - I expect your normal season. 30 starts. 200 innings. Era in the low 4.00 range. 15 wins. Great Leadership.
Byrdman - Whatever you did last year. I still don't know how you won 15 games with an ERA over 4.50 and yielding 47 more hits than innings pitched but you did. Just do it again. Also, no prescriptions from your dentist.
Cliff Lee - Be a man. I hear you have a bad attitude and didn't work on fixing the mechanics problems the staff told you to. Suck it up and do your job or you'll be in Buffalo again.
Sowers - I hear you are the ying to Lee's yang. Worked on what you were told, fixed your problems and are raring to go even if you have to start at Buffalo. Good job, kid. Keep it up. Injuries happen. You'll be in C-Town sooner than later.
Aaron "The Joker" Laffey - See Sowers. Also, I hear you show signs of the mental toughness that Jake has. I like that. You will be in C-Town sooner than later also. Be ready.
Shoppach - Another year like last year. Keep Vic fresh. Deliver when you have the chance. Call a good game. I love the way you call a game. The fact you help Byrd get 15 wins should speak for itself.
Vic - Continue to be the leader and drive this team. Show the emotion you did after the ALCS. Another defensive season like 2007. Be the class act of the ball club. .300, 20 HR, 100 RBI.
Barfield - Show 2007 was a fluke and 2006 wasn't.
Blake - Drive in some runs with runners in scoring position. Drive in some runs with two outs. You hit .270 last year but it was the least effective .270 I've ever seen.
The AsMan - Continue to improve. Do the little things the #2 hitter needs to do. Be that like spark that Omar used to be. Make the AsMan nickname stick over AC or AsCab.
Jamey Carroll - Don't be Ramon Vasquez. Don't be Mike Rouse. Thank you.
Garko - Take the next step. .290 like last year is great. Need to make it 25+ HR and 90+ RBIs. You lost 15 pounds over the off season. Make it mean something.
K-Marte - Wake up and get it. Coming to camp fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through Spring Training, son. Honestly, <.200 in the Arizona Fall League??? Have some (expletive deleted) pride.
Jhonny P - Another solid defensive season. Less strike outs on the breaking pitches away, PLEASE! Another year of minimal laziness like 2007.
Pronk - Return. You need to return. Screw that Travis guy. We need Pronk. .310, 40 HR, 110 RBI, .600 SLG, 100 BB. Remember? Please remember.
Choo - Heal up. I gotta a feeling we'll need you.
The Looch - Don't suck. You need to produce and do it consistently. If not I'm gonna be calling for Francisco and Choo, stat. You looked awful last year. Just awful.
Francisco - Be ready. I have no faith in The Looch. You've hit .300 in AAA forever, that's not a fluke. Plus with you in LF the OF defense and range is unfathomably good.
Guut - Make strides. .266 was nice, .275 would be great. 15 HR would be, too. Your defense is sick. Add a gold glove like Grady and that would be gravy.
Michaels - Just hit lefties. Don't steal ABs from Guut, Shoppach, Choo, Francisco or anyone else I have some sort of faith in. I'm tired of taking about you.
Grady - It's time for you to make "The Leap". You've won a gold glove. You've been an All-Star. You are beloved in the city. You need to make the leap and make the rest of MLB and the country go "Holy Sh#t!" I'm talking monster year. We need it. .300, 40 2B, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 25 SB, .400 OBP, cut down on the strikeouts. The defense speaks for itself, but it's time for you to join Victor. I know you can do it, it's just a matter if you want it.
IT'S TRIBE TIME NOW