Believing is Back, Talkin’ some Tribe

Welcome back to Believing Since 1999. Here’s the personal update that nobody really cares about explaining why there hasn’t been a post to the blog since Phil Dawson’s departure. I recently started an internship with the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, working in Media Relations. That whole “building a resume for your professional career” thing can really get in the way of the fun stuff sometimes. In all honesty, you can’t beat the opportunity to be at a pro ballpark everyday to watch, talk, and write baseball for hours, which is exactly what I’ve been doing.

Now that classes are over down here at the University of Louisville (and we’re national champions, which is no big deal), it’s time to gear up for a fun summer in Cleveland sports. Over the next few days, we’ll talk about all three teams. Below is a quick list of thoughts on the Tribe to get us going, as long as Swish is ready…

Nick Swisher

Let’s do it. Believing Since 1999 is about to bring the heat with a slew of bullet points that are loosely related to the previously stated topic. Here goes nothing.

– How glad is everyone that Nick Swisher is an Indian?

– Mark Reynolds has been a nice surprise in the OBP department, and seeing him work some counts in Houston during this past series was really encouraging. Obviously, the way he’s been absolutely pulverizing the ball also is helping things. Likewise, Drew Stubbs has been getting on base at an above-average pace. His addition to the outfield defensively is apparent, so getting a good season from him at the plate would be huge. So far, so good on two of the Tribe’s key additions.

– The pitching staff is turning out to be exactly what many thought it would be. Ubaldo Jimenez has been like the proverbial “box of chocolates”, just a more volatile and purely terrifying version of the phrase. His last outing was promising (until the sixth inning), but like Rick Manning has said on TV a million times, his mechanics are a mess. It doesn’t take Cy Young to see that, so hopefully we’ll see more good/average Ubaldo than “Dear sweet mother of God” Ubaldo. As for the rest of the rotation, all hail Big Masty, and here’s to hoping Trevor Bauer is ready to roll soon.

– A positive note pitching wise, the Bullpen Mafia is picking up right where we all expected them to. If the game gets to them, Cleveland can feel pretty confident about things. Joe Smith hasn’t allowed a run yet. Perez, Shaw, Hagadone, and Pestano have only allowed one apiece. These guys are good, and Bryan Shaw has been a more than welcome addition. The Choo trade is paying some dividends already. CP, Smitty, Yo Vinnie, and the rest of the Mafia are set for another solid year. Rage on.

– Injuries to Jason Kipnis and Michael Bourn have been annoying, but thankfully not too serious. Bourn is off to a great start, and the makeup of the lineup with everyone healthy is still a tantalizing preposition. Kipnis has struggled pretty mightily, but is too good of a hitter for it to last much longer.

– The Giambino is proving (so far) that age is just a number, which has been awesome to watch. There’s something about the fact that he looks older than Francona that just makes me laugh. Don’t forget that he likes the Beastie Boys. But seriously, how awesome is that sterling silver look?

MLB: Cleveland Indians-Photo Day

The mini win streak the Tribe is riding right now is encouraging going forward, but it’s obviously important to realize that it’s extremely early. Nevertheless, Indians baseball hasn’t been this exciting for a while. Much more Tribe talk will be coming throughout the summer.

Tonight, the Indians hand the ball to approximately their millionth different starter so far this season, as Cory Kluber takes the bump against the South Siders. Go Tribe.

One final note, Scott Sargent of Waiting For Next Year wrote this awesome piece for Yahoo!’s Big League Stew about game day around “The Jake” in downtown Cleveland. Definitely a must read. If you know anything about WFNY, then you’ve probably already clicked.

Good to be back on the blog. Looking forward to talking Browns tomorrow, because OH MY GOD THE DRAFT IS THURSDAY.

Here’s a teaser (have a seat for this): Todd McShay thinks the Browns are taking a tight end. Just take 24 hours, we’ll break it down.

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