Edited by: Tommy Parrill (DearTommy)
We are exactly 14 days away from the start of Major League baseball season and I am so excited that I don't know what to do with my hands! As some of you may know, I have been a huge Cleveland Indians supporter since my first game in 1995, and will be until my dying day. With that support comes great excitement for this coming season, after the Dolan's FINALLY opened up their wallets and signed some quality players. I am very excited about the acquisition of ex-Yankee Nick Swisher, and Michael Bourn, but it's the minor changes to the team and the ballpark that I believe will pay off big this season.
From day one, the signing of Scott Kazmir intrigued me. This was a guy, who at one point during his career, was one of the best pitchers in baseball. The hard-throwing southpaw was the ace of a very inconsistent Tampa Bay Rays team at the time. Kazmir was a rising star and everybody knew it. In 2009 he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels and in 2010, his career took a turn for the worst. He finished with a record of 9-15, and it didn’t get better in 2011 as he was demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake, and eventually released from the organization. After taking time off to work on his mechanics and spending time in the Independent and Puerto Rican leagues, the Tribe gave Kazmir a shot this offseason. Kazmir was signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, and so far, he hasn’t disappointed.
The left hander has continued to impress with his scoreless innings and high strike-out count. When entering camp, it looked like the race for the 5th starter role in the Indian’s rotation was coming down to Carlos Carrasco, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Trevor Bauer. With the Scott Kazmir of old emerging, it has allowed him to take the lead in that race. If Kazmir continues to impress and becomes a dependable starter for the Tribe this season, a former ace could be considered an off-season bargain for the busy Cleveland Indians.
As much as I enjoy seeing new players out on the field for the red, white, and blue, one of my favorite changes this offseason happened in the concession stand. Go ahead and wipe the confused look off of your face and let me explain myself. A few months ago, the Cleveland Indians announced that they would be lowering the prices on pretty much everything in the concession stand. The most notable items are the 12-ounce domestic drafts that go from, I believe $6.50 to $4.00, and the all-beef hotdog that goes from $4.50 to $3.00 (and dammit I love hot dogs). I understand that $4 is still a lot for a 12oz beer and $3.00 is pricy for a hotdog, but at any ballpark, that is cheap! I bring this up because when I ask most fans why they don’t go to sporting events, it is because of the price of food and drinks. That reasoning has never made much sense to me, but to each his own. The Cleveland Indians have designed a beautiful PR plan by lowering the price of concessions, beer and hotdogs, so that people will be more motivated to come out to Progressive Field (better known as Jacobs Field) and watch this new team that the organization put together...and to chow some dogs. I for one, cannot wait for the season to start so I can eat my first $3 hotdog and buy my first $4 beer, and give it to my friend Tommy.
Whether it is the big moves of Swisher & Bourn or the smaller ones of Kazmir & Brew that you enjoy, it will be interesting to see how the 2013 Cleveland Indians turn out, and if the fans will finally show up.