1) The Tribe Rotation
Zack Meisel at Cleveland.com passes along comments (with video) from Terry Francona on the state of the starting rotation and the competition for the final slot in it.
Marla Ridenour at Ohio.com has more on the topic, with a number of comments from pitching coach Mickey Callaway, touching on all of the guys going after that final spot. On Josh Tomlin, Callaway says:
"We've seen a tick up in his [velocity], he's up to 93 at times, which he wasn't prior to [the surgery] very often. He's looked really good."
Until someone says otherwise, I'm going to expect Carlos Carrasco to get that job, in part because he's out of options and I don't see the team waiving him (in the event someone else is named to the rotation, look for Carrasco to land in the bullpen, where he did well last year), but it's good to see guys like Tomlin and Trevor Bauer showing the coaching staff something.
2) Other Tribe Items
Jason Kipnis has an ugly case of ringworm:
Whoever can find where I got hit today, wins a prize! #fruitloop #dontrubit pic.twitter.com/I9PzEWt1v8— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) March 14, 2014
Zack Meisel's Friday notes at Cleveland.com include items on Blake Woods fighting for a job in the bullpen, Francona liking Justin Sellers' defense (and his tattoos), and Matt Treanor serving as clubhouse fashion critic.
MLB.com's Joey Nowak has a feature on Elliot Johnson, who I'm starting to like for the final spot on the roster.
Nick Swisher is among those featured in Grant Brisbee's look at the strikeout face.
3) Learning the Language of the Clubhouse
Eno Sarris is a relatively new member of the BBWAA, who only last season began to spend real time in clubhouses. He's tried to talk with players about different aspects of the game (advanced analysis) than the average reporter, which hasn't been easy. At The Hardball Times Sarris writes about learning the ropes, and the ups and down of that process (Sarris' lowest moment in a locker room includes Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer coming off as something of a jerk). Since I may try to obtain a press pass for a game this year, I found the article especially interesting.
4) The Dutch Leonard Affair
A fascinating story by way of Joe Posnanski about a lesser known (today) gambling scandal that rocked baseball not long after the 'Black Sox' threw the 1919 World Series, one allegedly involving Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker (who was arguably the greatest hitter in Indians history).
5) Before and After Tommy John
Frank Jobe, who performed the baseball-changing surgery on Tommy John in 1974, passed away last week. Scott Lindholm at Beyond the Box Score compiled a list of significant pitchers (~30 of them) who've had the operation, and looks at how they performed before and afterwards. There isn't any grand conclusion to draw (aside from the fact that pitchers can certainly do well after having the surgery), but it's interesting to see all the numbers together.
6) This Week's Off-Topic Topic
The biggest movie release this weekend is Need For Speed, which was originally a video game. For a second I thought that would make for a good list, but I quickly realized movies based on video games are almost all terrible (here's a great look by Chris Plante at some of the reasons Street Fighter: The Movie was so awful). Instead of listing the best of a bad bunch, I thought I'd ask:
What video game would you most like to see turned into a movie? Got any casting suggestions?
My first thought was 'Bioshock,' but the game tells its own story so well, maybe a movie isn't needed (plus, you'd need a TV miniseries to come close to covering everything). Instead, I'm going with 'Metroid.' And because I want my movie to be good, I'm casting Amy Adams as Samus, and checking with David Fincher about directing.
Speaking of video games, and connecting with another popular pop culture topic around these parts of late, if you're at least five episodes into 'True Detective,' you should take two minutes to watch this.