The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 1, 2014

A Don McCormack column: For the most part, fans say 'Wahoo!' about the Tribe

I asked friends on Facebook to present their win total for the Cleveland Indians for the 2014 season and why.

The responses tended to be favorable to the Wahoos, though a few were not quite so optimistic.

For the record, yours truly projected manager Terry Francona’s squad, which tipped off its 2014 season last night in Oakland, to finish 82-80, third in the American League’s Central Division.

Following are the responses I received:

  • Michael Kelly — 90. This could be more, but the rotation has to step up in the wake of Jimenez/Kazmir departures. Also, if they do not get the record they need around the trade deadline to compete, Masterson could be history, too.
  • Rusty Webker — If the pitching holds together, 92. A lot of young talent right behind the starters. Another fun season upon us.
  • Keith Whitman — 101. You either believe or you don’t! #windians.
  • Steve Cunha — 91. Masterson makes up for the loss of Kazmir and Jimenez (never thought I would say that) and Swisher and Cabrera have bounce back years. If they can beat the Tigers more than a handful of times, this number goes up a little.
  • Scott Swanson — I want them to win as many as they can but the starting pitching besides Masterson has never pitched more than 160 innings in a year. We will need 10 starters! A lot of position players had off years last year — so I will say 500 ball but they will actually be lucky to do that. Oh, by the way — since DISH TV isn’t carrying STO this year. I will have to read about the scores in the paper!!!
  • Tamara Taylor Burns — 100. Over the .500 mark and thinking the best!
  • Steve Urchek — They will win 94. Kazmir and Ubaldo are gone, but our staff will be better and stay healthy. The addition of Salazar, will be lights out. Santanna will hit 30 bombs and A-Cab will return to his All-Star form.
  • Jeff Stevenson — 92 wins. Finishing second behind Detroit, but that’s good enough for the wildcard. Masterson is in a contract year, so I think he will put up big numbers. Gomes is a beast behind the plate, maybe one of the best in the game. Santana scares me at third, though. Offensively, they can produce.
  • Todd Stumpf — This team is not going to win 80 games. You don’t get rid of 40 percent of your rotation (as you pointed out), lose your leadoff hitter to what looks like a chronic hammy, etc., and win. Right now, as the Indians prepare to say goodbye to Masterson, Francona has to be thinking, “The guys in Boston were insufferable, but at least they signed people.” ... The Vegas o/u is pretty spot on. It’s set there for a reason. Cleveland fans are all saying 90-plus wins; the rest of the country, somewhere well south of that.
  • Rich Kelly — 97 wins. Good points to dwell on ,Todd, but I think thing that makes this season finally something to really look forward to is that if a starter goes down, the subs are good enough to replace them without much difference in quality. We shall see, but I’m fired up for this team.
  • David Negin — This season is so hard to predict. Masterson and Salazar are two pitchers who could dominate, but they are not sure-fire products like a Scherzer and Verlander. We have some quality hitters but no major power threat. We have a deep bench and solid bullpen and an excellent manager, but so many ifs. I can say I am excited to watch this team.... Good players, good guys (it appears) who will play hard. I just think they are way too many question marks to predict more than 88 wins. This team could win more than that, but everything would have to go right.
  • Todd Stumpf — The loss of Ubaldo cannot be understated. It means every spot in the starting 5 is weaker this year than last year. That’s not a good thing, by any stretch. You’re depending on a guy like Kluber to be your No. 2. That sounds like mediocrity. And David, you are spot on when you say “everything would have to go right.” How often does that happen?
  • Jordan Hommes — Unfinished Business — 101 wins.
  • Eric Estes — 89 wins. The tribe has a better team then last year, but will not win as many games with the improvement of Kansas City and Minnesota.
  • Mike Melaragno — 87 wins.
  • Kevin White — 117 wins! I mean, c’mon, how long can the Cubs hold that record?! Lol
  • Pat Ryan — Who cares? The start of baseball season just means we’re closer to football season ....JK.... I love the Tribe, however, with a heavy heart, I predict 75 wins at best......PLEASE TRIBE MAKE ME EAT MY WORDS......PLEASE....
  • Kathleen Shumate — 88 wins.
  • Chuck Sunderlin — 92 wins.
  • Jim English — 78... Lack of a closer, and power.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at donmac@suite224.net.

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