The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

March 3, 2014

Indians’ John Axford 18 for 18 in Oscars picks

SURPRISE, Arizona — After converting 49 consecutive saves from 2011 to early 2012, John Axford has another streak going.

The Cleveland Indians closer went 18 for 18 on his Academy Awards picks.

Axford made the projections after the Indians’ game Sunday on his Facebook page.  Last year Axford was correct on 14 of his 15 Oscar selections; he picked Steven Spielberg as best director for “Lincoln” and Ang Lee won for “Life of Pi.”

“It was fun,” Axford said Monday. “I was following it online, not even watching it on TV. I was getting updates from people on Twitter. ‘You’re 3 for 3, 5 for 5.’ It was pretty neat. By the time it got 14 for 14, I said, ‘Wow, I picked 14 right last year.’ It definitely got a little more intense after that. When it got 16 for 16, I assumed I had it locked.”

There are 24 Oscar categories, and Axford said on Twitter he will predict them all next year.

Traded from Milwaukee to St. Louis, Axford left the Cardinals and agreed in December to a $4.5 million, one-year deal with Cleveland, where he will replace Chris Perez as closer.

Axford, who was born in Canada, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and television from Notre Dame.

“I hope he’s as good when it comes to saves,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

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