GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Thanks for following me to Indians spring training 2014. While you will hear "interesting stories" on the air, this blog is your behind-the-scenes look at Goodyear, Arizona.
2/25/14 7:27 p.m.
Here's my daily high five for today.
Justin Masterson and his wife has twins two weeks before the start of spring training. He said his wife is changing about 11 diapers a day. They have 3 kids now. His approach to the game and life is so easy it's so easy to be a Masterson fan. You can see why he won the Bob Feller "Man of the Year Award."
Radio row is packed this week. Eight radio stations are broadcasting from Goodyear.. I think I watched Indians third base coach Mike Sarbaugh to six interviews in less than an hour.
Terry Francona says he will ease into the exhibition part of the schedule. Don't expect to see Nick Swisher a ton to start things off in Goodyear. Also hearing the "BroOhio" group could have very special guest on opening day if the moons are aligned.
Speaking of Swisher he is scheduled to talk to us tomorrow. Curtis Danburg Indians Senior Director of communications will join us for the noon news. Danburg will talk about what is new at the ballpark this season
It's hard to believe that the ballpark is twenty years old. The upcoming "Sin Tax" in Cuyahoga County is expected to cause a 4 cents hike on a park of cigarettes, 2 cents on a glass of wine, and a penny more for a beer, to keep the tax going for facilities improvements.
2/24/14 7:47 p.m.
Here are 5 things I have learned at Spring Training so far.
-Not seeing the sun in Northeast Ohio since August really drains us all. It's amazing how much more energy and better I feel in the sun. Plus it's 81 degrees so I can't be too upset with this gig.
-Charles Nagy is back with the club as a pitching assistant after spending with the Diamondbacks, Both Nagy and Sandy Alomar Jr. both look like they could still play today.
-I hope John Axford sticks as the closer. He's has a much different attitude than most closers we have seen in the last few years. All the good things Chris Perez brought to the table, just more mellow. Plus, he's from Canada and likes the rock band "Rush".
-Vinnie Pestano sounds like he is back on track. Jason Giambi, who has seen just about everything in this game, told me that Vinnie just went threw what everyone goes through in the game last season. It was Vinnie's quote that stuck with me for most of the day. Vinnie told me, "The game of baseball has forgotten thousands of pitchers like me. I just want to be remembered. I'm going through everything I can do to make sure I can maximize what I can give to this team."
-Manager Terry Francona says that he doesn't like break his team up to play in scrimmages. He said he would rather have play a game against a college team. It's a better approach to getting ready for the season. He said he would rather play Ohio State another school.
-Okay here's a bonus thing. When I grow up I want to own the first "In and Out Burger" in Cleveland. The menu is simple, the food is good and the are always packed. I know the stories about only being out west and ownership. It would be a gold mine in Northeast Ohio
2/22/14 9:38 p.m..
So here's the real deal. I'm leaving at 5:00 am Eastern to head to Goodyear, Arizona in the morning. I'm still getting ready for the 11 p.m. news tonight. Sports Producer Scott Piker is really helping me out making sure everything looks good for tonight's 11. I've been working on this trip for most of the day.
I was at the Chili Open today at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Great event, I was really impressed with the turnout and the number of charities who will benefit from the event. Nobody really brought up a thing about the Indians. It was more about the weather and getting ripped for the easy trip I am about to embark on.
The fact is I love covering spring training. I think this is like my ninth trip to spring training since my days at Fox Sports Ohio, my own show "Totally Tribe, " and here at NewsChannel 5.
I am really looking forward to seeing Carlos Santana at third base, who is going to round out the rotation, and what kind of a plan the Indians will have for the back end of the bullpen. Not to mention talking to a young team getting older with a little taste of success under their belt. I am also looking forward to talking to the only Cleveland sports general manager not fired in the last three weeks.
To be honest I really love shooting the breeze with guys who do what I did, being around the team everyday . Jordan Bastian, from MLB.com, Paul Hoynes from the PD, Chris Assenheimer from the Elyria Chronicle, Nick Camino from WTAM, Jim Ingraham from the News Herald and Matt Underwood my old partner at Fox Sports.
It will be odd
not to hear long time Indians beat writer Sheldon Ocker's laugh. He's moved on to phase two of his life. Players may come and go, but daily beat writers, media relations staffs, clubhouse guys weather the baseball's storm year in and year out.
Here's my schedule for TV in case you are wondering.
LIVE in GMC during the 6am hour – 6:45a.
LIVE in the noon – at 12:45p. Andy will most likely have an interview with a member of the Indians from Goodyear Ballpark.
LIVE in the 5pm – wrapping around something tracked. Probably at 5:45p
LIVE in the 6pm – sports segment
Andy will leave something for the 11pm newscast.
For web & social media – Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday. Blog – as well as send back pictures from spring training. Tweet & Facebook and post web stories daily.
Get interviews and shoot workouts.
On top of that I am also doing my radio show for 92,3 The Fan. From 10-2 weekdays. I've been really lucky over the past few years radio and television have taken turns sending me to spring training. I am very thankful for the chance.
For TV, I will shoot, edit, write, light, feed video, and run my own transmitter by myself. I was offered help by our amazing station in Phoenix. But, I turned it down. Because the trip from Goodyear to Phoenix can be a bear during rush hours. Plus, I really wanted the challenge of doing everything by myself. That includes using newer technology called a "Backpack." It's really seven cell phone signals that send back broadcast quality video.
Well sort of, my brother-in-law Ron, was nice enough to take some time off from work to fly out to Arizona and help me lug the gear around and make sure my camera doesn't fall down during my live shots..
I should probably tell him that we have to be up at 3:45 am mountain time.
But for the most part I am Al Franken from the old Saturday Night Live news skits. I love it.
Look out Arizona, here comes the whitest. pastiest legs Ohio can deliver in shorts.