David Aardsma, on Scott Atchinson
I’m asking the same life questions everyone else is. Like, why the fuck is Chief Wahoo a fish on my cereal? #millville #honeywheatpuffs #clevelandindians #windians #chiefwahoo
David Aardsma was not going to pass up an easy opportunity to get a jab in at one of his friends. When Aardsma was asked about teammate Scott Atchison on Sunday morning, the Indians reliever did not hesitate.
"He’s old," Aardsma said with a grin.
By now, Atchison, 37, is used to this kind of treatment.
There is no escaping his close-cropped graying hair, which makes Atchison look more like a new coach than a reliever competing for one of Cleveland’s available bullpen jobs. He has heard all the jokes, but the right-hander has learned to mix in his own wisecracks in the clubhouse.
Out on the mound, Atchison lets his experience do the talking for him. Indians manager Terry Francona had Atchison during his days in Boston, so there is a built-in rapport and level of trust between the two men. Atchison is in camp as a non-roster invitee, but he knows what is at stake and he does not plan on letting age get in the way.
"I try to feed off the youth," Atchison said. "I know I’m older, but I don’t feel it. These guys, they give me a little bit of a hard time every once in a while, but I kind of give them a hard time back, too. I was in high school or college when they were being born."
Atchison lets out a slight laugh.
"It’s fun," he continued "It’s been good so far. Obviously, there’s a lot of competition. From my end, I just try to take care of my own business and go out and do what I can do."
There are 20 relievers in camp, though that figure excludes Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin, who could become relief candidates if they do not make the rotation. There are five pitchers viewed as virtual locks for the bullpen and one more, Vinnie Pestano, who appears to have a leg up on the battle for the other remaining jobs.
The Indians will likely begin the year with seven relievers, but Francona showed throughout last season that an eight-man relief corps is also a possibility. That being the case, the Tribe looks to have at least one (and as many as three) open spots.
That rad moment when a starting pitcher from your favorite baseball team follows you on twitter #dannysalazar #clevelandindians #windians #believeland #rolltribe #gotribe #chiefwahooforever #thisisouryear
March 9, 1897
The Cleveland Spiders sign Penobscot Indian Louis Sockalexis. Although the former Holy Cross star plays only three seasons because of the effects of alcoholism, the fans admire his outstanding skills and refer to the team as the ‘Indians’. In 1915 the name will become official.
Ryan Raburn, on the Cubs’ outfield
After Ryan Raburn crashed hard into the right-field wall at Cubs Park on Friday afternoon, Cleveland’s first concern was whether the outfielder had suffered a head injury. Raburn’s lip was bleeding, and his left knee and right hand were sore, but his head was fine.
"I was like, ‘There ain’t nothing up there to hurt,’" Raburn joked on Saturday.
One day after his second-inning meeting with the wall, Raburn was still experiencing some discomfort in his knee. Indians manager Terry Francona planned on keeping the utility man out of Saturday’s lineup anyway, but Raburn will likely sit out on Sunday as well.
For now, Raburn is considered day to day with a bruised left knee, which he had wrapped on Saturday morning.
"He’s got a contusion," Francona said. "He’s OK. Structurally, he’s fine. He just whacked it."
Terry Francona, on Carlos Santana