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Cleveland Indians

Indians Retire Jim Thome’s Number 25



The Cleveland Indians have officially retired the number 25 worn by Hall of Fame slugger, and franchise career home run leader, Jim Thome on Saturday.

Thome was honored in a pregame ceremony, prior to the Indians game against the Baltimore Orioles, who Thome also played for during his long career, in which they lost 2-1.

During the ceremony, Thome took his familiar home run trot around the bases one final time, this time accompanied by his son, Landon, and was mobbed by his former teammates as he crossed home plate.

Thome’s retired jersey number will now be permanently displayed in the upper deck of Progressive Field between fellow Hall of Famers Bob Lemon’s 21 and Larry Doby’s 14.

Thome mashed 337 homers to become Cleveland’s career home run leader, and it will be fun to see if any player can catch, or surpass Thome’s number, making it fun for betting sites, such as , to track in the years to come.

Many of Thome’s former teammates and managers were on hand for the celebration, including Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Charlie Manuel and Mike Hargrove.

Current Indian players also paid homage to Thome, by wearing high socks that mimicked Thome’s look during his playing days.

“To have my jersey retired gives me the chills,” Thome said, according to ESPN News. “To see my number hanging in the rafters in the company of Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Jackie Robinson, Mel Harder, Larry Doby, Earl Averill, Bob Lemon and Frank Robinson, I don’t really know what to say. That’s some ‘Field of Dreams’ stuff right there.”

“To this day, these guys are my brothers, and I’m so touched that you all would take the time to come today,” Thome said.

Thome, who spent 13 years with the Indians organization, batted .276 and hit 612 home runs, eighth on the all-time home run list, during his MLB career.

“The ’90s were exciting times in baseball, and there was no place better than the corner of Ontario and Carnegie,” Thome continued. “This organization from top to bottom is first-class all the way. I was so proud to go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Cleveland Indians.”

Additionally, Thome is the Indians’ career leader in walks (1,008) and is second in career RBIs (937).

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Cleveland Indians

Winsanity: Cleveland Indians Win 21st Straight Game To Set American League Record



First there was Moneyball in 2011.

Now, you gotta believe there’s a sequel in the works.

The Cleveland Indians won their 21st straight game Wednesday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field with a 5-3 victory. The win set a new American League record, exceeding the Oakland Athletics’ 20-game run in 2002—which of course was the subject of Moneyball.

Take a listen to the memorable call from Indians play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton as history unfolded:

With 21 wins and counting, the Indians are tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second longest win streak in Major League Baseball’s modern era (since 1900). The 1916 New York Giants hold the record with 26.

Fellow Cleveland athlete and superstar LeBron James took to social media to praise his hometown Indians:

Tristan Thompson was also pretty excited:

During their 21-game win streak, the Indians are outscoring opponents 139-35 and hitting .305 (226 for 741) as a team with 97 extra-base hits. They’re also pitching out of their minds. Of course you can pretty much assume that with 35 runs allowed in 21 games. Duh. Get this—starting pitchers are 19-0 with a 1.70 ERA (132 IP, 25 ER) during this historic run. Insane. Relievers have also been lights out, posting a 1.26 ERA. All without Andrew Miller too, arguably the best left-handed reliever in baseball. Imagine when he gets back.

Overall, the Indians have a 1.57 ERA during the streak. That’s the fourth best mark for a team in a 21 game span in the divisional era (since 1969). They also have seven shutouts during the streak. That’s more than 14 teams in the majors have all season.

Emerging AL Cy Young favorite Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco have led Cleveland’s rotation during this run. In 12 starts between them (four each), they’ve combined to go 11-0 with a 0.85 ERA (84 2/3 IP, 8 ER).

What about the offense?

Shortstop Francisco Lindor and third-baseman Jose Ramirez have been the Indians’ hottest hitters during their streak. Lindor’s batting .370 (30 for 81, .790 slugging %) with nine homers and 19 RBIs, while Ramirez’s batting .388 (26 for 67, .910 slugging %) with eight homers, nine doubles, and 14 RBIs.

Other notable offensive players during Cleveland’s streak are designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (.574 slugging %, five homers, 15 RBIs), first-baseman Carlos Santana (.357 batting average, five homers, 13 RBIs), and catcher Roberto Perez (14 for 37, four home runs, 11 RBIs).

This article provides some additional facts about the Indians’ torrid run, my favorite one being that they’ve hit more home runs (41) than allowed runs (35) in the 21 games. I’m not even sure if that’s possible to achieve in a video game.

Here’s a graphic per ESPN Stats & Info that compares Cleveland’s first 20 games of this streak to Oakland’s 20-game tear in 2002:

What an unbelievable story. The Indians have polarized Major League Baseball with their streak and are looking like the team to beat in the playoffs each time they win. They’re a young group clicking on all cylinders and playing with the highest level of confidence, and that should be a problem to whatever team(s) they face in the postseason.

Since the beginning of the streak, Cleveland has gained 9.5 games on the Houston Astros to overtake them as the team with the AL’s best record. Houston’s currently down 8-0 in the fifth inning to the Angels, so if that holds up, the Indians will have gained a full 10 games since August 24 and will have a 2.5 game edge in the AL’s best record race.

Coming off a World Series loss last year to the Chicago Cubs in seven games after leading the series 3-1, you gotta believe the Indians are a hungry team. Hungry as ever. Their last championship was 1948, and it looks like they’re on a mission to end that drought.

It also doesn’t help when you’ve got this guy running things:

Image result for terry francona

Why’d you have to let him go, Red Sox…

The Indians (90-56) will look to extend their historic streak as they begin a four-game home series against the Kansas City Royals beginning Thursday night.

(Update: Cleveland lost to Kansas City on September 15, snapping their 22-game win streak.)

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Cleveland Indians

Indians Set New American League Record With 21st Consecutive Win



The Cleveland Indians are not messing around. On Wednesday afternoon, they defeated the Detroit Tigers and set a new American League record in the process.

Wednesday’s game between the Tigers and Indians at Progressive Field was not your average September weekday afternoon game. It ended up having historic significance, as the Indians beat the Tigers 5-3. This was the Indians’ 21st straight victory, which means they now have the longest winning streak in the history of the American League.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Indians responded quickly in the bottom frame. Newly acquired slugging right fielder Jay Bruce hit a three-run home run, putting the Indians ahead 3-1. They did not relinquish the lead after this.

Going into the ninth inning, the Indians had a 5-3 lead. Closer Cody Allen came in to finish the job. With two outs and nobody on base, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a line drive to left field that was caught by a sliding Lonnie Chisenhall. This final out sealed the victory for the Indians and put them into the American League history books.

With the win, the Indians officially passed the 2002 Oakland Athletics for the longest winning streak in AL history. That Oakland team won 20 straight games. Their streak ended with a 6-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins on September 6, 2002.

As far as the longest winning streak in MLB history goes, the Indians are now tied with two teams for second place on that list. The 1880 Chicago White Stockings and 1935 Chicago Cubs both won 21 straight games. The longest winning streak in MLB history belongs to the 1916 New York Giants. That team technically won 26 consecutive games. In the middle of their streak, they actually tied a game. However, the game was replayed and the Giants won. The tie was never recorded.

One of the reasons that the Indians have been so hot lately is their pitching staff. As reported by ESPN Stats & Info, Cleveland has a team ERA of 1.57 during their 21-game winning streak.

Perhaps the most remarkable stat about the Indians historic winning streak is that they have outscored their opponents 139-35 over the 21-game span. A tweet posted earlier by MLB Stat of the Day really sums up all of the unbelievable numbers surrounding Cleveland’s amazing run.

The Indians have really been able to accomplish something incredible over the past three weeks. If they win five more games in a row, they will be tied with the 1916 Giants for the longest winning streak in MLB history. Should they break that record, the 2017 Indians will be regarded as one of the greatest regular season teams in the history of baseball.

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Cleveland Indians

Indians Place All-Star Outfielder Michael Brantley On The Disabled List



The Cleveland Indians have managed to remain in first place in the AL Central despite some of their key players getting injured. They are now going to have to deal with not having outfielder Michael Brantley for a few weeks.

On Wednesday, the Indians placed Brantley on the 10-day disabled list. He suffered a right ankle injury while playing the outfield during the fifth inning of the Indians game against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night in Cleveland. After the game, Indians manager Terry Francona said that Brantley has a sprained right ankle.  

The Indians official Twitter account put out a tweet on Wednesday morning that reiterated what Francona had said about the injury. Less than an hour later, they tweeted out an update stating that Brantley had been placed on the 10-day DL.

To take Brantley’s spot on the 25-man roster, the Indians recalled utility player Erik Gonzalez.

Although the Indians wil not have Brantley for the next 10 days, the good news is that his injury is not that serious. Earlier in the season, he spent time on the DL because of an injury to the same ankle. He missed almost two weeks of action and returned in late June. When he hurt the same ankle on Tuesday night, it was initially feared that the injury was much more serious and could have kept him sidelined for a long period of time. Luckily, this is not going to be the case.

Brantley has had a very good season. In 88 games, he is batting .299 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs. Earlier this year, he was named to the American League All-Star Team for just the second time in his career. Brantley had shoulder surgery prior to the 2016 season. He returned in April, but only ended up playing in 11 games before his right shoulder started bothering him again. He did not play for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The way he has played this season, Brantley is one of the top candidates for the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award. As long as he continues to play well after his DL stint is up, he should have a legitimate chance to win the award.

With less than two months left in the regular season, the Indians still have time to get healthy before the playoffs start. Their All-Star closer Andrew Miller is still recovering from knee tendinitis. He was placed on the DL last week. Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin has a hamstring strain and will most likely miss six weeks. Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall strained his right calf last month and is still not ready to return. All of these players should be able to recover before October rolls around.  

Fortunately, Brantley’s injury is not that serious. Because of his shoulder injury, he was unable to contribute when the Indians went on their playoff run and got to the World Series last year. As long as he gets healthy and his team stays in first place, Brantley will get the chance to be a part of the fun this postseason.

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