Future on display

It’s safe to say that Jeremy Sowers will be sticking around for quite some time in an Indians uniform. As for the other hero of Friday’s game, Shin-Soo Choo, his future with the team may not be as certain as Sowers’, but Choo sure didn’t hurt himself. Choo showed some pop in his bat and some plate discipline as well. Hell, with the crowd at the Jake chanting “Chooooo!”, he already is becoming a fan favorite.

Sowers has been absolutely unbelievable his last two starts and for one night at least, Tribe fans were able to catch a glimpse into what the Indians’ future might look like. Marte didn’t get a hit Friday, but he’s definitely here for the long haul and his time to shine will come. We can’t help but be ecstatic for Sowers and the bright future that he brings. And Choo? Well, he adds a unique look to the outfield and could very well be in the Tribe’s plans. The season may be over, but at least we can take the rest of the season to get a decent look at what these young prospects bring to the table.

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Rookies lead Tribe to victory

If you’ve read the boxscore already, you’re not reading it incorrectly. That’s ANOTHER complete-game shutout for Jeremy Sowers. He went the distance for the second consecutive time, allowing only five hits in the Indians’ 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Sowers has now given up only nine hits in his last 18 innings pitched, lowering his ERA to 3.98. Newly acquired Shin-Soo Choo got the green light and smacked a 3-0 pitch over the left-field wall in the sixth off Felix Hernandez to give the Tribe the lead, and the win. The Tribe did leave runners stranded, however. In the fourth and the fifth, two double plays with the bases loaded killed any chance of a rally. But the young stud worked his magic and shut down the Mariners, becoming the second rookie pitcher since Dontrelle Willis in 2003 to throw consecutive shutouts.

“Jeremy threw the ball well today,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He was actually more and more efficient as the game wore on. He had good stuff, mixed it up. He was down when he wanted to, up and out of the zone when he wanted to, and he used his breaking ball. He mixed in his changeup. Obviously, he showed a tremendous amount to us from an intangible standpoint.”

In his first start as an Indian, Andy Marte went 0-for-3 with a strikeout but put up decent at-bats each time. In his first trip to the plate, Marte showed his power when he launched a ball to deep left that just hooked foul.

Finally, Marte arrives

It won’t take the sting away from yesterday’s LeCharles Bentley injury, but at least the Indians are finally turning the page on the Aaron Boone era by calling up Andy Marte today:

Third-base prospect Andy Marte was promoted to the Indians from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday, with utility infielder Ramon Vazquez optioned back to the Bisons.

Marte, acquired along with reliever Guillermo Mota and catcher Kelly Shoppach in the trade that sent Crisp, David Riske and Josh Bard to Boston, has been generally regarded as the Tribe’s third baseman for ’07. At the time of the trade, the club said he’d need some more Triple-A seasoning before he’d be big-league ready, and he proved as much with a slump at the plate at the outset of ’06.

In recent weeks, though, Marte has been as productive as they come. He earned International League Player of the Month honors in June by batting .304 with 10 homers and 22 RBIs. Earlier this month, he took home the Home Run Derby crown at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Toledo.

For the season, Marte has hit .261 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs. He’s made 19 errors in the field.

Boone is still around, but the Tribe isn’t calling Marte up to sit on the bench. He may not be the everyday starter at third initially, but he will be when the team either trades or, if there is in fact no market for him, cuts Boone. Until then, I imagine Marte will still get the bulk of the starts at third.

Good news for Tribe fans. Now, I wonder if Marte can play center….

Browns knocked down, but must get back up

Alright, a day has passed since the devastating LeCharles Bentley injury. Browns fans everywhere may still be trying to recover from the punch in the gut they took Thursday. Try to take a deep breath if you can. Bentley’s season-ending injury undoubtedly is a tremendous blow to the Browns’ offense and his presence on the O-line can’t be replaced. But, although many of us in Cleveland once again are asking, “Why us?”, and drowning in our sorrows, the fact remains that the season must go on.

The frustration is off the charts for Cleveland sports fans. Only in this city do we get a bad break for every sport and get tortured beyond belief. As Kenny Roda likes to say, OIC (Only in Cleveland!!). Now that we’ve had time to lick our wounds, the reality is that the Browns must live on and regroup.

LeCharles, having played high school ball at St.Ignatius, wanted just as badly as any player on the Browns roster to bring a winner to Cleveland. His desire to lead his hometown Browns to glory is unmatched. Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait another season to do so. Bentley’s toughness, tenacity, and Pro Bowl appearances will be greatly missed but it’s now up to some of the other veterans on the team to step up. The Browns clearly have taken a step back from where they stood before the injury but are still a better team than they were last season, even without Bentley. While we as fans can soak ourselves in our own tears all we want, crying about it won’t do any good. Believe me, I am just as disappointed and upset as everyone else. But it’s situations like this that show the true character of a team.

The Browns, veterans and rookies in all, need to band together now and show what they are made of. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and the team must play on. They find themselves in a difficult situation but the season is not over and all is not lost. Bentley is down, but the rest of the players now must rally around the big fella.

Bentley out for the year

It’s official: Pro Bowl center and the Browns’ prized offseason acquisition LeCharles Bentley will miss the entire season with a torn patellar tendon.

“He was the face of our free agent class,” Savage said. “He was a player that probably wanted to play for the Browns as much as anyone.”

Savage said Bentley didn’t suffer the injury due to contact or the result of a pile-up, but rather by planting his foot awkwardly after being unable to stop his forward momentum.

Browns fans have been waiting seemingly decades for the team to put together a solid offensive line. Looks like we’ll have to wait one more season. Bob Hallen replaced Bentley with the first-team offense Thursday but rumor has it the Browns will be scouring the list of available free agents.

…Damnit. Damnit, damnit, damnit.

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