The Indians are expected to make a bid on left-handed pitcher Kei Igawa, who was posted by the Hanshin Tigers on Friday."We still think there's a lot of value [in Japan]," Mirabelli said. "[Missing out in Iwamura] isn't going to deter us. We're going to keep going." Here's the question: Rookie left-hander Jeremy Sowers tossed consecutive shutouts on July 22 and 28 this season. Can you name the last Indians pitcher to achieve this feat?
Handing out hardwood: All those Grady Sizemore headfirst dives for line drives and legged-out extra-base hits, even in late September, didn't go unnoticed by the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.The group has seen fit to bestow upon Sizemore the honor of being named the Tribe's 2006 Man of the Year. The budding young star, who signed a historic six-year contract with the Indians before the season began, was certainly deserving. His uncompromising hustle helped him put together a season in which he led the Majors in runs with 134, and he led the American League with 92 extra-base hits. Sizemore, batting from the leadoff spot and manning center field, was just the second player in Major League history to record 50 doubles, 10 triples, 20 homers and 20 steals in the same season, and he was the Tribe's lone representative in the All-Star Game. Those numbers, as well as his workmanlike attitude, allowed Sizemore to be a fixture in the Tribe's lineup. He started all but one game in manager Eric Wedge's lineup and appeared in every game. "I have so much respect for the way he plays," Wedge said earlier this year, "his discipline and the way he carries himself." Sizemore narrowly beat out a co-winner ballot entry of himself and Travis Hafner by one vote. Ace left-hander C.C. Sabathia was also nominated for the award. The Steve Olin Good Guy Award went to right-hander Paul Byrd. The award seeks to recognize a player or club official who displays professional behavior in interacting with the media, and that description fit Byrd quite well. Even in defeat, Byrd was gracious and thoughtful in his dealings with the press. Outfielder Casey Blake and Sabathia were the other nominees for the Good Guy honor. Tribe tidbits: The Indians filled their director of Latin American operations post with in-house candidate Lino Diaz last week. Diaz, the brother of former Tribe catcher Einar Diaz, has been with the organization for five seasons, most recently serving as assistant director of player development in Latin America. Diaz will replace Ross Atkins, who was named the club's farm director last month, in overseeing the Tribe's facilities in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. ... Hafner has been trying for some time to get Amy Beekman to refer to him as "Pronk," his now-famous nickname. Perhaps Amy will be known as Mrs. Pronk now. The couple was married this past weekend in Cleveland, with several players and members of the Indians' coaching staff in attendance. ... Generous contributions from Indians fans Wednesday morning at Gateway Plaza produced nearly 2,500 meals for those served by the Cleveland Foodbank. The Indians front office will assist at the foodbank this Friday in packaging, shipping and preparing foods to be distributed to hunger programs. For more information, call the Cleveland Foodbank at (216) 738-2265 or visit them online at www.clevelandfoodbank.org. ... Tickets for 2007 Opening Day, opening weekend and the six-pack packages will go on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 24. Fans can buy tickets at indians.com, Jacobs Field box office, Indians Team Shops, Ticketmaster locations or by phone at (216) 241-5555 or toll-free at (866) 48-TRIBE. Single-game tickets for the 81 home games go on sale March 3. And the answer is: Bud Black, who was just named the manager of the Padres, tossed consecutive shutouts for the Tribe in 1989.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.