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Indians GM happy with deal, but still seeks more

Indians GM happy with deal, but still seeks more

CLEVELAND (AP) General manager Chris Antonetti knows it is going to take more than a new manager and a few added players to get Indians fans fired up.

If nothing else, though, the franchise is taking the proper steps.

``We still have work to do,'' Antonetti said Wednesday, less than 24 hours after completing a three-team trade that involved nine players.

Antonetti acknowledged the addition of outfielder Drew Stubbs from Cincinnati and three pitchers, including promising Trevor Bauer, from Arizona doesn't quite get the fans' pulse beating. But the Indians are getting there.

``This is another step forward in our offseason,'' said Antonetti, vowing to try and complete more moves to enhance what he hopes will be a quick makeover for a team that lost 94 games in 2012. ``We still would like to improve our starting pitching and add a corner outfielder.''

Dealing Shin-Soo Choo only added to the void in left field, where several players failed to provide enough run production as the Indians flopped miserably in the second half. Michael Brantley or Stubbs, both considered top-notch center fielders, could move to left. Antonetti has had discussions with free agent Nick Swisher, as well, who could fill Choo's old spot in right.

``We have at-bats available,'' Antonetti noted, adding that the Indians still don't have a designated hitter after buying out the final year of oft-injured Travis Hafner's contract.

Mark Reynolds, signed to a one-year, $6 million deal, is expected to be new manager Terry Francona's first baseman. Both Reynolds and Stubbs are high risk-reward players. In 2011, Stubbs led the NL in strikeouts with 205, nine more than Reynolds' AL-leading total for Baltimore. In the three previous years with Arizona, Reynolds averaged 213 strikeouts.

``The best way to improve your team,'' Antonetti said, succinctly, ``is to score more runs and allow fewer runs.''

He pointed out that Cleveland cut the strikeout total in 2012, but ranked low in run production. A few seasons ago, the Indians led the AL in strikeouts, but were in the top three in scoring.

``I'm not as concerned at how we do it,'' he said. ``But our focus is to score more and allow fewer.''

Antonetti also is not worried about Bauer's devotion to a sometimes controversial long-toss program or the 21-year-old's insistence on hitting the weight room hard.

``Trevor works exceptionally hard and is very committed to being the best pitcher he can be,'' Antonetti said. ``He's spent a lot of time studying how to do that. We're not looking to change him. We're looking to work with him.''

The Indians scouted Bauer in high school and again during his career at UCLA. Antonetti said he personally spent two hours with the pitcher before the 2011 draft, when the Diamondbacks made Bauer the No. 3 pick overall. He has gone 13-4 with 200 strikeouts in 156 minor-league innings.

``Trevor has the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter,'' Antonetti said.

Whether or not Bauer begins 2013 in Cleveland's rotation will be decided in spring training.

Right-handers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw, also acquired from Arizona, will be given the chance to be part of Cleveland's revamped bullpen. Lefties Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez - along with right-hander Esmil Rogers - are gone from a unit that was the strongest part of the Indians in 2012.

``We feel we have some young pitchers ready to contribute and we may add a couple more,'' Antonetti said. ``I don't think we're done making changes quite yet.''

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Masahiro Tanaka hit in the head off a comebacker from Giancarlo Stanton

Masahiro Tanaka hit in the head off a comebacker from Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka took a scary line drive off of his head during the Yankees practice on Saturday. 

The comebacker came from the bat of the hard-hitting Giancarlo Stanton at Yankee Stadium. Tanaka was throwing a simulated game during the team's first day back together for practice at 'Training Camp 2.0.'

Below is the video of the 31-year-old right-hander being struck. Warning: the video is graphic.

According to multiple reports, Tanaka was on the ground for roughly five minutes and immediately attended to by New York's training staff. Afterward, Tanaka was able to walk to the dugout with some assistance. 

RELATED ARTICLE: SELF-POLICING IN CLUBHOUSES WILL BE KEY FOR MLB SEASON TO WORK

The team announced Tanaka is alert, responsive and was sent to a local hospital for further evaluation and testing.

The six-year veteran has spent his entire United States baseball career with the Yankees. Last year he posted a disappointing 11-9 record and a 4.45 ERA. He is expected to be the Bronx Bombers' No. 2 starter behind offseason acquisition Gerrit Cole.

Already the Yankees lost one starting pitcher this season as Luis Severino underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring.

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Cleveland Indians release statement saying team is having discussions in regards to name

Cleveland Indians release statement saying team is having discussions in regards to name

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Amid new pressure sparked by a national movement to correct racial wrongdoings, the Cleveland Indians said they will review their long-debated nickname.

"We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality," the team said in a statement Friday night. "Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community."

The move mirrors one by the NFL's Washington Redskins, who earlier in the day said they are embarking on a "thorough review" of their name, which has been deemed as offensive by Native American groups for decades.

There have been previous efforts to get the Indians to rename themselves. But following the death George Floyd in Minnesota and other examples of police brutality against Black people in the U.S., there has been a major move nationwide to eradicate racially insensitive material.

RELATED ARTICLE: REDSKINS TO CONDUCT 'THOROUGH REVIEW' OF TEAM NAME

In 2018, the Indians removed the contentious Chief Wahoo logo from their game jerseys and caps. The grinning, red-faced mascot, however, is still present on merchandise that can be purchased at Progressive Field and other team shops in Northeast Ohio.

"We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues," the Indians said. "The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice. With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name."

"While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning, and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team," the club said.

The Redskins' decision came in the wake of FedEx, which paid $205 million for naming rights to the team's stadium, and other corporate partners calling for the team to change its nickname.

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