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RHP Corey Kluber enters history books; wins 2014 American League Cy Young Award

Becomes Club's Fourth A.L. Cy Young Award Recipient

CLEVELAND, OH - RHP COREY KLUBER has been named the 2014 American League Cy Young Award recipient, it was announced tonight by the Baseball Writers Association of America. 

Kluber, 28, is coming off one of the best seasons in Indians history by a starting pitcher, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA in 34 starts (235.2IP, 207H, 64ER, 14HR, 51BB, 269SO). He finished tied for 1st in the American League in wins (18) and starts (34), 2nd in strikeouts (269, 6th-most in single-season club history) and 3rd in ERA (2.44) and innings pitched (235.2). He became just the fourth Major League pitcher to since 1987 to post 18 wins, a sub-2.50 ERA while recording at least 260 strikeouts, joining Bob Feller (1946) and Luis Tiant (1968) in Indians history and Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens in the last 28 seasons. The Indians were 22-12 (.647) during his starts.

The Dallas, Texas native is the fourth Cleveland Indians to earn the American League Cy Young Award, joining Gaylord Perry (1972), CC Sabathia (2007) and Cliff Lee (2008). The Indians are the first team since the Toronto Blue Jays (1996-2003) to have three different Cy Young Award winners within an eight-year span.

Lee 

Indians fold after 3-1 lead – Sox vs. Rox in World Series

10-21-07: BOSTON -- A few eyes reddened. More than a few hugs were shared. 

Corrupting the quiet of the visitors' clubhouse was the distant roar of the Fenway Park crowd, as the American League championship trophy was hoisted by the home club. It could have been them.

The Indians swallowed that hard truth as best they could in the wake of their 11-2 loss to the Red Sox in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series on Sunday night. They wrestled with the knowledge that they had become just the sixth team in LCS history to see a 3-1 series lead go to waste. 

And then, just as they've done quite often in this season of unimaginable perseverance, they accentuated the positive -- even when it was at its most difficult to decipher. 

"There's no reason to hang our heads," said Jake Westbrook, whose six gutsy innings of work had made victory seem so tantalizingly obtainable earlier in the evening. "It's disappointing, yes, but you look back on it -- we came together as a team. I think we're going to look back at what a great year we had and what a great team we had. This is something we'll learn from." 

The lessons came hard and fast the last few days. One victory away from clinching the organization's first World Series berth in a decade, the Indians were blindsided, 30-5, over the last three games of this series. 

Tribe Bounces Yanks - Torre Next to go?

10-8-07: NEW YORK -- Overmatched in payroll, but not in perseverance, the Indians toppled the vaunted Yankees and punched their ticket to an American League Championship Series berth against the Red Sox.

Behind a patient offensive attack, a bend-but-don't-break start from Paul Byrd and some resolute relief work on Monday night, the Tribe pulled off a captivating, 6-4 victory in Game 4 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium.

Now, it's on to Boston, where the Indians will open the best-of-seven ALCS on Friday night at Fenway Park. It will be the Tribe's first ALCS appearance since 1998.

"This is what you dream of," center fielder Grady Sizemore said. "When we broke camp, this is where we wanted to be, and we believed we could do it."

Byrd had joked that he was playing the part of the "little gun" to the bigger guns provided by Sabathia and Fausto Carmona. Clearly, the little gun fired a big shot into the heart of the Yankees' hopes.

"One of my goals was to keep their fans out of the game," Byrd said. "I didn't want to start walking people and hearing the crowd go crazy with each ball."

The crowd was largely held quiet, particularly when the Indians provided added separation and support for Byrd in the fourth. After Mussina intentionally walked Hafner to load the bases, Martinez ripped a two-run single up the middle.

And so it was a 6-2 lead that was handed to the Tribe bullpen in the sixth. As was the case all series, the 'pen did not disappoint.

Hafner wins game 2 in the 11th

10-5-07: This was a night that echoed a year. The man known as Pronk had struggled all season to live up to his own enormous potential, and the frustration was mounting on the game's biggest stage. Then came a twist. 

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Hafner drew a full count from reliever Luis Vizcaino and lined a single up the middle to score Kenny Lofton with the winning run. It gave the Tribe a thrilling 2-1 victory and a commanding 2-0 lead in an ALDS that will now shift from Jacobs Field to Yankee Stadium. 

"I came up in a great situation," Hafner said of his heroic at-bat. "Bases loaded, two outs. That's what you dream about as a kid." 

In the eighth, something happened that neither club could have expected. With the Indians down, 1-0, and up to bat in the bottom of the inning, a swarm of insects descended upon The Jake and severely bugged Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain.

Perhaps this was the Indians' secret weapon. Whatever the case, it worked.

A distracted Chamberlain walked Sizemore, then threw a wild pitch that allowed Sizemore to move to second. Sizemore advanced to third on Asdrubal Cabrera's sacrifice bunt. And when Chamberlain threw another wild pitch, Sizemore sped home and just barely eluded the tag at the plate.Gnat's all there was to it. The game was tied.

Tribe Blasts Yanks in Jacobs Field Opener

10-4-07:CLEVELAND -- All week, the talk surrounding C.C. Sabathia has been about his maturity, his level-headedness, his coolness under pressure.

Those were certainly attributes Sabathia would go on to display on the mound in Thursday night's convincing 12-3 victory over the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS at a raucous Jacobs Field, albeit with a twist.

In the waning hours before the first pitch of the Tribe's first postseason game in six years, relaxation was not necessarily Sabathia's strong suit.

"He was so excited," said left fielder Kenny Lofton, whose four RBIs were only a portion of the impressive offensive display the Indians would stage for their ace. "I'm like, 'C.C., we've got time. The game doesn't start until 6:30 p.m.' He was so fired up about getting out there to start the game."

With a soldout crowd of 44,608 fans on hand -- many of whom were donning shirts of red and waving flags of white -- the game started with a bang. And a controversial one, at that.

Yankees leadoff man Johnny Damon smacked Sabathia's 3-1 pitch down the right-field line and over the wall. Initially, umpires Jim Wolf and Laz Diaz, positioned on the line, were unsure of a ruling. They conferred with the rest of the six-man umpiring crew, and a dinger it was.

All the build-up and all the energy that palpitated the ballpark were in danger of being rendered moot. And all that discussion of Sabathia's growth and emergence as an ace was about to be put to the test.

Sabathia was erratic. His pitches were elevated, and his command was shaky. He walked Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez with one out, and danger was on deck, in the form of Jorge Posada."I was fired up," Sabathia said. "I was trying not to throw hard, and I looked up there a couple times and saw I was throwing 97 [mph]. I was like, 'Calm down, and try to throw strikes.'

"He bent," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Sabathia, "but he didn't break."

A Cold Reception

A familiar face pops up at the Jake

By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com06/15/2007 6:43 PM ET

CLEVELAND -- Bob Wickman isn't one to arrive at the ballpark ahead of schedule, but Friday was a special day. With the Indians and Braves meeting up in Interleague Play this weekend, Wickman is making his return to Jacobs Field for the first time since the Indians traded him last July. The Tribe's all-time saves leader, therefore, had plenty of old acquaintances to see. 

"It's happened enough times, where I've gone back to teams I've gotten traded from, that you just go about your business," said Wickman, the Braves' closer. "[But], I decided to come early so I could talk to some people." 

The conversations Wickman had with members of the Indians organization on this day were mere pleasantries, catching up with old comrades. 

But last summer, a conversation Wickman had with general manager Mark Shapiro and manager Eric Wedge was a bit more businesslike. 

The Indians, out of the playoff picture, had a deal in place to trade Wickman, who, when healthy, had been their closer since 2000. Wickman had the power to veto the trade, though the lure to pitch for a contender was a powerful one. 

For the Indians, the pressing question was whether Wickman would be retiring at the end of the year. They would obviously be less inclined to deal him if Cleveland thought it had a chance at retaining him as its closer for '07. 

Wedge has spoken publicly about that conversation. During a Winter Caravan stop in Canton, Ohio, in January, he was matter-of-fact about its contents. 

"I don't think anybody thought Bob was going to play this year," Wedge said. "He looked us in the eye and told us that. I have a problem with people saying they'll do one thing and doing another. But that's his issue." 

On Friday, Wickman was reminded of those remarks and asked if the conversation was that direct. "I think that would be something for Eric and I to talk about," Wickman said. "I'm not going to talk to the media about it." 

The 38-year-old Wickman did say that at the time of the trade, in which the Indians acquired Class A catcher Max Ramirez and ridded themselves of what remained of the closer's $5 million contract, he had little reason to believe that he'd be pitching in '07. "A year ago at this time, my hip was a little sore and stuff like that," Wickman said. "I didn't really think my body would come around the way it did the second half of last season and this season, so far." 

Upper back tendinitis put Wickman on the 15-day disabled list earlier this year, but he rattled off nine straight scoreless outings after his May 15 return. That streak came to a close on Thursday night in Minnesota, where he blew a save for the first time in a month and a half. 

Wickman came into this series with 802 career appearances, tying him with Walter Johnson for 35th on the all-time list. He is 25th on the all-time saves list with 257, and he's hoping to keep going. "It would be cool to get to 300 saves," Wickman said. "If I'm put in a situation where I don't believe I could be put into the closer's role or can't compete in the closer's role, then I'll quit this year. But if I still feel I can compete in the closer's role and somebody's willing to give me a job for that, I'll definitely try again." But that's a conversation Wickman will have with his body later this year.

 

 

Bob had plenty of time to spare for the people that matter the most to him in Cleveland. I never saw so many Wickman's Warriors at the Jake before in the 6 years I've been doing the Club, and Bobby spent a little time with as many of us as he could. He must have shook hands with and hugged a thousand people this weekend, and every one of them let him know how much he is missed. J. Ladd 6/17/07

Great Save #259

Bobby Wick returns to the Jake

Wickster rebounds - Braves rally off of C.C. in the ninth for the win

CLEVELAND -- Coming off a demoralizing defeat and having just seen their most dominant reliever victimized by an eighth-inning homer, the Braves could have folded their tents. But as Braves manager Bobby Cox told his players at his regular pre-series meeting before Friday night's game at Jacobs Field, he never once got the sense that he was guiding a team that was willing to quit, despite all of the struggles that Atlanta has faced over the past month.

Less than 24 hours after watching Bob Wickman blow a two-run ninth-inning lead against the Twins, the Braves saw their closer return to his former park and finish off a potentially key 5-4 win over the Indians, who were foiled while giving C.C. Sabathia a chance to contribute a third straight nine-inning effort.

"Tonight, we made our comeback, and it was a great win against another great pitcher," said Cox, who saw his standout rookies, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Yunel Escobar, key a two-run ninth-inning comeback with doubles off Sabathia.

While snapping a three-game losing streak and winning for just the fourth time in their past 13 games, the Braves saw Buddy Carlyle's strong six-inning effort nearly foiled when Casey Blake began the bottom of the eighth with a homer off the usually stingy Rafael Soriano, who had allowed just one earned run in his past 21 appearances.

Soriano's hiccup brought back memories of Thursday night, when Wickman saw a 2-0 lead quickly turn into a 3-2 loss. But Saltalamacchia wasn't about to let the hangover of that loss prevent him from brightening his rising star. The 22-year-old top catching prospect, who was making his second career start at first base, began the ninth with a double off the left-field wall.

"Honestly, when I saw C.C. come back out, I had a feeling we were going to win," Saltalamacchia said. "In that situation, me personally, I think you've got to put your closer in and let him do the job."

Even after a Jhonny Peralta error and a Chris Woodward sacrifice bunt gave the Braves runners at second and third with just one out, Wedge stuck with Sabathia, whose night was truly ruined when Escobar delivered his game-winning two-run double to the left-center-field gap.

Entering the game, Sabathia hadn't allowed a run in his previous 18 innings. That scoreless streak was extended to 22 1/3 innings before Woodward snapped it with his fifth-inning RBI single. The Braves then began their game-tying two-run sixth with four straight singles against the big Indians starter, who was charged with five runs -- four earned -- and 12 hits in 8 1/3 innings.

"We've played great against two outstanding pitchers back-to-back," Cox said. "We had [Johan] Santana beat [Thursday] night and let it get away."

 Wickman, who was traded by the Indians to the Braves last July, shook off the effects of the bad luck he'd encountered in Minnesota on Thursday. With runners on first and second in the ninth, he ended things with a strikeout of Blake.

"It was fairly strange," said Blake, of facing his former teammate. I faced him in spring training and it was fun. This wasn't too much fun. "I should have known how he was going to pitch me. He won."

Wick’s A Winner!

Bob pitches back-to-back innings and picks up his first win in nearly 4 years

Bob met another challenge on his remarkable comeback from Tommy John surgery, and it resulted in first win since August 10, 2002.

The Warriors Club remembers that win well. It’s the “Bobzilla Sighting” piece that’s been archived on the Bobzilla page since that August day. Bob and I took the surgery picture spoofs that we used while he was rehabbing after that game, and we both wondered if he would ever pitch again after that win. It was his last appearance of the season, and Bobby had the surgery in December after waiting 4 months for the swelling in his elbow to subside.

Three and a half years later, Bobby worked 2 innings in Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh for the first time since July 7, 2001.

“We were going to try it a couple of other times earlier in the season,” said the Wickster. “With the off-day tomorrow, we decided to try it.”

With the score tied 2-2 in the ninth, Bobby put Jeremy Burnitz and Ryan Doumit on with no one out. Jose Hernandez laid down a bunt that Ben Broussard fielded and gunned down Burnitz at third. A 6-4-3 double play ended the threat.

Wick pitched an uneventful 10th, and Grady Sizemore’s line drive over Burnitz’s head in the bottom of the inning scored Aaron Boone from third to give Bob the win.

At 37 and on top of his game, Bob Wickman continues to smash down all barriers in his way. 5-21-2006

Bobby Wick is Indians All-Time Saves Leader!

Maybe Bob should go 1-2-3 in the ninth for some real excitement. This putting guys on and then escaping by the skin of his teeth is getting boring.

Bob Wickman passed Doug Jones with 130 saves on May 7th at Safeco Field by slamming the door on C.C. Sabathia’s 2-0 masterpiece against the Mariners.

After tying the record 0n April 28th, our hero had to wait 10 days for his chance. The pattern this season so far: When the Tribe isn’t blowing out the opposition they’re on the receiving end of a spanking. Luckily, the Maestro has his veteran experiences to rely on to keep him sharp when that call does come.

After retiring cleanup hitter Ritchie Sexson on a routine grounder, the Master began conducting another of his patented tension-filled symphonies.

Carl Everett and Adrian Beltre both singled to put runners at first and second, bringing the winning run to the plate. Bob Wickman and catcher Kenji Johjima had never faced each other before, but Bobzilla always does his homework. Having studied him extensively, Bobby went right at him with 3 straight fastballs. Johjima sent the third one to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who started a slick game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

“It was typical Wicky fashion,” said Sabathia. “I don’t even get nervous anymore. I knew he’d get that ground ball. I’m just glad I could be part of it.”

The Wickster is 6-for-6 in save situations this year and has converted 22 straight saves since last year. Bob, of course, was gracious and humble amid all the accolades.

“I remember my first game as a new closer,” said Wick. “Doug Jones came up to me and said, ‘If you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m here for you.’ I took the job from him and he had no hard feelings.”

Bobby is going to give the record-setting ball to Chris Kelley, a former Indians bat boy seriously injured in a car accident in 2004.

“When Chris wakes up, he’s going to see that ball.”

         

Wickman’s Army

There's a long tradition of fans painting letters on their chests in an effort to get on television. Usually, fans stick with short words or acronyms; network initials or player names, for example. Some local high school students had a different idea. 

Almost 50 seniors from St. Ignatius High School, a Jesuit academy in Cleveland, came to Saturday's game against the Angels and sat in left field with letters painted on their chests. The message? 

"Bob Wickman is the greatest baseball player ... ever."

"We were here one day, and we saw en entire empty row in the right-field bleachers," Zach Szep, the group's ringleader, said. "And we thought, wouldn't it be pretty awesome if a whole row in the bottom of that section spelled out a huge sentence? And we just thought about it. And after a while, we just came up with one about Bob Wickman. 

Why the Indians closer? 

"Because he's the greatest baseball player ever," Szep said. "He always makes the game interesting. "

QUESTION:  What portion of my contribution goes to Cleveland Indians' Charities?

ANSWER:  ALL $26 goes to Cleveland Indians' Charities.  Please feel free to declare your CIC check amount in its entirety as a non-taxable contribution on your IRS Form 1040.  The cost of club shirts, the expense of publishing and housing the club website, and other club expenses are borne by Bob Wickman, Joseph Ladd, and other Wickman's Warriors sponsors.
   
Joseph Ladd
President, WW

Wickman's Warriors is a total non-profit organization that is sustained solely through the generosity of its members for the support and enjoyment of its team--The Cleveland Indians. The website,  internet fees,  tee shirts,  graphics,  writing,  photography,  props,  postage, and time spent on organization as well as the Wickman's Warriors charitable fund are all donated by the club's friends and members.                                                                                              

                                                                          

WICKMAN'S WARRIORS
P.O. BOX 40224
BAY VILLAGE, OHIO 44140