Winterhaven Weekend / March 5, 6 & 7With the azaleas in bloom, clear skies, temps in the 80’s and a healthy Bob Wickman in the bullpen, who could ask for anything more?

 It only took this Tribe fan 40 years to make it to Spring Training, but this Road Trip was well worth the wait. A mild sunburn never felt so good as with this taste of summer in early March.

 With many of the Indians youngsters having their rookie season under their belt, the stage is set for #1 Warrior Bobby Wick to return from his dismal rehab year and help guide our team to the next step.

 Jake Westbrook, fighting for a spot in the starting rotation, pitched 2 shutout innings in Friday’s 14-2 spanking of the Houston Astros. Adam Piatt and Lou Merloni, also fighting for roster spots, both hit 3-run homers and Travis Hafner contributed a lead-off dinger in the fourth. 

The Saturday game featured a 10-8 come from behind Tribe victory over the always-hapless Detroit Tigers at Chain of Lakes Park. C.C. Sabathia started and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings pitched, with Chad Durbin and Francisco Cruceta giving up the rest. The Indians trailed by an 8-5 deficit until a barrage of doubles netted 5 runs late in the game. Scott Stewart, David Riske (1-0) and Rafael Betancourt (save) shut out the Kitties over the last three innings. Sidearmer Matt Miller struck out 2 and looked great in a scoreless fourth.

On Sunday, Jeff D’Amico won his first game in an 18-10 Tribe victory (again over the Tigers) at Joker Marchant (what the…?) Stadium. Finally, our hero Wick pitched one scoreless inning with NO PAIN in Sunday’s B game. The Killer B’s made the weekend a clean sweep beating the Tigers (this is getting monotonous) 6-1.

 And so ends the perfect Wickman’s Warriors Spring Training Road Trip. Opening Day is right around the corner, and life is good again.

J. Ladd 3-8-04  

Pittsburgh Road Trip 2003

 Even though we didn’t have a Wickman this season, the Wickman’s Warriors Road Crew managed its annual road trip to one of America’s fine new ballparks. This year’s excursion was to PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The dreary, rain drenched weekend of June 20-22 brought the Tribe back-to-back 15 inning losses to the Pirates on Friday and Saturday. The sun came out on Sunday to shine on an 8-5 Indian win to close out the series. Our gang had an outstanding view of the catch of the year on Saturday. Former Tribe left fielder Brian Giles made an awesome grab of a Brandon Phillips drive in the eighth inning that appeared to be in the second row of the bleachers. The theft of Phillips’ potential 2-run bomb saved the game for the Pirates and kept us at the park for an extra 2 hours, only to see the Indians lose it on a passed ball in the 15th. Thanks a lot, Brian.



Detroit Road Trip 2002

Even though the Tribe had a rough trip to Comerica Park in late May, the Wickman’s Warriors Road Trippers still managed a great time. The weather was decent, although on the cool side for this time of the year. Comerica has an old style feel to it, with the seats and steelwork done up in the dark green color I feel is the only way to go for a ballpark’s interior. Those giant tigers that grace the exterior are a bit gaudy, but kinda neat anyway.

 The whole gang was treated to upgraded seats from the bullpen to directly behind home plate by Bobby himself, where I caught my first foul ball ever in a foreign ballpark.

 After having gone through the weekend from hell on May 18th and 19th at Jacobs Field, experiencing pain in his right elbow and having the team’s struggles on his mind, Wick still remembered to leave seats for his fellow Warriors for each game attended. What a guy!   

Boston Road Trip 2001

Wickman’s Warriors' very first road trip was to Boston for the September 4, 5, and 6th series against the Red Sox at Fenway.

The Tribe took 2 of 3 games, the highlight being the 8 to 5 win in the first game in which Jim Thome hit two monstrous home runs.

With the bullpen unable to get anyone out in the ninth with a four run lead, in came Wickman to save the day. Bobby pulled a rib cage muscle on the very last pitch of the game, which was a ground ball double play to earn his 29th save of the season. He rested for the final two games.