- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"Gabe is a knowledgeable and hardworking man," says LeFevre. "It's unfortunate he was made the scapegoat. He says one thing that I firmly believe—Cleveland is a sleeping giant." LeFevre is the grandson of Cleveland industrialist Cyrus Eaton, and he remembers going to the third game of the '54 Series. "I was saddened," he says, "but, like everybody else, I thought, we'll win next time. I didn't think next time would take so long." LeFevre will bring in his friend Tal Smith, the former Houston general manager, to help reorganize the front office, although Smith won't have a title, or even an office.
The Indians are in capable hands on the field, and for that Paul should be thanked. Corrales might not be a brilliant strategist, but he's the kind of sergeant you'd want to go to war with. In spring training he said, "You used to see trainers go out on the field when the slightest thing happened. My trainers aren't going out there unless I see blood or a bone sticking out."
He also instituted a dress code and insists that all players be at attention in the dugout for the national anthem. Beyond that, he made a stopper of the hitherto unreliable Camacho. Whenever Camacho gets too cute on the mound, Corrales will go out and pound him on the chest to get him to throw fastballs.
Thornton is the oldest Indian in terms of service, having come over from the Expos for pitcher Jackie Brown (score one for the Indians) before the '77 season, and the best DH in the league, but his contract runs out at the end of the season, and Cleveland doesn't seem prepared to pay him what he can make on the open market. And it's likely both Hargrove and Blyleven will get their wishes to be traded.
"I like this team and I think a few years down the road they'll win," says Blyleven. "But I'm 33 and I'm not sure I want to wait that long. It would be nice to see some people in the stands for a change. But you can't expect them to come out now. Losers don't have friends, and the Indians don't have fans."
But the Tribe does have a few diehard fans, sitting side by side with the ghosts of '48 and '54. And while Adams pounded his drum to wake the dead, the Indians came back against the Rangers, thanks to back-to-back-to-back homers by Thornton, Hall and Jerry Willard. Then, trailing 10-8 in the eighth, Hargrove came through with a three-run homer. The Rangers tied it back up in the ninth, then took a 12-11 lead in the 12th, only to have the Indians knot it again in the bottom of the inning. Finally, in the bottom of the 13th, Brook Jacoby singled in the winning run.
Cleveland's heart, not to mention John Adams, is still beating.