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New Year, New Hopes For Indians

Andy Call -Premium Content

Perhaps the most viable wish for Cleveland fans is that this year's team proves to be just as unpredictable as last year's. The 2006 season certainly didn't go according to form for the Indians. The young team that had won 93 games a year earlier dropped to 78. The bullpen that had been the best in baseball a year earlier dropped to 24th in relief ERA (4.66). The team outscored its opponents by nearly 100 runs (870-782)—and scored the second-most runs in the big leagues—yet still finished six games under .500 and in fourth place in the American League Central.

Majors | #2007#Season Preview

Barry Being Barry

Matt Meyers -

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--Taking a flight from Raleigh to Phoenix in early March is a journey from one sports-obsessed culture to another. In Raleigh, all you see are hats and t-shirts representing the local college basketball teams knee deep in the ACC tournament. The Phoenix airport is cure for what ails any baseball fan; a sea of supporters that have flown in for the weekend to take in some Cactus League action.Everywhere you look is pockets of people sporting gear of the teams that train in the Phoenix area, with the Cubs, Angels and Athletics being the most prominent. There is no other sport where you find fans so enthusiastic for preseason games and it is contagious.I drove into Phoenix high on the proximity of a new baseball season and had an enjoyable day at Giants camp though one prominent player did his best to temper my Arizona enthusiasm.

Minors | #Daily Dish

Sogard Goes So-Yard

Matt Meyers -

TEMPE, Ariz--How does a baseball junkie kill time on a Friday night in Phoenix? Simple, go check out some college baseball. My trip to Arizona fortuitously collided with an Arizona State-Long Beach State matchup, so at trip to Tempe was in order.I was not the only one with a jonesing for some Friday night lights as Long Beach State alums Troy Tulowitzki and Cesar Ramos jetted over from Rockies and Padres camp to check out the action.

College

Ask BA

Jim Callis -

Who are the biggest surprises among can't-miss prospects who missed? Which Top 100 prospects are poised to jump the most up the list next year? What's the scouting report on ex-Marine Cooper Brannan?

Minors | #2007#Ask BA

Pirates Do It Again

Aaron Fitt -

Greenville is starting to become the place to be on Friday nights in the Carolinas. Last Friday, East Carolina faced off with Pepperdine and Barry Enright, one of the top college righthanders in this year’s draft class. The Pirates fell behind 4-1 early then before coming back against Enright to win 5-4. This week ECU hosted another of the nation’s top righties, Cal State Fullerton’s Wes Roemer, and the result was similar. Roemer, known for his impeccable command, left a few pitches over the heart of the plate and paid for it, as ECU scored three runs on a pair of homers in the fifth inning en route to a 6-1 win. Roemer’s fastball lacked explosivity, sitting in the 86-88 mph range and topping out at 90 in the first inning, though he did flash some very good changeups and threw plenty of fringe-average sliders. The Pirates certainly weren’t intimidated, hanging six runs on him over six innings of work. Meanwhile, ECU righthander T.J. Hose was tough again, unleashing a steady diet of 78-79 mph sliders and mid-80s fastballs with good movement. He allowed just one run on three hits while striking out six over seven innings of work. The Titans looked a little sluggish, perhaps still recovering from a red-eye flight early Thursday morning, though I’m sure Coach George Horton will not use that as an excuse. The next two games here should be very interesting; it’s clear this ECU club is gaining confidence every week.

College

Spring Training Links To Your Favorite Prospects

Chris Kline -

Our in-depth spring training coverage begins tonight as Matt Meyers travels to Arizona, then Chris Kline will pick up things in the Grapefruit League beginning next week.Until then, we'll hold you over with links to stories around both leagues as teams gear up for 2007:BA correspondent Brian McTaggart delivers in this feature on outfielder Hunter Pence who is trying to make it very hard for the Astros to send him down.

Minors | #Daily Dish

Blue Jays Organization Report

Larry Millson -Premium Content

Lefthander Ricky Romero, the first pitcher taken in the 2005 draft, got a lot done in a limited time during his first full professional season last year. He went 2-3, 2.75 in the final month of the season to put a better spin on his 2-7, 5.08 numbers in 67 innings at Double-A New Hampshire. Now he appears on track to take a shot at the major league rotation by 2008.

Majors | #2007#Organization Reports#Toronto Blue Jays