Salute to Indians, colleagues

As football season gets started and the Cleveland Indians begin the regular season stretch run in what fans hope will be another deep postseason run, it is time to wish good luck to a couple of my Tribune Chronicle colleagues.

Eric Murray, who has been our part-time sports reporter for the past two years, has taken a new full-time position as a sports reporter for the Eastern New Mexico Times in Portales, New Mexico.

Eric did a wonderful job for us, including a lot of anonymous work that he did in the office. He usually was the one to answer the phone when someone called in a game result and he typed up most of the game reports sent by email or fax.

Speaking of typing, Eric, as the part-timer on the staff, had the task of typing up all the schedules sent to us, along with bowling league results, golf league results and high school preseason previews and postseason all-conference teams.

Besides turning out all of that copy, with nary a complaint I might add, he also became a solid reporter and writer, covering events and writing feature stories.

I had mixed emotions when he informed me he had taken a full-time job. Obviously, I realized we would be losing his considerable output, but I also was pleased that I had something to do with his development and improvement as a reporter/writer.

We wish him well in New Mexico.

Veteran sports reporter Joe Simon also is in line for congratulations, as he will be marrying Alycia Trekur on Saturday.

We thought he would be able to cover the Youngstown State game Saturday afternoon and then go to the wedding, but I’m told that’s not going to happen.

Anyway, we certainly wish the best to Joe and Alycia and hope they enjoy a long run as a married couple.

Just like with Eric leaving, Joe and Alycia’s honeymoon will affect the coverage abilities of our sports department. You won’t see us at as many events for a couple of weeks until Joe gets back and we fill Eric’s position. We still will print game results from those that are called, emailed or faxed in to us.

Now, speaking of the Indians, it is beyond encouraging to see how well the starting rotation has performed of late, carrying the Tribe through a 19-9 August against some pretty solid competition.

The way Mike Clevinger and Ryan Merritt have pitched, it certainly will give manager Terry Francona some options in the postseason (knock on wood) and will keep pressure on Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer to continue to perform.

All three of those pitchers have terrific swing-and-miss stuff, but all three also have a tendency to suddenly implode during a game, even when they are pitching well.

When they are wild, they seem to be wild over the plate, putting the ball in good spots for the hitter. They also all seem to have trouble at times putting misfortune behind them.

A bad call by an umpire, an error by a teammate or a “lucky” hit — such as a seeing-eye single or a blooper that falls in — often seems to upset Carrasco, Salazar and especially Bauer.

They have not mastered the ability — as Corey Kluber clearly has — to put the past in the past and focus on the next pitch, the next hitter. Once those guys start developing that trait consistently — and they all seem to be improving — then the Indians’ rotation really will be something.