Indians broadcaster looks ahead
By Greg Gulas
For the past 11 seasons, radio broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus has sat in the catbird seat at Progressive Field.
Along with veteran announcer Tom Hamilton, the two have delivered play-by-play accounts for all Cleveland Indians spring training, regular season and playoff games.
Speaking to the Curbstone Coaches on Monday at Avion Banquet Center, Rosenhaus confirmed that the Chief Wahoo logo will be removed from the team’s uniforms in 2019.
“It will remain available and you can still pick up Chief Wahoo logo gear at our team shops because we have to do enough to keep the copyright,” Rosenhaus said. “If we don’t, then anybody can pick it up and start selling it however they want.
“It’s an extremely sensitive issue on both sides.”
Rosenhaus will soon head to spring training and is set to broadcast 15 games and a handful more on the web in preparation for the Indians’ season opener at Seattle on March 29.
The former University of Buffalo basketball broadcaster and Buffalo Bisons play-by-play announcer, Rosenhaus called this time of year very special for every baseball fan.
“Looking back, last year was another tremendous season,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re in a window right now where things have been going really well and not coincidentally since Terry Francona showed up in 2013.
“If you go back and look at this five-year regular season stretch, they’ve won more games than any team in the American League,” he said.
He admitted that it was kind of hard to look back at last season.
“It was a wonderful regular season, yet it ended so quickly with a first-round loss in the playoffs,” said Rosenhaus, referring to the five-game loss to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series.
Asked if there was a letdown after the team’s 22-game win streak late in the season, Rosenhaus said, “There’s a part of me that says it had no impact because it came at a time when the rosters were expanded and it didn’t seem like they overextended anybody in order to keep the streak going.
“They played players from the minor leagues and didn’t skip starts for certain starting pitchers to have [Corey] Kluber or [Carlos] Carrasco pitch more to keep the streak going.”
Rosenhaus said pitcher Josh Tomlin had an interesting take over the weekend when he spoke to him about last season and expectations for this year.
“Josh said in looking back on it, because of when it came at the end of the season that even though nobody was overextended, when it ended there was kind of that letdown,” he said. “For three weeks they hadn’t lost a game, it was fun and they wanted to keep it going.
“Had the streak happened in either April or May, then that would have been long enough to get fired back up again and be as sharp as they could be.”
Rosenhaus says everyone remains excited about this year’s starting rotation going to spring training.
“The Indians have three pitchers who won 17 or more games a year ago,” he said. “The Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber won his second award, Carlos Carrasco also won 18 games and Trevor Bauer won 17 games.
“In Bauer’s case you could argue that he’s still scratching the surface of getting better,” Rosenhaus said.