Found May 23, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
When Justin Masterson decided to show off his undeniably world class dancing skills in a crowded bar, on top of a table for all to witness, one of the many marveled bystanders stood by in awe as the 6-f0ot-6-inch, 250-pound pitcher worked his magic. “Wow, someone’s going to have trouble taking this guy home,” said the man with a get-a-load-of-this-guy grin. It wasn’t long after, presumably while Justin was mid-Rodger Rabbit, that Meryl Masterson informed all in attendance that her husband had not had a drop of alcohol to drink. Such is the life of a starting pitcher who not only experiences very little in terms of embarrassment, but ensures proper balance between his on-field role of a fastball hurler and his off-field role as husband, father and devout Christian. In an appearance at Cleveland’s Nexus Cafe, mediated by Indians’ team Chaplin Alex Ennes, Masterson continued this delicate balance by discussing items in his personal life — from his birth in Kingston, Jamaica to his collegiate pendulum featuring stops in Bethel College and San Diego State University — as well as current baseball-related items like his emotionally charged closer and his interaction with pessimistic fans on Facebook. While Masterson isn’t exactly scribbling verses into his eye black and getting down on a knee following double-play balls, he is easily the biggest advocate for Christianity in the Cleveland clubhouse. This notion, just as the one about his birth on Jamaican soil, may be a relative unknown by Tribe faithful, however, due to Masterson’s ability to have a chameleonic approach to life. The son of a pastor and college roommate of a marijuana dealer (not by choice, of course), Masterson has managed to take pieces of his upbringing to help mold himself in a way where he can believe and practice without being outwardly dismissing of lifestyle choices by others. He was referred to as “Jesus” by his friends who would partake in the otherwise collegiate lifestyle. Why? Well, because he reminded them of Jesus. Masterson admits that references like this make him a bit uncomfortable as he is a far cry from the man whom the reference is drawn, but if the way in which he conducts his life makes others think of the message, then so be it. He’ll also gladly spread The Word to anyone willing to listen, but will not overstep his boundaries. Often times, as he gets ready to head to team chapel, teammates will casually wave and loosely request that Masterson send a few prayers their way. Other times, teammates will join him in efforts to clear up cold spells at the plate. Fellow pitcher Jeanmar Gomez has also joined the ranks of professional athletes who have publicized their faith, recently giving God credit for a successful outing. Ennes takes a similar approach to his players, discussing Christianity with those who opt to partake, but otherwise being a friend to the rest of the clubhouse. But don’t let the lifestyle fool you. Masterson is everything his large stature leads him to be: a tough, competitive baseball player who has seen his fastball touch 99 miles per hour.  Challenged by the father of a teammate who, back in 2005, thought that the devout Christian was ”too soft” in that lover-not-a-fighter way,  Masterson reached back and used all of of his 6-f0ot-6-inch frame to promptly plant a four-seam fastball right into the leg of the lead-off batter. Not exactly one for confrontation, Masterson was one of the first members of the Cleveland Indians to sprint onto the field following the team’s recent victory to congratulate teammate and closer Chris Perez who had been the subject of much consternation. The same Perez who effectively blew the lead in a game which was arguably one of the best starts by Masterson in a Tribe uniform. The 2012 season may not have started as well as the former mid-western farm boy may have desired, what with an ERA nearly two full runs more than last year. But to think that Masterson – who makes sure to have his “chill time with God” be it at home or on the road — would be deterred by such is to not know the subject at hand. Hanging change-ups may be sent into the gap for doubles and a two-seam fastball may not run as much as intended, but Masterson, with his cannon-like arm, heart of gold and immense faith in the gospel, won’t let speed bumps get in his way. Whether or not he gets some additional Tebow-like help on Thursday when he squares off against reigning MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander remains to be seen.

Indians in first despite lacking 'star power'

CLEVELAND -- Baseball statements are not made in May, so the Cleveland Indians three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers counts for no more than three wins. But it's safe to say that the Indians gave the Tigers -- and everyone who conceded Detroit the Al Central title in the offseason -- something to think about. The Indians beat all-world ace Justin Verlander Thursday afternoon...

Indians Pitcher, Former Miss Teen USA & Her Family In Lake Erie Island Bar Brouhaha

First of all, we now know that it’s highly likely that Cleveland Indians’ reliever Joe Smith is dating Fox 8 sports reporter & former Miss Teen USA Allie LaForce. How do we know? Because Smith, Ms. LaForce and her family was in a feud at notorious Lake Erie Put-In-Bay island bar, Roundhouse. Smith failed to show bar security his I.D. and was denied entry to the legendary...

Box Score: Indians 5, Tigers 3

The Indians made a winner out of Ubaldo Jimenez, and Chris Perez recorded his 14th save. Perez came in the came to at least a partial standing ovation, but did hear a few boos after giving up a walk and a hit. Detroit AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg R. Santiago 2b 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 .188 A. Dirks lf 5 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 .340 M. Cabrera 3b 2 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 3 .304 ...

Shin-Soo Choo’s Batting Average on Balls in Play

Shin-Soo Choo is a BABIP wizard. Sort for batting average on balls in play since 2008, and sitting there in second place is Choo. After four years of BABIPs in the high .300s, he dropped back to earth in 2011 but still finds himself above the league norm these days. Even with over 2000 plate appearances under his belt, it’s fair to ask: what does Choo’s true-talent BABIP look...

Indians 5, Tigers 3: Perez Gets His Wish, Then Delivers As the Crowd Cheers Him

Tribe closer Chris Perez has been lightning rod of controversy since his comments after Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins. On Sunday morning, he spoke in even deeper detail and refused to back off what he said. During that diatribe, he made a bold call – “I hope my first (save) chance is in a one run game facing (Miguel) Cabrera and (Prince) Fielder.” He would get...

100-year-old woman throws out first pitch

While the real story was the Tribe's 2-1 win over rival Detroit, and Justin Masterson’s out dueling of Justin Verlander, there is an interesting side story today. A 100 year old woman threw out the 1st pitch today. Emily Serian was invited to throw out the 1st pitch as a birthday present and was accompanied [...]

Tigers, Verlander swept by Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Justin Masterson matched Justin Verlander pitch for pitch for first his career win over Detroit, and the first-place Cleveland Indians did just enough to beat the reigning AL MVP 2-1 Thursday and complete a three-game sweep of the underperforming Tigers. Shin-Soo Choo homered on the third pitch from Verlander (5-2) as the Indians won for the eighth time in 10 games...

Oh What a Night

Maybe Chris Perez was onto something. It is not news that baseball is much better with a stadium packed with fans. Loud and boisterous and cheering for their team, the Indians last night got a taste of what the entire summer could be like every time they take the field if they continue to play the way they are. I was there last night at Progressive Field. It was my 10th game of the...

Box Score: Indians 4, Tigers 2

Shaky defense was the story of this game. A bunt double and a misplayed line drive enabled the Tigers to score a pair off McAllister, and the Tigers had a few misplays of their own which helped the Tribe outscore the kitties and earn a series win, with the possibility of a sweep tomorrow.  Detroit AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg Q. Berry cf 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .200 ...

Tigers' win streak vs. Indians ends

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Chris Perez, greeted by a standing ovation from the time he left the bullpen, worked another scary ninth inning for his 14th save as the Cleveland Indians ended a 10-game losing streak to Detroit with a 5-3 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night. Perez had been critical of recent booing during an appearance and called the Indians' major league-worst attendance...

Cleveland Indians: AL Central Favorites

On Tuesday, Dan Szymborski utilized his ZIPS projection system and the standings as of Monday night to re-cast the projected standings for the end of the season in a piece for ESPN Insider. In those standings, the Detroit Tigers were still listed as the projected winners of the AL Central, nudging out the Indians by a two game margin with their projected final total of 87 wins....

Indians score twice in eighth to top Tigers

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jason Kipnis had three hits and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Wednesday night. Kipnis singled off the glove of Phil Coke (1-1) with one out and took third on a double into the left-field corner by Asdrubal Cabrera. Travis Hafner then grounded to first baseman Prince Fielder, whose low throw handcuffed...

Tigers fail to fend off Tribe in eighth during loss

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jason Kipnis had three hits and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Wednesday night. Kipnis singled off the glove of Phil Coke (1-1) with one out and took third on a double into the left-field corner by Asdrubal Cabrera. Travis Hafner then grounded to first baseman Prince Fielder, whose low throw handcuffed...

It's Justin vs. Justin in a lunchtime Indians special

The Tribe and Tigers wrap up their early-season showdown today at noon at Progressive Field. I, for one, am loving this preponderance of weekday afternoon games this year. This is something like the seventh "businessman's special" (as they used to be called), and not much is better than passing a few hours of a workday listening to baseball. Unless, of course, it...
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