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i’m not quite ready to throw travis on the scrap heap just yet…

because i sense a gnawing impatience with russ branyan on the part of the indians’ management – i think i see charlie manuel’s jaw clench every time russell strikes out. and, mr. magruder’s play is obviously going to keep him in the lineup awhile, so when milton bradley does return, is branyan going to be the one with significantly less playing time? the ohio bureau of tribescribe believes so, although we would also point out that sitting beside eddie murray on the bench taking notes will probably not help russell stop swinging at high, inside fastballs. i don’t claim to have peter gammons-like inside knowledge here, but have we let you down thus far? russell branyan – unless there are serious and immediate injury problems upon bradley’s return – is the odd man out.

back to my meek defense of travis fryman (who must accept his fair share of the blame for the often impotent indians offense), i will offer the following: if the idea is to get to the meat of the schedule and see exactly how competitive – or not – this indians team is, why abandon fryman just now if the natural replacement for him (branyan) is faring no better? travis may not be one hundred percent healthy yet, or perhaps the effects of his injuries are permanent. i would like to take a wait and see approach until the all-star break. veterans – especially older veterans – occasionally require more time to return to their previous level of performance when returning from an injury. however, having written that, it’s time for travis to start producing as the indians really cannot afford the luxury of waiting for their offense to really surge.


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