Im going back down south now

Map.jpgThe title of this post — my first as MLB.com’s beat reporter for the Indians — is a kind of tribute to the scribe I’m replacing here in Cleveland. I love Anthony Castrovince’s creative use of song lyrics on his Castroturf blog and look forward to seeing him continue that style in his new columnist role for MLB.com.

Castrovince is a great reporter and a strong writer and I know — as many Tribe fans have already informed me via e-mail and Twitter — I indeed have some sizeable shoes to fill. For all you “Castronauts” out there, you can at least take comfort in knowing that Anthony is sticking around in Cleveland and his voice won’t be too far away.

Now, however, is the time of the “Bastianauts!”

Too soon?

Many of you might recognize my byline from MLB.com or from Twitter. Since 2005, I have covered the Toronto Blue Jays for our website. It was a great experience working north of the border, but the time has come for my family to get closer to home. I’m not a Cleveland native, but I am a Midwest boy at heart and Ohio just feels right.

I was born in California, but moved before memories of palm trees and beaches could be planted in my brain. Home is originally in the south suburbs of Chicago and my wife and I still have a large portion of family in that area – both on the north and south sides. I graduated from Michigan State University in ’05 and jumped at the chance to follow my dream of writing about baseball when the opportunity came up to cover the Blue Jays.

With a wife, and now a 1-year-old son, I had been looking for a chance to return to the Midwest. When I learned that Anthony was transitioning into a new role with MLB.com, I immediately wanted the chance to assume the Indians beat. Having lived here since the end of this past season, I can already tell that taking my talents to Ohio was a great decision.

You will have to get used to a few changes now that Anthony is no longer on the beat, though.

First of all, there will not be as many Bruce Springsteen references (Sorry, bro). With me, you’ll have to get used to the fact that Pearl Jam is the Greatest Band of All-time. You’re also going to have to put up with me talking about my Spartans from time to time. Go Green! Hey, at least it’s not maize and blue. (We share a mutual hatred in that regard). I’ve already had a few of my new neighbors roll their eyes upon seeing my giant MSU flag hanging in my garage. I’m sure they’ll try to turn my son into an Ohio State fan as he grows up here.

You’ll find that I’m very active on Twitter. You can find me under @MLBastian and follow along. I’ve already received a wave of kind words welcoming me to the Tribe beat and I appreciate it very much. It was great to hear from so many Indians fans right after it was made known that I was taking this job.

And, despite what some people might say, I think this is a great time to be a fan of the Indians. Maybe the wins and losses aren’t there at the moment, and the playoffs might seem far away, but the team is young (youngest in the Majors at the end of the season) and in a position to grow as a group in the next few seasons.

I was in the pressbox in Cleveland in 2007 when the Tribe sat only a few outs away from a World Series berth, so I’ve witnessed first-hand the frustration the city feels. It wants a winner and it’s been a long time. I grew up living and dying with the Cubs, so I know the feeling. It’s tough to say “be patient” when so much time has already flown by.

As a reporter, I think this is a good situation in which to begin my career in Cleveland. With a young cast of players, a relatively new Tribe manager in Manny Acta and a first-year GM in Chris Antonetti, this club is in a transition period and looking to build on the successess it experienced down the stretch in 2010.

Tossing a new Indians reporter into the mix can’t hurt, and I’m definitely happy to be here.

Now, let’s get this thing started…

~JB

26 Comments

Welcome to Cleveland, but rule #1 is to never use the words “taking my talents to” in a Cleveland sports article. ;)

Good morning BrendanI am wkriong as a Supporting Actor with one payslip away from joining Equity. I am starting at the bottom but as soon as I get the card’ I will be looking for small parts to start with. I know with SA its what is asked for but what annoys me is that after joining the Agency, how when I go on an assignment, people have not joined or signed a contract and paid to have photo’s done and yet they get constant work and I have done this thinking I would not get work. Not only is it unfair, but puts me in a position where I feel if I complain, I will be putting myself in a bad position which is why I have not. I have read your book which is great and I noticed that I have already do the some of things you talk about naturally. Thank you for that xx I am not yet an Actor and have only gained the B-Tec National with 16 Distinctions, 8 Merits and one pass. I have not been in a position to take up the work until now some time after my B-tec. I joined a local theatre and was totally ingnored as they are a click’ even after reading for every play, wkriong as a lighting tech, painting sceans etc. I gave it my best and currently looking for another theatre to join. (Brush myself off and start again)! I live outside of London but was about to join an Agency there as well as where I live, but at this time, its the cost. The reason for this is how to get work on other projects like Downtown Abby etc. I know I have probably answered my own questions but it is good to talk. With kindest regardsThe old fossil

I found myself nodding my noggin all the way thhgour.

I have been so bewildered in the past but now it all makes sense!

Well I guess I don’t have to spend the weekend figuring this one out!

Haha. Hey, at least my usage was a positive. I’m waiting to hear from the city to see if they’ll hang a big picture of me sitting in the pressbox on the side of the Landmark Office Tower downtown.

~JB

Welcome!

Never would have thunk I would find this so innelpedsabsi.

How valuable each day of life is no matetr how few of them there are. How to be compassionate to others. To be less judgmental, realizing everyone grieves in a different way and at a different pace.

Unparalleled accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable importance!

It didn’t take long to win me over. This line right here, “With me, you’ll have to get used to the fact that Pearl Jam is the Greatest Band of All-time.” While I respected AC’s love for Bruce, my love for Pearl Jam at least matched his, if not topped it. Anytime he used their lyric for the title, it always made me smile, with the most memorable for me being a line from the song “Bugs” following the infamous playoff game against the Yankees when the midges disrupted the mighty Joba. I look forward to your writing and thoughts in the blogs and articles, and don’t be afraid to throw in any references or thoughts about PJ as well. Best of luck.

Welcome to the heartache that is Cleveland Indians baseball.

Forgive us if we show signs of excitement and rampant speculation gets the better of us as spring training and opening day approach. We will be drawn back to reality as the season wears on. I am nothing, if not consistent.

That sounded a lot more pessimistic then I intended. Hahaha….
I look forward to the blog, and the coming season. I hope you enjoy your new assignment as well!

Welcome aboard! You’ll find that, while there aren’t a lot of us who comment on this blog, we do post often…and at strange hours…and sometimes intoxicated. But we’re mostly friendly and irrationally optimistic, until about mid-season.

Hello and welcome! While I entirely echo losangelesclevelandfan’s statements, I’ll clarify that our irrational optimistism up until mid-season is, in itself, irrationally optimistic. The majority of us are unconciously intoxicated juuust before the first pitch on Opening Day.

Maybe after a year or two of covering the Tribe, you’ll understand why. :)

I always asivde to dress the part. For example if your going for the role of a waiter then dress like a waiter, the role of a banker wear a suit, its all helps you visually when we review tapes. Its works for you and not against you. For period pieces though, I’m not saying you have to go dress in full period costume but perhaps wear your hair in a old fashion or a retro blouse etc. Its better than turning up like its Saturday night in Essex!

The type of physician I would like to work for is a Pediatrician. Pediatrician’s splatceiy is to work with children. I have been working with children for a long time mainly because I work at a daycare facility. I’ve got to a point where I feel like I can handle anything that will come my way with them. It would also leave me feeling good at the end of the day to know that I have helped in some way to make a child feel better.The type of physician I would not care to work for is a Epidemiologist. Epidemiologist’s specialize in epidemics caused by infections agents and also work with sexually transmitted diseases. I feel if I were to work in this type of splatceiy I would be putting my self at risk of exposure to these infectious agents. Also I would be focusing a lot of my time on trying to not get infected instead of having a steady mind on what I was actually supposed to be doing.

I had a rather hard time cihnsoog just one type of physician I would want to work for. So many of them fascinate me, and with me not really going into any medical field other than support, I never gave this any thought in the past. After reading the list, I am more favorable of working for a neonatologist. It is difficult to think about how neonatologist physicians sometimes have the most difficult job in the world, but I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be a part of saving a baby’s life. I had a coworker once whose baby was born at 36 weeks, and her baby had a lot of heart and lung problems. There were concerns about whether or not they would ever fully develop once she had him, but after many months in the NICU, and many scares that happened during it, the doctors were able to save him and he is now a very healthy 5 year old. It is because of that I have a higher interest in the neonatologist field.I hate to say which type of physician I would care less to work for, and it is because I worry that many will take it the wrong way. When I was 16, I used to help my mom at an assisted living home as a caregiver. We would get to work at 7:00 A.M. every morning to prepare breakfast for four of the elderly men and women that we were caring for. We would then make sure that all bedding was changed, rooms were cleaned, meals were prepared, and appointments were handled. We worked 12 hour days, and they were always grueling. The owner of the home made sure that everyone had their medicine and made it to their doctor appointments on time. However, she was more worried about getting paid for her services than actually helping the elderly. She would yell at them if they did something wrong, and even call them terrible names. My mom reported her and we both quit our job, but it has always left a sting in my heart since then. It is because of my experience with that situation that I do not think I could ever work for a gerontologist. I know that the situations would be much different, but ever since my experience with caring for elderly individuals it is very hard for me to think about assisting a physician in geriatrics because I worry that someone else might treat the elderly in the same way the owner of the home did. I am a firm believer that the elderly deserve the ultimate care and comfort when going through any treatment and aging in general, but I do not think I could ever work in that environment again.

In the modern culture, every cent matters when designing and keeping up a month-to-month budget. For a lot of QuotesChimp, there’s small space left for something additional, and budgeting for the assorted kinds of private insurance essential to take care of your household’s fiscal well being may present an important problem. The expense of insurance fees may take a considerable chunk from any household’s budget, making added stress on already limited financings.

Welcome to tribe nation where the silver lining for fans has now become “Hey, at least we’re not the Pirates”. However, I do consider myself one of the more optimistic fans and I do believe Indians have a shot in the weak central next year (albeit a belief that I’ve held on to steadfastly for the past decade). I look forward to your blog and as you have acknowledged you do indeed have big shoes to fill and I wish you the best of luck.

Also, i find your taste in music more agreeable (no offense to Sprinsteen fans). I appreciate Pearl Jam though I’m more of a Soundgarden and Alice in Chains fan.

You’re speaking my language, chiefwahoo.

~JB

Welcome, JB! Good luck filling AC’s shoes, but I’ve always liked your stories with the Jays when I came across them. Just ask some hard questions of the brass and enjoy doing a job that many of us would love.

Before I get into my “welcome to the neighborhood” tangent can I make one suggestion JB. I have 20/10 vision and a 17″ computer monitor but I find myself squinting at the screen to read this font size. It’s just a suggestion, but then again it might just be the Miller High Life coursing through my bloodlines.

As for your arrival there are a plethora of ticks, quirks and idiosyncrasies that we all possess as rabid Cleveland fanatics. LACF mentioned a few of them and I have just inadvertently added another one: those of us that ramble on a daily basis use abbreviations for each other. We will use old stories and references from AC’s blog that will make sense to no more than 6 people. We use inside jokes the originated with the Castronauts. When the season ends and the Tribe is idle in free agency we will undoubtedly come up with off-the-wall ideas to fill the void of the not-so hot stove period. Last year’s #1 idea in December was creating a second baseball league geared towards a salary cap that separated the top spending teams in the league (~15%) from the rest.

Above all else we are loyal, passionate fans forming an eclectic group of people varying from silent readers to daily commenters that enjoy this little game to our core. While your past experiences, the teams you’ve covered, your education, family history and traditions make up the man you are today the only thing we care about now is that you’re part of OUR tribe. Welcome sir and I look forward to reading what your bring to the table.

I was pretty disappointed to hear that the Indians would be losing a great beat writer in Castrovince, but as a current MSU student I am extremely pleased and reassured by the fact that our new beat writer is a Spartan Alum. Go Green!

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