Brian Matusz to make 2011 debut Wednesday vs. Mariners

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From Baltimore Sun beat writer Jeff Zrebiec comes word that left-handed starter Brian Matusz has joined up with the Orioles and is likely to be activated for his 2011 regular season debut on Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners.

Matusz allowed just one run over five-plus innings Friday in his final rehab start at Triple-A Norfolk. He made three rehab appearances in all, posting a sparkling 1.20 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 10/4 K/BB ratio across 15 total minor league frames.

The 24-year-old southpaw has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with a badly strained left intercostal muscle.

“It’s been a long tough road,” Matusz said Saturday while unpacking his things. “The DL hasn’t been fun. If everything feels good, and it should feel good, I’m lined up to pitch Wednesday. That’s the plan. I’m really excited. Right now I’m still focusing on getting ready for Wednesday. I feel good today. I don’t feel as sore this time around as I did after the start in Bowie. There are a lot of emotions going on right now. It was a long trip cross-country. I’m just happy to be here in the clubhouse. I’m excited to get back in my old routine.”

Matusz registered a 7-3 record, a 3.63 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over his final 14 starts of the 2010 season. He should be able to throw around 100 pitches in his debut Wednesday against light-hitting Seattle.

Imagine the Cleveland baseball club in green

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Everyone talks about getting rid of Chief Wahoo but nobody does anything about it.

Well, that’s not totally true. As we’ve noted, Major League Baseball and the Indians are slowly doing something about it. But the thing they’re doing — a slow phase-out of Wahoo, hopefully in a manner no one really notices — is likely going to anger just as many as it pleases. Such is the nature of a compromise. Such is the nature of trying to do the right thing but being afraid to state the reason why they’re doing it.

A bold move would be a lot more interesting. Not just getting rid of the logo, but totally rebranding the Indians in a cool and exciting way that would inspire people to buy in to the new team identity as opposed to merely lament or accept the abandonment of the old one. To that end, a man named Nick Kendall came up with a super fun and super great-looking redesign and rebranding of the Indians over the weekend.

Kendall, who is not really a big baseball fan but who has spent a lot of time thinking about uniforms and design, went back to 1871 and Cleveland’s first professional baseball team, the Forest Citys (yes, that’s how it was spelled). He took their logo — an interlocked F and C — and built an entire set of uniforms out of it and some aesthetic choices of his own. The new color scheme is a dark green and white. He even includes two alternate, solid-jersey designs. All of it is done in a great looking mockup. Really, go check it out and tell me that’s not cool.

I like it for a couple of reasons. Mostly because the uniforms just look fantastic. I love the design and would love to see a team with that kind of look in the game. We have too many reds and blues. Green is woefully underused in Major League Baseball and it’d be good to see some more green around.

Also, as Kendall notes, and as soccer shows us, the “[city] [mascot]” name construction isn’t the only way to approach team names, and so the name — Forest Citys, or some derivation of it — would be unique in baseball. Maybe it’s be “The Cleveland Forest Citys/Cities.”  Maybe “Forest City B.C.” would be a way to go? Maybe, as so often happened with baseball teams in the past — the Indians included — the nickname could develop over time. It’s certainly preferable to the option a lot of people point to — The Cleveland Spiders — which (a) evokes the worst baseball team in history’ and (b) sounds like something a 1990s NBA marketing team would come up with.

If the Indians are going to get rid of Chief Wahoo — and they are — why not do something fun and new and exciting?