Friday, March 16, 2007

Indians sign Grant Hill to fix injured bullpen

Spring Training '07 Preview: Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians, rattled by the retirement of banged-up Keith Foulke and the uncertainty surrounding Joe Borowski, decided to solidify their bullpen by signing former NBA star Grant Hill to a 4 year, $28 million contract. Reactions from the Indians' franchise has been nothing but optimistic, from the dugout all the way to the front office.

"He's such a likeable guy," said Indians GM Mark Shapiro, "everyone's always pulling for him. If he can stay healthy, he'll fit in great, he's a real character addition to our bullpen."

Hill failed every facet of the Indians' team physical with flying colors, and the Indians offered him the contract the next day, a class move which Hill described as "very, very surprising."

"I thought it was a joke," Hill recalls, "I'm thirty-four, I've never thrown a baseball, I'm still in the NBA, and so on. I guess they have a bunch of injured guys in their bullpen, though, and they kept telling me I'd be the 'perfect fit.' I was flattered. Surprised, not completely sure what they meant, but yeah, mostly flattered."

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that the Indians may still be looking to add another player to the bullpen mix in case Hill gets injured; among the leading candidates to be signed are former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, former Detroit Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov, Barbaro, and Hilary Swank's character from "Million Dollar Baby."

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