Tribe's new third baseman eager to get started

Associated Press Published:

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. _ Cleveland Indians newcomer Travis Fryman has to get used to a new environment: winning.

"I've been in a place where wins have been real hard to come by," said Fryman, 28, who spent eight years with the Detroit Tigers. He was traded in the offseason to Arizona and came to Cleveland in the subsequent trade that sent fellow third baseman Matt Williams to the Diamondbacks.

"I know that over here, everyone expects to win every time they step out on the field. They're surprised if they don't win.

"But you have to take it one game at a time. In other words, when the dust clears and all the games have been played, just tell me where we're at. Because of the difficulties we had in Detroit, that's just the way I look at it."

Fryman, who hit .274 last season with 22 homers and 102 RBIs, got a $28 million, five-year contract from the Indians.

All those years with Detroit never stopped his dreams of making the World Series. The Indians have made it to the Series twice _ losing both times _ in three years.

"Nothing short of winning the World Series will satisfy people around here," he said at the Indians' spring training camp. "And that's something that I've certainly thought about, too."

Fryman was aware of Detroit's problems trying to rebuild.

"They had an older roster with no farm system," Fryman said. "In the eight years I was there, I had five general managers. There's no way you can get better with that kind of situation. You just can't get any continuity going.

"They didn't really have a plan like they did here. Now it's different (with GM Randy Smith). But Cleveland has already done what the Tigers are trying to do."

Losing can build character, Fryman said, especially like the Detroit season two years ago with the Tigers lost more than 100 games.

"That was the kind of season that built character in some guys," he said. "It revealed everybody's true character. When it was over, you knew without question who you wanted to go to war with and who you didn't want to go to war with."

Cleveland Manager Mike Hargrove likes Fryman's attitude.

"Fryman doesn't say a lot and he's a very hard worker," Hargrove said. "He is very serious-minded and focused in on winning."

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