May 2nd, 2011 · View Comments
December 3rd, 2010 · View Comments
I’ve been pretty silent on this blog for awhile. (Well, OK, I haven’t posted since April.) I thought it was about time to weigh in on LeBron James, now that the LeBronComing has come and gone. So, here is my thought:
“OK, world. You win. I’m over it. Now please leave us alone.”
I’ve been through the denial. I’ve been through the anger. I’ve been through the grief. I’ve reached acceptance. I’m ready to move on. That doesn’t mean that seeing him win with the Heat won’t be painful – it will. Because you just know they’re going to win, because that’s how it always goes in Cleveland. We don’t win it all and the teams and players we hate who leave us always do.
What I have to admit after all this time processing it is that I’m just as mad at myself for the way I got taken in by James as I am at James for leaving the way he did. I really thought James was different. I thought he meant all that stuff he said about not resting until he won a championship for Cleveland. I thought being from Akron (note: I am from Akron), that he understood what winning a championship would mean for us. I thought he would be the Chosen One to lead us to that promised land. I bought was he was selling. And now I feel like a chump. And I’ve accepted that.
I should have realized when he showed up at an Indians playoff game in a Yankees hat that he didn’t understand what it meant to be a Cleveland fan. I should have realized when he showed up at a Browns-Cowboys game in Cleveland yukking it up on the sidelines with TO that he didn’t understand what it meant to be a Cleveland fan, that he was a front-runner. But I didn’t. And that’s my fault, not LeBron’s. Like Mulder, I wanted to believe. I was taken in. It wasn’t the first time. I hope I won’t get taken in like that again, but because I’m a Cleveland sports fan I will. That’s what happens to us. We get taken in and crushed.
So, add LeBron to the long list of disappointments in my lifetime of being a Cleveland sports fan. I’ll spare you the litany – you know what they are, and the media are more than willing to list them out for us at every opportune moment.
I’ll still follow the Cavs, of course, but not with much enthusiasm, because if this team couldn’t rise to the occasion and at least put up a presentable effort last night with 20,000+ screaming, maniacal fans at their back, they just don’t have any spirit or will. It’s time to blow up the Cavs and rebuild.
And for the rest of you out there who are not from NE Ohio, I have this message: Just leave us alone. You don’t know our pain. Stop telling us to get over it. We’ll get over it in our own time and your incessant calls for us to “get over it already” do nothing but remind us of our continual disappointment and agony of defeat. Nothing you say will make anyone here get over it faster. Stop pouring salt in our wounds. They already hurt enough.
April 20th, 2010 · View Comments
Hey, crimestoppers, it’s been awhile. Frankly, if you’re reading this now, then thanks for stopping in after my months-long hiatus. I thought it would be worthwhile checking in now that the season has started, especially since the Tribe is about to take on faithful reader Dave Draeger’s Twins.
“Everything Old is New Again”
- Russell Branyan is back. No, not Russell Branyan’s back, which is, of course a problem, but he IS back. He was activated yesterday and Michael Brantley was sent down. This Indians’ lineup so far has proven to be in desperate need of some pop from someone other than Shin-Soo Choo. Oh, and speaking of Russell Branyan and Shin-Soo Choo, how about this: Russell Branyan was traded in 2002 for Ben Broussard, who was traded in 2006 for Shin-Soo Choo. And now, Russell is back, too (no, not Russell’s back, which will likely continue to be a problem – c’mon, keep up!).
- Attendance for Opening Day at Municipal Stadium Progressive Field – 42,061 for the home opener. For the next five home games – 54,139 total. Ladies and gentlemen, your 1984 Cleveland Indians! In all seriousness, April weeknight home games are a tough sell even when the team is projected to be good just because of the weather unless the opponent is the FEDBU or FEDBU-Lite, but this is an indication of just what a tough sell this team is this year. It is not uncommon to hear the mouth-breathers who call Bruce Drennan talk about how they’re not going to a game until Dolan opens up his checkbook and spends a gazillion dollars on the team. The economics of baseball and the way the deck is totally stacked against small market teams is totally lost on these people. And, in fact, they are part of the problem, in that Dolan will not have revenue to make the team better and sign the free agents that these people want until they start going to games again.
- The good news – the Indians are 5-1 against the division rival White Sox (yay! Just like the 90s!). The bad news – they’re 1-5 against everyone else, everyone else being the Tigers and Rangers (boo! Just like the 30 years that came before the 90s!). Are the White Sox really that bad? One can hope.
- Andy Marte – still generally riding the pine while Jhonny Peralta’s bat continues to stink up the ballyard with his traditional Ahpril Ahwfulness. Jhonny’s OPS+ for April since 2005 – 97, 65, 110, 92, 52 and so far in 2010, 52. With the exception of 2007, the Magical Year of Unicorns and Rainbows, Jhonny has generally been well below average in April.
- The Tribe is 2-1 in games that Marte has started and 5-2 in games in which he’s appeared. Jhust sayin’, yho. And now that Russell the Muscle is back, Andy’s career as bench-riding dominoes king will continue to thrive.
- The bullpen is, once again, a complete crap shoot. Temporary closer Chris Perez is bipolar, either lights out or lit up. Raffy Perez’ out pitch, his slider, which made him such a big part of the Magical Year of Unicorns and Rainbows, was last seen in 2008. Jamey Wright is pretty much the designated Veteran Mop-Up Guy Providing Leadership in the Bullpen. Tony Sipp is erratic, throwing a 52-footer with one pitch and a devastating heater with his next pitch. Aaron Laffey is the only, true, multi-inning non-mop-up option, and so far Good Jensen Lewis has showed up (but Gopherball Jensen Lewis is always only one pitch away). Veteran closer Kerry Wood? Injured, of course. Duh.
- The starting pitching, expected to be a major weakness for the team, so far has been credible. Indians’ starters David Huff and Mitch Talbot have both pitched complete game victories. The Indian’s starters’ ERA coming into tonight’s game is 3.40, fourth in the American League. The bullpen has pitched only 31 innings through 12 games (second only to the FEDBU’s 30 innings). If the starters can keep going deep into games like this, it will at least minimize the potential damage that will likely continue to be done by the Arson Squad bullpen.
- Didn’t everyone think this team would hit? So far, pretty much it’s been the Shin-Soo Choo Show. Overall, the offense has an OPS+ of 79. How about this line so far?: .219/.313/.343. Yikes. There are no home runs yet from catcher, first base (first base!), center field and left field. Besides Jhonny’s Ahwful Ahpril, Lou Marson, Michael Brantley, Matt LaPorta and Pronk have been off to poor starts. Lou Marson, in particular seems snakebit, having smoked several balls right at somebody, and he has an OPS+ of -25. Hopefully, Brantley will recover by going down to Columbus and smoking the ball.
- And yet, this team is 6-6. I know, small sample size and playing the White Sox and all, but 6-6 is 6-6.
The first Mojo Watch of the Season!
- Shin-Soo Choo - Oh yeah, Shin-Soo is so smokin’ hot that he gets 5 Elvi.
- Lou Marson – Doing his best Michael J. Fox impression, Lou Marson has got No Elvis. He’s looked snakebit both at the plate and behind the plate.
- Jhonny Peralta - Like Lou Marson, Jhonny has got Nho Ehlvis. He’s been a giant pile of suckage in the middle of the lineup and has made a couple critical errors that have cost the team ballgames.
- David Huff, Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona, Mitch Talbot, Justin Masterson - I’m going to give the starting staff 3 Elvi. They’ve generally looked like a major league starting staff so far, which is more than anyone expected at the beginning of the season. Fausto has started to look like he is actually learning to pitch. Huff and Talbot have both surprised with complete game victories, and Jake, after struggling in his first start, has looked a lot more steady since. Masterson still needs to figure out something he can do to pitch to lefties.
- Raffy Perez - Raffy misplaced his Elvis sometime between the 2008 and 2009 seasons and it hasn’t been seen since. Raffy may be the first guy voted off the island when Wood comes off the DL. He may be a promising reclamation project for a team with some more patience, but unless somehow he can find his slider, his MLB days may be dwindling to a precious few.
- Chris Perez - The kid’s got some Elvis in him. You just never know when it’s going to come out.
- Tony Sipp - The kid’s got some Elvis in him. You just never know if it’s going to come out on any given pitch.
- Matt LaPorta - The kid’s playing as if he’s still injured. Looks a little less confident at the plate and not making really good contact – not driving the ball much. He’s got more Elvis than Jhonny and Lou, but not much more. With Russell the Muscle back, he may see more days off, or a return to more familiar territory in left field.
- Pronk - Pronk has showed improved Elvis so far. He looks more confident at the plate, and it appears that he is regaining his batting eye and swinging at fewer really bad pitches. However, other teams are also clearly pitching around him because Jhonny has bheen so ahwful.
Okay, crimestoppers. On to Minnesota. Remember – Pronk still needs you. His mojo is still out there, waiting and wanting to return and only you can help him find it.
September 30th, 2009 · View Comments
Paul Hoynes at the PD is reporting that Eric Wedge will not coach past the end of the season on Sunday.
Eric Wedge has had a couple good runs with the team (2005 and 2007), but consistently underperformed his Pythagorean record, and has turned in several years of terrible starts (2006, 2008, 2009) in years in which the team was expected to contend. Increasingly, Wedge had put incomprehensible lineups out on the field (Ryan Garko in the outfield, anyone?) and has played marginal veterans (Jamey Carroll) or favorite players (Gimenez, Trevor Crowe) over high-potential newbies like Andy Marte.
It is time for a new voice in Cleveland. Much speculation is that John Farrell is the front runner for the job. He has previous experience in the organization as director of the minor league program, has spent the last few years in the winning Boston organization as a successful pitching coach, played for the Indians and even lives in Cleveland in the offseason. It will be interesting to see whether the Indians bring in an old hand to guide what will very likely be a team full of young and inexperienced players, or whether they take a chance on another minor league manager like Wedge.
The dismissal of Wedge will add drama to the situation building with who plays first and third next year. It seems pretty clear that Peralta was not a favorite of Wedge, who publically called him out several times over the years. Marte, too, somehow made it into Wedge’s doghouse and never managed to get out long enough to determine whether with regular playing time he could adjust to major league pitching. Marte can play first or third, but has yet to establish his bat and would be ill-suited to a backup role, as he apparently needs regular playing time to get sharp and stay sharp. LaPorta can play first base and left field; however, the performance of Brantley in his September callup has a large number of folks penciling him in at left field next year. Who’s the odd-man out? Can we get anything of value for Peralta or Marte in the offseason? Stay tuned.
Press conference today at 1:30 p.m.
August 31st, 2009 · View Comments
Well, it’s the final trade deadline of the season (waiver wire version), and once again the Indians are showing some signs of life now that the pressure is off.
The Indians come into an off day today on the heels of a split or a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, having won both of those games on Andy Marte home runs. Yes, I said it – Andy Marte hit two game winning home runs in the last series.
Cleveland’s favorite whipping boy, Andy Marte, is playing well now that he’s playing every day. He has now played the last 11 straight games. In those 11 games, Marte is hitting .375/.386/.675 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI. Yeah, I know it’s a small sample size, but isn’t this the Andy Marte we were promised? And his reward for coming back was, initially, playing 12 of 18 games and regularly sitting on the bench behind Chris Gimenez. You can’t get into a groove playing 2 of 3 and regularly sitting behind Chris Gimenez. In those 12 games, Marte went.175/.283/.200 with 0 home runs. The difference?
“The more I’ve been playing, I feel a lot more comfortable now,” Marte said. “It’s good when you know you’re going to play the next day, no matter what happens. It makes me confident.”
Who might have guessed that there would be a correlation between performance and the knowledge that one will be in the lineup even if one makes mistakes? Who would have suspected that there might be some positive correlation between regular playing time and performance? Even Eric Wedge has noticed that Andy Marte can play baseball:
“He wants it,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s been grinding it out for a while.”
So, because Andy Marte is now putting up results, Eric Wedge has decided that he can give him the ultimate Eric Wedge compliment – he’s a grinder. Is Andy getting results now because he’s grinding (implying that Andy was not grinding in his previous stays in Cleveland [whatever the hell “grinding” is), or is it that now that Andy is getting results it can only be because he’s grinding, since that’s the only way it is possible to get results? I suspect that if Eric Wedge were to really answer that question it would tell us a great deal about whether he should be allowed to continue as Indians manager.
Maybe being sent down to Columbus really made Marte focus. He demolished AAA pitching. Maybe Andy Marte has become a changed player since he was here before. Maybe he’s seeing the ball better? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that what has changed is that he knows that if he goes 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, he’s still going to play tomorrow. The unfortunate thing is that if Andy had received this same assurance beginning in 2006, when he was slaving away in Buffalo and Aaron Boone was stinking up third base, who knows where Andy Marte might be right now. Or in 2007, after he was sent down on rehab and replaced by Casey Blake and exiled to Buffalo yet again. Or in 2008, when he spent the first half of the season starting about a game a week and was regularly lifted for a pinch hitter and asked to bunt with runners in scoring position. Is it any wonder than Marte might have had some confidence issues?
Andy – stay thirsty, my friend. We at PronkNeedsYou! have always believed in you.
August 10th, 2009 · View Comments
Remember the heady days of the beginning of the season when we believed that the bullpen could be a strength of the team and that even if a couple guys in the starting five didn’t pan out we still had Laffey, Sowers and Huff back in Columbus? Those were good times. Good times.
Remember when we thought that Carl Pavano was the biggest question mark on the staff? Those were good times. Good times.
That was before the meltdown of Fausto Carmona, the rookie inconsistency of David Huff, the TJ surgery of Anthony Reyes, the injury to Scott Lewis in his first game, the bullpen stint of Aaron Laffey which landed him on the DL, the general inability of Jeremy Sowers to fool major league hitters once they’d seen his stuff twice, and the trade of Clifton Phifer Lee, all of which combined to make Carl Pavano the post-trading deadline ace of the staff.
Yeah. Carl Pavano. Ace. And now the Carl Pavano, Ace era has come to an end.
And now, as the lost season continues, with the serious incentives in Pavano’s contract kicking in, he’s now a mid-rotation cagey veteran mound presence for the Minnesota Twins. Oh, we’ll get some organization fodder for him, to make it look like Minnesota traded for him, but the Twinkies claimed him on waivers and we can’t afford to pay him.
Pavano will likely be signing a multiyear contract in the offseason that will be too rich for the Tribe, so, see ya Carl. Thanks for showing some large stretches of competence in this hellhole of a season, and being a cagey veteran presence for the kiddie club.
Next Indian changing area codes? Probably Jamey Carroll (aka, “Sweet Baboo” or “Ninja Assassin”)
August 5th, 2009 · View Comments
So, here we are after the trading deadline, and the Indians are not the team they were when they started the season. How much has the roster turned over? The following table compares the roster on opening day with the roster now:
|Starting Pitchers||Cliff Lee||Jeremy Sowers|
|Fausto Carmona||Fausto Carmona|
|Scott Lewis||Aaron Laffey|
|Carl Pavano||Carl Pavano|
|Anthony Reyes||David Huff|
|Bullpen||Kerry Wood||Kerry Wood|
|Rafael Perez||Chris Perez|
|Jensen Lewis||Jensen Lewis|
|Rafael Betancourt||Jess Todd|
|Joe Smith||Joe Smith|
|Zach Jackson||Tony Sipp|
|Masa Kobayashi||Tomo Ohka|
|Infield||Asdrubal Cabrera||Asdrubal Cabrera|
|Jhonny Peralta||Jhonny Peralta|
|Mark DeRosa||Luis Valbuena|
|Jamey Carroll||Jamey Carroll|
|Ryan Garko||Andy Marte|
|Designated Hitter||Travis Hafner||Travis Hafner|
|Outfield||Grady Sizemore||Grady Sizemore|
|Shin-Soo Choo||Shin-Soo Choo|
|Ben Francisco||Chris Gimenez|
|Trevor Crowe||Trevor Crowe|
|Catcher||Victor Martinez||Kelly Shoppach|
|Kelly Shoppach||Wyatt Torregas|
|Disabled List||Jake Westbrook||Jake Westbrook|
|David Dellucci||Scott Lewis|
Now in Columbus due to ineffectiveness
Acquired in trade
Called up from Columbus
Of the active 25-man roster (including two on DL) on Opening Day, 6 players have been traded, 2 have been put on the disabled list (both on the 60-day, and both in the initial five-man starting pitching rotation), 3 are now toiling in Columbus due to ineffectiveness or lack of team need for their services, and two have been released.
Of the current 25-man roster + 3 DL players, 3 players have been acquired in in-season trades, and 9 players have come up from Columbus. Of the 28 players, 12 (42.8%) have joined the team since the season started.
But wait, there’s more. Here is a list of players who have passed through the players entrance at Carnegie and Ontario and who have subsequently cleaned out their lockers for relocation:
- Vinnie Chulk (RP) – started in Columbus, now back in Columbus due to ineffectiveness
- Rich Rundles (RP) – started in Columbus, now back in Columbus due to ineffectiveness
- Matt LaPorta (OF/1B) – started in Columbus, now back in Columbus for no reason I can figure
- Tony Graffanino (IF) – started in Columbus, now back in Columbus because Jamey Carroll is better
- Matt Herges (RP) – started in Columbus, now not with the team due to ineffectiveness
- Luis Vizcaino (RP) – FA acquisition, now not with the team due to ineffectiveness
- Greg Aquino (RP) – started in Columbus, now back in Columbus due to ineffectiveness
- Mike Gosling (RP) – FA acquisition, now DFAd due to ineffectiveness, currently in limbo
- Jose Veras (RP) – trade acquisition, now DFAd due to ineffectiveness, currently in limbo
- Winston Abreu (RP) trade acquisition, now DFAd due to ineffectiveness, currently in limbo
After looking at this list, I don’t think it requires a jump to conclusions mat to guess that the problem with this team this year has been pitching, both starting and relief pitching.
Let’s start with what’s gone wrong for the starting staff. Two of the members of the original starting rotation are on the 60-day DL, with Reyes having undergone Tommy John surger. Jake Westbrook’s return has hit snags. Three current starters were on the Columbus roster to start the season (Laffey, Sowers, and Huff). Not surprisingly, Sowers and Huff have both been ineffective. Sowers generally gets pummeled the third time through the lineup and has not yet figured out how to make adjustments – he may be better suited as a long guy out of the bullpen. Huff, not surprisingly for a rookie, is inconsistent. It is likely that Justin Masterson will be in the rotation as soon as he’s stretched out sufficiently. Carmona was increasingly ineffective as a starter and was sent to Arizona for a complete rebuild and an extended tour of the minor leagues for a few weeks.
And then there’s the Bullpen From Hell. For the first couple months, pretty much everyone that Wedge brought in was getting lit up like a Molotov cocktail. Kerry Wood, who was brought in to settle this bunch down and be a shut-down closer, has been anything but. Due to the ineffectiveness of the starters and middle relievers, Wood’s opportunities to pitch were few and far between, and when he came in, Wood blew several games in demoralizing fashion, most likely due to underuse. The usually reliable Rafael Perez has been horrible. Jensen Lewis looks like he’s lost speed on his fastball – again. Masa Kobayashi – gascan. Betancourt – bouts of ineffectiveness followed by stint on the DL, followed by effectiveness. Zachson – the less said the better. Joe Smith, ROOGY – ineffectiveness followed by DL stint, followed by return to bullpen. He’s been rather meh. So, with all the injuries and ineffectiveness, the Indians kept throwing journeyman relief pitchers on the wall like so much spaghetti to see if any would stick. Vincredible Chulk – seeya. Greg Aquino – thanks but no thanks. Matt Herges – not what you once were. Veras, Abreu, Gosling, Vizcaino – roster filler.
So, by the end of June, the fire sale began in earnest. On June 28, Mark DeRosa was sent as a rent-a-bat to St. Louis for two major league ready power arms (Chris Perez and, later as a PTBNL, Jess Todd). Next to go – Rafael Betancourt on July 23 to Colorado for A-league pitcher Connor Graham. July 27 saw Ryan Garko going back to California to the Giants for A league power arm Scott Barnes. July 29 – Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco shipped out to Philadelphia for 4 of their top 10 prospects, including A league power arm (sensing a trend?) Jason Knapp, AAA pitcher Carlos Carrasco, SS Jason Donald and C Lou Marson. July 31 – so long Victor Martinez, you’re going to the FEDBU-Lite for three pitchers – Justin Masterson (now on the active roster) and A league power arms Nick Hagadone and Brian Price.
So what do I think of the trades? It seems to me that Shapiro is learning from his failure to find arms for the bullpen by accumulating as many of them as possible and hoping that some of them pan out. This team was not likely to be competitive next year as constructed even with Lee and Martinez, and it is better to cash out now, save the money, and see if the kids can play. Attendance, given the suckitude of the team and the state of the economy, would not likely meet the payroll with Lee and Martinez on the team – without all the salaries the Indians have dumped, there’s a possibility Shapiro might be able to find a way to add something to the team in the offseason.
For all you Dolan is cheap people, I want you to remember that this is the same Larry Dolan who signed Pronk to a large contract, who added DeRosa and Wood to the team in the impression that they would help make the team contenders. The Indians have underperformed their $80 million payroll primarily because of the unforeseen collapse of the bullpen. The Indians started the year with some question marks in the starting rotation but lots of depth in Columbus (Huff, Sowers, Laffey) that was presumed to be major league ready. It was difficult to foresee that the pitching would collapse to such an extreme and drag the rest of the team down with it.
That’s all I’ve got. Welcome to Day Care, Cleveland Indians style (from here on out, it’s all about watching the kids). Oh, and welcome back Andy Marte, after tearing up the IL. I just hope Wedge actually plays you enough this time. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
May 17th, 2009 · View Comments
April 30th, 2009 · View Comments
Hey, crimestoppers.Â I figured it was about time for me to come on here and say something about the Tribe, since this is, allegedly, a blog about the Cleveland Indians.
I’ve been thinking that I’d wait until things turned themselves around, and then one week become two, and two weeks became three and here we sit having finished April with the worst record in the division and 3.5 games out of first place pending tonight’s games.
The predominant image I think I’ve taken away from the first 22 games is that so far the season has been like a giant game of whack-a-mole.Â Just when something starts to go right, up pops another problem. Â It seems like it’s something different every night.Â If the starting pitching does well, the bullpen collapses.Â Or the defense boots an easy play.Â Or the other team gets seeing-eye grounders dribbling through every infield hole while we smoke the ball and the other team makes a ridiculous catch.Â Or the Indians get shut down by the likes of Brian Bannister.Â And it seems like we’ve had more than our fair share of crappy home plate umpires intent on screwing us at every turn (C. B. Bucknor and Phil Cuzzi, I’m looking at you.)
The good news is that it’s not too late for this team to get back into the race, since they’re only 3.5 games back.Â The Indians have not had much luck on the baseball field so far, but they are lucky that another team in the division has not raced off to a hot start and buried them.
I thought that the Indians would just need one big win and then maybe everything would fall together for them and they’d rattle off a few in a row and claw their way back into this thing.Â The 22-4 clubbing of the FEDBU seemed likeÂ it would be that win, but then they gave the next game away and then promptly went home and lost 5 of 9 at home.Â I though that the game that Boston handed them Tuesday night might be that game, but then last night they pissed away a chance to blow the game wide open and the Indians returned the favor by giving Boston last night’s game.
This team needs some Elvis.Â Right now, it’s got none.Â Victor is clubbing the ball, and still the team’s got No Elvis.Â The Beaded One is playing like an All-Star, and yet this team has got No Elvis.Â Pronk even showed up for awhile in place of his evil twin Travis Hafner, and still this team has got No Elvis.Â And now Hafner is on the DL with soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder.Â Yikes.Â Cliff Lee is pitching like a Cy Young winner in his last few starts and he’s 1-3 because the team’s got No Elvis.Â This team is playing like baseball is no fun, and they’re just waiting for the next bad thing to happen.Â They’re getting pwned by stiffs like Brian Bannister.Â They got no Elvis.Â Sizemore and Peralta both look like they’ve got no Elvis, though it looks like DeRosa’s Elvis is coming around.
So, how can they get some Elvis?Â It looks like Tony Sipp’s got some Elvis.Â Matt LaPorta – he looks like he’s got some Elvis, but I don’t think we’ll see him until he’s served his apprenticeship in Columbus.Â Dellucci is tearing up AAA in his rehab – maybe he’s got some Elvis left.Â Help us, Obi-Wan Dellucci, you’re our only hope.Â Damn, this is sad.
This team has not yet learned The First Rule of Holes – when you’re in one, stop digging.Â May has to be better.Â Doesn’t it?Â Doesn’t it?Â Please, baseball gods, say yes.Â You guys owe us big time for what you’ve done to us this crappy month.Â And the last 60+ years, for that matter.
April 7th, 2009 · View Comments
Kevin Millwood looked in mid-season form and Cliff Lee looked like 2007 Cliff Lee instead of 2008 Cliff Lee as the Indians were blown out 9-1 by the Texas Rangers.
Cliff Lee was struck in the left arm by a batted ball in the second inning and struggled the rest of his stint, giving up 7 runs in 5 innings and generally leaving the ball up.Â He was not helped by the alleged strike zone of home plate umpire Jerry Crawford, which appeared much more generous for Millwood than for Indians’ pitchers.
In the good news, Masa Kobayashi came in and didn’t suck.Â Travis Hafner got a hit and scored the Tribe’s only run, demonstrating some speed, going from first to third on a single to right and then scoring on a wild pitch.Â That’s it for the good news.
Jamey Carroll broke a bone in his hand when he was hit by a pitch in the last exhibition game, so he’s on the DL to start the season and Tony Graffanino becomes the uber-utility infielder to start the season.
Step away from the ledges, crimestoppers, it’s just one game.Â Remember how excited we all felt after the Indians came back to beat the White Sox in the first game last year?Â And then we were pretty much out of it by mid-June?Â It’s a marathon, not a sprint.