Monday, April 30, 2007

A View of Things to Come?

The following story is a fictional rendering of events yet to unfold. Any similar circumstances that should take place in the near future are purely coincidental.
Major League Baseball announced today that the appeal filed by Cleveland Indians Manager Eric Wedge regarding the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, April 28th, was not upheld. The league office gave the following explanation:
“Based on our review of the facts, it has been determined that the home plate umpire was in error when he waved off the run that crossed the plate prior to the third out of the third inning. Further review finds that the Baltimore management team was within their rights to appeal the run to the umpire crew two innings later, that they were not under a time constraint to appeal before the beginning of the next half inning, and that they were within their rights to file a formal protest of the game at any point during the progress of said game. Additionally, the umpires were within their rights to add the run in question on to the scoreboard, despite the fact that it was three innings later in the game.”
The league also reported that they have begun to review prior games where questionable calls or other “arbitrary errors” might have taken place. The following reversal will also affect the Cleveland Indians:
“On Friday, April 6th, during the much publicized snowed-out home opener in Cleveland, a pitch by pitch review of that game found that a member of the Cleveland Indians swung at and made contact with a large baseball sized snow ball instead of an official Major League Baseball. This action caused a run to score and gave an unfair advantage to the Cleveland Indians and altered the sequence of events that followed. Because of this inappropriate rules violation, the game will be forfeited and a score of 5 to 0 in favor of the Seattle Mariners will be lodged. Furthermore, because of this violation, the remaining three other games that could not be played that weekend due to the severe Cleveland weather will also be forfeited and awarded to the Mariners, thus making the scheduling of those make-up games unnecessary. The official scorer will add 4 wins to the Mariners and 4 losses to the Indians immediately.”

Additionally, the outcome of the 1920 World Series will be changed and the championship will be taken from the Cleveland Indians and given to the Brooklyn Robins (who later became the Dodgers). In reviewing pictures on tattered baseball cards and artists’ renderings, it appears that Bill Wambsganss’ foot did not make contact with second base for the second out of the storied World Series triple play in game 5.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Will Platooning Take Us To The Playoffs?

I am not a huge fan of platooning. I would prefer to see the Indians play their 9 best everyday with the exception of a late inning defensive replacement, a lefty-righty pinch hit, or an occasional day off to rest a player. Manager Eric Wedge, however made it very clear early on in spring training that this edition of the Cleveland Indians would be heavily platooned. Let’s examine how Eric’s plan is working;
As of Friday evening, April 27th , the Indians are in the following positions in the American League; ninth in batting average (.247) and last in fielding percentage (.975). The good news is that they reside in first place in the American League Central Division.
Here is how…

Batting Avg.
Minnesota - 5th (.265)
Cleveland - 9th (.247)
Detroit - 9th (.247)
Chicago - 13th (.229)
Kansas City - 11th (.238)

Slugging %
Cleveland - 5th (.411)
Detroit - 8th (.397)
Kansas City - 11th (.388)
Minnesota - 12th (.385)
Chicago - 13th (.381)

On Base %
Cleveland - 3rd (.345)
Chicago - 6th (.326)
Minnesota - 9th (.322)
Detroit - 10th (.316)
Kansas City - 11th (.313)

Fielding %
Minnesota - 2nd (.987)
Chicago - 4th (.985)
Detroit - 5th (.984)
Kansas City - 7th (.983)
Cleveland - 14th (.975)

Detroit - 5th (4.00)
Chicago - 6th (4.03)
Minnesota - 8th (4.05)
Cleveland - 9th (4.30)
Kansas City - 10th (4.48)

The top 4 teams in the division are all within 2 games of first place. The Indians are capitalizing on making the most of their opportunities, on base and slugging percentages. A closer look shows that, although they have the worst fielding percentage in the entire American League, and they are 9th in batting average, the “platooners” are not the problem. The bulk of the errors are owned by regulars Marte (has since been placed on the disabled list), Barfield, and Peralta. These same players, along with Blake, are all batting under the team average of .247.
So, I will become a disciple of manager Eric Wedge and support him in platooning. He will need to continue to work his platooning magic while he waits for his infield core to jell as a fielding team and begin to hit for average.
All in all, it has been a very exciting start to the season. They have been fun to watch and…There’s no place like first!

Friday night, Manager Eric Wedge gets himself "Platooned" by home plate umpire Bill Miller!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


There is no denying A-Rod is on a fabulous hot streak in this young season. We all know what happened late Thursday afternoon vs. Joe Borowski! Anyway, with his hot streak continuing in Boston on Friday evening, the Red Sox did everything they could to try and stop him while winning the game. Good guy and Ex-Tribe outfielder (now with Boston) Coco Crisp took the challenge literally with this "Over-The-Top" attempt at taking one away from A-Rod! Great effort, Coco! Nice game as well; 2 for 4 with a triple, 1 run, and 2 RBIs!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

47 Years Ago Today, “Trader Lane” Broke Our Hearts!

On April 17th, 1960, Frank “Trader” Lane, then general Manager of the Cleveland Indians, traded the ever popular Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn. This was a swap of the 1959 American League home run champ for the 1959 American League batting champ from the previous season. Rocky was a class act on and off of the field, always signing autographs and taking time with his adoring fans. The trade has evoked stories of curses over the next 35 years that were said to be responsible for keeping the Indians out of any playoffs until the 1995 season.
Damn! I’m still pissed about that trade!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and F-Bombs?

Rick Manning, always the gentleman on and off the air, had an unfortunate “moment” during the Indians telecast on Saturday, April 14th. Apparently Rick was unaware that he was on the air when he dropped an “F-Bomb!" When the top brass at SportsTime Ohio reviewed the telecast, they heard the untimely remark and deleted it from the evening replay.
The following statement regarding the remark was released;
“Rick obviously was unaware that his freakin’ microphone was on during this untimely freakin’ remark. Because of this, there will be no freakin’ disciplinary action taken. We will speak with Rick and ask him just what the freak happened and ensure that this will never freakin’ happen again. Of all freakin’ weeks to have this happen, what with Imus and all…Jeeeeesusssss!

In Honor Of Jackie Robinson

60 years ago today

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Frigid Weather Leaves Slider Out In the Cold!

As the Cleveland Indians were forced to take their home stand on the road to Milwaukee this week, it became apparent that their weather problems followed them to Wisconsin. While the Indians were battling the Los Angeles Angels in Miller Park, a foot of snow fell on host city Milwaukee. Because of their winter weather woes, the Indians have decided to switch, rather than fight…or complain. Earlier today, the Cleveland Indians announced that long-time, furry, family-friendly mascot Slider has been given his unconditional release by the team. The Tribe made an offer to Bumble, the abominable snowman who gained his fame performing in the North Pole region since 1964. Yeti, as he has also been know, immediately agreed to terms with the Indians noting that the frequent lake-effect snows that plague the Cleveland area made his decision a no-brainer. “Snow good, me like icy lake, too!” said the bumble. Caught by complete surprise by this move, Slider was visibly shaken. “I don’t know what my next move will be.” Said Slider. “I’m sure I’ll catch on somewhere, there’s always a need for a…hey, are you gonna eat that hot dog?” he added.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

EPA Investigates Tribe!

The Cleveland Indians ground crew received rave reviews for their gallant attempts to clear Jacobs Field from a monstrous snowstorm that dumped over 20” of snow on the playing field throughout the weekend. Creativity was a big part of their game as the ground crew utilized over 50 leaf blowers to move and melt the constant barrage of snow. However, not everyone appreciated their creativity. The use of the leaf blowers attracted the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency. Because these handy gadgets use a mixture of gasoline and oil to propel their motors, the EPA has taken exception to their concentrated usage at the Jake. “It appears that a huge hole in the o-zone has opened up over Jacobs Field due to the overuse of these ecological destructors,” said Dick Everhard of the EPA. He continued, “The hole in the atmosphere will more than likely stay over the baseball field continuing to dump snow and ice in the area from now through November.” This news puts all of the Cleveland Indians home games in jeopardy for the season. But a representative of the Indians brass, who asked to remain nameless, debates and refutes this theory. He said, “We have it from a very good source, our own veteran weatherman Dick Guddard, that this o-zone hole will in fact provide the Indians with very dry and unseasonably warm weather over the Jake for the next 3 years.” Based on this new information, the Tribe is encouraging their fans to wear “beach attire” to this weekend’s home series vs. the Chicago White Sox.
On another note, the Tribe announced today that all fans bringing an aerosol can to the Jake this weekend will be admitted for half price.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Opening Day, 2008

MLB has just announced that it will, in fact, allow the Cleveland Indians to open their season at home in 2008. They have invited via scheduling the Seattle Mariners to again participate and have made the following weather related rule adjustment;
The host Cleveland Indians will be supplied with "orange" baseballs for the opening series. In so doing, this will eliminate any confusion on the part of the Mariners as to which large snowflake to swing at. However, if at any time a Seattle player feels that he cannot see the ball, he is to immediately tell the umpire that he is color-blind.
Asked what he thought of the "rule change," current manager Mike Hargrove barked back, "I won't have to worry about that 'cause I ain't gonna make it past the All-Star break this year!"