Saturday, June 30, 2007
Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez is going to his first All-Star game. Gonzalez received a phone call Friday from St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, asking whether he was available as coach for the National League next month.
Asking whether he was available?!
The following is an excerpt from the 1989 movie, Major League:
[The Indians General Manager calls minor league coach Lou Brown at Tire World to offer him a position with the Indians]
Charlie Donovan: "How would you like to manage the Indians this year?"
Lou Brown: "Gee, I don't know..."
Charlie Donovan: "What do you mean, you don't know? This is your chance to manage in the big leagues."
Lou Brown: "Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls."
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Indians manager Eric Wedge has been quoted as saying he would never let a player reach a streak as long as Tejada’s. “That shouldn’t be a focal point for a player,” said Wedge. “Players should concentrate on going out there every day and playing the best they can.”
Say you what did?! Hear I didn’t that tell right me!
You’ve got a superstar player that refuses to sit down. This guy plays his guts out every pitch of every game and constantly produces. If anyone concentrates on going out there every day and playing the best he can, it’s Grady Sizemore!
Is it just sheer stubbornness on the part of Eric Wedge that is frustrating his players as well as the fans?
If Grady Sizemore keeps a consecutive game streak in tact, it is a product of his dedication to the game and his desire to play. To sit him down because he has a streak going is poor management and misguided judgment.
Stop holding back your best players. Play your top players. Let these guys loose and your team may start running away with the division!
On the flip side…
Wedge has developed a strong talent for late game offensive substitutions. Tonight, in using practically the entire bench in the game vs. the Oakland A’s, He utilized Mike Rouse and Ben Francisco as pinch runners and then pinch hits backup catcher Kelly Shoppach with two outs and two on with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth…Home Run! That move puts the Indians back into a first place tie with the Tigers!
Come on, Eric…Start your best every night. If you do, you may not need all of the last of the ninth heroics but know they are there if you need them!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
It's time to worry.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The Tigers are playing the Washington Nationals who they “ripped a new one” the night before.
So, your #2 spot hitter’s streak comes to an end at 26 games, what do you do?
(Keep in mind he is also your most reliable infielder)
Do you play him in a critical game as Detroit will no doubt win over the Nationals and tie you for first place if you lose to the powerful Phillies?
Or, do you rest him and put in weak hitting utility infielder Mike Rouse with a .122 batting average because he is a lefty and will face right-handed pitching?
Hindsight is 20-20 but some of this is just so predictable.
Hindsight – Rouse opens the scoring door with an error in the 1st inning and a poor play later on.
Predictable – With a .122 batting average, does it matter if he bats lefty, righty, or at all? (Yes, he did go 1 for 3, even a blind squirrel yadda, yadda, yadda…)
Predictable – Casey Blake hits righties and lefties.
Predictable – Everybody gets a day off on Thursday.
Hindsight – Jason Stanford has a poor performance in a second start.
Predictable – Aaron Fultz fails in relief.
A better question is, how bad does this organization want to win?
The outcome of a division title is determined by one team winning more games than the rest of the teams within that division.
The outcome of a game of baseball is determined by one team outscoring another.
You win games by paying attention to each and every detail, looking for any and all advantage. Those situations and opportunities arise and change with each and every pitch count, swing (or no swing) of the bat, play or misplay, etc.
The last thing Casey Blake needs is a day off. He thrives on everyday play. Instead, Wedge loads up the lineup with lefty hitters and sits one of his hottest bats.
Predictable - Blake is hitting .274 off lefties and .280 off righties.
News Flash – Blake hits righties better than he does lefties!!!!!
Hindsight – David Dellucci goes down with a leg injury running out a grounder and there are no more lefties on the bench anyway.
Wedgy, what happened to your motto from the beginning of the season, “Win, one game at a time.”
It appears to have changed to, “Survive, one season at a time!”
This team is capable of winning the division but they can’t do it unless their manager adapts a “never give an inch” attitude.
Spring training is over…play to win…NOW!
Monday, June 18, 2007
They’re armed and dangerous. Hide the women and children…better yet, buy them tickets ‘cause they should had ought to see what’s gonna happen.
They’re stingy, firing the fewest walks in the league.
They’re 3rd in wins, 4th in saves, and 3rd last in losses.
They’re 7th in ERA, but they have a potent offense behind them that outscores all comers.
They’re led by C.C. “The Kid” Sabathia with 9 wins and 2 losses.
They’re kept honest by Fausto “The Rattlesnake” Carmona with 8 wins and 2 losses.
They’re kept outta trouble by Paul “Cherokee” Byrd who is the veteran member of the gang with only 4 base on balls all season and a winning ‘tude.
They’re backs are covered by Cliff “Lefty” Lee, wounded in action but back in the heat of things.
They’re righted by Rafael “Dead-Eye” Betancourt with a 1.17 ERA.
They’re rescued by Injun-Joe Borowski with 20 saves, second in the league.
They’re the Young Guns of the Cleveland Indians and they’re comin’ to town.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The following story from Fox Sports on MSN can be accessed at the link provided below:
Seattle star Ichiro is going to be a free agent at the end of the 2007 season. But it's reasonable to guess that he won't end up a Cleveland Indian next year. According to a report in the Seattle Times, the Mariners outfielder said he would punch himself in the face if he ever caught himself saying he would enjoy a trip to the city once derisively referred to as "the mistake by the lake." Seattle had to make a side trip to Cleveland for a make-up game on Monday, where the Mariners blew a seven-run lead before winning, 8-7. "To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to," Ichiro proclaimed, through an interpreter. "If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying." Monday's game was a makeup for an April matchup that was part of an entire series with the Indians wiped out due to snow. The Mariners were originally scheduled to have Monday off before what was originally scheduled as a six-game road trip beginning in Chicago on Tuesday night.
But wait, let's not fall in love with another Wayne Garland...or Keith Hernandez...or Hawk Harrelson! Let's take a look at what "Itchy" has left to offer:
- "Itchy" will be 34 years old in October.
- When he loses a few more steps in the field, he would not have the physical attributes to become a designated hitter.
- Cleveland teams thrive on "Team Players" like Casey Blake, Victor Martinez, Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Trot Nixon, and the likes.
- The Indians' minor league system has some extremely talented outfielders with big sticks on the verge of going to the "Show" right now.
- When speedy Josh Barfield becomes more comfortable with American League pitching, he will be a great candidate for the lead-off spot in the line-up, putting the left-handed bat of Grady Sizemore in the second spot, batting behind the runner.
So, "Itchy," your point has been made and well taken. Thanks for the sobering comments on your future anywhere but Cleveland. You more than likely saved the town from yet another "Mistake on the Lake!"
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
- On June 10th, 1959, Cleveland Indians slugging outfielder Rocky Colavito hit four consecutive home runs against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore Municipal Stadium. He was the sixth player in baseball history to accomplish this feat at that time. The “Rock” propelled the Indians to an 11-8 victory that evening (drawing a base on balls his first time up). Rocky, who led the American League in home runs that year with 42 blasts, was a fan favorite on a team that was embroiled in a blistering battle for the pennant with the Chicago White Sox until the final week of the season. The daily newspapers glamorized the popular slugger and he always accommodated his fans by staying after games to sign autographs. During the season, there were many homemade signs to cheer on Rocky draped throughout the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. One of the most memorable was “Rocco Socko!”
On a personal note, I was fortunate to see and speak with Rocky at almost every Indians home game in 1959. A pastor at our neighborhood church befriended Rocky in 1958. In turn, Rocky left the priest 4 tickets to all of the home games for the 1959 season. The priest, my father, another parishioner, and I made it to almost all of the home games that season. We would begin each home game with dinner at a downtown Cleveland restaurant that provided a free cab to and from the game for dinner patrons. The smart entrepreneur knew his patrons returning from the game to his parking lot would come back into the restaurant for drinks. Each night there was a home game, we would always have dinner and, after getting to know the waiters over time, they would make up stories about Rocky being traded or injured earlier in the day to see how a nine-year-old diehard Rocky fan would react. Then, they would ask me what I thought the score would be that evening. Chances are if they were betting on the Indians, they made some cash because the Tribe won many more than they lost that year and I wasn't about to predict anything but a win. We would get into a cab and ride the short distance to the stadium. Each night, the excitement of going to the games was almost too much to contain as the familiar sites along the way let me know just how close we were. Entering the old stadium, your senses were bombarded as you walked out of the dark entrance tunnel to see the beautiful green grass, the bright evening sun shining blindingly over the left field stands, the smells of hot dogs, mustard, popcorn, an occasional waif of Lake Erie blowing in over the bleachers, and the sights of the ballplayers finishing up their pre-game warm-ups.
As we took our seats in section 26, across from the Indians dugout, a familiar figure would stand up on the top step and look our way to see if we were in our seats. Across the field would walk the tall slugger wearing the familiar number 6 on his uniform. He would wave to the cheers of the fans as he crossed the field. When he got to the stands, a security guard would open the gate for him and he would leave the field and walk up to our row. Rocky would respectfully kneel in front of the priest who would give him a blessing. As Rocky rose making the sign of the cross, the old priest took that opportunity to give batting tips and ask for a home run. Sometimes the priest would say, “Rocky, keep your back elbow up. Will you hit one for me tonight?” Rocky always smiled and nodded in agreement. He would shake hands with my father and the other man, have a brief conversation with them, and begin to walk away. Then, knowing my opportunity to talk with Rocky was escaping, I would finally speak up and say, Hey Rocky, did you forget me?” He would turn around with that familiar smile on his face and as he was pulling a ball out of his back pocket to autograph for me, we would discuss my little league batting average. I felt like the luckiest kid in the world because this bigger than life hero of mine asked how I was batting, handed me an autographed ball, and shook my hand. As he walked away, I would always blurt out something like, “I know you guys are gonna win tonight!” and they usually did. He would continue to walk away, give a hand wave, and slowly become part of the show again. I had a closet full of those autographed balls!
- On June 10th, 1966, Sonny Siebert pitched a 2-0 no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians vs. the Washington Senators.
Another personal note:
I took my final exams for the year that day as a junior in high school. Hitch hiking home that afternoon, my buddy and I discussed the junior prom that we were going to that night. He wanted to blow off the dance and go to the Indians’ game. I felt that there would be other games and that it was important to go to the dance because we committed to it with our current girlfriends. The ride from the dance to the restaurant was pretty painful as we listened to the final outs of the no-hitter! Oh, and please don’t ask if either one of us got to first base.
So, what wonderment and amazement will June 10th, 2007 present for the current Cleveland Indians and their self-appointed #1 fan?
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Here is hoping that a game like this is not remembered as, “If only we just could have won one more game, like the one against the Royals at the Jake in early June, we might have won the division.”
You have to beat the bums and split with the good teams as Lou Boudreau designed and laid out back in ’48. In that case, Thursday afternoon’s get-away game vs. the Royals is a must win!
We face lefty Odalis Perez with his 5.74 ERA Thursday at High Noon vs. Fausto Carmona. Wedgie, gun down Perez with your hot hitting righties (they'll be there again) and let’s start pulling away from the rest of the division!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I must admit that when I saw Gutierrez in the line-up tonight, I scoffed. Although one game does not make a season, Franklin Gutierrez can play this game and good for us that he came to play tonight. My hat is off to him and the skipper, Eric Wedge.
Wedgie, you got this one perfect without sitting a hot or streaking hitter. Tonight, you da man!