Friday, August 31, 2007

Indian Summer!


The Tribe is on Fire! They have won their season best 7 in a row, 8 out of 10, 12 out of 15, and lead the Central Division by 5.5 games!
The attendance tonight at the Jake was 38,225 faithful and they were treated to a fabulous pitchers duel that turned into 5 runs for the White Sox and then 8 unaswered runs by the Tribe!

Once again, Kenny Lofton came to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. What did he do? He walked again for the second consecutive night in the same situation! This time, he tied the game and then scored on Casey Blake's game-winning, 3 run double! (The 2-out rally was kept alive when Ryan Garko received a little help when his sure-out-grounder-to-short hit the lip of the infield grass and jumped into left field for a single!)

Baseball Fever is alive and well once again in Cleveland, Ohio.

The 38,000+ fans went home happy and were also treated to a fabulous fireworks display after the game! Ninth Street was rockin'!

The only tense moment
was when umpire John
Hirschbeck went down
with a foul tip off of the
upper right leg above the
shin protector.
John shook off the injury
only to suffer another foul
ball to the right shoulder an
inning later.
He will be sore but back on
the field again tomorrow

Fausto Carmona was again denied win #15 as he was embroiled in a tense pitcher's duel with Mark Buehrle. The Sox scored 5 runs and knocked Fausto out of the game but his teammates returned the favor with 8 runs and a hard fought team victory! Sterling plays in the field by both teams robbed many a batter of hits and extra bases. This was truly an enjoyable game as the Tribe never quit attitude enabled them to score often with two outs!

Don't look now, but Indian Summer is upon us...soak it up!

Where's Waldo, The Indians' Fan?!

A few of the faithful in attendance at the Jake last night.

"In case you haven't noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven't, the Indians have managed to win a few ball games, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar." Bob Uecker as broadcaster "Harry Doyle" in the movie "Major League."
Where are the fans?
Granted, last night's game vs. the Mariners was a make-up from a snowed-out date of April 9th but still, where are the fans? The Tribe is four and a half games ahead of Detroit in the American League Central and only 25,000+ fans came through the turnstiles! This is a town that filled up and sold out Jacob's Field 455 consecutive times for a major league record in attendance.
So, where are the fans?

Former Indians and Mariners manager Mike Hargrove was in attendance last night!

Is it the sputtered offense over the past two months that has the fans skeptical of their first place team? The broadcasters in the Cleveland area believe that may be the case as they felt that the fans were too critical of their team during their scoring drought. Now that the Tribe is 4.5 games ahead and owners of a 6 game win streak, those broadcasters are just falling short of telling the fans, "I told you so!" It was great to see STO broadcasters Rick Manning and Matt Underwood get "Pied" last night along with Jason Michaels!

Tribe manager Eric Wedge became a spectator last night after vehemently questioning a no-call on a balk! Yeah!

The fact is that nothing was being done for about 45 days to snap the Tribe out of their funk until about a week ago when manager Eric Wedge shook up the line-up and the team. Look for this town to regain confidence and flock to the Jake this weekend as the Tribe hosts the White Sox. The nerve-wracking, come-from-behind, one-run victories are back! Will they stay?

You bet! This team just got hot at the right time and that heat wave should carry them right into the playoffs so, hang on for a wild ride!
Kenny Lofton is mobbed by his teammates after his bases-loaded, two-out, walk-off walk to win the game last night!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why Is Cleveland So Unique?

Cleveland is not only unique, the town prides itself on being different. We have a river that caught on fire, a mayor who caught himself on fire, and a mayor's wife who turned down an invitation to the White House from First Lady Pat Nixon because it was her bowling night.

We have the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame.

We have been nicknamed "The Best Location In The Nation."

We have a diverse culture with many nationalities and races coming together...visit the West Side Market to see it first hand.

This town has gone into default and come roaring back.

Our Lake Erie was almost pronounced "dead" and it was resuscitated back to become the Walleye Capital of the World!"

Art Modell broke our hearts and took our Browns to Baltimore but we kept the name and reincarnated the team.

We almost lost our Cleveland Indians only to breathe new life into them with the construction of Jacob's field.

Our Cavs will no doubt return to the NBA finals in '08.

The Cleveland Indians not only represent a great come back city with many wonderful people and traditions, they also represent a town of fabulous firsts and prominent personalities!

Cleveland Firsts:
1862- Free home delivery of mail and first mailman's uniform - Joseph Briggs
1879- Electric Streetlight and electric streetcar - Charles F. Brush
1890- Indoor shopping center (The Arcade)
1891- LifeSavers candy is created by chocolate maker Clarence Crane
1898 -"Scientific America" carried the first magazine automobile ad. The Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH, invited readers to "dispense with a horse".
1916- Gas mask - Garret A. Morgan
1921 -Automatic windshield wiper - Fred & William H. Folberth
1923- Traffic signal – Garret A. Morgan
1933 -Superman - Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
1947- First African-American baseball player in the American League - Larry Doby, Cleveland Indians
1952- First Rock n’ Roll concert is held in Cleveland on 3/21/1952, the Moondog Coronation Ball.
1967- African-American mayor of a major city (Carl Stokes)
1970- The first NFL "Monday Night Football" game was played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium with the Cleveland Browns defeating the New York Jets, 31-20
1975 -First African-American manager in Major League Baseball – Frank Robinson, Cleveland Indians
1993- Cleveland named All-American City for fifth time. Prior awards in 1949, 1982, 1984, 1986.

Favorite Sons & Daughter, those who were born and/or lived and prospered in Cleveland:
Halle Berry - (born August 15, 1968) - Actress/Producer
Drew Carey - (born May 23, 1958) - Creator/Producer
Ben Curtis - 2003 PGA British Open Champion
Dorothy Dandridge - (born November 9, 1922) - Actress - First African American woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress
Phil Donahue - (born December 21, 1935) - Talk show host and winner of 19 Daytime Emmys
Alan Freed - (born December 15, 1922) - D.J. who coined the phrase "Rock n' Roll" and created the very first Rock n' Roll concert
Arsenio Hall - (born February 12, 1955) - Comedian/Actor - The first African American host of a national televised late night talk show
Bob Hope - (born May 29, 1903) - Actor/Comedian - Winner of 5 Special and Honorary Oscars
Sammy Kaye - (born March 13, 1910) - Band leader - Kaye had more than 100 hit records from 1937-1953 and helped a generation get through World War II
Don King - Boxing promoter
Henry Mancini - (born April 16, 1924) - Composer of "Moon River," "The Pink Panther" and many more memorable melodies. Winner of 20 Grammys and four Oscars
Toni Morrison - (born February 18, 1931) - Winner of 1993 Nobel Prize for literature
Paul Newman - (born January 26, 1925) - Actor, director, race car driver and Oscar Winner for Best Actor in "The Color of Money"
The O'Jays (Eddie Levert & Walter Williams) - Popular R&B group
Jerry Siegel - (born October 17, 1914) & Joe Shuster (born July 10, 1914) - Creators of Superman
Molly Shannon - (born September 15, 1965) - Actress and cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live
Joe Walsh - (born November 20, 1947) - Singer, songwriter, guitarist and member of the "James Gang" and the "Eagles"
Ray Anthony - Musician
Jim Backus - Actor
Jim Brown - Football Player/Actor
Traci Chapman - Singer/Songwriter
Tim Conway - Comedian Actor
Wes Craven - Film Director
Ruby Dee - Actress
Mike Douglas - Talk Show Host/Actor
Joseph Eaton - Founder Eaton Corp
Bob Feller - Baseball Player/Hall of Fame
Dorothy Fuldheim - Reporter/Newscaster
James A Garfield - 20th US President
Lillian Gish - Actress
Joel Grey - Dancer/Actor
Margaret Hamilton - Actress
Steve Harvey - Comedian & Actor
Patricia Heaton - Actress
John Heisman - Heisman Trophy
Anne Heche - Actress
Langston Hughes - Poet
Ross Hunter - Movie Producer
Burgess Meredith - Actor
Jesse Owens - Olympic Track Star
Monica Potter - Actress
John D. Rockefeller - Standard Oil Founder
Henry Sherwin - Founder Sherwin Williams Paints
Don Shula - Football Coach
Tris Speaker - Baseball Player/Hall Of Fame
George Steinbrenner III - Owner NY Yankees
Carl Stokes - First African American Mayor
Vernon Souffer - Founder Stouffer Foods
Archibald Willard - Artist, Painted Spirit of '76
Tom Wilson - Artist, Ziggy/Calvin & Hobbes
Debra Winger - Actress
Cy Young - Baseball Player/Hall of Fame

Lights, Camera, Action!
Did you know that Greater Cleveland is a location for major motion pictures?
Numerous movies have been filmed in Cleveland, including The Deer Hunter, A Christmas Story, Light of Day, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Major League, Shawshank Redemption, Men In Black, Air Force One, Proximity, Welcome to Collinwood, and Spiderman 3.

So here is hoping we can hang another star above this great city…

Come on Tribe, this is our year!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strange, But True...

Just when you thought every strange and unusual set of circumstances has taken place and in some way, positively or negatively affected this Cleveland Indians' baseball season, another freaky occurrence takes place. From snowing out our opening weekend, moving home games to other cities, to taking a run off of the scoreboard, this team has had to fight back natural and unnatural happenstances.
But you know, these occurrences are not limited to just the 2007 season. Let's take a look back, say 75 years ago today to August 28th, 1932. There was a much anticipated total solar eclipse of the sun due to commence on August 31, 1932. From eager anticipation and excitement to extreme fear and terror, this eclipse held the attention of most of the world.

Actual photo of the August 31, 1932 eclipse.

Actual sales ad for "Special Eye Protection" from the eclipse of August 31, 1932. This was an advertisement for the New England area that would be most affected by the solar eclipse.

Map charting the actual path and times of the solar eclipse of August 31, 1932.

So, what does this have to do with the Cleveland Indians? Well, on August 28th, 1932, the Boston Red Sox moved their game at Fenway Park with the Cleveland Indians from August 31st to the 28th, causing a double header and relieving their fans and the teams of any ill effects of the eclipse. The Red Sox and Indians split the double header. On the 31st, as predicted, the skies above Fenway Park darkened for over 20 minutes.

Strange but true!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

It's About Time!!!!
Tonight, Eric Wedge finally shook up the slumbering Cleveland offense. Wedge rattled his team with a major change to his line-up. The results? 17 hits and a score of Cleveland 9, Kansas City 4! The Tribe is rolling!
One game does not end the drought but it is a huge step in the right direction as the Yankees beat the Tigers to help put the Tribe back to 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Central division!

The shake-up had the following results:

  • Sizemore moved back into the lead off spot and went 2 for 5 with a home run
  • Cabrera moved up to the #2 spot and went 2 for 5
  • Hafner moved up to the #3 spot and went 1 for 3 with 2 walks
  • Martinez moved into the #4 spot and went 3 for 5 with a home run and a double
  • Lofton moved down to the #7 spot and went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles
  • Gutierrez moved down to the #8 spot and went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk
  • Blake moved down to the #9 spot and went 2 for 4
The only Indian without a hit was the team leader in batting, Ryan Garko.
Is it a one game wonder or is this the jolt the Tribe needed to get back on track?
Is it enough to keep these guys back hitting?
I am just so pleased SOMETHING was done!
We have a tremendous opportunity again on Sunday to increase our lead over the Tigers. A championship team beats the bums. At this point in the season, each game is critical. Focus on the Royals, support Fausto, and at least maintain the 2.5 game lead in the division. Additional fortunes may shine with a Yankees victory over the Tigers!

Tribe Telecast Can't Score Either!

The collection of commercials that are telecast during an Indians’ game on STO are enough to make you turn off the sound on the TV and listen to the play-by-play on the radio. If you watch the games on STO, then the commercials listed below will ring familiar to you because they are repeated over and over and over again throughout the broadcast.
Here they are, my top 13 annoying commercials with one additional “Oldie” with dishonorable mention:

1. Conrad’s Tires – 4 tires in under 30 minutes and they whisper “Conrads!”
I think I hate this one the most because I had one of my worst-ever customer service experiences with them! They screwed up my car so bad, I had to take it to a dealership to get it fixed right. They couldn’t give me 4 tires in 30 days! Furthermore, when I wanted to complain to Bob Conrad, you know, the guy in the commercial with the blue Conrad’s shirt, they told me there was no Bob Conrad! This company truly sucks!
2 and 3. Alltel – They have the 2 most annoying ads;
“Fluffy” – Lady questions Chad about changing wireless plans
“Meltdown” – 4 losers want Chad to take them out of his circle
If they were the only cell phone provider, I would do without!

4, 5, and 6. Continental Airlines – 3 very annoying ads;
“Bye Bye!” – Throwing things off the plane, including stewardess Julie
“Taking Things Away” – Removing blankets, pillows, etc. from flyers
“Speaking Internationally” – Guy with language book gets slapped
You can count on seeing all 3 ads about 6 times each per game!

7. Ohio Lottery “2nd Chance” – Strike 3, you’re NOT out!
They should have used A.J. Pierzynski advancing to first base with the “alleged” dropped third strike in the 2005 playoffs vs. the Angels!
8. All Bets Are Off - Bruce Drennan’s “I love ya, Cleveland!”
...Not so sure Cleveland feels the same about Bruce!

9. This Week In Baseball – “This is how we do it!”
Yeah, over and over again…Update it! It’s old and annoying!

10. Toyota – Keys falling from the sky…really stupid!

11. McDonalds – “Hey, guy from work I don’t really know.”
This was somewhat humorous the first 200 times!

12. Pizza Hut P’zones – “They’re so big!”
3 guys pigging out on fatty, over 1 lb. Calzones…Barf!

13. LaBatt’s Blue – Deer giving a guy shit about shopping instead of hunting in the woods…Soooooo stupid!

And, not too long ago, we had to endure:
Subway – “That coupon better be for me, Phil!”
Same actor plays both guys on a news desk, breaking news about a Subway coupon.
Bad hair, bad suits, bad ties, bad acting, …it was always a good time to go take a leak when it was on!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Baseball World Awaits The Shake-up Of The Cleveland Indians...Don't Hold Your Breath!

Cleveland Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro Stays Busy During This "Important" Stretch Run.
Apparently, with Indians' manager Eric Wedge downplaying his team's offensive slump, the Indians' front office will support his inactivity and hide their heads...not in the sand, either.
When a team is mired this far into a batting slump, there should be no players guaranteed a start in the line-up each day, especially playing a team like the Royals. Tonight, the Indians lost to the Kansas City Royals by a score of 2-1, yet one more time denying their ace, C.C. Sabathia win #15 on the season.
Something must be done to bring this offense out of their funk. We have been waiting with our "chins up," as Eric Wedge has suggested, but the slump continues and is costing the team valuable games. How long will the front office let this go on while the season slips away? If the Indians don't win the division, they will be out of the playoffs.
Sit Hafner, Sizemore, and Blake on Saturday.
Play Lofton in CF, Gutierrez in RF, Martinez as the DH, Garko @1st, Michaels in LF, Cabrera @2nd, Gomez @3rd, Shoppach @C, and Peralta @SS. You need hitting more than defense against the Royals, even though that defense isn't bad at all.
At any rate, something must be done and the time to do it is passing quickly.
Anyone may argue that this team will hit in time. We can't wait for that to take place on it's own.
Raise the bar, make 'em hit, and get over it already!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Folks Are Keepin' Your Fans From Livin' The High Life!

Common sense has taken a holiday at Jacobs Field!
After the Cleveland Indians lost to the Detroit Tigers 2-1 this evening, the concession department of Jacob's Field was paid a visit by the famous Miller High Life beer driver. As he removed Miller Beer completely from the Jake, he had the following comments to share with anyone in earshot:
"A .266 team batting average, ya all lost your privilege to sell the High Life!"
"940 strike outs as a team, common sense most definitely on holiday when you fellas at bat!"
"4 wins in your last 10 games with the pitchin' ya all been gettin', are you for real?"
"Mess with the High Life and the High Life mess with you...three dollars and fifty cents for a bag of peanuts...ya all must be crazy!"

20/20…Can You See It?

Both C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona of the Cleveland Indians are sitting on 14 wins each. The problem is that, because of a struggling offense on the part of their teammates, C.C. has been sitting on 14 wins for 3 straight starts and Fausto just got #14 after sitting on 13 wins for 3 straight starts prior.
The last time the Cleveland Indians had two or more 20 game winners in a season was in 1956 with Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, and Herb Score. The last time they had one 20 game winner was in 1974 with Gaylord Perry.
So, can they do it?
Beginning tonight, the Indians play a tough run of 23 games in a row caused by one of the snowed out games from April with Seattle added to the schedule as well as a rainout with Minnesota. Based on the current pitching rotation and adding a fifth starter back for this 23 game run, here is how the starts for C.C. and Fausto should unfold...
C.C.’s probable starts will be:
8/24 vs. KC
8/29 vs. MINN
9/3 vs. MINN
9/8 vs. LAA
9/14 vs. KC
9/19 vs. DET
9/26 vs. SEA
9/30 vs. KC
That is 8 starts against 3 teams under and 5 team at or better than .500.

Fausto’s probable starts will be:
8/21 vs. DET
8/26 vs. KC
8/31 vs. CWS
9/5 vs. MINN
9/10 vs. CWS
9/16 vs. KC
9/22 vs. OAK
9/27 vs. SEA
That is 8 starts against 5 teams under and 3 teams at or better than .500.

Unless the 5th starter is removed from the rotation after September 12th, which is unlikely, the rotation and schedule will more than likely play out as above.
It appears that Fausto has the best shot at reaching the coveted 20 wins. However, the way both players have been pitching, if the offense and their bats were to wake up, both pitchers could reach the 20 wins plateau. For that to happen, the Tribe would need to win 12 out of the 16 games these two pitchers have remaining.
There are 39 regular season games remaining for the team. However, if the team won these 12 out of 16 games with their two aces and played .500 ball for the remaining 23 games, they would win 24 of 39 games and finish the season at 92 and 70, more than likely good enough to win the American League Central Division…Can you see it?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mr. Opportunity Has Sore Knuckles!

Will this be know as the Indians' season of missed opportunities?
As opportunity knocks, the Tribe needs to answer the door!
It appears that nobody is home and those knocks are falling on deaf ears.
The Indians missed the following opportunities today;
  • Their anemic offense failed to support C.C. Sabathia in his quest for win #15 again today. In his last three games, C.C. has had three no-decisions and the offense failed him each time.
  • That same offense left 10 runners on base today and eventually lost the game to the Devil Rays in 12 innings.
  • As the Yankees beat the Tigers today, the loss by the Indians to the D-Rays prevented them from stretching their lead in the Central division to 2.5 games over Detroit.
  • The ratio of walks to strike outs by the Indians today was 3 walks to 10 strike outs.
  • Closer Joe Borowski failed to hold a 3-2 lead for the Tribe in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Perhaps Mr. Opportunity should call ahead. Here is hoping he hasn't given up and gone on.

Friday, August 17, 2007

“Is This Heaven?”…“No, It’s August!”

Let’s see:
The weather is in the high 80’s everyday and there has been just enough rain at all the right times.
When it does rain, it is a great time to wash the car!
The thought of bringing along a coat or sweater never enters your mind.
The sky is so blue you have to squint your eyes just to look at it.
You can smell the produce ripening on the vine as you drive down the road.
Kids are having so much fun that the start of a new school year seems a lifetime away.
Often between the constant bite of crappie and bluegill is a lunker largemouth bass.
Backyard campfires smell so sweet.
Sunrises and sunsets become beautiful paintings in your mind.
The sweet corn, peaches, green beans, melons, and other fresh roadside fruits and vegetables are at their peak in delicious flavor.
All 6 divisions in baseball have raging battles going on for first place.
Best of all, the Cleveland Indians are in first place.
Is this heaven?
No, it’s August!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Location, Location, Location!

On Tuesday, Cleveland manager Eric Wedge made some adjustments to his batting order. He stated that the new order has been in the planning stages and was not a surprise to any of the players. The new order had Kenny Lofton leading off and Grady Sizemore batting 3rd. This change seemed to work immediately as Sizemore hit a two-run homer in the first inning but soon the pop was gone.
Television color commentator Rick Manning suggested that, after the first inning, it didn’t really matter who batted where. I would disagree as Lofton was the lead off batter in 3 of the 9 innings.
Chuck Tanner authored a book, “The Official Major League Baseball Playbook” in which he teaches readers to build their line-ups with the following in mind;
There are two spots that statistically lead off more innings than any other. Those spots are 1st and 6th positions in the line-up. Building your line-up around these two positions will give the manager a greater percentage of batters reaching base and base runners scoring.

Here are some different looks that could help the Indians maximize opportunities:

Vs. Right-Handed Pitching:
1 Lofton
2 Sizemore
3 Martinez
4 Hafner
5 Garko
6 Blake
7 Peralta
8 Nixon
9 Barfield

Vs. Left-Handed Pitching:
1 Gutierrez
2 Sizemore
3 Martinez
4 Garko
5 Hafner
6 Blake
7 Peralta
8 Michaels
9 Barfield

Sizemore batting second in each line-up will cut down on his strike outs and allow him to hit behind the runner, something he does well providing Lofton/Gutierrez get on base. Blake in the six spot is a good fit for the second lead-off position. Martinez, being a switch hitter, is a valuable and natural third hitter. The key to any Indian line-up is to get Peralta and Barfield producing again.

Fun stuff...more fun when the Tribe starts winning again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Closer Look Is Necessary...

Before the Indians took the field against their arch rivals, the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night, Tribe manager Eric Wedge had the following assessment to share:
"On the last day of Spring Training, if someone said that the Indians would be tie with the Tigers for 1st place in the middle of August, we would have taken it, wouldn't we?"
Yeah, I would have taken it if that statement didn't imply that the team would have backed into a tie because the Tigers are playing (were playing) slightly more horribly that the Indians.
Yeah, I would have taken it if that statement didn't imply that the team would have wasted dozens and dozens of opportunities to be ahead of the Tigers by at least 10 games.
Because the Indians are in contention for the lead in the Central division, the Tribe brass and the media have joined forces on a campaign to have the fans "lighten up" on the Indians. Apparently the fans are asking too much for their team to react to a lack of hitting and a breakdown of relief pitching and play the kind of baseball that they are capable of. The team lacks leadership and direction.
The fact is that manager Eric Wedge does not possess the drive to hold this good team to a higher standard of great by making each individual play to, or near to their potential.
Wedge makes statements as to what is wrong with the team but fails to put together a plan to turn their fate back around. Instead, he tells the fans through the media that things will turn around, get better, etc. Yeah Wedge, you have a nice day too!
Why is everyone allowing excuses for the performance of the Cleveland Indians over the last 45 days? This team is on a terrible slide downward and no one is reacting, other than to say, "We need to keep our chins up and work though this." How? When? Where? With who? Get a plan...get pissed...kick the shit out of Slider just for general purposes!
Television color commentator Rick Manning teeters down the middle of the road between company man and Tribe critic. He likes to tell everyone that the hometown fans are the toughest critics on their own team but you can hear it in his voice that he is losing patience with the path the team is going down. Manning was a very competitive player and this passive "going through the motions" that the Indians are displaying has got to be eating him up inside. Manning is a fiery guy. It is only a matter of time before he loses it on the air.
After tonight's hideous loss to the Tigers, the Indians possess a record of 65 wins and 54 losses with 43 games to go. To win the division, they will need to win a bare minimum of 25 of those games to reach 90 wins. 25 of 43 games is a .581 winning percentage. For the season, they are at .546 and going lower. 90 wins probably is not enough and with the way the wild card competition is heating up, the Indians are on a path to miss the post season once again.

Because no one is holding anyone accountable, the only thing that I can figure is that perhaps Rachel Phelps bought the team from the Dolans and wants to move the team to Florida after the collapse of the season.

Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse!

Given the struggles the Cleveland Indians have been experiencing lately, the front office has changed direction and found a new partnership in securing the American League Championship.
In a bold move, the team has cemented a new relationship with local businessmen to ensure a successful and amicable conclusion to the current season. A source close to the new affiliation vows that the Indians inability to score runs is a problem of the past. "We can practically guarantee that this team will outscore their opponents for the remainder of the season," the source said. That same source further indicated, as this team makes their way to the American League Championship, look for the early return of David Dellucci from the disabled list to a starting and starring role with the team. This new affiliation was quickly authorized by Major League Baseball and warmly received in the greater Cleveland community.
The new Brotherhood of the Cleveland Indians welcomes tonight's starting pitcher for Detroit, Jeremy Bonderman to the Cleveland area earlier today.

The American League Central Division Is Life Cereal!

I (Cleveland) don’t want it, you take it!
No! I (Detroit) don’t want it, you take it!
Let’s give it to Mikey (Minnesota)!
He doesn’t want it either!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Baseball In Cleveland...It's Sink Or Swim!

OK, it has taken a few weeks, but finally, Indian’s General Manager Mark Shapiro has noticed that something just is not quite right with his Cleveland Indians.
The following statements are quotes from Shapiro after the Indians were swept by the Yankees this past weekend and fell to 2nd place in the division and 3rd place in the wild card race:

"Our fate is not going to be determined by who we play, it will be determined by how we play."
"We have a little bit of a burden because of the snow-outs, but it doesn't seem to be slowing the Mariners down. Those things are excuses. We have to find a way to manage the fatigue and fight through it."

Eric Wedge had the following epiphany:
"We need to handle this with a lot of strength and perseverance. We have to keep our chins up until we get beyond this."

Are they kidding?

Everyone remembers "Red Right 88," the ill-fated pass-play turned interception that Brian Sipe threw in the 1981 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders that sealed the Cleveland Browns' loss. After the interception, Sipe returned to the sideline and apologized to Head Coach Sam Rutigliano. Sam looked at his quarterback and said, "I love you, Brian." Defensive captain Lyle Alzado threw up! Some time later, Alzado related that story on the Tonight Show to Johnny Carson with absolute disgust.

At the post game interview of that same playoff game, Rutigliano stated, "300 million Chinese will wake up tomorrow morning and not care that we lost this game." A town of Browns fans threw up!

It is this perpetual lack of killer instinct that continues to plague Cleveland sports teams. How many strike outs, called or swinging must we endure? How many two strike pitch counts has our opposition turned into rallies? Jhonny Peralta walked to load the bases with no outs Sunday against the Yankees, only to stroll some 20 feet off of first base because he wasn't being held on. New York first baseman Andy Phillips moved in between Peralta and first base and tagged him out. The Indians wound up scoring only one run. As Peralta headed back to the bench, there was no reaction from manager Eric Wedge. During the post game interview, Wedge stated that it shouldn't have happened. Peralta will probably need counseling after that tremendous brow-beating. Wouldn't this team play to a higher degree if there were consequences?

The following question was posed over the weekend on this blog:

The Cleveland Indians have posted a 10 and 13 record since the All-Star break. Is it time to panic?
Here are the results:
46.2% said Yes, they need a wake-up call immediately!
23.0% said No, they are in first place.
15.4% said No, they are playing as well as can be expected.
15.4% said Maybe, but they will work it out.

Currently, it is the top of the 9th inning in Detroit and Oakland is ahead, 7-2. If the A's lead holds, Cleveland will be thrust right back into first place in the Central division, tie with Detroit!

Cleveland has been blessed with good to great pitching throughout this season. If these guys can start hitting again, they could easily begin to run away with the division.

You can have the "backing in" to first place. Mr. Dolan, Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Wedge...start holding these guys and yourselves accountable and take the low hanging fruit quickly, before Detroit or Minnesota does!

(It's final, Oakland 7, Detroit 2...Tribe tie with Tigers for first place...unbelievable!)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Who Are Those Guys?!

On Friday past, in came the New York Yankees for a sold out, 3-game weekend series vs. the Indians at Jacobs field. Everyone remembers "the sweep" in Yankee Stadium back in April. Names come to mind with a shudder like A-Rod, Jeter, and Giambi. But the rest of the team...who are those guys? The way they played, they will be household names very soon. Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Andy Phillips, and Jose Molina are not names that are readily associated with the Bronks Bombers...until now.
They hit, they pitch, they sparkle in the field, they do so many little things to beat you like working pick-off plays to perfection and executing a game plan. Still, in the game this afternoon, it was apparent that these same Yankees were in fact human...even beatable! (But we countered their line-up with Chris Gomez and Astrubal Cabrera...Who are those guys?)
Time is running out and Detroit looks to be putting their season back together. With 44 games remaining, eight of which are with Detroit, the Indians must put together a game by game plan to win the division. Otherwise, they will be home for the playoffs.
It starts Tuesday with a two game set vs. Detroit. We are one half game behind the Tigers in the division. Our two best pitchers are scheduled to go, C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona. Execute a plan and get back to a 1 to 2 game lead in the division, depending on the outcome of the Oakland/Detroit game on Monday.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Musings As The Yankees Score A Touchdown, 2-Point Conversion, and A Field Goal!

As the Indians allow the Yankees to continue to intimidate and torment them, and Indians fans continue to suffer through the humiliation, the following thoughts cannot be put out of my head:

Ryan Garko looks like Fred Flintstone with a hangover.

Aaron Fultz looks like Richard Dreyfus in "American Graffiti."

Are the Yankees really that good?

I am wondering if there is a record for most pop fly outs in a a series? I cannot recall any team that has swung at more high pitches and hit them striaght up in the air for easy outs as the Indians have done in these first two games of the current series.

Eric Wedge is quite the politician. He never gets upset, he always maintains his composure, and he always has a non-commital, politically correct answer for any question.
When asked Saturday evening how the team can stop their current slide of 10 losses in 14 home games (now 11 of 15) he replied, "There's not always an answer to the whys."

What if George Steinbrenner owned the Indians and Eric Wedge gave him that answer? Better yet, if Steinbrenner owned the Indians, how long do you think he would put up with this current slump in which the Indians have wasted numerous opportunities to run away with the division?


Bruce Drennan, of Sports Time Ohio's "All Bets Are Off," made the following on-air prediction:

"When George Bush leaves office, he will become the Commissioner of Major League Baseball!"

That makes me think of a couple of gnawing thoughts/predictions that are bouncing around inside my head...

At the conclusion of the season, despite how the Indians finish, Eric Wedge will be "promoted" (ala Buddy Bell in Kansas City) to the front office. This will be announced during the winter meetings in December. Who will manager the Indians?
There is a former Indians manager sitting in his driveway in Medina, Ohio revving his pickup truck engine ready to take over...Mike Hargrove will manage the Indians again.

Romeo Crennell will not make it past the 8th game of the season. An interim coach will be put in place and a regular coach will be named after the Superbowl...Bill Cower will coach the Cleveland Browns.

New York will take the Eastern Division away from the Red Sox and then lose in the first playoff round.

"They Put Their Pants On One Leg At A Time Just Like We Do, Don't They?"

"Someday, we're gonna figure out how to beat those guys!"

James Gammon as Indians manager Lou Brown in the movie "Major League" speaks of figuring out how to beat the Yankees. In the movie, Art was immitating life, then they figured it out.

Sacrifice a chicken, call in "Wild Thing," give Jobu rum? What can the Indians do to win against the storied New York Yankees?

Well, scoring one run on four hits with one walk and eleven strike outs won't get it done.

Perhaps extra batting practice, a team meeting, and a strategy would position the Indians to win tonight...and even tomorrow.

Yes, they could do it. There really wasn't a moment last night that they could not have climbed right back into the game. They left four runners on base, two in scoring position. That's not as many as they usually leave on base but a few more timely hits would have made the game closer, could have even won it.

The Yankees had a well-documented strategy and executed it last night. They knew that the Indian's pitching would be tough but their offense was struggling. They executed a strategy that had them score early and hold the lead. They executed it to perfection.

Get some batting practice, develop a strategy, communicate it, agree on it, execute it, slay the demons!

The Yankees aren't as good as they are hot right now. They are certainly beatable with an executable plan and an injection of confidence. Life immitates Art. Figure it out.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Larry Doby Night!

Larry Doby, December 13, 1923 to June 18, 2003

Tonight, the Cleveland Indians will honor Larry Doby in a special ceremony in their new Heritage Park at Jacobs Field before facing the New York Yankees. Each Indians player will be wearing Doby's number 14 in honor of this great man and past Cleveland Indian star.

Happy Birthday, Rocco!

A baseball favorite in Cleveland, Colavito was voted "Most Memorable Personality in Indians History."
"You can't tell how much spirit a team has until it starts losing."
--Rocky Colavito
Happy Birthday to Rocky Colavito, 8/10/33!

The Yankees Are Coming, The Yankees Are Coming!

Beat New York, Beat New York!
(New York, New York)

Start spreadin' the news,
We’re winnin' today
I want to be a part of it
Beat New York, Beat New York

That vagabond team,
is due for a fray
Right through the very heart of it
Beat New York, Beat New York

We want to beat up on a team
that always competes
And find we’re king of the hill
Handing out defeats

These small market blues,
are melting away
We'll make a brand new start of it
Over old New York

If we can beat them here,
We’ll beat them anywhere
It's up to us,
Beat New York...
Beat New York…
Beat New York!!!

The "Bad Boys From the Bronks" head to Jacobs Field
for a three game, weekend battle.
A-Rod will be bringing his spikes and his mouth...
This could be just what our Tribe needs,
a big challenge from a tough team.
The Indians have a style of playing up to the
caliber of their opponent.
They cannot make any mistakes,
cannot allow any intimidation to be a factor,
and they will match up well with the bombers!
Let's take two of three from the Yankees and show 'em
why we are #1 in the Central Division!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Up Late, Taking In A Loss (6-4 from Chicago) in 13 Innings

Thoughts, as the Indians waste a win late into the night...

Jobu, he will come...He will wake up bats!
This guy needs to go away!

Umpire Bruce Froemming hopefully has blown his last call Wednesday night! Did you see it? Obviously he didn't!

It hurts to lose...
Let's not make this Indian guy cry anymore!
Don't litter either, that really upsets him!

Did anyone miss
Aaron Fultz when
he was on the DL?
I didn't...especially after tonight!

Manager Eric Wedge sets his line-up Wednesday night!

Can the Tribe bats wake-up in time to support Laffey, beat the Chisox, and ready themselves for the weekend Yankee invasion at the Jake?

Bobble Head Boy says, "YES!"