Friday, December 26, 2008

OK, Now I Am Worried...

Rumor has it that the Yankees are entertaining signing Manny Ramirez.
Now I am concerned!
Manny is probably the most dysfunctional superstar in all of sports today.
Think of the fit he would be in New York!
He would put the zoo back into the Bronx Zoo.
He would be the final "individual" to make this team the most dysfunctional winner since the Swingin' A's of the '70s. You remember them, they swung at everything, including each other!
The only saving grace is that Manny may not be able to handle life in New York. As a young player with the Indians, Manny made his first trip there and started showing up on the sides of milk cartons. It seems partying with family and friends in the grand city took precedence over playing baseball. He showed up a few days later dazed and confused.
But that was the start of Manny being Manny and he certainly has matured since then, hasn't he?
Well, I fear that if the Yanks sign Manny, that may be the final piece to their best team that money can buy.
Time will tell...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Big Deal, We Still Beat The Yankees!

Mark Teixeira signs with the Yankees ...
We still beat 'em!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Best Team Money Can Buy?....NOT!

Associated Press writer Ronald Blum recently had a story published exalting the New York Yankees for their "acqui$ition" of pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in a story titles, "Yankees get the last laugh."
We will see who gets the last laugh.
Add as many abreviated first names as you want.
Perhaps the Yankees are not done spending money to buy what they think is the best team that money can buy. I think it was the Tigers last year that made similar acquisitions and the baseball world is still waiting for that team to start playing ball.
We probably need to take a wait and see approach but right now, I believe that the Yankees have spent a ton of money and they still may not make the playoffs.
After the smoke of the winter meetings has cleared, it will be easier to sort out and evaluate the haves and the have nots. I don't care.
I am saying that right now, the Indians beat the Yankees in 2009 season head to head play.
I am saying that right now, the Indians reach the playoffs in 2009, the Yankees may not...again!
I am not impressed, not at all, and definitely not like Ronald Blum.
I say, "Bring on the Yankees!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

A New Bronx Bomber...

Good luck to CC Sabathia in New York, except when he is playing against the Cleveland Indians. Oh, and also when he is pitching to put the Yankees in contention to make the 2009 playoffs.

Oh, but really good luck to him when he is pitching against a Central Division foe; White Sox, Tigers, Royals, and Twins.

I like CC and wish him well but I am not worried about facing him. The Cleveland Indians will beat CC Sabathia. I hope the Yankees do not make the playoffs again in 2009 but if they do, I hope we play them and I hope we face CC.

We have the "privilege" of being the team that opens the new Yankee Stadium on April 16th. I hope we face CC Sabathia.

Good luck to you CC. Cleveland still loves ya, but we love our Indians first!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well, I'm Still Waiting To Be "Wowed!"

Joe Smith and Luis Valbuena?

For Gutierrez?

Signing Kerry Wood?


Lots of what ifs.

At least there is movement and life this year!

But did we give up on Gutierrez too early in his career?

Should we have gotten more?

Will Kerry stay healthy?


Did we improve?

Probably, but I'm still not wowed.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What About Jamey Carroll?

As the Tribe brass heads off to the winter meetings, reports are swirling that Jhonny Peralta is doing well at 3rd base in the Dominican Winter League. So tops on their list is a closer and a 2nd baseman. Casey Blake will more than likely accept the offer from the Twins. He will fit so good in that gutsy blue collar team. With Andy Marte still picking splinters out of his behind, that leaves 3rd base wide open for Peralta to claim.
Shouldn't Shapiro concentrate on a dominant closer as well as another starter? Keep in mind Jake Westbrook will be starting the season on the DL. Jamey Carroll is a great fit at 2nd base. His batting average last season was the 3rd highest of active Cleveland players at .277. His OBP was 4th at .355. He is an exciting player that gives the game his all. He is a good contact hitter with a strong strikeout and base on balls ratio to at bats. He is a slick fielder as well.

Now comes the thud. I still hold to the theory that Grady Sizemore would be much more valuable to the Cleveland Indians in the second spot in the line-up. If Carroll was in the lead off spot, Sizemore batting lefty would naturally hit behind the runner and also reduce his strikeouts. With his growing power, many a game could begin 2-0 Tribe with no outs.

We also have Josh Barfield who has been an under achiever. It is time for Barfield to put up the numbers on offense he is capable of.

Focus on pitching at the winter meeting. Unless an absolute can't pass up deal floats by, we have the field set with Sizemore, Choo, and Francisco in the outfield and Martinez, Carroll, Cabrera, Peralta, and Shoppach in the infield.

Go for the pitching, Shapiro!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wow! Miss a week or two, miss alot!

I have been away for a couple of weeks training for a new job...What a couple of weeks!
Let's see, the Phillies won the 2008 World Series and stomped the dreams of the perennial underdogs everywhere. Good for old friend Charlie Manual but I was disappointed. The Rays came so far so fast but they just ran out of gas. Don't look now but the Royals are the next up and comers in the American League...Go small market teams!

We got ourselves a new President and first family!

Cliff Lee is named the 2008 Cy Young Award winner for the American League!
Congratulations Cliffy!

CC gonna go to the Bronx?!
Say it ain't so!!!

And on a very serious note, the baseball world lost one of their all-time great guys. Herb Score was one of the greatest ambassadors of the game of baseball. From his playing days through his time as a sportscaster and voice of the Cleveland Indians, Herb was truly a classy guy.

Herb Score was a brilliant talent who never let personal and professional tragedies diminish his wonderful spirit. This is a guy who truly made lemonade out of lemons and never felt anything but lucky for having played the game and been on the air for major league baseball.

Herb was the ultimate gentleman and caretaker of the game he loved so much. Many of us were so fortunate to have met Herb Score. I saw Herb at the old Municipal Stadium when I was a kid. He never, ever refused an autograph to anyone...not even me when he knew I already had 100s from him already. Years later, Herb was at an event that my band was hired to provide entertainment. Herb was gracious and eloquent as he spoke to every guest, signed autographs, and answered any and all questions posed to him with poise, dignity, and an incredible positive nature. I had the opportunity to sit with Herb on a break that night. I think there was no finer man in the game of baseball.

There certainly were many, many people who loved and admired Herb Score. One such person was Herb's old teammate and best friend, Rocky Colavito. Rocky and Herb were more than friends. In delivering Herb's eulogy today, Rocky called Herb not just a friend but a brother. Rocky talked about the first time he saw Herb pitch in spring training. He knew Herb had tremendous talent and was destine for greatness. When Herb went down with injury, the story goes that many teammates doubted that Herb would come back and pitch again. Rocky is said to have challenged the next person or persons to say that to step outside with him. According to Colavito, it wasn't the line drive to the eye that shortened Herb's playing career, it was the elbow injury. Herb went on to do television and then radio broadcasts for the team he loved, the Cleveland Indians.

Goodbye to a great competitor.
Goodbye to a great ambassador of the game.
Goodbye to a fine gentleman who took the time and care to enhance the quality of life for all those he came into contact with.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who Is Joe Maddon?

Joe Maddon is just like many other people. He goes to work, works hard, enjoys what he does, and is very well liked. He is a family man but what makes him different from others is that he is a major league baseball manager who has taken his team from worst to first. Now he has the team in the World Series.
But if you were watching ESPN this morning around 9:15 AM, you learned of a Joe Maddon that many of us don't know...yet.

John Challis loved baseball. When he was diagnosed with incurable cancer two years ago, he stopped playing. This Western Pennsylvania prep school senior decided that he needed to get over his fear of injury because of his illness. His baseball coach agreed and allowed John to play. John developed his own outlook on life and he called it, "Courage + Belief = Life."

John Challis caught the attention of many sports teams and sports figures during his heroic battle with cancer.
John believed that God had given him this disease because he was strong enough to handle it and could help others by spreading his message. His message is "It is not how many breaths you take, it is what you do with each breath you take."
Joe Maddon was one of the many sports figures to be touched by John Challis. Joe brought John to the Tampa Bay locker room for a game in June this past season.
Joe was so taken with John that he stayed in touch with John and his family through the season as John finally lost his battle with cancer on August 19th.
Joe Maddon is involved in the John Challis Foundation that provides Life Encouraging Sporting Experiences and Community Support for High School Athletes with Life Threatening Illnesses.
Hats off to Joe Maddon and all of the athletes that go the extra distance to reach out to help others and their families that are suffering through these life threatening illnesses.

"The Rain, The Park, And Other Things..."

On a night that started out sloppy...

Things got sloppier...

Still, down 2 games to 1 is certainly not the end of the world.
Joe, get MAD and win the next 2 to go back home with a 3-2 advantage.
Today, your young team needs a day of basic drills to get over last, this morning.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Slow Ride, Take It Easy!"

When the Rays are at bat tonight, there will be an energy savings as they can turn off the radar gun.
Just how slow is Jamie Moyer?
Below are some methods that may be used tonight to measure his pitch speed...

All kidding aside, the match up tonight between Jamie Moyer and Matt Garza will not be nearly as interesting as the match up between Jamie Moyer and the Rays hitters.

Look for the Rays to jump on Moyer early and often. Not to say that Moyer couldn't turn in an excellent performance. After all, he was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA this season. But it has been the post-season that has been his undoing so far as he is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA.

Is he tired?

He is 45 years old.
Well, we will see tonight if he has one more great game in him.

Predictions anyone?

How about Rays 7, Phillies 2 and Moyer goes 3 innings!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Well, You Can Call Me Ray..."

" But ya doesn't have to call me Maddon!"
Joe "Ray" Maddon got his troops fired up and received the results all Rays fans were anticipating.

David Price was not as "mystifying" last night, but he got the job done.

BAM! Hard play at the plate! Baldelli is out, but this is more like it!

Things got a little close in the 8th but the Rays prevailed, 4-2.

Now it's on to Philly for games 3, 4, and 5 beginning Saturday night with the series tied 1-1.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

What, Me Worry?

Game 1 is history...If you are a TB fan, are you concerned?
I am. I like that this team is laid back but once again, just like game 1 of the ALCS, these guys almost went to sleep...or put me to sleep.

We better see a more focused and inspired group tonight.

Hey, look at the aerial view of home plate!

Because it is crooked, is it wider than 17"?


Well, it's wider for both teams, but fix it! And please get a new stadium!!!

Come on Rays, get hot tonight!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life Immitates Art, Once Again!
"This is the out you've been waiting for all your life!"

Bottom of the 8th inning, bases loaded, 2 outs, and J.D. Drew at the plate. In comes David Price in his biggest career moment. So it was reported, Evan Longoria drops the ball into Price's hand and says something to the effect of the quote above from the movie, "Major League."

You gotta love these guys!

At approximately 8:35 PM tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays match up with the Philadelphia Phillies in game #1 of the 2008 World Series. Neither team was given much of a chance to reach this point. That's what makes this such a special series.

My heart is with the Rays! I love where they came from and I love how they got to where they are tonight. (Just please build a new stadium in a better neighborhood!)

Both the Phillies and the Rays should be proud of what they have accomplished. Look for this to be a great series and may the best underdog win!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hoo"ray" For The Underdogs!

Unless you live in New Yawk or Bawston, Americans love an underdog!
We have so many famous underdogs, real or fantasy, like...



How about "The Miracle on Ice?"....The '69 World Series - Mets over the Orioles?...The Giants beating the Pats in Super Bowl XLII?

Harry S. Truman was a total underdog to Thomas E. Dewey in the '48 Presidential election...even the newspapers incorrectly reported the results!

Who can ever forget Bill Murray's speech as private John Winger in the movie "Stripes" to his fellow basic trainees?

"We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts! Here's proof: his nose is cold! But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw "Old Yeller?" Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot? I'm sure. I cried my eyes out. So we're all dogfaces, we're all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to enlist in the Army. We're mutants. There's something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us - we're soldiers. But we're American soldiers! We've been kicking ass for 200 years!"

I could go on and on but, you get the picture. The Tampa Bay Rays have one of the lowest payrolls in MLB, #29 out of 30! They are in a small market advertising region of the country. But they just defeated the reigning world champion Boston Red Sox, the team with the 4th highest payroll and they are in a major advertising market!

Ohhhh, this is good for America! This is good for every person who ventures out on his or her own, for the immigrants who still come to this wonderful country in droves, searching for the land of opportunity, for the inventors who go up against established industry or retail, for the small businessman who doesn't want the entire market, just a piece to make a good and decent living. Is our country perfect? Of course not but I dare you to name one better!

It's too bad that it takes an underdog victory to grab us and shake us to remind us, "You live in the best country in the world, the true land of opportunity...reach out, fight for it, be proud of it!

To the Tampa Bay Rays...Thanks for reminding me who we are and what we are all about!

To our service men and women across the world...Thanks for preserving it!


David beats Goliath!
For every stiff down on his luck, there is a new hero, the Tampa Bay Rays!
Worst to First!
What greater American story is there?
Small market, small payroll beats large market, over-spent payroll...Man, that is the American way! At least it used to be and it's back...just when we need it most!

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays on advancing to the 2008 World Series. This young team put it all together, beat all odds, and followed their dream. All was not easy and there were moments when they looked as if they may fold, but they didn't as they hung tough and gave every American a reason again to say, "Yes we can!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008


No doubt about it...
The Rays have got to get RABID!
What is Joe Maddon telling them...right now?
"In about an hour, the young men on this team will be playing the biggest game of their lives, of their franchise history. No one expected you to get this far. You have accomplished so much and you should all be proud. Is that enough? Are you satisfied? If you are, tell me now and you can watch this one from the clubhouse. I want unstoppable passion in this lineup. I want extreme desire in this lineup. I want my best never quit guys to take the field in sixty minutes. I want the guys who want what I want, the guys who will never quit until they get it, the guys who fought so hard to get this far, the guys who believe that winning the 2008 World Series is their destiny. Those are the guys I want to take a step forward, shake my hand, and line up at the clubhouse door to go out and grab the championship that awaits us out on that field."
To the Tampa Bay Rays:
Control your destiny and take what is rightfully yours!

You Gotta Be ######## Me!

Say it ain't so!

Stock market bringing our country to it's knees, McCain vs. Obama, the Bail-Out, and now, the Red Sox are on the doorstep of their second consecutive World Series appearance. The American Dream is being threatened again. How much more can we take? I don't mean all those political or financial issues, I'm talking about the good guys winning, the underdog pulling a passionate upset to give hope and fuel the dreams of all of those down on their luck.

The Rays have made an emotional trip from lovable losers, to attention-catching underdogs, to the best team in baseball, and now, they have regressed back past underdogs to whimpering puppies. Their only chance tonight is to get a huge case of rabies and start frothing at the mouth at game time.
If they need a true lesson in winning attitude, they only have to look across to the other dugout. Down 7 runs to none with 7 outs to go, the Red Sox score 8 unanswered runs to avoid elimination and carry it out as if it was their plan all along. Instead, the Rays get down by 2 runs in the 1st and 6th game each and look at each other as if the odds are completely insurmountable. OK, have it your way. Wanna borrow 3rd base coach Joel Skinner tonight to put up a stop sign with the tying run 90 feet away? Then you will really look like the 2007 Indians as you accurately demonstrate the proper international choke sign.

It wouldn't be nearly as bad if it was another team that didn't buy a championship in the opposite dugout.

The Rays had a fabulous season. Thanks for the ups and downs, mainly ups until lately.
But, you're done. Unless the Rays get over their pity party early today and decide they want this more than the Red Sox do, look for Boston to put a huge hurtin' on the Rays tonight and advance to the World Series.
Too bad we have to suffer through the same old same old when it was more than within reach.

During their post-game interview early this morning, Pedroia and Youkilis discuss how they will take apart the Rays one more time tonight.

Wrong finger, Johnathan! We think you are #1 too.