Friday, June 20, 2008

It’s The Same Old Song…

It’s official!
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says the 2008 season is over for our Tribe!
In this morning’s edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto gives his suggestions as to what the Tribe needs to do to prepare for the 2009 season. Trades, promotions, demotions, etc., all will help the Indians better know what they have to invest in the future.
Unfortunately, the season has been over long before the Rockies completed a sweep of the Indians and climbed out of last place in their division. When you think back to when the “Tribe Slide” started, about the second week of the season, General Manager Mark Shapiro and Manager Eric Wedge would hear nothing of such silliness. Despite not knowing that there were mysterious and hidden injuries to some of the Tribe’s top players, the fans knew it was over before it was over. When pressed in mid-April on what to do to snap the Tribe out of what would become a season-long slump, G.M. Mark Shapiro stated that nothing would be done until after 40 games.
He wasn’t kidding, was he?!
It was obvious that Travis Hafner was suffering long before he set foot in Winter Haven this spring. When Victor Martinez went down with a hamstring injury going into 2nd base in the season opener, it was apparent that that injury and an elbow injury were going to sideline him but he continued to push on and play. Were we protecting gate receipts? Closer Joe Borowski gets shelled and then goes on the DL with a Triceps injury. There have been many nagging injuries to our pitchers over the last few years; Westbrook this year and last year, Sabathia went down two years in a row, Carmona this year, and Cliff Lee went down last year, all with muscle pulls that scream out for a lack of conditioning. Our hitters slump and they fail to make adjustments at the plate. Our pitchers begin to have mechanical problems and they can’t find the right adjustments in their windup and delivery for months. Carmona and Sabathia ruled the American League strike zone last season prior to the playoffs. The playoffs start and all of a sudden they are not getting the calls they were benefiting from all season long and adjustments were not made…into the beginning of this season!
It was apparent that every team in the division, as well as the league was making acquisitions in the off-season to better compete. The Indians, who missed the World Series by 1 game, pretty much stayed pat.
The Executive of the Year and Manager of the Year in the American League obviously knew better. Nothing has been done since last September and it is blatantly apparent.

So what do you do now?

Make your moves and your trades, see who fits for next year, but start playing this season to win…win second place, don’t let Kansas City overtake us in the standings. Be the spoilers that we were in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. To hell with the bobble heads, fireworks, blankets, rally towels and all of that give-away crap! Start playing baseball and demand the most from whoever takes the field. It was embarrassing to be out-managed by Clint Hurdle over the last three games. The Indians may lack a couple of big hitters or another right-handed starter, or another solid reliever but what they lack more is present in the hands of the coaching and management staff.
It is conditioning.
It is coaching.
It is motivation.
It is holding players accountable for their performances.
It is executing to a plan.

The Exec of the Year and the Manager of the Year need to get off of cruise control and look in the mirror themselves.
Terry Pluto says, “Yes, the Indians' season is over, but they still have 89 games beginning Friday in Los Angeles to put together next year's team.”

Uh uh, they have 89 games remaining that they owe an effort on and off the field to this town and these fans that exceeds the price of admission.

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