Monday, June 9, 2008

"It's Too Late, Baby...It's Too Late!"

"There's too many games left in the season to start talking about what we can't do," said first baseman Ryan Garko.

There are 99 games remaining in the season for the 2008 Cleveland Indians. A better statement might be, “There’s too few games left in the season to start talking about what we can do!”

By comparison, the 1997 Indians won the Central Division of the American League with a record of 86-75. They took over first place for the rest of the season on Sunday, May 18 with a 20-20 record. By the end of the season, the Indians were the only +.500 team in the division. Everyone knows that the season ended in the seventh game of the World Series in defeat at the hands of Edgar Renteria and the Florida Marlins.
For a similar situation to take place, Detroit would need to stay broken, Minnesota would need to continue their collapse, Chicago would need to suffer from a long losing streak, and of course the Indians would need to start playing baseball.

Perhaps another comparison may be the 2005 Indians who had a great late August and September surge and came up short of a wild card playoff berth, finishing at 93-69. They lost 6 of their final 10 games. The 2007 Yankees made a similar run at the wild card only without the choke in the last week.

It would be great to think that this team could follow either pattern and make a season out of it. However, with the offense mired in a season-long slump, the bullpen in disarray, and the starting pitching limping to the DL, it is just not going to happen.
The coaching staff leads you to think that they believe that coaching at the major league level is not necessary. They appear not to be able to recognize mechanical or mental issues and would instead prefer to send players with options down a level to work out those issues. From a fan standpoint, the entire coaching staff looks to be waiting for an offensive epiphany to take place, rather than hold individuals accountable for non-performance. Perhaps last year was an anomaly that these under performers out-performed.

It is time to sign or trade C.C. Sabathia as an investment in the future, either way.
It is time to sign Casey Blake or bundle him with some talent for the 2009 season.
Now is the time to look to the future and make some low risk trades with contending teams willing to give up the talent we desire so that those teams can make a run at the playoffs with a Sabathia, Blake, Byrd, etc.

2008 is over in Cleveland, look to the future and build.

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