Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stubborn Son of a…

Just when you want to justify your 100% support of manager Eric Wedge, he goes and gets pig-headed again. The Cleveland Indians get charged with a loss last night but nowhere in the box scores does it allow for the manager to be charged for the individual loss. Of course, the manager is responsible for the entire won/loss record, but it is individual games, just like this one last night that keep a team from making the playoffs. In 2005, the Indians just missed the playoffs. Had we won just one more game and Boston lost just one more game, we would have completed a Cinderella type season with a playoff berth.
Last night, San Diego’s starting pitcher Cha Sueng Baek got roughed up in the first inning for 3 runs. Then he proceeded to shut the Indians offense down for the next 6 innings, even putting down 16 hitters in a row. In his post game interview, Eric Wedge said that Baek made adjustments, our hitters didn’t. Sorry to bother you during the game but could ya get up and coach a bit? How about getting Derek Shelton involved? Baek threw 110 pitches in 7 innings, 68 of those pitches were for strikes, resulting in only 2 hits/3 runs, all in the first inning. Here’s a novel idea, how about re-implementing the patience at the plate that was so successful for this team last season? How about a conversation about protecting the plate with two strikes? In the fifth inning, Shoppach and Carroll took long looks at called third strikes. With Hafner on the DL, we were beginning to get better at reducing the stares and glares at the umpires after a called third strike that were becoming so common to this season. Where the hell is the in-game coaching?
In the top of the tenth inning, Edward Mujica relieved Joe Borowski. Mujica got Gerut to fly out. Then his troubles began. He gave up a single to Edgar Gonzales. Brian Giles hit a double putting runners at second and third with one out and the score tied 3-3. Adrian Gonzales was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a double play. OK Wedge, are you coming out of the dugout to yank Mujica? No, he pitches to and walks Tony Clark on a 3-2 count. Padres 4, Indians 3. OK Wedge, are you coming out of the dugout to yank Mujica? No, Kevin Kouzmanoff is up next and he bats righty vs. righty Mujica. Does it matter that Mujica, throwing everything belt high and getting murdered now can’t find the strike zone? No, Wedge stubbornly leaves him in. Bam! Grand slam! In the post-game interview, Wedge complains that Mujica couldn’t get the ball down in the strike zone. Then what the #@&%!!! did you leave him in two batters too long for?
Nice loss Wedge, your stubbornness cost us a chance to sweep the Padres. Now the series is in jeopardy.
Aren’t you tired of reading and hearing about the former Indians beating their former team? There are good trades and bad trades and neither dictate how you pitch to a Brandon Phillips, Milton Bradley, Jody Gerut, or Kevin Kouzmanoff. In fact, this organization is scared s---less to trade Andy Marte because they fear he will go on to another team, be successful, and take out his revenge on the Tribe in future encounters.
Bring these guys on! Doesn’t good pitching beat good hitting more than 70% of the time?
It is great to see Jody Gerut playing and hitting so well again. He still offers up his body and future when fielding his position. Gerut tied the game last night with a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning. Does he have an axe to grind? It doesn’t sound like it. In fact, in interviews, you get the feeling that he still wishes to be playing in Cleveland. Do Milton Bradley and Brandon Phillips feel they have something to prove each time they face their old team? You bet but who cares? Forget the good and bad trades and play like winners. Play fearlessly despite your decisions on personnel. Better yet, manage fearlessly and less stubbornly!

No comments: