Monday, August 11, 2008

Cito Is Back…Is Grover Far Behind?

The Cleveland Indians open a home series against the Baltimore Orioles tonight at Progressive Field. The Tribe is currently languishing in last place in the American League Central with a record of 52 – 64, 13 games behind the White Sox. Out of 30 teams in MLB, there are 4 teams with worse records than the Tribe, a team that was one win shy of going to the World Series last October. We can argue back and forth about what caused the nosedive of this team from first to worst; the failure to improve the team in the off-season, the untimely injuries to key players, and the failure of other key players to play up to their potential or to the level they played at last season. All of these factors played a part in this team’s demise. With that said, we can now argue as to the effectiveness of manager Eric Wedge and his coaches. It is my belief that Wedge took his lead from general manager Mark Shapiro early on. Shapiro defended the early failings of the team by telling fans and the media that it was too early to react and that a reaction would not come until after 40 games or so. (We are still waiting for that reaction by the way!) It is my belief, arguable as it may be, but still my belief that Eric Wedge and his coaching staff have cost this team a minimum of 10 wins. It doesn’t sound like so much but give us those 10 wins and we are 62 – 54 and at least competing for the wild card. So let’s make a change already. Wedge is so “last year!” His coaching staff has had a deer in the headlights look for far too long. Cito came back to Toronto, what about Grover? Mike Hargrove has made it very clear that he wants to manage again. What about Rick Manning? I would love to see his style of baseball back in this organization, if only for the remainder of this season. Wedge has got to go. There is no apparent plan to put this team back on a winning track for next year so take Shapiro with you. This team as it exists is better than .448. They lack direction and a sense of urgency.

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