Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ok, So We Got Him Down On The Field...

Congratulations to Mike Hargrove on his induction into the Indians' Hall of Fame this afternoon. Hopefully, the Tribe brass was measuring the big guy for a uniform while he was in the clubhouse. This current team would be a great fit for Hargrove to manage. At one time, he had his hands full with Albert Belle, but Belle performed well as an Indian. So well that Hargrove named Belle to his all-time best team when asked to name each by position. However, this current Indians team does not have a player so difficult to handle as Belle. John Hart, who was the Indians' GM when Hargrove managed here, once said of Mike Hargrove, "Mike Hargrove can walk into a clubhouse that's in total confusion and 15 minutes later, everything is fine." This young bunch has some untapped talent and Grover has a great knack of creating a team of over-achievers out of such talent, as he did in 1997.
Meanwhile, the Indians could not overcome their early errors today (3) and lost a heart breaker to the Angels, 4-3. The Tribe left 13 runners on base and wasted many scoring opportunities, in particular, a no out, bases loaded 7th inning. Kelly Shoppach came to bat and struck out looking. He did this three times today and each time he got rung up, he jawed at the umpire. Replays showed each 3rd strike pitch was too close to let go. In the 5th inning, he threw his bat and started jogging to 1st base when he caught the ire of Angels pitcher John Lackey. With one out in the 9th, Shoppach came to the plate with Peralta on 1st base. Down by one run, Shoppach had the opportunity to redeem himself. He grounded out for out #2 and Ryan Garko looked at strike 3 to end the game.
This is one area where Hargrove could make a huge impact on this team. Of the 7 strike outs by the Tribe today, 6 of them were called 3rd strikes. Grover does not stand for this poor discipline.
Here is hoping Grover is inking a contract now to make a difference in this team being managed on cruise control.
If GM Mark Shapiro stays, he needs to learn important lessons from this season gone bad that truly began last October.

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