Sunday, May 3, 2009
Do Wedge And Shapiro Deserve A Chance At 2009?
There has been plenty of criticism of the Indians' start to the 2009 season, namely General Manager Mark Shapiro and Manager Eric Wedge. This page has long been a critic of Wedge. Today, in the Akron Beacon Journal, Indians' beat writer Sheldon Ocker writes "A Blooming After April?" in this morning's edition.
Ocker begins the article by calling for the dismissal of Wedge for his repeated poor starts to 5 out of the 7 seasons he has been at the helm but then gets soft and defends him before calling for his head once more. Come on Shelly, what are you saying?
There was an e-mail published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today that quoted a reader in saying that perhaps manager Eric Wedge should begin each season in Arizona in extended spring training! I love it!
But wait a sec!
Let's not throw the rope over the tree just yet.
Yeah, I really said that!
Look at what took place this week;
Wedge got pissed and threatened to make changes if guys didn't start playing better.
He brought up David Dellucci, Matt LaPorta, and Luis Valbuena from AAA Columbus. So far, Dellucci has paid dividends as he had 2 great games in Detroit and probably help serve the Wedge Wake-up Call that got Jhonny Peralta back on track.
But our problem is not the hitting and the fielding as much as it is the starting and relief pitching. (Actually, they all stink right now!) It truly is the starters not going long enough and the relievers of late turning leads into losses.
However, only David Huff at AAA Columbus is showing any signs of life as the pitching goes.
We are 9-16 with 15% of the season in. One year ago, both Wedge and Shapiro were telling us to relax as nothing was going to be done until 35-40 games into the season.
Well, Hooray! This year, something is being done!
The position players are much easier to move back and forth from the Bigs to AAA. I truly think that Wedge, Shapiro, and Pitching Coach Carl Willis believe in the starters as well as the relievers on the team. I gotta believe that they are reviewing video and looking for the mechanical breakdowns that seem to torment this team over the last 4-5 years.
How does Cliff Lee go from flop in 2007 to Cy Young in 2008 and back into trouble in 2009?
Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Aaron Laffey, Jensen Lewis, et al; each one has or has had mechanical issues that appeared to be career threatening.
If Wedge, Shapiro, and Willis truly believe in these guys, then they must get them straight quickly, like before we face East Division leading Toronto tomorrow night.
And what about Toronto? Where will these guys be in September? Not in first, not in the playoffs!
The next four games are critical, critical, critical!
We play 2 vs. Toronto and 2 vs. Boston.
They are critical to Wedge, Shapiro, and Willis as their jobs with the organization depend on getting this team to compete with these two teams.
They are critical to putting this team back on track for the season as 3 losses in these 4 games will tailspin the season.
They are critical to the mental toughness of the players on this team and how they view their chances in 2009.
There is no doubt that we must win both games from Toronto and at least one from Boston.
I all of a sudden have faith in Eric Wedge.
I want to have faith in Eric Wedge.
This is my team and the Cleveland Indians winning isn't the only thing to me, it is everything!