Sunday, June 28, 2009

Did It Start Again?

Yes, apparently the "Annual Fire Sale" of Cleveland Indians potential free agents has started again...or better yet, has been re-ignited. During last night's loss to the Cincinnati Reds, infielder/outfielder/ball-basher Mark DeRosa was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals for a handful of beans. Hell, these beans were not even advertised as magic beans!

I don't even want to get into trying to defend or analyze this trade as something that would remotely help this season because it will not and it wasn't intended to help this season despite GM Mark Shapiro's spin. Giving up a high quality player in DeRosa for a reliever with a bloated ERA and a minor league player to be named sometime when few fans will care signals raising the white flag on the '09 season in Cleveland.

OK, we expected it. It just hurts to see it.

The core problem with the Cleveland Indians is ownership. How long must we suffer with this relationship with "The Cable Guy?"

Is it time to start canvassing the greater Cleveland area for a savior? For a business leader to wrestle this team away from the financially strapped Dolan family?...Absolutely!

OK then, who?

  • How about Peter Lewis and his monster insurance company? The field is already called Progressive Field! The only problem is that this bleeding heart will go soft and eject our beloved Chief Wahoo for a more politically correct mascot...Forget it!

  • How about Eaton Corporation? They appear to be a financially sound rock of Cleveland with roots dating back to founder and Clevelander Cyrus Eaton. Does anyone know exactly what they do?

  • American, forget it, their bottom line has dropped.

  • Cleveland Clinic! Now there is a thought! This world power in medicine could keep the team healthy if not in contention! "Cleveland Clinic Heartland Field!" Naw, they would dump the Chief too.

  • Forest City Enterprises? This mega-real estate mogul certainly has the bucks. Their roots are deep in Cleveland...Hmmmm!

  • Here's a laugh...The Cleveland Plain Dealer! Forget it! Although they are out performing many news papers in the country, the economy and future of printed news is quite in jeopardy.

  • How about a savvy businessman like Mike Feuer? He is experienced at bringing investors together in a united effort. He loves to tell the story of how he founded OfficeMax on a blank piece of paper. He is about to do it again with his new company, Max Wellness, a chain of health super-stores about to open in September across the nation. While the CEO and President of OfficeMax, Mike began an advertising campaign in major league ballparks, beginning with the right field wall of then Jacobs Field. His apparent love affair with baseball was rekindled as he could be seen many nights in the field box seats next to the Indians' dugout. He is a tough businessman who get the results he wants...I love it!
Our bottom line is that the Dolans gotta go!

Somewhere out there in the greater Cleveland area is a hero. Someone like Dick Jacobs who has the ability to put together a purchase for this team and run it day in/day out as a successful and competitive business. I long for that day and wait with anticipation with millions of greater Clevelanders for such a hero...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The Cure...

Apparently what ails the Cleveland Indians will not be cured in this season. Yes, they have suffered many injuries to many key players. However, scoring 12 runs and not winning the game cannot be blamed on injuries. Blowing a 7 run lead also cannot be blamed on the missing injured. It was almost one year ago that the Tribe brass gave up on the season and traded away their future free agents CC Sabathia and Casey Blake. Through yesterday, the Indians are 29 and 41. On this same date last year, they were 35 and 40.

Is it time again to throw in the towel on this season?

You bet it is.

Yesterday, the Dolan family (owners of this hapless team) were on hand in Chicago to see their team blow yet another lead twice in the game to lose in extra innings in the most embarrassing ways. Kerry Wood may have a banner raised to his accomplishments in Chicago in 1998 but the best remembrance of this failed Indians' closer will be the door hitting him in the behind as he leaves Cleveland.

You can trade off the free agents but the problems will still remain. The team has ownership that cannot finance the business to compete on a daily basis. The talent pool is dwindling and management is forced to play injured players when they should be rested or have career saving operations without being rushed back.


  • Let Grady Sizemore have the operation now on his elbow that is inevitable.

  • Do not rush back Jake Westbrook as the white flag will be raised on this season in the next few days.

  • Manager Eric Wedge need to be replaced but not with another sub-caliber manager. He might as well stay until ownership is in the position to replace him with a winner that will command a much higher salary.

  • Mark Shapiro claims that this season is no one's fault except his. Agreed, see ya!

  • The Dolan family must quickly find an interested buyer with the capital to run the team as Dick Jacobs did, as a profitable business that could compete with the best teams in the league.

I remain a loyal fan to the Cleveland Indians. The likes of Frank Lane and the Dolans have come and gone and we weathered the storms they brought with them. I can only hope that a community leader and businessman the likes of Dick Jacobs will step forward, purchase the team, keep them here in Cleveland where they belong, restructure the management from top to bottom, and finance the club as a profitable business.

It has been done before, here and in other cities.

Why not now?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

12 Runs...12 Runs!

Ya know, if yer gonna score 12 runs, ya outta at least win da game!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Cliff Lee led an inspired Cleveland Indians Team to a well-played victory last night on national television. I am sure the national audience was cut down a bit with the NBA finals opposite but the good guys in white looked great! Cliff Lee was excellent as he took a no hitter into the top of the 8th inning. The first inning started out a little rough for Cliff as he walked the lead off and 3rd batter, but after he got out of the inning with "a zero" as he calls it, the Indians' hitters set the pace for the game. Patience at the plate was not the theme for either team but sparkling defensive plays were executed by both ball clubs. The Indians won the game by a score of 3-0 and the way Cliff Lee was pitching, 3 runs were more than enough. The game did not go without incident. Late in the game with a no hitter on the line, a ball was hit near the right field stands. Shin Soo Choo was there in time to position himself under the nearly out of play foul ball when a spectator (not a fan) attempted to interfere. Joe Morgan of the ESPN Baseball Tonight team was cordial as he dismissed the action saying words to the effect that people want to catch a ball at the ball park but they do not always think of the circumstances. Luckily Choo was not interfered with and he made the catch. Had this moron spectator touched the ball or had been lucky enough to accidentally catch it, the batter gets another chance and who knows how the game could have turned out (Ala Chicago Cubs run for the championship a few years ago). Where were the "Fans" of the game in right field who could have sat this idiot back in and on his seat?
Perhaps tickets should come with the instructions, "Keep your head and arms inside the railing at all times!"
Oh well, the city looked great, so did the ball park, and the team played a great game despite some flounder in the outfield stands who should have stayed home and watched the NBA.

We get another chance to shine on national television tonight as we take on the Brew Crew on ESPN at 7:05 pm...We can gain another half game on the idle Tigers tonight...Go Tribe!

I was thinking about the passing of former team owner Dick Jacobs and all he did for the city and team that he loved. I know that the naming rights to the stadium have quite a few years to go before they come up again but think of the possibilities that still exist right now to remember this great man. Is it possible to call the stadium, "Jacobs Field at Progressive Park?" How about the reverse, "Progressive Field at Jacobs Park?" At the very least a street in downtown Cleveland could be named after Jacobs, perhaps Ontario Blvd.?...Hmmm...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

When Nature Strikes Back...

Who could forget the infamous "Bug Game" at Jacobs Field (now Progressive) vs. the Yankees in the ALDS in 2007? Yes, the Cleveland Indians won that game in 11 innings and took a 2-0 lead in the series. Oh, there were those that carped and moaned that the Indians had an unfair advantage. Roger Clemens, then still with the Yankees, chastised then manager Joe Torre for not pulling his team off of the field because of the apparent plague sent to punish the Yankees.

Well, recently nature struck again at a home game here in Cleveland and it played a hand (or should I say a "wing") in the outcome of the game.

Almost from out of the movie, "The Birds" came a flock of seagulls that have been hanging around Progressive Field since the start of this season. Ominously lurking in the rafters, flying over home plate casting distracting shadows, calling for scraps of food from fans, and gathering in the outfield, these birds have been biding their time, just waiting for the chance to help out the home team.
Well, they took their best shot on this past Thursday night. With the score tied at 3 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Shin Soo Choo sent a hit up the middle with Mark DeRosa on second base and Victor Martinez on first base. As the ball bounced towards center field, KC outfielder Coco Crisp charged the ball to keep DeRosa at third base. But that is when the seagulls decided to help their adopted team. The ball apparently bounced off of one of the flocking birds and glanced away from Coco Crisp. As the ball went left of Crisp, he very cautiously maneuvered out of an encounter with the flock. Crisp motioned to the umpires as if to ask for interference from the birds. He was very careful to stay away from the birds as he looked quite afraid of them. Final score, Cleveland 4, KC 3, Seagulls 1.

As this season continues and the Indians await their injured stars to come back from the disabled list, they will take any and all help while staying in contention with their young players. Bugs and birds...what's next? Lightning bolts, vampire bats, locusts, and boils? Bring it on!

This past Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of Cleveland favorite Rocky Colavito hitting 4 home runs vs. the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, June 10th, 1959.

Rocky was a fan favorite and had the entire city of Cleveland devoted to him until he was dealt away in 1960 by then general manager Frank "Trader" Lane...shoulda been "Traitor" Lane. Rocky was also a very colorful and entertaining figure as he led the Indians in 1959 in a chase for the American League Pennant vs, the Chicago White Sox.

Also on that wonderful team of '59 was shortstop Woody Held. Woody played for the Indians from 1959 through 1964. He passed away last week at the age of 77.

Woody was a great guy, one of the top 100 Cleveland Indians of all time, and was know as a great team mate as remembered this week by former team mates Jim "Mudcat" Grant and Colavito. Bob Feller remembers Held as a great ball player and a man that never made an enemy.
If you have read this blog before, you know what the season of 1959 meant to me. Woody Held was a big part of that team and that season. He always had time for autographs and Q&A from fans of all ages, particularly little leaguers who were so taken with his kindness and the time he would spend talking baseball to us. That continued through the years as he was a regular at the Indians' Fantasy Camp. Woody loved to help and guide campers in the game that he loved, even campers who were not on his team during the one week "season". He was always available for early batting practice and he served as Joe Charboneau's straight man during many fun times at the camp.

Thanks to Woody for the great player that you were, for the time you spent with your fans, and for being part of some of my most cherished memories.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Time To Give Wedge A Break...

Yes, I said it...It is time to give Eric Wedge, manager of the Cleveland Indians a break.

No one has been a bigger critic of Wedge, at least I don't know of anyone, who has been as steadfast in waiting for Wedge to get canned than me.

But hold on...His team has been hit with a tremendous amount of injuries that might have crippled a lesser manager.

Here is hoping that Grady Sizemore comes back soon 100%. Same for Astrubel Cabrera, Aaron Laffey, Scott Lewis, Raphael Betancourt, Joe Smith, and Anthony Reyes.

Also hoping that Fausto Carmona gets his mechanics straightened out quickly and can get back soon.

Here is the thing; the bench guys, led by Jamey Carroll, and all of the guys the Indians have called up from the minors are doing a pretty good job. After today's victory over Chicago, we are still only 7 games out of first. Can these guys not only hold it together but win more games than they lose? If they can, when the regulars get healthy, we have a real shot at this division.

So, I will lay off of Eric Wedge. In fact, I will commend him for what he has done and support him in the difficult task at hand.

This will be the true test of the manager and the team. There is much to learn about everyone in the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully there is much more to get excited about.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thank You, Richard Jacobs

Richard Jacobs 1925 - 2009
Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote a wonderful tribute to Richard Jacobs in this morning's edition of the daily newspaper.

What more can be said other than thank you Richard Jacobs for your commitment to Northeast Ohio. Thank you for keeping the Cleveland Indians here where they belong. Thank you for being the savvy businessman that led a town down on their luck to build a new stadium, build a championship caliber team, and thrill us like we haven't experienced in 41 years.
I can only hope that when time runs out on the current naming rights of Progressive Field, that the stadium is returned back to Jacobs Field in memory of a great man and tremendous asset to the town that he loved.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lay Off Of LeBron!

Yeah, I know, this is an Indians' blog. But something just needs to be said in defense of King James.

First, let me qualify myself.

I do not like basketball. However, I love having LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is good for Cleveland and anything that is good for Cleveland, I am all for. I must however admit that on a percentage basis, when the Indians were on TV opposite the Cavaliers, the Indians dominated my attention.
I did see enough of the playoff to see that sportsmanship was very one-sided. Who does Dwight Howard think he is, LeBron James? He's more like his evil brother. The guy is a thug. And so is the rest of his scuzball team. What did he have, 6 technical fouls?...Oops, wait a 5 technical fouls thanks to the powers that be in the NBA.

OK, so LeBron didn't care to partake in the after loss media circus...probably not a good move King, but so what.

And then he broke the "unwritten rule" (as it is called by commish David Stern) of not shaking hands with the opposition. Hmmm, I am trying to remember if a very young CC Sabathia shook hands with the guy who robbed him of his jewelry at gun point at a party.

The Magic was the better team, no doubt about it. But how many elbows did LeBron throw compared to Dwight Howard? I guess you could say the Magic won that battle too, like 20 - 0.

It's over, we lost, and LeBron was pissed...too bad and who cares that he didn't go shake hands?

So, go ahead and fine him David Stern. LeBron makes most of his money outside of his NBA paycheck anyway. Whatever he fines him will be chump change.

I guess you could say LeBron makes more money than Jesus! Now that is a stupid thing to say, isn't it? Unless you are the Denver Nugget's coach George Karl. You know, the guy who runs the other semi final loser. When asked about the performance of Kobe Bryant in the final 7 minutes of game 6 of the Western Championship Series, Karl said words to the effect of Kobe was indefensible and unstoppable. Even Jesus couldn't defend against him.

So, that makes me think...if there were a pickup game and George Karl was taking his pick between Kobe Bryant and Jesus, would Karl really pick Kobe? You know, he just may. Think about all of the distractions Jesus has, would his head really be in the game? Oops, time out, gotta take this prayer. Or, Hey guys, it's been fun but I gotta run...earthquake in Syria!.

And now I am done with basketball. I am back to 100% baseball and the Cleveland Indians (instead of 99.9%).

So, here is a golden opportunity that Wedgie better jump on; the Tigers are playing the Bosox. I know your Indians are banged up but you still have a golden opportunity to gain in the division standings, or at least in games behind.

I love these guys stepping up like Jamey Carroll. If I manage the team, I find a way to get this guy in just about every game! He is hungry, a baseball opportunist, and he never-ever gets cheated at the plate. Rock on Jamey Carroll! Rock on Tribe, let's gain some ground, starting tonight!

And, long live the King! Let's just get him his Scotty Pipen for next year!