Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Am Seeing A Pattern…

You are a young baseball player with what you have been told are major league skills. You are playing for your college baseball team or you are playing in an instructional league. You are hitting and fielding well and gaining much attention. Scouts are coming to see you play. Offers will soon be streaming in and your baseball future is very bright.

So who do you sign with? Do you sign with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, or Phillies where you will experience extreme competition and wait possibly longer than you should to finally get your chance in the majors? Or, do you sign with the Indians where, if your success continues, you will be on a fast track to the big club?

I might sign with the Indians. Why?

Sure, they are not the prestigious Yankees, the team that everyone dreams of playing for. They are not exactly rich in winning tradition. But what they do have is a roster made up of mostly guys that started this season in AAA ball.

Sign with the Indians. You move up quickly through their organization, when they deal free agents to unload payroll, you get called up to the “Bigs".

Then what?

You catch on and become a regular until you approach free agency, then you get traded to the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, or Phillies.

I know I have over simplified the process but perhaps this is the short to medium term plan for loading up the Indians minor league system with talent.
OK, now I get it!

So when do we start winning Mark?

Monday, September 21, 2009

If Wedge Walks, Who Managers?

Interesting that the Dolans and GM Mark Shapiro are going to wait until the end of the season to determine the fate of manager Eric Wedge. I cannot imagine that a high level meeting takes place and the decision is really shelved. No, the fact is that the decision has been made for the future of the coaching staff but the wild card in the whole mix could be manager Eric Wedge. How so? Well, everyone knows changes will be made but not to what extent those changes will encompass.

Remember Joe Torre in 2007? His high-priced Yankees got beat by the Indians in the ALDS 3 games to 1. Joe Torre was the fall guy. The brain trust that is the modern Yankees didn't fire Joe, they just made demands so that he wouldn't stay. You gotta think something like that may take place in Cleveland in a couple of weeks. One thing Eric Wedge is, is loyal. He will probably be told that his coaching staff is gone and he may stay on if he agrees. You can bet that will be the last straw with Wedge.

So Wedge up and leaves, then what? Who manages the team?

The betting money in Cleveland says it is a pitching coach for the Red Sox named John Farrell. But would he do it? Let's look at why he shouldn't;

  • He's doing a good job in Boston, why leave?
  • Why would someone want to manage a team where the owner has no money to spend and suggests that the team cannot be competitive in this small market?
  • He can hold out for a better offer as there are sure to be openings at season's end?
Now let's look at why he might do it;
  • He played and coached for the Indians
  • He knows the organization top to bottom
  • He still resides in a suburb of Cleveland
  • He can take the job to break into managing in the Majors
  • The team can only improve

So, I think he does it. Perhaps this is a long range plan coming to fruition.

If not Farrell, it could be a long Winter looking for the right man for the job. But what exactly is the job? Why do sows ears and silk purses come to mind?

Perhaps there is a tire salesman still untapped...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Who Are You, Who-Who, Who-Who?!

There was a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning regarding the Cleveland Indians request of DNA testing of minor league draft picks.

Apparently the team has been duped in the past. It was reported that the Tribe paid a 17-year-old shortstop Jose Ozoria $750,000 as an international free agent last year only to discover Ozoria wasn't Ozoria. Instead of a 17-year-old shortstop, Ozoria turned out to be 20-year-old shortstop Wally Branyan. Ozoria/Branyan and his agents duped the Indians into a big payday with forged documents.

Makes you think who else may not be who they appear to be...Hmm!

Yeah, there is a guy posing to be a MLB owner and he is living right here in Cleveland. Best get this guy to the Cleveland Clinic for a quick swab to find out who really is sucking the life out of this team!

Then there is GM Mark Shapiro. Beware...! To hold down his position for as long as he has with his record he must be calling on some extra-terrestrial powers.

What about CC Sabathia? If I were Joe Girardi, I would find out real quick before the playoffs who will be starting the post season in CC's body.

Hey, aliens (Shapiro & Dolan) took CC away from us...he must have gone over to their side!
Remember some trades we had before DNA testing was available? Ken "Hawk" Harrelson comes to mind. How about Brandon Phillips? Who was really here in his place until he got traded to Cincinnati?

The one guy I wouldn't waste the cost of a DNA exam on is Tribe Skipper Eric Wedge. He's the real deal. Call him what you would, question his every move, non-move, incessant lineup changes, etc., he's Eric Wedge. The one thing you can call him though is GONE! He will absolutely be looking for work come October 4th, 2009. Eric Wedge will take the fall for the poor performance of this team. Do I disagree? No, but he is not alone in the undoing of the Cleveland Indians. The entire management staff has chugged Larry Dolan's Kool-Aid. What else can they do, stock groceries at Giant Eagle?

Wanna fix the team? Start at the top! Sell the team to someone or a group that can manage a competitive business instead of making up excuses and blaming the "market" for our inability to secure talent and win games. Dick Jacobs did it right here in Cleveland.


Monday, September 14, 2009

What A Season!

It's Gonna Be A Shootout!

Look at the division and wild card races this year! The last few games of the season are going to be crazy but fantastic!

Boston is making a late charge on the Yankees. Currently they are 7 games out with 20 games remaining. Who plays who when?
The Red Sox play the Yankees on the 25th, 26th, and 27th of September…in NY! Don’t forget…the Red Sox finish the season in Boston with my spoilers, the Indians!
The Twins are still just 5.5 games back of the Tigers. However, they are currently losing 3-0 to my Tribe tonight!
The Tigers have 6 games left with the Twins and 6 games left with the White Sox…look for the Tigers to lose their lead in late September! Who will take the American League Central? Can the Tigers hold on?
The Angels remain 6 games ahead of the Rangers who are getting hammered tonight by the A’s, 7-0. But after losing to the Yankees tonight, the Angels will face the Rangers 7 more times, the Yankees 3 more times and the Red Sox 3 more times as well. Anything can and probably will happen in the A.L. Wild West!
Texas is still in the Wild Card hunt with Boston but their best chance for the playoffs will be head to head with the Angels for that division.

Philly is holding off Florida but at a 6.5 game difference, they cannot afford to get sloppy or get cold. They play each other 6 more time…Hmmm!
St. Louis cooled down just enough to let the Cubs back into the race or so it seems. But at 9.5 games ahead, the Cards should be a lock.
The hottest race in baseball is going on between the rock-solid Dodgers and the ever streaky Rockies! With a 3 game Dodger lead right now, guess who plays each other the last 3 games of the season?!
Florida’s best shot is going after Philly for the division because if Colorado doesn’t overtake the Dodgers, they are sure to take the Wild Card.
All in all, the last 3 weeks of the season are looking very exciting!

Here is how I see it:
American League
Yanks vs. Tigers (as the Cats hold off W.Sox & Twins)
Red Sox vs. Angels (Texas comes up short)
Red Sox and Yankees advance for a breath-taking ALCS
Yanks move on to the World Series after crushing the Bosox!

National League
Dodgers vs. Cards
Phillies vs. Rockies
Dodgers and Rockies advance and the ex-Indian-laden Dodgers take the NLCS in 7 games!

World Series
Revenge is sweet for Joe Torre as he beats his former boss in 7 dramatic and exhausting games!

What a game this is!

Go Joe!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Is there no relief in sight from the constant bungling of the Dolan family's ownership of the Cleveland Indians?!!!

The following statement was taken from a story that appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal Sports section on Saturday, September 12th;

[Club officials have said that it's unlikely that the team will contend for a postseason berth next year. If that is the case, Carroll, who will be 36 in February, might not fit the Indians' plans.]

Just what are those plans beside not winning and unloading talented players?

Jamey Carroll is batting .291 as a part-time player for the Cleveland Indians. It is well documented that most players struggle to perform consistently when they do not know from day to day if they will be in the next game. Playing in 77 games this year, based on the current 25 man roster and including Grady Sizemore, Carroll is 4th in batting average behind Brantley, Cabrera, and Choo, 5th in runs scored, 6th in hits, 8th in doubles, 4th in triples, 8th in RBIs, 8th in total bases, 7th in walks, 6th in stolen bases, 3rd in On Base %, and 11th in Slugging %. Not only is he a consistent performer, he is a positive clubhouse influence and he is a much needed spark plug that drives energy on the field, both offensively and defensively.

So why would we want to keep a guy like that around?

Read the story referred to above and ask the Dolans that question. If his current $2.5M salary is the reason, this team is in far more trouble that we can even imagine.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Something To Look Forward To...

Take a look at the the last 4 games of the season...October 1st through the 4th.
Yeah, that's right...4 games in Boston!
The way the season is shaping up, these 4 games will very likely be critical to the Red Sox getting into the playoffs.
Could we get a bit of revenge for 2007?
Would knocking the Bosox out of the playoffs be sweet?

You bet!

In reality, there is every reason to believe that the Boston Red Sox will sweep the Tribe just like the Texas Rangers did over the last 3 games. Look at this Indians' team; all of the true veterans are traded away with the exception of Travis Hafner, Jhonny Peralta, and Kelly Shoppach, and of course Grady Sizemore who has been shut down by injuries for the remainder of the season. Our most experienced guys are Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin Soo Choo, and Peralta. The remainder of the team is AAA and AA players.
How could they ever expect to compete with a playoff-bound team in the last series of the season?
Well, these guys are hungry as well as talented. Sure they are raw rookies but what have they got to lose?
Even if Boston wins the first 3 games, it still could come down to the final game of the season.
Look, right now we will take any win, no matter how big or small. But if we can ruin Boston's playoff hopes, now that is S-W-E-E-T!

They're getting ready for the playoffs in Boston,
Let's see if we can spoil their plans!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

She Sings!

Yeah, it's over and it's been over...ya just hate to admit it. Even Yogi would say, "It's over BEFORE it's over!"

This train wreck of a season started in Spring Training when we heard excuses like, "The thin air of Arizona is having it's effect on our hitters and pitchers." Thanks Eric, how come it didn't effect other teams?

When the season went into the tank early on, it was only a matter of time when the bargain basement discounting of future free agents would take place.

Just want to thank Cliff Lee for his recent comments last week pertaining to the poor attendance at Progressive Field. Cliff blamed the Cleveland fans for non-support of the team. He told Dennis Manoloff of the Plain Dealer words to the effect of, if the fans had come out to support this team, the owners may not have had to unload the free agents a year early.
Nice, Cliff!
Once again, he showed his wisdom and tact. The problem with the Indians has never been the fans. This has got to be one of the most loyal fan bases in all of major league sports. Our 455 consecutive sellout record stood until last season when the Red Sox finally beat the mark. Hmm, same Red Sox that blasted Cliffy in 2007, prompting him to tip his cap to the Cleveland fans as they let him know how they felt about his pitching that season. That was his next home game since beaning Sammy Sosa in Texas on Sammy Sosa Night. You still have so much class, don't you Cliff?!

Questions still to have answered;
1. Why can't everyone play like Grady Sizemore?
Grady is done for the season and will have 2 operations, one on his elbow and one on his abdomen, both injuries that have been nagging Grady all season long. (The abdominal injury was just reported recently.) When asked why the surgeries didn't take place early on, Grady replied that he wanted to play! Funny thing, so did manager Eric Wedge and head trainer Lonny Soloff!
2. When will Hafner be Full-ner?
What is wrong with our gentle giant? Just when it seems he is over his right shoulder ailment, his left shoulder acts up! Conditioning/Rest...Conditioning/Rest...Conditioning/Rest!
3. When will we get the ownership for the Cleveland Indians to take us to the World Series?
There is no doubt that the Cleveland Cavaliers have the very best chance to bring Cleveland it's first major league championship since 1964. Why?...Ownership! The Indians went to the World Series twice with Dick Jacobs. The Dolans were more lucky than smart in 2007 as we missed the World Series by one game. Please talk to Peter Lewis and his Progressive empire to buy this team!

As the sun sets on another season of Indians' baseball, we are thrust back to our resolve of the '60s, '70s, and '80s...Bad baseball is better than no baseball.
Mr. Dolan, if you love the Cleveland Indians as much as you say you do, then...