The Tribe, always surprising, takes 2 of 3 from the division leading Padres (could've been a sweep if Broussard catches the DP ball in the 2nd), continuing the Season of Uncertainty. Despite taking 2 of 3 from the Friars, the Wahoos remain 11 games behind those Amazin' Sox. A few thoughts as the Indians head up the Left Coast to face Omarvelous and the Giants (who are 8 games under .500...but Omar wasn't looking for the money or a long-term deal, just a team who would contend):
- Who is the Indians' All-Star? I don't think they're going to have the All-Star representation of last year, but someone has to go. The guess here is Cliff Lee, who has put together a solid first half and has a W-L record that isn't frightening (Sweatbrook, 2-9). Grady "Super" Sizemore is probably the best position player thus far, but his numbers pale in comparison to other available OF's in the American League. The other possibility is the Sticky One, who represents the back end of one of the best bullies in the bigs. I don't know if the manager of the AL has the stomach though for a typical Wicky inning (put 2 guys on, get a K and a DP as the tying run is 3 feet away from home) in the Midsummer Classic. So, I'm thinking Lee. When it happens, I will think about wearing my Lee jersey, but K-Mill took #34 away from Clifton this year (Cliff currently wears #31), leaving me looking like the guy who has the Winslow #11 jersey, a little premature and very embarassed.
- I struggled last night to watch the game with Coldplay on VH1's Storytellers. It was a great episode with the Brits tearing it up as usual, but you can't help but look at the drummer and bassist and think that they're just along for the ride, a la Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton of U2. The most amazing thing, though, is to watch Chris Martin (lead singer) and know that he's married to Gwyneth Paltrow. I know that she's a bit of a loon (British term): she did after all name her child Apple, but c'mon. I can go to the pulpit for Free Trade and not shave for a week and pull off what Martin's got going on.
- What's the deal with Le Pronque? Terry Pluto nailed it the other day by saying that Hafner's season has been "Blah...not bad, not great." Where is the clutch hitting and the opposite field moon shots? I wonder if his right elbow is bothering him more than the Dakota in him will let on. Or maybe he's upset about Shrek 3 not coming out this summer (and don't say you never noticed his similarity to the green ogre).
- I heard a commercial on the radio promoting the Padres series saying, "Catch Coco Crisp and the Indians take on Brian Giles and the Padres, tonight on FSN" then Coco hits 3rd. I was waiting for the punch line...still am. And don't come to me with 3 hits and 1 HR, Coco is not a core player on this team.
- The Super One (Sizemore) has established himself as a true keeper for years to come, but who else on this team is? The Stick and Le Pronque are the only two position players that come to mind, with C.C., Jake, and Cliff representing the pitching staff (Riske & Rocky Betancourt if you count the pen). Where is this next "wave" of players that Shapiro talked about a few years ago? Buffalo is stocked with guys that have been in the minors for about 8 years (think Jeff Manto).
- Anyone notice that the Polanco trade happened for Urbina and an INF (the day before the move was made, I had referenced a rumor of Polanco for Howry and Hernandez). Shapiro seems cautious to make a move that is going to disrupt this team. His comments in the PD that the Indians' schedule in August is favorable only strengthen the idea that this is the team, regardless of where they are at the trading deadline. However, if the Sox don't slow down, it doesn't do any good to have cupcakes in August if you're 15-20 games out.
- Ryan Drese (of TB on Shooters' Deck Fame) was given his walking papers yesterday by the Rangers, confirming the theft of Hafner as one of Shapiro's Great Heists.
Off to the land of fruits and nuts in SF, where I'm sure Omar's yellow suitcoat and Porsche are going over like gangbusters.