After the enthralling Midsummer Classic last night (has anything good happened in the All Star Game in the last 20 years outside of Bo Jackson and Sandy Alomar's HR in the Jake?), it's one more night without baseball.
You would think the PD would have an analysis on the first half today, but nothing. Maybe Hoynes is getting it together for tomorrow, or maybe they'll do a big piece on Doug Johnson (the new backup QB). We wonder why the town hasn't embraced this team yet and you have to look no further at the negativity and overall lack of optimism in the local sports page. People read the same sarcastic comments from the luminaries at the PD and scoff at the progress being made. Don't even get me started on WKNR.
This perception that Dolan is a cheapskate (despite the Tribe spending the most of any ML team on player development in the past few years) is truly ignorant. People rant and rave that Omar and Thome and Manny aren't here, neglecting to remember that Dolan offered Manny $18M to stay here, Shapiro was right on the length of Thome's contract because of his back, and Peralta is a budding star at age 23.
Let's look at what we would have if we had kept that "Golden Era" team intact (just counting the players still in the league):
- Manny - too much $, remember the Sawx tried to cut him
- Thome - will be unproductive for the remainder of his contract, which runs through 2008
- Omar - the Giants are already trying to move him, and he's under contract until he's 41
- Lofton - once he lost his legs, was exposed as an athlete playing baseball
- Sean Casey - would look nice here, but has no power
- Sexson - again, would look nice here, but not for his contract
- Giles - a mistake
- Colon - I'd make that trade every day and twice on Tuesdays
- Sandy - a backup catcher
Who am I missing? Where have you gone Albert Belle, Carlos Baerga, Matt Williams, Travis Fryman, Robby Alomar?
There's such a thing as fiscal responsibility in baseball. That's why what the Indians are doing is the right way to approach building a baseball team. Call it the Atlanta Braves method: develop home-grown talent and add pieces, where needed, to put a consistent product on the field. Is anyone arguing that the Braves do it correctly? Right now, the Indians are at the stage where they're developing young talent and finding out what they have before adding the needed pieces.
As as been said many times, it's time for the fans of this town to turn the page and embrace this team. Root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.Moving on to the pitchers, here's what the starters are on pace to achieve:
The stats are listed as Wins - Losses - ERA - K's - WHIP
11 - 9 - 4.50 - 129 - 1.33
5 - 13 - 3.58 - 133 - 1.30
11-20 - 4.67 -127 - 1.23
17 - 7 - 3.89 - 145 - 1.31
11 - 5 - 4.72 - 114 - 1.31
The Sticky one is on pace for 42 saves. Looking at these numbers, you can't help but be optimistic for the second half. No way that Westbrook continues his losing, or Millwood doesn't get W's.
The consistency of Lee and Elarton has given the Indians a shot all 5 days of the rotation. Expect Lee to get Westbrook money in the off-season, with Elarton getting a long look.
Wicky gives balance to the strong bullpen and, though he quickens the heart rate, gets the job done.
The Crooked Cap, in a landslide. I can't get into it right now, or it will ruin my night. Just for a snapshot, look at C.C.'s numbers against Elarton's.
Enjoy the second half. Against the protests of everyone, I'll be in the stands for the first game of the White Sox series tomorrow.