Monday, July 25, 2005

Right in the Thick of It

Despite the woeful home stand, the Tribe remains 2 1/2 back in the Wild Card with series' against Oakland and the Yankees (two main competitors for said Wild Card) in the next week and a half. This has been said many times, but the next few series are going to be huge for this team to set a tone going into August and September. If they go 6-4 or 7-3 through the Yankees series, they'll be in a great place with the next three series against the Motor City Kitties (who are tearing the Twinkies a new one), KC, and the Devil Rays.

If the team lays down and lets the A's and Yankees run over them, not even a four game set in Seattle will offer a silver lining. If this team (and particularly the offense) wants to make a statement to the league about where they plan on being for the rest of the year, this is the time to do it. It will be interesting to see how the youngsters on this team respond. Will it be a replay of last year's meltdown, or will this team gel and realize that they're just as good as the rest of the AL and regain the swagger they had in Boston and Baltimore? Looks like the TIVO will be running overtime as 10:05 starts are way past bedtime.

Enough about Wedge and his "inability" to manage. Last year, the beef was his handling of the bullpen. That had a little bit more to do with the arms available in the pen than it did Wedgie's handling of them (Scott Stewart and Jose Jimenez were slated to set-up and close). Much the same is true of the offense this year. Yes, I hate the constant juggling of the lineup and the insistence of giving Casey Blake and Jose Hernandez AB's, but unfortunately (barring a big move), Wedge has to play with the hand that's been dealt.

That being said, I would hope that he continues to find AB's for Dubois to see if we've got anything, keeps Jhon in the 3 or 5 hole (even when Hafner returns), and forgets to tell Jose Hernandez and Josh Bard when the team bus is leaving.

The only major issue that I have with Wedge is the lack of fundamentals that becomes more apparent almost on a daily basis. The inability to bunt, move a runner over, or hit with runners in scoring position is the difference between pulling away with the Wild Card and fighting tooth and nail to stay in it. Look where the issues are again, though - the offense. Wedge can't go out there and make the plays for them. That being said, there should be a new face in Spring Training next year to explain situational hitting and baserunning (and please don't say Rick Manning).

Let's see what C.C. does tonight against Zito. Historically, the Crooked Cap has pitched to the level of his competition (can anyone say "Lima Time?), and Zito is a former Cy Young winner. He will be playing in the Bay Area, as well, so it will be good gauge of emotional stability.

A warm Wahoo welcome to the new posters on the blog, both former members of the Little Indians' Fan Club.

I caught Wedding Crashers last night and, if you have not seen it, stop reading this and go see it. Watching the middle portion of the movie is akin to the first time you saw Fletch (for those who don't feel as strongly about Fletch, rent it again). You miss half the jokes because everyone is laughing so hard. It immediately joins Old School, There's Something about Mary, and (some would argue) American Pie (the first, not the 97th time, you saw it) as great modern comedies of the past 5 years.

Sadly, I think those are the only recent comedies that I left the theater wanting to buy a ticket right then and there to see it again, or at least anxiously awaiting the DVD (if for the extras alone). It's that funny.

Vince Vaughn has become the first actor in a long time whose movies I would see solely on the basis of his starring in them. He and Owen Wilson are unbelievably funny together, as are the bevy of beauties that populate the film. Every comedy should star Vaughn, a Wilson, and Will Ferrell (whose cameo makes you really want meatloaf).

Let's hope Jhon, the Stick, SuperSizemore, and a healthy Le Pronque can figure out some Oakland pitching, because we need it.

16 comments:

Rockdawg said...

Well, big series tonight, and the A's couldn't be hotter, but I believe they are due to cool down. The Tribe is extremely lucky only to be two and a half back after playing as bad as they've played of late. There schedule remains BY FAR the easiest of the rest of the contenders, so they are definitely in the thick. As for the TIVO, not necessary here, I just hope I can get up before noon tomorrow.

As funny as Wedding Crashers was, (an it was funny) I thought that it was too much of a romantic comedy, instead of a Porky's style comedy that I expected. That being said, Will Farrel's cameo may have been the best bit role in a movie since "The Doctor" in Cannonball Run.

baltimoran said...

The national media still refuses to even mention the tribe in the wild card hunt...really chaps my bannanna. hopefully we can put something together this road trip and make people outside of this evergrowing webblog notice. I like wedge, maybe they can hire Tony Crebs to teach bunting.

Pat Tabler said...

The addition of Tank Krebs to the big league staff would make Cliff Lee's left arm fall off and Casey Blake with a broken nose in right.

How awful did C.C. look? I went to bed down 6-0 with one out in the second. Time to skip the big fella in the rotation.

Cy Slapnicka said...

CC is driving me crazy. Compare his stats to the rest of the staff. In his last 4 starts he is 0-4, 10.19 ERA, 32H, 20ER, 17 2/3 IP.

For comparison:
Westbrook 1-3, 4.69 ERA, 27H, 12ER, 23IP
Lee 3-1, 4.84 ERA, 27H, 14ER, 26IP
Elarton 2-2, 3.69 ERA, 24H, 13ER, 31 2/3 IP
Millwood 1-3, 3.10 ERA, 23H, 10ER, 29IP

Now I know our bats have been cold, but at least the other guys have given us a bit of a chance most nights. And it doesn't look good for the mighty Indians when Vegas has a line on whether CC will cry on the mound in 2005.

He is starting to remind me more and more of a chubby athlete i swam with in high school (and lifeguarded with, some of you may know him). Was very good and had great potential, but never realized it. Course, he's also snorting coke off a hookers ass right about now...and there is a good chance the hooker works on E. 140th.

baltimoran said...

we can only hope that C.C. is as fun too party with the blonde-headed womanizer your refering too.
i'm thinking a deal for millwood is a good idea at this point, he's not coming back, there are 4 teams ahead of us, our best hitter is about to go on the DL, C.C. is on the verge of insanity, and swyt has a big nose

Cy Slapnicka said...

big like a pickle, i might add.

i wonder if CC's stories are as good too. i bet he's never ripped the door off a car after an accident on the shoreway and saved the occupants. JimmyB 1 CC 0

Rockdawg said...

Didn't make it out of bed before noon today....or 1:00....or 2:00. The reason for this is that I needed MULTIPLE Jager Bombs to get through the first three innings last night. What a "typical disgusting display" that was. Today CC was quoted as saying "I can't tell when I throw a good pitch from a bad pitch anymore." Here's a clue CC, when you're ERA is over 10 in your last five starts, that means you are throwing a bunch of "bad" pitches. Zito was on Rhoda today, and he said that CC should throw his changeup more often. He all but said the A's hitters were sitting dead red last night.

How about the relief work from Betancourt? Maybe he should offer some of that "medicine" he's been taking to the offense. Even if CC threw a gem last night, the offense still only put up 3 runs, so we probably would have lost. It is hard to believe that we swept this team earlier in the season. I don't think it is time to throw in the towel quite yet though. 3 and a half games can be made up in a week. I think dealing Millwood is a little premature at this point, I'm not ready to give up yet.

Jim B is a crazy muther f'er.

tb said...

how lousy we played last night aside, and i dont have the motivation to look this up because i may have griped about this on this forum before, but i have a beef with all you "diehard" fans who dont stay up late for these west coast games. take a nap before the game or something. if you're going to be miserable about this team, you may as well be miserable at work tomorrow. hell, i do it. but that's another story for another day. back to the couch.

also, i thought about this one tonight as i saw liefer's first at bat while at the village for "rain out specials" for our coed team. is jeff liefer the modern day jeff manto? 30 years old, parts of 6 seasons in the show, etc, etc.

ok, so i just got motivated to go to the bible (www.baseball-reference.com). coming into tonight...

jeff "super" manto
[parts of] 9 mlb seasons
most games in a season? 89 with BAL in '95
289 games
713 at bats
164 hits
35 doubles
31 homers
97 rbi

jeff "maple" liefer
[parts of] 6 mlb seasons
83 with CHW in '01
269 games
723 at bats
168 hits
34 doubles
30 homers
105 rbi

YOU make the call!

tb said...

gra-dy size-more!

clap-clap, clap-clap-clap

gra-dy size-more!

clap-clap, clap-clap-clap

Rockdawg said...

Thank God for Jake Westbrook. I am getting so used to the Slim Wickman 9th inning tight rope act, it almost doesn't make me nervous anymore. In 37 innings this year, Wicky has given up 35 hits and walked 14. That means that almost half the time he's out there, he's probably going to have two runners on base. (just like he did last night)

Cy Slapnicka said...

for those of you that haven't been checking, the intern has unleashed some stellar links the past few days. quality stuff.

Rockdawg said...

In case anyone missed it, Sportscenter had a "top ten" of best wall moments. Kenny Lofton had the number 1 wall moment on the list when he jumped 10 ft. in the air to commit highway robbery. Only Precious P will understand this next reference, but number 2 on the list was Matsafooey Yamamori, of the Hank Yu Braves (Plays of the Decade, George Michael Sports Machine)

tb said...

i was in a bar with espnnews on one tv and going into EVERY commercial break they showed that goddamn play (your boy going through the wall), couldnt figure out why. now i know.

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Tiko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tiko said...

The big Wick still makes me nervous. If that was a playoff game last night, I crap my pants. Giving up hits to the first two batters on in the 9th is not what you want from your closer.

Matsafooey Yamamori, of the Hank Yu Braves
-Awesome reference, but the best part of Sports Machine is the slo-mo video of the kid getting hammered in the face by the wiffle ball bat. - "Now you gotta stand up and now it's your turn"