Wednesday, August 03, 2005

This is How We Do It!

Before we get to the Yankees' games, the Tribe picked up Aaron Boone's 2006 option and restructured his contract to include a mutual option for 2007. Before the Boone detractors come out in full force, let's remember that Boone's average has steadily risen as his solid defense has been a HUGE upgrade over Kasey Blake's of 2004. Additionally, the 3B that are available in Free Agency this offseason are as follows:
Bill Mueller
Lenny Harris

Abraham O. Nunez
Jared Sandberg
Wes Helms
Joe Randa
Chris Stynes
Jeff Cirillo
Geoff Blum

Brandon Larson
Any of those names really jump out at you?
Me neither, which makes Boone at 3B for (probably) the next two years look even better. Rather than complaining about extending a player's contract who's hitting under .230, I wish that people looked at the big picture in these instances. No, Boone is never going to give the Tribe great numbers from 3B, but the fact that Peralta and Martinez are two run-producing players, playing positions that are not traditionally power positions allows this team to take advantage of Boone's glove and solid, if not spectacular, offensive numbers.

The offense is still without Le Pronk (who continues to shake the cobwebs out in Akron), but he may be back for the finale of the Yankees series or join the team in Detroit for the weekend. The offense, though, has looked good in the first two games, mainly because of Jhon and the Stick (plus a renewed commitment to patience and seeing pitches). But, boy, adding Pronk to the mix really makes this lineup look better for the dog days of August.

I love watching Cliff Lee work when he's rolling. He, like Millwood and Westbrook, looks like he's in total control - dictating the tempo of the game by throwing strikes and retiring batters seemingly the way that he wants to. He doesn't let a 3 run job by Georgie Porgie Posada allow him to become unraveled; he bears down and gives the team a chance to win.

Breaking the 9 game personal losing streak (though, barely), I was at the Jake last night to shout down Yankees fans and lose about 10 pounds in water weight. The crowd was solid last night, though (as always), I'm floored by the bandwagoners. I've never seen so big-boned girls in Jeter jerseys. One of the best comments was that only girls whose weight starts with a "2" can comfortably wear the "2".

I ended up yelling at some kid in an A-Rod jersey, asking him what borough he was from, then pointing out that Wadsworth and Brunswick are not technically boroughs of NYC. He shot back that A-Rod was better than Boone. REALLY?

The infuriating thing about Yankees fans at the Jake (outside of their obnoxiousness) is their sheer ignorance of baseball and their belief that counting World Championships ends arguments.

I'll take the Indians and their brand of baseball, strong pitching combined with timely hitting (of late), over the Yankees current strategy (outslug all opponents) any day.

The game was not broadcast on ESPN (as promised) tonight, so I'd be interested to hear from our out-of-towners how the game was handled by the national announcers. We got to hear the enthralling banter of Rick Manning and Mike Hegan, 2 color guys without a lot of color.

Assuming that the bullpen can hang onto a 7-4 lead over the last two innings, Millwood will go for the sweep tomorrow night against Shawn Chacon.

Indians Fever is thick in the air, like the humidity. Can you feel it?


Anonymous said...

I thought i was watching the Yankees network for awhile with Fred, Chris Berman and Jeff Brantly describing how the current lineup was comparable to "murderers row" and non-stop praise for Giambi. Berman even commented that there were a lot of yankee fans there after posada's shot. When the 5th rolled around, Brantly's praise for the Indians was pretty lame, he kept saying how these Indians "keep swinging" and "never give up" any major leauge baseball team is going to not swing their bats or try because they are down four run. There was a lot of discussion about Raffy (brantly played with him).
When the Indians got going, the crowd sounded good, the talk shifted to how the Jake was coming alive again. Berman then infuriated me by saying the current team (with Hafner) was starting to look like the team of the late 90's when they are in fact the polar opposite of those teams.

Great poise by Lee overcoming a great lineup and a large jinx in the stands, maybe this will turn things around for you

Anonymous said...

Oh, PC wasn't at the game...Lee's victory loses some of its luster; but Elarton is looking like a #2 starter

Cy Slapnicka said...

Speaking of Raffy, did anyone hear Will Clark's comments on SportsCenter? He tore Captain Limp Pecker a new one. And then they had Brantly giving some politically correct comments....scared b/c he's on BBTN. Never liked Brantly...

Rockdawg said...

Great 5th inning last night. I heard on the radio that Boone was going to get a nice option next year anyways, as long as he gets over 500 plate appearances this year, which he will most likely get. Had he not restructured now and gotten the plate appearences, he would be in a position to make a lot more cash. He basically restructured for less money, so people don't need to get all up in arms over this, especially since he has actually been hitting the ball decent lately. Will there be a possible Haf-Pipe siting at the Jake tonight?

Will Clark is still a legend..."You got caught...patna'!"

Rockdawg said...

I hate Bob Wichman!!! I know he went to the All Star game and all, but in the last two weeks, he's blown two of the biggest games of the year. This guy is just not that good and I think his luck is running out. It was great to see Half-Pipes not only play, but hit well. I can't believe the A's won again....what the hell is a matter with them.

Rockdawg said...

By the way, there is a going away party for Kelly and I tomorrow at Billy's at 4:00. Stop by if you're reading this and you're in town (and you know who I am and where Billy lives)

Cy Slapnicka said...

easy on bobby. we saw what kind of team we had last year without him. he's gonna blow a few during the year and you don't save 29 major league games on luck alone.

besides, pluto had a good point. you could just as easily blame our lack of timely hitting. we were 2-11 with runners in scoring position yesterday?

what does excite me, is when this team finally starts firing on all cylinders on a regular basis, when we start hitting when it matters...just imagine how good they'll be. hopefully its tonight.