Saturday, April 29, 2006

The People's Closer

Burt Graeff’s moniker for Wicky in Saturday morning’s paper was perfect, The People’s Closer. I love it.

Does Wickman get the job done, or does Wickman get the job done? It’s not pretty, it’s not relaxing…but it’s effective. Friday night’s game was the epitome of a Sticky Wicky save. Give up 2 straight doubles, then get the last 3 outs, stranding the tying run on 3rd. Do you think that he does this on purpose?

Jason Davis looked great again on Saturday, meaning that when Fernando Cabrera comes back to the Tribe (probably today) he’ll be pitching the 6th inning. Meanwhile, Jason Dangerously will occupy the 7th inning role, possibly helping out Billy Dot in the 8th as Wedge’s confidence in JD grows.

This offense is reaching juggernaut status (if that’s possible 23 games into the season), with the lineup looking strong throughout. Hafner is walking at an alarming rate, and Victor and Benuardo (which has replaced Broussarez, which the DiaBride thought was too confusing) are making teams pay for it.

Why is it every time an announcer says, “Aaron Boone may be hurt” (it happened last night as Boonie fell to the ground after charging a grounder), I get excited? While Andy Marte hasn’t put up the power numbers in Buffalo, his overall numbers (.318 BA, .413 OBP) show that he’s taking a patient approach to the plate, something the Indians’ brass stressed with him this Spring. While Boone has been somewhat solid, and certainly unspectacular, I can’t wait for the Andy Marte Era to start. Once that starts, Boone could move to the Utility spot (if he can handle SS) to keep his veteran presence in the clubhouse and get the disappointing Vazquez off of the squad.

Speaking of Vazquez, Terry Pluto has an interesting take on Brandon Phillips, who has come out of the gate scorching in Cincinnati. While B-Phil certainly has the talent to be a solid Major Leaguer, he had simply fallen out of favor with the Indians and them with him. After Phillips wasn’t called up last September, you had to know that Phillips wasn’t ever going to be with the Tribe long-term. While Phillips has played well in Cincy, to the tune of a .356 average, 3 HR, and 20 RBI, you have to wonder what will happen once he starts getting a steady diet of curveballs in the NL. Even in 2003, Phillips proved that he could hit a big-league fastball, but struggled with the breaking stuff, particularly down and away (think Pedro Cerrano’s first stint in the cage). Phillips’ ability to adjust to pitchers once they make that realization will determine if Phillips will continue to thrive or come crashing back to Earth, the way he did in 2003.

What a great start to a great weekend for Cleveland sports as the Tribe takes Game 1, LeBron puts the Cavs on their back for a victory in Game 3, and the majority of people I know anchoring themselves to the couch for the NFL Draft (the most serious anchoring involves my buddy Dozer, who sees nothing wrong with watching the Draft for 10 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday, and is considering skipping a baptism on Sunday to watch Rounds 4 and 5 to do so).

With the Grady bobblehead night tonight (which serial poster Cy Slapnicka said he thought would look like an N’Sync concert), check out the amazingly exhaustive Grady’s Ladies Sisterhood website, which I’ve put up as a link. When you get some time, check it out as it’s very well done and gives you a peek into the emerging subculture that is the Grady Sizemore Fan Club. Did you ever notice that Grady looks like Vincent Chase from Entourage?

Grady photo courtesy of the Sisterhood. Yes, those are the type of pictures in the Photo Gallery.


t-bone said...

Don't forget about

Cy Slapnicka said...

for the record, nolan and i are forbidden from watching tribe/cavs doubleheaders together. we are 0-2 in cleveland collapses

t-bone said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
t-bone said...

the good: my buddy john calls on his way home from work... 2 extra dugout suite tickets!!! first time i've ever been in one, and about the last part of jacobs field i've yet to conquer.

the bad: had to look at my former hero, the man who broke my heart three and a half years ago and taught me the hard way to root for the name on the front of the jersey and not on the back, from about 5 feet out each time he was up (4 times, but who's counting).

some were booing, some were cheering, i just sat in silence.

Paul Cousineau said...

At the game last night as well, and had the same stunned silence reaction to Thome's return.

The bride sat there, incredulously saying, "THIS is how you react?"

I was numb.

t-bone said...

wow, 9 right handers to face CC. interesting.