Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The Tribe struggled their way through Game 1 in the Yankees series, and I've got to pull my thoughts together. It's time to go off the board:

  • Fox Sports’ Dayn Perry examines what has gone wrong with the Tribe. Perry picked the Tigers to win the Central at the beginning of the season (which I see as unlikely with Maroth on the DL for an extended stint and Verlander certain to be shut down at some point to limit his innings). But his perspective is definitely worth a look.

  • Here’s a nugget from Terry Pluto’s excellent new book, “Dealing”:
    The Indians final offer to Jim Thome for 6 years at $62 million guaranteed money was dwarfed by the Phillies’ final offer of 6 years for $87 million. The word “guaranteed” is important because Thome COULD have earned $74 million over 6 years in the final Tribe offer, but only $62 million was guaranteed. The Tribe tried to get creative in some incentives to keep Thome in Cleveland. Here’s what was offered:
  • A no-trade clause
  • A luxury suite at every game for his family, friends, or anyone else
  • A Jim Thome video from which he’d be paid the profits
  • Two amateur baseball fields built each year in his name
  • A section of Jacobs Field named the Jim Thome Home Run Porch; every time he hit a home run to that section, a donation to charity would be made in his name
  • A statue of Thome outside Jacobs Field, like the one of Bob Feller
  • A personal services contract worth $250,000 annually for 10 years after he retired
  • A $500,000 bonus if he was voted to the Hall of Fame
  • A street near Jacobs Field named after him
  • So, there’s the question: What’s more important in life, the financial security of your family (and probably 4 generations from now), or the legacy that you leave? That extra $25 million would be awfully hard to leave on the table, but Pluto delves very deeply into why that was NOT the main reason that Thome didn’t re-sign with the Indians. It certainly didn’t hurt, but, Thome's decision went a lot further than dollars and cents.

  • A trip to the Team Shop revealed that the merchandise is very Grady and Pronk heavy. And why wouldn’t it be? Along with C.C., those 2 are the only players who have consistently played will this year.

  • While visiting a local Mr. Hero (who among us can avoid the siren song of the Romanburger from time to time), I noticed that their new spokesman is “Nicole”, who is the girl that walks around Jacobs Field interviewing people (Improved View of the Game, Guess the Attendance, etc.) during games.
    The great thing is that they had a cardboard cutout of “Nicole” in the store (if you’re not familiar…she’s a twenty something blond girl that COULD weigh in at 100 lbs.) holding a Romanburger in one hand and a Philly Cheesesteak in the other. She’s not exactly how I picture the average Mr. Hero customer looking.
    It also is a bit of a questionable career move for “Nicole” (who’s signature includes a heart to dot the “i”) at this stage of her life. Not exactly a step up from…anywhere, really.
    Finally, as if this whole ad campaign isn’t laughable enough, the tagline is “Mr. Hero…You Just Gotta Follow Your Heart”. Have you seen a Romanburger lately? Follow your heart where…to the cardiologist?
  • Don't believe it? Check out their website, just make sure your speakers are working.
  • For real comedy, click on the “Meet Nicole” tab that details how she remembers her first Mr. Hero experience and asks, “Do you remember your first time?”
    It’s a little too full of double entendres for me.

  • How perfect is a baseball game for enjoying some adult beverages? Give me one in the 1st, the 4th, and the 7th and I’m content. Few sporting events have that same flow and tempo when it comes to doing some 12 oz. curls. Bob, the Beer Guy in Pronkville (nee the RF Mezzanine), tells me that he tries to time his appearances for those innings. If you’re ever in Pronkville, visit Bob for some frosty bevs and some intelligent Tribe talk.

I’m off to Milwaukee for the weekend to catch some Tribe games in Miller Park, where I’ll see what it’s like to be a road fan at a Brewer game. My experience as a Browns fan in Lambeau (in December 2004) couldn’t have been more fantastic.

I’ll try to check in from the road, if my father-in-law allows me off the golf course all weekend.


Cy Slapnicka said...

Can we please end the Jason Johnson era?

t-bone said...

Before I make my way over to the annual Bennett Builders Annual Indians Cookout (formerly Opening Day cookout, then consistant 40-degree aprils moved it back a bit), a few notes:

On Nicole - unless she's shown up at games I havent attended since the end of the Cavs run, she's no longer at the Jake. They've got some other blonde doing it this year. She was at the Q every game though this season doing the same bit, but for the Lebrons.

On Johnson - I hate him and wish he'd catch chronic herpes or something like Dajuan Wagner.

I just got that book as a belated b-day present from my bro. Going to read it cover to cover this weekend.

Blake going on the DL... unless something happens soon, the always over-optimistic Tim could start seeing the glass as half full...

Tony Ritz said...

Yes, can we as fans of the Tribe do something about Jason Johnson? Isn't there a fandom clause where if the suckiness of one player begins to cause a worm hole in space and time we can make him stop for the sake of the Universe?

Also, I'll be at the Brewers game on Sunday. I'm sitting in 437 (aka, the $9 seats with a free hot dog, aka. you need a sherpa to get up there and maybe I'll get to see Lake Michigan.) I live in Chicago and go to the Hell for a decent amount of Tribe games... Brew Crew fans have gotta be better than that.

Rockdawg said...

PTC, I am going to respectfully ask that you no longer attend any Tribe road games for the remainder of the season. It's the least you could do. Cy, Baltimorian, and I all realized that we were curses as well, and we've done our part, we actually MOVED OUT OF THE CITY with hopes of helping out the Tribe. (PTC, I hope you at least drank Bud to piss off the locals)

Cy Slapnicka said...

Alright DiaJinx, enough is enough. Screw the bullpen, lets take away your tickets. I hope your boy Bob the Beer Guy beats you like a red-headed step child next time you show up.

I'd love to know what your record is this year. I'd appreciate stats both with and without the DiaBride so we can see if she is a co-conspirator or if the problem lies solely with you.

t-bone said...

Buster Olney's blog today...

Indians teetering on lost season
posted: Monday, June 19, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry

We remember the mad charges the Indians made the last two years, and we see that deep lineup and C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee in the rotation and we are reluctant to count out Cleveland. But it's getting late early for the Indians; their lost weekend in Milwaukee might effectively have finished them off as contenders, writes Paul Hoynes.

Cleveland is 14 games behind the first-place Tigers and 12½ games behind the second-place White Sox, and the Indians have issues. They aren't catching the ball, their bullpen is a mess, and their rotation has been erratic. The Indians have played 68 games and still have 94 games left on their schedule, so a turnaround is not impossible. But it's highly unlikely at this point.

So it figures that as the phone calls and trade offers from contenders multiply, the Indians will listen. They would listen year-round, anyway, because -- as a low-budget team -- they do a lot of big-picture thinking and don't do a lot of live-for-the-moment spending. But 2006 looks as though it could be a lost year for Cleveland, so if the Mets or the Blue Jays phone about second baseman Ronnie Belliard, the Indians could make a move. If the Braves or Diamondbacks call about closer Bob Wickman, a deal could be reached. If the Padres asked about Aaron Boone, the Indians probably would think seriously about it, with Andy Marte hitting better in Triple-A and ready for promotion.

What the Indians probably won't do, at this point, is move Ben Broussard off first base in order to clear a spot for catcher Victor Martinez. Although Martinez struggles to throw out baserunners, he is an enormous offensive asset while playing catcher; for the same reason the Dodgers and Mets lived with Mike Piazza's poor arm, the Indians will tolerate Martinez's defense because power-hitting, switch-hitting catchers are such a commodity.

But soon Cleveland could turn the page, with the spare parts being traded away and Marte, Jeremy Sowers, Fausto Carmona all being inserted into regular roles to prepare for 2007.

The biggest loss of the offseason for Cleveland was Bob Howry, but Mark Shapiro says spending $4 million a year for a set-up man will always be tough for the Indians.