Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dog Days? What Dog Days?

Has anyone noticed, and judging by the crowd at the Jake last night from the mezzanine (no way it was close to the 19,000 announced…maybe closer to 5,000) you haven’t, how well the 2006 Indians Version 2.0 has played?

Using August 1st as the date that we use for the beginning of the “Second Season”, mainly because it’s one day after the Trading Deadline (though the only thing that the date really brought was the immortal Hector Luna back into our lives), the results are pretty encouraging.

The Tribe has gone 15-10 since that date against the likes of the Red Sox, the Twins, the Tigers, and the Angels. Sure, the Royals and Devil Rays were thrown into the mix, but the way that this team has played to a .600 clip and played the role of spoiler bodes well for 2007.

Take into account that the bullpen blew 5 of the 10 losses (1 vs. BOS, 2 vs. DET, 1 vs. LAA, & 1 vs. TB) and the outlook improves even more. Even a DECENT bullpen pulls off 3 of those games, meaning that with a serviceable ‘pen, we’re looking more like an18-7 team in August.

I don’t know how Tom Mastny has done what he has, but the trickle-down effect of having an effective closer has become apparent with the improved performances by Cabrera, Betancourt, and the rest of the bullpen.

Speaking of improved performances, or consistently improving performances, SuperSizemore is establishing himself (along with Pronk) as an elite player in the AL. Grady just keeps hammering the ball, showing new aspects to his already solid game, and asserting himself as a leader on this team. You have to think that the rest of the team (particularly this young team) sees the way Sizemore plays the game and tries to emulate him.

Plus, he’s moving up the list of players I wouldn’t mind sharing a pop with, particularly after my buddy Nick told me at the game last night that Sizemore rolled into the Winking Lizard before a Cavs game last winter, just to belly up and watch some sports.

He hasn’t reached Hafner or Wickman levels, but he’s getting there. I’m sure that the attention by his ladies wouldn’t be too much of a downer, either.

Enjoy watching this young team continue to mature and excel…as the Tribe flies high like a dove.


t-bone said...

it has been noted in all the game recaps, but did anyone actually see C.C. blow off wedge last night? i had the picture-in-picture going on katrina stuff and tribe game, and happened to flip back just at that point. it was fanfrickingtastic.

probably heading down tonight to catch the finale of the series. who's with me?

Cy Slapnicka said...

anyone heading to chicago for the sox/tribe series?

t-bone said...

picked this up off deadspin...

an excerpt from the "sportzilla" blog:

Without further adieu, excluding Nunez, the top ten worst players OPS wise since 2000:

10. 2003- Tony Womack: D-Backs/Cubs/Rockies, SS, 349 AB .226/.251/.307/.558

9. 2005- Tony Womack: Yankees: 2B/CF, 329 AB, .249/.276/.280/.556

8. 2002- Caesar Izturis: Dodgers, SS, 439 AB, .232/.253/.303/.556

7.2003- Brandon Phillips: Indians, 2B, 370 AB, .208/.242/.311/.553

6. 2002- Chris Truby: Tigers, 3B, 382 AB, .215/.238/.314/.552

5. 2001- Jack Wilson: Pirates, SS, 390 AB, .223/.255/.295/.550

4. 2000- Alex Gonzalez: Marlins, SS, 385 AB, .200/.229/.319/.548

3. 2002- Ron Belliard: Brewers, 2B, 289 AB, .211/.257/.287/.544

2. 2002- Einer Diaz: Indians, C, 320 AB, .206/.258/.284/.542

1. 2000- Homer Bush: Blue Jays, 2B, 297 AB, .215/.271/.253/.524

Quite a cast of characters. Some interesting things about that list:

-Tony Womack appears twice which is amazing because both seasons happened on the wrong side of 30. And in both times, he was back in the majors the year following, with the Cardinals in 2004, and then the Reds and Cubs this season. As if these teams couldn’t take a hint. Because he makes it up here twice, Womack has a serious argument for being the worst player of the decade to this point.

-So Einer Diaz’s 2002 ranks as the second worst for any player this decade. The Indians got smart and dumped him that offseason to Texas along with Ryan Drese in a trade. Who did Texas give up for that black hole of talent?

Travis Hafner.

I might have to take my list of the worst trades of the last five years back. Hafner for a guy who was coming off a historically bad season equals a historically bad trade.

So take heart Phillies fans. If you can deal Nunez this offseason you might get a potential MVP back!