Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lazy Brady Sunday

In the midst of a positively splendid weekend on the North Coast (Joe Thomas AND Brady Quinn AND Eric Wright?!?), let’s head right into a Lazy Sunday that will not be too lazy at the Wigwam, considering it’s going to be 70 degrees and sunny and my backyard looks like the Amazon:

Paul Hoynes decides that it’s too early to judge the Barfield-Kouzmanoff deal. With 128 at-bats between them, that’s fairly obvious, no? He, of course, fails to mention that Barfield is getting to balls that Ronnie Belliard and Hector Luna couldn’t reach with Inspector Gadget’s arms.

Bud Shaw’s Sunday Spin provides it’s weekly proof that Shaw, among other PD writers, is incapable of adapting to the evolving sports writing medium. I’m not providing a link (that’s how pointless and unfunny it is, that I want no part of it), but it’s attempt to be “fresh”, “hip”, and “funny” to cozy up to that 18 to 34 demographic take a huge hit when one of the “jokes” (term used extremely loosely) involves Columbo, a show that debuted 36 years ago. Very pertinent, Bud…the Sunday readership’s bump HAS to be tied into the introduction of this column.
Resident curmudgeon Sheldon Ocker has found something else to complain about…platoons. He, apparently, didn’t have his “2nd shooter in the grassy knoll” piece done for press time.

Stephanie Storm has a nice minor-league synopsis, pointing out that 3B Wes Hodges (certainly a name to watch this year and going forward) has started out well for the Kinston Indians. Hodges was a 2nd round pick last year out of Georgia Tech who sat out all of last year rehabbing a stress fracture in his leg. He’s 22 and could move quickly through the organization if his line drive stroke plays well at his first few stops.

Jim Ingraham weighs in on the dichotomy of the Tribe being in 1st place, despite not playing their best baseball.

Andy Call believes the Indians have some roster shuffling to do with Cliff Lee and Andy Marte coming off injuries, leaving Carmona and the BLC (Big-League Choo to the uniformed) in limbo. I have to think that Carmona has a car rented for a trip East on I-90 back to Buffalo, but what’s wrong with keeping Choo in Cleveland while Marte figures out whatever he needs to in Buffalo? Blake has filled in admirably at 3B and Choo is playing well. Why mess with what seems to be working if Marte was clearly scuffling in the field and at the plate while with the parent club?

Finally, for some national perspective, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune is on board with the idea that the Tribe has a legitimate chance at contention this year.

We’ll have to see what happens with the protested game yesterday (which was essentially akin to an umpire saying 3 innings after a ball hit the top of the fence that he had thought about it and changed his mind that it was a HR and not a 2B and would put a run up on the scoreboard…unprecedented), but the Indians are still sitting pretty.

Remember that the formula for success, broken down simply works like this:
Win 2 out of every 3 at home (win every series) to go 54-27
Play .500 ball on the road to go 40-41
Combine those records and you end up at 94-68

Sounds easy, right? Well, obviously it’s not or every team would follow the simple roadmap for making the playoffs.

On this Lazy Sunday, the Tribe sits at 7-3 at home and 6-5 on the road. It’s a simplistic way to follow the W-L record, but it also takes the roller-coaster ride mentality of living and dying with each game out of the equation.

Gotta go…my Brady Quinn Browns’ jersey just arrived.


Baltimoran said...

sucks to be carmona right now, I just hope they keep starting him in Buffalo; its a nice problem to have i guess.

supersizemore's inside the parker was my greatest live cleveland sports moment since Run Willie Run against the Falcons; I can't wait to catch some games in camden this weekend...this team could be scary good when barfield, peralta, and Blake start hitting (all seem to be heating up)

Cheers to the Browns for what was being called THE DRAFT OF THE CENTURY at a wedding last night

Mevs said...

The future of Cleveland sports has arrived. Brady Quinn. mark it down.

t-bone said...

A belated CONGRATS on the Sports Weekly. You da man!

Also, Buster Olney writes...

Monday, April 30, 2007
Protest should go Indians' way


History suggests that the Indians probably won't win their protest of Saturday's game, Jeff Zrebiec writes. The best-case scenario for the Indians would be if Major League Baseball ordered that the game be replayed from the moment that the umpires made their mistake, says Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro.

Most protests have no reasonable chance for success, but if common sense prevails, the Indians will win this protest, because the precedent established by the umpires on Saturday would create such a dangerous gray area for how similar situations would be handled in the future.

To review: The Orioles had runners at first and third and one out in the second inning. After Grady Sizemore made a diving catch of Ramon Hernandez's line drive, Nick Markakis tagged up and raced home. At the same time, Miguel Tejada was far off first base, and Sizemore threw to first and Tejada was doubled off -- but after Markakis crossed home plate. Markakis' run should have counted.

But home-plate umpire Marvin Hudson waved off the run. And the Orioles said nothing, at that time, as the Indians noted in their letter of protest.
Two innings later, Baltimore bench coach Tom Trebelhorn walked out on the field to talk to Ed Montague about the decision -- and in the sixth inning, the umpires ordered that a run be added to the Orioles' score.

Now, if you believe in fallacy of the predetermined outcome, then this run wouldn't have made a difference. The Orioles wound up winning, 7-4, and not by one run. But baseball games are like road maps, each turn leading to the next. Anybody who has watched baseball knows that managers and players will make their decisions according to the game situation, and the score always frames the game situation.

Spoke with a number of folks in Major League Baseball on Sunday, and none of them could remember an instance in which umpires retroactively gave a run to a team, the way the umpires did for the Orioles.

So if Major League Baseball rejects the Cleveland protest and retroactive decisions become acceptable practice, what happens in the future?
Let's say that down the road the Orioles are playing the Angels, and Vladimir Guerrero pulls a ball down the left-field line, right near the foul pole -- and Montague, the umpire, rules it a foul ball. And then two innings later, Montague realizes that the ugly mark on the foul pole actually is due to Guerrero's line drive. Maybe he sees a replay while stopping by the men's room between innings. If his bottom line is only getting the call right, could he then, at that point, correct a mistake and give Guerrero a three-run homer? According to the precedent established on Saturday, it would seem he absolutely could do that.

What if an umpire inadvertently awards a walk to open an inning, on a 2-2 pitch, nobody says anything, and the team at bat goes on to score four runs -- and then the other umps realize, later, that the hitter shouldn't have been award first base. Can they go back and change the play?

And here's another horrifying thought: What if the exact same play that happened in Cleveland occurred next year, in a game that was ultimately decided by one run. Imagine if Montague realized his mistake during extra innings, or after the game was over? Should Montague then go back and add a run to the score, and make it a tie game? And if you were the team that lost by one run, wouldn't you absolutely expect to have your run added, since retroactive run-scoring would theoretically be the umpiring standard?

There are a billion scenarios like this, and probably a billion more that we haven't imagined, all created by the precedent of retroactive run scoring. To let this happen would open up a Pandora's box.

The Powers That Be may well decide to turn down the protest based on the three-run differential, but think about the precedent that would set. In all future protests, would the first consideration be the final score -- or the correct administration of the game's rules?

rodells said...

Browns dominated draft day. Doesn't matter if they flame or win a Super Bowl. The moves were top notch by Savage.

Cy Slapnicka said...

i am still reeling from Grady's inside the parker on Friday. Just watched the replay online and listened to Hamilton's call. I too believe its the greatest live Cleveland sporting moment since Run Willie Run and Manny's HR and standing-O in his last Tribe game. Its funny, I can hardly remember anything but jumping up and down...and if you look at the replay, the entire stadium is when they realize he's gonna score.

t-bone said...

I know I certainly jumping up and down when it happened.

I neglected to mention that once the worldwide leader showed Brady's girlfriend's name on Saturday, LINDY SLINGER, we immediately googled her and found out that she must be a high school sweetheart based on what her info shows on her page at Miami (OH) womens' soccer.

While there were mixed opinions amongst our draft party, she definitely grew on us once Mr. Quinn was selected with the 22nd pick.

Rockdawg said...

Better than Lebron's multiple PLAYOFF game winners last year? I'm just sayin' WAS in the playoffs. In an article in USA Today it said the other team that was aggresively trying to trade up to get Quinn was the Ravens. Right before the trade with Dallas was announced, Quinn was on the phone with the Ravens. Thank God we have the "Draft X-Factor" - Phil Savage.

rodells said...

And now the Ravens have Troy Smith to crush us in a few years. You don't think these guys play mind games....

Cy Slapnicka said...

Yes, much better than the playoff winners. Why? Because we said "live" Cleveland sports moment. Neither of us were at the Cavs playoff games! :)

But in my opinion, it would be way better than any live NBA moment at any arena (post-Richfield), b/c the live NBA experience has been ruined since about then. Lebron could hit a full court, fade away, falling out of bounds, hand in his face shot to win the title as time expired in OT, and they'd find a way ruin it with blarring music and the stupid PA announcer.

Rockdawg said...

Ahhh....I missed the "live" part. Which brings the question to the table of "Best Live Moment Ever"? My initial vote goes to Metcalf returning two punts against the Steelers. A literal party ensued at Municipal.

Cy Slapnicka said...

I have a hard time with one #1 moment. The couple years ushering at the Jake and Municipal included some solid ones. A great one I've not mentioned...from 94 or 95. We had to be out in the stands during BP before they opened the gates and I used to always try and get the bleachers as my section. The only person in the bleachers was a stadium worker, who was foolishly sweeping the stands with her head down during Belle's BP session. Of course he goes yard and the ball manages to hit her right on top the head. I was a section a way and heard her scream and go down. She was carted off and was okay, but I laughed about that for the rest of the game.

t-bone said...

How about this from the game story for tonight's (tuesday's) game: Although nothing has been finalized, Indians union rep Casey Blake confirmed that one of the four home games postponed by snow against Seattle last month will be made up when Cleveland visits Safeco Field from Sept. 25-27. ...