Please allow me to get something off of my chest:
THE CAVS ARE GOING TO THE FINALS!!!
Behind the young man who may be Robin to LeBron’s Batman, the Cavs rode the hot hand of a man called Boobie to set up this moment that was only a dream on that night when the ping pong balls bounced the Cavs’ way.
On to San Antoine to see if the Cavs can continue their roll through the playoffs on the substantial shoulders of our King.
Meanwhile, across the plaza (which looked like this), the Indians fell victim to the law of averages (and another effort by Cliff Lee to head to Buffalo) and finally lost to the Tigers.
This despite Grady Sizemore not only going retro in his uniform, but in his stirrups as he took that next step to look like a baseball player in 1977.
I hope this becomes a new look for SuperSizemore, but it’s unlikely.
Without dwelling on the only negative thing that happened last night, let’s take a Lazy Sunday:
No sooner had the word “negative” appeared in the intro, does Sheldon Ocker throw some cold water on everybody who’s feeling pretty good about the Indians these days. Let’s see, according to the Bitterman, the Indians have given up on Marte and are unlikely to have Casey Blake on the roster next year.
Consider the numbers in their last 3 starts:
18 2/3 IP, 12 ER, 5.78 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
13 2/3, 16 ER, 13.66 ERA, 2.16 WHIP
While Sowers certainly hasn’t evoked those comparisons to a young Tom Glavine recently, Cliff Lee has performed significantly worse. Sowers at least has moments of being in control and has been victimized by poor relief pitching after him (CaBBrera), while Lee continually walks the tightrope and taxes the Tribe bullpen because of his short starts.
Each will probably get one more start (not counting Sowers this afternoon), but it will be interesting to see which direction the Indians decide to go and if, by chance, Lee becomes trade bait to shore up a beleaguered bullpen (which I promise to dissect at some point this week).
Not to just throw something against the wall (OK, maybe just to throw something against the wall), but would San Diego be willing to part with a piece (or pieces)of their magnificent bullpen (Scott Linebrink or Heath Bell perhaps) to see if Lee’s fly ball tendencies play out well in Petco?
Or maybe the Dodgers (with Jonathon Broxton or Joe Biemel) to get Mark Hendrickson or Brett Tomko out of their rotation and see if Chavez Ravine is kind to Five and (F)Lee?
The Indians will have to part with a valuable piece to shore up their bullpen at some point this season. And Brian Slocum and Ben Francisco aren’t bringing Akinori Otsuka, so the question needs to be thrown out there – is Cliff Lee that piece?
He has a track record of winning (ugly, yes…but still winning), with a fairly reasonable contract ($2.75M in 2007, $3.75M in 2008, $5.75M in 2009, club option for $8M in 2010) that runs for quite a while. So, he is an attractive commodity to other teams. But, are the Indians confident in their current stable of pitchers and their arms just below the surface (Atom Miller, Chas Lofgren, etc.) to trade Lee to shore up the back end of their bullpen?
It can certainly be argued (and has been, by me) that solid starting pitching is a commodity too valuable to trade, particularly for a team in contention. But, if Lee no longer falls under that “solid” category, and is on a downward spiral that will result in him either eventually being moved to the bullpen or falling out of favor in the organization altogether, isn’t it time to at least explore those options, when a 28-year-old pitcher with 51 career wins has some trade value?
Today’s start by Sowers and the next starts by the two LHP will go a long way to determine how this all plays out, but don’t be too surprised if that arm that we all assumed at the beginning of the season to be Paul Byrd to shore up the bullpen becomes Cliff Lee.
Still a great chance for the Tribe to take 3 of 4 from the Motor City Kitties today, as Bonderman has struggled since coming off of the DL.
It’s time to go all LeBron and put that foot on the Tigers’ throat and announce the Central as Indian Territory once more.
Finally, the most poignant moment of the night – LeBron searches out Z, the only player remaining from LBJ’s 1st practice with the Cavs who has endured some hard times in a Cavs uni, to give him this bear hug at center court.Cleveland is rising, enjoy the ascent.