Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hazy Lazy Sunday

After attending last night’s game in a Party Suite to celebrate the DiaBride’s and my 30th year on this earth, Lazy Sunday’s coming a little late as the group rationalized that $22 for a 6-pack of domestics was not a bad deal…all night long.

But, it is Sunday and a Lazy One it shall be:
Truthfully, not much of note in the local papers, which is a pretty telling commentary that the beat writers are given the Sunday paper to offer more than game recaps and “Notebooks” and are unable to offer anything compelling two days before the trade deadline. The only article of note is a nice piece by Terry Pluto on Bob Feller, though it has nothing to do with today’s Indians.

So, let down by the Indians’ writers, how about a look outside of the North Coast?
Ken Rosenthal bangs the drum again on Dotel for Francisco, among other tidbits. He also touches on the Dan Wheeler to the Devil Rays move and other rumors out there.

Up in Detroit, the Tigers are looking at the same relievers as the Indians and are looking to upgrade their middle infield depth, which the Indians should be considering as well.

It actually looks like the Tigers are out of the Gagne sweepstakes and are looking at Kyle Farnsworth.

Plenty of time left before 4 PM on Tuesday (the deadline time and date), so we’ll see if Shapiro is able to make the move to bolster the team after making a couple of them at the end of the week.

Speaking of which, the return of Kenny Lofton to the Indians, a move that caused the people who call radio stations to wonder if Sandy or Omar’s return could be far behind, represents a nice little pick-up for the Tribe. While some have grandiose ideas of moving Grady to the #3 hole and hold hopes of Kenny Lofton performing the way he did 12 years ago, Lofton is simply an upgrade in the OF platoon situation over Trot Nixon and David Dellucci (should he return).

Lofton is an excellent complement to the OF as he brings increased OBP, speed, and athleticism in lieu of Trot Nixon’s presence in the lineup against RHP. But, truthfully, he’s not much more than that. He’s not going to be playing very frequently against LHP (and rightfully so) and there will certainly be an adjustment period in LF.

Is he a nice complementary piece to add?
Absolutely, he fills a hole on this team as a LH-hitting OF with speed.

Is Kenny Lofton going to put this team into the playoffs by himself?
No, not unless he’s going to help out the back end of the bullpen during his down time.

Lofton is the type of player that teams get to help them with their playoff push, not the “missing piece” that’s going to make the difference. The fact that the Indians have acquired him should be received as good news, as long as people realize that he is, right now, a 40-year-old platoon OF with some veteran experience (10 out of his 12 seasons, he’s been in the playoffs) and that Lofton is no longer the player that wowed the Jacobs Field crowd with his play in the mid-90’s.

The way he’s been received the past few games, you would have thought that Bob Feller had returned to the mound and, while the 1995 Indians were a fantastic team (they finished 100-44, which would be like this year’s club winning the next 40 after last night’s loss), the fans need to show as much love to the Hafners and Sizemores on this team, as opposed to giving the prodigal son a welcome fitting of a bigger acquisition.

Certainly a positive acquisition, but let’s be more excited about the more important players on this team and appreciate their contributions and talent more than thinking that Kenny Lofton is the “masterstroke”.

On the pitching front, the demotion of Cliff Lee signifies that the Indians have realized that every game going forward is vitally important for their playoff pursuit. Having Lee take the hill every five days, giving the Tribe little chance of winning (particularly recently) became too much of a liability as the Front Office bit their lip and sent Lee down to Buffalo.

How Lee reacts to this will determine his future with the organization as he could take it as the wake-up call he needs to return to his winning ways, or he could just as easily pout and display the stubbornness that is reported in the media and work his way out of the organization.

Just like the Hernandez release, the Indians have shown that this year is different than the past few with the Lee demotion. No longer will a “wait-and-see” approach be taken to the detriment of the team. The Front Office is going to put the team they feel gives the club the best chance to win, contracts and guaranteed money aside. That can only be viewed as a positive decision and a necessary one as the team tries to get some momentum going into August after limping to the end of July.

The Tigers are 3-7 in their last 10, giving the Indians a perfect opportunity to overtake them in the Central. However, the Tribe has started their homestand with a 2-5 mark and will have to play better to make up ground on the Tigers. The Rangers, the Twins (possibly without Torii Hunter), and the White Sox precede series against the Spankees and the Motor City Kitties in mid-August, so the time to rally is now.

Finally, the website www.thediatribe.com has been registered and this page can be found at that URL. It’s a little easier to remember than the convoluted one that I’ve been working with and is easier to tell people.
Thanks to everyone who visits the site so frequently (from Chicago to Westerville to Charlotte), who made the suggestion.

4 comments:

Baltimoran said...

While PC was knocking down 22$ 6 packs, my mother was babysitting the diaper tribe, she swears that although the little rascal was ready for bed, he would not take his attention off the tribe game on television. When she would try to put him on her shoulder to sleep, he would wrangle his neck and body back around to see the game. She said the 8 month old love nugget waited for the last out of the game, then willingly turned himself onto her shoulder and shut his eyes. She wants to write into a baby magazine because she was so amazed. Obviously, this child is being raised correctly.

Cy Slapnicka said...

bravo PC, my wife has the same problem with me when the tribe is on the west coast.

off to vegas tomorrow. taking orders for tribe world series bets. i think i'll be placing one myself.

t-bone said...

good idea cy. my bro was out there in february and put down $10 for me on winning the AL (14 to 1) and another $10 on winning the WS (30 to 1). am interested to see what they're at now.

Michael Beckwith said...

Happy Birthday. I like the move to register the domain name. Hey, one bright spot to this lazy Sunday is seeing the Tigers get worked on nat'l tv tonight. Sure it hurt my fantasy team seeing Bonderman get his a## handed to him, but it was worth it...