Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lazy Sunday on the Brink of October

With the Tribe loss and the Red Sox victory last night, Boston was permitted to choose the “short” or “long” series as they face off against the Angels. Apparently, very quickly, the Red Sox have chosen the 8-day series (the longer series), which means that the Indians will not have the luxury of an extra day off to throw Sabathia and Carmona twice in the ALDS. By default then, they will throw Byrd in Game 4, setting up the pitching match-ups as such:
Game 1 (Thursday, October 4)
Sabathia vs. Wang

Game 2 (Friday, October 5)
Carmona vs. Pettitte

Game 3 (Sunday, October 7)
Westbrook vs. Clemens (don’t think that the Rocket’s missing the start)

Game 4 – if necessary (Monday, October 8)
Byrd vs. Mussina/Hughes

Game 5 – if necessary (Wednesday, October 10)
Sabathia vs. Wang

Because of the short timeframe between games, it’s unlikely that Sabathia or Carmona could bump up a start as the games are just a little too close for comfort to throw them out there on 3 days rest.

By the way, all of the games will be on TBS with a possible Game 4 appearance on TNT. Don’t think for a minute that the Indians won’t be in Prime Time for ALL of their games. It might have something to do with playing the team from the largest market.

This week promises to be fun with some previews and some Tribe propaganda.
Although, if you’re looking for “position by position battles” you won’t find it here as baseball, to me, is the one game that has nothing to do with 2B vs. 2B and falls more into pitching vs. hitting with a little defense and some luck thrown in.

And with that, let the Lazy Sunday commence:
Terry Pluto’s superb article on how the 2007 Indians team is so exciting to watch and get behind and how it’s easy to like this group of players, something that the DiaBride commented on last night during the Tribe Pregame Show, in which they played the Top 10 walk-off wins for the year. She said that these guys all seem to just be having fun and enjoying themselves and the ride that they’re on, particularly because they seem to be doing it with their friends. And, while that may be sugarcoating it, she's right.

The article was accompanied by a picture asking fans to identify the current Tribe players:



Whoops, wrong underappreciated Tribe team. Here it is:



My only issue with Pluto’s article is the insistence that this Indians team is an “underdog” or that “they're Cinderella at the ball with a dress from Kmart” or the ubiquitous “Little Engine That Could” analogy.
But I’ll debunk all of those myths in the coming week.

After that piece of inspired writing, the other end of the spectrum appears with Sheldon Ocker’s plan for the off-season. Here it is…wait for it…Cliff Lee and Aaron Laffey for Carl Crawford. After a year when pitching depth is shown to be one of the most important reasons the Indians won the AL Central, Socker wants to part with TWO of the candidates to fill the 5th starter role. Granted, there is depth to deal from but why not throw in Sowers while we’re at it and see if the Rays want the grab-bag of LHP for the 26-year-old Crawford.

What’s that you hear, all the way from Tampa? Oh…knee-slaps and guffaws.
Stephanie Storm, please save the ABJ Tribe Beat soon. You’ve been toiling in AA long enough.

Out East, while many in the national media and “Yankee Nation” are quick to chalk up a quick ALDS, it seems that the mood in the New York clubhouse is decidedly more reserved. Of course, this could be from the old Lou Holtz School of talking up one’s opponent regardless of how you actually felt about them.
For good measure, the writer of the piece, Pete Caldera, throws in a little Op-Ed at the end to make everyone feel better, “Despite their wild-card status, and the potential of one fewer home game, the Yankees will be viewed as the favorite -- and Jeter will still plead that the Yanks' past performance against Cleveland doesn't make a difference.”

Over at Newsday, someone didn’t get Kat O’Brien the memo to be overwhelmingly, and irrationally, pro-Yankees as she lays out (extremely well) why the Indians are so dangerous in the postseason – strong starters with depth and a balanced lineup not overly reliant on one player who could slump.

Ah, this is better.
The memo made it to the New York Post.
No mention of the Tribe at all, just A-Rod.

One more game today (with zero consequence attached to it) and a Rally on Monday in the Gateway Plaza as we gear up for the playoffs to start…Thursday.
The countdown is on.

6 comments:

Cy Slapnicka said...

samberg stole the show last night with iran. if you haven't seen it, stop everything and watch the clip.

"butter pacan thighs and your hairy butt......yeah"

Baltimoran said...

i thought lebron as a solid gold dancer was pretty good...and kanye west stealing the best pumpkin award at a county fair

i was also suprised to see pluto called the tribe an underdog

Vegas Watch said...

I disagree about bumping CC & Carmona up. CC would have to pitch on three days rest in G4, but Fausto would be on full rest in G5.

Byrd vs. that lineup would be a disaster- remember this?

Ron Vallo said...

I agree with vegas. byrd's a nibbler and tries to get people out with pitches just off the plate. the yanks sit and wait and refuse to hit such pitchers/ when he gets it in the zone, they'll tear him up.

vbc3 said...

Yeah, I see no way in hell Byrd starts Game 4, especially if that's to be an elimination game.

Pat Tabler said...

Maybe they would go with C.C. on 3 days.
He’d probably be up for it.

It’s not like Byrd’s one game in the playoffs against the Yanks is any better than his 2007 debacle (though the Angels won IN SPITE of Byrd).

This is probably what the Front Office has been considering, more so than the obvious answer to the Westbrook-Byrd Game 3 "debate".