Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tomahawks Shaped Like Brooms

With a perma-grin plastered to my face after sweeping the Tigers out of town, out of the Central race, out of the Wild Card race (it just goes on and on) and the Central completely in our laps, it’s time for some Tomahawk Target Practice:

Correct me if I’m wrong after being bludgeoned over the head with the “Panic Button in Boston” talk, but the Red Sox and Yankees are really just playing for the AL East pennant, aren’t they?

They’re both in the playoffs and who they play will be determined by the final records of the Tribe and the Angels – not the order in which they finish in the East, right?

Which is to say, whoever wins the AL East will play the team (Cleveland or Anaheim) with the worse record, while the Wild Card will play the team with the better record. Can we get the same kind of media coverage for THAT race?
I doubt it.

Does anyone even remember that the Twins overtook the Tigers for the AL Central title last year and that the Tigers were the Wild Card?
Is this any different?

I suppose it’s compelling in that it would represent a HUGE turnaround from the events of most of the season in the AL East and plays into the inferiority complex of New England, but if the idea is to make it to the playoffs, both teams have essentially achieved the goal.

The way that the race is being covered, you half expect Bucky Dent to be added to the 40-man roster for the Yankees to bury the Red Sox.
But…the Red Sox will make the playoffs, and won’t face the Yankees in the first round, so what’s the big deal?

Are the races in the NL THAT boring (they’re not) that the same attention can’t be devoted to Milwaukee (who hasn’t been to the postseason in 25 years) and the Cubs (who, well, you know that story) or how the Mets are falling apart and the Phillies are backing up Jimmy Rollins’ preseason comments that the team in the NL East to beat plays in Philadelphia? How about the oft-overlooked West, with an extremely young D-Backs team trying to stave off the brilliant pitching staff of the Padres (of their 20 shutouts, 1 hasn’t involved the bullpen…1!).

This East Coast bias will never change and maybe this is the most interesting storyline to most of the nation, but I wish that the idea of just covering sports and not sensationalizing sports became the focus of ESPN these days.

My brother had an excellent point a few weeks ago when discussing the downward spiral of ESPN. He accurately compared ESPN, and specifically SportsCenter, to becoming the sports equivalent of Entertainment Tonight…all fluff and very little meat, covering the “hot topic” of the day or the most salacious story instead of simply reporting the happenings of the sports world with no agenda or “talking head” telling me what I should think.

When was the last time that you watched SportsCenter, or Baseball Tonight, for the news of the day and were completely satisfied with the tone and focus of the program?
5 years ago?
10 years ago?

Unfortunately, this will remain the status quo in Bristol until another sports entity (FOX Sports or even STO) realizes that a void exists for even-handed, rational sports coverage. In the meantime, enjoy the Red Sox-Yankees “Fight to the Finish” for the next week and a half (impervious to the idea that both are in the playoffs and are just playing for a division title) on a television near you.

Since the Angels are out as a possible 1st round opponent, the poll has been revised to identify which AL East team you’d rather see in the ALDS.

The spark that Asdrubal has provided has been well-documented, but how about this stat?
Since Cabrera was inserted into the everyday lineup (really, it was August 15th against the Tigers), the Indians are 25-8!
Considering that they were 14-19 in their previous 33, that’s a nice jump start that the only man I know that wears pearls (and pulls it off) has provided.

For those decrying the end of the Jacobs Field name, here's something to brighten your day. A rumor is out there that their alternate home jerseys (the vests, which are the worst), will be replaced for the 2008 season by these:

Best thing I've seen in quite a while. The return of the Block C, the feel that Bob Feller could come striding out of the bullpen...I love them.

Already thinking about what jersey to order and whether to get a fitted hat or one of those cotton ones that fit supremely better.

According to Tom Hamilton, prior to the Tribe-Tigers series, a number of Detroit players told him (though they wouldn’t go on the record) that if they could take 2 of 3 from the Tribe that the Indians would fold under the pressure and that the Tigers would be poised to overtake them in the Central.

Fold? Under the pressure?
Does getting swept out of the AL Central race and dropping 3 full games back in that race and essentially getting knocked out of the Wild Card constitute a fold?

The Tigers aren’t alone, though in getting KO’d by the Tribe.
Remember when Minnesota came in for that HUGE series in late August?
Prior to the series, Minnesota was 5.5 back in the Central and “within striking distance”. Three days later, the Twins were 8.5 back and their season was done.

Almost an identical situation with the Tigers as they went from 4.5 back to 7.5 back in three short days and the Tribe bought their coffin, dug their grave, and covered it with dirt before they were able to get out of town with their tails between their legs.

Finally, I received some tremendous feedback from the “War Cry” post with the suggestions coming fast and furious from a number of sources.

Some fell right in line with the 70’s theory, with some great suggestions:
Just One Victory – Todd Rundgren

No Surrender – Bruce Springsteen

Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty

You’ve Got Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest

Rock and Roll All Night – Kiss

We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister

Others took issue with the fact that the song needed to come from the vault of WMMS and suggested songs either more current or in different genres:
Beautiful Day – U2

La Vida Es un Carnaval – Celia Cruz

Attack – 30 Seconds to Mars

Hey – Jurassic 5

Thru Ya City – De La Soul

Also, quite a bit of support for those inspirational songs from classic 80’s underdog movies:
You're the Best Around - Joe Esposito

Win In The End - Mark Sefan

And, finally, some went with the local bend or even a baseball-centric bend:
Centerfield – John Fogerty

Randy Newman – Burn On

Go All the Way – Raspberries (Cleveland Natives)

Talkin' Tribe (among others)

But, after reading numerous comments about how many Tribe fans have good memories tied to Kenny Lofton’s on-field comments after clinching the 1995 pennant, seeing the work of poster fasolamatt from the comments section, providing alternate lyrics to “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” as well as a new link, I’m staying with the original selection.

In case you missed it in the comments section:

I went down to the ballpark, to see my favorite team
The great big giant scoreboard, instructed us to scream
I think, even if we're down three
A win is what we'll get, mmm
We'll break out the rally pies, and yell

You ain't seen nothin' yet
B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
Here's something that you never gonna forget
B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet

And now I'm feelin' better, 'cause I found out for sure
We're goin to the playoffs, our lead is now secure
With CC, Fausto, Jake, Paul
We'll take what we can get, yes we'll take what we can get
Then turn it over to the 'pen
And say

You ain't seen nothin' yet
B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
Here's something, here's something that you're never gonna forget
B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
You need educated


Any hits a good hit
So we take what we can get, yes we take what we can get
Then well break out the rally pies
And yell

You ain't seen nothin' yet
Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
Here's something, here's something,
here's something, mama, you're never gonna forget
B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nu-nu-nu-nothin' yet
You ain't been around

You ain't seen nothin' yet
I know I ain't seen nothin' yet
I know I ain't seen nothin' yet
Baby, Baby, Baby
You ain't seen nothin' yet

Yeah, that clinches it - "I’ll stick with You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet".

The countdown is on to "Clinch Day".
Any guesses?
Should we just plan on going to the Jake until that magical day happens?


t-bone said...

More 2008 uniform changes league-wide

Cy Slapnicka said...

i wish i could, but i am busy trying to figure out when playoff games will be so i can see them. its safe to assume we'll be home the first two games, probably tues/thurs and then in ny or boston for the weekend. i guess tickets to the alcs are the best bet?

Voltaire said...

I never really thought about the ESPN AL East coverage that way. For some reason, I never put together the fact that both teams would be in the playoffs with the fact that the NL is really going down to the wire. Just terrible. I understand the Tribe not getting any coverage. The race is over. But your excellent point about the complete passing over of the real races makes me ashamed of ESPN even more.

Count me in as a big fan of the proposed new jerseys.

Also count me in as nervous about the first round of the playoffs. I can't imagine how disappointing it would be to go home after three or four games. The playoffs are such a crapshoot, and that's a double-edges sword.

But enough of that. We're in the playoffs!

If they have a chance to clinch Saturday I think I'll have to head down to the Jake, GPA be damned.

Ron Vallo said...

nice post. i agree with almost all of it.

the new uni's look great, but as a child of the '60's (the vest era) I love the vests. I'd love 'em even more if they wore red undershirts instead of blue (since that was the '60's uniform of Sam McDowell, Vic Davalillo and the rest).

the other thing I have to mention.

You used the words "even-handed" and "FOX" in the same sentence, which would seem to be impossible.

rick grayshock said...

Does this mean they will get rid of the vests? I need to know this I have been waiting to get my vest.

Baltimoran said...

i give my vote to the Teen Wolf song, if they ever put "shoot it fatboy" on the jumbro tron i would go...bannannas

like the new unis

wahoorange said...

My vote for the war cry would be for "I want it all", by Queen. I am not sure if that is the name of the song but you might remember it from the Dr. Pepper commercials a while back.

While driving I heard the WTAM promo with that song and Triv talking in between it...I immediately turned it up, pumped my fist and got goosebumps.

I want the playoffs, I want the Yankees, I want a ring!!

rick grayshock said...

We Win by the David Crowder Band. It would be great rocking the Jake to that song.

R.M. Jennings said...

My fantasy postseason has always been as such: the Indians beating the Yankees in the first round, the Red Sox in the second, and the Mets in the World Series. I just realized that that very sequence of events could happen this year.

Wouldn't that be the sweetest thing... ever?