Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lazy Sunday at the Salvage Yard

Never thought these words would cross my computer, but…um, Joe…how’s that arm feeling?

As I’ve said before, the offense doesn’t worry me as much as this bullpen sorting itself out does and while I don’t think that the return of Brodzoski (The Close) is going to solve much, I suppose it’s something. Sorry if I’m not going to touch on yesterday’s debacle at the GAB as I think I’ve seen that show before…about two years ago when the Tribe bullpen blew a lead in the 9th, ultimately done in by a Dunn game winner to RF.
Where’s the TUMS?

Time to throw Sandy Koufax out there today and see if the Indians can salvage a game in Cincinnati…and with that, we’re off:
Speaking of Koufax, everyone’s favorite “feel good” story of the year, The Tale of C.P. Lee did actually just feel pretty good after reading Jodie Valade’s piece in the PD. While being certainly one of the most vocal critics of the former Mr. Five and (f)Lee, it often is hard to remember that these guys are husbands, fathers, and human beings – subject to the same worries, disappointments, and struggles that we all face in our lives. Maybe I’m getting soft (and maybe this piece was just part of the whole “deal with the devil” thing that Cliffie’s benefiting from), but I’m glad to read a piece that offers perspective and background about an athlete in this town…written (for once) by a local journalist.

Sheldon Ocker reports that offensive is down league-wide, setting things up nicely for the depth and quality of starting pitching that the Indians possess. In a matter unrelated to Socker, interesting to note that the ABJ is providing links to the PD stories on the Tribe in the sidebar to the right on their Indians’ home page.

Scene Magazine’s “C-Notes” points out that Brodzoski (The Close)’s rehab appearance in Lake County happens to fall on $1 beer night…which is either incredible foresight or just dumb luck by someone in the Lake County promotions department. Lord knows I’ll need some suds every time I hear the words, “looks like Borowski’s warming in the pen” when (if?) he returns to “settle” the bullpen…I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

In case you missed it, the Interwebs were full of trade rumor and innuendo with Ken Rosenthal floating a Matt Holliday to the Tribe thought balloon out there (by the way, check out Holliday’s career home vs. road splits to see the Coors Field effect…um, no thanks), as well as touching on the rumor-du-jour of Garrett Atkins to the Indians (something that Buster Olney speculated on as well). The evolution of these rumors is an interesting manifestation to dissect. It starts with a piece of speculation, usually by a person in the print media, that is exacerbated by the creative minds on the Internet using little basis for the continued speculation other than the expertise of running a Fantasy baseball team, until it is picked up by a desperate radio or TV host looking for ratings, who reports the item almost as fact.

Such a cycle occurred on this one, which is brutally exposed (in no uncertain terms) over at the LGT. It’s a fascinating transition from Olney’s submission or Rosenthal merely speculating that “The Indians need to inject offense. They might prefer to upgrade in their infield, but their production in both outfield corners is poor” to Paul Hoynes using it in his “Notes” column a day and a half later that, “There have also been rumors connecting them with Colorado Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins” which, was for some reason omitted from the online edition linked…but the paper in front of me from Saturday morning certainly includes that phrasing.

All of this rumor-mongering and idle speculation (although a storied pastime in any MLB season and fun at a certain level) is a pretty slippery slope, particularly in the digital age when many people have trouble filtering fact from fiction. I, for one, enjoy the imagined scenarios and conjecture to consider; but the problem lies in the way that people that are thought to be reliable “sources” frame these items. I find it interesting that some of the “mainstream media” often serve as the source for these rumors or perpetuate the fanning of the fire while a guy in his bathrobe in his parents’ basement (isn’t that what all bloggers are?) is the one who cuts through the muck to identify the origin and evolution of the nonsense to expose the absurdity of the whole affair while the guy in print (in this case Hoynes) just goes with it without exploring where it came from or if there’s anything behind it. Maybe now we know the reason that Tony Kornheiser thinks that newspapers aren’t dying. According to him, they’re already dead.

Also in the “dead” portion of a Lazy Sunday, it looks like ESPN.com is “dead” to the Sports Guy Bill Simmons, who apparently has finally had enough of the shell of its former self that ESPN has become. The news means that I have one less reason to hit WWL.com as Simmons is one of the few writers I enjoy (when he doesn’t revert back to his Boston Sports Guy persona, as he is prone to do particularly with the Celtics’ season) from that site and one of the only reasons I go there outside of the easy-to-sort MLB stats page.

I’ve added a link in the Legends’ Corner, which will direct you to Joe Posnanski’s blog. He’s a man after my own heart, writing 500 words when 50 will do – but his writing is extremely entertaining and insightful. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s a Cleveland native who writes for the Kansas City Star (in addition to the blog) and has won the AP’s “Best Sports Columnist in America” in 2003 and 2005. My favorite post of his since I got turned on to him over the winter is his story regarding his interaction with Bob Costas, bringing his own unique self-examination and humanity to an experience that went a long way into the shaping of his career.

Finally, staying in the “Legends’ Corner”, the link Terry Pluto book “Dealing” (which has been revised and is now available in paperback) has been updated to lead you to the new edition. If you’ve not read the book and consider yourself a Tribe fan interested in how this current regime makes their decisions, it’s simply a must-read.

This week, I’ll take a look at some relievers who may be out there to help out the scuffling bullpen that I think has taken priority over the scuffling offense…for me, at least.
Well timed sports here today…Tribe at 1:15 PM, Cavs at 3:30 PM.
Let’s take two.

9 comments:

Ron Vallo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Vallo said...

Sorry Paul. I'll keep it to sports next time.

Wah00kid said...

No real comment except to say thanks for the Sunday rundown. Its become one of my favorite things on Sunday morning along with coffee and French Toast!

minktrapper said...

Ron...

Please do keep politics out of this forum....as it is quite obvious you are severly misinformed and do not value your freedom much. We are all pissed enough about how this season is going...we don't need to be reminded where this country is headed with if Obama gets elected.....

Gary

minktrapper said...

Sorry Paul. I'll keep it to sports next time. (And I will check my grammer and spelling B-4 I post)

Joshua Whitman said...

Ron,

If you are really sorry there is a handy delete icon under your post. Thanks for making what has already been a miserable Sunday in Cleveland sports even worst by tainting this forum with your political opinions.

Paul Cousineau said...

A disappointing day to be sure fellas...but let's keep it to sports, OK?
Thanks in advance.

Cy Slapnicka said...

thats right fellas, make your way back to the cleveland.com forums so you can discuss zach reed and jimmy dimora! ;)

could be worse, you could be stuck going to a wine tasting the first night the tribe is visiting your city this year! thankfully i have a ticket behind first base on wednesday.

Steve said...

...you could be stuck going to a wine tasting the first night the tribe is visiting your city this year...
After this weekend you might want to drink several bottles of the stuff.

Since you're not going to make it to a game until the next day you might want to go easy on it Tuesday night, though. I can't imagine having to endure another game like the last three with a hangover...

;-)