Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Lazy Sunday of Should He Stay or Should He Go

This lovely morning, I awoke to see a text on my phone from serial poster Cy Slapnicka, who pointed out that “Major League” started on Bravo as soon as the Tribe put the finishing touches on their latest adventure in Left On Base. Cy found the transition apropos as it certainly seems that “Hats for Bats” is as good an option as any at this point as that elusive big hit, and ensuing big inning, remain out of the grasp of the Indians’ hitters.
And with that, we’re off:

Someone must have sent out the “Will the Indians trade C.C.?” memo around to the national writers because it was touched on this week by Ken Rosenthal (who suggests, among other options, that 4 months of Adam Dunn may be a good fit), SI’s Jon Heymann (in his “Inside Baseball” column for the print edition), and ESPN’s Buster Olney (in his video blog, who points out that the trade market may not be what other people think it is).

Not to be left out of the party, Paul Hoynes and Terry Pluto both come correct and in full effect on the same topic this morning, with Pluto suggesting that the Indians approach C.C. with a contract offer and a accompanying message of “take-it-or-get-traded”. As I just don’t see the offer that gets C.C. signed (regardless of the team offering it) with the riches of an open market mere months ahead of him, I can’t see how this would be beneficial to anyone or how an ultimatum is going to leave anyone feeling good.

Look, I get the fact that C.C.’s going to walk at the end of the year with only draft picks coming as compensation and that starting pitching is our deepest commodity. But does anyone truly believe that this team is better without C.C. than it is with him? Does anyone think that the White Sox or Twins are going to run away with the Central and leave everyone else (particularly the Indians) so far in their rearview mirror that the Indians are going to simply fade away? I certainly don’t, given the flaws of the teams above (and below) the Indians in the Central.

I understand the argument that Pluto lays out in the above linked piece that the Indians need to start considering options for trades because of what history tells about records and games behind as the season progresses, but ALL of these pieces feel about 4 to 6 weeks premature.
Is there a breaking point for trading C.C.?
If the team is out more than 10 games in the Central in mid-July (which I don’t see, regardless of the struggles of the offense and bullpen given the strength of the starting pitching and the parity in the AL Central), burn up the phone lines. You may say, “10 games? More like 6 in mid-June” (as Pluto does); but, again, does the rest of the Central look that invincible compared to the Tribe? No, so short of that large margin, I’d say make sure that the Crooked Cap he’s wearing bears the Chief.

What’s even more interesting to me than the premature “trade C.C.” talk is the disparity between what the national writers feel would be out there for Sabathia in the trade market. Rosenthal states that the Indians “could almost name their price” (which sends images of Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, James Loney, AND Jonathon Broxton donning the Chief dancing through my head) while Olney says that a team like the Phillies would offer someone like a Jayson Werth or a Shane Victorino. I don’t know where to go down on this as both writers are generally the more well-connected reporters in terms of sources. Truthfully, I tend to see the Olney argument a little more clearly, only based on the types of contracts that have been doled out to Evan Longoria and Ryan Braun recently, which does validate his point about the value of young talent. And if what Olney says in the linked video blog above is true (and, to me, Olney is approaching Gammons in terms of having his finger on the pulse of MLB as a whole) that no team is going to be willing to part with the type of package that the Indians should demand (which is young MLB-proven hitters, particularly given the dearth of high impact hitters in the upper levels of our system…not you, Jordan Brown), I keep him.

Outside of all things C.C., Sheldon Ocker has declared the Indians’ slump over and has some biting remarks for the manner in which the Indians are handling their communication with the media regarding injuries. If what Socker is saying is, in fact, how things have been handled in terms of relaying information to the media about players (and I have no reason to believe that it isn’t as he says), there’s a growing abyss of credibility in terms of the team being forthright and honest about what’s happening with certain players and the team being overly secretive about relevant questions posed by reporters. Granted, I’ve never stood in a locker room or a press conference (nor do I think I would want to listening to some on the radio or seeing them on TV as it looks about as interesting and informative as watching C-Span), but the Indians have to, on some level, realize that the media (print or Internet) is the way that information is disseminated and that planting the seeds of distrust with those that are still (to some degree) the opinion-makers in town isn’t the way to gain confidence or to be given the benefit of the doubt as new situations arise. The cloak and dagger stuff makes no sense in terms of keeping these things secret (unless HIPPA laws are applicable) and I would hope that the conspiratorial handlings of the Brodzoski and Hafner injuries become the exception and not the norm.

Finally, around the blogroll, Pronk Needs You has turned its attention to Andy Marte with some fascinating statistics about the Dominican Dandy and how he compares to Lacey Cake. Speaking of Blake, if you missed the Photoshop session over at the LGT regarding the relationship between a couple of Wichita State alum, make sure you aren’t drinking anything (lest it come out of your nose) and take a gander.

By the way, I’ve sent a couple of these to Arlington to arrive tomorrow. I put them to the attention of one Derek Shelton….here’s hoping we see them in Texas for the Monday game, because how great would it be to see the Indians’ hitters rip them off their bats before walking to the plate?


Rockdawg said...

I agree 100% with the notion that it is WAY too early to trade CC. The national media (much like the local media) loves a good story. If anything, by holding on to him until mid to late July teams will probably be more desperate to make that "playoff push", thus increasing his value at that time.

Let's keep in mind that the NY Mets, just last season, surrendered a 7 game lead with 17 games left to play. Even with a Tribe loss and a White Sox win today (which looks like it is going to happen) the Tribe will be 6 games back with around 100 games left.

I'm not saying that I am AT ALL comfortable with this team. I've entered the access code, and I've got my key in the ignition, but I REFUSE to turn it with around 100 games left. Just like the beginning of War Games, when the officer pulls out that pistol and says, "TURN YOUR KEY SIR!" I am nervous, sweaty, and confused, but I am not turning that key....Not yet.

Rockdawg said...

PTC, have you used that War Games analogy already? About 10 minutes after I posted it, I kind of felt like Elaine from Seinfeld...Not sure if I thought of that or if it was lodged somehwere deep in my brain from a previous post.

Baltimoran said...

have we gotten a guy to 3rd yet today?

it could be worse, baltimore has been completely taken over by Sawx fans...luckily my wife and i beat a couple of massholes in a game of shuffleboard yesterday or i would of snapped.

rodells said...

PC, back to Byrd. We should get ANYTHING we can for him when it approaches us. I don't see us getting anything that would help this year because he's not worth that much...I'd probably rather get a youngster or two anyways. But, he will have value to more than one team out there. If it's before Carmona returns, bring up Sowers, and if it's after he's back that's even better. No need to keep messing around with Laffey and of them needs to be up here pitching at all times (and we know that's Laffey right now).

rodells said...

OK that seemed to work....

Have we gotten even two guys to third yet today??????

csusi said...

Our power guy probably shouldnt be in the lead off spot right? I didnt think so either. About time to make the only move that hasnt been made this season in regards to the lineup card. Grady in the 3 or 4 spot.

What you guys think?

csusi said...

Oh, i forgot. I for real have those golf head covers. Wife's brother got them for me for my birthday. And when it comes to improving things....they dont work.

Rockdawg said...

How on EARTH does Peralta have 11 homers and only 19 RBI? Think about that...How does that happen? Bill James says that there is no such thing as clutch, but is there a such thing as anti-clutch? By comparison, Grady has 11 dongs and 30 RBI, while LEADING OFF.

Paul Cousineau said...

Never used that "War Games"'re confusing it with "The Last Starfighter" reference that I lean on. I actually watched "War Games" a few months ago and the two guys at the beginning of the movie who are asked to turn those keys are Mr. Blonde from "Reservoir Dogs" (Michael Madsen) and Leo McGarry from "The West Wing" (John Spencer, RIP). Don't ask me why that amuses me.
But I digress, you're dead on about feeling like those guys...unsure, but holding out.

I'm with you on the Byrd thing. As soon as Fausto's right, let's see what we can get for him. Even if it's a AA bat or a reliever (you're just not going to get much from a team in the market for a FA-to-be veteran)'s something.

Baltimoran said...

in the 3rd or 4th inning, the royals announcers basically decided that if a pitching staff could keep grady in check, the indians would be shut down. hard to argue after the series...which would lead me to agree that moving grady to 3 or 4 is not a bad idea...but who the heck would lead off in his place?

csusi said...

My vote is Kenny Lofton for the 1 spot.

Im peeking at my schedule on my bulletin board here at work, and i cant help but notice this Detroit 4 game series that we have coming up starting friday after the rangers. Followed by a 3 game stint with the twins. I dont know how you fellas feel, but im thinking June could set the stage. If we dont come out winning both of those series, we're gonna be sitting in a scary spot in the division. And as much as the CC talks have been floating around as of recent, I think those 2 series could bring the answer on "what do we do with CC". What you guys think?

Les Savy Ferd said...

i know the first place the mind travels for consolation on a poor start to a season where nothing short of a world series appearance will do (and thats where we started, and by we I mean us Indians fans as well as most baseball experts, remember?) is the old trading block but I'm going to hold off for the time being.

Lots of people have said a lot of compelling things. 5 games back. 100 games left. a division that somehow went from a pre-season behemoth to a regular season paper-tiger. We are far from out of this, and i know I repeat myself often around here but in all reality the Tribe should still be considered the favorite.

at least that is what i'm going to wrap around myself during this texas series.

Also, regarding Peralta, doesn't that also point out just how terrible at table-setting the late-middle of our line-up has been? Assuming Peralta is taking most of his cuts in the 5-7 slot.

Paul, did you happen to send Shelton a "sense of urgency" or conversely a "when everyone presses, nobody wins" sweatshirt?

Cy Slapnicka said...

in the most recent comments by wedge about martinez's hammy, i can't decide whats more amazing... that the tribe has yet another season long injury hurting this team and we don't rest the player or that martinez is so good he can catch and bat .300 with one good leg.

either way, i feel like we are about to see a wave of staph infections. this offense has no chance with pronk and victor hurting. if they are struggling, we can reasonable assume they will come around, being awesome and all. but if they are hurt, that assumption can't be made until they are both healthy....right? am i being too logical?

Rockdawg said...

Ahhh yes, I must have been thinking of the Last Starfighter, still one of the finest movies of all time. I can't believe that is Madson, I can't wait to watch that again.

Cy, way too logical. But that is assuming that Hafner is actually injured.

I think Wedgie needs to have a team meeting that starts like this. (Wedge holding a ball) "This is a baseball. The object of the game is to keep the ball within the confines of the playing field..."

csusi said...

So its the top of the 6th and i just witnessed a grand slam. Oh wait, im sure you think im talking about the bomb Laffey gave up. No, not that one. Im talking about the one given up by Adam Wainwright from the Cardinals. To whom did he sacrifice the 4 ball to you may ask? None other than.......Jason Michaels. Oh the pain inside me right now.

csusi said...

Im ok now, we just scored 13 runs on 16 hits. Wait a minute. What the hell did I just say!?!?!?