Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things Fall Apart

In watching another gut-wrenching, bile-in-my-mouth loss last night, to run the losing streak to 10 games, I couldn’t help but sit and wonder, “How did we get here?” How, on July 10th, are the Indians 16 games out of the lead in the AL Central, in last place after dropping 10 straight DIVISIONAL games when the beginning of the year was full of such promise? Who would have thought, way back in Winter Haven, that The Crooked Cap that a certain LHP would be pulling on for a start on July 8th of THIS YEAR was that of the Milwaukee Brewers and not the one he’s worn since he was a young pup in 2001?

What happened here?
The reasons come flying faster than a Miggy Cabrera blast to LF:
“The bullpen has crumbled onto itself, throwing the season away by blowing winnable game after winnable game, essentially sabotaging the season.”

“The ineffectiveness and subsequent injuries to Hafner and Martinez took the teeth out of an Indians’ lineup that is too reliant on RBI from both to absorb the loss in production.”

“Shapiro’s off-season of inactivity, with the Indians on the doorstep, doomed the team as he stood pat instead of supplementing the talent on hand to make a run in what was, very obviously, Sabathia’s last year in Cleveland.”

“The injuries to Carmona, Westbrook, and Atom Miller destroyed the starting pitching depth, forcing the players who started the season as the #8 starter (or worse…hello, Matt Ginter) when the season dawned, turning what was thought to be the strength of the team into just another problem spot by the All-Star Break.”

“The maddening inconsistencies (Peralta) and severe regressions (Garko, Gutierrez, and Cabrera) of players thought to develop into complementary players around The Big 3, at the very least, on the club forced inexperienced (Francisco and Choo) or role (Blake and Carroll) players into spots that they are ill-equipped to handle, weakening the lineup from top to bottom.”

Obviously, one answer does not come forth as THE reason that the Indians stand at 37-53 today as there are kernels of truth to each of the above explanations. Quite a bit has gone wrong in this nightmarish 2008 season and we, as fans, don’t look to be waking up anytime soon to find out that it was just a nightmare.

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll try to examine in-depth all of these problems that have presented themselves at the Indians’ doorstep and how each one could possibly be fixed for the team going forward so 2008 doesn’t become the wrong kind of jumping point…the one that leads to an organizational freefall. In the interest of reminding us that our summers are now relatively freed up to enrich ourselves in things not related to the Tribe, I’ve borrowed the title of the series from Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, which was once (long ago) on my “Summer Reading List” and could end up there again soon…assuming I can make some headway on “A Confederacy of Dunces”. Regardless of what I’m reading in my ever-expanding spare time, I’ll do my best to break it down while trying to limit the number of times I throw up in my mouth in the process.

There’s plenty to break down (and I’m sure the pieces will be interrupted by further moves that are obviously forthcoming prior to, and after, the July 31st Trading Deadline), so it will take some time to hit all of it…but time is unfortunately all we have these days.


Kevin said...

If you want to credit a literary source for your title, you probably should cite Yeats.

KonstrucktaTribe said...

i am so depressed

KonstrucktaTribe said...

by the way confederacy of dunces...GREAT BOOK enjoy

woodsmeister said...

"Things fall apart. It's scientific."

The Talking Heads
"Wild Wild Life"

A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Paul Cousineau said...

I love the fact that the people who read this blog are able to not only suggest that I use Yeats as a reference for a passage but also comment on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that I am currently enjoying or bring in some Talking Heads knowledge.

By the way, the Achebe page does reference the origin of the title and I did decide to go with the more subtle reference as Achebe's book is something to read, if you haven't. And can anyone else say "Yeats" without imitating Kramer in the Seinfeld episode that he gives Elaine the card (to accompany the bench) with the Yeats poem about friendship on the inside as she held the cash that Jerry gave her in her hand.

Back to all things Tribe, after getting back from the game tonight..."so, you're telling me there's a chance".
No, there's not...but I love watching baseball at that place, talking Tribe with my dad and brother.

Cy Slapnicka said...

to dumb it back down for those of us from euclid, we also have this to do this summer.

Baltimoran said...

thanks cy, i enjoyed reading about the 7.5 ABV...could help get through this season

RE said...

Of course, talents and metiers as diverse as Joan Didion and Joni Mitchell have used "The Second Coming" as much for the start of its ultimate line, "Slouches toards Bethlehem," slightly paraphrased.

Moving to what's more important, FINALLY a gobsmacking win! And with contributions from all hands, including Marte. If Casey is to be traded for anything better than a bucket of warm spit, we need him to look good and Marte to be good.

Les Savy Ferd said...

reading "the brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao" which won the Pulitzer recently. started off so-so, but as I near the end, the last 100 pages or so have been heart wrenchingly good.

also, seconds on enjoying a win, finally.

Now boys, rally behind clifton and lets get that man a Cy Young.

Anonymous said...

I read a prophetic book once..."Trapping the Fur Bearer For Fun and Prophit"...or was it 'Profit'?
We were 15 1/2 out at the end of July 2 years ago...........(sorry for all the periods, they are CC's old ones.......)

Mark said...

LaPorta's a stud.