Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lazy Sunday in Sconnie

Betwixt a trip to Madison yesterday for the Badgers’ football game against Akron (and, no, I couldn’t answer the question of why they are the Zips and why the Zips’ mascot is a kangaroo…unless there are kangaroos in Akron that I’m unaware of and the guess from my father-in-law that Zip Codes were invented in Akron sounds a little made up) and a trip to Wrigley tomorrow for some day baseball, it’s time for a Lazy Sunday from the satellite office in Milwaukee.

In case you were wondering, I’m not up here for Harley Fest – although the site of tens of thousands of motorcycles and the bikers that ride them is one of the more unbelievable sights I can imagine.
Nevertheless, we’re off:

Terry Pluto reports that the organization is approaching the OF situation about the way that I have been laying out in the past few weeks, with Francisco and Chootierrez handling the corners and the addition coming in the infield. All told, this is the layout that makes the most sense if you’re prioritizing needs as Franchootierrez (yeah, I just went there) has certainly shown more than Marte and Barfield while in Cleveland.

Pluto also points out that the Indians may be looking for a “quick fix” at 1B for next year because of the struggles of Garko and because it’s likely that Victor will stay the Catcher. While that is certainly possible, and 1B are easier to find on the FA market than most other positions, what about pitting LaPorta and Garko against each other for 1B in Goodyear? If the Indians REALLY think that the OF positions are taken care of and that 1B is a problem…um, I think there’s this guy that we just traded for who’s supposed to be a near-MLB-ready impact bat who can either play LF or 1B.
So, the WangBanger moves to his natural position of 1B, right?
If the team wants to give Garko one last shot (at mediocrity) and start LaPorta in Columbus, with the idea that they can move him up like the Brewers did with Ryan Braun last year, so be it. But the way that these positions look to be shaking out, LaPorta with a 1B glove looks like a surer bet than the idea of him patrolling the OF.

Finally, Pluto hits on the players acquired for Lacey Cake, as both Bones Meloan and Carlos Santana have found immediate success in the Indians’ organization. Does anyone else think that the Blake trade is going to be looked at in the same fond terms that the Colon deal is, say two years from now…if not sooner?

Tony Lastoria hits on some of the MVP hardware being bestowed upon some of the youngsters with Beau Mills winning the MVP in the Carolina League and the aforementioned Carlos Santana winning the MVP in the California League (despite the fact that he hasn’t played for Inland Empire in a MONTH). Throw those two, presumably, on the Akron team for next year along with Nicky Weglarz and Canal Park could certainly see some offensive fireworks all season…except, of course, when Hector Rondon pitches.
By the way, look at that picture of Beau Mills in the piece again.
Do you think that Mills could get a girl like Giselle Bundchen, just like his identical brother?

David Briggs over at TBN’s The Inside Pitch has a quick blurb on the elephant in the room, the shoulder of one Mr. Travis Hafner, from Buffalo. I’ll probably have something on this later this week, but this Hafner thing (he can’t play consecutive games…at DH?) is turning into one of the biggest things to watch (if it wasn’t already) as the season plays out. With the return of Victor, one can’t help but be reminded that The Atomic Wedgie said that he wanted BOTH Vic and Hafner to log some AB in Cleveland this year so they weren’t going into 2009 without some MLB plate appearances under their belt. This “news” that Hafner’s shoulder remains balky, with little strain being put on it and no “official diagnosis” from the club…well, it doesn’t look good.

Also from TBN, Mike Harrington thinks that Aaron Laffey, Rich Rundles, Jeff Weaver, John Meloan and Tom Mastny are all coming topside when rosters expand. Remember that Laffey probably won’t get called up until next week, or later, as his accumulated service time is right on the cusp of him potentially being a FA a full year later if he’s kept down in the minors for another week or so.

Ken Rosenthal thinks that the GM carousel will be going at top speed this offseason, so don’t be surprised when Tribe Assistant GM Chris Antonetti’s name comes up in connection with a number of these looming openings. Despite the struggles of 2008, here’s hoping that the “deal” that was agreed upon last year when the Cardinals courted Antonetti is still in place (or even enhanced) to keep the chain of command in place for the Tribe and the heir apparent on the North Coast.

Finally, with a trip to the North Side of Chicago happening tomorrow, here’s a great piece by one of my favorites, Joe Posnanski, in his maiden voyage on regarding how the Cubbies may not be as universally loved as everyone seems to think. As an aside here, with the Yankees and perhaps even the Red Sox not making the playoffs, does anyone else sense that the Cubs are going to be the team that TV execs and the folks at Bristol are preparing to shove down our throats this postseason?

If you thought the Red Sox fans made a quick transition from long-suffering to insufferable, just wait to see what happens to Cubs’ fans, with an assist from the Worldwide Leader who would cover a Cubs’ WS victory with the same fervor as a certain “retired” QB who ends up in NYC. Nobody turns a good story into an annoyance like ESPN…and the Cubs’ story is just sitting there, waiting for them.

It’s not going to stop me from enjoying some Old Style tomorrow as I join the other “Ferris Bueller-wanna-be’s” on Labor Day, but you’ve been warned.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch a certain LHP who goes by his initials only (and is now sporting a full beard!) try to pitch his current team into the playoffs on FSN Wisconsin.


Rockdawg said...

It is a wierd state of affairs when I jump on and check the Brewers' box score before I check the Tribe's.

R.M. Jennings said...

Apparently, B.F. Goodrich made "rubber overshoes" called Zippers that were really popular in the 1920s and 30s. Hence, Zips.

So says Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

It may be time to start referring to LaPorta as WangBang and drop the 'the'...? it will fit better on the T-Shirt I am having made. And my grandson's mom will feel better about him wearing it. We don't call Travis The Pronk. I can hear Hammy now..."here's the pitch.....WANG (the swing).....BANG....GONE!!! BALL GAME!!!" instead of.."runners at second and third, two outs, Garko at the plate...the pitch...the swing...another ridiculously exaggerated upper-cut swing and an infield pop-up.....(cut to commercial)

Cade said...

Am I the only person who's not crazy about the "Wangbanger" nickname? What about the possible sexual connotation? Anyway, here's a nickname for Carlos Santana, the switch hitting catcher: Carlos "The Shredder" Santana. One shreds on the guitar. One shreds opposing pitching.

RE said...

From U Akron web site:

Originally Zippers, athletic director Kenneth Red Cochrane officially shortened the nickname to the Zips in 1950. Twenty-five years earlier a campus-wide contest had been conducted to choose a nickname for the University's athletic teams.

Suggestions submitted by students, faculty, and alumni included Golden Blue Devils, Tip Toppers, Rubbernecks, Hillbillies, Kangaroos, and Cheveliers. The winner, freshman Margaret Hamlin, received a prize of $10 for Zippers - a $6 pair of rubber overshoes and a brand name of the BF Goodrich Company.

Origin of Mascot "Zippy"

"Zippy" the kangaroo was officially declared The University of Akron's mascot on May 1, 1953. Chair of a committee to suggest a mascot, All-American Zip diver Bob Savoy recommended the kangaroo and it was approved by the student council.

At first much resentment and apathy surrounded the decision, which was made without the benefit of a campus wide vote. Defenders of the kangaroo countered with, "it is an animal that is fast, agile and powerful with undying determination - all the necessary qualities of an athlete."

Pete Demming appeared as the first "Zippy" kangaroo at the inaugural Acme-Zip football game in 1954.

Now fully accepted and an integral part of UA's athletics program, "Zippy" is revered by alumni and loved by children.


ZIP (properly capitalized) codes were a pure beaucratic linguism, devised by US Postal Service, and announced in 1963.

Cy Slapnicka said...

cade, as sad as this is...out of the last two comments about nicknames, yours was more ridiculous.

i think we are all aware of the possible sexual connotation.

as a side note, can you imagine the difference in popularity of Akron sports apparel would be if they were named "Rubbernecks"?