Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Reason I Don't Manage the Tribe

After debating whether to make the trip to the Jake last night, WEWS' Chief Meteorologist Mark Johnson (he of the plastic hair and uneasy sense of humor) convinced us not to, because Hurricane Andrew was supposed to sweep across the North Coast. After a 15-20 minute downpour and an hour rain delay, the Tribe came back on the field and hung onto victory against the Jays. Should've been watching Tanchak.

When the game started, the lineup looked like a disaster. I see Hernandez batting clean-up and Ludwick hitting 5th while the Indians are trying to put together a winning streak and get some offensive momentum on a crucial homestand. I think to myself, "looks like Wedge picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue." Then, the Atomic Wedgie makes me look like an idiot as the top of the order goes nuts in the first and Bono Broussard (have you heard his cover of U2's With or Without You?) comes through with the big bases-loaded hit. That's why the Atomic Wedgie and his mustache make out the lineup card, not me.

Westbrook still looked shaky last night, though early errors didn't help him. He doesn't seem to be throwing with the same confidence and at the same breakneck pace as he did last year. Maybe his rhythm is off, or maybe he lacks that swagger that he had after owning the Tigers to burst out of the gate in 2004. But, at least Elarton wasn't on the mound.

JDangerously looked like he was going to let it come unglued, instantly giving up the HR to Rios, then bore down and went 2 1/3 of decent ball. Why Wedge would use 5 pitchers, and sap his bullpen, on the first day of a 5 game homestand is beyond me. Maybe so he could have the cameras on him while his face twitched uncontrollably. But, again, I don't make out the lineup card.

Did you notice that a few of the players singled out in the Things That Can Happen at the 40 Game Mark from Monday - Coco and Bono - went absolutely nuts in the Angels series. I mean, I know they want pub for their new CD, but that was unreal.

So, let's see if I mention the Sub-Mendoza boys again, if we can get the reverse jinx going on them:
I don't think Boone and Blake are long for the Tribe Lineup.
There, let's hope that will get them above .200.

Harold Reynolds said the other night on Baseball Tonight that the White Sox are by no means a lock to take the Central. He said that they will lose 6 of 10 or 8 of 10 at some point, just because of the nature of the MLB season. The Tribe just needs to make sure that they're hot while the ChiSox are not. Watching them beat up on the Orioles though, it makes you wonder if they're ever going to slow down.

The Jody Gerut situation will be an interesting one to watch. While the logical move would be to send a struggling Boone to find his stroke (Gerut to RF, Blake to 3B, Boone to Buffalo), Shapiro is unlikely to send Boone to Buffalo; you have to wonder where else Gerut would find a spot. Unbelievable on a team whose offense has struggled so mightily that it seems difficult to find a position for a player who led the team in RBI's 2 years ago, but that seems to be the case. One option would be to platoon Gerut and Blake in right, but after giving Blake a contract over the winter, you have to think that the commitment would be stronger to Casey. Or, you bring Gerut up to take Ludwick's spot. But Ludwick is a Wedge favorite, so Gerut will probably have to prove his worth in upstate NY. Stay tuned to this as Gerut was obviously upset about the assignment to AAA. He may pull a B-Phil and pout (unlikely) or he may pull a Coco and just mash (more likely), forcing Shapiro's hand.

More tomorrow on a comparison of the potential Free Agent signings of the 2004 off-season vs. the actual Free Agent signings of the 2004 off season.

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