Sunday, April 09, 2006

View from the Mezzanine

Travis Hafner continued his torrid pace at the plate yesterday, with another HR and getting on base in his last 10 plate appearances. It’s time that Pronk got some credit for being one of the elite hitters in MLB. If The Sykesville Slugger were playing in NY or Boston, or even LA – he would be a household name by now. Until he gets the recognition that he deserves, we’ll just have to shower love on the man who graduated in the Top Ten of his High School Class (graduating class of 8) at the Jake.

Jason Johnson was very impressive in his Tribe debut, going 7 shutout innings and inducing 12 groundouts for 21 of his outs, a very good sign that he is making a nice transition to becoming an effective sinkerball pitcher. If Jason Johnson can continue to channel Randy Johnson, he could give the Indians 5 strong starters all year.

Bob Wickman got a nice ovation as he made his 2006 Jacobs Field debut, and deservedly so. While other closers have dropped like flies (Benitez –again -, Gagne, and others), Wickman has defied his critics to remain healthy and effective for the Tribe. If you haven’t joined Wickmans’ Warriors yet, it’s time to get on board.

According to Bob, my Mezzanine Beer Man, the Indians’ rotation should be fine. He tells me that as impressive as Kevin Millwood was last year, he and Elarton only combined for 20 of the 93 wins last year. As long as Byrd and Johnson can match their production (and they already have 2), the Indians should be fine. He also feels that the Central will come down to the Twins and the Tribe as he thinks that everything that could’ve gone right for the White Sox last year did. And there’s no way that they’ll have a repeat of last year. It’s always a pleasure to have a Beer Man who knows his baseball, and remembers from last year that I’ll have an MGD, while the bride (who heretofore wants to be known as The DiaBride) will have a Miller Lite. It’s been 7 months since we saw him last, but it’s still funny when he jokes with the bride (a Milwaukee native) that she should try a Bud Light, which is the equivalent of heresy in the state of Wisconsin.

The only intro song of note this year – Sizemore comes out to the Pink Floyd song with the refrain, “I need a dirty woman / I need a dirty girl”. Fantastic.

Ben Broussard looked great against Scott Baker, a RH pitcher; but was completely overmatched against Francisco Liriano, Minnesota’s talented LH. Isn’t this where Eduardo Perez is supposed to enter the lineup? Is Wedge giving Broussard a shot to become the full-time 1B again, or is he just trying to keep the cohesion of the lineup intact? Whichever it is, if Benny proves to be unable to hit LH pitching, the implementation of the platoon promises to become stricter.

If Casey Blake continues to hit, he may work himself out of the 9 hole and into the 6 hole, behind Victor. Remember that Blake was thought to be a possible #2 or even #3 hitter as the 2005 season opened, so it’s not inconceivable that Blake could hit his way up the lineup. Realizing that it is still early, it’s something to keep an eye on as a stronger hitting Blake provides more protection to Victor than Ronnie Belliard does.

Why did the Indians plan a fireworks show after a 5:05 start? Fireworks before the sun goes down don’t really have the same magic as fireworks in the dark. The fireworks started about 7:45 and, while I saw them from I-90, I can’t imagine those fireworks fans were thrilled with the show.

The White Sox have lost 2 straight to the Royals and the Tigers are currently leading the AL Central as they remain undefeated. The Tigers’ victory last night was paced by the very impressive debut of Justin Verlander. With Verlander, Brandon McCarthy, and Francisco Liriano, there are some great young arms in the AL Central. Next Sunday, we will add another name to that list with the debut of one of the Indians’ young studs, Fausto Carmona.

A Cory Snyder, circa 1987 jersey, was spotted in the Mezzanine yesterday. When questioned where he got the jersey, the owner said, “It’s an original, dude.”
Congratulations on being the coolest guy I met yesterday, fella.

Jake vs. Johan this afternoon. Enjoy the game; it should be a quick one.


Rockdawg said...

Here is something this blog will appreciate...I got invited to a fantasy baseball league by a friend of mine, who used to be an ignatius mascot, and also goes by the name Danny Terrible. So, since it was a free league, I arranged the "Pre-Draft Rankings" so that Tribe players were strategically placed in the draft order. After the computer simulated draft, I ended up with Haf-Pipes, Jelly Belliard, Jhonny Cool, The Stick, Super Sizemore, C.C, Jake the Snake, The General, and Slim Wickman. Coincidentally, I also ended up with Coco in my outfield...Not so coincidentally, I am in 2nd place in the league.

Since I have DirecTv, I somehow ended up getting the game on FSNN (Fox Sports North), and listening to the Minn announcers. All they kept commenting on was how cold it was and how wierd it was to start a game at 5:05 when you have fireworks scheduled.

t-bone said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
t-bone said...

still thawing out from today's game. with our seats, you appreciate being in the shade all game in july, but definitely not in early april. brrrrrrr...

rodells said...

I coined the term "Hafpipes" a very long time ago in a disheveled basement in Euclid, OH. Give credit where credit is due. Especially you, rockdawg. I'm not kidding here.

Also, rockdawg, you should get every Tribe game on DirecTv, or is that just Cleveland area DirecTv subscribers?

I'll be commenting more in the future, but gotta run now....I'm looking forward to seeing Carmona this weekend and Broussard will forever be on my suck-a55 list.

Nice job, Paul.