Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hold On Loosely

The frustration is building and the team is feeling it. C.C. told the media that he lost his focus in the 8 run inning last night (frankly, Belliard’s nonchalance in the field had a similar effect on me in Pronkville) and Wedge sounded visibly shaken and obviously angry for one of the first time during his post-game press conference in his tenure as Tribe skipper.

I’m not sure if Sabathia was taking a bullet for the team (“they’re big shoulders, I’ll take the heat”) or if C.C. really became disinterested. I tend to think the former, maybe because I continue to give the Big Fella the benefit of the doubt.

More changes could be afoot, with Belliard or Boone investing in new return address labels in the next few weeks. If Belliard is moved, Boone could shift over to 2B and Marte could be promoted from Buffalo. If Boone is traded, that cuts out the position change and Marte enters the picture that way.

Has anyone else noticed that Boone has been off for 2 straight nights? Are they showcasing Ramon Vazquez (good luck, with his $1.50 average) so they can find a taker for him when Sowers is called up on Saturday, allowing Inglett to become the Utility IF? Or are they holding out Boone to prevent injury? Or am I reading too much into the days off, chalking them up to Wedge’s approach to getting a player out of a slump (see Peralta, Jhonny)?

I don’t see Sticky going anywhere just yet (he’s the other veteran that has been rumored to be on the block with Belliard and Boone) as the bullpen is simply too unsettled to move him. Belliard and Boone aren’t nearly as vital to the offense or defense (certainly) as Wickman is to the bullpen.

Wrestling with trying to hang on to this season (I’m not ready to throw this away in late June) and still keeping the optimistic approach intact, I found some words from Eddie Vedder that pretty effectively sums up what it’s been like this season as a Tribe fan (or even as a Cleveland sports fan, in general):

I will hold the candle till it burns up my arm
I'll keep taking punches until their will grows tired
I will stare the sun down until my eyes go blind
I won't change direction, and I won't change my mind
I'll swallow poison, until I grow immune
I will scream my lungs out till it fills this room

I’m not ready to give up on this season, no matter how much of a beating I continue to take.

On a final note, as has been mentioned in the comments section – it’s official - in the words of George Constanza, “my boys can swim.”


thatchick said...

You're not alone in keepin' the faith. I believe they can still do some good with the remainder of the season. Who knows what the All Star Break will bring?

Cy Slapnicka said...

1. Congrats on the expected new arrival. Apparently there are more than tax benefits to having a child. A new father recently told me, "I did not take him to the batters eye bar but the baby back pack is really good for sneaking in beers. Don't tell his mom I said that, she didn't notice."

2. Wickman is not as vital to the bullpen when he's not actually saving games. There is a reason he only has 10 saves, and its not b/c he has been blowing a lot. You can't save whats already lost.

3. You people are insane. We are not only 15 games back and in a serious slide, but everyone else is the division is hot. I'm not being negative, just realistic.

4. The PJ was very fitting....forgot an important line from it though....
i will make my way, through, one more day in hell.

t-bone said...

Today's Buster Olney...

Sox take a chance on Johnson
posted: Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry

The acquisition of Jason Johnson is a worthwhile gamble of almost $1 million for Boston. He's a veteran pitcher with vast experience pitching in the American League, in the AL East, and he generates a ton of ground balls with his sinking fastball; maybe his 2.85 ratio of groundballs to flyballs will translate better with the Red Sox, who have a better infield defense than Cleveland does this year.

But there is a lot of potential downside to this, as well. Left-handed hitters against Johnson this year: a .403 batting average, .633 slugging average, a reflection of the fact that he doesn't have a lot of secondary stuff besides that sinker. And some of the scouts and talent evaluators I spoke with yesterday have serious doubts about whether he'll succeed for the Red Sox.

"Very soft," said one executive. "Not a good fit there [in Boston]."

"When he doesn't do well, he tends to blame everybody but himself," said another.

"They're desperate," said one scout.

What the Red Sox are doing now reminds me of what the Yankees did when they had rotation issues in '05: They stockpiled pitchers and threw them against the wall and just tried to see if anybody was good enough to stick. Lo and behold, they got a 10-0 year out of Aaron Small and a couple of good months out of Shawn Chacon, and their season was saved.

The Red Sox have Kyle Snyder and Johnson and maybe David Wells and maybe Matt Clement, and they'll throw them against the wall and see what they see. They must be feeling a little less anxious, however, after watching Jon Lester strike out 10 in six innings against the Nationals Wednesday night.

Theo Epstein says the Red Sox are buying low on Johnson. The Indians lost ugly against the Cubs.

t-bone said...

Laker designated, Kelly's back.

t-bone said...

VICTOR PLAYING FIRST TONIGHT, just went over lineup on WTAM.

Rockdawg said...

First off, congrats to PTC!!! Secondly, I said I would never give up on a team in June, but July is steadily approaching. But, much like Costanza and the stocks he bought..."I'm going down with the ship." It's not like I've never suffered through a tough Tribe season before (see 80's Indians baseball). Or a Tribe team that was SUPPOSED to do well (Corey Snyder on SI cover). How will I get by????? Criticize, criticize, criticize....until the Tribe hits that 10 game win streak and are right back in the thick (it IS still June)

Baltimoran said...

Congrats to PTC also.

i would like to point out that i was clearly in favor of keeping Brandon Phillips during spring training

as far as this season, can anyone with "insider" privledges post the Kellen Winslow article. those bastards (salsbury and others) on sportscenter rated the browns as the worst quarterback situation in the leauge...can't wait for Chuck to prove them wrong.

maybe sowers and eventually marte can help me get my moneys worth from