Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tomahawks Flying

The Indians sit at the top of the AL Central, the Cavs did as they should have by sweeping Washington, and Canton has been contacted for a mold of Joe Thomas head and shoulders – so, all is right in the world of Cleveland sports…enjoy it.

With the spirits high, let’s release some tomahawks:
Everyone clamoring for the Indians to trade a starter to allow Carmona to remain in the rotation can now sit in the corner quietly as Westbrook left tonight’s game with some sort of lower abdominal strain. Look, Carmona has pitched magnificently and has certainly earned a spot in the rotation; but there simply wasn’t a spot for him and he provides the Indians’ with pitching depth that every team longs for (ask Brian Cashman).

Now, with Westbrook ailing, the reason that Carmona is designated as the “6th Starter” becomes obvious. To trade Byrd at this point means that you’re an injury away from having Sowers, Carmona, and Miller (and their combined experience of less than a year) make up 3/5 of the rotation for a contender. No thanks.
Anyone else surprised to see Fernando Cabrera come out to replace Westbrook and serve as the team’s long reliever? It was a tailor-made situation for Jason Davis to eat up some innings and save the part of the bullpen that actually contributes to the Tribe’s success. The game, however, was close, and The Atomic Wedgie’s disdain for putting JD in a game that’s not already decided showed through.

Wedge’s concern proved legitimate as JD relieved the devastatingly effective K-Brera (a tip of the hat to Roger Dorn at the LGT for that one) and promptly walked 2 runs in to put the Tribe behind. It’s time to give JD his walking papers and call up Edward Mujica, who is destroying AAA hitters to the tune of 12K’s in 10 scoreless IP while amassing 6 saves. I can deal with Hernandez’s struggles because he has a track record of success, regardless of his age. JD has only a track record of unfulfilled potential and disappointment.
Back to K-Brera, whose slider and fastball combination is simply unhittable right now. He has staked a serious claim on getting a long look at getting the 7th inning role with an eye on the 8th in case of a Rocky Betancourt implosion. With K-Brera and Nasty Boy Tom Mastny, the wheat of the young relievers is certainly separating itself from the chaff.
In case you haven’t noticed (to paraphrase fwembt), Jhonny Peralta is hhiting the bhall vhery whell.
Perhaps I’m spoiled by not seeing a lot of commercials due to the advent of DVR, but does anyone else think the Subway commercial, the one with the two announcers talking about some sort of Indians’ promotion, could possibly be the worst 30 seconds of television on right now?

As amusing as the Fred Martin Superstore Car Guys are (trust me, they know cars…and embroidered polo shirts), the Subway commercial is just as infuriating. I’ve seen it probably 100 times and couldn’t even tell you what they’re advertising because I can’t get over the fact that it looks like it was produced by a high school kid starring his dad.
Finally got a chance to see Heritage Park last night (during the rain delay) and it is a must-stop for any Jake visit. It’s extremely well done and designed, though they could work on the drainage as puddles were everywhere after Tuesday’s downpour. The Ray Chapman plaque that was found in the bowels of the Indians’ offices and found a permanent home in Heritage Park is the obvious highlight…that, and the brick with Pat Tabler’s signature on it, among the other 100 Greatest Indians.
Does the “ruling” by MLB regarding the protested game just reek of the old “because I said so” rationale to anyone else? Do they realize how far-reaching this decision is? Apparently, the Cardinals are asking if the 1985 World Series is now theirs because of Don Denkinger’s gaffe at 1B that cost them the Series. Seriously, does this allow the umpires change a previous decision…at any point in the game?

It was a terrible decision by the umps that night, but an even worse decision from the MLB Ivory Tower to uphold it. Thank goodness they don’t serve those plastic bottles of beer at the Jake (and that Indians fans maintain a certain level of civility and sobriety at games) or Bottlegate II could have erupted.
If Westbrook isn’t put on the DL, expect the BLC to go back to Buffalo as he offers the Indians a redundancy as their 4th LH OF while Ben Francisco essentially replaces Casey Blake as the RH OF on the roster while Blake takes over full-time 3B for the foreseeable future. It still will probably happen if Westbrook is put on the DL, but not until Jake’s spot in the rotation comes up – which is when the return of El Diablo will occur.
I hope that Travis Hafner is taking a long look at the Fu Manchu emerging on Trot Nixon’s chin, as well as the glorious facial hair on Sal Fasano – because if he ever grew one, he would be ready for his guest appearance on American Chopper.

Once again, the Indians don’t play their best baseball and keep it close all night long as the Indians continue to find ways to remain competitive for every game.

Let’s all hope that Cliff Lee shed his “Five and Flee” persona in a rehab assignment and his first start doesn’t tax an already taxed bullpen for the series finale.


Jason said...

I thought you might be interested to know that Hamilton and Hegan had some very nice things to say about Pat Tabler as they were going into the rain delay on Tuesday. It has something to do with his son, I believe.

I totally agree about JD. I don't care if he's out of options. He's just dead weight right now.

Pardon my ignorance, but what was the rush to send Carmona down? I figured that it would be a 1:1 swap with Lee coming back and Carmona going down. Why bring up Ben Francisco only to have to send BLC down? BLC has looked pretty good in this cup of coffee, with the play at the plate on Lofton being the highlight.

Paul Cousineau said...

Pat Tabler's son Trey (I just found out from my buddy in Cincy) was a star basketball player for Cincinnati Moeller who will play at Wright State (wrong school...sorry that was an old University of Dayton chant) next year.

The rush to send Carmona down was that he wasn't going to pitch out of the bullpen or be of any other help and would simply take a roster spot up because he wasn't going to make another start. So they filled the need of a RH OF that was created when Blake became the full-time 3B.

With the bullpen REALLY stretched out, there's going to be some shuttling between Cleveland and Buffalo to make sure there are fresh arms in the bullpen.

That could mean that Choo, Francisco, and maybe even Mastny are removed from the 25-man roster today and a guy like Brian Slocum or Brian Sikorski (who would have to be added to the 40-man) would be insurance in the pen to eat innings, then get sent right back down.

When Jake's turn comes up again (if he is shelved), Carmona will return to take his spot on that day. That way, they don't use roster spots on players who are incapable of helping that day.

Choo will be back at some point, but right now the Indians need to make sure they're bullpen doesn't get blown up by last night's extended outings.

t-bone said... "notes" reports:

Grady Sizemore will be the feature subject in next week's issue of Sports Illustrated. One of the magazine's staff writers and photographers have been in town this week