Thursday, June 14, 2007

First Place Flurry of Tomahawks

Going into the Marlins’ series, knowing that the Tribe would throw Carmona, Lee, and Stanford…how many of those games, and which ones, did you think they would win?
Worked out just like you thought? Yeah, me too.

With the Tribe heading back to the Jake from sunny FLA, after taking 2 of 3 from the Fish, to continue Interleague play, let’s watch the air fill with Tomahawks:

If someone had told you that Casey Blake was hitting 3rd for the Indians on June 14th, would you have:
A) asked how severe the injuries were to The Stick and RePronkulous?
B) thought that the Tribe would be sitting in last place and the fire sale had begun?
C) imagined that the world was playing a horrible joke on the Indians?
D) wondered all of the above?
Obviously, D. Until I remember that he’s sporting one of the better beards in recent memory (even if Casey’s #1 fan, the DiaBride, does not like the man growth), then it’s makes perfect sense.

All bearded men are successful, right?
One can only hope that Casey shaves it into a Tom Selleck mustache for a week before his eventual return to the clean-shaven look.

Great piece by SI’s John Donovan on our ol’ Crooked Cap.

Between C.C. and Carmona, the Tribe has the makings of throwing two potential aces every 5 games. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that’s how the Twins overtook the Tigers last year. Riding Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano down the stretch, the Twins dominated the 2nd half of 2007.

With Marlins’ manager Fredi Gonzalez saying that Carmona “belongs in another league”, you can add his name to the roster of those who feel that Carmona is the real deal. The group could be called the Devil’s Advocates (remember, a Faustian bargain is a deal with the devil); I think that Torii Hunter (not hung-over) is the President of the DA.

Throw Jason Stanford in the mix and we’re looking at 3 potential aces!
Just kidding.
As many of the faithful readers know, for some reason, I have an almost unnatural interest in players’ introduction songs.

The leaders in the clubhouse so far for the best intro music?
Ryan Garko – “This is Why I’m Hot”
This song is, apparently, by someone named Mims and I was completely unaware of its existence. In the same vein of Grady coming to the plate with Pink Floyd singing “I need a dirty woman”, it is a great refrain to come into.

Trot Nixon – “I Walk the Line”
I’m not linking this because, frankly, if you can’t think of this song off of the top of your head…stop reading right now and go do a Google and Wikipedia search of the song and of Johnny Cash and spend a solid 30 minutes reading about the Man in Black. If you’re familiar with the song already, you know what a cool guitar riff it is to stride to the plate with.

Actually, for the Trotter, the line seems to be heading in the wrong direction. When a player’s OPS drops from .894 to .671 with 0 HR and 8 RBI over 29 games and 112 plate appearances, you’ve gone past prolonged slump and moved onto full-blown regression. Unfortunately, that’s the case for Nixon, who has 6 extra base hits in that stretch. SIX…and they’re all 2B!

It’s possible that it’s a product of Nixon’s bad back giving him trouble or it could simply be the writing on the wall that Nixon’s best days are behind him.
Consider his OPS in the past 5 years:
2003 - .975
2004 - .887
2005 - .804
2006 - .767
2007 - .671
That is what is referred to as trending in the wrong direction.
It may be time for the Indians to give Trot a rest and relegate him to the position of the 5th OF (!) and LH bat off of the bench.

In his spot, the Tribe could give Franklin Gutierrez an extended look to see what they have in the young OF before his options run out at the end of the year. It’s time to find out if Frank the Tank is a legitimate option for RF going forward or if his ability to play in CF is a commodity that another team values enough to part with some bullpen help this year.

Gutz’s swing looks shorter and his arm fits in RF and, while I’m still not a huge fan of the Tank, this is as good a time as any to put him at the bottom of the lineup and see if he fits into the Indians plans for the future.

Is it a coincidence that Gutierrez got a start in CF (while leading off) against the Marlins, who were reported to be interested in Franky this past off-season?

After watching the Fish trot out Reggie Abercrombie and Alfredo Amezaga to patrol CF and bat leadoff this series, methinks not.

YOUR 1st place Tribe (2 games up) heads home for another rematch of their two 1990’s World Series appearances.
They don’t have Maddux or Glavine anymore, right?


WCT said...

I share your obsession with player's intro music. For a tribe fan displaced in NYC, can you post (or put in the comments) all of the indians regulars' intro music?

t-bone said...

Now that we have to turn our non-Wahoo attention off the Cavs...

Two great things from the two John Clayton articles this week on J.Lewis and B.Quinn:

"I think if Jamal stays healthy and our offensive line comes along and becomes the offensive line we want it to be, I think he'll have a chance for a rushing title," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said.

From the Quinn one:

The Browns are installing a completely new offense, a copy of the Mike Martz-Norv Turner-Air Coryell system.

WOW and WOW!

Baltimoran said...

it was a fun 2 month ride:

as i was lucky enough to pick up poison sumac last weekend, i had to wear some gauze on my forearm this morning, and was greeted across the parking lot with "he cut his wrist cause the Cavs got swept!" wonderful colleages even sent the pychiatrist to my room with a mental evaluation form...can't wait to gloat when the tribe, cavs, or browns finally break through.

Go Tribe

t-bone said...

Beau knows contracts.

Paul Cousineau said...

I'm going again on Monday so I'll try to compile a list.

I know that Blake comes out to The Killers and Metallica, though I can't think of the specific songs right now.

A lot of the songs I have trouble identifying because it becomes a game of "Name that Tune".

I'll give it a shot. I'll be the one in Pronkville on Monday, with a pen and a pad, asking everyone, "What song is this?"