Sunday, August 12, 2007

Looking Forward

After spending Friday and Sunday watching the debacle of the Yankees’ series at the Jake, I’ve simply decided that it’s time to turn the page. Having LeBron James sit 2 sections over from us on Friday night (he did stand and cheer for Barfield’s HR) didn’t have the same lasting good feelings that it should have as the Tribe offense (and Paul Byrd) sabotaged the weekend. The series was awful in every way imaginable, but the Indians need to put this weekend in their rearview mirror and not dwell on missed opportunities (there were many), mental mistakes (um…Jhon?), or stacking themselves up against the charging Yankees.

Certainly lessons can be learned, but what’s done is done.

Larger matters are at hand after a day off Monday as the Tigers come into town on Tuesday with a ½ game lead in the Central. It’s time to focus on the Tigers and slotting The Hefty Lefty against a scuffling Jeremy Bonderman on Tuesday and Carmona against the ol’ TBD on Wednesday.

Taking two from the Tigers would put the Indians back in the driver’s seat in the Central and could go a long way to building some momentum going forward. Of course, if the offense fails to show up against the Tigers and the Motor City Kitties take two, the Tribe will find themselves in a veritable tailspin with any remaining confidence and momentum slipping further away.

After snapping the rearview mirror off the windshield, not much happening by way of a Lazy Sunday as most columns are devoted to either some guy in an abnormally huge San Francisco Giants uniform (He Who Must Not Be Named) or basically say that the Indians’ offense is struggling…and they don’t know why.

The first topic will not have words wasted on it in this space (the last few issues of Sports Illustrated with The Hammer and The King of The Clear and The Cream on the covers and the latest episode of Costas NOW sum up my feelings pretty adequately) and the second topic has been examined here for the last two weeks.

Regardless, a few spots to hit:
Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News identifies the voice behind the Tribe pre-game show on the radio, Jim Rosenhaus, the former Bison play-by-play man. Rosenhaus does a nice job on the pre-game show and, while Hammy and Hegan block him in the radio booth, he could be an option if the increasingly error-filled broadcasts of Matt Underwood continue.

Underwood seems like a nice enough guy who has his moments, but he hasn’t found his footing in the TV booth, often being corrected by Rick Manning. Too often, Underwood tries to be Hammy Lite and, while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there can only be one Hammy.

While I know it could be worse (DJ and The Hawk, anyone?), Underwood has not been much of an upgrade over the perpetually vanilla John Sanders (only a year removed from him, do you even remember him?).
And don’t get me started on “Souvenir City”.

In roster news, in case you missed it, Jason Stanford and Mike Rouse have returned to Buffalo (looks like Stanford’s desirability to other teams was vastly overestimated) and F-Cab will be added to another team’s roster (possibly the D-Rays) tomorrow.

Tigers in town on Tuesday.
Quoth the aCCe last Tuesday, “There’s no doubt in my mind that we are going to win this division. I don’t think there’s anyone in this clubhouse who doesn’t believe that. …When we get hot, we’re going to be hard to beat. We haven’t even played our best ball yet.”

God, I hope he’s right.
Right now, it’s hard to see.


Ryan said...

How come you don't write for a newspaper or magazine. I'd much rather read your perspective and updates on the Tribe than any of the print guys. I love the CC quote at the end there; I really hope that he's right and this hitting crisis is a mere bump in the road toward legit playoff team. We have the pitching, and we're routinely told as fans about the core of star talent in Pronk-Victor-Grady-Peralta, and now this year with Garko. Though it's great to see CC as the ace--and longest serving Indian--telling the guys it's time to step up and focus.

Voltaire said...

I loved Underwood on the radio. Give me back the trio!

WCT said...

I hate to go all sports-radioish, but why is Eric Wedge skating by scott free on this? The players come and go, but two things remain constant: Wedge at mgr and underacheivement. If/when they miss the playoffs, his job should be in serious jeopardy.

rodells said...

The Wedge extension mid-season was pretty dumb. He got rewarded for NOTHING.

That said, I'm pretty ticked from what I think was more mismanagement yesterday. Sure, he can't score the 10 runs we should have got in the 7th/8th/9th yesterday, but he still botched.

He trots out a lineup including Blake at DH, Gomez at 3B, Cabrera at 2B. OK, fine.

Then Wedge pinch runs Barfield for Shoppach had to replace Barfield. We now have no INF on our bench and he knows Rivera is coming in and the bottom of our lineup was going to hit again. STUPID. Run Lofton to keep your options open on the infield (Barfield) and outfield (Nixon). I'd much rather have a vet Nixon or righty Barfield up vs Rivera in the 9th instead of Cabrera, not to mention the situation ended up 2nd/3rd nobody out, down 2. Doesn't Wedge know Rivera's cutter dominates lefties?

He also handcuffed himself from hitting Hafter if he was available for PH yesterday.

rodells said...

"Tigers manager Jim Leyland declined to reveal who would be called up from the minors to start Wednesday in Cleveland, but it will likely be Triple-A Toledo right-hander Virgil Vasquez or Double-A Erie right-hander Jair Jurrjens.

Jurrjens is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his last three starts, including an Aug. 1 shutout at New Britain.
His next start had been scheduled for Tuesday, so he would be well-rested."

t-bone said...

Remember when Mr. Tabler went off on the questionable rules of the Grady whiffleball promotion? It happened today.

t-bone said...

Rizzo reporting the hot rumor amongst the media Tuesday morning is that DiaTribe favorite Terry Pluto is returning to the Plain Dealer. Michael Reghi confirmed that this is the talk out at Browns camp today, and said the way they're talking about it, it's as good as done.

Paul Cousineau said...

If Windhorst follows him north to replace Branson Wright on the Cavs' beat, I'll actually give the PD some credit for upgrading.

Also, if he replaces BOTH Livy and Shaw, it will be a huge step forward.

t-bone said...

Right now on the WWL there's a story about the power outage in MLB this year, and our very own Pronk is the featured photo on both a rotating graphic on the front page as well as the main graphic on their MLB page.

t-bone said...


Terry Pluto joins The Plain Dealer
Posted by kturner August 14, 2007 14:59PM
New Plain Dealer sports columnist Terry Pluto

Award-winning sports columnist Terry Pluto will join The Plain Dealer sports department within a month.

The author of numerous books, Pluto will continue writing columns, including his popular Sunday notes column.

Pluto, who once worked at The Plain Dealer as an Indians beat writer, has been with the Akron Beacon Journal for the past 22 years.