Sunday, August 05, 2007

Painful Lazy Sunday

The offense remains in a deep slumber and wasted some good pitching performances (Carmona and Laffey’s combined numbers - 12.1 IP, 2.92 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 7 K) to drop the last two listlessly in Minnesota. While the standard answer has been that this is a “team slump” and these players have too much of a track record to worry, I hope that someone in the organization has located the Panic Button on the console…just in case.

To put the youth of the Tribe starters for the weekend in perspective, the baby-faced Aaron Laffey (22) and Fausto Carmona (23) were born when Kenny Lofton was attending Washington High School in East Chicago, IL. Lofton was enjoying his junior year in high school when Carmona was born (12-7-83) and preparing to graduate when Laffey was born (4-15-85).

One more game to go in the Twin Cities, so let’s take a quick Lazy Sunday:
The answer as to why the PD’s Paul Hoynes had so little to report on Trade Deadline rumors becomes known as he recounts his experience as the president of the Baseball Writers Association of America at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. I think I speak for everyone when I give Hoynesie a pass on this one.
Given the choice of sitting on a bus and listening to HOF players talk shop and wondering which bullpen arm would save the Indians season…I think the answer is fairly obvious – “Octavio Who?”

Not sure what the ABJ’s Sheldon Ocker’s excuse is for swinging and missing on the Trade Deadline talk as it looks like his beloved, and always entertaining, mailbag has been replaced by generic MLB wire reports over at the ABJ.

I’m actually saddened by this as it was always fun to see how Ocker could alienate and unnecessarily embarrass and talk down to people that took the time to write in to him.
Maybe his banished mailbag can catch on wherever Roger Brown prints his Sunday column.

Could the retirement of the Ocker’s mailbag (if it is permanent) be the first move to open the door for Stephanie Storm (who reports on her phenomenal blog that Brian Barton is headed to Buffalo soon) to take over the Indians beat from the curmudgeon?

More on the ball is the Canton Rep’s Andy Call, who explains the Waiver Wire Trading Deadline and identifies some players that could be available to help down the stretch.

The LMJ’s Jim Ingraham details Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski’s account of the Gagne/Dotel talks (which sound like they probably could have come from Shapiro as well), also addressing Buddy Bell’s announcement of retirement and how ex-Indians are faring at 1B in the Emerald City.

Back to the Tigers, something that bears watching in Motown is Gary Sheffield’s shoulder.
Why so interesting?

Sheffield has been told the shoulder won't need surgery. He has had two prior surgeries on the shoulder, and, when asked what he would do if doctors said he would need major surgery, he replied, "That would be it for me."
Sheffield, 38, expects to honor the remainder of his current contract, which will pay him $14 million in 2008 and in 2009, "as long as I don't have to have surgery. If I have to have surgery, then that would probably be it."
As in, it for his career?
"Yeah," he said. "When you go through as much as I have, I get to a point where I'm only going to push myself so far. I know how long this takes to rehab. I know what you have to go through to come back and be the same player.
"It takes a lot to do that, and I don't know if it's in me."

Leo Mazzone may try to resuscitate the career of another once-promising ex-Indian, with reports that the Orioles are interested in Fernando Cabrera. Interestingly, if Cabrera does head to the Orioles, he could end up replacing Paul Shuey on their 25-man roster. By no means does this mean that Baltimore is where Cabrera will end up, but it shows that there’s interest in Cabrera, meaning that the Indians will get something in return for CaBBrera. The Tribe has until August 11th to consummate a trade for the young reliever, so if the Orioles are interested, the return will be more than what they got for Hector Luna.

Finally, from the “To Buy a C.C. Jersey or Not” file, it looks like Carlos Zambrano is ready to go for a 5-year, $18M/year deal (once the Cubs are sold, of course). Zambrano’s contract, whenever it is signed, will serve as a decent guideline for what Sabathia might be looking for after the 2008 season.
More important to watch than the annual salary is the number of years included in the deal. A 5-year deal is not as excessive as the 7-year deal that Zito received and would set a good precedent for any Sabathia negotiations with the Tribe.

The Tigers continue to falter as the once-dominant AL Central is showing some chinks in their collective armor as the Tribe and the Tigers are falling back to Earth with the same problem – offense.
Let’s hope that the Indians can pull it together before someone in the AL really catches fire.


Hyde said...

I don't miss the Ocker column one bit.

Our track record is what's bothering me. The Tigers are playing terribly too, but they at least have the experience of getting to the World Series last year to encourage them. The current Indians' collective experience in close pennant races is totally negative.

You have to go back to the opening game of the home series against the Twins to find the last time the Indians won with Nixon in the starting lineup. And considering how close most of these losses have been, every little bit counts.

Voltaire said...

Well, Lee just went seven innings for Buffalo, striking out eight and giving up just three hits.

Sowers has also turned things around.

Laffey pitched very well.

Who gets the next start?

Paul Cousineau said...

I'd say 2 more starts for Laffey, then re-evaluate where the three are at.

If Laffey can give us a few strong outings WHILE Lee and Sowers thrive, it's likely that Lee would get the nod because of experience.

It would be a nice problem to have, unlike the current problems on offense.

t-bone said...

Don't forget Lee has oh, a guaranteed $13 million thru 2009, so that may be a good "tiebreaker."

t-bone said...

brady signed

Cy Slapnicka said...

and there was much rejoicing.

i'd love to know how much money that idiot gained by pissing off the organization and fans. $10k? $100k?

Paul Cousineau said...

Rouse DFA'd.

Russell (The K Muscle) Branyan signed to...not come to Cleveland.
He'll join Buffalo.

Inglett probably in line to replace Rouse, unless Asdrubal Cabrera is REALLY on the fast track.

t-bone said...

Cleveland Indians call up infielder Cabrera
Posted by Paul Hoynes August 07, 2007 14:55PM

The Indians have designated reserve infielder Mike Rouse for assignment and recalled shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from Class AAA Buffalo.

Cabrera will be in uniform tonight for the start of a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.

Cabrera spent most of the season in Class AA Akron, where he hit .310 with 23 doubles, three triples, eight homers and 54 RBI. He scored 78 runs and stole 23 bases in 30 attempts in 96 games.

In eight games at Buffalo, the switch-hitting Cabrera hit .353 with three RBI and two steals.

The Indians acquired Cabrera last year from Seattle in a trade for Eduardo Perez.

Rouse, who made the Indians as the utility infielder out of spring training, hit .119 in 41 games, with four RBI. He was designated for assignment because he is out of options. The Indians have 10 days to trade, release or put Rouse on waivers.

Voltaire said...

I'm beyond thrilled about the Rouse/Cabrera move.

Looks like we got it backwards - Inglett wasn't playing SS to get in reps - Cabrera was playing 2B to get in reps and Inglett was shunted to SS.