Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Opening Day Tomahawks

It’s a marathon, not a sprint and we try to keep an even keel around here to not get too up or too down as the roller coaster gets some speed going, but how do you like that? Anyone who has been around these parts for a while knows that this, historically, is not the place for game recaps or thoughts pertaining to one particular game; but, after Opening Day 2008 finished in such grand fashion, forgive me if I can’t help but share some thoughts.

And with that (it feels good to say this)…let the tomahawks fly:

Seven RBI from the bottom three in the order? I know the Opener is only one game, but the balance in the Tribe lineup gives me the warm and fuzzies. Maybe not the warm and fuzzies that Casey Blake apparently gives Jim Donovan, but I feel good about it.

Did today epitomize C.C. grinding through a start or what? He had a decent outing (7 K in 5 1/3 IP) but was getting squeezed on some calls as he let up far too many walks and hits (not to mention Thome owning him). Despite that, he made his way into the 5th inning with 100 pitches (exactly, actually…anyone else amazed at the way the Tribe monitors pitch counts) and left with the lead. An inauspicious start to his Cy Young defense; but even without his “A” game, the team still got the “W”.

In the 8th inning, with the bases loaded and no out with Betancourt on the hill, anyone else wondering what other option existed besides just bringing in Death Ball Kobayashi? Wedge burned Lewis and The Scarecrow in the 6th and 7th and really had no other choice but to bring in the likes of Julio or Kobayashi as you knew that JoeBo wasn’t coming in for a 6-out save. Obviously, it worked out with some luck and some help from the boys in blue (gutsy call…though the right one…on the interference DP) and it is TREMENDOUSLY early, but here’s hoping that Wedge is able to extend his bullpen past four pitchers with a lead…particularly with Five and (f)Lee in the rotation.

During the post-game telephone call, my Dad claimed that Wedge pulled his big guns out of the bullpen early because he knew that the Tigers had lost. When pressed if he thought that Wedge would manage like that in the Opener my Dad said, “They all count the same”. This is the guy I sit with at most games…obviously, it’s going to be a tense time in the Mezzanine this year.

A couple of great plays by Carson Kressley (be sure to page through the link for full effect)…I mean Jason Michaels in LF. Seriously, Michaels’ hair has gone from ridiculous to nauseating. The DiaBride couldn’t get past it (even when he made the catch in the heel of his glove against the wall off of Thome’s bat) as she tried to figure out who he looked like. Steve Sanders…no, Mr. Perfect (OK, that was me)…no, the blond guy from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” (I swear that was her)…BINGO.

Who else is happy that Kelly Shoppach is still on this team and wasn’t jettisoned in the quest to add Jason Bay in the off-season? Vic the Stick is day-to-day (everyone together…aren’t we all), but even if he misses an extended period of time (and here’s hoping he doesn’t), it’s nice to be able to slot Shoppach in there instead of Yamid Haad or Wyatt Toregas.
Depth…it’s all about depth.

Sitting in my new “C” Indians hat (the ones worn today by the players); I’m still undecided on the new uniforms. Having seen them up close, I know that they’re a shade of yellow; but they look OK on TV…as long as you can get past the fact that they must be made out of some sheer material and you could answer for yourself in the 2nd inning if C.C. is a boxers or briefs guy…whether you wanted to or not.

Frank the Tank is going 50-50 this year and will sign a big endorsement contract with Cotton Club…you heard it here first.

1 down, 161 to go.
Buckle up, kids…it’s going to be a fun ride.


t-bone said...

I couldn't have said it any better than Tom: “They all count the same."


Joe said...

Nice writeup, one correction though -- CC left with a lead, but he didn't get the 'W'. Betancourt did.

Fun first day for pitching stats, actually. Lewis got a hold (and a 27.00 ERA), Perez got a blown save (and a 0.00 ERA), and Borowski had a 1.0-1-1-1-1-1-1 (IP-H-R-ER-BB-K-HR) line.

Paul Cousineau said...

Nice eyes Joe.

Learning to Swim said...

I'm really enjoying this blog. It's a nice little piece of Cleveland sunshine in dreary ole NC. Thanks so much.

Les Savy Ferd said...

living in Chicago, and driving home from work during the late innings of this game, let me just say that the radio team here are just a wee bit biased. Just a smidge. "Worst officiated game ever" and "this sport needs instant replay" and "if there is a call today that has gone the White Sox way, well I haven't seen it" are just a few of the choice nuggets of homerism bandied about.

To be fair, the guys in the booth were praising Carson Kressley and the Beard to the rafters after the good D and timing hitting respectively.

Thankfully i got home in time to turn on/mute the tv and watch Brodzoski the Close come in and finish things his way.

as you said, 1 down, 161 to go.

R.M. Jennings said...

This might be a stretch, but could Victor's injury mean a chance for Marte to get ABs? After his spring, it would be interesting to see if he can keep it up in the regular season.

I guess the only way The Stick's hammy would put Marte in the lineup would be if Garko were moved behind the dish. But he's never there played in the majors, and hasn't played regularly in the minors since 2005. So... never mind.


t-bone said...

Quick story about the true hero of yesterday's game.

Was at the game with DiaTribe friend Dozer yesterday, waaaaaaaaaay up in 504 (last upper deck section out in center), six rows from top.

Dozer's brother works at Progressive, won a company-wide contest and got to drive out the lady who threw out the first pitch in a Progressive SUV. He came out of the left field wall, drove along the warning track all way way around the park to get to home plate. Since we were up in the clouds, we couldn't figure out why he stopped for almost a minute in right center. Then all of the sudden Buehrle came into our view walking around the SUV.

We later learned Buehrle was warming up there on the warning track and refused to move. Jerry had to blare the horn at him, got a nasty look, and Buehrle eventually moved but was none too pleased about doing so. We are confident this incident rattled him and lead to the seven-run second. Thanks Jerry!

Tonight I'll pull off the pics I took and if they came out alright I'll throw them online. Like I said, we were WAAAAAAAAAAY high up, so they may not do it justice.

Cy Slapnicka said...

"DON'T OCKER ME" - nicely done RM...i think you've coined a new phrase for all of us!

Baltimoran said...

The Hawk was none too pleased about the calls too...may have had a point about the play at the plate, but he was also hyping Carson calling him an "allstar" against the sox

LargeBill said...

You are right on about depth. Depth will be the difference between Cleveland and Detroit this year. Detroit's depth is playing in Miami instead of Toledo. All teams suffer injuries and players who are unable to play at the level expected. Winning teams have less trouble replacing the injured.