From off the top of my head and other strange places  V

Random thoughts as I continue to call down curses on Dell computers for all the heartache they have caused me the past month:

  • Who’s getting traded next? Let’s not pretend we’re done dealing. My money’s on Todd Hollandsworth. He would be a great addition to a contender that needs another bat at a moment’s notice. Imagine how hard it must be never knowing when you will actually get to play, never getting to settle into a rhythm, and yet post a .720 OPS over 4 months, and never gripe once. He’s a pro’s pro, that’s for sure. It would hurt to lose him, but he deserves better than to play once every 8 or 9 days on a team going nowhere.
  • I bet Boone isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to have to be available when Marte comes up. Like every other rookie who has ever played, Marte is probably going to be totally lost at the plate his first few games (see Gutierrez, Franklin), and his confidence will take at least a minor hit. Once your confidence at the plate wavers, your confidence in other areas will suffer as well (see Rodriguez, Alex). At that point, Wedge will want to sit him for a day or two to clear his head. Bad as Boone has been this year, I trust him more at third than I do Tongue Man. Keep him at second to spell Inglett.
  • Anyone want to bet that Big Ben will light us up this weekend? He’s probably only going to play on Saturday against Westbrook (Sowers tonight and Lee on Sunday are both lefties). I say put the over/under for his hits at 3. I’ll take the over.
  • Conversely, I don’t have the same confidence that Choo will light up Seattle. Not that I’m pessimistic or anything.
  • OK, so the Jason Johnson signing was a disaster, the Coco Crisp trade does not look good until Marte becomes an MVP, and the Byrd signing is not a disaster but not as good as we wanted. But let’s give Shipiro props on the Jason Michaels trade. He’s got a decent .728 OPS, and Arthur Rhodes wouldn’t have made our shaky ‘pen any better.
  • JUST SAY NO TO DELL COMPUTERS! Trust me on this one. Buy one your neighbor built in his garage first. Stay away from Dell unless you are convinced you will NEVER have any problems for the entire life of the machine.
  • How ’bout that Sam Rutigliano stopping by the SportsTime Ohio booth to yuk it up with Sanders and Manning the other night? I can’t believe the guy is still working. He didn’t need to kiss up to Manning so much though. He’s got his own big name.
  • Speaking of Sowers, he’s the real deal. All he has to do is cut down on the Big Jacks and he’s ready to join the list of dominant young southpaws.
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I’m not as sure as he is

A severe domestic dispute with the home PC, still ongoing, has kept me away from the blog for a long time. Trying to get in here long enough to add some thoughts.

Plenty of roster moves in my blogging absence. The hatchet man has been busy.

Eduardo Perez – Gone!

Fat Boy – See Ya!

Big Ben – Holla!

And what do we have in return? A low-level A catching project, a questionable second-base project, and a utility outfielder the local pundits seem to love.

Let’s talk about the outfield guy Shin-Soo Choo first. Anthony Castrovince and Jim Molony are glowing about him. I have one question: If he’s that dadgum good, what has he been doing in Tacoma most of the year? It ain’t because Seattle’s outfield is so stacked there is no room for him. Adam Jones played CF for them yesterday – he of the .243 average and .579 OPS in his first 11 big-league games. They also continue to give at-bats to the over-the-hill Carl Everett and his .653 OPS. I just think that if a guy is as good as these guys are making him out to be, he would have been in the bigs and playing every day. We shall see.

With Tongue Man clearly on his way out, it made sense to try to get another 2B prospect, especially if you don’t think Joe Inglett is the answer, and the Indians clearly don’t. I disagree with them on that point too. Hopefully he will produce well enough while he’s playing every day to change the appropriate minds. He’s got an OPS of .848 right now. I’ll take that from my 2B every day, especially if Pronk, Grady, Victor and Casey keep hitting, and Jhonny comes back to form.

I loved the Wickman trade, less because I know anything about the catching project we got and more because it gives Fausto Carmona the closer’s job. If you scroll down this blog you will see my post about this move more than a month ago – long before anyone else wrote about it. I should be getting paid for this.

C’mon, Shipiro, ante up! I promise I’ll refund whatever you pay me if Carmona turns out to be a dud as a closer…

Time to replace the big boy?

Bob Wickman has made a career of giving us Tribe backers heart disease. Every save is an adventure, and he has dropped 2 of his last 3 save chances. He’s getting along in years, and I wonder if it’s time to consider moving on to another closer. I think it is, and I have the perfect candidate.

Fausto Carmona.

I was originally against Carmona going to the bullpen. I thought he would be a great middle-of-the-rotation guy for the future, behind CC and Cliff along with Sowers. But check out Carmona’s line with the bases empty (the situation he would be in when starting the 9th inning): 17 innings, 0.53 ERA, 16 hits, 5 walks (too many) and 14 Ks. I say it’s worth a shot.

See, I have all the answers. The problem is, Shapiro never calls me!

Jason Johnson – YOU’RE FIRED!

I haven’t posted in a long time, but what was there to post about? Nothing different happened over the past 2 weeks. Just this morning I told someone I was getting convinced the Cleveland Indians would never win another game ever.

Then the bomb gets dropped today. Jason Johnson has been fired – FINALLY!!! About a month after the rest of the world figured out he had completely lost all clue on how to pitch, Shapiro and Wedge finally get the message, and JJ has been designated for assignment.

JJ is a nice guy, and I’m not happy he has done so horribly. But we have games to win. And JJ will be fine. I’m sure the Royals will have him under contract in no time (bad as he is, he’s better than anyone they have).

The move I’m scratching my head over is the calling up of Ed Mujica to replace him, as well as the calling up of Joe Inglett to replace the departing Jeremy Guthrie. How about sending Jason Davis down and giving him a chance to figure out the concept of NOT allowing an inherited runner to score (he has yet to accomplish that in ’06)? With our pitching staff in disarray, we need even more offense. Bringing up Andy Marte and letting him play for a while would have been nice. And where is Sowers? The Indians website is saying that Sowers is expected to start Sunday against the Reds. Well, that would require another roster move. Why not go ahead and make it? There is a spot on the 40-man roster available for him, so that’s no problem.

While all this is going on, let’s hope my main man Bulldog can stop the bleeding tonight against the ace of the pitching staff of the All-Social Security team, Greg Maddux……

Perusing the stats

Looking over some stats on mlb.com and finding……….

  • Without considering a minimum number of starts or innings, C.C. is 7th in MLB in ERA at 1.71. Jared Weaver is #3 at 1.35.
  • The Tribe staff is tied for 9th in MLB with 163 walks issued. We were 7th before issuing 14 over the past 2 games.
  • We’re tied with Arizona for second with 6 shutouts, behind Detroit’s 9.
  • We’re 21st in strikeouts. Would love to see that go up.
  • Not that I live for all the obscure stats sabermatricians spit out with regularity, but I do like the OPS stat as a better barometer of how you are hitting than batting average. We are second in OPS to Toronto. Breaking it down, we are fourth in on-base percentage behind the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays, and third in slugging percentage behind Toronto and the Evil People. You’re doing well if OBP is above .350 and slugging is above .450 (and thus, OPS over .800). We have 2 guys – Pronk and Blake – over that mark, as well as the 1B combo.
  • Speaking of the two-headed 1B monster, check out their stats: .338 average, .398 OBP, .606 slugging percentage, 1.005 OPS, 14 homers, 48 RBI, 16 doubles, 39 runs scored.

Catching up

Crazy week. My office was moved this week, my team hates our new location and boss. Efforts have stepped up for me and a couple others to find a new career. My commute has doubled in length. Absolutely no time to reflect on the Tribe this week.

After Monday, you would think we were headed for another long losing streak. Then we up and take the Evil People 3 in a row. Tuesday and Friday were enough to give you a heart attack. Great comebacks though. How about that Big Jack from Tongue Man to win Thursday’s game? Gotta love it.

Looks like the series with the Los Angeles-Anaheim-California-West Coast-I-5-Pacific Ocian-whatever-they-call-them Angels is going to go the same way. A thorough beat-down in game 1. Now we should have 2 wins to follow that Jared Weaver is going to kill himself with those mechanics. Awful. But hey, it’s working for now.

Our two best pitchers go today and tomorrow. Let’s hope for good things.

Cashing in on a few breaks

I would really be steamed after yesterday’s game if I were a Twinkies fan. Let’s be honest – they totally got hosed on two of the three controversial calls. C.C. never tagged Punto at first (although the Twins announcers were wrong about why – C.C. did transfer the ball to his glove), and the obstruction call against Punto when Grady stole second was bogus. Exactly what was Punto supposed to do, crawl under second base? Ford’s attempt to feign being hit by that pitch in the dirt was equally bogus – if you want people to think you got hit, jump in the air before the ball passes you, express some expression of pain and start limping toward first.

The first blown call against Punto could have changed things drastically. The next two hitters singled. With Punto’s speed, he would have scored on the second one. So instead of 2 on and 2 out, it should have been 2 on, 1 out and a 2-1 game. Of course, the next 14 Twins were retired, and I’m sure C.C. would have limited the damage. But if Twinkies fans are POed, I understand why.

But good heavens, is C.C. smoking or what? Can’t wait until Tuesday to see him destroy the Evil People.

Let’s all collectively say a prayer that Jake hasn’t been inactive for so long he’s forgotten how to pitch when he takes the hill in Motown tomorrow night…..