Good article on indians.com about this cat who has started closing games for us.
Is he the solution? Too early to tell. But Tribe fans have to be pleased with the back end of the bullpen the past 2 weeks. Mastny has been flawless closing games, and Bettancourt and Cabrera appear to have re-discovered how to pitch. It has been almost lights-out after the sixth inning. Let’s hope it keeps up.
Tongue Man has been dealt to St. Louis. I am so bummed out. Now the tongue-wagging will be in an enemy park. A large part of the team personality has been shipped out. Not happy…….
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…
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.
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!
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……
A few thoughts come to mind about a few of our beloved Tribe guys…..
Thank you, Jason Johnson, for giving evidence in favor of my cry for getting Sowers up here. Just didn’t realize you were trying to replace yourself instead of Cabrera. How about canning Cabrera, moving JJ to long relief and bringing Sowers up to the bigs?
How ’bout that Carmona last night? I hope GM and Skipper are not serious when they marvel at how well he pitched out of the ‘pen and wonder if he should stay there. No, he should NOT! He’s a typical rookie – kills the opposition first time through the order, then they adjust and hit him hard the second time through. He’ll learn to adjust back. Know who he reminds me of? Cliff Lee. Carmona has his same attitude out there – "Excuse you, this is MY mound and MY field." I think he’s going to be a stud.
So what would I do if the other moves I suggested were made? Put JJ in long relief, Carmona in the 5th starter spot, and put Sowers in the ‘pen to start out.
I don’t feel good about the rotation shuffle for the road trip. Putting our #1 and #2 guys out there in Minnesota and using Westbrook on 8 days’ rest and the two worst starters for the Detroit series is not a good formula. I realize Westbrook is terrible in the Glad Bag Dome, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks 7 guys on Friday.
It was nice to see Plastic Man pitch well today. He lopped more than half a point off his ERA and he had the Bucs guessing most of the time. Great follow-up to a decent outing against KC last week. And he pitched very good last time he pitched in Motown, albeit with 10 runs behind him. Hopefully he will be getting on a roll here.
Anybody want to lay odds on us setting an MLB record for doubles in a season?
Victtor, Big Ben and Jhonny have certainly cooled off, but Casey Blake is still hitting out of his mind. I can’t imagine he’s going to hit .360 all year, but as long as he stays over .300, great. Bad as he was last year, it’s nice to see him doing so well.
Wickman just can’t do anything easily. We better start grooming a young closer soon, or the city of Cleveland will soon be able to keep the makers of Just for Men hair coloring in business by itself.
Had a great time laughing at Rick Manning last night. Severely white boy that he is, Manning was absolutely fascinated by Belliard’s hair. He should keep it like that. We need a Ben Wallace on our team……..
Of course, we all knew it was coming, just a matter of when……
I hate Barry Bonds. I hate him with a fire-filled, burning passion. And it’s not just because of the juice. I have hated him since at least 1990. In the late ’80s, when the Pirates were coming of age and the Mets were still on top with that arrogant team they had, the Pirates were the underdog, but not as easy to root for. I used to root for them over the Mets because they were a little less hateable than the Mets. With Bonds and Bobby Bonilla on the same team, that’s a team that’s not easy to like.
From the first time you ever saw him step on a baseball field, didn’t you get the feeling that Barry always felt he was a superior human being to the rest of us? And it wasn’t even because he was sick, he was so good. It was because "I am Barry Bonds. Therefore, you must bow to me."
So I have always hated him. He is the one athlete at whom I have genuinely cheered when he got hurt. Hearing him say "my life is in shambles" this winter was music to my ears. I genuinely wish nothing good for him. I hope he never passes Hank Aaron. I hope he ends up in jail for the illegal juicing. I hope his cellmate Bubba has his way with him. I hope he never knows a peaceful day as long as he lives on this Earth. And I hope his soul rots in Hades one day.