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Reassessing Wedge

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Reassessing Wedge

Unread postby rawdawgexpress » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:05 pm

Ok we're 50-32 and for the most part Wedge has gotten a bad rap around here for various reasons (mostly legit) over the past couple of years. In the interest of fair play I'd like to give my thoughts on him as this season is at the half-way point.


The Good:


1)Watching the Indians play the last month or two I've seen a real improvement in the amount of boneheaded plays and mental mistakes that they've been making. The base-running miscues are still there but in truth all teams have some of that. The defense is much improved fundamentally, and pitchers seem to be holding runners on and the catchers have been doing their jobs. The coaching at least gets some of the credit for this.
Frankly, we seem to be playing a more professional brand of ball than the other teams we play. I say this as a form of high praise- we are nearly playing as mentally error-free ball as the Minnesota Twins, who are to my mind the Platonic Ideal of how the game should be played.

2)The overall approach that the Indians have- taking pitches and throwing strikes- seems to be very effective, and the players are buying into and sticking to the plan. Routinely, the Tribe gets to the opponent bullpen by the sixth inning, even if their starter has been "effective"- just by making them throw pitch after pitch. Again, I credit the coaches for this.

3)There now seems to be a culture of winning that is firmly embedded in the clubhouse. The proof of this to me is how the young guys are coming in and really producing. Fransisco, Gutierrez and Shoppach have all played maturely- they are taking pitches and working counts just like Grady and Vic. Additional proof is that guys are playing 9 full innings and we're having alot of comebacks.

The bad:

1)Wedge still can't handle the starter to bullpen transition. Last nite was an excellent case study. To those of us who've been lucky enough to watch Carmona of TV this year its becoming obvious that when he's pithcing effectively his windup has a certain tempo and fluidity. When he's tired he just loses it. Last nite in the sixth Carmona was actually struggling. The D-Rays just got themselves out. I was literally shocked when Wedge didn't have anyone ready for the top of the seventh. When Carmona comes out and walks the leadoff hitter on 4 pitches you come and get him. You've just got to.


2)The strikeouts. The organizational line is that the strikeouts are a natural, even welcomed, effect of the "working the count" philosophy the Tribe has this year. I call bullshit. Grady is literally an amazing player but the truth is that he tries to hit a grand slam even when he's leading off an inning. I mean, dude is leading the league in strikeouts. Garko and Nixon unfortunately play the same way.

3)Playing down to the competition. This seems like a hollow point after our recent sweep, but look at out interleague record.

Outlook is with all five of our starters now showing some consistency we really set up to avoid prolonged slumps and really have a chance to do something.
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Unread postby furls » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:10 pm

I agree with all of your positives, but I disagree (some) with your assessment of the starter to bullpen analogy, particularly with last night.

Yes it is true that Carmona was showing signs of struggling in the sixth, but he was throwing a two hitter at that point, with a low (70ish) pitch count. It was his game until (he proved in the seventh) that he was done.

Wedge has done a much better job this year than in years past, but that doesnt say much.
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Re: Reassessing Wedge

Unread postby Eckersley » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:21 pm

rawdawgexpress wrote:Ok we're 50-32 and for the most part Wedge has gotten a bad rap around here for various reasons (mostly legit) over the past couple of years. In the interest of fair play I'd like to give my thoughts on him as this season is at the half-way point.


The Good:


1)Watching the Indians play the last month or two I've seen a real improvement in the amount of boneheaded plays and mental mistakes that they've been making. The base-running miscues are still there but in truth all teams have some of that. The defense is much improved fundamentally, and pitchers seem to be holding runners on and the catchers have been doing their jobs. The coaching at least gets some of the credit for this.


I agree with all of this. My question is, why has it taken Wedge nearly 5 seasons to get the team to hold runners on base, cut down their mental errors & cut down their base running errors?

The team looked like the freakin' keystone cops for most of the 06 season & Wedge should get most of the blame for that.

1 of my many beefs with Wedge is that I don't think the guy is a capable leader. Whenever the Tribe has had it's backs to the wall & needed to win a crucial series since Wedge took over, they've choked miserably.

This team is talented, but I think if there's a way to screw up a good thing, Wedge will find a way to do it. The playoffs are looking good right now at the half way point, but until Wedge proves that he's capable of getting us over the hump, I'll remain a doubter. If they do their usual choke job under Wedge, I won't be surprised & if they get into the playoffs, I'll be very happy.
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Re: Reassessing Wedge

Unread postby Hoover » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:56 pm

Eckersley wrote:This team is talented, but I think if there's a way to screw up a good thing, Wedge will find a way to do it. The playoffs are looking good right now at the half way point, but until Wedge proves that he's capable of getting us over the hump, I'll remain a doubter. If they do their usual choke job under Wedge, I won't be surprised & if they get into the playoffs, I'll be very happy.


Same here. What concerns me are the final 2 teams we play this season--Seattle & KC on the road. The Royals will be nice and loose and ready to destroy our hopes. They came into Comerica for the last series in 06 and swept the Tigers. Let's hope we've got a big division lead by then, because it's easy to foresee a choke job vs. KC.
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:53 am

Wedge has been a better manager this season in my view, but thats not saying much.

The team has been much, much better fundamentally ... which is great, but as Eckersly said, why the hell did it take this long? I see no real differences in how he handles the pitching staff, but that was never a gripe of mine with Wedge.

However, I am reserving judgement on Wedge this season until I see how he and this team performs down the stretch, likely in a pennant race with Detroit. The team has folded like a cheap tent under Wedge every time the heats been turned up.

Still, the man deserves a helluva lot of credit for this teams performance in the 1st half. And they're even outplaying their Pythag #s this year.
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Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Jays

Unread postby Eckersley » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:50 pm

1) with 1st base open, Wedgie chooses to pitch to the Jays best hitter in Alex Rios.

2) Wedgie starts Michaels (who is very good against lefties & worthless against righties) against a righty.

3) Wedgie starts his favorite high character/gritty vet Trot Nixon.

3 strikes & you're out, Wedgie. You're an absolute disgrace to the city of Cleveland.
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my gripe with Wedge

Unread postby berardinelli » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:38 pm

He has his pets. We all know who they are. Look out when he gets down on someone. How in the hell can you let a player like Nixon earning 3 million a year loaf in the outfield and continue to play him and never ever criticize him in the paper. Yet, God forbid a young 300,000 kid, with his first full year in the majors last year, is brought in for the first time in two months in a one run game pressure situation and gives up two runs in two innings. This especially after you leave the starter in after giving up 5 runs in one inning and a sixth run on a home run. Then you tear the kid apart in the paper misstating facts to support your tirade. Wedge used the kid three times in all of June and left him sit for ten days without pitching then expects him to be in top form. I have watched him react too slowly for three years now. I believe the quick warm-up for Fultz put him on the DL. His mismangement of the bullpen is his greatest weakness and no number of new arms is going to change this.
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Unread postby Eckersley » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:09 pm

Yes, yet Shapiro continues to stick with his buddy boy of a moron manager.

Shapiro is a smart guy, but his decision to hire Wedgie & his willingness to stick with him is absolutely mind boggling.
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Unread postby The Math God » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:14 pm

I too think Wedge has has his best season as a manager thus far, but....the negatives outweigh the positives. The mistakes he makes are things you can get away with if you are at AA-Akron, but not in the bigs.
Problem is, we are stuck with him for a while. How do you dump a manager when you are way above 500? It is going to take a bad slump or a team issue to force Shapiro to make a change.
Maybe if Wedge talked to Grover and would just resign....
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Unread postby Eckersley » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:28 pm

The Math God wrote:Problem is, we are stuck with him for a while. How do you dump a manager when you are way above 500? It is going to take a bad slump or a team issue to force Shapiro to make a change.
Maybe if Wedge talked to Grover and would just resign....


Good point. Problem is, if Wedgie continues to make his moronic moves, the team will be drug down & finish double digits behind the Tigers & out of the playoffs again...every year since Wedgie took over.

That should be enough to get him run out of Cleveland. Then again, his miserable job performance of 2006 brought him back for this year. :? :-? :???:
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Unread postby psk678 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:49 pm

The Math God wrote:Problem is, we are stuck with him for a while. How do you dump a manager when you are way above 500? It is going to take a bad slump or a team issue to force Shapiro to make a change.
Maybe if Wedge talked to Grover and would just resign....

That's exactly it.

Just imagine if he hadn't made some of the fundamental moves that should have been made (especially in those low scoring, 1 run loses). We would be far better off than where we are now.......BUT there's no way we're dumping him when we're winning, thats the bottom line.
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