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We've got a problem

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We've got a problem

Unread postby consigliere » Mon May 01, 2006 11:09 pm

A 13-13 record I can live with at this time of the year....but when scratching below the surface, there are some things that just make me shake my head and some things that are a big concern to me:

1. Teams are running at will on us. 6 more stolen bases against us tonight....the word is out, RUN RUN RUN on the Indians. For heaven's sake, the Texas catcher with a name close to being spelled LARD stole a freaking base. Whether it is the pitchers not holding the runner, or Victor having issues throwing out runners, or a combo of the two who knows, but this is a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. I'm not sure what the solution to this problem is really, which means we might be in for a long season with teams stealing at will on us. And, that doesn't bode well close and late in games, or hell, early in games as teams will setup early runs by running.

2. Wedge sucks. There, I said it. I have been a Wedge supporter since he came aboard. I still am, but the time comes when the guy no longer can do the job he was signed to do. He is an exemplary leader and handles young kids well, never airing dirty laundry and always sticking up for his players. I like him. But, the time comes when you need to move beyond someone who just has a knack with handling youth....to a field general who is tactical and shows some baseball smarts. Imagine what this team would do with Jim Leyland? The problem here is, though, that Wedge and Shapiro are joined at the hip and I just don't see a change being made unless the Indians implode this season.

3. This team is stupid. Seriously. I don't think there is a player on this team with any baseball IQ. WTF was Brian Slocum doing tonight? Sure, rookie jitters and mistakes, but a microcosm of the issues this team has. In one inning he throws to second TWICE to try and pick a guy off (2nd throw an error) and a batter later throws to 1st for another error with Thome (JIM THOME!) on 1st. Come on. It doesn't end there.....bad baserunning, poor fundamentals, an inability to bunt, yadda yadda yadda.....this team just is incapable of doing the little things to win games....from the players straight on up to the manager.

4. Pitching. Anytime our pitchers want to show up from Spring Training would be fine with me. Did they all leave their "game" down there when leaving 5 weeks back? Yecht.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/agg ... eason=2006

And, they will probably drop further after tonight. That is unacceptable. We have depth and talent on this staff, so something else is wrong here and they need to fix it fast.
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 02, 2006 12:30 pm

Teams are running at will on us. 6 more stolen bases against us tonight....the word is out, RUN RUN RUN on the Indians. For heaven's sake, the Texas catcher with a name close to being spelled LARD stole a freaking base. Whether it is the pitchers not holding the runner, or Victor having issues throwing out runners, or a combo of the two who knows, but this is a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. I'm not sure what the solution to this problem is really, which means we might be in for a long season with teams stealing at will on us. And, that doesn't bode well close and late in games, or hell, early in games as teams will setup early runs by running.


Victor Martinez at first base and Kelly Shopach behind the plate would be a good place to start.



2. Wedge sucks. There, I said it. I have been a Wedge supporter since he came aboard. I still am, but the time comes when the guy no longer can do the job he was signed to do. He is an exemplary leader and handles young kids well, never airing dirty laundry and always sticking up for his players. I like him. But, the time comes when you need to move beyond someone who just has a knack with handling youth....to a field general who is tactical and shows some baseball smarts. Imagine what this team would do with Jim Leyland? The problem here is, though, that Wedge and Shapiro are joined at the hip and I just don't see a change being made unless the Indians implode this season


Suck is somewhat harsh, but I have to agree that he does not get the job done in April. He will continue to manage hands off, which worked pretty well post All-Star break last year. Jim Leyland? This does not appear to be a group of guys that would perform for an in your face dictator.

This team is stupid. Seriously. I don't think there is a player on this team with any baseball IQ. WTF was Brian Slocum doing tonight? Sure, rookie jitters and mistakes, but a microcosm of the issues this team has. In one inning he throws to second TWICE to try and pick a guy off (2nd throw an error) and a batter later throws to 1st for another error with Thome (JIM THOME!) on 1st. Come on. It doesn't end there.....bad baserunning, poor fundamentals, an inability to bunt, yadda yadda yadda.....this team just is incapable of doing the little things to win games....from the players straight on up to the manager


No argument here. Most of the baserunning mistakes are from being overly aggresive, which most managers will tell you are ok. It has definitely come time though to pull back. Pitchers throw to bases for more reasons than picking people off. Maybe they were trying to waste some time for someone in the pen to get loose, I'm not sure. Now throwing pick-offs away is a sign of the stage being to big for someone at the given time.

Pitching. Anytime our pitchers want to show up from Spring Training would be fine with me. Did they all leave their "game" down there when leaving 5 weeks back? Yecht.


This has somehow turned into a staff of "nibblers". When they get ahead in the count, they are unable to put people away. 0-2 seems to be the worst count for this staff, which is stupid. All it does is produce a 6 pitch at bat and then they can't make it through the 6th, which leads to a depleted bullpen having to face way too many hitters.
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Unread postby yargs7 » Tue May 02, 2006 4:20 pm

I blame Wedge. Not to say he is a bad manager, but this isnt the right fit.

When Buehrle drilled Hafner in the head last year and the Tribe didn't respond...the die was cast. A a laid back players' coach is great when you are loaded with talent and experience (e.i. bob brenley in Az in 99). It doesn't work with a young, fairly talented team who needs to learn how to win. These guys need a firey coach with winning experience to get them on the winning path.
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 02, 2006 5:05 pm

Honestly, isn't it a little early for the Wedge discussion?

Is it Wedge's fault the bullpen should have a Nitro Label?
Is it Wedges fault Peralta is hitting .230?
I know everyone is going to disagree with this next one...
Is it Wedge's fault we are clueless on the bases?
Did Wedge cut Miller's elbow open?
Did Wedge punch Betancourt in the shoulder?
Did Wedge yank CC'c oblique?

This team has played 1 month of games. They are over .500 and 3-2 against the White Sox with a left fielder that can't hit, run, throw, or catch. Thier #1 starter has thrown 8 innings.

Let's not throw Wedge under the bus quite yet......
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 02, 2006 5:26 pm

Pup wrote:Honestly, isn't it a little early for the Wedge discussion?

Of course.

And of course not.

How many games difference does a manager make over the course of a season? Five? Ten? Not a whole lot. And yet I could argue that Wedge has cost us at least three games and can't find one where he made the difference in a win.

It's Wedge's fault that he leaves melting pitchers out too long (this is changing, thankfully).
It's Wedge's fault that he bunts in the first inning with no outs. (I hate bunting almost all the time, but even purists can agree that playing for one run in the FIRST is STOOPID.)
It's Wedge's fault that the 2 and 3 hitters are sub-.300 OBP guys when much better hitters languish in the six and nine slots.
(Yes, it is at least Wedge's responsibility that we are clueless on the bases.)
I don't know whose fault it is that Ramon Vazquez is on this team, but Wedge must have played a role.
Same for Todd Hollandsworth.

But really, most complaints about the offense are misguided. We score lots of runs. We could score more, but we score enough runs. It's the pitching that is the primary problem, and although I can't blame Wedge for Cabrera's ERA or Carmona's ERA or Graves' mullet, I can blame him for the rote handling of the bullpen roles as well as his inertial handling of tiring and/or becoming-ineffective middle-inning pitchers (be they starters or releivers).

Is it too early to speak of firing him? I think it is. Is it too early to demand he change some of his noticeably and demonstratably ineffective and/or harmful tendencies? I think not.
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 02, 2006 10:52 pm

He is the same manager today he was last year in leading the team to 93 wins. He believes in his players. He believes Jhonny Peralta will not hit .230. He also believes Casey Blake will not hit .380. I tend to agree with both of those assesments and therefore am all for leaving them right where they are. Take Blake out of the 9 hole for a prolonged period and he can't handle it, then you are back to 05 Blake, which nobody wants.

As for the pitching staff. He has very few options when it comes to making moves. With the bullpen he currently has to go to, why not let the starters try to get through one more inning, whenver possible. When the starters start making it past the 5th on a more consistent basis, the bullpen should come around. There is a big difference between relievers needing 9 outs and 11. I am sure if Wedge could get these nibblers to begin start being agressive and go after hitters, he would.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 02, 2006 11:12 pm

Pup wrote:He is the same manager today he was last year in leading the team to 93 wins.

If something can be identified as something that can be improved, it should be improved. You make things better if you can, it doesn't matter if they were good to begin with.

Pup wrote:Take Blake out of the 9 hole for a prolonged period and he can't handle it, then you are back to 05 Blake, which nobody wants.

I can't dismiss this out of hand. I've had similar thoughts. For my money, though, the Casey Blake I've seen this season is simply not the same person I saw last year. I get accused of forgetting that players are people, too, and that's a fair criticism, but I'm going the other way on this one: I think Blake's "personal problems" in 2005 really, really affected his play. Blake's not a guy with a huge margin for error. But he's been so relaxed, so confident, so patient, he's simply not the same guy in 2006. I think he's a lot more able to handle adversity this season. YMMV.

Pup wrote:As for the pitching staff. He has very few options when it comes to making moves. With the bullpen he currently has to go to, why not let the starters try to get through one more inning, whenver possible.


Because he is apparently bad at identifying the last clause. There have been no fewer than three occasions this season when every fan I know was all but screaming at the set/computer/radio that it was obvious that the guy had lost it, and Wedge stuck with him for at least two more hitters (with the predictably bad results). I demand my manager me more observant than *I* am, fer Chrissakes: I suck. I understand the sentiment, so we may just have to agree to disagree on this one.

(In Wedge's defense, he pulled Westbrook Sunday at what I thought was the right time: perhaps he is either becoming more comfortable with longer arms in Davis, Guthrie, and Slocum, or he is developing a better "feel" for what a melting pitcher looks like.)
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Unread postby pup » Wed May 03, 2006 10:59 am

If something can be identified as something that can be improved, it should be improved. You make things better if you can, it doesn't matter if they were good to begin with.


What if improving this now, leads into a worse overall situation? I think the rational is that you let the players play. So if you start choking down on them now, what will the overall effect be on the rest of the season?

I think Blake's "personal problems" in 2005 really, really affected his play. Blake's not a guy with a huge margin for error. But he's been so relaxed, so confident, so patient, he's simply not the same guy in 2006. I think he's a lot more able to handle adversity this season. YMMV.

You can think that, and it might be 100% true, but is it really worth finding out? I don't think it is an experiment that is worth running. He has just as much, if not more value posting these numbers in the 9 hole and turning the lineup over than he would in the 2 hole.

I demand my manager me more observant than *I* am, fer Chrissakes: I suck. I understand the sentiment, so we may just have to agree to disagree on this one.


I don't think it is an observation problem Wedge is having though. I am pretty sure he knows when a guy is losing it. I also think he has alot more confidence(misguided as it may be) in his starters fighting out of a tough jam than Danny Graves, Scott Saurbeck, or Jason Davis. This comes back to the health of Betancourt and Carmona. Once they start geting people out again, there will be options for Wedge call on.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed May 03, 2006 11:26 am

Pup wrote:What if improving this now, leads into a worse overall situation? I think the rational is that you let the players play. So if you start choking down on them now, what will the overall effect be on the rest of the season?

Nice point. I hadn't thought of that. And the beautiful thing about sports is that by definition we can't know: we'll know the result of what path gets chosen and can only speculate on the path not taken.

Ask me if this will stop me from speculating. ;-)

Pup wrote:I don't think it is an observation problem Wedge is having though. I am pretty sure he knows when a guy is losing it. I also think he has alot more confidence(misguided as it may be) in his starters fighting out of a tough jam than Danny Graves, Scott Saurbeck, or Jason Davis.

This may be right, but I'm more comfortable yelling here.

Pup wrote:This comes back to the health of Betancourt and Carmona. Once they start geting people out again, there will be options for Wedge call on.

Point of order: do you mean Cabrera here?
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Unread postby pup » Wed May 03, 2006 11:32 am

Point of order: do you mean Cabrera here?


Sure did.



Ask me if this will stop me from speculating


MMMMMMm, my guess is no

This may be right, but I'm more comfortable yelling here.


Scream away. I won't be far behind if I'm wrong.
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