Same Sh...tuff, Different Sh...eason?
As much as I may be tempted, I'm not joining the ranks of thousands of Browns fans all over the country in considering this team a bust, a joke or a fraud after the first pre-season game.
But the reason I'm not jumping on that train headed over a cliff is pretty simple: I expect it to be bad early on.
This is still basically the same 4-12 squad from a year ago, with some exceptions. And that was a team befitting that record. You go across the field, position by position on both sides of the ball, and there is simply a dearth of talent.
That's simply not going to change just because the coaching staff does.
There's one, established big-time receiving threat on the roster and he apparently bathes in silicone spray. There are no game changing linebackers or defensive backs. The lead running back is running on tread that exposes far more of Lincoln's head on a penny than is desired. One quarterback is a hopeless head case that mopes off the field after his numerous interceptions and the other hasn't played in many more games than you have.
For all those hoping and praying for a turnaround like the Atlanta Falcons had last season, forget it. It's just not going to happen in all likelihood.
As to the young guys who may have disappointed you last night, you have to give them more time. These are kids that are worried about not getting off before the snap, what length their cleats should be, what socks go with what pants and what their immediate assignment entails. None of them are just out there letting it go and allowing their athleticism to play a big part.
A veteran like Mike Furrey should look good on this stage in comparison to Brian Robiskie or Mohamed Massaquoi. He's done this 30 times and is a training camp veteran. He's not as athletically gifted as some of the younger players but his experience trumps all of that at this stage.
Guys like David Veikune and James Davis are going to struggle at this point. Any athletic ability they have is crowded out with assignment responsibility and minutiae.
If those kids are still struggling in week five of the regular season then fire away. So for now, lament the fact that there's not a lot of talent shining through. But don't throw the babies out with the bath water just yet.
It was a Good Day
Not only did I watch the Lake County Captains beat the Rome Braves 11-6 on Sunday at Classic Park but I left the game in time to get in front of a television and watch Andy Marte notch another infield single against the Twins.
I'm not sure what Marte was working on in Columbus but he's definitely improved that infield single thing. He has seven hits on the season since his call up and three of them are the infield variety. When he eventually gets the batting average above .200 those three infield singles are going to look huge.
Just Not Getting the Hang of It
Conversely, I don't think Chris Gimenez worked on his infield base hit game one little bit while in Columbus. Gimenez is going about this trial with the Indians all wrong. Trying to hit the ball hard just isn't working out for the guy. I think he might actually be incapable of such a thing at the major league level.
If Gimenez is truly hoping to nail down the 39th or 40th spot on the Tribes 40-man roster he's going to have to start nubbing baseballs off the end of the bat or off of the bat handle and hoping for the best like Marte is doing. Because right now Marte's .194 average is well above Gimenez's .167.
You have to admit though, it is quite a race.
Laffey got the win on Sunday against the Twins and ran his record to 7-3 for the season. He wasn't overly impressive on Sunday but his 3.38 ERA leads all Indians starters and, sadly enough, he may be the de facto ace of this team right now.
Yeah, that's the point we've reached with the Indians.
7:00 AM - 11:30 AM pre-game tailgate bash in the Muni Lot. The B Lot, (aka the lot closer to the Stadium). It's near the RTA waterfront line, on the side of the lot farthest from the freeway. It's right about halfway into that half of the Muni. Just get within 100 yards or so of us and you cannot miss it. Full blown breakfast buffet: Waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pastries, toast, bagels, juices. Pimped out omelet station, beer, vodka bar ... serving bloody marys, screwdrivers, the whole nine yards. Great local band by the name of Here's Johnny will be playing the tailgate. Maybe another band opening for them.
Contact Rich Swerbinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to be a part of what promises to be another great time.