Still Throwing Hands
At least the Indians are still fighting folks. They may not be winning the fight and they continue to absorb shot after shot in regard to injuries, but they’re still in there scrapping.
The good news is the Indians haven’t lost a series in two weeks. Despite adding a high-priced veteran to the disabled list three times in two weeks (Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and, most recently, Victor Martinez) the Indians split four game series in both Texas and Detroit and then returned home to take two of three from the Twins and the Padres.
The home stand saw CC Sabathia bookend a couple of impressive outings. The big lefty threw a five hit shutout against the Twins on Tuesday night and then ended the weekend by out-pitching future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux on Sunday in a 7-3 Tribe win.
The Indians are doing just enough to keep their heads above water, which, while keeping them within striking distance of the hot and cold White Sox and still ahead of the surging Tigers, still presents some problems. The main problem being that just hanging around doesn’t make their decision-making process regarding Sabathia any easier. Do you deal the ace for a pocketful of players in hopes of adding bats to the organization or do you play out this hand and commit to trying to steal this division?
6 weeks to make that call. What was once depth (and potential trading chips) in the rotation is now down to bare bones. Your 3rd and 4th hitters are still on the shelf and will be for some time. But this is a division that you can conceivably win. You’re just 5.5 games back after the Rockies took two of three from the White Sox this weekend. In fact, if you don’t bury yourself with more injuries and a complete collapse at the plate no one else in the division is likely to bury you either.
No matter what side of the fence you currently plant yourself on you can at least surely see the other side and where they may be coming from. Can you stay in this race with contributions from guys you weren’t truly counting on when the season started and benefit by picking up Fausto Carmona, Hafner and Martinez down the road? It’s not an outrageous way to handle business. Or do you recognize this team is flawed regardless of who is out of action and/or coming back and seek to address those organizational shortcomings by dealing your biggest asset?
I think they wait. And I think it’s the right thing to do as they currently sit. CC will have value in July. Maybe even more than he has today if he continues to pitch well and teams start to get more desperate. And a month off may actually cure what ails Hafner (though I’m not optimistic about that).
What do you do? Email me with the button below and let me know your thoughts.
Alternative Energy Source
Jamey Carroll is burning up. He is hotter than a McDonald’s apple pie right now.
Carroll stepped in as the everyday second baseman last week when Asdrubal Cabrera was sent down to work on his game and Cabrera’s replacement, Josh Barfield, was immediately shelved with a finger injury.
All Carroll did was go 14-22 on the home stand against the Twins and the Padres. Take out his 0-4 on Saturday and the guy hit at a slow-pitch softball-like clip of about .780.
Having a hot Carroll in the two-hole behind a hot Grady Sizemore (9 HRs since May 30th) and ahead of a hot Ben Francisco (9-26 with a HR and 7RBI in the home stand) and suddenly you have the top of the order causing a bit of chaos for the opposition. Carroll was brought to Cleveland for depth and insurance at a couple positions and the master plan did not involve him playing everyday. But necessity is the mother of invention and Carroll is taking advantage of every opportunity by hitting like a mutha, getting on base, hitting behind runners and running the bases like he knows what he’s doing out there.
What bodes well for Carroll and the Indians is that JC actually put up better numbers in Colorado playing everyday than he did last season when he was a platoon player/utility infielder. In 2006 Carroll hit .300 for the Rockies and had an OBP of .377. He also scored 84 runs that season for the Rockies.
Give it up for the man. He’s giving the Indians and the fans the most solid production offensively the position has seen all season and he’s playing very good defense too. It may not be what the Indians envisioned when they dealt for him but at the end of the ball game no one cares about anything other than the performance and the result.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Well mainstream media, now’s your chance. LeCharles Bentley is gone, absconding with about $17million and leaving a wake of questions surrounding his situation with the Browns. For that $17million he played in zero games and took part in one practice. Bentley asked for and was granted his release from the team last week after finally passing his physical and being cleared to participate with the club.
Was it the case of another selfish player taking his ball and going home when he wasn’t guaranteed more ass kissing and playing time? Or was it a situation where the team nearly cost the man his leg and damn near killed him after he suffered a career threatening knee injury on that fateful day back in July of 2006?
More importantly, why don’t we know?
I understand the HIPPA requirements and privacy issues. But I don’t give a damn about the injury. I want to know what transpired between these parties that turned the great story of the prodigal son returning to his hometown as the marquee free agent signing of 2006 into the 2-year soap opera that ended last week. The prodigal son who played at St. Ignatius and then went on to an All-American distinction at Ohio State. The prodigal son who came here when no one else wanted too to rebuild an offensive line that was a joke. Remember that guy?
The main stream media should spare us the ‘sanctity of locker room conversations’ and ‘I have to work with these guys again’ speech and understand there is no value to them being there in the first place if it doesn’t enhance the information it provides us. The main stream media should also understand they’re on shaky ground as it is. We don’t need them for news. We watch the games like they do and we have access to all the game accounts hours before they give them to us the next day. We tune in and buy papers for the analysis that they can’t or won’t provide us despite their access to the players and the front office. What good is that or what good are they to us as customers if they can’t provide us with something, anything?
I have no idea what happened with the Bentley-Browns situation and relationship. So while I can’t formulate any opinion as to where the blame for that divorce is to be assessed I do know the biggest loser in all of this is the credibility of the Cleveland media for being unable or unwilling to
serve their paying customers.
You work for us. The Browns have one of the finest spin machines in all the land. They don’t need more help from the ‘independent’ media in regard to sweeping potential issues or stories under the rug.
The main stream media can disparage bloggers and sites like TheClevelandFan.com all they want. They’re dinosaurs who are whistling past the graveyard with that crap. But if you want informed opinions and analysis and you want them in real time, then you as a reader and a sports fan are right where you need to be.