I'm sitting here pissed off and feeling guilty about it. The Indians have the best record in the American League. They are outperforming even the most ridiculously hopeful of expectations and prognostications*. They've won seven of their last ten games. Yet here I am, pissed off.
*Before the season a bunch of us got together to make our predictions for the season. As you can imagine, most of the predictions hovered in the 67-77 win range. There was a lot of talk about how Dolan was cheap and Shapiro's tongue was "ivy league". I'm not sure if those people talking about Shapiro's tongue are referring to the shape or the color. Neither of them make much sense because "ivy league" is neither a shape nor a color. But, what else could it be? They certainly couldn't be talking about taste or texture, right? At least not without some weird skeletons in Mark's closet. Maybe smell? I don't know, man.
All I know is that I've read** a bit about how the Indians are terrible because Mark Shapiro "is not a baseball man and lies to the fans using his ivy league tongue." Whatever. I'll ask him on twitter to send me a picture of his tongue. But I'm not holding my breath that even if he responds any light will be shed on the situation.
**I haven't read so much of this stuff since the beginning of this season. Winning baseball must cure ivy league tongue.
But, none of that is the point. In all honesty it has no relevance whatsoever. The point is that nobody expected the Indians to be performing this well. Well, almost nobody. My prediction for the season was a record of 86-76. Ten games over .500. That's right suckas. Except for one lunatic who predicted a 92 win season, I'm the only one who foresaw this level of production. But that guy is clearly insane so he doesn't really count. If the Indians play .500 ball from here on out I will pretty much hit it on the button. I hope the lunatic is right.
The lesson, as usual...I'm a genius.
OK, where was I before I started tooting my own horn? Oh yeah, pissed off.
I am pissed off right now. The Indians are on pace to win 108 games this season. They are in the driver's seat in one of the weakest divisions in baseball and have a great shot at making the playoffs. Once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen. I know all of this but I'm still pissed off.
I'm not really that pissed off about the Indians losing yesterday. I mean, I'm bummed a little bit for sure. But I'm not mad or anything. The Indians lost a game they could have and should have won. It happens.
Sure, I was pissed when the Angels pounded two ridiculously lucky hits into the plate in their ridiculously lucky 8th inning in which they scored 3 ridiculously lucky runs to take a ridiculously lucky lead. But that passed. Again, it's baseball. There are 162 games. It happens. You need to get over that stuff.
I was also a bit pissed when Adam Everett completely lost his mind during the Angels 3 run 6th inning. So he booted what should have been the third out of the inning and the Angels scored 3 unearned runs instead. It happens. Maybe that Pederast Jack Hannahan would have made the play and the Indians would have maintained the lead. Maybe they win the game if Supermanahan is at the hot corner.
Who know? But Adam Everett is hitting .333 in spot duty so I'm not going to complain. It's baseball. Errors happen.*
*I was pretty pissed for a good 10 minutes, though, if I'm being honest. We're talking seriously pissed.
I was kind of pissed when Choo got rung up in the ninth on a check swing that looked a bit iffy. But there's no guarantee that the result would have been any different if he'd gotten another chance. So it's hard to be too mad.
I guess you could say that I was more disappointed that we lost yesterday than pissed.
No, what I'm actually pissed about is that the Indians are off tonight and I have to wait until tomorrow to get the bitter taste of defeat out of my mouth. I absolutely love watching this team play and I hardly miss a pitch anymore.
I stay up later than I should when they are on the west coast, and I'm risking alienating my wife and son, but I just can't help it. I love this team like no team I can remember since 1997. And it pisses me off that I'm going to be wandering around aimlessly making a nuisance of myself tonight because there will be no Indians game to watch.
I literally will not know what to do with myself.
It's been a long time since I felt like that about one of my teams.
Oh, and, I'm also pissed off that Best Buy was out of iPads yesterday. I finally decided to just go and get one and they are out. Can you believe it? It's one of the worst things to ever happen. In fact, now that I think about it, that's what I could have been doing tonight when the Indians are not playing. I could be changing my life with a brand new iPad 2.
That pisses me off.
An Awkward Glance At The Indians
Despite the fact that a combination of bad play, bad luck, and bad circumstance deprived the Indians of a victory they so clearly deserved yesterday, they will be returning home from the six game west coast swing with a 3-3 record to try to add on to their MLB record 13 straight home victories.*
*I have no idea is 13 straight home wins is a Major League record. I kind of doubt it actually. Sounds good, though.
Who would have thought that this would be considered a bit of a disappointment? But, in reality, it should not be. The Tribe faced arguably two of the three best pitchers in the American League (Masterson being the 3rd?) in Jared Weaver and Dan Haren. They split those games and could easily have won them both.
They are 7-3 in their last 10 games and should be coming home with a bit of swagger knowing that it won't get much harder than last week and they performed admirably.
But it doesn't get much easier either. At least not right away.
The Tampa Bay Rays come to Progressive field for a three game series starting tomorrow night. The Rays have gotten their season back on course after a rough start to the season. The series promises some good pitching match ups, the first of which sends Kent State grad Andy Sonnanstine to the mound to make his first start of the season.
He'll be matched up against Josh Tomlin, who inexplicably keeps riding his wave of dominance at the start of this young season. He's 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA despite the fact that he has yet to induce a single ground ball out.* However it's happening, I plan to just keep riding that wave as if Dick Dale is providing the music and a hairy Michael J Fox on the hood of my car.
*OK, that's not really true. It just SEEMS true, doesn't it? What happens when some of those fly balls start landing on the opposite side of the fence? You know what, don't answer that. I don't want to know. For now I'm stayin'. Watchin' my Tomlin. Enjoyin' my tomlin.
On Wednesday, Jeanmar Gomez, fresh off of no decision against the A's, will be matched up against David Price. David Price is a pitcher who sucks so bad he couldn't even finish his last game against Toronto. He only pitched 8.2 innings while giving up no earned runs and striking out 10 batters.
10? That's like, not even half of them. If Jared Weaver couldn't strike out any Indians then this guy doesn't stand a chance. This one's in the bag.
The match up I'm really looking forward to is on Thursday, when Justin Masterson takes the mound against James Shields, the 2011 version of Cliff Lee.
Remember when Cliff Lee kind of sucked? And then, all at once, he didn't suck any more? Not even a little bit?
Yeah, that's James Shields.
But that's kind of Justin Masterson too. So this matchup is a little bit like a death battle between two post-suck Clifton Phifer Lee's.
And when that happens, we are all winners. Except the fans in Tamps/St Pete. Both of them.*
*Maybe it's a bad idea to (as a Cleveland fan) take any swings at someone else's fan base.
Now, after all of that, the Indians get a well deserved reprieve when the Seattle Mariners come to down and hopefully bring along their unique and overwhelming brand of total suck. After a week in which you face Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, David Price, and James Shields, it's only fair that you get a huge giant serving of Eric Bedard.*
*A side of Doug Fister and Ryan Langerhans is nothing to sneeze at either.
The only thing better than a weekend sweep of the Mariners to extend the lead in the AL Central (thus inducing Keith Law to finally admit that the 2011 Indians are likely the best team in MLB) would be a sweep that featured a complete meltdown by Milton Bradley.*
*Here's how I see it playing out: Milton takes first on a five pitch walk issued by Tony Sipp, but is convinced that the umpire is a racist because the strike he called was borderline. Upon arriving at first base and already upset, the following exchange takes place between Milton and 1st base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt:
Hunter: How're you doing today Milton?
Bradley: What the F***did you say to me?
Hunter is initially too stunned to reply. Milton jumps the railing on the first base side and tackles the closest hot dog vender. He then steals the hot dog warmer/dispensing apparatus and runs back onto the field. He chases Hunter around the field while throwing the hotdogs and condiment packets at anyone who ventures within 10 feet of him.
Eric Wedge runs onto the field to give Hunter a piece of his mind (after all, he has to stick up for his player) but finds himself on the receiving end of a footlong to the chin. Wedge is clearly displeased. During his career he has made it abundantly clear that he doesn't like hotdogs and prefers grinders.
After a few chaotic minutes, Milton runs out of hotdogs, as well as ketchup and mustard packets. He is momentarily confused by the complete lack of onions anywhere in the hot dog warming/dispensing apparatus. "Where the f*** are the onions? There's no onions? Why aren't there any onions here?" Bradley is heard to mumble as he is taken down with a taser by an off duty Philadelphia cop making an extra buck by working security.
By the time Monday morning rolls around, ESPN will be reporting it as a drunk Browns fan tackling 10 year old Mariners fan and declare it the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. Pat Forde will refer to the story in perpetuity every time the word "Cleveland" somehow enters his overlong, boring mess of a column.
Rick Reilly will write something about it that is almost as unfunny as it is condescending. Bill Simmons will do a podcast about the real World/Road Rules challenge and how it relates to Rajon Rondo's elbow and Billy Zabka. (If the podcast has Chuck Klosterman on it I will listen to the entire thing.)
Wouldn't it be cool if something like that happened?
And all it would take is Milton Bradley to be certifiably insane, and apply that insanity in a meaningful way. In Cleveland. Don't discount the possibilities here.
There's a good chance I'll be in the stands for it too.
Actor In My Movie:
I was sitting around the other day wondering who I should put in my movie. Flipping through the guide on my TV, I found that Waterworld was on. Well, of course I watched the rest of it. Who wouldn't?
The movie is a masterpiece of stupidity, ridiculousness, and webbed feet. Honestly, it deserves its own article and I don't want to shortchange it here. But, one thing that did catch my eye was the little girl that played Enola. She's the one who allegedly has some kind of map tattooed on her head that will lead the way to dry land.
The whole damn thing is ridiculous, but the creators of Waterworld asked me to suspend my disbelief at the utter stupidity of the premise and just go with it...and so I did*
*I recommend doing this. There is no possible way to enjoy the movie otherwise.
"Oh Yeah!" I exclaimed. "Tina Majorino! I forgot about her."
"What's so great about Tina Majorino?" you are no doubt asking yourself. Well, I'll tell you. You probably know Tina Majorino by another name...Deb.
That's right. Deb from Napolean Dynomite is the little girl that manages to bring out the humanity in web-pedaled Kevin Costner. And for that, she gets a part in my movie.
Will her sleeves be poofy? You're damn right her sleeves will be poofy.
An Awkward Glance Ahead At Nicknames
I got some more good submissions but haven't gotten around to updating them yet. So, keep sending them in. We have a pretty good list by now.