Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Big Picture

Despite 2 heartbreaking losses on the 6-game road trip, the Tribe took 2 straight series and went 4-2. Granted, it could have (should have) been a 6-game winning streak, but I’m encouraged that this (suddenly much younger) team was able to bounce back from some horrible 9th innings. As much as Wednesday and Friday hurt, you have to realize that this team has not given up.

It’s true that I was in Cincy for the Friday night meltdown, but ATTENDED the victory on Saturday, so maybe the DiaJinx is a figment of the imagination. Tribe fans made a nice showing at Great American Ballpark on Saturday, evident when Le Pronque turned his one at-bat into the turning point of the game, a no-doubt-about-it Granny to center.

Reds’ fans were much more into the game than I ever remember at other games in Cincinnati; but as my friend mentioned – Cincinnati is a HUGE bandwagon town. If the Reds drop off the pace, the fans of Cincinnati (who inaccurately consider themselves on par with Cardinal and Red Sox fans for their knowledge and passion) will disappear.

Interestingly, on the drive North today, we caught the first couple of innings listening to the Reds’ radio announcers. When introducing the “Question of the Day”, which had to do with which incumbent President was the first not to be re-elected (how that has anything to do with baseball is beyond me), Marty Brennaman said, “Since most people know Cleveland as the ‘City of Losers’, we’ll stay with the loser theme for our question”.

Is this the same town that counts the Bengals and Reds as its only professional sports teams? It’s true that the Reds had the Big Red Machine and won the title in 1990, but this revisionist history of the Bengals is baffling. Everyone seems to forget that the team didn’t have a winning record for something like 15 years. Going back to the comments from Thursday, people in Cincinnati REALLY think that Cleveland is their archrival, where the Bengals would probably fall between the Ravens and the Broncos somewhere down the list, football-wise, and there’s simply not a rivalry in baseball. Detroit and Pittsburgh are both closer.

Sounds like I touched a nerve by questioning the Indians’ nickname (and so demeaned everyone by giving them some background on the process of the Indians being named thus, which probably 3% of Tribe fans TRULY know) and the Chief. All I’m saying is that it seems that the organization is so afraid of being un-PC that they simply don’t embrace the nickname, which is frustrating. Embrace it or move on, that’s all I’m saying.

Look for the Chief (who needs his body back, like the 1970’s version of him) somewhere at Jacobs Field on a permanent sign and let me know where he is. Where is our old Chief from Municipal Stadium?

I would have no problem with the Indian nickname if it were something that the organization was proud of, not afraid of. This organization has a proud history with that name, but you would never know it from the 2006 version of it.

Back to the field, the Rummage Sale (note that this team is not involving itself in a Fire Sale) has continued with Eduardo Perez going to Seattle. I use the term Rummage Sale because this is basically like identifying the parts of your house that are no longer useful to you and could find a better home elsewhere. If you get something in return – it’s better than throwing it away.

It started with Johnson (2 months too late) and continued with Perez, who will platoon in Seattle with Carl Everett. For a platoon player for 3 months, the Indians got the Mariners’ 6th best prospect in Asdrubal Cabrera, a 20-year-old SS who is one of only three 20 year olds in all AAA!

This is not a low-level minor leaguer; this is a AAA shortstop, who is by all accounts a great defender who could very easily play 2B. He won’t turn 21 until November, which means he’ll play a full AAA season at age 20, which is 1 year ahead of wunderkind Andy Marte.

Cabrera was blocked by Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez in Seattle, so this is a good move for both teams. The Mariners get a veteran bat to try to win the West and the Tribe gets a slick-fielding middle infielder for an organization bereft of middle infield prospects.

Cabrera won’t help this year, but could certainly come into play next year with Jelly Belliard a FA at year’s end. For more on Cabrera, Terry Pluto (welcome back) has some information – probably from the Tribe’s Front Office on him.

As Pluto also points out, Perez’s departure also allows Ryan Garko to come up to Cleveland. It would be nice to see him get more AB’s than Broussard (maybe in situation involving Victor and Shoppach) as Broussard almost certainly won’t be back next year and the Tribe should figure out what they have in Garko (and Gutierrez and Inglett and MARTE…for goodness sakes).

I’ll take a look later this week at what other players may be dealt in the coming weeks (Wickman, Broussard, Boone, Belliard, etc.) and also what the 2007 FA Class is shaping up to look like.

Prior to that, it is time to roll out the unwelcome mat for the Spankees for a 4 game set. Attending 3 of the games with the inevitable Yankee fans in the house means it could be an interesting week.

5 comments:

Captain Rustbelt said...

Memo: DiaTribe
Re: Old Logo vs. New Logo

Did the Tribe shrink the Wahoo logo on the official 'dise last year? I seem to recall old Chief's smiling pearly whites to be the approx. size of the entire new (and scaled down) logo...

T-Bone said...

when they re-did the hats 2 or 3 years ago they definitely shrunk down the chief.

PC, no doubt the front office fears overpromoting chief wahoo, nor do they have him anywhere at the jake, but when the world's biggest scoreboards are going, he's plastered all over.

everyone, go to mlb.com and vote pronk in! i just did like 20 times. and will continue to do so until thursday or whenever voting stops.

Rockdawg said...

PTC, can you tell me exactly WHICH games you will be attending. I've got some cash in my online betting account, and I'm looking to make some easy coin.

Pat Tabler said...

I'll be at Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...so place your bets accordingly.

On the Chief, if you haven't seen the new "C" with a small Chief, you better get used to it. I'll put a picture up of it on the next post.

As the Chief shrinks, it looks more likely that it may be coming to a hat near you.

Matt said...

the old Chief- bat, high leg kick and all- is on display at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Be warned though, alongside the Indians exhibit there is an almost-as-big critique/response to the Indians name.