Sunday, July 15, 2007

Keeping Pace on a Lazy Sunday

As a quick progress report, with today’s W against the Royals, the Tribe stands at 54-37. Using the overly simplified formula of winning 2/3 of home games (54-27) and going .500 on the road (41-40) to go 95-67, the Tribe has gone 33-13 (.717) at home and 21-24 on the road (.467).

Not an exact science, but a nice way to gauge a team’s progress through the year and see that the Tribe is keeping pace with the projection.

With that out of the way, it’s on to Lazy Sunday:
An excellent piece from Terry Pluto’s newsletter on the Cleveland fan experience. If you’re not getting Pluto’s newsletter, do it right now for the most even-handed and rational commentary on Cleveland sports that the local writers have to offer.

On the flip side, Sheldon Ocker takes some time in his infinitely entertaining (tongue inserted firmly in cheek) mailbag to unnecessarily mock a reader’s misstep in Westbrook’s first name and a misspelling in C.C.’s last name.
Really, did Sheldon have to include this letter so he could mock this guy? Are there that few letters coming in, or did he want to project his air of superiority and condescension that everyone finds so lovable and informative?

Paul Hoynes continues his “Best I Ever Saw” series, with Manny manning RF on Hoynes' squad.
I like the “Manny being Manny” story as the first one hits so close to home.
The date was October 3rd, 1995 and a certain verdict was being meted out in Southern California, but more important to this college freshman, the Indians were playing the BoSox in Game 1 of the ALDS as El Presidente was scheduled to face the Rocket.
On my way back from class to the freshman dorm, a guy stopped me to ask what I thought of O.J.
Me - (incredulous) “Ogea!?! What the hell is he pitching for? What happened to Martinez!?!”
Guy - “What are you talking about?”
Me - “Chad Ogea allegedly pitching Game 1, according to you.”
Guy - “I’m talking about O.J. Simpson being found innocent, you idiot.”
Me - “Oh…yeah…O.J….well, that’s nuts…um…I gotta go.”
I had bigger fish to fry than the verdict of the Trial of the Century, race relations in America, and whether or not a glove fit.
The Tribe was playing in the playoffs for the first time in my life and (since the game was not on locally in Dayton and the bouncers at bw-3, which would carry the game for the over-21 crowd, did not believe that I was Peter Allegra from Danbury, CT) I was going to have to listen to the game in my dorm and had to make sure that the reception was OK.
Of course, we all know how the game ended with Pena’s extra frames HR and the jubilant Clevelanders taking to the halls of Stuart Hall about 1AM to celebrate.
Oh, yeah, and O.J. was found innocent.

Moving on, Andy Call has a nice piece on Grover hanging it up in Seattle, bringing the fact that these guys are still husbands, fathers, and grandfathers into the “conspiracy theory”-rich story.

If I’m STO, I welcome Grover back with open arms to join the STO either to have an occasional 3-man booth with Manning and Underwood or to invite him to the STO set to incorporate a “Baseball Tonight” type show with Al Pawlowski and Brian Anderson. It would keep Grover in NE Ohio, close to the fam, and close to the game he loves. With analysis from BA and The Human Rain Delay, it would certainly offer an intriguing alternative to the sinking ship of BBTN.

SI.com’s John Donovan likes the Hafner deal and the other deals that lock up a teams’ own stars instead of overpaying for someone else’s on the open market.

And from the rumor mill:
Here’s the weekly dose of Astros’ relievers on the block rumors.

Here’s the story that reports that the Indians (and Brewers) have sent scouts to look at Kenny Lofton, and probably some of the relievers in Arlington. The Brewers have already (allegedly) offered Tony Gwynn, Jr. and have been rebuffed by the Rangers, so it may take a nice little package to get Kenny and Otsuka into Tribe unis. As was discussed by Hammy and Hegan during today’s game, Kenny could bat 8th, in front of Barfield and offer the Indians more athleticism and “small ball” ability.

According to Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi, the Blue Jays aren’t throwing in the towel yet, so forget those Troy Glaus to 3B, Casey Blake to RF dreams.
Does this also apply to Johnny Mac? Just wondering.

Heading down to tomorrow’s game versus the White Sox, when the DiaperTribe (pushing 7 months) will make his Jacobs Field debut in Pronkville.

9 comments:

Voltaire said...

Yet another top-notch post. Can't say enough about how much I love this blog.

Love the idea of Grover on STO, by the way.

Voltaire said...

Looks like we've locked up Wedge, too.

t-bone said...

Wedge will guide Indians through 2010
07/16/2007 11:30 AM ET
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- On the surface, the reasons to be skittish seemed to far outweigh the reasons to feel secure.

But Eric Wedge has been more relaxed than ever this year, even though he was coming off a 2006 season reeking of disappointment and the Indians were holding the keys to his future, in the form of 2008 and 2009 options on his contract.

Now, Wedge can relax a little more.

An Indians club that has made a habit out of locking up members of its core to long-term contracts showed it views Wedge as a valuable piece of the puzzle Monday by picking up those options and signing him to a three-year contract extension through 2010.

"Eric has clearly defined his leadership and vision during his tenure as manager of the Cleveland Indians," general manager Mark Shapiro said in a release. "Through his relentless work ethic and strong belief in our players, Eric has led our Major League team to one of the best records in baseball two of the past three seasons. I am confident that Eric is the right man to guide our team as we collectively pursue our ultimate goal of sustainable championship success."

Under Wedge, the Indians have put together a 54-37 record this season, placing them just a half-game back of the defending AL champion Tigers in the American League Central.

Despite early-season injuries to two members of the starting rotation (Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook), ineffectiveness from a third (Jeremy Sowers), a decline in production from Travis Hafner, substandard output from free-agent signees David Dellucci and Trot Nixon and the inconvenience and distraction that came with having four home games snowed out and three home games played in Milwaukee in April, Wedge's club has spent 63 days in first place this season.

The 39-year-old Wedge has put together a career record of 373-366 (.505) since taking over the Tribe's managerial reigns in 2003. His win total is the seventh highest in Indians history.

Wedge's long-term future with the club appeared to be something of a no-brainer after the '05 season, in which he became the first Indians manager since Lou Boudreau to lead the Tribe to double-digit win increases over three consecutive seasons. Under Wedge, the Indians won 68 games in 2003, 80 in '04 and 93 in '05.

In 2006, however, the Tribe took a decisive step back. Hindered by a battered bullpen, poor infield defense and an inconsistent offense, the Indians labored to a 78-84 record.

And whereas, in the past, Shapiro had publicly labeled Wedge as his "partner" -- to the point where some in the media cheekily referred to the pair as the "Wedgiro Twins" -- the partnership didn't appear to be quite as close-knit this spring as it once had been.

During Spring Training, when the Indians gave Shapiro a five-year contract extension, the GM said he wouldn't address Wedge's contract situation until after he saw the '07 season play out.

But as Monday's move illustrates, it's played out enough for Shapiro to know he wants to keep Wedge around.

Wedge, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., had a lackluster and injury-shortened Major League playing career as a backup catcher for the Red Sox and Rockies. He joined the Indians' player development system as a manager of Class A Columbus in 1998. By 2001, he was at the helm of the Tribe's Triple-A Buffalo club. He was the International League manager of the year in 2001 and The Sporting News' Minor League manager of the year in '02.

In the fall of '02, when the Indians had a managerial vacancy after Charlie Manuel's removal midway through that season, Wedge got the nod over Joel Skinner, who had served as the interim manager in Manuel's absence. Going with a rookie skipper fit in with the Indians' rebuilding ways. And as the young players he has been in charge of have learned the ins and outs of life in the big leagues, so, too, has Wedge.

Locking Wedge into a long-term deal fits with the Indians' inclination toward stability. Over the past 16 months alone, the team has agreed to extensions with shortstop Jhonny Peralta, center fielder Grady Sizemore, left-hander Lee, right-hander Westbrook, designated hitter Hafner, Shapiro, assistant GM Chris Antonetti and scouting director John Mirabelli.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians Homepage | MLB.com

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http://clevelandsportstorture.blogspot.com/

Cy Slapnicka said...

wow....this makes her even more attractive...

t-bone said...

cy, hadnt heard about that yet? i'm kinda disturbed though that she found a connection with dmitri.

eagerly awaiting pics of the diapertribe's first game...

t-bone said...

For what it's worth, I heard someone on WTAM yesterday (I think Kevin Keane, but not positive) say that the Indians have delved into the K-Lo sweepstakes the past few seasons, but he's refused to play anywhere but center.

Baltimoran said...

maybe the thought of another playoff race with the tribe will change his mind, the idea of him playing next to Grady (amazing near catch last night) is pretty enticing.

how many innings did the diapertribe make it? that was a long game

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