We were up 7-4 in the eighth inning, and I had no worries. We had runners on for Travis Hafner and all I needed was to sit back and watch.
Everything was perfect. The Indians were cruising along, and in the ninth they brought in Joe Smith. This was going to be an easy finish, or maybe not… Noonan!
But Joe got the first out of the ninth easily, and I thought that I was just being optimistic, but then maybe I was wrong? There were then two outs with no one on, when a guy laid down a perfect bunt single, with two outs!??! And this is how I looked…
I bit my nails, and I knew we were in for a big finish. Joe delivered and all of a sudden, BOOM! Single down the right field line. Luckily he was thrown out at second, whew.
But the game was still tied, and I danced around the house throwing things.
But I didn’t fret, I knew that we played a good game, but we tied. But we are still
the best team in the Cactus League! undefeated! And hopefully we can keep it that way. We have two ties on the year, and we might get caught in another one along the way.
Let’s just hope Joe can keep his head in the game.
(Image courtesy Waiting For Next Year)
Thanks to my good friend savagetruth who commented on last post, he had the idea that Andy Marte and Russell Branyan should platoon at first base. And he is absolutely correct about the 40 HR possiblity. That was a genious comment, and I would like to say thanks for the idea, and thanks for letting me post on it. It makes perfect sense.
Russell Branyan hit 31 homers last year while Andy Marte only had 6. But if you take the time when Marte was hot and the time when Branyan was hot you have two oiled machines. You put them together and then you have one super oiled machine. With all that oil you can produce a good 40 homers or so. Yes fans this is a wonderful idea don’t you agree?
I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this. This idea is so simple yet so hidden. With Marte’s struggle at times, Branyan could take the weight off of his shoulders. While during the time Branyan is getting pitched well, Marte can come in and take the chip off of his shoulder. I also think that Marte can come in against lefties. The other idea could be for Marte to only play when lefties are on the mound.
Marte is not a very good hitter against righties but against lefties he’s halfway decent. Since 2007, he’s increased in homers and he is looking better and better the more I see him. The reason that Marte hasn’t produced those HUGE numbers in just one year is because of the fact that he only plays about 50 games a year. If you take the 6 homers he hit in those 47 games he played in you can use that to calculate about eh 21 homers in a full season.
(Image courtesy AP)
So if you platoon Marte and Branyan your going to get some production out of it. I think it makes perfect sense, and as a Tribe follower for years this finally came to me and said “great idea”. I totally understand where savagetruth is coming from and I agree that platooning these two is the best thing to do. They are both “power hitters” and do rack of their fair share of strikeouts. But that’s not the point. Together as I have stated, they can produce about 40 home runs and 90 RBI’s.
As if the fact that you used one of them you might get 30 homers from Branyan with 70 RBI’s and 5 homers and 20 RBI’s with Marte. Going just with one can lead to slumps, and alot of bad games over all leading with no productiveness and maybe a bad year for either Marte or Branyan. But with the combo I can see new beginnings in Cleveland. Just like they platooned when they weren’t successful in the 60’s it panned out eventually.
This platooning could be infectious among the other players who knows? If Branyan starts going, it could be a domino effect. You never know. Maybe if Branyan gets into dancing lessons, than Marte will get into dancing lessons, and maybe Choo will get into dancing lessons. Who knows. I do think that Choo would be a pretty good dancer though… just a thought.
(Image courtesy Castroturf)
I do see strikeouts happening with these guys. But I do see home runs being hit night after night. I don’t even know what pandemoneum will be present when Marte and Branyan are hot. If the Indians (Manny Acta) goes through with this, and I hope he/they will… then I think that the Indians will have a VERY productive first base. It’s almost like your getting an All Star to play first base for them.
I do think that this will pan out perfect. Russell Branyan played in 116 games last year while Marte played in 47. Together that will be 163 (one more than games played). So if you give or take away another game or two in either one of them’s stats, then you have a perfect season. That is why this platooning will work for them. It has to be like this in order for run production to take place.
I do believe that this team can flourish from a good platooning. This could effect the team in multiple ways. The team can feed off of a good first base performance and follow up in a good way. For example maybe Russell Branyan and Marte go on a hot streak. The whole team could feed off of that and maybe go into a month hitting great as a team. This situation could effect everything for the Indians. This is why I really like this idea.
I do thank savagetruth for the idea of platooning as he is a very smart individual. I do highly believe that the Indians should platoon in order to get more productivity out of the first base position. Manny Acta needs to meet this head on and needs to platoon. He can’t see through this. Andy and Russell might make a happy couple… for the Cleveland Indians. Until next time….
You can still hear the horrific rumble of the crash into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The screams in terror and the sight of many stranded, helpless human beings. The fire sirens bursting off only to make thyself more uncomfortable watching the scene. This was 9/11 and here was its story.
“Patriotism – showing love for ones country.”
On September 11, 2001, 500 police officers and firefighters alone, didn’t care about their lives, or welfare. They barged into the erupting ashes and flames of the Twin Towers to save the dying, but risked and had their lives taken away from them. 500 families had to deal with the losses that took the greatest toll a being could grasp. They had the Patriotism that shows throughout the country.
They were the real heroes. Losing their lives, to save others, is what god wanted them to do. They didn’t shy away from the thought, didn’t even budge. Just proudly and heroicly gave their lives away for the well-being of others. And at 9:11 A.M. today 9/11, I said a prayer in my head. Not a long one, just one to let god know how proud I was of those people, and all that they did for us.
I was 5 at the time and didn’t know much about the situation, let alone my parents didn’t even tell me. As soon as I was old enough, I figured out how tragic the “event” was and how it took one of the biggest chunks of US history to itself. So I silently thought about the welfare and beings of the families who were at loss, and wished them the best of times, for they were the ones in need.
But there were other heroes who went down un-noticed. The plane that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was taken down by the passengers, who took over the plane and crashed it into a field in this rural town. They knew they were going to die, and so they were doing it Patriotically, and for their country. They showed us the braveness and strength combined in all of them as they took their lives for our well being. That is America, and we love them all!
9/11 brings out the best and worse in our world today. It was amazing how people let go of their lives to reach out to other’s and it was amazing of some of the survival stories. But some people didn’t make it out alive, and for that – its not cool. I learned during the attack – we aren’t always going to be safe. Stuff can really happen. And the Twin Towers on September 11, as real as it gets.
“We will never know, this side of heaven, where 9/11 fits in the larger story God is writing. But our literature and our history testify that it does.
Deep in the stream of Western literature runs a current J. R. R. Tolkien called “eucatastrophe”–literally, “good catastrophe.” Tolkien served as a lieutenant in WW I and saw action in the offensive of the Somme before succumbing to trench fever. In a famous essay written many years after the armistice, he described how our favorite stories often bring us to the “sudden joyous ‘turn'” that in the face of horrific events “denies … universal final defeat,” giving “a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.”
Far from functioning as illegitimate escapes from reality, Tolkien argued, these tales of joy snatched from the jaws of tragedy point towards the central True Story of Christ’s passion and resurrection–“the greatest and most complete conceivable eucatastrophe.” All stories that hold out hope in the cataclysmic struggle between Good and Evil–from the first fairy tale to the Lord of the Rings to Star Wars and beyond–echo this greatest eucatastrophe.
For Tolkien, no evil event, however horrible, is outside the story of salvation-history. God bends them all to his purposes. In the creation account found in Silmarillion, Tolkien has the spirits sing Middle-earth into existence. The melody of Illuvatar (God) was “deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came.” Melkor (Satan) interfered with a loud, brash tune, trying to “drown the other music by the violence of its voice.” But the “most triumphant notes” of Melkor’s discordant song were “taken up by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern.” Those things the devil intended for evil, God turned to good–from the very beginning.
All very well for literature. But what about history?
The eucatastrophic song echoes through church history.
It echoes from Joseph, who came out of enslavement and imprisonment to redeem his people, to Jonah, who emerged from the belly of the fish bearing a powerful word from God that saved a city, to Paul, whose imprisonment in Rome opened unparalleled opportunities to spread the gospel.
It echoes from the fall of Jerusalem, which sparked the spreading flame of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire, to the martyrdom of the early Christians, whose blood became the seed of the church, to the fall of Rome, after which the victorious barbarian tribes were in turn vanquished by the gospel, carrying its message across Europe.
And so on through the history of the church, down to the 20th and 21st centuries.
C. S. Lewis, who himself knew the horrors of the front lines, saw echoes of the True Story in World War II. He put them brilliantly into the mouth of the wily demon, Screwtape.
This European war … has certain tendencies inherent in it which are, in themselves, by no means in our favour. We may hope for a good deal of cruelty and unchastity. But, if we are not careful, we shall see thousands turning in this tribulation to the Enemy, while tens of thousands who do not go so far as that will nevertheless have their attention diverted from themselves to values and causes which they believe to be higher than the self.
And how disastrous for us is the continual remembrance of death which war enforces. One of our best weapons, contented worldliness, is rendered useless. In wartime not even a human can believe that he is going to live forever.”
Some of the mourner’s kept personal belongings from their loved ones, and actually remember them by looking over them each and every day. They know they are always with them. And that god is always with them. They always cry a few tears and remember the day where their who world was turned upside down.
The survivors saw the most terror that day, as they saw people who “jumped off of the building” to end their lives, and others who tried to “save themselves” but ended up taking their own. They know the real story. They are the ones who can still see the horrific sight over and over again, and I mourn for them.
But that shaped us into the USA who we are today. We are a strong guided nation hell-bent on keeping our population great. And to that, I shed a tear, not of sadness, but out of gratitude. For all that we have today. So tonight, say a prayer honoring the USA, you are one of the lucky ones. Tell your parents you love them!
Perhaps Cleveland over the years made a deal with the devil. The phenomenon that comes into play at just the right time – Mother Nature. The nuisance that creeps up behind us every time the Indians play and slowly stalks our every movement. She has always found her home in Cleveland, comforting to the sound of the rock and roll music topped with some great baseball. The prognosis of the weather guy is always wrong and it ends up Mother Nature gets the best of us Clevelanders once again.
The seagulls appearing only to save the game for us in the ninth inning – made up for the many horrific thunder storms echoing throughout the ball park. The stinging thought that Ms. Nature has our number. She has brought forth a squirrel, midges, and many a storms. Her disinterest in the Indians disheartens the fans and the city alike.
Time after time, we condone to her just to get another period of showers rained upon us in the middle of the inning. Her lack of season worsens our chances leading to snow in March. So blame it on mother nature! She is the unlawful one who breaks all the rules and rains out game after game. Ms. Nature is the one who sets us up for disaster time after time.
Or is it us? Did we make the deal with the devil?! Maybe it is us immature Cleveland fans who are bursting our bubbles for a winning season? Could it be? Turn around your snobby little fingers and point at yourselves. We do it to ourselves. Us selfish little soundless fans who boo continuously at the games – are the reason she has set off.
Where is the enlightenment? We are the Cleveland Indians – the cornerstone of all major league baseball clubs. Our team would be worth 60 electoral votes in a Presidential Election. Come on Cleveland, where is your sense of pride? The lack of communication is killing the demons within the inner soul. Ms. Nature might be the peacekeeper in all of this. She could be the one evening it out.
For goodness sake, we are the fans who used to ‘have it our way’ like in the Burger King Commercials. We were ignorant, incoherent, selfish little people who fed on the domination upon other AL Central teams. That was us alright – the good old days where our wins would gush out into the open flame. We couldn’t care less about the game itself. But now, Mother Nature has made us see the light. The reason us neglected fans didn’t care about our team.
You see, it all comes back to Mother Nature, and the bond we shared with her throughout time. There is a point in time where Ms. Nature will trance away – leaving not a trace of step. We will be on our own in the wilderness and we will need to be superior top notch fans who really care about the Indians.
Not some fan that goes to the games and talks the whole time. Mother Nature gets us for every one of those. She tries to scold us and scorn us that the true meaning of a ‘fan’ is to go to the games and cheer your team on. Not sit there ranting and raving about a bad season. That isn’t a true fan, a true fan is always in the bleacher’s like John Adams banging away at the drum until the pieces fit together. When the fortunate time comes – us Indian’s fans will recognize it and we better take advantage.
Cause now we learned something – we have waited a good 10 years for another dynasty – and we ain’t waiting any longer. Cherish the good times Cleveland, they are a comin! The grief that Mother Nature shares with us sprinkles down when it rains. She is shedding none other but tears during her long showers that delay games. She isn’t against us – she is with us 100%. Ms. Nature is the one who acknowledges fan-dom to the fullest.
She churns with playoff fever ready to explode like Rock N’ Blast fireworks at any second. She is sticking around, not popping like gum would on the regular basis. She frowns upon thee who rain down the garbage on the field after a tough loss and those who don’t have the Indian Fever cause’ frankly, she is trying to spread it through the air.
We all stumbled upon the loaded up fever in 07 when we had our inglorious playoff run. But wherever did that spirit go? Did we lose it for good like losing cheer leading pride after high school? Or do we have the chance to regain it due to the fact that we are still willing to prevail over this mischevious drought of fan hood and move into the light of Indians baseball? That is up to you Cleveland, Ms. Nature is watching!!
So let the boo’s rain down on Andy Marte and for that matter – Kelly Shoppach when he strikes out and snaps the bat over his leg. That is his forte. Let the food rain upon the guy in section 172 that roots for the Yankees, and jeer at the beer guy who stands in your way at the games, cuz Cleveland, karma is awaiting you – so make the right choice now, or have it implode.
Let yourselves scream and shout for every defensive error in the outfield, and let the guy beside you know he is taking up too much space and you can’t sit properly in your VIP seat, cuz its coming Cleveland. Let your grievance compile into one big sob pile cause that’s all your gonna get. Time to let your fan-dom unfold. Time to compile every good thought about Indians baseball and mesh it into one. Time to make the Indians noteworthy of some forgiveness and sorrow for all the hurtful comments in the air.
Why are we really Indians fans? It is time you dig deep and look for the tears and hurtfulness of all that has gone on with the team throughout the years – where they have gone from zero to hero, from Super-Joe, to zero. What goes around comes around in this business, and ignorant fans for that matter does too. Do you wanna be looked at by every major league baseball organization around and have them say ‘Cleveland fans suck!!’ Or do you want them to go around saying that ‘Man, Cleveland has some real fans over there. I would play there any day.’
Let’s set an example to everyone else. Let’s show the gratitude to other’s about being a Cleveland fan, and a baseball fan in all. Let the guy in section 172 know you ‘love em’ and your ‘sorry’. Let the astonishing pain go away before settling into another Indians game. Don’t resist Mother Nature, she is here to help and so is baseball. Don’t be inferior to other fans – they aren’t the Indians fans like we are.
So don’t let one measly rain out effect the whole next season Cleveland. Let the jeers roll and the rants rave cause I mean no harm, and neither should you. See the passageway and take the light out of the darkness. It’s time to hop aboard the bandwagon – that is, the Indians bandwagon headed to the winning side for a change. So displace those drowsy, angry Indians fans and become a good one – just how it used to be.
Young guys are proving they can play – the bullpen is showing it can shut opponents down. I think this team is ready. I give us a good two years to contend. The Indians will be AL Central Champs again, and playoff baseball will be brought back to Cleveland. The thought of it sends chills down my spine – remembering the 07 playoff run.
Every team in their brother in this offseason will be looking for ways to get Matt Laporta and Andy Marte out this next year. They will exploit their weaknesses and go after them. Next year should be a tough year for both and Valbuena so don’t be so sure of powerhouse number’s. Let me show you an example.
In 2007 Asdrubal Cabrera hit .283 with 30 runs in 159 at bats. He wasn’t quite figured out until the next year when he went .259 with 48 runs in 352 at bats. When getting almost double the at bats he did in the first season: his number’s slipped because opposing pitcher’s figured out how to pitch to him over the course of the season. They exploited his weakness’s and made him ground out again and again. Once they figure you out – its awful hard to come back strong.
This year: although Asdrubal is hitting .315 with 16 stolen bases and 67 runs. He has been one of the leader’s on the team and has really shown he can fight at the plate. He learned how to hit the away pitch – and every pitch for that matter, and just lines every thing back where it came from. He has come a long way, and it has finally payed off.
The pitching just isn’t deep enough to contend next year: even if Carrasco dazzles. The fact is – that Laffey should be your one starter, with Masterson at two, Huff at three, Carmona four, and Carrasco five. That means Sowers is out – or could fight Fausto for his job. Carmona hasn’t been controlling his pitches at all: and like Masterson, has really gotten behind hitters. Fausto walks alot of people which is what leads to many runs scoring. In his past ten starts: Carmona has walked more than one batter all but once.
That just shows me the batter’s are starting to work him – and he isn’t able to keep pounding the strike zone consistantly. He hasn’t shown he can keep the Indians in ball games giving up 4 or more runs in 5 of his last 10 games pitched. Where did the dominant Fausto go: where he won 19 games? That Fausto controlled his sinker and was one of the most dominant pitcher’s in the game. Until he finds his mojo – the Indians won’t have the pitching.
In 2011 – I figure that we will have Carlos Santana behind the dish: and nor Wyatt Toregas or Lou Marson will have the job. Santana has an absolute gun behind the plate and is a true hitter. Carlos is hitting .290 with 21 homers and 93 RBI at the AA level. Those are some very good numbers: especially for a young guy like Carlos. I expect next year he will get a promotion: and if he can hit at the AAA level, I think he will be a for sure midseason call-up. What have we got to lose?
Playoff fever back in Cleveland would feel amazing. The 07 ALDS was a memory I will always have. The crowd was going crazy: waving their “Its Tribe Time Now” towels all crazily in the air. You couldn’t hear anything – and no one was going to miss any part of the game for oh: a bathroom break, food, or an Indians team shop.
People in the street were happily playing guitars: and playing hermonica’s all for the joy of playoff baseball. I tell you – we have some of the most true fans over here in Cleveland: we aren’t band wagon at all. We love the Indians and have from day one. Some of Red Sox nation and probably a third of the Yankee’s fans: don’t know anything about them. They just like them cuz they are good. That isn’t what being a fan is like though. Winning all the time: just isn’t fun.
When you are on the brink of elimination – and everyone in the stadium is biting their nails: that is fun. Like when Travis Hafner hits a walk off to win the game in the ALDS – that is fun. But what fun is winning 100 games year after year and winning the division? Then you take the playoffs by storm and win the world series: is it that fun to repeatedly say “We win, we win!” And do you cheer? Or do you try to cheer? Like you don’t have the inner fan: to start shouting and screaming and romp around the house.
The Rays made alot of die hards happy when they made it to the world series: something that no one expected them to do. Now that is baseball – the celebration: fans not giving up on one of the worst teams in baseball, and then celebrating the huge win and the world series birth. In fact: I would be happy just to be a part in the world series.
The last time we were in it, 1997: the dang Marlins got us. They came back on us in game 7 and beat us. My dad was there – he experienced it all. The heart break: the long trip back home: the angst of losing. It sucked, but that is what a true fan is being like: always there rooting your team on.
When playoff baseball comes back – I will treat it like church. I will be attending almost every game: ready to cheer on the Tribe. In 2011 the year I picked: I will be there, ready for the Indians to go to the world series. Jon Adams will be there banging his drum of course.
But we need pitching in order to get there: In my eyes – with the talent coming up we have a potent lineup that I would compare to the Red Sox. We have to make our starting pitching better though – we can’t get to the playoffs without pitcher’s who can go 6 to 7 innings giving us a chance to win every night. Hopefully all the young guys will have it figured out by then and will perform well: but you can’t guaruntee anything. That is why I am not so sure about 2011: “Is the pitching going to be there?”
I can’t answer yes. The pitching was there in 07. Although Sabathia sucked in the postseason: he still won the Cy Young, and really led the Indians to the playoffs. Fausto Carmona was a stud: having won 19 games and really showing he could pitch. Paul Byrd had a good 15 wins adding on to the Indians 96-66 record. They have to be complete: and I believe this team can do it.
So reserve your playoff tickets for 2011 Cleveland, make sure you grab them quick: they are selling fast. Make sure we come out with new towels and signs too – we can’t have the old “Its Tribe Time Now” rally towels anymore. Jon Adams: bang away as loud as we can – and we will be yelling with you. Let’s go Tribe – its our turn to win!