Tagged: Cleveland

The “centerpiece”

 

 

Over the years, Cleveland has been the “centerpiece” for all prospects, and young guys looking for a place to “live the dream.” Well Cleveland is the right place to go Wayward sons, as we offer the best package in baseball. You grow upon our organization so strongly you can’t let go. We are the “centerpiece” in all baseball, to trade away, and move players at any instant. That’s us, your Cleveland Indians.

 

In the 1990’s, our success was based upon many young guys who hit the snot out of the ball. Most of these guys stumbled upon great teams and built up wonderful career’s that still go on today. We are the “centerpiece” as I said. We have the power. We can make or break the history of our program and the history of baseball, well maybe not that but you know what I mean right?

 

So why do we not sign the best player’s in the league and why do we trade our best players for the “rebuilding” process year after year? I don’t know. Possibly because we know these guys have blistering potential that could swirl up into one bad counter act destroying the team? Example: Manny Ramirez. Just Manny being Manny in his own world.

 

Or could it be that we don’t have enough money to pay their contracts? I don’t think this is the answer to go with because we have a pretty even, and fair budget. It’s not like we are the Pirates, but at the same time we aren’t as “loaded” as the Yankees are. They can go out and spend countless amounts of money on anyone they want whenever they want. We simply just can’t.

 

Over the years, we have groomed such players as Jim Thome, Richie Sexson, and Manny Ramirez, who are/were household names. Thome has joined the 500 HR club recently and Manny has continued his inglorious career with the Los Angeles Dodgers who are feeding him money at his feet.

 

 

 

Remember, we had them. We went there. That was us for a point in time. We were the “centerpiece” and held the destiny to our own franchise. Yet we stopped spending on them to “rebuild”? Or we didn’t offer them a “good enough” contract? Doesn’t cut it for me. We should have kept them until they chose to go, not because we wanted them to leave cuz we couldn’t pay their contract.

 

Just think how the future could have changed, maybe we could still have Jim Thome. We could have gone with offering another contract to him, instead of showing him the back of our grubby little hands. Instead of building the franchise around him and using the “centerpiece” to continue our destiny, we threw it away. We did it to ourselves Cleveland. We held our own destiny and threw it away. It sucks, I know, but it has to be dealt with.

 

That is why Victor Martinez didn’t wanna go from Cleveland, because we were so good to him. He loved us and we loved him back, but not like a man love or anything that’s just weird. Victor cried when he heard he was being “traded” because he didn’t wanna leave the beautiful city and its glorious fans. He wanted to stay here and continue onward into his outstanding career.

 

 

 

But we did it again. Traded away another good one. All for the sake that we were “rebuilding” and wanted fresh meat on the market. Raincheck, Victor is fresh meat, it seems as though we brought him up yesterday. Its not like he is “too old” for the rebuilding process, why keep him? The younger guys you are quote “building around” don’t have big salaries at all, so why not keep Victor?

 

Instead we get Justin Masterson who is a reliever “gone starter” and doesn’t have the stuff yet that we were looking for. And in trading Victor we didn’t get really anything “huge” for the rebuilding process. So what’s the matter with keeping him? And “if” your going to trade him, make sure you hold out for Buchholz. He is an actual pitcher who we could get something out of.

 

The front office scares me at the little knowledge that they possess. Its almost like if we don’t have a “winning” season, you can say “bye bye” to our top players. And as Aaron in Cleveland Baseball said, “Grady could be the next one to go?” I totally agree with this possessive front office occurring right now for the Tribe. Its scary to think of Grady in another uniform, yet not playing on our side.

 

Why are we always “rebuilding” and “reloading” as Shapiro calls it. What do we ever get out of it? We got the 2007 season and that is about it. Instead we throw away two seasons and wait for the third to “possibly” be a contending year. Not gonna cut it. For one Wedge is gonzo after this season, as he is horrible in the first half of the season, and second off, Shapiro will get the back of the hand too.

 

The “centerpiece” for all things in Cleveland has truly run out as of late. As we have supplied many teams with “power, and speed, and pitching” yet what have we gotten? One good year of “contending”? The Padres and The Friar Faithful are digging “Kouz” who the Indians mentored throughout the minors, and the Dodgers are digging Manny. Who are we digging? Who have we “gotten” from someone else that we have “loved”?

 

 

 

I can’t really answer that one right now, as it teeters in my mind. We are the “suppliers” and in return recieve the young blood. We are the “Wal Mart” of major league baseball, supplying all of “your needs” and nothing else. So maybe we aren’t a rotten team after all, maybe we are just many people persons, combined into a huge collaboration that we call the “Cleveland Indians”?

 

You can’t keep on telling us we are “reloading” for next season to just keep on failing and keep shutting out the fan base. That isn’t going to be selling many seats. You can’t keep on telling us that “we will contend in 2011 no matter what the circumstances are!” Because in truth, you don’t know one way or another which way we are going to fall. For all you know, we could lose 100 games.

 

The “centerpiece” has come and gone over the years, and yet have we to receive a player that we “had it our way” like Burger King, for once in our lives. For we are the manager’s at Burger King and every other team picks and chooses who they want, and we supply them with no argument whatsoever. Time for a change, time to be the “receivers not the “suppliers.” And its time we storm into Cleveland and rant and rave about our “front office.” Let’s go Cleveland the future is ours.

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We officially “suck”

I knew the day was going to be bad when I woke up and lazily jumped into my morning shower. I got dressed and ready for school only awaiting another disastrous day. It was like I knew it all along like I was going Matrix this morning. It seemed like I wasn’t me,.. and nor were the Indians.

 

One big fat word for you: swept. We got swept by the Texas Rangers – and today seemed like we could’ve cared less for all of the 15,000 in the stands. 10-0 tells me that we didn’t put forth enough effort to survive the cold world of this business. And for Fausto Carmona – he kept us 5 runs in the ball game this time. Congrats buddy, even better than last time.

 

It was like no one was in it today – it seemed like today was an odd day (9-9/09) was fresh under way jinxing the Indians winning ways – and the chance for some fun at the ball-park. The offense sure didn’t have it, and for that matter nor did John Adams. It wasn’t a fun day at all, to come home and see the Indians lose 10-0.

 

 

That is a big number to lose by, which leaves a sour note in my stomach. Do the Indians have enough pitching to hold up next year? They haven’t been the consistent. My answer is “no they don’t.” Next year they aren’t going to be good enough and Cleveland and Ted will have to wait another wretched, gagging year to swallow down.

 

It isn’t fair that we fans have to endure this. We will get expected to win the Central all over again – only to blow are chances like we always do. We will pick up those go-to guys in the off-season, only to trade them midway through. That is our MO, that’s what we always do. That is the life of Cleveland baseball.

 

This three game sweep that has drought-ed upon us has surely knocked out next years hopes in Ted’s mind. For even I, with a strong belief in the Indians can’t go on much longer with this mediocre squad. The pain building in the lower stomach area brings forth so much pressure on one’s self it hurts. The pain-staking thought of another bad Indians season rocks the inner brain and rots it to the core.

 

We don’t deserve this, us poor innocent fans who regularly attend Progressive Field. The continuous losing of the mind jolting Cleveland Indians. What happened to the movie “Major League?” Why couldn’t we all of a sudden have that same moment of “ah, I get it. Now we can win?” Why couldn’t we have another season that we come back and bring some Indian Fever back to the town who deserves it?

 

 

Why can’t we sing “Hang on Sloopy” with pride during the eighth inning? It can all come back in a flash Cleveland. Hold onto your seats – cuz it will shock you when it happens. If it could only be 2007 again. What a year in Indians history. 96 wins, with Pronk having a stud year only to come through in the playoffs.

 

It all comes back to this loss we endured, 10-0. That doesn’t show a true team going out and getting beat 10-9, it shows a bunch of nuts who just aren’t on their game. It sickens me to think about how bad we really are. I think we officially get the term “suck,” added to our name. We are now the Cleveland “We Suck” Indians.

 

We almost, suck right now, as bad as the Browns do. We continue to dig holes for ourselves only to take half the season to climb back out of them. Here’s a stat for you : Eric Wedge has only had one winning first half of the season in his entire career – which means obviously he and the Tribe dig a huge hole that needs climbing out of.

 

Here’s the memo if you missed it Eric : It’s called start playing good in the first half or get fired! And I am being straight to the point – I can rant all I want but that doesn’t change anything. That doesn’t change the way the Indians play which sucks, because I am so devoted. Here it is straight to you : If the Indians have a winning first half – they will make the playoffs. Just like they did in 2007 – AKA the only year they had a winning first half.

 

 

 

You have to look at the big picture. If you go into the second half with a sub .500 record and the team leading your division is 8 games over – in this case the Tigers, you got a lot of catching up to do. That is what we do every year. We have to scratch, tear, and climb ourselves out of these holes we dig.

 

It isn’t like our division is the AL East, in fact we have one of the easiest divisions in baseball right now, if not THE easiest. Detroit is leading the division with a 75-62 record, which is pretty decent. But to tell you the truth – they have started turning it on recently. We were only a good 11 games back about 2 weeks ago.

 

I am taking it step by step now – as are the Indians. Making sure to keep going on the right road, nothing sloppy or in the wrong direction. So tomorrow, I will shake off the tiredness and jump in the shower with enthusiasm – and then see what happens. You never know what could happen, it is sometimes a game of luck.

 

You know what they say : “People with good attitudes are always winners.” And that could be the case for the Indians and Ted. I hope that is the case as I will be the best morning person in all of my life these next few weeks, and then see how it plays out. Come on Cleveland, we need you!!

 

–Ted “TTW/T” —

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Contending

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.

 


indiansrooting.jpgThis 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?

 


alcs2007_01.jpgPlayoff 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.

 


Travis you dog.jpgThe 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.

 


Game+7+ALCS_10.jpgSo 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!

 

–Ted

Shoulda held out

It came to an end yesterday. The long 10 game hit streaks by both Laporta and Marte finally came to an end as they both respectively went 0-4. Both of them deserve a round of applause, because they have done most of the hitting for the Indians over the past 10 games. They really built off of each other making one another better. And I really saw some talent in both of them. Time to start over, all good things come to an end.

 

It wasn’t like they were going to both go on 20 game hit streaks, I don’t see that being possible. But they both did go on 10 game hitting streaks, which really opened the eyes of many, and turned a few heads. Matt Laporta showed that he can hit the gaps while Andy Marte showed he can battle in at bats and come out the winner. They both really showed us something, they can play with the big boys.

 

Justin Masterson pitched 5.2 innings giving up 4 earned on 4 walks and 8 hits. He really didn’t give the Indians a chance to stay in the game. He once again, couldn’t find the strike zone, and got behind batters, leading to having to walk them, or give them a hitter’s pitch. You can’t live in the majors behind in the count, and that is what Justin does. I know he is a relief pitcher and all, but if he is going to make the transition he needs to know how to pound the strike zone. Should we have held out for Buchholz?

 


Justin yo.jpgYes. Buchholz is a major league pitcher, and really has three out pitches, fastball, curveball, change. He mixes well, and gets batter’s to chase his pitch. Most importantly, he doesn’t walk batters. His last start he went 8.1 innings giving up 1 earned run on 3 hits while striking out 9. That is what a good young pitcher does. Justin, not so much. Buchholz has the control down, Justin… not so much. Buchholz also gets ahead of hitters and Justin gets behind. That is the difference between these two young guys. You tell me, Buchholz or Masterson?

 

If Justin could hit his spots 3 out of 5 times, he would be fine. But he doesn’t do that, maybe one out of five would do the trick for him. Not exceptable, that leads to walks and hits, due to the fact he’s always behind in the count. Should we have held out for Buchholz? Heck yeah. He is young, knows how to pitch, and really has potential. He doesn’t need any polishing right now, and can just go out every time and pitch his game. Justin, not so much.

 

It’s not like we would of had to kill someone to get Buchholz. If we added in, oh Jhonny Peralta into that Victor Martinez trade, I think we could have gotten the job done to get Buchholz. But we got screwed, getting Masterson who goes out and works half the innings Buchholz did, giving up twice the amount of runs. We got ripped off, and that sometimes happens. But we are going to have to work with Justin and make him a heck of a lot better.

 

Maybe Justin Masterson wasn’t the guy we were going for in the trade though? Maybe there was another guy who we thought had the potential to become very good. Nick Hagadone throws a 98 mph fastball with a nasty slider, combined with a half decent changeup. Oh my gosh, another Randy Johnson? Could be. I am not saying he would be as dominant, I am just saying Nick has the potential to pitch exactly like Randy did. Hagadone throws hard, as well as Johnson and has a nasty slider. Maybe we didn’t get screwed?

 


yo Justin dog.jpgI remember Eddie Taubensee for Kenny Lofton, just another one of those, “nobody” trades. Turned out to be one of the biggest ones in Cleveland history when Kenny started consistantly hitting .300 and stealing 50 bases. Then there was Eddie Taubensee, a no name lack luster catcher who had no potential at the big league level what so ever that ended up hitting like a career .200. We got the big end of the deal. They didn’t and that’s baseball.

 

We should have held out because we needed another starter. Justin as I said is a relief pitcher and hasn’t really pitched as a starting pitcher while Clay has been a starter all of his life, and really knows how to pitch in different situations. The Red Sox just didn’t want to give up Buchholz because of his raw talent at starting pitching and knew he would be a phenomenal pitcher in the future. There’s nothing you can do about it.

 

But then again in the Cliff Lee trade, the Indians got Lou Marson, and Carlos Carrasco who were big household names in the Phillies organization. The Phillies fans think that Cliff Lee was the best thing since slice bread, and he has pitched like it but the guy is human, he loses too. And they found that out his last start. Cliff Lee isn’t going to pitch undefeated with a sub 1.00 ERA for the rest of the season. I think we got the better half.

 

Carlos Carrasco is making his major league debut tomorrow vs. the Tigers. Carrasco showed to be a strong pitcher in AAA going 11-10 combined between the Phillies and Indians this year while leading the International league in innings (157) and strikeouts (148). Carlos also has gone 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA since the trade. I totally agree with Carlos coming up, as he has been pitching great. He could really open eyes during call-ups and could secure a spot in next year’s rotation if he really surprises.

 


Wyatt T.jpgLou Marson isn’t the kind of guy who will hit 15+ homers and 70+ RBI each year. But Lou will give you this, a .270 average with 50 RBI and a good 50 runs. He doesn’t strike out as much as Kelly Shoppach, and doesn’t swing the bat at all like Wyatt Toregas, so I think Marson has the job. Kelly Shoppach strikes out so much I am sick of it. He almost has more strike outs than hits this year. Toregas can’t hit to save his life. He hasn’t seen daylight yet in the majors. Marson is my guy at catcher, just to hold it down until Santana gets up here, and then look out!

 

You do know that the Indians and Rays are both 11.5 games out right? I mean, the records aren’t the same, but the number of games is. The only factore is the Rays are in the wild card race and the Indians are no where near the wild card. It’s just a matter of who’s in your division. The Yankees, the best team in baseball are leading the East, making the Red Sox and Rays battle the wild card out. Looks familiar right? That’s always how the AL East goes.

 

The Indians haven’t had a great division this year in the Central, with the Tigers being (69-60). If the Indians could have played well in the first half, who knows how things could’ve changed? Maybe they could be leading the Central? Maybe half their team would’ve stayed? I don’t know? But I wish that would have happened, because now, we are back to phase one, rebuilding. And it sucks!

 

We always rebuild, that is Mark Shapiro 101. “If you suck, rebuild” And this year we “suck.” So Mark got to work and made a few trades, bringing in new faces to the Indians organization. Now we will finally get to see Carrasco’s true colors, and if Shapiro made the right deals. And you know, if we don’t succeed next year, look for some new faces. I think we will falter next year in our pitching. It isn’t looking strong enough to me. I think Shapiro needs to go out, and get a veteran pitcher for the Tribe in the offseason, just to strengthen it. It wouldn’t hurt.

 


Roberts is pretty good.jpgI gotta say, being an Indians fan is the toughest job. You can’t expect to be good two years in a row with this shaky club, but the love of the fans and hope of the city always will’s a no good season into becoming  a strong finish. That’s Cleveland for you. We don’t leave a game just because we are getting beat 6-2 in the third inning, we don’t throw beer on the field cough cough… Cubs. We have one of the best fan bases in baseball, and we are proud to be Cleveland!

 

We aren’t Red Sox Nation, and we aren’t Yankee Nation, but we sure as heck have some loyal fans over here in Cleveland Nation! In the 07 ALDS, that is when I got my first real chance to see what real fans are. And that was Cleveland, the loudest park in the playoffs. We love our playoff baseball in Cleveland, and next year we will be gunning for a spot. Be on the lookout!

 

Tribe Talk With Ted