Tagged: playoffs

Ted’s Take

“Why are there so many off days in the play-offs? There are less games, and then there’s so much time with like two games at once. Why is that? Are the people in power just being irritating?”

— Caroline Roig-Irwin

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Interesting questions Caroline.

We all do hate this long post-season that seems to run on like the Mississippi itself, but there is reason for this. Heck, there is reason for everything around here.

This is like a little kid asking “Why are there so many days of school?” There is no one answer, but many. But if you want my opinion I will give it to you. The main reason for these days off are for resting periods, and for many days of preparation for the next game. If you played back to back to back games, what would be the use of a short post season?

Waiting longer gives us fans more of a thrill watching the games, and more of a chance to really investigate the situation. The whole “thing” to this game is to win the World Series. I just don’t see it being that exciting and excruciating if there are back to back games in the play-offs.

The regular season wears away players on its own like a band-saw wears away wood, and to play daily playoff games is like asking NFL players to play daily themselves.

Yes I do hate the long awaited series that seem to play on for weeks, but it has to happen.

If not, many players will be joining the European leagues. Lord knows what awaits them there… Oh gosh, nightmares. But the reason we don’t play back to back in the play-offs is for pitchings’ sake. If pitchers had to go back to back days, then the whole rotation would be messed up. Teams like the Red Sox would have to use all 5 of their semi-weakened rotation, instead of 3 of their top pitchers. It just wouldn’t be worth the watching.

So Caroline – just try and wait it out. Baseball is long and is a waiting process. 162 games is a wait too. We all have to get through this.

 

** Send me your Ted’s Takes **

Think you got a question that even (I) can’t answer? Got a question that will make me rant and rave for a day (let’s keep it under 5 pages?) Think you can outhink Ted? Send me ‘Your Take’ by either commenting here on Ted’s Take or emailing me at tjgwilliams@zoominternet.net.

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Feeling kind of blue

There are days where you wish you weren’t the fan of your favorite team. Don’t deny it. There are days when I look at ESPN and see how the Yankees and Mets,… well not this year, pumble every team. Sometimes you just want to branch out and look at things in another fans prospective.

 

The Twins – Tigers game was the most exciting game I have ever seen in my entire life. From
logo_territory_241x185.gifCarlos Gomez jumping like a ballerina, to the likes of Jim Leyland scorning with his tobacco filled face. That game was when I, Ted, wanted to become a part of Twins Territory. The Dome was packed, and there wasn’t a seat left in the place, as the Twins put on a show that wouldn’t ever be forgotten. The towels were waved, and the “al-co-hol-ic” chants spilled out of the obnoxious Minnesota crowd towards Miguel Cabrera. What a wonderful atmosphere.

Sadly, the Twins two – game winning streak was cut short to the infamous Yankees yesterday night. But that won’t stop the fight in the miraculous-crazy-energy filled Minnesota Twins from competing day in and day out.

What will?

Nothing. I hope that the Twins go all the way in the playoffs they deserve it. Feeling kind of blue right now due to the fact that the ill-fated Yankees had to stand in a teams’ way that was the Cinderella of this season. But don’t you see something here? In 2007 the Cleveland Indians were the Cinderella Central team that went all the way to the ALCS. David the Indians, sure did defeat Goliath, the Yankees when the Indians took the series in four games.

The over-paid, money throw away-ing, high payroll-ing, annoying (heavy breaths), piece of crap, no good, dirty, rotten Yanks are standing in the way of this David. Let’s go Twins, nothing can stop you. You have Ted on your side.

Go get em.

 

We need to keep the pace

Thumbs up

 

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**The Red Sox have been hitting the ball well. Although they haven’t been scoring very early – they have had the big innings. It seems to me that they have the pitcher’s number about the second or third time through the order, and really exploit his weakness’s.

 

 

**The pitching has been “there.” Beckett has been dominating and has added to his total with 7 strikeouts yesterday night – showing the Royals why he is well “a Cy Young candidate.” He has really been pitching well and is showing me he is ready to pitch in the playoffs.

 

 

**Victor Martinez is on a 21 game hitting streak. Looks like he has been bulking up on some of those wheaties? He has been hitting the ball like a monster – and now has over 100 RBI on the season with 101. He has been very patient at the plate – and has been really great at going with the pitch.

 

 

 

Thumbs down

 


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**The offense didn’t score last night until the fifth wear they scored 6 runs!! But if you can’t do that against a team like the Yankees who don’t have horrid pitching like the Royals do. If we don’t score early and put it on em’ we might not ever score in the playoffs.

 

 

**Although our pitching has been there – parts have not been there. Wake hasn’t been 100 % therefore he has been pitching half as good as he was earlier in the season. If we don’t get him rehabilitated, we might have to put someone in his playoff spot.

 

 

**Although Beckett kept the Royals to only 2 runs over 6 innings – he did give up 12 hits. And when you are facing a team like none other than the Yankees, they take advantage of that and pile runs upon the board. So if we wanna compete with them, we need to start keeping the hit to a minimum. I will say this though – there were at least four or five hits that were considered “bloopers” in my book.

 

 

Thoughts

 

 


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Can we keep the pace with the Yankees? ** As David Ortiz said when asked “Are the Red Sox going to keep pace with the Yankees?” He said “Why not?” – (Info copyright Julia’s Rants) As I say the same. The Yankees have everything to lose and then the Red Sox have nothing at all to lose. With the Sox playing phenomenal baseball and the Yanks struggling along, it looks as though Boston might actually catch the Yankees. They care coming close and are within 6 games now and with two more games to play than the Yankees – the Red Sox actually “might” have the better odds.

 

Final Decision:


YES.jpgWill Victor continue his “hot streak” into the playoffs?
 This is a question we all are wondering. For Victor has been amazingly hot still currently owning a 21 game hitting streak. He is really being patient and is working the pitcher’s. What I see now – is what I saw in Ells when he got hot. I saw patience, and ability to hit the ball the other way. I think that Victor “will” continue his hot streak and will cause a migrain for all opposing playoff pitchers. He looked pretty good in the 2007 postseason so why not now? He has all the chances to succeed. Let’s go Victor clap clap, clap clap clap…

 

Final Decision:


yesmanyouit.jpg How many wins will the Red Sox have by the end of the season? In my opinion it doesn’t matter – but for the fans, why not? I am thinking the Red Sox will have around 97-100 wins if they can really start steppig on the “gas” peddle. It looks like the offense is back to where it was when they were streaking and now it seems as though Pedey, Victor, Ells, and Papi are all catching the fire as well. If the pitching holds, and Buchholz and Lester finish out strong I would say 100 wins. Its too hard to predict now. Ask me in a good five days!! If the Yankees aren’t careful, the Sox could pass them up. Why not? So here is my answer – “If Boston plays great baseball from here on out, expect 100 wins.”

 

Final Decision:


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Playoff Predictions

 

 

AL East winner: New York Yankees

 

AL Central winner: Minnesota Twins

 

AL West winner: Los Angeles Angels

 

NL East winner: Philadelphia Phillies

 

NL Central winner: St. Louis Cardinals

 

NL West winner: Los Angeles Dodgers

 

 

 Wild Card

 


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The AL Boys – Boston Red Sox: the Red Sox have been playing some great baseball lately and it seems as though the Wild Card isn’t competitive anymore. They have it locked up and will take the spot all the way to the playoffs. The Red Sox are getting hot and are really catching some “early playoff fever.”

 


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The NL Boys – Colorado Rockies: the Rockies had a huge month of August as they started getting very hot and they pulled away from all other “wild card” contenders. They look as though they are ready to compete and will aim for another WS birth like 2007, (where the Boston Red Sox swept them.) Look for them to gain an edge on most opponents, as they are young and fast and talented.

 

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Play it by year

I have cried for them; died for them; but now I just sigh for them. The Indians have been the team that has taken me from happiness to sadness – from being joyful : to angry. They are the team that makes me scream at the television every now and then because of a stupid error. They make me feel every emotion. And this is to them.

 


Indians.gifIn 1997: “Saddened within”

The year of the world series with the Marlins; is when I truly became an Indians fan. I was 1 year old; and rooting the Indians on to take the World Series. They were down to the final out; and the Indians were taking this one – but then the Marlins came back. They tied it; and then won it. Are you kidding me?

 

With my dad in attendance: he miserably got back into the car; and had a long drive back to Orlando, FLA (where we used to live). It broke his heart; to see that the team he loved lossed it all; even when they were so close to winning the world series. That’s what being a Cleveland fan is like; you almost have it – yet you never get it.

 

1998: “Ride of my life” 

Two years old by then. Met Jim Thome – and Sandy Alomar carried me on his shoulders. My dad worked with the grounds crew one year for spring training with the Indians. If I would be able to remember – oh what happiness I would have.

 

1999: “Stole my heart” 

The Indians took the Central by storm; and took my heart with it. I became a die hard from that day on. Although the Indians lost in the ALDS to a team I am not naming – we won the Central with a 97-65 record. It was just another year in Cleveland.

 

2000: “The Streak is Alive!”

 I started attending games. My streak started there: the Indians won 15 games in a row while I was in attendance. It was a long streak; and was amazing at that! I loved Indians to go to games from then on. The crowd, the scoreboard, the city itself – gave me Indian fever all through my veins.

 

2001: “That is too loud!”

I started to hate fireworks. The bad thing was though; with Jim Thome on the team – you were gonna see a couple. I plugged my ears for three years after that – and still get a shock when they go off when I am not ready. I guess I am not a fireworks guy?

 


fireworks yo.jpg2002: “Bye bye Jim”

 

Jim Thome was traded. It was one of the saddest days of my life. But I still rooted him on. I got a Jim Thome Phillies bobblehead when they came out. I was still a fan; and I loved Jim for who he was – a classy, nice, home run hitting machine! And from this day on still love em.

 

2003: “What happened?”

 

We finished 68-94 which was fourth in the central. It was a downfall to the fans; and the organization. It just wasn’t right from there. We started to rebuild – and we were doing it as quick as we could. It was one of the worst years of the franchise – ever.

 

2004: “Making Progress”

 

We started climbing our way back to the top. Finished 80-82; which was good for 3rd in the Central. And showed other teams: that we weren’t out of it just yet. They couldn’t count us out. They never have – and never will. Because from that day on – I realized that the Indians’ are fighters. We never back down – or give way. And we always want the win no matter what it takes.

 

2005: “Are you kidding?”

 

The Indians got beat in the footrace by the Chicago White Sox: after the Indians had been in control of the division. It was a tough season to take – because we worked so hard – and made some big improvements. We had a great group of guys who were supposed to win it all. Are you kidding?!

 

2006: “Big expectations”

 

The Indians were expected to take the Central by storm and trot their way into the playoffs. But they finished fourth in the Central; and just broke the fans hearts. It wasn’t their fault – after a year like 05′ how couldn’t you be expected to win the division. A story book year for the Indians which would end up being another rebuilding process and another long season ahead of them.

 

2007: “Expect that – we won the Central!”

 

The Indians won the Central: and Cleveland believed again! The playoffs were crazy. The bug game went on at Progressive Field; the Indians beat the Yankees on Pronk’s game winning single – and the Indians were going to the ALCS! Man : did we have Indian fever!

 

The rally towels were out in the open – and every Red Sox fan wanted this win so bad. But were devistated when the Indians took the 3-1 series lead. That is where I have cried for them. They lost the last three games to the Sox and lost the series.

 

It was an epic loss that will surely have found it’s way into the history books. Those Red Sox just have too much fight in them!

 


celebrates.jpg2008: “Didn’t win or lose”

 

Went 81-81 after the season they lost the pennant. It was a tough year: in which the bullpen struggled – and the offense didn’t wanna contribute. Cliff Lee won the Cy Young; and was the reason the Indians were what they were – without Cliff: they would’ve been a mere 75-87. Sigh.

 

2009: “We have hope!”

 

The Indians and their season are both over. And now its a matter of what they can bring to the table next year. The bullpen is looking better already: and they are really starting to hit. With Carrasco and Brantley up; we have hope – and the Indians could contend next year. It’s gonna be a tough road – but we know the route!

 

Later:

 

 

–Ted

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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