With the Indians and their awful pitching and bullpen last year, it was hard to swallow in the offseason and try to move on to Spring Training. But we did it. And I do think that if this staff gets better with a halfway decent bullpen, we can win the Central.
Yes fans, I did say a few posts ago and I still have a gut feeling that my Tribe has no chance of contending, but then again who is in the Central that really “wow’s” you and makes you think that everyone will be forming a line behind them? The answer is no one. The Twins were favored, but then Nathan went down. Now it’s anyone’s game to take home. This is going to be an interesting year.
Reasons we can contend: We have a good offense. We are young, and have full potential to hit at every position. Yes we will have our team slumps, but together we have a team that has a new hitting coach, that focuses on smooth swings and lives and dies off of working pitchers. I do think that this is an upside to our offense. No more dilly-dallying around. We are getting straight to business and straight to the point.
One of the reasons that we faultered last year was that Grady was injured and missed a good chunk of at bats. This really sunk our ship, and we slumped because of this loss. I think with a healthy Grady, and with Branyan in our lineup, we will be the most feared offensive team in the Central. I think 1 through 9 in our lineup can hit the gaps, and I think that we have the possibility of being in the top 5 in the MAJORS in extra base hits.
Luis Valbuena will be carrying that load by constantly hitting the gaps and circling the bases. I really like this kid, and if he can hit 7 homers and eh have maybe 60 or so RBI’s which he is capable of, I’m happy. Because his gap hitting power will always be there, and he will always score a good 60+ runs for us. I really like our chances in the Central.
We don’t have 5 clear spots etched in stone that are going to contribute on the mound, but when your the Cleveland Indians, if 3 of those guys don’t work, we have about another 5 in line. Just think about it, we have so many average minor league pitchers that we can bring up if our rotation isn’t contributing. It could be alot like “Guess Who” but you never know. We might find the guy that just might fit. Kind of like the Orioles did last year.
We could have a Brad Bergesen awaiting somewhere in the minors. I think the big contributor to this team is going to be their bullpen. If we keep a strong and consistent bullpen, this team will be alot of fun to watch. Just like in ’07 when the team had a ton of walkoff hits, we could do the same this year. We just need our bullpen to put up solid numbers, and we need inherited runners to not score.
I have been saying this the whole time, Tony Sipp is the man that I think might be the best relief pitcher on our team. Last year he hardly let inherited runners score, and he constantly got big outs when he needed. This could be contention time for the Cleveland Indians. We have most of the tools, and we cleaned house. Plus we have such a great ballpark and great fans. This year could be a whole heck of a lot of fun.
The Twins aren’t a team that we need to keep a huge eye out for anymore. Since there best pitcher is gone, they are going to be in panic mode. Yes there offense will still have a strong core, but their pitching will go down the drain. I would compare them to us this year, I don’t think that they will be any better though do to their loss of Nathan. I think if Mauer plays better than he did last year, then the Twins might win the Central over us.
But this speculation is fun. Who knows who could win the central. The Royals have a great pitching staff with a poor offense, while the Tigers have a decent offense with questionable pitching. Every team in the central has at least 3 or 4 flaws in them and could easily win the division. If the Indians want to win it though, they need to come out from the start hard and looking to win the central. The Tribe needs to work the counts, get good pitches, and steal bases.
That is another thing on my list that I forgot to mention. The stolen base part of the Indians game. With Choo, Cabrera, Sizemore, Valbuena, and Brantley able to steal bases, the Indians will definetly get into scoring position more often. We will see more RBI’s by the power hitters for sure this year, due to the reason we will be taking off more so than not. I think that if we swipe a good 80+ bags this year, we will have more productive numbers from guys in the lower spots in the order. And that just juices up the stat line, and the run production.
This year is going to be very lopsided, and we aren’t going to be happy for parts of the season. But I think it’s contention time, and it’s time that we recognize that. We are a contending team with lots of potential and lots of talent. Let’s just hope that no injuries occur, and that we can take a shot at one of the weakest divisions in baseball. I would like to thank the baseball gods…
We go into the season asking a ton of questions about the Indians. We want to know if we are going to see the same team we saw last year. I maybe can’t answer that spot, but I am dang sure that I can predict the little things like how many ejections the Indians will have, or how many dumb injuries they will have over the course of the season… I just hope no Joel Zumaya’s happen, dang you Guitar Hero.
Will the Indians be last in the Central?
Well, you are a young team, with young pitchers. You just came off of a year that had your offense stumbling, and you had some bright moments with the kids from the minors. I can’t ensure that we won’t be in last place, but with teams like the Royals and the White Sox, I don’t think the Indians have a better chance to be in last place than to not.
No they are not going to win the Central I know that, but they aren’t going to be like Ozzie Guillen’s team. And no Indians fans in case you were wondering, Manny Acta will not be having a twitter. Back to the topic, the Indians are a team full of young talent but they need time to develop. If we have any chance of being in the top 3 of the Central, we need to have an
amazing job throughout the pitching staff, and our offense must be clicking.
Could you see us getting to the playoffs in 3 years?
Of course. But first, we will need to hire a new coach. Yes Manny Acta is someone new, but than again he came from a losing team. We need a guy that knows how to win, someone that has won before and has a real reputation. In 3 years, who knows who will be on our team. You can’t really have a right or wrong answer with this one. If the pitching staff is good, than I think we possibly could.
An example would be in 2007 when the Indians almost went to the World Series. CC Sabathia (don’t get me started) and Fausto Carmona were carrying the team on their backs. The whole reason the Indians got to the playoffs in the first reason was that their offense could score 4 runs a game and their pitching staff could hold opposing teams to under 4 runs a game. It’s as simple as that, the team with more runs wins. If Cleveland wants to make the playoffs in 3 years, they will have to win more than they lose. (Sorry, that’s a loose prediction.)
Number of ejections
There will be 5 ejections this year by an Indians player. But when the Indians are playing the White Sox, I predict that Ozzie Guillen will be ejected twice throughout the season. So altogether during Indians games I think that their will be 7 ejections.
But who’s counting?….
How many dumb injuries will there be?
Let’s just say there will be more than we can count. The Indians need to be healthy, but with injuries, they just keep sitting in the bottom of the AL Central.
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.