Sunday, July 22, 2007

Today is one of those days when it really sucks to be a long-distance fan.

Texas plays all of its Sunday games at night, because it is too damned hot during the day in that God-forsaken place. Texas almost never plays on ESPN on Sunday nights though because, well, who wants to watch the Rangers?

So, tonight I’ll have to harken back to my early years as a transplanted Clevelander living in New York and tune to WTAM once it gets dark to pick up the game. Of course I could listen on, but I’m way too cheap to pay for a one-shot deal. Or I could click on any number of Web sites and watch those little dots proceed around the bases with a written description of what’s going on below the diagram of the field.

But, I think I’ll opt for the radio. It’ll be a reminder of the bad old days - pre-DiercTV – listening to Herbie or Hamilton from my living room in New York. It’ll bring back memories long forgotten, like the night Ernie Comacho notched one of his many multi-run blown saves and I slammed my walkman into the dresser drawer. Only , I misfired and hit the top of the dresser instead, taking out a good-sized chip of wood. One of the few rough spots during my early married years. My wife just didn’t understand how frustrating Ernie Comacho could be.

Lots to read in the papers and around the Web today.

Earlier this week we did a piece on how the Tigers have methodically overtaken the Tribe in recent weeks and another on the Tribe being a very so-so team for nearly two months now

Jim Ingraham of the Morning Journal (which used to be known as the Lorain Journal when I lived in Cleveland) breaks out the record of the six A.L. playoff contenders since June 1. It’s not a pretty site:

Here are the records of those six teams since June 1: Detroit 27-12, Seattle 27-14, New York 25-14, Cleveland 22-20, Minnesota 21-21, Boston 20-22. -- The Morning Journal

It’s difficult not to panic, but the Tribe remains ahead in the wild card race and still very close to the Tigers. They need bullpen help, but they also need one solid trip through the entire rotation to get their footing again.

Speaking of trades, Ingraham argues today that it’s Mark Shapiro who has been the weak link in the organization and that he has a lot to prove over the next ten days.

With Brandon Phillips, who has more home runs than anyone on the Indians, hitting cleanup for the Reds, with Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie the leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, and having a lower ERA than any Indians starter, with San Diego's Kevin Kouzmanoff (.237 average, nine home runs, 39 RBIs, .295 on base percentage, .415 slugging percentage) having a better year than Josh Barfield (.251-2-41-.276-.326), with three-sevenths of the Indians' opening day bullpen (Jason Davis, Roberto Hernandez, Fernando Cabrera) either released or useless, with Andy Marte having flopped, and with David Dellucci, the three-year $11.5 million free agent signee, having basically been a nonentity, now would be a good time for Shapiro to have good July. -- The Morning Journal

A few of my own thoughts here. I don’t think it’s accurate to say Kouzmanoff is having a better year than Barfield. Barfield has a higher average as well as more runs scored (38-27) and more stolen bases (10-0). Plus Kouzmanoff has been on a tear the past two weeks while Barfield has been slumping, so the numbers are skewed a bit. Kouzmanoff and Barfield are having different types of seasons, but you can’t really say one is having a better season than the other.

However, all of Ingraham’s other points have some merit. And his main point – it’s time for Shapiro to make a good deal – is quite true.

We’ve read a lot about who’s available for the taking – Kenny Lofton, the entire Ranger bullpen etc… - but not much thought has been given to what the Tribe will have to give up to swing a deal.

That’s where The DiaTribe picks up the slack. In a post earlier this week the blogger at DiaTribe (I don’t think he’s the real Pat Tabler) has a well thought-out list. It is, as always, good reading. No Mike Rouse and Jason Stanford for Ken Griffey suggestions there


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Ron Vallo said...

To our readers. Sorry for the solicitations that appeared above as comments on the blog.

Clearly these were commercial messages and not comments.

I have set up the blog so that your comments appear within seconds of posting to facilitate discussion.

Until now no one has taken advantage of this decision.

I will continue to allow your posts to hit the blog immediately unless and until it becomes a problem, at which time I may (unfortunately) have to hold up all comments so that I can read them and make sure they are appropriate to this site.

moose said...

maybe we got 3 starting pitchers or at least 2.5 as byrd does a five and skate

big 10 game home stand I know they got boston and minny but not sure who the third team is - they got to win all 3 series

chance tonight with our old friend tavaras starting for boston - cant figure that out - he wont be startnig long

glad to see barfield have a good night - in the long run I think he will be better than kouzminoff but the phillips deral will haunt the indians forever - I think they thought he was going to be another milton bradley and his personality did not fit in

he may not survive in Cincy as that team has no direction

yes it may be time for the blob police to watch the website

Ron Vallo said...

Actually Tavares is gone sooner than you think The Red Sox will call up Lester today to pitch tonight at the Jake.

Spike Lee said...

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Anonymous said...

walkmans weren't around back was a transistor.