Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blissfull ignorance, or maybe just show biz

I've really got to get an FM-only radio in my car. Otherwise I find myself switching to the sports talk shows on the radio, and here in New York that is an exasperating experience

Take today for example. I'm listening to Mike Francessa and Chris Russo (Mike and the Mad Dog as they are known) on WFAN - the first-ever all-sports radio statio in the country.
(Francessa is the fat one, Russo the one who looks like Tony's nephew Christopher Multisanti.)

They were talking Yankees and they were talking playoffs.

I tuned in to here Russo talking about a Yankee playoff scenario against the Tribe. It went something almost exactly like this. (the comments are exceprted from a longer spiel, but are not taken out of context).

"If the Yankees get the Indians.... that's just what you want if you're a Yankee fan."

"They (the Indians) have no closer. Boworski couldn't save a big game to save his life. Carmona you can't count on. Sabathia .. eh .. he's OK. The Yankees will match him up with Pettitte."

"I just don't see the Yankees losing the American League. I will be stunned, shocked, if the Yankees don't win the A.L. I'd be surprised if they even work up a sweat in the playoffs."

I was in the car on my way to get that examination that all of us of the male persuasion get when we're about 50 or so, and at that point the thought of the doctor's looming finger seemed like a pleasant break from what I was hearing on my car radio.

Having been duly prodded, I rejoined the conversation after leaving the doctor's office.

I turned on the radio to hear Francessa giving the Angels at least a shot in a series against the Yankees. I guess in the interest of balance.

"The Angels are a tough out. They win their 94 games every year. They're a tough out."

I guess by "tough out" he means they could give the Yankees a difficult time. Batters can be "tough outs,"what the phrase means when applied to an entire team, I can only guess.

Russo, a short time later (also apparently in an effort to bring the conversation back down to earth a little bit) made this observation:

"If you want to create a scenario against the Yankees, maybe you have Sabathia shut down the left -handed side of that Yankee lineup and you see the Indians making it 1-1 after two and then somehow get it to game five and then ... Sabathia again."


These guys, by the way, are the same guys who fielded a phone call from a New York-area Tribe fan yesterday. While the caller was trying to make the case for the Tribe's pitching Francessa was talking over him like a six-year-old drowning out his mom when she's trying to make a point he's not interested in hearing.

He just kept saying "All I keep hearing from Indians fans is this "My Carmona" crap. My Carmona, My Carmona."

I guess he must have been the captain on the debating team in college.

When the Tribe fan enlightened the two hosts to the existence of Jensen Lewis, they both had fun with that as well because neither of them knows who the hell Jensen Lewis is. Russo admitted he's "never heard of Lewis. I'll have to look into him." His producer then punched up Lewis' stats. He read them off, said "pretty impressive. Back after this," then went to a commercial.

If that Tribe fan is reading this, thanks for taking the bullet.

Taking a realistic look at things, the Yankee lineup is scary but they went into a two-month slump early in the year.

Russo also has a point (though well overstated) about Borowski. I, frankly, don't feel comfortable with him in a big spot, but I'd take the rest of the Tribe's pen over New York's.

If it comes about, a Yankee-Cleveland series will be a terrific hitting team with sometimes-good pitching facing an up-and-down offense which is supported by outstanding starters and a decent pen.

I think, at the very least, we'll see the Yankees break a sweat - if not lose in four.


Anonymous said...

For a more optimistic assessment of the Tribe, go read the comments in Sons of Sam Horn. Sox fans do not want to face the Indians. There's talk there of the Tribe being the team mostly likely to win the World Series. Buster Olney picks them to win it. For what it's worth, they currently rank number 1 in the ESPN power rankings.

Moreoever, it's not over till it's over, and it's not over yet, as I'm sure Jim Leyland is aware.

From here to the end of the World Series, do not listen to Francesca and Russo. I'm serious. They're not. They're entertainers, whose job it is to agitate you. After Game 2 of the 1971 World Series, Rioberto Clemente wisely insisted that his teammates not listen to the radio or watch TV, because all they would hear was that they were on their way to losing, and Clemente thought they could and would win. So they did.

Ron Vallo said...

I watched the Seattle broadcast of the first inning of last night's game, and the Oakland broadcast of the Tribe's clincher on Sunday.

The announcers on both had positive things to say about the Tribe's chances.

As you say Olney and many others give the Indians a solid chance to go deep into the post season.

The point of my post, and I guess of my entire blog, is I live in a place (NYC) where the people appear to be blind to anything that goes on outside of a 25-mile radius of Manhattan.

They have the greatest of everything. No iffs, ands or buts.

The worst part is there's no arguing the point.

They talk of Joba Chamberlain as if he is that other JC. I'm going to bet many of them have never heard of Rafeal Betancourt, most of them have never heard of Rafael Perez and none of them have heard of Jensen Lewis. Yet they'll tell you the Yankee bullpen is far superior to the Indians.

That's just one example.

I just want to let Tribe fans around the country know how much respect their team gets here, so they can enjoy a series victory over the Yankees all the more.

moose said...

Lets talk some baseball things looking good for home field as the angels are limping into the playoffs. Also looks like it will be the Sox in AL east and yankees as wild card. The tribe / yankees looks like more of a reality

any talk on yankees starters - wang and pettite - pettite scares me

RJ said...

Hey, I just found this blog (linked from the DiaTribE) and I gotta say I appreciate what you're doing. This entire state is a wasteland of Yankee fans (and the occasionally somewhat more tolerable Red Sox fans). I hate to say it, but those radio hosts are sitting at a table with my alma mater's logo plastered behind them. Yuck.

I went to Yankee Stadium a few months ago, and posted a writeup on the DiaTribe comments. Check it out if you'd like - though it's probably exactly what you'd expect.

Keep up the good work!

Ron Vallo said...

hey rj

just read that old post you put up on the DiaTribe. Sounds like my experience every time I go to a Yankee game.

Glad you like the blog. Spread the word among other Indians fans like us who are "off the reservation" and keep checking back.

Nick said...

Ron, I grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, have lived on the Upper West Side for 32 years, and am looking to relocate to Cleveland. Your comment about "the best of everything" and "no iffs, ands or buts" -- I don't know whether you're being saracastic. If you're not, I disagree. I've been here too long to be impressed any longer by bright lights, big city. When I return to NE Ohio to visit family, I see it through eyes I didn't have when I left at age 18. I go there and my soul sings. There's a warmth and a spiritual brilliance about the place. I felt this in a big way on Sunday, at Jacobs Field and then while walking around downtown Cleveland. If New York is Babylon or Rome, a great and mighty power as the world reckons greatness and might, Cleveland is Jerusalem.

Ron Vallo said...


the " no iffs etc..." was my take on New Yorkers' attitude (most of them anyway) about NYC. Don't tell them there's something better someplace else. They just dismiss it as impossible.

bkdawgpound said...

Hey I just found this blog (through The Cleveland Fan), and I really like what you got here. I'm a born and bred Clevelander living in Brooklyn surrounded by Yankee fans. I'm sick and tired of completely ignorant Yankee fans spouting off, including most of the NY media, which doesn't seem to realize there's a sports world outside of NY. Keep up the great work! GO TRIBE!

Ron Vallo said...

thanks bkdawg. glad you like it and home you check back regularly.