Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My nightly rant about the Tribe

Some are taking solace in the fact that the Tribe has scored 13 runs in the last two games.

In fact they've scored 31 in the past six games, four of which they lost.

Yes the hitting seems to slowly be pulling out of its season-long futility, though there's still lots of convincing to do on that one.

Take today for instance. The game is on the line. The Tribe is down a run with one out and runners on second and third. Bottom of the ninth. Hitters No.3 and No. 4 due up. Two infield popups later (technically one was caught in short, short left) - ballgame over.

These are games the Tribe won against the White Sox last year, and against the Tigers, and against pretty much everyone else. They're the games the White Sox are winning this year, at least lately and against the Tribe.

Last year's infallible one, Raffie Betancourt, has been anything but that this year, coming in in the seventh and promptly blowing yet another lead. There's no way to sugarcoat it, Betancourt has been awful this year. He, and the rest of the bullpen, are another key reason the Tribe's not winning the games they used to win.

Things just don't seem to be in sync this year. Not all the cylinders are hitting on the same night. Or at least it is rare when the do.

While we're busy pointing fingers, it is necessary to point out that the winning three-run rally by the Sox in the seventh started on a booted ground ball by Andy Marte (who booted another one an inning later but didn't get charged with an error).

Marte doubled off the wall last night and laid down a nice bunt. He singled today, and stole the first base of his career. But he just looks so damned shaky in the field and at the plate.

I don't fault the idea of playing the youngster, and in fact applaud it, but I just don't think he's got the stomach to make it in the bigs. At the very least it seems he will never regain the confidence he needs to let his talent shine through here in Cleveland. If Marte plays more regularly it should become clear he was a mistake and the Tribe should cut their losses on him.

And while we are on the topic of front-office mistakes, for the second time in this young season the Tribe has tried to hide an injury to a key player and hope he can play through it. Instead, the players in question have underperformed miserably and the team has paid the price.

After a miserable early season outing it became obvious the Tribe could no longer hide the physical problems closer Joe Borowski was having. They started way back in spring training, but instead of shutting him down in mid-March, they had to do it during the season - after he blew a few ballgames that counted.

And now we find the situation is similar with Travis Hafner.'s Anthony Castrovince reports the cortisone shot Hafner got was the second of the season and that the Tribe was - and still is - trying to squeeze performance out of damaged goods.

Pronk revealed that this is the second time this season he's received such an injection. He received the other before the Indians opened a three-game series in Minnesota on April 18. Hafner missed the first game of that series.

The shoulder has given Pronk problems since the middle of March. Hafner said he had an MRI exam that revealed no structural damage.- Anthony Castrovince of

The Tribe is hoping the cortisone shot will allow Hafner to rejoin the lineup Friday, but what is to be gained by trying to force performance out of the ailing and struggling Hafner?

He and the team would be better served to if Hafner were to take some DL time to rest, and maybe get some rehab ABs in the minors, where he might be able to get himself on track.


bobbydb19 said...

According to, Betancourt has not been pitching inside enough and he has been warned numerous times by Wedge and Willis to start getting the ball inside on the hitters. Maybe Wedge needs to do something else to get his point across. Any ideas?

I watched the 1st 4 innings on TV, and Westbrook looked sharp, but his pitch count just caught up to him. Watched the rest on MLB Gamecast and punched my desk more than a few times. 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. At least get 1 run home to tie it. Every game I watch, the Tribe let pitch by pitch go and on this instance Francisco swings on the 1st pitch. Has he ever faced Jenks before? Take a couple pitches.

Maybe a road trip will help them out (it damn well has to be better than the last one....0-6).

Ron Vallo said...

well, it could be worse than the last one. this one is 11 games.

How far we have fallen. I'm sitting in front of the dish right now hoping the Tampa Bay Rays will fight our battles for us.

the moose said...

well at least we wont loose tonight !!!

bobbydb19 said...

Speaking of 11 games, the Royals lost there 11th straight last night. Hmmmmm.....what does that mean for our Tribe?

I forgot to say that the other day I was listening to Mike and the MadDog. MadDog was running down the scores and after the Indians-Sox score he says "The Indians lost again. The Indians just plain stink, Mike". I was pretty pissed and started yelling at the radio. Now I read John Heymen in SI says that the Indians may be a seller come trade time.

I admit that I say alot of stupid things, but it comes out of frustration. The Indians are far, far from finished. I looked at the offensive stats yesterday. In the AL: last in batting average, last in runs scored, last in slugging, last is hits (by far), and at or near the bottom of other categories. As bad as they have played and to be we they are, I have no choice but to accept it.

Lets feast on some KC pitching this week-end. Get things rolling again and get the Mojo back! Put some consistent W's on the board.

June can be the month where it gets turned around: KC (losing record), TEX (losing record), DET (losing record), MIN (just over .500), SD (losing record), COL (losing record), LAD (losing record), SF (losing record), CIN (losing record). The confidence comes back before we battle the division foes in July. is 7:45 on a Friday morning and I am all pumped up!

Go Tribe!

Ron Vallo said...

wow! what's in your coffee?

The law of averages would seem to be going against the Tribe at first glance. But then, how much better is 10 losses in 12 games than 11 losses in a row.

the moose said...

hafner on the DL is Choo the answer

losing tonight although it could be tied except for cabrera baserunnnig blunder