Thursday, June 19, 2008

Key columnist pulls plug on Tribe

Nearly two weeks ago in this space I pronounced the Indians dead for this season.

I wrote the column after much thought. There are just too many things that need to be fixed, and more things go wrong with each day.

The Indians then went on a run of five out of six and cut their deficit with the Sox to 5 1/2 games.

I was feeling a bit lonely out on the limb.

But as the offense has disappeared again, and with the Sox lead over the Tribe widening again and the injury picture just getting worse, I'm sad to say I'm becoming more confident in my initial assessment. Ten Ks in five innings against Jorge De La Rosa tonight only strengthens my conviction.

And today I was joined on the limb by some pretty good company.

Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer, the best sports writer in the state - something you can tell just by reading him regularly but also backed up by his winning the official designation many times over - has declared the season over.

Pluto writes:

There will be no contention this season, not even in the pathetic American League Central Division.

Not with the Indians being 8-9 in June and ranking last in the AL with a .246 batting average. Not with the second-worst bullpen (4.83) in the AL. Not with scoring two or fewer runs in 25 of 72 games this season.

I have to say I agree. The team seems incapable of going on a run of more than four or five games. And every time they put something together, they follow it up with a week's worth of ineptitude.

The latest news on Travis Hafner is that the Tribe has no idea when he will be back. It's pretty much the same story with Fausto Carmona. The bullpen is a disaster and the offense a bust.

There's nothing to suggest there's any real hope for an extended run that will put the Tribe back even with the Sox, and they are now chasing two more teams - the Tigers and Twins.

As Pluto suggests, it's time to burn up the phones and be ready to dump CC Sabathia, Joe Borowski, Casey Blake and David Dellucci, just as soon as a good offer is available for each.

We know Sabathia will draw major interest. Every contender needs a reliever. Blake offers versatility needed on a playoff roster and teams can always use a veteran lefty bat.

The moves would clear the way for the younger talent that will arrive in those trades to get their feet wet as well as allow some of the younger players currently on this team now to show if they are for real.

Eight games (looking at the moment like 8 1/2) is not insurmountable if there are hopeful signs that your team may be getting it together.

I see no such signs.


the moose said...

let the firesale begin

they play with no motivation

is that the players or manager

I think we can add sowers to the sell list - I dont think he has it

Ron Vallo said...

Right now the rotation for next year is as follows: Lee, Laffey and Fausto. DOn't think they can get rid of Sowers just yet. It also looks as though they better get an MLB-ready starter in the CC package.

bobbydb19 said...

D = Disabled list. We have a bunch of key players on the disabled list which is not helping our cause.

O = One hundred ninety nine dollars. The amount I paid for the baseball package. Which won't get used much during the rest of the season.

N = Next Year. I am sure the expectations will not be as high. I really think thats what kills this team. The high expectiations and everyone picking them to win the World Series.

E = Eight and a half. The number of games we are back and the total keeps increasing. By the end of the week-end, we could be in last place.

I see that you guys already beat me to the punch. I am divorcing myself from this team this year. No more staying up late to watch games, no more making sure I am tuned in for the 1st pitch. I will tune in from time to time, but this team is going no where. I do not have to wait until the end of June to see where they are at. I said June was the key month. They have already answered loudly with their play. Let the trading begin. See what players I will be rotting for in 2009.

Enjoy the rest of the year (what you can).

Ron Vallo said...


On your "O" entry - the Texas Rangers can be fun to watch. :) Don't waste the $190, there's almost always a good ballgame going somewhere.

On your "N" point. They seem to choke whenever they are put in pressure situations (going back to the last week of 2005), or have expectations thrown at them. This does not bode well for a team that will, by definition, be in a pressure situation if/when they get back to the playoffs again. Maybe this team doesn't have the stomach even if it has the talent (once it all comes off the disabled list).

Having watched the Indians since the early 60s, I adopted the attitude that you have to take what you can from each game - an exciting play, a nice rally etc... and forget about the bigger picture (which was often ugly). That changed in the 90's. But I can revert back when necessary. So, while I won't be hanging on every pitch the rest of the way, I'll still be watching alot to see what we have for next year and to appreciate the wall-banging, running catches of Grady Sizemore.

the moose said...

a win a win a win

so my die hard tribe fan wife has to listen to the dodgers game last night in bed. Of course I am sawing wood long in bed before her
when borowski blows the save I hear this screaming and wake up to find out it is only a ball game. She turned it off and did not even listen to them win

thank goodness no more lat night west coast games

fee for lee another no decision - not to mention the damage to my fantasy teams - day game today
is CC interviewing for a new employer

I told pluto he stole your columm and referred him to this blog of 2 weeks ago

maybe he will give you some royalties

sew the man !!

Ron Vallo said...

I played baseball for Terry's brother in high school and against Terry.

I also knew him a little bit from my days in the press room. So I don't think I will sue him.

I'm pretty sure he arrived at the decision all on his own. Though I'm always glad when someone spreads the word on my blog.

Thanks Moose.

the moose said...

hey maybe ron and pluto motivated the tribe - 2 in a row. Only 6 1/2 out - how many were colorado rockies out last august. Did we cry wolf too soon.

I was surprised at the poor attendance in LA - but it was 120 degrees

another great game by CC - he would have lost 1-0 if he did not hit a HR - what a blast 440 feet
make him the DH

Ron Vallo said...

Was out to dinner with friends and busy before that. Too bad I missed CCs homerun.

I don't know about DH put I'd definitely PH him, especially when Peralta is up with RISP.