Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The questions continue to mount for the Tribe and the Dolans

Let's start with the positives - things it was good to see tonight.

  • It was simply good to see the Tribe win a game again.
  • It was great to see Grady Sizemore back in the lineup again, chasing balls down in CF and coming out of the box hitting the ball. (Added bonus - no Ben Francisco)
  • It was a huge relief to see someone other than Cliff Lee throw a good ballgame. David Huff was outstanding - finally pitching the way you had an inkling he could based on his work in the minors last season. He has, in fact, shown steady improvement in recent weeks, and that's a good thing for sure.
  • It was good to see Jhonny Peralta hit the ball - including an opposite field dinger. Too bad he has to be benched for two or three games every few weeks to remind him to put max effort into what he's doing and to play smart.
  • It was good to see Josh Barfield is still alive, since we never see him on the field.
  • And it was nice to see Pirates LF Nyjer Morgan wear his socks the way they are supposed to be worn - stirrups showing and white sanitaries underneath.
Now on to the unpleasantness.

Despite looking like a real ball team tonight (at least for 8 innings), the Indians remain too many games under .500 and too many games out of first for the rest of this season to provide much excitement.

That has Tribe ownership concerned, especially since the Tribe has drawn just three-quarters of a million fans so far this year with little reason for throngs of fans to show up in the second half of the season.

And so the Dolans will meet with Mark Shapiro in the near future to discuss changes that will give Tribe fans a reason to tune in and turn out in July, August and September.

At the top of the list is the status of manager Eric Wedge. It's quite possible the Dolans have seen enough of Wedge, or - possibly - that they feel the fans have seen enough. And so Wedge may become the sacrificial lamb any time now. If it's going to happen, I'd look for it during the All-Star break.

We've been through this before at this site. Wedge has had seven years to show he can lead this team to consistent success. He's fallen short of that mark. I wouldn't shed any tears if Wedge is shown the door, but as I said in my previous post, from a baseball standpoint it would be a pointless move at this juncture. It would have made more sense a month ago - before this team was dead and buried.

If he were to be fired, Wedge would likely be replaced with an interim, and probably somebody from the organization - an organization sorely in need of new blood and new ideas. If it were me, at this point I'd keep Wedge around and go in a completely different direction over the winter. No Money Ball wunderkinds need apply.

If Wedge gets the ax, the only purpose it will serve at this point is to placate the fans in the hope that they'll show up in the second half.

I'm certain that Shapiro and the Dolans will also talk about trades that can be made. It's obvious at this point that the Tribe will be sellers as the trading deadline approaches.

First on my list would be Peralta. Although he looks decent over at 3B, in general his act has worn thin here. A guy who has been around as long as he has needs to be more consistent, and, frankly, he needs to care about what he does a bit more. Let's face it. He dogs it, or is at least mentally absent, way too often.

While I really like the guy, I see the sense in trading Mark DeRosa. It would be nice to have him around for next year, but he's not signed and they might as well get something for him. (It would be best if he were to be traded to an AL team so my AL-only fantasy team won't take a hit.)

If Carl Pavano proves to be healthy and effective after skipping a start, he will likely be gone too and I guess I feel the same way about him as DeRosa. He'd be nice to have but without any guarantees for next season, you might as well trade him.

Kelly Shoppach? If anyone wants the K machine I'd send him packing for sure.

Ryan Garko? If you're not going to use him (even though he tends to drive in runs) you might as well deal him as well.

As far as Lee and Victor Martinez go - trading either would signal a complete capitulation not only for this year, but next season as well. They should not be going anywhere.

One thing the Dolans and Shapiro will likely not talk about is Shapiro's future as the top baseball man in this organization. But it is Shapiro who built this wreck of a club, through poor drafts questionable free-agent signings and - to give credit - an ability to pick off some of the prospects that other teams have found and developed without giving up a lot in return.

No, the Dolans won't be discussing that topic with Shapiro when they meet in the next few days. But it should be something the Dolans discuss around the Thanksgiving table (if not sooner) when this disaster of a season has long been in the books.

(By the way, I started writing this piece with the Tribe up 5-zip and Wedge adroitly going to his bullpen to start the top of the ninth. As I typed the paragraph preceding this one, the bases were loaded, the score was 5-4, Kerry Wood was looking like Rick Vaughn, and just by chance a lazy fly ball ended up in the glove of Mark DeRosa to end the ballgame.)


Anonymous said...


back to normal tonight and it isn't even the 8 th inning !!! It is obvious Carl Pavano is another Shapiro gamble that failed. Let's look at our scouting and talent evaluation. How many bad moves have been made in the past 3 years - Micheals, Delucci, Pavano, Reyes. Plus the bad trades - Barfield, Marte, now Shoppach. What happens to thes guys when they wear an Indian uniform. Now the farm system - Fausto, Laffey, Sowers, we just traded Aubrey a #1 pick, Trevor Crowe - next Willie Mays - god marketing. Shapiro has not made agood trade since Colon. What are they waiting for with Laporte. Who do they think they are going to get in trades. Who is tradeable - Peralta, Garko, Victor, Lee - They need pitching. Delrosa probably hopes he gets traded. Wood probablay wishes he signed elsewhere. Dolen gave him the best budget possibly given the economy. They will be dumping salaries - they can't give tickets away and have so many promotions right now. with 10% unemployment who can go to a game

regards - Moose

Anonymous said...

moose said

so the fire sale has begun. The towel has been thrown in for 2009 with the trading of delrosa. What message does that send to the rest of the team. Traded for a "prospect" perez who was the St.Louis closer but lostthe job. Shapiro said "we felt the time was right to maximize the value that Mark had" "this is a move that can help us this year as well in the future"

How many times have we heard that crap

So who is next ? Peralta, shopach, or garko.

Who plays LF now - ben franciso - where are all are PF "prospects "

Does this mean the prices to games get lowered