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Wedgie being Wedgie

Posted by wct6 on October 8, 2007

 

For those of you tuning in for Last Week in Baseball, it will be seen here at the conclusion of the first round, in other words, Thursday morning.

When Eric Wedge fills out his lineup card tonight, he will be doing two groups of people a huge favor.  Namely, The New York Yankees, and Jacobs Field beer vendors.  That is because starting Paul Byrd tonight in game 4 virtually ensures that there will be a game 5 on Wednesday back in Cleveland.

Byrd, who lost three of his last four decisions down the stretch, pitched once against the Yankees this season, allowing seven (SEVEN) runs in two (TWO) innings on August 11th.  By the way, that game was played in Cleveland.  In that brilliant outing, in which his ERA was 31.50 and his batting average against was an astronomical .583, Byrd only faced 14 batters, and allowed seven of them to score.  C.C. Sabathia, even on three-days-rest, can do better than that.

Please save your “But Byrd won 15 games this year” comments.  Lets look at Byrd’s last 10 wins.  In reverse order: White Sox, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, Devil Rays, Twins, Twins, Rangers, A’s, Red Sox.  One playoff team.  And during that span he was shelled by the Yankees and Angels, two playoff teams.

The Indians should be pitching Sabathia tonight on short rest, and, if need be, Carmona in game 5 on full rest.  Byrd should be in the bully as a long man in case C.C. gets in trouble.  Chances are, on three-days-rest Sabathia could give the Tribe five innings, and you could mix and match the final four innings with rested releivers Raffy Perez (whom the Yankees haven’t touched) and Raffy Betancourt (whom very few people in the AL touched) setting up for a rested Borowski.  I would take a 75% C.C. in game 4 and if need be a 100% Carmona in game 5 any day over a 100% Byrd and 100% Sabathia.  Wedge should be saying to the Yankees, if you are going to win this series, you are going to have to beat our two best pitchers.

Also, if you are going to post something ridiculous like “Who starts game 1 of the LCS if the Tribe wins in 5?” please save it.  You don’t manage game 5 of the Division Series to set yourself up for the Championship Series.  You have to do everything you can to give yourself the best chance to win the series that you are in right now, then worry about the LCS if you get there.  Eric Wedge is not doing that.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go bet our next two rent payments on the Yankees in tonights game.

*Update Fire Eric Wedge has hit the blogosphere in anticipation of tonight’s loss.  Incredible*

Posted in angry rants, Cleveland Indians | 3 Comments »

Should the Tribe have the Top Two Finishers in the Cy Young Voting?

Posted by wct6 on September 25, 2007

 

 A friend of ours says that you always either overrate (because of blind homerism) or underrate (because you look for faults) your favorite team.  As you could probably tell this year, from our constant Sizemore-bashing, we would probably fall into the second category.  So it is no surprise that it took until Septetember 25th for this to occur to us:

Should Carsten Charles and Fausto finish 1-2 (not neccessarily in that order) in the Cy Young balloting?  Check this out

Wins – Both have 18, tied for 2nd in the AL

ERA – Carmona 3.03, 1st in the AL; Sabathia 3.19, 6th in the AL

Quality Starts – Carmona 25, 2nd; Sabathia 24, 3rd

IP – Sabathia 234, 1st; Carmona 208 11th

Just sayin’…

Posted in Cleveland Indians | 2 Comments »

Last Week in Baseball! – This is Why it Sucks to Be a Cleveland Sports Fan

Posted by wct6 on September 23, 2007

 

If you are like us, you grew up loving “This Week in Baseball” and Mel Allen.  Here at WCT, we have “Last Week in Baseball!”  Please don’t sue us FOX!  

I should be enjoying this.  I should.  But I’m not.  Because I grew up with “the Drive,” and “the Fumble,”  and the Cooper years at Ohio State, and the Jordan shot over Ehlo, and Tom Glavine’s 1-hitter in game 6 of the ’95 World Series, and the blown save in game 7 of the ’97 World Series, and the Steelers comeback in the ’03 playoffs, I couldn’t enjoy it.  I immediately got nervous.  The second that Mark Ellis swung and missed for the final out of the game, questions began swirling around in my head. 

Was it good to clinch with a week left in the season?

The Indians have been so hot down the stretch, how will they respond with effectively a week off, then playoff games?

Are they complacent with the division title?

Who should we hope they face in the first round?

What if they play the Yankees who are equally as hot and 6-0 against the Tribe this year?

What if they play the Red Sox who have two World Series MVP pitchers and are 5-2 against the Tribe this year?

I should be enjoying this, but I can’t

And now, on to the LWIB notes!

 – Around this time every season, the question every analyst asks is “who is the team nobody wants to face?”  We don’t know the answer to that question, but we sure as hell know who everybody does want to face: The Boston Red Sox.  Without Manny Ramirez in the middle of their line-up they are a mediocre team offensively.  And if you were a Sox fan, would you be comfortable turning a big game over to bullpen?

 – The Diamondbacks now have the best record in the entire National League.  The Diamondbacks.  As of right now it looks like the the three division winners in the NL will be an Arizona team that has been outscored this year and have a cleanup hitter with 5o runs batted in, a Cubs team with Jason Marquis and Ted Lilly as their #2 and #3 starters, and a Mets team that is stubling down the stretch and will start Tom Glavine (41 years old), Orlando Hernandez (he claims he’s 41), and Pedro Martinez (35 going on 50).  How can an entire league be this bad?

* * * * *

Its our blog dammit, so we are going to talk about our favorite team every week –

  

We have never been happier to be wrong about anything in our lives.  We were so wrong about this team.  We killed Jake Westbrook, and said he would be one of the main reason the Indians wouldn’t make the playoffs.  As it turns out, he became a different pitcher down the stretch, and actually pitched the clinching game to put them into  the playoffs. 

Now lets see how they respond.  Should be fun.  And by “fun,” we mean utterly nerve-racking.

Posted in Cleveland Indians, LWIB, mlb | Leave a Comment »

Our Sincerest Apologies…

Posted by wct6 on August 12, 2007

We apologize to you, the valued reader, for our unexplained, unplanned absence over the past week.  We were sick as dogs last week, and did not even leave the bed to turn on the computer for four full days.

But as badly as we were feeling, as much malase as had befallen us, as much as we felt that we had hit absolute rock-bottom as to how a human being could be feeling, we were still doing much much better than the Cleveland Indians’ “offense.”

Coming into this weekend’s series against New York, we were thinking that if the Tribe could just take one game we would consider it a success.  Think about that.  This is a (supposedly) playoff caliber team, in the middle of a pennant race, playing a series at home in the middle of August, and we were just hoping to not completely get embarassed.  So what happend?  They got completely embarassed.

Lets face it, they can’t hit.  They have no ability to put hits together in the clutch.  Against even average pitching, most of their regulars look like triple-A hitters seeing big league pitching for the first time.  They are completely lost.

We aren’t so much mad about the fact that the Indians got their doors blown off in this three-game set, because that was expected.  We are mad at the fact that this team is playing its way out of the playoffs, again, and no one seems to be doing anything about it.  We hate to keep pounding the same people over and over again, but why is it that when the team goes through long stretches of playing flat, listless baseball (2005 final month, 2007 second half, all of 2006 season) Eric Wedge is either unwilling or unable to say anything to the team to light a fire under them?  Wedge, who was inexplicably signed to a contract extestion during this year, will have managed the Indians through a spectacular collapse in ’05, a huge underacheivement in ’06, and a complete post-all-star-break meltdown here in ’07.

more to come

Posted in angry rants, Cleveland Indians | Leave a Comment »

Are You Starting to Beleive Us Now?

Posted by wct6 on July 24, 2007

Are you starting to beleive this little prediction yet?

Well, maybe we got it wrong. Maybe the Indians will keep backing up like a NFL Cornerback and gift wrap the AL wild-card.  If they keep losing games when their ace pitcher holds one of the best hitting teams in baseball to one goddam run they’ll be out of the playoff race before you know it

Posted in angry rants, Cleveland Indians, mlb, New York Yankees | 1 Comment »

WCT Hearts Ryan Garko

Posted by wct6 on July 18, 2007

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We just wish it didn’t always take ninth and extra inning heroics to beat the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox of the world…

Posted in Cleveland Indians | Leave a Comment »

Midseason Report Card

Posted by wct6 on July 2, 2007

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The Cleveland Indians have now played 81 games (49-31) and its a good time to take stock of where the team is, where it is going, and what it might do to improve.

 Earlier this week, the DiaTribe put together a report card for the Indians based on the first half of the year.  Since we are feeling particularly unoriginal today, we will take that idea and run with it!  Thanks guys!

 So without further ado, our version of the midseason report card for our beloved Cleveland Indians

Starting Pitching – A-

C.C. Sabathia (12-2), and Fausto Carmona (8-4) have been nothing short of outstanding so far.  Cliff Lee seemed to be finding himself in his last couple starts, and even Jake Westbrook has shown some flashes of brilliance despite an ERA over 6.  If Westbrook and Paul Byrd can find their way and complement the top two in the rotation, the Indians will be very difficult to beat.

Bullpen – B+

To be honest. the starting pitching has been so good so far that it is difficult to judge the bullpen.  Indians’ starters regularly pitch deep into games therefore the bullpen is rarely asked to work more than 2 innings.  That being said, Rafael Betancourt has been lights-out pitching the 7th and/or 8th innings, and Borowski somehow has 24 saves in 26 chances despite an ERA near 6.  Guys like Aaron Fultz and Rafael Perez have added depth.

Hitting – B

Maybe we are being a little spoiled here, but it seems like Victor Martinez carried the offense for most of the first half.  Travis Hafner has underperformed for most of the year, and there has been little production out of the corner outfield spots.  Guys like Jhonny Peralta, Grady Sizemore (when he isn’t striking out) and Ryan Garko have contributed timely hits, but it is really amazing that the Tribe has score the second most runs in baseball with so few guys contributing consistently.

Defense – B+

No real complaints here.  Sizemore has been spectacular in CF.  The infield defense has been very good (who knew Josh Barfield was this good in the field?) and by the grace of God, Victor Martinez has been throwing would-be base stealers out consistently.

Overall Outlook – B+/A-

We know what you are saying – “how can a team on pace to win 98 games possibly only be a B+/A-??”  Well, it seems like a few guys have been carrying this team for most of the year.  The Indians have been the Sabathia/Martinez show for the better part of 81 games.  In order for the Indians to win this division and hold off the Tigers -you just know they are going to make a run in the second half- guys like Hafner, Sizemore, Lee, and Westbrook have to find their groove and contribute consistently.  If that happens and everyone stays healthy, this could easily be a 98-100 win, division-winning team. 

If not, there are a host of good teams in the AL in contention that will fly past them if they go into any type of prolonged slump

Posted in Cleveland Indians, mlb | 3 Comments »

Okay, Last Indians Post For a While, We Promise*

Posted by wct6 on June 25, 2007

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Give this man however much money he wants when he becomes a free agent.  You hear us Mark Shapiro? Whatever he wants.

(*maybe)

Posted in Cleveland Indians | 135 Comments »

Maybe Our Trot-Bashing is Working Already…

Posted by wct6 on June 21, 2007

…as Trotter went 3-4 with a run and 2 RBI in the game immediately following our rant. 

Or, maybe the Red Sox are just adept at letting an outfielder walk just before his production completely drops off. 

To wit

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Posted in Cleveland Indians, Trot Nixon | 7 Comments »

OK, We Promise, This is Not Going to Turn Into A Cleveland Indians Blog, But…

Posted by wct6 on June 20, 2007

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…this point cannot be left unsaid.  We have no idea what exactly Boston fans love so much about Trot Nixon.  Granted, 191 AB is not much of a sample size to make an assessment of a player, but he hasn’t really shown any signs of being anything more than an average to below-average major league outfielder. 

Admittedly, when we heard that the Indians acquired Nixon, we were pretty happy.  We remembered seeing him play with the Red Sox, and felt like his veteran presence, along with the fact that the Indians needed a left-handed bat, would make him an asset to the team.  What has he done so far this year? .654 OPS (including an almost unheard of .390 OPS in June!) and two home runs while playing what is traditionally a power position.  So what could be the reason for his lack of production? 

He is getting old – This was the first thing we thought of, until we looked it up and learned that he just turned 33 this past April.  33, while not a spring chicken, is not over the hill.  Production should not be dropping precipitously for an outfielder in the season he turns 33. 

He is playing hurt – Eh, maybe.  But he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire in April and May (.700ish OPS).  And his fielding, throwing and running have shown no signs of injury. 

The Red Sox got rid of him just in time – this is the most likely conclusion.  Lets look at his OPSs starting with his career high in 2003 – .974, .887, .803, .767, .654.  Are we the only ones that see a trend there?  Then again, turnabout is fair play, and we shipped them Coco Crisp who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. 

We’re hoping that our attacking Nixon will cause a Josh Barfield-like response (batting .328 in June after we ripped him early in the season) and he will be red hot in the second half of the season.

Posted in angry rants, Cleveland Indians, Trot Nixon | 7 Comments »