Monday Morning Round-up (aka Seaward Loves Bullet Points)

Well, its ****in Monday afternoon! You should get out of bed earlier!

"Well, it's ****in' Monday afternoon! You should get out of bed earlier!"

It was a busy weekend in Cleveland and I spent almost all of it out of town and away from a computer, so let’s take just about my favorite thing in the history of blogs–BULLET POINTS!–and wheel our way around the weekend that was along America’s North Coast.

  • Ohh… the Indians. People often look for turning points in seasons when a team figures it out and goes from mediocre to contending. Friday’s game was pretty much the opposite of that, I’m willing to wager; an anti-turning point, if you will, that took a team that was starting to get it together and kicked it right in the mommy & daddy button. The bullpen is not getting better and there is seemingly no end in sight.
  • When I was still at (the infamous) SportsTalkCleveland.com, I had a lengthy discussion with Bruce Drennan on how Major League Baseball umpires were, of the big four sports, the best in-game officials. I am officially ready to retract that opinion after watching the men in blue absolutely butcher calls with and without the aid of instant replay. The call on Garko’s would-be double yesterday was an absolute farce. And don’t even get me started on Troy “Jim Thome’s Bitch” Percival not getting tossed in the ninth. Here’s my 2009 order of competence among major professional in-game officials, from best to worst: NHL > NFL > MLB > NBA — that’s right, MLB umpires are now behind the crew that once upon a time botched a coin toss. Think about that.
  • About that almost-double by Ryan Garko. Here’s my reason why I think Wedge was ultimately not thrown out of that game: the umpires said to him, “Um, even if that was a double, your next batter is David Dellucci. Do you REALLY think that runner will get to the plate with rally kryptonite on deck? The point is moot, sir.”
  • Eric Wedge should have been immediately fired, with prejudice, when Kerry Wood didn’t put a fastball in Carl Crawford’s earhole Sunday. While I will admit that it may have been nearly as good to watch Crawford stand on the back edge of the batter’s box and submit one of the most cowardly strikeouts in league history, it should’ve never gotten to that point. Wood should’ve dotted Crawford before he even stepped onto the back line of the box. Say what you want about Jagmaster General Ozzie Guillen but, if he was managing the Indians, Wood would’ve either drilled Crawford or been handed a bus ticket to Columbus. Period. Continue reading
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Sowers Heading Down I-71

Ugh. Thanks to Cleveland.com, we’ve learned that our constant mind-games with Jeremy Sowers will continue. I feel bad for the young man, because he was set up to fail. He’s now heading to Columbus, and we’re bringing someone that has been bouncing around the majors for the past ten years. Continue reading

Observations from the Pro – 5/11/09

So last night was my first trip to Progressive Field.

No, no, I’ve been to Indians home games since the start of the 1994 season–many, many home games, including Game Four of the ’95 ALCS–but this was my first trip to the corner of Carnegie & Ontario since it changed names because, as you may remember, I lived in scenic eastern Kentucky for the vast majority of the 2008 season.

Now, as you might imagine, there was no earth-shaking paradigm shift from my experience of games at Jacobs Field in 2007 to my experience last night at The Pro; it was new and familiar all at once. So let’s rap about it via the magic of bullet points and random observations! Continue reading

Dear Carl Willis

Carl, this is Jim Thome. You may know him as the Chicago White Sox designated hitter that has absolutely mauled your pitching staff this season. What you may not know is that this man should NEVER EVER EVER get a hit off of any of your pitchers.

How, you may ask, can a guy with an OPS of 1.086 against your pitchers (despite a .250 AVG!) be held hitless? Well, Carl, it’s stunningly simple: throw him inside curveballs.

Now I know you’re very busy trying to strike a balance between one of the best starting staffs in the bigs and one of the shakiest bullpens (see: Elarton, Scott), but should that really preclude you from so much as glancing at a scouting report? I mean, it’s not exactly a closely guarded state secret that Jim Thome has a gargantuan hole in his swing over the inside part of the plate; Cleveland fans have known since the mid-90’s that Thome looks like he’s batting against Bugs Bunny when a pitcher throws him a breaking ball inside.

Continue reading

Russell Branyan: Still Awful

There are numerous acconts of players that have left the Indians and become great successes. Recently, some of these names have popped up in sort of a, “wow I wish we still had them because nobody can hit” kind of way. Kevin Kouzmanoff had his first multi-homer game this weekend, Brandon Phillips is raking for the Reds, as is Ryan Ludwick for the Cardinals. One player that’s still terrible? Russell Branyan. I still don’t understand why this cat has a job to be honest with you. Check out his line this afternoon for the Milwaukee Brewers:

0-5, 4 K, 4 LOB

Impressive stuff. This is not a blog where we make a habit of just crushing people, but I just can’t resist ol’ Russ here. The pot is really calling the kettle black considering that this line wouldn’t keep him out of an Indians lineup. But I mean, four strikeouts? Against the Washington Nationals? Jeez-oh-petes, Russ.

Albert Belle and the Golf Club

No, this title does not mean that someone is now in the Cleveland Clinic. What it does mean is that former Tribe slugger Albert Belle failed yesterday in his bid to quailfy for the 2008 US Open. What a shame. Here’s the quote that I found most interesting, from his caddie Jeff Helmick, a Clevelander:

“It was 110 degrees, the hottest day of the year,” said Helmick. “Albert and I must have drank 15 to 18 bottles [of water] each. Albert did all right, but he had some problems putting.”

Albert had trouble putting. You’re telling me that Joey had problems with his nerves? Get out of town. He shot an 80, putting him a good 16 shots out of the money, or in this case, out of the next qualifying round. I personally would have loved to see Belle in the field. Can you imgine him and Tiger in the same group? If a photographer following that group arrived in the clubhouse with no facial scars and his camera in one piece, the USGA should cut him a certified check of one million dollars.

Better luck next year, Albert. What you should do is make Jason Grimsley your caddie next year and cork your irons.

Ozzie Guillen: Huge Tribe Fan

I’m pretty sure everyone is frustrated with the way the Tribe is playing at this point. That includes members of the Indians as much as the rest of us, as WFNY so accurately pointed out earlier today. Turns out though that we have someone in our corner. His name is Ozzie Guillen:

”I don’t think it’s just them, it’s [all of] baseball,” Guillen said Wednesday. ”They are going to come out of it. Hopefully, they will panic and won’t come out of it, but I know they will.”

Ugh, makes me sick to my stomach that he is now saying that the Indians will get out of their season long slump at the plate. Can’t he just keep his mouth shut? Sure, you’re leading the division thanks in no small part to Carlos Quentin playing out of his mind.

Bottom line: Ozzie Guillen is pitying us. Can we please turn this ship around now?