Saturday, July 18, 2009

Into the second half...

The Indians began their second half on Thursday night with a well deserved victory over the Seattle Mariners. Cliff Lee picked up only his fifth win on the season, but the offense has been giving him no run support this season. The Tribe won 4 to 1 and Lee pitched the complete game. However, the Indians could not win two in a row and got beat last night by a score of 6 to 2 as King Felix Hernadez stiffled the Indians lineup all night. Hernandez is finally coming into his own as a pitcher, and we could possibly be looking at a future ace. As for Thursday's win, the questions are going to start coming about is if Lee will be traded before the July 31st deadline. I do hope that the Tribe will keep him because they don't have any other pitcher who could be their "ace" right now. My wife's uncle Jerry insists that the Indians will trade Lee, but I sure hope they don't unless they can get somebody that can step into the rotation right now. And what team is going to have the salary room to fit a Cliff Lee on their roster? And another question is who would you rather, if you are able to trade for either, Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay? It would be a toss up for me, but most teams would want Doc Halladay if they can swing a deal to get hime. We will have to just wait and see what July brings us.

With the Mariners in town, it also brings Ichiro Suzuki into town. Do you remember the craze he brought to the Emerald City in 2001? He was the rookie of the year and MVP in that season, and has not stopped since then. Suzuki has over 200 hits in each of his season in an M's uniform, and is well on his way to that plateau this year. At the All Star game earlier this week, Suzuki said he thought it would be easier to hit .400 for a season than to hit in 56 games in a row. I think if anyone is going to be close to either of those magical numbers, it will be Suzuki. He is an amazing baseball player to say the least, and I have yet to mention that he has a cannon for an arm in right field. I was at a game in Cleveland one time that he threw out a runner at third on the fly. It was amazing! Continued success to the great Suzuki!

I know I promised a post about my second half predictions, but I have yet to find my notebook with first half predictions. Once I find that, I will make that posting. Until the next time...

Monday, July 13, 2009

At the break...

Yesterday ended the mythical first half of the 2009 baseball season, and it could not have come at a better time for the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe finished the first half winning two of six on a road trip to Chicago and Detroit. The Indians are really starting to sputter and it doesn't appear that they have any gumption to be playing right now. I am sure hoping that the break will give the guys some time to rest and relax but really think about how the season is going so far. In my book, the Indians are the most underachieving team in baseball so far this season. They were expected to contend for the American League Central division title and the break finds them in last place with a record of 35 and 54. I hope they can find a way to ignite themselves when they come back on Thursday night. I am not giving up on them because I never do with any of my favorite teams, but I just want to see them finish the season with some respect for themselves and the city they play for.

I do have to give a give a shout out to my friend Norm. He and I attend church together, he sang at my wedding, and we play dart ball together for our church in the winter. On Saturday, June 27, Norm, his wife Debbie and their daughter and son in law went to the Indians vs Reds game. They were sitting in right field and Norm was able to snag his first ever home run ball. It was hit off the bat of Jay Bruce, the Reds young outfielder. Norm came out of it with a pretty nasty bruise, but now he has a memory that will last him the rest of his life. Way to go Norm!

Back to the All Star break for a minute. I thought I would give my predictions for tonight's Home Run Derby and tomorrow's game. And many will think I am playing home town favorite but I think Albert Pujols will shine the brightest tonight and then will pick up the MVP award tomorrow night in his home park. Pujols is having another superb season and is going to continue his hot hitting in the second half. Speaking of the second half, I will have to revisit my 2009 predictions and post my new ones later this week. Until the next time...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It has been a while...

It has been awhile since I last made a post, but a lot has happened over the last week or so in my life. I won't bore all of you with the details, but I would ask that you say some prayers for my wife and I. No it is not personal with her and I. Okay, enough with the life of me. Now onto the world of Cleveland Indians. Over the holiday weekend, the Tribe looked great on Friday and Saturday nights against the A's. They routed the Bay Boys on Friday by a score of 15 to 3 with Shin Soo-Choo (my wife's favorite player) leading the way with 4 hits, 7 RBI and 4 runs scored. He became the first Indian since Al Rosen in 1952 to put up a box score like that. Then on Saturday, the Indians won again by a score of 5 to 3 with my highlight being the 10th save of the season for Kerry Wood. All looked good going into Sunday's finale because the Indians had Cliff Lee taking the mound, but once again, they could not give Lee any run support and lost. Before the game, Victor Martinez was named to the All Star team as the lone representative from the Tribe. Way to go Victor!

As all of you may or not may know, I collect Indians baseball cards. On Saturday the 4th, my inaws invited us to go with them to the Tiffin Flea Market. I have been to flea markets before but nothing compared to this one, and I will defintely be going back. For most of the morning, I did not see too many vendors selling anything of sports cards, but at last, I came across one with dime cards in the last building I went in that day. I picked up a few of his dime cards, but will defintely seek him out again when I go. He had the best selection of cards at the market that day. Hopefully there will be others set up when I go in the future. I also came across a vendor selling old beer cans for fifty cents, and he had some Iron City Beer ones that featured the Steelers so I picked up two of them. One has Art Rooney and Chuck Noll on it while the other celebrates their 50th season! What a great find! I do recommend the Tiffin Flea Market to other collectors even if there were not many sports cards vendors there. It is the best flea market I have ever been to! Until the next time...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How far?

Just far down can the Indians fall before drastic changes will be made to the team and the management? After last night's loss to the White Sox, the Indians fall a season 16 (!) games under .500. That comes two days after trading Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals. I know there is only way to go, but that seems like a far fetched idea right now. They keep falling apart with what appears to be no hope in sight. I think you are going to see more trades made before the July deadline, but I think the one thing the front office really needs to address is Eric Wedge's job as manager. How much longer are they going to keep him in that job? It is starting to appear like it is his fault for the losing. We cannot seem to win any of the games we should be winning. I am not going to give up on the Indians just because they have lost several games lately that they should have won, but there should be some reevaluation of the job being done by Eric Wedge.

On a good note, my godson Garrett loved his experience in the kid's starting lineup this past Sunday afternoon. He was introduced as a shortstop (which is my favorite position on the ball field) and Asdrubal Cabrera was the one that presented him with an autographed ball. It was the first game back for Cabrera after being on the DL. Garrett cannot wait to show his Uncle Tim his ball the next time he gets to visit. Way to go Buddy! Until the next time...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

End of streak?

Before the Indians take on the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight and hopefully end their six game losing streak, I thought I would post a positive post about the Indians and their past and present. First of all, I just read a wonderful book written by Jonathan Knight entitled "Classic Tribe: The 50 Greatest Games in Cleveland Indians History. Knight gives the story behind what he feels are the greatest games in franchise history from 50 to 1, and many of the key games in history are there such as the game to clinch the American League in 1995 and the seventh game of the 1997 World Series, which is one of only two losses that are profiled in the book. I would highly recommend this book to any Tribe fan. By reading this book, it gave me an idea to document a few positives in Cleveland Indians history in hopes that it will help them end the losing streak tonight. Here is what I have come up:

*The Indians have had two perfect games pitched in their history. Len Barker vs Toronto on May 15, 1981 and Addie Joss as a Nap on October 2, 1908 vs Chicago.

*Only opening day no hitter in history. Bob Fellere on April 16, 1940 in Chicago.

*Only unassisted triple play in World Series history. Second baseman Bill Wambeganas on October 10, 1920 vs Brooklyn.

*First grand slam in World Series history. Elmer Smith on October 10, 1920 vs Brooklyn.

*3 Cy Young award winners. Cliff Lee in 2008, CC Sabathia in 2007 and Gaylord Perry in 1974.

*2 games over 22 runs scored against the New York Yankees. April 18, 2009 and August 31, 2004.

*Largest deficit to overcome in the last two innings of a game (12 runs). August 15, 2001 vs Seattle.

*2 World Championships. 1920 and 1948.

On Father's Day, I called my dad and my best friend to wish them a happy dad's day, and when I talked to my best friend told me that my godson (his little boy) wanted to tell me something exciting. This coming Sunday, Garrett gets to partake in the Indians kids starting lineup before their game against the Reds. He gets to run out to a position, stand there and have the Indians position player come out and present him with an autographed ball. Garrett is so excited! I am excited for him, and wish I could be there to see him, but my best friend promised to have his mom take plenty of pictures. Good luck Garrett! Until the next time....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What now?

The Indians were starting to piece things together after their two out of three series against the Cardinals over this past weekend. Cliff Lee looked great on Sunday night in front of a national television audience, and the bats looked like they were coming around, but then everything started to go wrong on Monday night against Milwaukee. The Tribe got swept out of their own ballpark after last night's loss, 9-8 in 11 innings. This is the second close in the series, and I am so glad that the series is over. Not one starting pitcher went beyond the fifth inning, and the bullpen cannot hold leads. Sure the Indians are only a handful and a half games out of first, but without any starting pitching beyond Cliff Lee, they will not go very far this year. Sure the Brewers have an explosive offense, but their pitching is the greatest in the world, and the Indians should have been able to take at least one of the games. Now it is on to Chicago to play the Cubs at Wrigley this weekend. Some relief is in sight with the Indians traveling to Pittsburgh next week, but they have to start playing consistently game in and game out before they plan to contend for a divisional title this year. Until next time...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A weekend to look forward to

All morning I kept hoping that I would be able to leave work a little on the early side because it has been a draining week getting up early to be in early to work. And wouldn't you believe it, I came back from lunch and there was an email sending us home early. Thank you oh great Genie! Anyway, it is a weekend that I have been looking forward to since the Indians announced their 2009 schedule. This weekend the Indians host the St. Louis Cardinals in an interleague matchup. Unfortunately I won't be able to get up to Cleveland for any of the games as I had hoped that I could, but I will have my trusty radio near by listening to Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan. I am a die hard baseball fan, but my two favorite teams are the Indians and Cardinals with Albert Pujols being my favorite player in baseball today. The man is a beast, and if I don't get lucky enough to be able to see him in a NL park sometime soon, I hope that I can get to see him in Cleveland the next time the Cards come to town. Plus this weekend, Pujols will be seeking to knockout his 20th home run on the season. I just hope the other fans of the Indians will realize how special of a player they will get to see in Pujols this weekend. Go Tribe but go Pujols as well!

The Indians are coming off a series with the Kansas City Royals, and they were able to take 2 of 3 from KC. Last night, Shin Soo-Choo knocked in the winning run in the 10th amongst a huge a gathering of gulls in centerfield. With this win, the Indinas move out of the cellar in the American League Central by a 1/2 game. Slowly but surely the Indians are making their move towards the top, and with no one in the division playing all that great, anything can happen. We are still in the marathon part of the season, and it is not quite time to panic yet. Until the next time...