Monday, May 5, 2008

Later K-Mike

The only thing I'm going to miss is the slick-back blonde do. According to the Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes, Jason Michaels, the man we have dubbed "K-Mike" has been designated for assignment to make room for Ben Francisco.

"We think Ben can give us a spark," said GM Mark Shapiro. "We think he could be more than a platoon player. He hits right and lefthanders. This will give Eric Wedge a chance to keep David Dellucci healthy and strong in left field. Ben can also spell Franklin Gutierrez in right field."

"This one move will not cure our offensive woes. Jason Michaels wasn't the pressing cause of our problems. When you have five to seven players struggling, you can't make one or two moves to solve those problems. The answer has to come from within."

All I can say is Amen. K-Mike was the outfield version of Casey Blake. It was worthless to keep him around at this point. He is 32 years old, clearly isn't a part of the team's future, isn't hitting, and is strictly a platoon guy at best. Why they gave him a two year extension last year when they had guys like Shin-Soo Choo and Francisco in the pipeline defied logic.

Why not cut bait with K-Mike in the offseason and give Kenny Lofton a one year deal if you were going to go with a veteran? Why not just give Francisco the roster spot he deserved right out of Winter Haven? He proved he could handle major league pitching last season, has good speed (something this team sorely lacks) and is the 207 AAA batting champion.

The handling of prospect position players in this organization continues to be maddening. They always seem to wait too long before they jettison veterans (Oldberto Hernandez, Aaron Fultz, Jason Johnson, Trot Nixon, Mike Rouse) yet gave away prospects like Brandon Phillips and Ryan Church. It's all hindsight, I know, but in this current economic environment, the Indians and Mark Shapiro have almost no margin for error and cannot afford to make mistakes.

Last year they had such great success by handing jobs over to the kids like Franklin Gutierrez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jenson Lewis, and Raffy Perez, so it is completely head-scratching to us why they would stick it out with a journeyman like K-Mike. Well, that mistake is now over with. next up: getting ourselves a real third baseman!

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