Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bad Loss, But This is Who They Are

I got upset for a few minutes. I didn't stew over this one like I normally do. My girlfriend didn't even give me her usual rap of "Uh boy.. Not again with you" after last night's crushing loss to the Red Sox 6-5. Wanna know why? Because this Indians team is what it is right now. A jack-of-all-trades master-of-none crew that has the same problems it had a year ago. And in 2006. Too many strikeouts, too many guys hitting in spots that they do not belong in, and players playing out of position. It all adds up to a blown chance of taking two out of three from a very good Red Sox team and taking some momentum to the road.

Even STO asked the fans in its text poll last night what they think the Tribe's record will be on this upcoming seven game trip. The fans said 3-4. Best part of that was Rick Manning just destroying broadcast partner Matt Underwood for trying to spin it positively. Manning, who is the best analyst in town bar none, knows. Changes need to be made for this club to really compete. I think it can happen.

The first change I would make is to take Grady Sizemore out of the leadoff spot for good. Why is he there? He is NOT a lead off man. Once again, K-dy Sizemore is fifth in the AL in strikeouts with 23. Only Chris Davis, Carlos Pena, Jhonny Peralta (who needs an entire weekend off), and Josh Fields have more punchouts than K-dy. None of these guys I mentioned are leadoff hitters or even close. They are power strokers who reside in the middle of lineups. The Tribe desperately needs someone who can put the ball in play at the top of the order, Sizemore cannot do it. He can't. Sorry RWAB slappies, he is what he is. Grady is not an MVP candidate and he is not thee "Greatest player of our generation". I can attempt to get all statistical and break it down from that perspective, but I am not the master at that like Paul at

The "Grind daddy of them all" Eric Wedge has moved Asdrubal Cabrera to the top of the order because he puts the ball in play. Move him up one more spot. Move Grady to the 4 hole and call it a day. Sizemore is still a terrific player, but he is not a leadoff man.

One other minor move I would make is announce that Victor Martinez is the captain of the team. Put a "C" on his jersey because he is the only leader we have. Victor shows fire, Victor is clearly our best player, so I say reward him. Plus, it sends a message to certain others that they can follow his lead (and you know who I am talking about). Last night, Mark DeRosa showed some stones with this comment: "I put this loss on me," said DeRosa. "Raffie [Betancourt] comes in and gets a double play ball. It's got to be turned." Marky Mark is right. He makes that play, it is a different game. Certain others, though, fail to step up when the mic is in their face and "put the game on them". Maybe with an announced captain like Vic, it will become commonplace in that clubhouse.

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