Sunday, May 31, 2009

DD is gone, but DL is Name of the Game

Do the Indians have enough healthy bodies to grind or not? This is ridiculous. Just as the squad is beginning to play a little bit better (not that hard to top April 1- May 20) and with the amazing news of Sweet Dave Dellucci getting the ziggy, the RWAB core all heads to the infirmary. Grady Sizemore to the DL. Vic "The Stick" fouls one off of his kneecap. The Realtor Raffy Betancourt shreds his groin today and is on the DL and it appears (shocking) that Travis Hafner's elbow hurts again. Don't forget that Scott Lewis is also hurt and could be used, same goes for Aaron Laffey. Ugh. After today's win over the John Sterlings, I checked the standings and still am amazed that the Wahoos are only 7 and a half games out!

I didn't watch much of todays game. I needed a break, plus, me and the kids and the love of my life went geocaching (look it up). As I was walking thru the woods and receiving texts from my brother with updates, I thought about the job that Eric "Amway Grind" Wedge is doing. His lineup today was putrid, yet, here his squad was going toe to toe with the high priced hotsters from NY. I was stunned the Wahoos put up a five spot, especially with the way Kelly Shoppach, Trevor Crowe, and others are swinging the bats. (Also a quick thank you to Brett Gardner for missing a steal sign). Wedge has kept this club above water, and while his detractors will say that he changes the lineup everyday, what do you expect? Benny aint no everyday LF. There is no everyday second sacker. Mark DeRosa and Ryan Garko don't have clear cut positions. I think Wedge is doing what he has to do. The problem is there are no young stud position players (other than Asrdubal) that have come up and claimed a spot. I'll give Choo the nod (Chris Berman TM) too. Who is pitching tomorrow for us? UH Boy.

Friday, May 29, 2009


It is Over!!! The dream has arrived!!! Dave Dellucci is going.. going.. GONE! Thanks to Paul Hoynes from the Plain Dealer for providing us with the news and this gem:

CLEVELAND -- David Dellucci, the man Indians bloggers loved to hate, has been designated for assignment to make room for left-hander Rafael Perez.

More to come later on the three year disaster.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Only This Team

"Never give in to the fight".


"Work thru it".


Eric Wedge is constantly repeating those phrases, both to his team and to the media, and last night the RWAB responded. Down 10-0 in the 4th inning to the Rays, the Tribe scores 11 unanswered to win 11-10. It was a crazy comeback, but very Tribe-esque because the boys were patient at the plate and got some help. Per usual, Team Grind hit into its share of double plays and stranded its share of runners in scoring position. But, they never quit and finally we saw some things we were supposed to see. Ryan Garko hit a couple of home runs (finally) and former number one pick Jeremy Sowers got some hitters out. Huh? What? Yep, I did see it. Sowers throws five scoreless innings!

Some might say that Garko and Sowers are terrific in that spot... a no pressure blowout game. Ryan should be driving the ball more consistently and Sowers.. well, he should just not be giving up three homers per outing. It is one game, but these guys aren't going anywhere so let us see what they have. I hope Wedge plays Garko tonight and Wednesday. See if he can get hot. Sowers? I'd love to leave him in the bullpen, but this rotation right now is "Pavano and Lee and Pray For the Next Three". It is brutal. Fausto Carmona is just a mess and I don't think he even knows where the ball is gonna go. The Tribe has to stick with him because they do not have anyone else, he has a nice meaty contract, and some innings he is unhittable. Last night in the first against Upton, Crawford, and Longoria he looked filthy.

Pitching is (as Wedge would say) the seperator. We can whine about the offense all we want, but the Tribe has scored the most runs of any team in the division, 244. It does look like Matt "Gator4God" LaPorta is not ready for the bigs just yet, and Benny Francisco and Mark DeRosa are good "bit" players and that is it. But the club has got to find some dudes that can get outs. Pitching is why the Tigers and Royals are on top of the division. I watched KC swing the bats against Justin Verlander yesterday and it wasn't fair. It was like watching Famous Dave's try to match wits with Pigfoot BBQ at the Rib Cook-Off. Mismatch. Who starts Wednesday and Thursday for the Wahoos? No answer yet, so we just keep grinding. It is what we do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wood Wimps Out, Grady Being K-dy, Another Loss

I texted my brother after the top of the 8th inning last night and said "Cliff better finish the game". He didn't and the Tribe once again found a way to lose in Kansas City. I am resigned to the fact that the season is basically over on May 20, as sad as that sounds, yet I am not going to start throwing the remote. This club is what it is and everyone is to blame. Kerry Wood looked like a defeated man on the mound last night, but when you are making ten million dollars to get three damn outs, I don't want to hear that you only had one pitch. Chuck Hernandez is the team's bullpen coach and many fans believe the team now is cursed by Luis Isaac. Would Isaac have phoned back to the dugout during the top of the ninth to tell them that Wood doesn't seem right in the 'pen and to maybe have Cliff come out for the bottom of the ninth? I don't know. But I do know that Detroit's pitching right now is a lot better off without Hernandez than it was with him. The RWAB bullpen is basically "The Sal and Richard Show" in hats, jerseys, and spikes. Poor Cliff.

Wood failed and sounded like a baby afterwards. If you only have one pitch, then be a man and use it inside and outside and blow people away with it! Instead he just put it on tee for the light-hitting Royals and they knocked it around the yard. Those were not cheap hits against "One Pitch" Wood. Kerry would have had a bigger cushion than 5-2 if not for thee most overrated player in the game Grady "K-dy" Sizemore. K-dy continues to offer nothing at the plate and the fifth inning last night was no exception. Back to back bunt singles by Luis Valbuena and AC Cabrera and Brian Bannister looked rattled. Up steps the Wahoos new number two hitter and instead of dropping down a third bunt to move the runners or at least battle thru an at-bat and take a strike, K-dy fouls off a 1-0 slider and then chops a 1-1 curveball right to the first baseman for a double play (loved Valbuena's smashing of Olivo at the plate btw). First game in the two hole and this Rob Deer wanna-be still thinks he's gonna make it 8-2 with one swing of the bat? You can blame Wood all you want, but Sizemore should have done his job and moved those runners to second and third in that situation. .215? Disgusting.

I don't see the team winning a game the rest of this series. Zack Greinke pitches tomorrow and even if the club won tonight, it would be another two out of three series loser. It is just one of those seasons that happens to teams in baseball. No luck, no karma, and no pitching. In the AL Central, you CANNOT have seasons like this, yet folks, we got one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Team Meetings, Vic Supports The Grind, and Jon Gosselin Denies Affair

Drama. The Indians are turning into a soap opera, and a bad one at that after being swept by the average-at-best Tigers at Dolan Field. The RWAB managed just three runs all weekend, two of them gifts today courtesy of Fernando Rodney. We saw many truths in today's game when it comes to this team. More lazy at-bats, more weak popouts, more guys missing cut off men, more Sweet Dave Dellucci ground outs to the pitcher, more STO play-by-play men overemphasizing pitch-counts, and more Asdrubal Cabrera coming up big only to see the clean up man fail two batters later. The Tribe handed Detroit golden child and beatwriter boy toy Rick Porcello a five and fly win. It is a broken record and today, for once, we here at DDD take umbrage with "Grind Torino" Eric Wedge. I am a Grind-a-holic, an avid Wedge supporter, but he is failing to get it done.

Why on earth does this man trot out Sweet Dave and Ben Francisco every game of this Detroit series? Here the Tribe is playing meaningful division games, and these two jamokes (TD tm) are in the lineup each day! DD fails to get a bunt down the night before.. Wedge should bench him. Francisco misses the cut-off man today and pulls his usual 1-4 routine, he better be watching tomorrow against Gavin Floyd. That is on Wedge. Haven't we seen enough of Dellucci? What is the point? Poor Matt "Gator4god" LaPorta. I hope the dude didn't read the paper the day Wedge said "He's not up here to sit". Dude sat all weekend! Come on Grinder! How about Josh Barfield giving Mark DeRosa a damn day off? DeRosa is the right handed Grady, just cuttin and struttin back to the bench with his .238 average. He could use a day to rest, and Barfield did perform quite well in Toronto last week, give him a shot. 11-21? Good Gracious.

After today's defeat, Tribe leader and best player Victor Martinez defended his manager. "It's not his fault," Martinez said. "It's not Wedgie's fault. We take all the blame. He's not the one playing. We are the ones playing the game." I give Vic credit, and it is not all Wedge's fault, he's right, but, shake up the deck. This team isn't talented enough to make the mistakes they make and overcome them. The talent issue is on Mark Shapiro. Dellucci, Francisco, Ryan Garko, DeRosa, and Kelly Shoppach.. these are not big time talents. It is still early and this division is absolute puke, but ten under 500 is ridicurous (Donna Chang tm).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time To Blow It Up

May 9, 2009. Season is over.
UNLESS. The following changes are made with this baseball team and ASAP.

1. David Dellucci is released. Enough said. He cannot, ahem, CANNOT play. Never could. Can't lay down a sac bunt tonight? Buh and Bye.

2. Ben Francisco to the bench. I've seen enough EVERYDAY of him. Good guy, has some skills, but EVERY DAY? Why?

3. Matt "Gator4God" LaPorta plays EVERY DAY. Eric Wedge (who will be fired if the Wahoos lose tomorrow I can feel it) said we didn't bring the kid up here to sit and all he does is sits. Why? How can you justify calling him up and sitting him behind DD and Benny and Ryan "Singles Deluxe" Garko. Anyone see Matty's home run in Toronto last week? PLAY HIM!

4. Grady Sizemore OUT of the leadoff spot. Dude cannot hack it there anymore. You see how the Tigers move Granderson in and out of that spot and contact guy Josh Anderson led off tonight and reached base twice? The Windmill Sizemore can swing for the fences hitting fifth for me.

I am tired of this garbage. Nobody can lay down a bunt. Guys getting doubled off of the bases. 0-2 pitches down the middle of the plate. ENOUGH.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Formula: Use Only Starting Pitchers

A fun-filled day for Tribe fans on Wednesday. The team shakes up its pitching staff and then goes out and polaxes ESPN's favorite team 9-2 at the Fens. It is pretty obvious that Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge are fed up with what they have seen from the bullpen, so they get active. Refreshing. In the fall, the local football team doesn't do that, they just fool the fans into buying tickets and they trot out the same guys week after week. If Braylon Edwards played for Shappy and "Fred Grindy" (Wedge), his butt would have been designated for assignment just like Vinnie Chulk. At least they are trying something, and it was certainly the right move putting Raffy Perez in Columbus. I could hit his fastball right now. I hope the team can keep Chulk, because he is serviceable.

Aaron Laffey was great last night. Three scoreless inning and at 7-2 in the 7th, he came in and got outs. A five run lead is like a two run lead (I'm being nice here) with that RWAB bullpen right now. When I first heard the news of Laffey being sent to the 'pen and Jeremy Sowers recalled from Columbus, I did not like it. Laffey is a better pitcher, period. He seems more confident on the mound and when his sinker is working it is deadly. I can't say the same for Sowers, who has been extremely unimpressive the last three seasons. Remember, this dude threw back to back shutouts in 2006. That seems like decades ago. Jeremy's ERA was 2.25 at AAA so far, so hopefully he has his confidence back. I saw him pitch at Comerica Park last summer and he was being laughed at by the fans; it was like watching batting practice. Sowers will start tonight against the Sox.

We can complain about the lineup. I can complain about Grady Sizemore and another 0-4 night (now hitting .233.. how about a night off?). Bottom line is pitching. If the Tribe can hold people down, I think they can get on a nice roll. Asdrubal Cabrera and Victor Martinez are winning players. They just are. You find out what you have when the road is bumpy. These guys have driven right over it with no problems. Hopefully the arms can follow their lead.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh Grind-Ada

I am not sure my health can take an entire summer of this. But I am smiling this morning after last night's 9-7 come from behind win over AL beast Toronto. The Tribe showing a ton of toughness and grit in snagging this win, despite more bullpen issues and lousy early game at bats. I really don't know where to start, but tip your cap to Josh Barfield who actually came up with a big hit and also to the Indians most clutch player, Asdrubal Cabrera. AC is a tough as nails kid and when he is at the plate with two outs and a runner in scoring position, I am very at ease. He usually delivers and he did last night to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.

Show of hands, how many of you were ready to throw the remote when ETG, "Eric the Grinder", pinch hit Dave Dellucci for Matt LaPorta to start the ninth? I was none too pleased at the time, but Sweet Dave did his job and got on base. Meantime, LaPorta's first big league hit and home run was a clubbing. High and away and he turned on that slop from Brian Tallet, whom the Tribe made look like Warren Spahn for six innings. Grady Sizemore's at-bats against Tallet were abysmal, and to be honest, the guy needs a day off. I know "The greatest player of our generation" delivered later in the game (finally), but you can tell he is scuffling. Wedge says he thinks Sizemore is trying too hard, one thing we know about the RWAB, they always grind and never give in to the fight (Wedge TM).

"A team can come back once or twice," said Wedge, "but to do it three times at this level ... it's almost unheard of. I don't think you're ever going to see as much fight in a ballclub as you saw in our guys tonight."

Props to Rafael Betancourt, who was locating his fastball beautifully. I am not that angry at Kerry Wood, who got squeezed in the bottom of the ninth. His 2-2 pitch to that Bautista guy was strike three, and the hit by Bautista should have been caught but Barfield made a horrible break on the ball.

Hopefully today Anthony Reyes is getting ahead of hitters and the Wahoos can take a pair in Toronto. I still love this team.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Frustrating Day at Illitchville

I am too tired to write a complete sentence recap of todays events here in Detroit. Yes, the King made his way down to Comerica Park today to see the Wahoos do what they do best: Dig an early hole, grind back, strand runners, and the bullpen implosion. All in all, about what I expected today. A few thoughts.

1. The eighth inning is becoming a running joke. Those comment posters on can write "Fire Wedge" all day and night, but how is it "The Grind Wizard's" fault when Rafael Betancourt throws a meatball right down the plate belt-high to Curtis Granderson? And to make matters worse, I viewed an angry Realtor (Betancourt) yelling at Asdrubal Cabrera not once but twice after AC's throwing error after the fact. I love Betancourt, but his act was lame today. Tribe has been outscored 35-12 in the eighth inning. Pathetic.

2. The middle of the lineup is not getting it done. You saw today the kind of prescence that Miguel Cabrera has in the middle of the Tigers order. It is scary. You sense it in the stadium when he comes to the plate. The Tribe's 4-6 hitters have to be better. Shin Soo-Choo did his part today, but it would be nice to see someone drive a ball over the fence, especially with runners on.

3. I am excited for Matt LaPorta's invasion. Hopefully "Gator4God" can provide the big bat that is sorely needed. But, this team did score 7 runs today. That should be enough, especially in pitcher friendly Comerica Park.

Here's One For You: Pavano and Dellucci Lead Tribe to Victory

I know, I can't believe that headline either. We here at DDD obviously are no fans of the washed-up, one dimensional left-handed stick who we believe is robbing the Dolan's blind at $4 million in the last year of his three year deal (yeah!). But we have to give David Dellucci credit on this day. His 4-5 night straight off the DL was exactly what the moribund Tribe offense needed in their 6-5 win.

While corner outfielders Ben Francisco and Shin-Soo Choo were leaving men on base as if it were their job (13 combined), DD was actually spraying the ball all over the field. We also saw a potential awaking of Jhonny Peralta, who had an RBI single in the first and hit his first pizza of the year (took long enough). The real hero of the night however was "The American Idle" himself, King Carl Pavano. The man who once bedded Samantha Miceli was "the boss" in Kramerica Park last night, taking a three hit shutout into the eighth with no walks and three K's. "They put the ball in play and the guys made great plays behind me," said Pavano. "On both sides of the diamond, we played pretty well."

Of course the RWAB pen did their best to choke the lead away. Raffy Left came in and gave up singles to both of the batters he faced, then Jenny "soon to be in AAA" Lewis gave up a three-run jack to Miguel Cabrera, his seventh allowed in 12.2 IP. That is completely unacceptable. If not for "The Realtor," Raffy Betancourt, the Indians may not get out of the 8th inning with a one run lead. Kerry Wood's slider was $$$$$$ in a 1-2-3 ninth to give the Tribe a 6-5 win. Its nice to have a REAL closer, isn't it? It's also nice when your dog doesn't wake up at 6:15 AM on a Saturday morning.

In other big Tribe news, sources close to DDD say that the crown jewel of the system, Matt Laporta, will be up and with the club before Saturday's game, which is a shocker to me. They lose an extra year of his control if he is added to the 40-man roster before June 4th. Looks like they are desperate enough with Francisco struggling and Hafner on the DL. Lets see if Laporta can do for the Wahoos what Evan Longoria did for the Rays last year.

EDIT: Matt Laporta, Luis Valbuena, and Josh Barfield have been recalled from Columbus. Tony Graffanino was designated for assignment, Joe Smith goes on the DL with a strained rotator cuff, and Trevor Crowe was optioned back down to AAA.