Indians Independence Day Blues (2008)

Kevin AlquistContributor IApril 15, 2009

CLEVELAND - MARCH 31:  Second baseman Juan Uribe #5 of the Chicago White Sox tags Victor Martinez (R) of the Cleveland Indians out at second base during the second inning of their Opening Day game on March 31, 2008 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

(I wrote this last season on July 4. It's about the dismal first half of last season for the Cleveland Indians. Current stuff is coming soon, I promise. Until then, enjoy!)

The All-Star Break. Much more than a game played between the best players of the American and National League. It is make or break time for a lot of teams who have any plans of playing into October.

Teams that are in the rebuilding stage of the game are looking at how to go beyond the realm of average, while some are shaking their heads and wondering if they can still make a run at a winning season.

If fans were asked what they expected of their Tribe this season some would have said, “World Series or bust!” Some would of said, “This division is between the Indians and the Tigers.”

But when I asked my father what he thought the Indians would do in the 2008 season during Spring Training, he responded by simply saying, “I think they are going to fall flat on their face.”

His prediction was nothing short of a bull’s eye.

In 10 days, the All-Star Break begins and the only two Indians playing impressive enough to go are Grady Sizemore and Casey Blake.

It seems the Tribe are making themselves comfortable in the basement of the American League Central, currently sitting 12 games behind the Chicago White Sox, the light at the end of the tunnel is slowly becoming a candle at the end of its rope and if the Indians don’t make a drastic turnaround immediately, this candle is going to burn out.

Closer Joe Borowski was cut from the lineup today. He had an American League-leading 45 saves last season.

Travis Hafner is a giant question mark. It wasn’t too long ago that (then) Jacobs Field named right field “PRONKVILLE.”

Hafner has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a shoulder and elbow problem. His arm strength was less than half its normal ability, which would explain his problems with his swing.

The latest reports on him have been uplifting, but if the media reported that there has been little progress made by the Indians DH, then Cleveland could possibly go into a state of complete emotional distress, causing some to even join LeBron and become New York Yankee fans.

Star catcher Victor Martinez remains on the disabled list without any word of a quick recovery. He still has a grand total of zero home runs this season.

And that number won’t change until he gets back in the line up. The sad thing is that you can say the same about the Cleveland Indians.

How could we forget that two or the Indians five starting pitchers are disabled? Fausto Carmona was put on the 15-day DL on May 25. It’s going on seven weeks now, and nothing has come up about him starting any time soon.

Oh, and by the way, Jake Westbrook might be back on the mound around this time next year.

Tribe reporter Terry Pluto made a good point in today’s Plain Dealer when he said that maybe the Indians were looking at going from second-best in the American League to second-worst. That is were they stand as of today, July 4.

And we Tribe fans are running out of time to continue saying that it’s still early and there is still hope. Maybe this whole thing is just a conspiracy by the Cleveland Indians staff.

The goal of this season is to be the exact opposite of the last. To be 66-96, instead of 96-66. The real question is: Is this Indians club capable of winning 66 games this season?