What's Making Me Talk: The Depressing State of the Cleveland Indians

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What's Making Me Talk: The Depressing State of the Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

We're going from an extra-long edition to a really short one.

It was quite the boring week; add in the fact that I didn't do as much homework as I normally do, and you just get that perfect storm.

I think it's been the Indians and their depressing state that they've left me in.

I've almost but given up on the Tribe—they haven't won since the last time I wrote one of these. If there was ever a knockout punch for them, it could be this losing streak that they are on.

Of course, what team goes on a six game losing streak and is only ten games out of first place? You'd expect them to have fallen behind by like 19 or something like that.

Why don't we start with Monday's nationally-televised debacle against the Brewers?

I bet about eight-tenths of the world saw it, since nothing else was on and that was one of two baseball games on that night.

If you saw it, you know what happened.

And believe it or not, that probably hasn't been the worst loss this team has had this year. It might not even be the worst loss this past week.

Okay, it probably was—but meltdown after meltdown, it just keeps happening.

The Indians went on to lose the next two to the Brewers, and then got swept by the Cubs, as well.

The Monday night debacle had nothing on the pain of two back-to-back losses to the Cubs on Friday and Saturday.

Kerry Wood blew both saves and one was even a Cliff Lee start that should have never even been close—not the ideal homecoming for poor Wood.

You got to love those Cubs fans, though—they went nuts for Mark DeRosa just about every time, and he only played there two years!

You flip-side the badness, though, and the Cubs had those two wins in their last at-bat, which made it four wins last week that they got in their last at-bat. Four out of their five wins came that way, as well.

It's got to be uplifting to win like that.

And of course, it has to be down lifting to lose like that. I would respect the hell out of the Indians if they somehow managed to not let that be their final nail in the coffin.

I'm not holding my breath though.

Now that I look at it, it was kind of a non-boring week with all the way the games played out. In fact, baseball is never boring! It’s a merry-go-round of fun and excitement! Unless you are a fan of Cleveland.

 

You can say what you want, but...

You can say what you want about the horrible start for David Ortiz and the injury to Travis Hafner, but both are contributing. Sure they are getting paid a lot to be defenseless power-hitters, but you have to give them their props.

I think both are battling the unusualness of injuries, aches, and pains. I give Hafner a lot of credit for the way he's getting through it all and still trying to produce even after 80 percent of the fan base said he's done.

Notebook Scribbles

Here are my thoughts that aren't long enough to drag out or just too stupid for someone to even think of. They are randomly scribbled notes in my notebook, duh.

—Shingo Takatsu is back...sort of—and not like Eric Gagne back, either. Takatsu signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants. The bay area is ready for the Shingo experience!

—I used this space to talk about the error Skip Schumaker committed last week after I jinxed him. I'm now using this space to say that he has indeed committed another one.

—I'm not a total jinx though. I mentioned the link to Tim Kurkijan's story about Danny Herrera, and look what happened: Herrera won his first major league game on Tuesday.

—The Padres 13-game losing streak in interleague play ended on Thursday when they beat the Mariners. Just thought you should know, we are renaming the team the "San Diego Streakers."

—I wrote this note down on Tuesday, but like some of my notes, they become obsolete if a pitcher makes two starts. But heck with that—Felix Hernandez was 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA since manager Don Wakamatsu talked to him. Write that down.

—Micah Owings should have a weekly section dedicated to his awesomeness. He hit a three-run home run and gave up just two earned runs in six innings. Yes, he knocked in more runs than he gave up.

—Hey give it up for John Lannan who's 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.16 ERA. The Nationals would love it he can keep that up.

—You know things are getting bad for Francisco Liriano when he's losing to Ian Snell.

—What's going on in Tiger land with Magglio Ordonez? Jim Leyland benched him while he's hitting .273. I've seen much worse this year.

—Jim Torre moved into fifth place all-time in career wins. Congrats to Tony LaRussa for winning number 2,500. Those Italians sure can manage baseball teams. Sal Fasano, you are destined for greatness.

—Crazy game on Thursday between Toronto and Philadelphia. It had seven home runs and six ties or lead changes. Just go find the highlights if you didn't see it—a lot easier than me explaining it.

—Longest rain delay ever? Five hours and 26 minutes for the Yankees and Nationals. Thankfully it was a 1:00 start so that was possible. That really kills the crowd though.

—It has to be noted that that game is the first game to not have a home run in Yankee Stadium all year. I didn't know that was possible.

—It's been a real rainy week—hell it's been a real rainy season. The same day as the longest rain delay ever, Boston and Florida played a game that went five innings, with three home runs hit to score all three runs, a 2-1 win for Florida.

—Did anyone see Marco Scutaro steal second immediately after getting walked? That is a baseball player people. That NEVER happens, and I mean NEVER.

—Gotta love the Royals, who scored five games in each game against Arizona last week. The unfortunate news is that they let up 12 runs in two of those games. In the other one, they shutout the Diamondbacks.

—Before Daisuke Matsuzaka went on the disabled list, he faced off against fellow Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami. The latter got the better of that one.

—Marcus Thames hit two home runs in his game on Friday, which got me to wondering to, "How many times has that guy hit multiple home runs in one game?"

Why? Because I've seen him do that many many times against Cleveland. Sure enough ESPN flashed the statistic at some point. The answer? Eight times.

—Kevin Slowey is the second pitcher to 10 wins. Did you have that at the start of the season? No, you didn't even have it two weeks ago.

—Gotta love the comeback by the Mariners on Friday with the four-run eighth that saw Ken Griffey Jr. get a pinch-hit home run.

—Wade LeBlanc made his San Diego debut as part of the young tandem the Padres are expecting to break in this year. He went three innings, giving up three runs off 62 pitches.

—Jim Leyland celebrated his benching of Magglio Ordonez by signing a contract extension—or is that the other way around?

—This note is made for this column: Jeff and Jered Weaver became the 21st pair of brothers to face off in a game. Jeff proved the 10-9 statistic of older brother over younger brother right by going five innings and giving up just two runs. Happy Father's Day.

—Josh Beckett threw a complete game shutout with just five given up on Saturday. Did you know he's pretty good?

—Jason Bartlett is back and he's not skipped a beat by continuing his hitting streak.

—Sad face for the Rockies win-streak, which ended at 11. It's okay, they've started up another one and have won five straight. Clint Barmes has been pretty huge for this team.

—On Saturday two games ended in wild-pitches. Kerry Wood threw a wild pitch to let the Cubs win and the Giants won on a walk-off wild-pitch over the Rangers.

—It looks like Andrew McCutchen is enjoying the big leagues, he's hitting .333 with 13 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 17 games.

—The Mets and Rays used 13 pitchers on Sunday. That isn't normal.

—Albert Pujols knocks in six runs—how did he even get the chance to knock in more than four?

—I hear A-Rod is pretty tired and needed a break. Join the club, sir.

—You'll see that Daisuke Matsuzaka is on the disabled list, with John Smoltz taking his place in the rotation.

—This has sort of made the Red Sox decide to keep Brad Penny. I say good, as Penny just won his 100th game and you can never have too much starting pitching—unless, of course, you want to fork him over to Cleveland for a boot and a pair of used socks.

—Bill Hohn was ejected three people in the Atlanta/Boston game on Sunday. I know, I know—his mustache is so intimidating.

—I saved my favorite note of the week for last. Nick Green has two career wall-off home runs: One against Boston as a member of the Braves at home in 2004. The other came on Sunday as a member of the Red Sox against Atlanta at home. Irony.

These Are My Links, You Shall Click Them

I love the hounding on Joe Morgan, who recalled a story about Don Wilson's no-hitter back from the days when he played. Morgan said he told Wilson something before a pitch and of course someone had to do some fact-checking.

They found out that Morgan wasn't actually playing. Make a note: Morgan corrected himself on last night's Sunday Night telecast, saying it was in the dugout.

Who's the goofball that bets on the Cleveland Indians? I know betting on them to lose is a sure thing considering they blow games with ease now a days—But even if you bet on them to lose you are asking for disappointment.

This one kind of scares me.

Disturbing stuff about former MLB outfielder Mel Hall.

Jamey Carroll had play one and play two of the entire week.

How do you sue someone for this and get away with it? I remember this guy from a few years ago.

Is this against the Yankee code?

Finally, not really a link but something worth checking out.

I got an e-mail about this cool new site. I don't have time to explore it, but maybe you do. It's called Tailorbet and here is what it's about. Just don't bet against Seagulls!

Tailorbet, a peer-to-peer service which allows customers to create customized bets on anything statistically verifiable within a sport, recently launched their demo.

Examples of customized bets placed are "Cleveland Indians will win 70% of the time when they score at least seven runs" and "Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees will hit at least 15 HRs before the All-Star break."

Their demo evolves around Major League Baseball (MLB) and will continue throughout the '09 season. They're looking for fans of baseball to participate. If you're interested please email demo@tailorbet.com.

 

Roundabout of Randomness

Toronto had the worst of the injuries this past week losing both their Cy Young contending ace and their closer. Both Scott Downs and Roy Halladay went on the disabled list, and even Jeremy Accardo left a game with an injury this past weekend.

That wasn't the only big loss, though, as both Erik Bedard and Raul Ibanez will now make a visit to the disabled list.

As mentioned, Daisuke Matsuzaka is back on the disabled list and CC Sabathia was lost on Sunday in the first inning. Not sure how serious, but that is the last thing the Yankees need.

Big ups to Ivan Rodriguez for passing Carlton Fisk for most games caught in a major league career. Pudge is truly one of the greats, and (steroids or not) belongs with Omar Vizquel in the Hall of Fame just based on the other parts of his game. Why not? He's been one of the best defensive catchers of all time, and add in all the pitchers that he's made better.

Those guys deserve spots somewhere. It just isn't about offense, especially when they did things in other aspects of the game better than anyone of their time.

There is some steroid talk that has swirled around Rodriguez's career, and of course, this week we got another dose of it—Sammy Sosa was on the famous 2003 "tested positive" list.

It's simply a cliff-note for me, as I really am over it—especially this being someone who's retired.

This means Jose Canseco suing the MLB players association will be an even smaller cliff-note. I'll leave it at this: he's broke.

So, an interesting link here for you from Rob Neyer. Ryan Doumit is due back for Pittsburgh rather soon and a few things have prompted the Pirates brass to consider moving Doumit from behind the plate. Jason Jaramillo has been good in Doumit's absence,  and the constant injuries to Doumit really take away his playing time.

So what do you do?

Doumit has experience in both right field and first base, so you could move him there. With trade ideas about Adam LaRoche, the future catcher supposedly being drafted, and Steve Pearce's disappointing progression, the Pirates could very well find room for Doumit at first or in right.

I suggest bringing him back at catcher for the rest of the year and re-evaluate things at the end of the season. Doumit is more valuable to this team when he's healthy and so far, that's been the one knock on him.

There is also the trade possibility that Neyer brought up, but I don't see that happening this soon.

 


Nino Colla is Talking every Monday of the baseball season, or whenever time needs to be wasted, provided objects don't get thrown.

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