Sadness For Indians And Uncertainty For Reds

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst IJune 29, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 19:  Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge argues with the umpire about a Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees pinch hit two-run home run in the seventh inning of their game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on April 19, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  The hit was reviewed by instant replay, and was ruled a home run.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

One Ohio team has mercifully closed the chapter on their 2009 season even though the calendar has yet to flip to July.

Truthfully, the Cleveland Indians season ended the first week and a half of the season when they stumbled out to a 1-8 start. How on earth a team with that much talent could play so poorly in early April can only be answered by manager Eric Wedge. Aside from 2007, his teams have underachieved like no other three of the past four seasons.  Yet, for now, he still has his job. His team is displaying the AL’s worst record (31-46).

With the economy in northern Ohio sputtering, and now Mark DeRosa gone with perhaps others to follow, Jacobs Field could be a sad site this summer.

Let the next “phase” begin, I suppose. It can’t be worse than the first and we have seen Tribe teams bounce back after rebuilding. It’s just that this team only gave its fans ONE year of success after a bleak three year period (2002-2004) following the magical mid-to-late '90s squads.

Bring on the White Sox! Cleveland baseball has written some whirlwind stories in its history.

Meanwhile to the southwest, the tease that is the Cincinnati RedLegs. They are fresh off taking two of three in the “Ohio Cup,” and have found their way back to .500 again at 37 up, 37 down. They’re somehow ahead of the Cubs, who might be as disappointing in 2009 as Cleveland...maybe.

Cincy moves on to face some crucial home games this week versus the putrid Diamondbacks, then the first place Cardinals. Win four or five of those six and this team is a legit contender in a jam-packed NL Central as we reach the All-Star break.

Brandon Phillips bat (and perhaps his mental attitude) and Homer Bailey’s arm—with the indefinite loss of Edinson Volquez—will be two of the many keys to success on the banks of the Ohio this summer.