So I promised a while back that I wasn’t going to write about the Indians until they reached .500 for the season. I can see by now that my pledge would mean not writing about them at all this summer, and I couldn’t really get away with that.
A brutal combination of injuries and horrible bullpen pitching has left my boys at 30-42 for the season (and that’ll likely fall to 30-43 by the time this post is finished). Their record is worse than that of the Pirates; relative to expectations, they are much, MUCH worse than the local team is so far this year.
I bring up the Pirates, because that’s what’s prompting what could be my only Cleveland Indians post of 2009: their biennial interleague series against Pittsburgh. As you’re aware, they’re here for three games this time; I’ll have the pleasure of watching Thursday’s game courtesy of Brother Anthony, who had a spare ticket.
That one actually shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll see Cliff Lee pitch against the Pirates, so I’d have to think the result would be good. Of course, I’d also have to think there’s no way the Indians could lose to the Pirates 10-1, as they’re an inning away from doing tonight. I’d also have to think that Kerry Wood wouldn’t have fallen so far that he could give away four ninth-inning runs to the Pirates on Tuesday night a nearly blow yet another game. It’s an embarrassment to baseball that he gets credit for a save for that one.
I think there are only a couple real questions about the Indians for the remainder of the summer:
1) How long will Eric Wedge last? What’s happened this year isn’t his fault, but the team is his responsibility and, clearly, something needs to change. I think the answer is closer to “when” than “if.”
2) Does the front office go into fire-sale mode? We’ll know the answer to this one fairly soon. If Mark Shapiro feels the season is done in the next couple weeks, we may loose some of the bigger names for minor leaguers. In Pittsburgh this can be a problem, but at least the Indians have a decent track record for getting something in return. We’ll see.
In the meantime? I’m not going to sweat it. Thursday night’s game is going to be a good time. Saturday’s game — and the preceding tailgate party, hosted by the Crappys — is going to be a blast. And I’ll probably see another Pirate game or two, seeing as how we now live in the neighborhood.
I do love baseball, and it will eat at me a bit to watch the Indians struggle through the rest of the 2009 season. But there is one additional factor that’ll keep me from worrying about it too much:
Ohio State and Navy is just 73 days away.
Question: If your boss told you to treat everyday the same, to not get too high or too low and just grind it out everyday, day after day, wouldn’t that suck the soul right out of you? Of course it would. That’s why there is no joy in Mudville.
We need some inspiration, and some arms in the bullpen and the starting rotation. Inspiration is immediately available in a new voice in the clubhouse. As for the arms, well….
I’m picturing Dolan sitting in his office weighing the cost of paying Wedgie to manage a fantasy team from his couch vs. the waning attendance numbers. I hear that Dolan is meeting with the accounting department later this week to get a handle on it.
Cleveland is like the old USSR, we’re always writing a new five year plan…that doesn’t work.
The one positive from the Cavs coming up short, the Brown’s perpetual expansionism, and the Indians general morass, is that I’ll live forever, since I’ve sworn that I’m not going over to the other side until Cleveland gets over the hump and wins a championship.
Long live the losing, and me!