Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Don't Care If I Never Get Back

So there was a lot of good stuff about this game and just enough bad stuff - or rather, such horrible bad stuff - that the evening turned out to be a wash for me.

The weather was great again. The crowd was sparse so parking in my favorite deck was a breeze. I got my ticket from my stupid Perfect 10 voucher and my Diet Dr Pepper With One Refill and was up in my seat at the top of the bleachers by the time the little kid said "Play Ball!"

I've become fond of life at the top there. No one else was there except the occasional little kid who wanted to see what the view was. And patron saint of this blog John Adams of course. I had plenty of room for OMG ASDRUBAL!!! and my big pop and could put my feet up. And since I was there alone I could have the radio in my ear which was good because you can't hear the PA or see the scoreboard from up there.

That was all pretty fun. I did a lot of clapping and hollering and standing - which is good because I've foregone two days at the gym to go to two baseball games! There were a group of high school cheerleaders down below me in the bleachers, and I tell you what...when those kids put on those uniforms, nothing can stop the exuberance! And the game was going awesome and I had reason to throw up my sign and I was excited for everyone!

Here's me watching Shelley's homer:


Then I went down to meet two of my friends in their fancy borrowed season ticket seats, in the section behind the Tribe's dugout. It was actually kind of awful down there. It was crowded and the people behind us were racist and drunk while the people in front of us were foul-mouthed and drunk. Balls kept nearly taking our heads off. Kids kept running down to our section to get junk from the Fun Bunch. It was a totally different ballpark than the one I'd just left up top. Our team was winning when I was up top, too.

And then they weren't.

I don't know - do I have to go over the end of the game? This blog is just for positive stuff. So I'm pretty sure I should not go over the end of the game. Here's what Jason Kipnis has to say about it:

Today is when it really got frustrating. Yes, the other 10 losses have been frustrating as hell. But they generally were not a waste of good pitching. We generally did not get let down by our key guys in key places. Mostly they were all a general blah all around. Bad pitching, bad hitting. The extra-inning loss against the Tigers wasn't as bad as today because we came back in a surprising fashion. Plus the Tigers are good. The Twins aren't so good. We were leading after 7 by 4 runs. We had an unexpectedly amazing start from a new guy. We had hits, we had walks.

But then we had errors. Errors from not just Asdrubal (who now has 15 on the year) but then also Kotchman and Kipnis, neither of whom are butterfingers this year. We found a new way to lose today, and it sucked.

I'm not an idiot when I say I still support the team and still like baseball and still go to (and will go to) games. I totally know our season is over. But I don't understand all of the talk about how the owners suck and how we need to throw money at our problems. Ok yes it worked for Detroit but how many Miggys, Princes and Pujolses are out there? And Verlander didn't get plucked from the sky and signed for billions - he was drafted by the Tigers and he's been with them ever since.

If you watched this year and last year you'd know that there is a ton of talent on this team. That's the most frustrating part is that we have a bunch of dudes who can throw 2-hitters and a bunch of dudes who can hit .280-.300 and no one is doing anything. Huge talent pool that is not living up to its potential one bit.

What does that mean? Is it Manny Acta? Possibly. I have no idea how much direct influence a manager has over how well his pitchers pitch and how well his hitters hit. We did get a new pitching coach this year and pitching suffered. We did get a new batting coach towards the end of last year and batting has suffered ever since. People are calling for Acta to go and replace him with Alomar. While I love Sandy Alomar tons I don't know that he's the answer. Only because...he's there. He's already there and we're still not getting it done. Does moving him one slot down the bench suddenly change his influence? I doubt it.

If we want old Indians players to come help out what we need is Charlie Nagy in the bullpen, Jim Thome in the cages (as much as I hate him as a player, I think he can redeem himself by coaching) and Omar Vizquel chasing everyone around the infield. I don't really think our guys are going to learn much from occasional visits from Carlos Baerga and Kenny Lofton. Our current coaches aren't cutting it and I think they need to go.

Of course we can't get any of the above guys right now, so I guess we're stuck with the same dudes for now or whoever is sitting by the phone. Candy Maldonado.

Anyway I don't think it's the players' abilities and I don't think it's all Manny Acta. They can't all be that bad at one time for no reason. Someone needs to get in there and find the reason - and squash it.

In the meantime, jeez folks - quit your whining. Seriously it's time to just laugh it off. It's over, it's done and now we're starting to at least see some good baseball in between spectacular, soul-crushing losses.

Ok here's a rundown of the good bits of the game...

Corey Kluber totally redeemed himself and halved his ERA by going 6 full innings tonight and only giving up 1 earned run! Not big on the strikeouts (3) but he only walked 3. I'm stoked that his bad start seems to be behind him now and hopefully we can look forward to a solid rest of the season from him.

Speaking of new guys...Chris Seddon (tall, skinny, hair) who started on Sunday came in to pitch an inning of relief today. Why the hell not? He pitched one out and finished off the 7th.

VinnieP52 continues to rock. I think he's possibly the last man left on the team who has yet to disappoint us this year in a spectacular fashion. Well Choo and Brantley maybe, they've been solid - but they had slow starts. Vinnie has been up in this bitch since day one!

Hey! It's Frank Herrmann! The Herrmannator! The pride of Harvard! He was here to get the last out and save the day - hooray!

I was rockin' my We Are All Kipnises t-shirt again today, looking positively tomato-y up there in the bleachers with my matching red hat. I thought he looked good in the field, until he didn't. He also had a good leadoff night at the plate - he went 0 for 1 because he walked twice and got hit by a pitch. He came in to score two runs!

I swear to Og, Asdrubal saw my sign today. He ramped it up and went 2 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI, and also looked good in the field, until he didn't. And he stole a base! I tried to catch his eye with the sign at the end of the game, when I was down sitting behind the Tribe dugout. Surely he saw it...

Choo was having a rough night. He ended up 0 for 5, but he did get a sac fly RBI.

Santana got his extra base hit - a 2-out RBI double! He also got his walk. He might be out of the .230s soon!

Brantley did not have any extra base hits today. Hard to imagine! However he did go 2 for 4 with a walk, and then he stole a base and came in to score a run. Because it's what he does!

My friend was wondering who Kotchman was and why he made her so sad when he came to the plate. I explained that he's not paid to be great at the plate but...really? He's not bad at all. Especially considering Choo went 0 for 5 before him and he at least went 1 for 5. And she apparently totally missed his two awesome plays at first he had before he had a bad one. Luckilly I had pointed out how awesome he was at first before he wasn't.

Hey did you see Shelley Duncan? Yeah he's in, cuz Lopez (LOPEZ!) is gone. Yeah man...they got rid of the dude who's hitting .249 and covering 3rd for Old Man Hannahan. I guess he had to be let go so Herrmann could come up but uh...I dunno, Brent Lillibridge? One more LOPEZ! to grow on, though:
Anyway back to Shelley Duncan, who now has to fight for DH but I guess Hafner doesn't put up much of a fight. He did the DH-y thing and got himself a 2-run homer to put the team safely in the lead! He went 1 for 3 on the night with a walk too.

Hannahan also went 1 for 3 with a walk but he did leave 4 on base, ouch!

Ezequiel Carrera's bat seems to have cooled off - he only went 1 for 4 tonight with 2 strikeouts. However he totally blows away Damon and even Duncan in left field. One did drop in front of him today but I can attest to it being un-catchable. Yesterday he let one go but I am faulting Damon - Asdrubal went back to get it, not being used to having a competent left fielder behind him, and Carrera couldn't get the momentum to get the ball and also not run Asdrubal over, so nobody got the ball. That was all Johnny Damon's fault - still making problems from his couch in Tampa!

Anyway Zeke looked good in the field and also running the bases. He ran out a bunt down the first-base line tonight. I think he meant to hit it down the third-base line. But he ended up pulling it off anyway - just like when we first met. Awww!

So good stuff did happen today but ultimately the bad stuff won out. You just gotta let it go, folks. Don't let bad baseball ruin your life or make you sad for too long - otherwise you're going to have a really hard time living in Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a noontime game at 12:05, Justin Masterson versus LHP (3.49). Surely you will tune in because surely you are guaranteed one of two things: A) We can't possibly lose 12 in a row or B) We can lose 12 in a row and break a franchise record and you'll be there to hear/see it!

Oh yeah, I finally did my temporary tattoo. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm surprised it still looks this good after an evening of veracious clapping! You like?
Dangit - I'm supposed to give blood Friday and this is my good vein arm!

I'll be listening from work - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Jack Hannahan will never use that bat again but it went for a good cause."
- Tom Hamilton on Hannahan's broken-bat single

"Oh that got him on a tough spot..."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Mauer being hit with a pitch playing behind the plate (HIS NUTS)

"What's important is that they've got stuff. They are throwing in the 90s and tricking guys."
- Tom Hamilton on Kluber and McAllister

"If the Indians lose this game all they have to do is look in the mirror. They have no one to to blame but themselves. They have no business losing this game."
- Tom Hamilton in the 7th

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