Friday, July 11, 2008

Finally, one for the good guys

The Tribe was finally able to end their horrific 10-game losing streak last night in a 13-2 beatdown of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians needed a game like this, especially after the meltdowns in Detroit. For a while it did look like more of the same as the Rays took a 2-0 lead into the 5th inning. But then the Tribe exploded for 13 runs to give the home crowd something to cheer about at last. My favorite stat line from last night was turned in by Rays reliever Gary Glover in the bottom of the 8th inning. It took him 46 pitches to record two outs and give up 7 runs on six hits and two walks. Ouch. Unfortunately, he probably won't make an appearance out of the Rays 'pen tonight:

My fear after a game like last night's is that the Tribe used up all their runs and I'll be stuck with nothing to see tonight at the Prog. But the good news - Cliff Lee will be on the mound in his final tune-up before the All-Star Game. So that's something to actually look forward to...

Finally something to smile about for the Tribe

More Tribe: The Indians did apparently hold a team meeting before yesterday's game. We can only hope it produces similar results to last night's for rest of this season. I'm coming to terms with the rebuilding or re-tooling or whatever you want to call it this year... sometimes these things happen and 2006 may have just prepared the team for a great year last year. Or maybe I'm just forcing myself to be optimistic. Speaking of optimism, Travis Hafner thinks he might be able to play again this year. Remember him?

One final note about the Indians today... well, maybe more of a rant. I've been defending the Dolans for years now. I haven't necessarily agreed with the way a lot of casual fans refer to them as "cheap" and non-caring towards this city. I've occasionally tried to stick up for them here and on message boards that I frequent. I think I have a decent grasp of how MLB is currently set up and I can see that mid-market teams just don't have the cash to compete on a level playing field. I like what the Dolans have done creating STO - basically their own sports network (which is much better than I originally expected), and even selling the naming rights to Jacobs Field (as much as it pains me that it's not 'the Jake' anymore, the name change did generate a lot of cash).

Having said that, there are a couple things have bothered me lately under current ownership:

a) When going to games this year I have noticed a lot of people at the Prog in florescent greenish-yellow shirts. These people spend much of the game going up to fans and asking if they can take their picture. I didn't think much of it at first until I saw how obtrusive they were, even during the games (sometimes in the middle of at-bats). And then I learned that once your picture is taken you can purchase the digital image from the team.
b) I got an e-mail yesterday, supposedly sent out to all season ticket holders. It pointed me in the direction of this page, which allows you an opportunity to get tickets to sit in the visitors' dugout for the post-game fireworks show tonight and tomorrow night. The only catch? You have to pay $50 (on top of the price of your regular game ticket) per person. And only 24 people are allowed for each game. So ownership is now reduced to gimmicky ways to generate an extra $2400 this weekend? It just seems a little bit like panhandling to me, and I'm beginning to understand now why some fans get the impression that the Dolans are "cheap."

Cavs Update: The Cavaliers inked first-round pick J.J. Hickson to a two-year deal yesterday. And we still await word on free-agent forward James Posey's destination of choice.

Gladiators Update: Terry Pluto gives a little insight on the Gladiators as they prepare for the conference championship game on Saturday at 1:00pm in Philadelphia.


sportsgirl132 said...

You are much more magnanimous than me.

Whether I like it or not, sports has evolved into more of a business. And I think that sometimes, you gotta spend money to make it. We don't see that enough in Cleveland. Maybe cheap isn't the best word but frustratingly frugal and conservative are close and those are words that define the last 25 years ( save the Jacobs' era).

What is frustrating as well is that it is ever evident that Dolan DOES NOT want to break out of the mid level market. Fine. It's his team. But he's squandering an incredible and devoted fan base.

Until there is a cap in baseball (never) there will always be the spenders and the savers. I just don't know how to get my head around that b.s.

Nice effort by the Tribe last night. Glover's line is nightmarish but his now overall ERA is only starting to look like Betancourt's. Now THAT says a lot.

chiefwahoo56 said...

Magnanimous - is that a compliment or a jab? ;)

I just try to be understanding and I keep thinking of how good this team was in 2005 and 2007. I don't think it was a fluke and it shows the strengths of Wedge and Shapiro... even on a shoestring budget. But then again, everything came together those two seasons (namely the bullpen was very solid), but even so, both of those seasons ended in collapses. So on the one hand, I feel we can win, even with the budgetary restrictions. And that gives me hope. But on the other hand I feel like we will only get so close, and never to the top of the mountain BECAUSE of that same budget. It's an endlessly frustrating internal battle in my head that just wears me out mentally if I really think about it. Maybe that's how Shapiro feels too - he looks pretty tired these days.

BTW, is this you? I came across this today:

Robert's Rant said...

Nice blog man!! I'am a member of the Pittsburgh Browns Backers living down here in Pittsburgh(I'm from Cleveland Heights) ..anyways it looks like the Indians just gave up becuase of the bad start but what can you do, at least they got something in return.

I'm not sure how informed you are but the Steelers are on the verge of getting sold to non-Yinzer billionaire, Stanley Drukenmiller and they are freaking down here!!! LOL..

anyways check out my blog and I'll add yours to my links..


msteven said...

Sports are definitely more business than it had been before free agency. And a hard cap like there is in the NFL would definitely level the playing field. But I don't blame Dolan for not competing with the RedSox or Yankees or Mets. The reality is that those teams have TV contracts and other revenue sources not available to other teams and this allows them to spend more money.

I certainly understand and share the frustration of Tribe fans that had high expectations after last season. But I don't think Dolan is any less committed to winning than any other MLB owner is. Except for the RedSox, none of the teams that have outbid Cle for free agents including Phi, SD, Balt, Tor, Chc, SF, etc. have won recent rings.

I also recall John Hart spending money on getting that 'last piece' while cleaning out the farm system. I guess I like and respect the way teams like Minn & Oak. But I gotta admit, there will always be the Diamondbacks winning by buying Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in their prime or the infamous '97 Marlins. Ouch.

Maybe last night was a start? My son's favorite players (next Grady) are now Shin Soo-Choo and ... Sal Fasano. They have done more recently than say Travis Hafner or some guy named Betancourt.

chiefwahoo56 said...

Nice site Robert - I just added you to my links. I'll be a frequent visitor I'm sure.

And msteven - who would've thought we'd be watching Sal Fasano get time behind the plate this year? What a backwards year for the Tribe. Just don't let your son get too attached - hopefully Victor will be back soon ;)

Anonymous said...

SpinTimeOhio? You have to be kidding... that channel is garbage, and they never, ever criticize Dolan.