Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Motown Misery Continues

Things went from bad to worse on Tuesday night in the Tribe's first game in the post-CC era. Chalk up loss number nine in a row as Jeremy Sowers was rocked again for 6 earned runs on 10 hits in Detroit. The loss is particularly bothersome to me given that the Indians got to Justin Verlander in the first inning with a double and a home run... then followed that up with no hits over the next six innings. This looks to me like a team that has completely given up. I know the Tigers are playing well now and we are obviously in a huge tailspin, but pride needs to kick in at some point. And I'm not sure what happened to Sowers between 2006 and now but he does not look good. His ERA has ballooned to 7.81 to go along with an 0-5 record. Is this the same guy that went 7-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 2006? The Tribe will look to avoid their first double-digit losing streak since 2004 tonight when Paul Byrd takes the mound. Take my advice - don't watch.

Handshakes at the plate seem even more common when Sowers is pitching

CC Update: To add insult to injury, CC Sabathia won his first start in Milwaukee last night. He was shaky (as you'd expect given the enormous expectations, new league, etc.) but still fought through 6 innings giving up 5 hits, 5 walks, and 2 earned runs. He also did go 0-2 at the plate, but I imagine he was a little worked up for this game.

It will be tough to get used to this sight

Cavaliers Update: Onto hopefully some good news... the free agency picture became a little clearer last night as more faces changed teams. Elton Brand decided to stun the Clippers and bolt for Philadelphia, and then Cory Maggette got a huge contract from the Warriors. Of course Cavaliers' GM Danny Ferry is watching this all unfold with his full attention. Maggette would have made a nice addition to the Cavs and they did reportedly offer their full mid-level exception, but that just couldn't compete with the 5 years, $50 million he ended up getting.

So now this leaves and big decision for Twinsburg native James Posey. The Cavs are very interested, but it will be up to Posey to decide which team gives him the best chance to snag another ring. It will also be intriguing to see where Monta Ellis of the Warriors ends up.

Finally, obviously a longshot to be on any NBA roster again, Tractor Traylor is suiting up for the Cavs summer league squad.


sportsgirl132 said...

I agree that the team has given up. There are few things that are unforgivable in sports. A team that seemingly makes little effort to compete is one of them. How do you convince fans to buy into a team that doesn't freakin' care? Why would anyone really WANT to go see them play? I bring that up because next we'll here the Indians whining about how low attendance will cut their payroll even further.

I didn't like Sowers quotes in the paper about how he made good pitches that just got hit. I want to say, "Buddy, you got an ERA that's pushing 8. You didn't come by that by making good pitches".
I knew when they couldn't win behind Lee the other night that the winless streak would continue. You figure Byrd won't make it through the first three innings tonight without giving up at least 5 the streak is likely to continue.

The more I think about it, the more I am livid at the lack of moves by the Indians last year. All teams tinker and TRY to get better. WTF??? Would it have killed the Indians to say, "Man, another bat would be nice"?

I ask myselg, "Do Shapiro and Wedge suck"?
They say that the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. Last year everyone thought Shapiro and Wedge were genius. This year they are dolts. The result is --well, average--and "average" never wins championships.

msteven said...

I agree that the truth typically lies between the extremes or, in this case, Manager/Executive of Year and this year’ biggest disappointments (or at least among those that still have jobs). But I don’t think it’s completely fair to criticize Shapiro for standing pat last off-season. It’s not like there was no effort to make changes. There was a lot of talk between us and Pitts for Bay and Fla. for Cabrera. I also recall some talks about closers too. The reason the moves didn’t happen was because the prices were too high and from what I recall, they were. Everyone wanted Asdrubal as part of the deal and that didn’t include 3-4 other prospects including A. Miller and Franky G. Detroit gave up 6 prospects and gave Cabrera a massive contract. Of course in hindsight, none of the players anyone was interested in is having a good year but on the other hand, Cabrera has also not been as advertised.

My point is that ‘on-paper’, the Tribe had reason to have high-hopes since the vast majority of the young players were returning. The bottom line is that the guys who produced last season either have failed or got injured this season.

I don’t think Wedge and Shapiro suck. I think both have proven they have what it takes to build and manage winning teams. While I have read otherwise, I can’t see how one can truly say that the rebuilding process has failed. In the last few years, few teams have achieved what they have given the mid-market constraints. They competed with Boston, a team who won it all despite making the worst mid-season acquisition of Eric Gagne, had bad years from big free agent JD Drew and disappointing seasons by Crisp, Varitek and Schilling. I don’t believe Theo Epstien and Francona are smarter than Shapiro and Wedge. I believe they have far greater resources to work with.

chiefwahoo56 said...

Good points msteven - it definitely comes down to resources and teams like Boston can simply afford to make bad mistakes money-wise. And of course a mid-market team like the Tribe cannot. So you will see us be much more hesitant to shake things up and commit big money. It's the same approach they are taking with the player-to-be-named-later in the CC trade. Shapiro is taking his time to make sure they pick what they feel is the right prospect. It sucks, but this is the reality of MLB these days. It drives me crazy but like I said, it will be all the more satisfying when we do win it all, even with the deck stacked against us.