There’s a red moon rising on the Cuyahoga River…

I have been taking a small break from blogging recently as you could all probably tell. With work and class and the Indians being uninspiring I have not had much to say and not much time to say it.

Since my last entry I have found a new favorite ballpark… Progressive (Jacobs) Field in Cleveland! I finally got to go to Cleveland and see an Indians home game. Two actually. They won two of three against the Cardinals and that was the end of any salvageable season as we know it. I have said before I do not give up on teams easily but I really do think it is over for the Indians this year. My new goal is to finish above Kansas City in the standings. 
Grady should be back tomorrow according to him and A-Cab is on his way to what will probably be a short rehab assignment in Columbus so things are looking up in that department. However, the bullpen and starting rotation is just too bad to have any hope for a division winning team this year. Cliff Lee has been looking like his Cy Young self but the bullpen still manages to blow seven run leads when he’s pitching which will not get him any more wins. Pavano apparently was suffering from some soreness so they gave him a little rest after two rough starts and we will see how he is on Wednesday. David Huff has been passable, Jeremy Sowers is fine until the fifth inning usually, and Tomo Ohka has been surprisingly good. But the bullpen cannot hold any leads their starters may give them. They manage to find new ways to lose every day and they are incredibly frustrating to watch. I am hoping that the returns of Grady and A-Cab make this team a little more bearable to watch.
So after that downer of a paragraph here are the pictures of my trip to Cleveland!
This is me in my new A-Cab shirt in front of the Grady picture at the Jake.
It was a good trip and I clearly chose a good time to see them before they completely fell apart against the Brewers.

It may be raining, but there’s a rainbow above you…

So it’s been awhile. I apologize. I’ve been pretty busy with work and the online class I’m taking this summer.

The Indians have been taking me on an emotional roller coaster again. They lost the series in Minnesota and then won the series in Chicago complete with a three-hit complete game shutout from Carl Pavano. Pavano has been amazing recently and I love it. 
Fausto Carmona, however, has not been amazing unless you mean amazingly bad. He has been sent to rookie ball in Arizona after the Minnesota series to work things out down there. I really hope he figures it out and makes it back up sometime. I do not think we will be seeing him in the near future, or even this season, however.
Another starter who has been getting better and better every start is David Huff who is up in the Majors for the first time in his career and just got his first Major League victory on Sunday. 
The bullpen is still concerning me. They have managed to get out of bad situations with minimal damage recently but for the most part they have put themselves in those situations. It is so bad that when we are leading 8-4 and Kerry Wood walks someone with two outs I assume that the other team just won the game. 
Next up the Indians have the Royals who are in the midst of a bit of a free fall. The Royals have lost  nine of their last ten and are now only a half game ahead of the Indians in the standings. Whoever loses this series is in last place in the AL Central. This is a key series for the Tribe. I am to the point where if they lose this series I may say the season’s over for them. They need to beat the struggling Royals. A sweep would be great but I’ll take two out of three. The pitching matchup for tonight is Bannister and Lee. If Cliff can pitch like he has been recently and the offense can score runs for him like last time we should win this game. However the offense seems to not care that much when Cliff pitches and decide that he can win even if they do not score. They have been scoring a little more recently so hopefully they can keep that up. Wednesday’s matchup is Meche versus Pavano. As I said Carl has been pitching very well recently and he leads the team in wins with six. Again we should probably win this game on paper but as everyone knows things do not always turn out that way especially for the Indians. Thursday is when Carmona’s spot in the rotation would come up normally but because of the offday is saying that Sowers is the likely pitcher for Thursday night’s game against Grienke. Grienke was far from impressive his last outing but maybe that was just a fluke. If it was the Indians need to do their best to work Grienke hard. Sowers has been much better recently and hopefully he can continue that. He does not have an easy opponent to try to continue that with though. Overall this series is very interesting and very important for both teams.

Every word you say, say something sweet…

The Indians stomped the Twins last night. Amazingly the Indians scored runs behind Cliff Lee. Not just some runs though: ten runs. TEN RUNS. They only needed two. Then Kerry Wood would have gotten a rare save opportunity but, hey, we won and everyone else in teh AL Central lost. It was good day for the Tribe. Also Asdrubal Cabrera’s shoulder injury is not as bad as originally thought and he will probably be back in 2-4 weeks. A very good day for the Tribe.

Also Cliff Lee and Carlos Gomez got into it again. Early in the game Carlos Gomez bunted with two strikes and it went foul so he was out. This was a stupid move on his part and he looked a little bit like a fool and a bit cocky too. Cliff Lee did not like this move so later when Gomez flew out he said something to him. Rick Manning and Jim Rosenhaus (filling in for Matt Underwood, more on that later) thought he said something like “Should have bunted.” Carlos Gomez did not like that so he charged the mound when Cliff Lee’s back was turned (low) and Victor martinez, being awesome as usual, ran interference. The benches semi-cleared shortly and it seemed over. 
The next inning Ryan Garko was hit by a pitch in the first at bat. I do not think this was intentional. Then one batter later Kelly Shoppach gets hit. Still not intentional in my opinion. The umpire agreed with me and did not issue any warnings or anything. Later Kelly Shoppach was hit again. I still do not think this was intentional I just like the fact that we have something we are good at. We are now leading the Majors in hit by pitches at 39. Kelly Shoppach leads the league with ten. We call him the Ball Magnet.
Matt Underwood, the Indians play-by-play announcer is back in Cleveland with his mom who is very ill. So please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

My Baby is Hurt


That’s right everyone Grady is officially too hurt to play at all. He was placed on the fifteen day DL this morning. I am very sad but I hope he gets better soon. The Indians say that the MRI they did revealed no structural damage so that is good but with their track record on injuries and what they reveal I can only be so hopeful. This news kind of killed my day. The poor Indians cannot catch a break this year. Please get better Grady. I will be waiting.
Carl Pavano
Carl Pavano has been absolutely amazing recently. He leads the team with five wins and would have had number six today if the Indians’ bullpen had not reverted back to its old ways. Today for example he pitched 7 1/3 innings walking no one and striking out four. He gave up seven hits and three runs. That is less than a hit per inning pitched. He did not give anyone a free trip on base and when Wedge took him out he was not happy about it. I love how he is pitching and competing right now. The other night STO did an interview with him and it was probably one of the best interviews STO has ever done. I am really liking him more and more as the season goes on. I love it even more when he dominates the Yankees.
1) Cleveland Plain Dealer

Between the Lines

Last night’s game is not really worth recapping. It was probably one of the most boring games I have ever seen. Usually the Indians winning or losing has no bearing on whether or not I find he game entertaining so I really don’t know why this game was so boring. Basically same old story for poor Cliff. He could not catch a break and the Tribe decided that last night was not an important night to score runs so we lost 3-1.

This is the pose Grady uses when he is disappointed or sad. So like all this year.
Time to tell me the truth, to burden your mouth for what you say
No pieces of paper in the way…
My memory is cruel, the queen of attention to details
Defending intentions if he fails, until now.
He told me her name, it sounded familiar in a way
And I could have sworn I heard him say it
Ten thousand times, Oh if only I had been listening
Leave unsaid unspoken, Eyes wide shut unopened
You and me, always between the lines.

-Sara Bareilles

What I am really concerned about is Grady’s “sore” elbow. Apparently it has been bothering him all year and only when he throws. All year? Really. They could have put him on the DL so much earlier and he maybe would have been back and all better by now. Instead we have hurt Grady who is now hitting better but apparently cannot throw and Travis is coming back meaning Grady has to play the outfield or nothing at all. I wish I just knew the truth about what was happening right now. I have no idea how bad the elbow is. Grady says he hopes it does not become a DL situation but Grady even mentioning the DL makes it seem pretty serious. The sad part is since he is starting to hit better if he goes on the DL I am afraid he will come back rusty and all of this progress he has made recently will mean nothing. I said from the beginning that something seemed off with him and apparently I was right. I just hope they can fix it without sending him to the DL. I would be really sad if he was not playing when I go to the Jake in June.
Here is Sara’s whole song if you are interested.

AL All-Star Voting

2009 MLB All-Star Balloting : American League
1st Base
1. Kevin Youkilis Red Sox 414,693
2. Miguel Cabrera Tigers 299,597
3. Mark Teixeira Yankees 295,798
4. Justin Morneau Twins 275,990
5. Chris Davis Rangers 217,166
2nd Base
1. Ian Kinsler Rangers 514,645
2. Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 426,127
3. Aaron Hill Blue Jays 273,039
4. Robinson Cano Yankees 257,695
5. Brian Roberts Orioles 185,728
3rd Base
1. Evan Longoria Rays 664,060
2. Michael Young Rangers 296,025
3. Alex Rodriguez Yankees 245,414
4. Scott Rolen Blue Jays 227,650
5. Mike Lowell Red Sox 215,945
1. Derek Jeter Yankees 664,630
2. Marco Scutaro Blue Jays 273,589
3. Elvis Andrus Rangers 258,243
4. Jason Bartlett Rays 233,482
5. Alexei Ramirez White Sox 129,086
1. Joe Mauer Twins 381,443
2. Victor Martinez Indians 284,988
3. Jason Varitek Red Sox 281,549
4. Jorge Posada Yankees 277,849
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia Rangers 272,830
1. Jason Bay Red Sox 446,183
2. Josh Hamilton Rangers 442,553
3. Ichiro Suzuki Mariners 306,453
4. Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners 305,046
5. Nick Markakis Orioles 294,343
6. Carl Crawford Rays 260,325
7. Nelson Cruz Rangers 253,456
8. Grady Sizemore Indians 252,231
9. Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox 244,004
10. Torii Hunter Angels 242,712
11. Johnny Damon Yankees 235,104
12. Andruw Jones Rangers 215,294
13. J.D. Drew Red Sox 206,507
14. Vernon Wells Blue Jays 194,294
15. Curtis Granderson Tigers 186,040

There you have the American League All Star Voting so far. I will give you my thoughts on each position.
First Base: I have been voting for Justin Morneau. I still have over 100 votes to go so they will make very little difference. That being said Youkiis is not a bad choice. But it should be between him and Morneau in my opinion.
Second Base: I love Dustin Pedroia but I love Ian Kinsler more so I am very pleased with this position. Kinsler has been having a great year and definitely deserves to be at the game if not starting.
Third Base: Evan Longoria is definitely the best choice here. I do not think there is much more I can say about this position it seems pretty cut and dry to me.
Shortstop: DEREK JETER????? Have you seen him play defense? Jhonny Peralta is a better option. Overrated. There is my rant. I can not say I am surprised but I am disappointed. I have been voting for either Jason Bartlett, who is now hurt. This year shortstop is not a very strong position though so it is pretty much over there I think.
Catcher: Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez my two favorite catchers in the AL are leading this position. It has been so hard for me to pick between the two of these players. When I was mad at Victor I voted for Mauer and at other times I have just been splitting votes. Both deserve to be there and both deserve to start but obviously only one of them will so I will be happy with whoever it is.
Outfield: Despite his slow start Grady is still eighth in outfielders. Good job Indian fans and me. The top three are not bad but obviously I think Grady should be there every year. Objectively though, I think the outfield is pretty close to right except for Nelson Cruz seems really high and Curtis Granderson (as much as this pains me) seems pretty low. Johnny Damon is too high but I do not really expect him to drop any being a Yankee and all. I am happy with Ellsbury’s position too. he has had a great year and deserves to be right up there with everyone else.

There you have it. My thoughts on All Star Voting so far.

Here is my vote for the starting lineup:
First: Justin Morneau, Twins
Second: Ian Kinsler, Rangers

Third: Evan Longoria, Rays

Shortstop: Jason Bartlett, Rays
Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins/Victor Martinez, Indians
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Rangers Nick Markakis, Orioles Grady Sizemore, Indians (Incredibly biased pick there, leave me alone)