Cleveland sweep and the state of Baseball.

The Indians completed the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays wednesday night with Hafner leading the way via the long ball. Sowers improved to 6-3 and C.C. Sabathia recorded his 5th complete game of the season. only 6 other teams have more complete games while the Tribe "ace" has done this himself. Sabathia has formed a pattern when the calendar turns to august and september and it seems its continued this year. He simply comes to play.

Jhonny Peralta of all people hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th of the final game to finish the sweep. The Indians have now won 5 out of the last 6 series they've played and have become fun to watch again.

Now whats really bothering me...

If Travis Hafner were a yankee, a red sock, or if the indians were even a contender, his name and talk of MVP would be rampant. but he has two things against him..playing on a losing team and being a DH. Voters dont like guys who dont play defense.

but his stats dont lie and what he's done for Cleveland is undeniable. The indians problem all year has been their pitching. the tribe has one of the most dangerous offense's in baseball but I think its pretty obvious their record would be alot worse if Hafner were not on the team.

He'll get looked past for MVP just as he did for an All-Star selection when he clearly deserved to at least be there. I'm not a fan that actually buys into the whole all star crap but at the same time its about recognition. I dont care if Hafner simply showed up, shook his teammates hands and left but at least he would have been there and been made aware of his accomplishments.

A different song would be played if this was last year when the indians made that late season surge which hafner was a big part of. He missed two weeks after getting beamed in the head by Mark buerhle that honestly cost the indians alot of games.

Cleveland had started to pick up some of the momentum they ended the year with and then Hafner went down and the offense lost itself. Pitchers had the luxury of knowing he wasnt in the lineup so it was easier to pitch around guys like Martinez, Peralta, Broussard. His value and importance to this team was clearly seen when they lost games they should have won. 1-2 run losses would have been erased had his bat still been there. Despite being out Travis still clubbed 33 home runs and 100 + rbi's. This year is a career year but last year might have been as well if not for the time he missed. that is an MVP.

In August alone he's hit 13 home runs and 33 rbis and is batting .355 for the month going into wednesday night. In the 3 game series against Toronto he hit 3 home runs, 2 of those coming in the same game. He picks this team up and gives the indians 3-5 times a night to win but all you'll hear is talk about Jeter, A-rod, Ortiz, Manny or someone else on a winning team that supposedly carried the weight of a season.

Manny and Ortiz are currently sidelined. I havent heard Jeters name all that much and there is just no other way to say how bad A-rod is this year other than He fucking sucks but they're still getting talked about?

The last MVP to come from a losing team was Andre Dawson I believe. His stats are as follows.

Dawson - 1987
621 At Bats
90 runs scored
178 hits
49 home runs
137 runs batted in
103 strike outs
.287 batting average
.328 on base percentage
.568 slugging percentage

Hafner - 2006
429 at bats
94 Runs scored
133 hits
39 home runs
111 runs batted in
103 strike outs
.310 batting average
.436 on base percentage
.660 slugging percentage

The similiarites and differences are obvious and had Hafner been playing in 1987 theres a very good chance he would have won it.

so answer me this, when is the last time any of those guys were on a last place team? a team struggling just to reach .500? Never. Ortiz was the most clutch hitter in the game in 2004 and without him the red sox would be going on 88 years without a title. He outright deserved that award.

How about Minnesota, Their resurgence is mainly because of the awakened bats of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. 3 weeks into the season this team was as good as gone and looked like there would be no hope whatsoever of them rebounding. Once Santana shook off his usual early season rust and Santana #2, Francisco Liriano was moved into the starting rotation - Minnesota quickly became a team to be feared.

Gardenhire could and should be in the Manager of the year voting as well. For how he helped his struggling club is remarkable. The twins have alot of young hungry talent that just doesnt quit and Gardenhire is the perfect manager for guys like that. He's stern, straight forward. and will let his players know when they fucked up.

Mauer and Morneau came around and the twins are now battling for a wildcard spot or possibly the division. The two aforementioned players names need to be in that same MVP conversation. Morneau deserves to be recognized for the life and energy he brought to the park with a ridicuously hot bat and Joe Mauer needs to be given credit for the way he has handled his pitchers. Should the twins falter and miss the playoffs altogether, In the eyes of the MVP voters, what these two have done for their club will mean nothing. once again proving that those in charge of deciding all of this are complete morons..or the biggest cheerleaders in sports.

Jermaine Dye is another name being talked about and rightfully so. He's having his best year ever hitting .327 with 39 home runs and 106 runs batted in. 1999 and 2000 were the only other seasons that he posted 100+ rbis. His home run totals for those years were 27 and 33. There are still 30 something games left and with the way he's been swinging lately he could very well break 120.

The White sox could still miss the playoffs though. With as red hot as the twins have been and the way the tigers have faired against chicago, the white sox could find themselves watching instead of playing. The red sox are dead. Red Sox Nation and all the shit that has happened to Boston has probably made alot of drinking problems that much worse. The latest is the Boston Herald tastelessly reporting that touted pitching prospect Jon Lester is being tested for cancer because of enlarged lymph nodes. That could mean anything from an allergic reaction to the flu. lymph nodes enlarge for no reason sometimes. Whoever approved that article needs to be punched in the face and fired.

I'm not a fan of cheerleaders in baseball. its the most ridiculous concept ever but you almost have to hope the florida marlins make the playoffs. every "expert" penciled in 100+ losses for them and here they are right in the middle of the stretch and only a game out of the wildcard lead. the last two times the Marlins were the wildcard they won the world series. the first time was against us..thanks to Jose Mesa. I'm still bitter about it and actually subconsciously wanted the yankees to win in 03 just because I still held a grudge. but they now have Joe Giradi running the show and I love him. the marlins have 0 division titles and 2 world series titles and we havent won it since ..1948..unbelieveable.

I've mentioned it before but I'll repeat myself. Last offseason when Giradi took the Marlins job he couldnt believe all the talent that he was going to be in charge of, that is until Jeffery (douche bag power tripping man upstairs) one by one sold off or traded guys like A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, Juan Encarnacion, Carlos Delgado, and Mike Lowell just to name a few. The only two players that remain from their 2003 world series team are Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. those guys too have been rumored to be leaving south florida next year.

Loria is going to fuck up a good thing. hes lucky to even have a manager like Giradi. If I were Joe I would have quit after the firesale took place. to be promised this great team only to have it torn apart would have pissed me off. Loria lied to Giradi. after Mckeon quit, he's lucky to have a manager at all.

Giradi and loria are sitting on a gold mine right now. Giradi knows it but loria doesnt seem to care. how dare someone actually know what they're doing and prove you wrong. idiot. Just another Jerry Jones type. knows not a single thing about the game and doesnt realize thats why teams have managers and coaches, to teach players how to play.

If they make the playoffs my money says they'll get to the world series. with the arms they got in that rotation and the hunger to win with Giradi at the helm, you cant beat that. to think with all the talent this team stockpiled by their fire sale are barely 23 years old is fucking scary.

4 of the top 5 Rookie of the Year candidates are Marlins. Dan Uggla, Jeromy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Hanley Ramirez, and Josh Johnson. Hermida is the top outfield prospect in the organization while ramirez was next in line for the starting job at shortstop in Boston.

Thats my 2 cents on the state of affairs in Baseball.


Indians show up Tigers.

The Detroit Tigers came into Cleveland on friday not really looking like the team they've been all year. they've dropped 11 of their last 16 games and the indians have held their ground against most of the year.

Game 1.

Jeremy Sowers had to rely on his teams offense, not his deception to battle through the early part of this game. Omar Infante and Brandon Inge drove in 2 early tigers runs. Sowers outing wasnt impressive to say the least but he got the outs and prevented any detroit rallies.

Cleveland would answer quickly on Joe Ingletts 2 out rbi single.

In the 3rd Grady Sizemore knotched a double and after Hafner was intentionally put on first, Sizemore would come around to tie the game on a Victor Martinez single. Shin Soo Choo struck a double of his own scoring hafner and should have scored martinez as well. Choo turned on the speed and was going for a triple until he saw martinez still standing on third and with choo closer to third than second, allowed the tigers to tag him out. Jhonny Peralta came up next and drove in martinez on a single.

Sowers lasted 6 innings only surrending the two early runs and striking out 4 batters. He would give up no walks.

Fernando Cabrera and Rafael Betancourt pitched the rest of the way. Cabrera went two innings giving up no hits or walks while striking out 4 batters. Betancourt would not allow a single hit in the 9th earning the save.

Game 2.

Just like every game of the year it seems, the Indians found themselves in an early hole. The Tigers scored a run in the 1st and 2nd innings off starter Jake Westbrook and looked like they were going to cruise behind 15 game winner Justin Verlander.

The Indians tied it in the 3rd but detroit would counter with 3 runs in the top of the 5th.

I've written about it before but the 5th inning seems to always be our wake up call. Cleveland sent 10 batters to the plate in route to a 6 run inning that tied the game and gave the indians the lead and for good.

Sizemore set the stage for the rally when he beat out an infield single. He would advance and have to stop at third when Jason Michaels smoked a pitch to right center that ended up in the stands for a ground rule double. Hafner would strike out giving way to a red hot Ryan Garko and his bat would again deliver. Garko took a fastball the opposite way for a single and moved to third on a Shin Soo Choo single to left.

Joe Inglett was next...

Inglett battled Verlander fouling off numerous pitches and finally got the pitch he wanted and drove it to right center scoring allowing Garko and Choo to score. The Tigers defense was shading Inglett more towards left center which allowed the ball to hit the gap like it did giving inglett the chance for a triple. The ball got to the cut off man and immediately thrown to third but inglett slid in safely.

Verlander was removed in favor of Zach Miner. Kelly Shoppach hit a hard ground ball to Detroit short stop Carlos Guillen that deflected off of his glove allowing Inglett to score. Andy Marte struck out to end the inning but Cleveland now lead 8-5.

Westbrook would be pulled in the 7th for Jason Davis. Davis pitched a scoreless inning with Mastny finishing off the tigers for his 3rd big league save.

Game 3.

..was extended B.P. for the tigers. We won the series but Detroit slugged their way to a 7-1 win sunday on home runs by Marcus Thames, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, and Ivan Rodriguez. Cliff Lee lasted 5 innings surrending 5 runs on 10 hits and 3 home runs.

The lone indians run was batted in by Victor Martinez in the 1st inning.

The Toronto Blue Jasy come to town for a 3 game series starting monday night. Paul Byrd is on the hill and I hope he's forgotten that kansas city game last week.

my new toys

I was walking through the mall the other day and was led into a toy and hobby store. as I was walking along the wall of car and jet models I saw out of the corner of my eye plastic sporting figurines.

there were three rows of the ones in the bags and first in line was eric metcalf, then as I excitedly dug through the entire rack there was kosar, dean perry and hanging angelically above them all alone was ozzie newsome. the ones in the bags were $3.49 while ozzie was $8.00

The pictures arent good quality and still being in the bags didnt help the reflection of the flash either but here they are. Not sure what I'm going to do with them. I dont care about their worth so I think I'm going to take them out of their wrappers and set them along my computer desk. if I had a car I'd glue them to my dashboard.

I'm stoked about these.


For one night, Cleveland is above the rest.

A season filled with such promise and a lineup filled with so much talent seems to have been the formula for such a distastrous season. The fans know where it went wrong, the players had to have sensed it before the season opener. but this is baseball, this is the game that can humble and humiliate you quicker than any other sport. (with a little help from a penny pinching owner named Rachel Phelps..i mean Larry Dolan.)

This season began without up and coming house hold names and fan favorites. This season everyone who knew even the slightest detail about the game of baseball called vegas with their overwhelming confidence that the Cleveland Indians were a lock to win the franchises first world series in 58 years. This season might just be the most frustrating year I've gone through with the indians. This season made me fall off the edge and finally develop that drinking problem I've always wanted.

I wasnt living in Cleveland last year when this team put together the best single month in the history of the game so I have no idea what the atmosphere was like. I was slightly young in the 90's when those world series teams took the field and I only made it to a handful of games. I wasnt even witness to the greatest comeback in MLB history but the audio and realization of what took place brings me to tears everytime I listen to it.

I can only imagine, and only dream of what any sort of title would mean to the City of Cleveland. Boston wont have SHIT on that celebration. Until then, I can only rely on MVP Baseball 2005 to take me to the promised-land. but even after 2 seasons of that game, like my real, and larger than life heroes, I still fail at the end.

Everytime I suffer through 9 innings of a defeat I'm constantly reminded of a man who told me things have to get better someday.

Sometime in 2005, I believe against the White Sox I was sitting in the bleachers with my friend tony. As the last out of another loss popped into the mit of the opposing catcher, I slowly buried my face in my hat only to be consoled by a complete stranger who uttered "dont worry son, walk out of here knowing you did everything you could do to help them and always remember that better days are ahead".

It meant something. This man was rather old so theres no doubt he was alive the last time Cleveland won a pennant. which also means he was there during the 70's and 80's...arguably the franchises darkest decades. For him to say that and obviously mean it speaks volumes of the soul of the Cleveland fan. what any other fan in other city has that kind of stamina or heart? Red sox fans? two words. Patriots, Celtics. Cubs fans? likewise, Bears, bulls, blackhawks and most recently the white sox.

So I hope this year is rock bottom because my body, soul, and entire existence has begun to revolve around something that shouldnt be this important, but it is. Fuck you to anyone who ever tells me its just a game. Tell that to the psychiatrist who is eventually going to have to treat me if this keeps up.

So, In this very season and eptiome of Murphys law, _something_ finally went our way.

In 2001 The Cleveland Indians staged the greatest comeback in Major league history by rallying from 12 runs down in the 7th inning to force extra's and eventually win. The date is now August, 24th, 2006. 5 years and and 19 days later.

Buddy Bell owns eric wedge. knows his every move, knows his every strategy. so its no wonder the royals have made the indians their bitch this year.

After losing the opening game of the series Cleveland quickly found themselves down 10-1 in the first inning. Paul Byrd pitched his shortest outing in 6 years with 8 of those runs being earned.

MLB tv blacked me out so I had to follow gameday. it was 12-9 when I turned it on and then 13-11 when I left for work. I was reminded of that game in '01 only because a fan on the indians messageboard jokingly began a post on this very scenario...I'd like to shake their hand.

To any other baseball fan this game was simply two bottom dweller teams playing a meaningless game on a wednesday night. For Indians fans and having so little to cheer about this year, it meant the world. The Indians dead and buried in the very first inning clawed, fought and punched their way back into the game. Once Royals Starter de la rosa was removed the stage for the unbelievable was presented.

Kansas City twice answered a cleveland rally with big innings of their own but it was cleveland who lasted in the later rounds.

The indians with two outs in the 9th rallied on shin soo choo's triple down the right field line that scored the tying run. the hundreds of Indians fans in attendance, although rather faint, must have been beside themselves. Tom Hamilton described the scene in the Indians dugout as undescribable.

the bitch about all of this is that I was SUPPOSED to be there but I elected to stay and put in more hours at work. please kick me in the nuts.

in the 10th and again with two outs, Ryan Garko gave the indians the lead on an rbi single up the middle that scored a blazing Grady Sizemore who was on second. Royals centerfielder Joey Gathwright was playing shallow as well but Sizemores speed beat the throw by about 6 seconds.

The Cleveland Indians made Eric Wedge sound like he's actually been telling the truth. I'm not fan of him either and want him fired. All season hes been criticized for how he's managed crucial situations in a game and how this team never gives up. well, after that, I believed him. This team never quit, they never felt this was too big of a hole to climb out of. Aaron Boone was said to have been pacing the dugout yelling at his teammates to motivate themselves and get the job done. they did, and became part of the second greatest comeback in team history. The royals go down in the record books as only the second team to ever post a 10 run first inning only to lose. the '89 pirates are the other.

So to the baseball fans who shared the opinion I stated above about a meaningless game, what do you say now? The true baseball fan would appreciate something like this. This is what this game is about and displayed the type of intensity and passion this game is supposed to be played with. The two teams' seasons are over, but no one can deny what took place on wednesday night.

Baseball History.

A game like this doesnt erase the suffering and disappointment this season has brought tribe fans but at least, if for only one night, I might have understood what those mans words meant and for that, I havent ever been more proud than I am right now to say " I am a Cleveland Indians fan".

Un fucking believable.


Yankee monopoly.

A well-written post I found on the Boston red sox messageboard:

Well at this venture in late August it would appear that the Yankees have once again regained their form and spent enough money exploiting a completely corrupt financial system in order to purchase yet another World Series Championship. However it is only August and they may have peaked early allowing some other far less bankrolled club with a hot pitching staff to stifle the Bronx Billionaires in October like the White Sox, Angels and perhaps most realistically the Tigers.

This weekend debacle is a victory for big money as the Yanks, desperate for an outfielder and starting pitching were allowed by MLB to purchase everything they needed for a late season run from a Philly fire sale.

Was a time not so long ago when the Commissioner would have nixed the deal stating that it was not in the best interests of baseball. Giamatti surely would have done so, as would Kuhn who personally stopped a deal that would have brought Joe Rudy and Vida Blue to the Red Sox from the A's thus altering the history of the game itself.

The Yankees have spent over a BILLION DOLLARS in this decade and have nothing to show for it thus far. However their raping of other teams has had a devestating long term impact on the quality and competitive balance of the game.We can thank the yanks when we look at the sorry state of baseball in once proud markets like KC and Pittsburgh and no amount of luxury (Yankee) tax revenue made available to these clubs can compensate them for the continuous loss of promising young talent to free agency.

As Oaklands Billy Beane so aptly put it " the A's and other small market clubs have become culture dishes for free agents."

This most recent assault on the game by the Yanks picking up an additional 30 million dollars plus in payroll at the July 31 trade deadline is especially telling. To put this into perspective, the entire payroll of the Tampa Bay franchise is 15 million dollars.....only Robinson Cano makes less than this on the healthy starting Yankees line up!

The Red Sox, considered a big market team and a "player" in the Free agent exploitation process are second in overall payroll to the Yankees but a very distant second it is ...they began the season a full 70 MILLION dollars below the payroll of the yanks and after the Abreau robbery are closer to a full 100 MILLION DOLLARS behind the spending spree that is the Yankees.

To the credit of the Red Sox, Angels , White Sox and a few others they have up until now been able to outsmart if not outspend the Bronx Billionairees and have prevented them from buying any WS Championships in this decade/century.But it now appears that bankroll has trumped brainpower and the financial realities of MLB are coming home to roost.

Perhaps we have now reached the point where congress should threaten to revoke MLB's antitrust exemption in order to force them to implement a salary ceiling and floor much as many of the other major sports leagues play under . All eveidence suggests that this has led to more balanced and competitive leagues and the one exception , the Patriots Dynasty is attributable soley to Bellichick and Co. s ability to outsmart other franchises regarding personnel policies.

With a milktoast commishioner/ former team owner at the helm it may be necessary for congress to intervene and speak for the forgotten fan and in the "Best interests of the game" before MLB becomes another version of professional wrestling in which the outcome is determined beforehand.


Devil Rays series wrap up.

I had a chance to see Tampa Bay in person at the end of the season last year so I know all about the frighteningly good talent they have. They were arguably playing like a contending team that had been there before while spoiling everyone elses, especially Clevelands', season.

From Mvp Baseball video games to real life, Tampa Bay is just one of those teams that doesnt go away and the (real) indians, with a little help from their relievers, let them back into the game.

The first matchup of a 3 game series was dominated by C.C. Sabathia but a shaky 8th inning gave way to Jason davis. Cleveland lead this game 5-1 going into the 7th lead by Travis Hafners 36th long ball of the season as well as Marte knotching his first Major League home run but another late inning disaster suddenly became the 20th blown save of the year for the worst bullpen in baseball when Carl Crawford delivered a 2 run single that gave the rays the lead and the win.

Game 2

Hopefully this is an indication that Shapiro's lovefest with Andy Marte was for just cause. In the last two games Andy really looks like that lightbulb went off and for only being in the majors a short while, is a very, very good sign. Alot of big things are being expected of Marte who was supposed to be the biggest spark to this team when he was called up, but its been players like Joe Inglett and Jeremy Sowers mainly.

Marte recorded a single, a double, and knocked in his 4th rbi. its not so much his production that fans have been worried about, its been the non aggressive approach he was taking during his at bats but over the last week he seems like he is seeing the ball and is making better contact.

Jhonny Peralta jump started the Cleveland offense with a 2 run triple in the 1st inning and Hafner continued his rampage belting his 37th home run. Hafner is now 4 home runs and 2 rbis better than he was last year. a career year.

Jeremy Sowers didnt pitch beautifully but well enough to keep his team on top. Sowers rocky first inning start seemed to spell trouble but the young kid settled down and got himself out of it.

There were no last inning heroics for the Devil Rays in this game against Tom Mastny. With a "pick a name out of a hat" closers role it was Mastnys' turn and he'd come through.

Mastny is another young pitcher recently called up that I think deserves more than just a "look" as a september call up. He is 0-0 in 4 games with an outstanding era of 1.42 in 6 1/3 innings pitched with 8 strikeouts and only 2 walks.

Mastny set down the tampa bay hitters in order in te 8th and was given the chance to return in the 9th and came through to preserve the win.

Game 3

Cleveland seemed to go into this game with the intention of putting this game away early, and they did.

Travis Hafner and Ryan Garko jumped on devil rays starter Jae Seo for back to back home runs. Garko, like Marte, is really picking it up. Garko has hit 3 home runs and 11 rbis in 14 games.

Seo would end up leaving the game which allowed Cleveland to blow the game wide open. Kelly Shoppach broke a 2-2 tie with a 2 run double that scored Shin Soo Choo and Jhonny Peralta.

In the 6th, Rays reliever Dan Miceli would become the indians next victim. Grady Sizemore doubled to lead off the inning with Joe Inglett reaching on a bunt single. Hafner who has been given extra B.P. from the Tampa Bay pitching staff, was intentionally walked to load the bases. Ryan Garko immediately slapped an rbi single to left and with the bases still loaded, Peralta delievered...

on a 1-2 count, 7 out of 10 times a hitter is going to see a fastball, Peralta did and wasted no time roping a grandslam over the left field fence. it is the 11th grandslam on the season for Cleveland as a whole and Peraltas career first.

The Indians travel to K.C. to face a royals team that is coming off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox and a series win against the White Sox where they took 2 out of 3.


Twins prove streak was a fluke.


Even though it was against Kansas City, Cleveland looked to be on a roll tearing off 6 wins in their last 7 games. But Johan Santana brought the Indians offense right back to reality.

Jake Westbrook basically matched Santana going 8 strong but fell victim to a 3 run twins rally in the bottom of the 8th to ultimately seal the game.

Luis Castillo hit a one out single then advanced to second on a grounder off the bat of Jason Tyner and Joe Mauer drew an intentional walk. The Twins put on an aggressive double steal but with the pitch outside, Kelly Shoppach had no chance to even make a throw. The inevitable 2 run base hit would come from Michael Cuddyer who was able to advance to second when Jason Michaels threw home. Justin Morneau was intentionally walked as well as Torii Hunnter lined a base hit allowing Cuddyer to score. A 3 run deficit became insurmountable.

Johan Santana was simply untouchable mastering the strike zone all game and giving no clues to the tribe as to what was coming next. The Indians just could not get any momentum. The only run came off twins closer Joe nathan in the 9th inning when Grady Sizemore drew a walk and went to second on a Michaels ground ball and would come around to score on a Travis Hafner single. Victor Martinez popped up and Shin Soo Choo struck out to end the game.

For the second game in a row, the bottom of the 8th would be the difference.

Most of the game was in the hands of Both Cliff Lee and Carlos Silva. The Twins struck early in the 1st when Joe Mauer's single scored Luis Castillo but Cliff settled down and snubbed any other chances.

Clevelands offense responded in the top of the 4th when Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez hit consecutive singles and were able to score on base hits by Ryan Garko and Joe Inglett that gave the Indians the lead. but the twins would come right back to tie it when Justin Morneau led-off their portion of the 4th with a double that put the twins in a position for a big inning. Minnesota would only get one run when Morneau came home on a Luis Rodriguez base hit but it tied the game at 2.

Then came the dreaded 8th inning. a series of odd attempts at bunting would actually lead to the Indians letting the game get out of hand. Fausto Carmona made one of his few appearances since his closing debacle a week ago only to find himself in the same situation.

Luis Rodriguez was trying to advance Jason Kubel to second who led off the inning with a single but with Carmona pitching outside, couldnt make contact with the ball. Carmona, for whatever reason, would not throw a strike and ended up walking Rodriquez on 4 pitches. No damage had been done quite yet but Carmona was quickly taken out in favor of Rafael Betancourt.

Same story, different pitcher..

with runners now on first and second, Jason Bartlett, like Rodriguez tried to lay down a bunt but was unsuccessful in his first two attempts. Bartlett finally lined up a pitch and layed down an almost perfect sacrifice that forced the Charging Hector Luna to make an off balance throw. Luna got a clean play on it butBartlett's speed was too much and was safe with the bases now loaded.

The defense was set up to prevent the go ahead run from crossing the plate but it failed...miserably. The Twins luck and confidence couldnt have been any higher as the perfect man for this situation, Luis Castillo, came to bat. Castillo slapped a pitched off home plate that rose high into the air forcing the indians infield to simply wait for the ball to come down. Jhonny Peralta got to the ball first and tried to outrun Bartlett to second but Bartlett was called safe and the go ahead run was able to score.

The wheels hadnt even come off yet..

The first out was finally record when Lew Ford grounded to short with Peralta throwing home for the force out, but the bases were still loaded for the hottest hitter in baseball in Joe Mauer who sent a fly ball to leftfield that was deep enough to score yet another run. It was now 4-2.

The final dagger came on a 3 run blast off the bat of Michael Cuddyer putting Minnesota ahead 7-2 and taking down the tribe for the second night in a row.


...and the sweeps the series

Kansas City starter Luke Hudson couldnt have imagined what walking Grady Sizemore was about to set off. It was only the bottom of the first inning...

Jason Michaels followed with a single. Hafner drew a walk loading the bases for Victor Martinez. Victor and Shin Soo Choo hit back to back doubles accounting for 2 rbis each and putting Cleveland ahead 4-0.

Ryan Garko joined in with a single and Peralta followed with a grounder to short but Royals shortstop Angel Berroa threw the ball away while trying to throw to first allowing Choo to score making it 5-0. Joe Inglett would hit a single and Andy Marte followed with a walk that once again gave the Indians a bases loaded opportunity..

The batting order restarted with Sizemore and Michaels coming to the plate. Sizemore reached on an infield single but Michaels struck out swinging but it was only the first out.

poor Luke Hudson..

Travis Hafner is absolutely unconscience this year with the bases jammed and it was no different this time as he belted his 6th grand slam of the year deep into the K.C. bullpen. The score was now 11-0 and Martinez showed the opposing pitcher mercy by ending his day with yet another double.

(from the indians front page) "The Tribe hadn't managed a first inning like this one since it scored 11 runs against the Orioles on July 6, 1954" ...however the Indians did score 10 runs in one inning against the Arizona diamondbacks last year. After falling down 3-0 early Cleveland responded when they nearly batted twice around with one out. Casey Blake hit a solo home run and an rbi double, Hafner hit a bases loaded (and clearing) double and sizemore and peralta went back to back.

Cleveland has now won a season high 6 games in a row.


Cleveland sweeps doubleheader.

Saturdays day/night doublehead saw the Indians pick up right where they left off from friday with more last secod heroics.

Kansas City starter Odalis Perez gave the Indians lineup fits as it would take 6 innings for Cleveland to finally break through.

To start the 6th, Grady Sizemore took first on a lead off walk as Jason Michaels would follow up with his 9th home run of the season.

C.C. Sabathia dominated another start going 8 strong and striking out 10 with only one walk and 5 hits. His efforts were thrown away when the indians bullpen and several errors allowed the royals to tie the game.

Jason Davis started the 9th but only retired the first batter. Mark Teahan sent a ball to third base but Andy Marte couldnt get a clean play on it. Hector Luna botched a simple ground ball off the bat of Reggie Sanders allowing Teahan to advance. Ryan Shealy struck a single to bring the Royals within 2.

Jason Davis hit John buck to load the bases and allowed the next batter Esteban German to plate another run. Betancourt was called in but gave up the game tying run on a sac fly by David Dejesus.

Mark Grudiezlanek nearly gave the royals the lead on a well hit ball that get blown around by the wind but Jason Michaels took a great approach to the ball and got the out.

Perez walked Victor Martinez with the bases loaded and then surrended another run with Jhonny Peralta tagging a single to centerfield.

Hector Luna drew a leadoff walk to start the 9th. Luna advanced to second on Aaron Boones sacrifice bunt. Grady Sizemore was intentionally walked and would ultimately set up Travis Hafners walk off single to win game 1.

Hafner got a 2-1 pitch and roped it into right centerfield scoring Luna to end the game.

Game 2.

The deciding factor that gave Cleveland a chance to win this game was Kelly Shoppach being able to keep the royals baserunners in check.

Kelly Shoppachs advantage over Martinez was clearly seen when he gunned down Joey Gathright in the second. Kelly would get Gathright at second again when a pitch bounced in the dirt that sent Gathright running, Shoppach found the ball and delivered a perfect throw to get the out.

His defense would again prove critical when Reggie Sanders was pinch running for Mike Sweeney. Mark Teahan struck out and Sanders took off to second but kelly threw out Sanders as well. Hafner would once again play the hero after the inning started tied at 4. Kansas City scored a run in the top of the inning off reliever Tom Mastny to give the Royals a 5-4 lead.

Grady Sizemore wasted no time as he launced a 2-0 pitch into the right field stands to tie the game as the rally was just beginning.

The inning continued when Mark Grudzielanek botched a ground ball off the bat of Jason Michaels. The Hit and Run was put on which gave Michaels a good jump that allowed him to score when Hafner ripped a 3-2 pitch to right-center that gave the indians the lead.

Brian Sikorski would get the win after Davis was kept in the pen after his game 1 debacle.

The Indians have won 5 straight games and two straight series after they took 2 of 3 from the angels.

The series finale is currently on with the Indians already up 11-0 with Hafner hitting his 6th grand slam of the year.


walk off says its our turn.

Indians starter Paul Byrd didnt look that sharp for most of the game. He surrendered 3 runs on a sacrifice fly in the 1st and 2 runs on 5 straight basehits in the 5th inning. He seemed to settle down and returned in the 8th to keep the game within reach. Fernando Cabrera who has been completely unreliable this year, went into the top of the 9th and kept the royals bats in check.

The Indians struggled all game to figure out Royals starter Adam Bernero who had just been called up from Triple A Omaha to make the spot start. but Cleveland would eventually plate a run in the 6th on a double by Shin Soo Choo that scored Jason Michaels.

Facing Ambirox Burgos, Cleveland still trailed 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Garko and Ramon Vazquez hit two consecutive singles with Aaron Boone drawing a walk to load the bases. Grady Sizemore would deliver..

The bases loaded and no one out, Sizemore got a fastball and sent it to leftfield that dropped to the side of David Dejesus. The ball took a strange bounce allowing all 3 runners to score giving the indians a walk off win. It was Clevelands second last at bat win against Kansas city this season and Sizemores second career game winner against them as well. the other coming in 2004 off of former pitcher Elmer Dessens. Strangely the indians trailed by the same score during that game.

After 4 crushing defeats in the same fashion a week ago, it felt good to be on the other side and I'm proud of this team for continuing to fight and not laying down as they seemed to have done alot this year. The Indians win streak is now at 3 games, a far cry from 9 game winning streaks becoming the norm last year..I'll take what I can get.


Indians take series.

just worked 12 hours and am too tired to write a summary of last nights game so read Anthony Castrovince.

Tribe pounces on Angels bullpen
Indians pour on runs after line drive injures Angels starter

By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Sometimes a stale season needs a fresh perspective.
So it is with the words of Ryan Garko, who hasn't been around for the vast majority of the disappointment that has pervaded the Indians' season.

What he has been around for this week is a series win against the Angels, capped off by Thursday's 14-2 rout at Jacobs Field, in which his four RBIs and first career home run loomed large.

"I'm reminded of this team last September [when Garko was a call-up]," he said. "We were winning every series and every game. That's what I still picture."
The picture has been fuzzy for the Indians all year. It's been a season in which surprisingly little has gone right.

But for one night, at least, very little went wrong.

Every member of the starting lineup had at least one hit against an Angels pitching staff shaken by the early exit of starter Ervin Santana, who suffered a knee contusion when Jason Michaels, the second batter he faced, sent a comebacker off his leg.

Four Tribe batters -- Garko, Shin-Soo Choo, Travis Hafner and Michaels -- had multiple RBIs.
Cliff Lee turned in his most convincing start in weeks, allowing just two runs on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts over seven innings and earning his 10th win of the season in the process.

Put that all together and -- voila! -- the Indians won back-to-back games for the first time since July 3-4 against the Yankees and won a series for the first time since taking two of three from the Reds way back on June 30-July 2.

"All the way around," manager Eric Wedge said, "guys did a good job today."

The offensive surge was anchored by the Santana injury, which, combined with an ankle sprain suffered by second baseman Joe Inglett, put a damper on an eventful evening. When Michaels slapped the ball up the middle, Santana had no chance of getting out of harm's way.

Though Santana lay on the ground for several minutes, he was eventually able to walk off the field, and X-rays were negative.
"It was good to see him walk off on his way out," Wedge said, "because he's an outstanding young pitcher." With Santana removed, the Angels had to dip into their unprepared bullpen.
Chaos reigned.

Choo hit a ground-rule double to knock Michaels in, and the Indians were off and running. They added another run when Inglett, who is now listed as day-to-day after twisting his ankle in the fifth, cranked out an RBI single, and another in the second, when Hafner drove in a run on a groundout.

The 3-0 lead shrunk when Lee gave up a two-run shot to Juan Rivera in the fourth. Suddenly it was a one-run ballgame. Not for long, though.

When reliever J.C. Romero came on the scene in the bottom of the fourth, the Indians jumped all over him with five straight hits, including Michaels' two-run double, Hafner's one-run double and Choo's RBI single.

Later that inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, Garko, making a solid impression while filling in for an injured Casey Blake, brought everyone home and opened the game up with a three-run double to the opposite field.

"I'm not worried about home runs," Garko said. "I'm more worried about RBIs, especially two-out RBIs. Those are the big ones."

Garko might not worry about homers, but he still managed to hit one with a solo shot off Angels reliever Hector Carrasco in the sixth. And because the ball landed in the Indians' bullpen, he didn't have to pay off a fan to get the souvenir.

An inning later, Hafner added his career-high 34th homer of the season. And then there were the two runs the Tribe put up in the fifth.

The offensive outburst was an embarrassment of riches for Lee. Earlier this week, he received the security of a three-year contract. Now, he had the security of exorbitant run support. But once Rivera's homer cleared the fence, he pitched as if embroiled in a pitchers' duel.

"I'd definitely rather pitch with a lead than without one," Lee said. "It takes a lot of pressure off. I tried to be aggressive, not walk anyone and work ahead."

The Indians were ahead from beginning to end in this one, and it had Garko reminiscing about better days.

"We're not that far away from that team [last] September," he said. "There's still a lot of games left. If we have a solid approach, a lot of positive things can happen."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Indians blank angels.

Cleveland lost 5-4 to anaheim on tuesday night and I was too busy to write a recap so here is wednesdays night game...

Jake Westbrook got into some early trouble scattering 7 hits through 3 innings but with help of superb defense behind him he managed to get out of it without any runs. Jake settled in afterwards and was flat out dealing the rest of the night baffling angels hitters and striking out 7 to record his second complete game shutout of the season. Garko, Sizemore, and Choo accounted for the indians runs.

I really like this Shin Soo Choo kid. He's continued to impress me as he has 2 home runs including a grandslam, 4 doubles, 9 rbis on 13 hits.

After his home run on his first at bat with the indians I was withholding any judgement considering it was off a former teammate. however hes batting .310 with those numbers since then so hopefully I'm not jumping the gun even now but I think this kid is going to be a star. All scouting reports seems to think the same thing.

While I dont think he has the same ceiling as Sizemore, He seems to be a 5 tool player. I think the Mariners made a mistake letting this guy go. Shapiro gets my unusual praise for this trade. Being that he's a free agent, I really hope we keep him and a spot just opened up...

Todd Hollandsworth was traded to Cincinnati for the infamous player to be named later. hollandsworth cleared waivers which shows just how worthless he was although he swung a good bat for about 2 weeks.

first browns game tonight.


conversation with tony.

Me: its amazing how much god hates cleveland. the cubs motto is "to be a cubs fan you have to have a sense of humour" well, if thats true then what kind of sick personality do you have to have to continue to be a cleveland fan?

Tony: yea its kinda fucking ridiculous. sometimes you have to laugh at ourselves like everyone else does, but I dont find one bit of this funny.

me: first browns game thursday. wonder if hank will have it on NFL ticket, i have to work that night anyway so I wont wake up to see it. just like the indians, browns fans seem to have high hopes for this season but this is how it starts. I figure if I start drinking now my tolerance will be right where it should be come opening day. I'd love to think the bengals wont be a factor considering all the shit they've gone through in the last year but i wont bet on that.

tony: Im pumped. wish you were here man. I got no one to to do the daygame rituals with anymore. ..fuck the bengals.

Me: I know and i'm sorry, I'll be there next december AND my dad said he'd give me an all expenses paid trip to cleveland (barring a home game) if we make the playoffs.. that shit would be ON.

tony: haha, oh man. that'd be fucking sweet.

me: still, I dont think it'd be anything like the muni days. that game with my dad against the patriots sitting in the dawgpound was fucking unbelievable. some fans have told me the closest that place ever came to being as loud as muni was the game against atlanta.

tony: no shit.

me: gonna sport my browns shirt signed by holcomb at work tonight then wear my frye jersey all day thursday.

tony: yea, i gotta get a new jersey, quincy is a little bitch. alright i gotta get to work but i'll call you sometime this week. later.

me: take it easy. go browns.


tigers record eleventh sweep of season.

C.C. Sabathia threw another gem against detroit on sunday but was on the losing end of a 1-0 game.

Sabathia went 7 dominant innings racking up 5 strikeouts but mishandled a groundball back to him allowing brandon inge to reach base on an infield single. Inge reached 3rd base after consecutive groundouts and would eventually score on a Craig Monroe base hit.

Cleveland threatened a few times including a bases loaded opportunity in the 7th inning but obviously failed to plate a run. The indians could have easily have won this game and probably should have swept two of the best teams in baseball consecutively but thats just how this season has gone. no breaks, no help.

Indians finish 2-7 on the road trip but honestly played very well. Cleveland comes home to face the angels on tuesday night.



I'm running out of people to blame for this. I'm running out of ways to describe the failure of 2006.

Fausto Carmona is a good pitcher. a pitcher with a live fastball and devastating offspeed stuff...but project "turn fausto into a closer" needs to be terminated. he is simply not one.

3 nights in a row the indians went into the 9th with the lead and lost. 3 nights in a row it was carmona on the mound. The kids confidence has to be below zero. I understand how these things work so dont think i'm just being a homer and looking for an excuse to attack wedge but this is a prime opportunity to do so...

Learning anything new is difficult, riding a bike, driving a car, etc. Carmona has to struggle, get into trouble and ultimately has to fail before he can and will get better. however, this is just more, more than obvious proof that wedge has not the slightest clue on how to manage his pitching staff. Let carmona stay in there, let him battle the hitter but with when he seems like he could be in trouble take him out. especially after what has happened to him the previous 2 nights.

The kid has to feel like he cant throw anything but fastballs because everyone of the pitches he lost the game on were breaking balls that hung way too long. He dominated in the setup role and I thought he seemed to find his spot if not in the rotation next year but having gone through this who knows what's going to happen. His head has got to be messed up right now.

Mariano Rivera got rocked at first too I'm sure but this is just insane. Fernando Cabrera, the supposed, sort of, future closer, has also had a dismal season to say the least. He has a breaking ball that falls off the fucking shelf but his fastball gets tagged nearly everytime.

The bullpen is a mess with no leadership and no confidence whatsoever. I've seen this before and it cost us 25 games in 2004. The exodus of jose jimenez and the return of veteran force Bob Wickman brought stability to an absolute horrible bullpen.

I know this season is lost but all I want is respectability. from opening day I just didnt understand or buy into the hype that this team was even that good. I honestly knew nothing about Eduardo Perez only that I was told he murders left handed pitching. I was sad to see him go and wish he was alot younger because we certainly found our coveted right handed power hitter.

I'm trying to get excited about browns season but I just cant. Its not happening like it usually does. Baseball is my favorite sport by far and anything short of a world series in cleveland this year would have been a failure.

162 games over the course of 6 months are alot compared to 17 NFL games but they become more personal and begin to mean alot more. You're with the same people day and day out, you lose sleep due to night games, you fall asleep listening to the game on the radio.

This is not just a game to me, Indians Baseball is my hobby and my life. I have this journal because of them, I'm writing a book about myself as a fan, and they are the reason I hugged my dad harder than I ever have. People at work come to me for updates and stats on a player because they know how religiously I follow this team.

To see them lose like this game after game is the hardest thing in the world for me to watch and its even harder to know that the powers that be dont seem to give a shit about how long indians fans have suffered.

You promised to do what Mr. Jacobs didnt do Mr. Dolan and that is win a world series. Only you're a carbon copy of the teams he helped assemble. You have 4 of the most talented players in the game and only one of them is a pitcher. Mr. Jacobs and John Hart neglected pitching as well that resulted in 2 world series losses.

You promised to spend the money this last offseason Mr.Dolan if the fans showed up..well we did and you lied once again.


what being stabbed feels like.

I really wish I could update this every day like I did last year, but how can I possibly write the same fucking thing when this team plays worse than the night before?..

But they didnt suck last night, they played hard and kept coming at boston every at bat. even in a lost season, these are the kind of losses that just _kill_you. this was our game to lose and we did. Carmona is our new closer and I'm not going to blame the kid one bit for this, but wedge had to be the only one in the world who didnt see that coming. Fausto had a 2-0 count on the most clutch hitter in baseball and he lost. Ortiz just murdered that ball.

I didnt plan to watch sportscenter this morning because I knew thats all they would talk about but in cleveland sports fan fashion, I did. I watched it everytime it came on. why? because thats we do.

Good luck Ronnie.
Another fan favorite was lead out of town sunday night in Ronnie Belliard to st.louis for wanna be super utility man hector luna and dolan saves money because of it. luna expects to play every day he says and I'm sure he will because wedge loves underachievers. Why even get this guy? or anyone for this position? Inglett hasnt been up that long and has impressed the hell out of me. Its not his bat so much as it is his defense. He's won the job as far as I'm concerned. Why do I sense another ryan ludwick situation.

The word from cardinal fans is that shapiro got worked and this luna guy is a joke. nothing new at all. Mr. new secondbaseman botched a routine grounder last night that made me scream RONNIE WOULD HAVE HAD THAT.

I dont even know if I was this upset when this front office made no effort to bring back omar. That seemed to be the point where I started to see just how bad I'd been had. Ronnie is not a hall of famer but should have won a gold glove last year. He may seem lazy and overweight but name another second basemen in baseball that can turn a double play faster than belliard? and just like broussard he was a white sux killer. He loved cleveland and he loved the fans. 162-0 or 0-162, he didnt care, he loved playing here. He was a leader and was humble about it. I'll be cheering for the cardinals to win the world series.

Messageboard fans reaction.
"The only way I can make myself feel good after a loss like this is to think of how Shapiro feels watching this one. I love the fact that this guy and his lies are finally being revealed. I love this team and I would love more for them to win, but Shapiro deserves it for trying to pull the covers over our eyes and say this team was close to contention. This guy is up there with my least favorite people in the history of Cleveland sports. If I saw him on the street I would have to hold myself back to not punch him in the gut and say see now you know how we all feel. This guy has destroyed our team and ruined the best part about summer.

The only good for this team would be finishing last. It is the only way that Dopeland and Cheapiro will see that this team was a fluke last year and not this year. It is the only way Wedge will get his @ss thrown out of this town. It is the only way that Dopeland will either spend the money or consider selling the team. You may say that I am crazy, but I guess it is do to my age, I almost dislike Dopeland more than I do Modell. The Indians are easily my favorite of the Cleveland sports team. I would give four 0-16 Browns teams for 1 world series victory. And I am a big Browns fan. I just can not say how disappointing this season has been. I have not had a summer in which I was more sickened by the Indians. I just hope for the teams sake that they finish in last. You have to realize you are sick before you can treat the illness.
I wish I could get rid of all emotional attachment to this team. I wish I could hope that they fall apart for about 5 years and have seasons in which they lose 130 games. But I am afraid that that would lead to them moving to another city. I just wish Shapiro and Doleland would move off to San Fransisco together and never show their faces again."

"I am at the point, and this is just sick, but I am hoping they lose everything fucking game the rest of the year so the public and fans all call for Dolan to sell. If there was a slight chance they could make the playoffs I wouldn't say this but now that there is no chance we having nothing to lose.
It has to get worse before it is going to get better. I know, it can't get much worse but it can and will get worse.
I wish they would interview Dolan and ask him tough questions and see exactly how much he really even knows about baseball."

My mom doesn't even watch the whole game, just because she can't stand to see them constantly blowing games. I could understand if we plain out stunk and got in a hole early that we couldnt dig ourselves out of, but these are always close games that we are in and leading most of the time going into the ninth. It kills me to constantly see scores of us losing by one or two runs, because of a walk off homer in the ninth. I really don't know if i can do this anymore. "