Sabathia gets opening day nod.
For the second straight year C.C. Sabathia will open the season on April 1st against the Chicago White Sox.This is good news and all but Indians fans will remember the same scenario last year where Sabathia had to leave early in the game due to an "aggravated muscle" in his pitching arm.
C.C. eventually came back and was named MLB's pitcher of the month in May but its the pattern that is forming for the talented lefty. In 2005 he was sidelined in spring training and wasnt back until the end of April and was inconsistent until the last few months of the season. The same story played out in 2006. Perhaps someone else should take the hill? He's taken alot of flack from both the Cleveland media and the fans for having extended bouts of severe inconsistency and having it noted that these fluke injuries are directly related to being out of shape. However, He pulled out of last years World Baseball Classic to stay home and focus on being in playing condition for the year but that didnt seem to help either.Injuries have little to do with it but C.C. is a fierce competitor with an inability to harness his emotions. He's been thrown out of numerous games for arguing balls and strikes ( seriously, he was right) and when he gets into trouble with hitters and men on base its near impossible for him to focus thus causing a complete meltdown and usually becomes the beginning of a route.When Sabathia is on he is easily one of the most dominating pitchers in the game. A fastball that hits anywhere from 94-99 mph, a curve and slider that isnt even fair and a changeup that turned sammy sosa inside out. Cleveland has never hinted at giving up on the guy but more indepth coaching or perhaps even anger management would allow him to be the shutdown starter hes very capable of being. We have him until after the 2008 season and he's said that he loves it here so I hope he sticks around, but hopefully with a bit more maturity.
Who wins the A.L. Central?
The Minnesota Twins won it last year, have the game's best pitcher in Johan Santana, the reigning AL MVP in Justin Morneau and the best young player in Morneau. The Tigers won the AL pennant last year, return their entire team and added Gary Sheffield's bat and Jose Mesa's arm. The Chicago White Sox won the World Series two years ago, boast an incomparable 3-4-5 of Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye, and still have four former All-Stars in their rotation. And the Cleveland Indians might be the most talented of the lot, with Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore anchoring the lineup, a deep rotation headed by C.C. Sabathia and an improved bullpen.
When you're a Cleveland baseball fan, This is what you do every year when its the brink of spring. We know baseball is in the air and for us that usually means we've had 5 months of
front office lies and garbage being fed onto our plate. Promises of better results, better players and still we're left with other teams cast offs that were in fact good, once upon a time.The Browns have usually given us good cause to be really angry and worn out, which makes us vulnerable to deception and the need for hope. Thats probably why baseball and football dont run concurrently, but in Ohio, thats a good thing.We start to think about our teams weaknesses last year and how they were infact addressed by newcomers. We gradually go from laughing out of pure frustration to alittle bit more tolerant to absolutely fucking delusional. So finally we've allowed ourselves to believe that we are a good team and that night in and night out god better have mercy on our opponent. Would you like an example?I've been scanning messageboards of the other 4 teams in our division looking for anything related to their thoughts on the Indians this year. I've found nothing but praise on all those boards including the White sox. Which I find rather odd considering how much our fanbases detest the other. Tigers fans were the most applauding. Some even stating that we are the team they absolutely do not want to play this year. "Fear" was actually used by one of them.Josh Barfield is the only new guy I'm excited about but even he could be prone to that "sophomore slump", which, if hes an indian, will happen. however, hes in a smaller ballpark now and his defense is pretty much why we traded for him. gold glove, mark it down.Maybe its my psychie, maybe its hestitation but whatever it is I just cant believe we will contend for anything this year. As you read above those other teams have only gotten stronger. The Twins and Tigers have very young and very lethal pitching, the ball doesnt hit the bleachers if there are 5 guys capable of shutting you down. The White sox I dont believe will make the playoffs this year but are still a formidable and intimidating team to face.Even the royals will be no pushover this year. Especially since Buddy took over they've had our number. With a new GM they've already drastically improved their talent level, especially in matters of arms. Adding Octavio Dotel is no joke, yea the guy was hurt all last year but if hes healthy he is not the guy I want to see in the 9th inning. Teahan and Alex Gordon have gold glove all stars written all over them.Lastly, There is just no other division in the game that matches up with the power and the talent that makes up the A.L. Central. It is ridiculous how good this division is now compared to only a few years ago. We simply beat up on everybody.
Keith Foulke Retires.
Thanks for...oh, thats right, you were only with us for ONE day and its still February. Well, at least you did it gracefully, asshole.
I guess that solves that question, Congratulations Borowski! you're the Indians new closer.