Cleveland Indians: Special Edition

I have some funny and some less funny news. The funny news is in the video below. Watch all of it. All. Of. It.

Ok, ready for the less funny news, well at least if you are an Indians fan? I do not think he said a single false thing in that entire video. Should we go through it one by one? For my mental health, probably not, but for your enjoyment, we will do it.

0:03 “We stink.”
Yup. No getting around that one. Moving on.

0:09 “I thought Carmona, you know he wasn’t great, but he CERTAINLY pitched well enough to WIN.”

"I don't think about cold, I think about pitch"

Fausto Carmona has actually been pretty good this year. Even with one really bad start, he has an ERA of 3.86 and while he has allowed more walks than you would like (17:18 K/BB), he has still been good enough to get some wins. He has made real strides from last year and has given Tribe fans some good cause for hope every fifth day. Exactly like he said, he was not great, but he pitched well enough to win and he just doesn’t for some reasons we are about to get into.

0:23 “Valbuena. Valbuena, Valbuena, Val, give him back to the Mets, man.”
Valbuena has been bad. Not just a little bad, but really, really bad and his error at shortstop a few days ago (which eventually lead to the Indians’ implosion) just added to the misery. I tried to talk myself into him for a while as a guy who could hit for decent power with decent speed, but the fact is that he is not much of a hitter at all, and cannot play enough defense to really be solid. He inspires no confidence whatsoever, and will continue to cause widespread pessimism. To further paraphrase Bruce Drennan, he should go to Mahoning Valley, not Columbus, because Mahoning Valley has not even started their year yet (Mahoning Valley is the NY-Penn League Single A team). He has been abjectly horrible.

0:54 “Branyan…”

Yes, his swing does look like a ballerina’s stance or a warm up swing on the first tee. I was never a fan of his signing, but you really cannot argue with production. 33 ABs, 7 hits, 13 strikeouts, and 3 walks. Can’t argue with production. He has one of the biggest uppercuts in the majors, and whiffs more than an old man at a wine tasting. I realize it is early, and he came into the year injured, but he has been truly awful. Shapiro made some great moves when he started, but Russell Branyan is not in that group of good moves. Branyan…

1:22 “And Peralta. Oh.”

I am told her last name is Peralta. Anything to avoid seeing Jhonny.

“Oh” indeed. 88 ABs (a decent sample size), a .216 average, a .699 OPS, and defense so bad it would make the Phoenix Suns blush. Frankly, it is amazing that Peralta’s OPS is as high as it is with how badly he is playing, and it is not even high. Maybe the only thing worse than his perpetually perplexing defense is his bat right now. He cannot hit to save his life right now and I would rather have Valbuena up with the game on the line than Peralta because Jhonny (that is the correct spelling) is the definition to unclutch.

1:58 “We stink.”
Yup.

2:02 “And I’ll tell you something else. The starting pitching has been pretty good.”
Right again. Carmona has a sub-4 ERA, Mitch Talbot (acquired for Kelly Shoppach from the Rays) is at 2.88, and the other guys, despite unimpressive ERAs, have at least kept the team in it every night. However, they are getting little to no support and do not have the results to show for it. In my Indians preview I said that I thought the rotation would be one of the worst in the bigs, and I was not alone in that assessment. However, they have really done well, especially with all their youth and inexperience. The starting pitching has been a distinct bright spot for the Indians thus far.

2:09 “Just think if they go south.”
Oh, God.  Again, he is completely right. If the starting pitching goes, this team could lose 100 games without even breaking a sweat. The bullpen is a disaster, the lineup, almost to a man, cannot hit, and the starting pitching is just barely keeping the Indians afloat (if you can call 10-17 afloat). Just imagine if the rotation goes south, as we thought it might. It will be Haiti + New Orleans but the baseball version. In other words, they might have to call FEMA in to mitigate the disaster. To continue the analogy, help will get there extremely late and not help nearly enough. I include the following video clip 1) because it is underrated, and 2) to draw another comparison.

For the record, we are not making this political, just bear with me. Mike Myers is the Indians starting pitching, and Kanye is the rest of the team. From the second Kanye opens his mouth, you know something is going down. He is rambling, not reading the prompter, and stepping up on the soap box. As Kanye keeps going, Myers starts looking more and more uncomfortable and keeps looking over nervously thinking “oh no, don’t mess this up.”  Nope, he has a full head of steam going, he is going to destroy you, Myers. Kanye stops and Myers tries to grab hold of the reins and pull this one back. Nope, Kanye boots the groundball, drops the pop fly, and the Indians lose. The clip is funny, but less so when it is so close to your team.

2:30 “Peralta…”

He is so bad right now that he went back to him. Deservedly so. I did not see the play that Bruce is talking about where he made the nice catch, but the catch was all the more impressive because Jhonny has about as bad a chance as anyone to make a good defensive play. He has put together decent seasons before, so he is a little different from Valbuena, but he inspires even less confidence and is older. Again, unclutchness personified.

3:32 “Hafner, even though he got a home run, and it’s about time”
Yeah, that’s about right too. .212. That does not even begin to describe how much Hafner has sucked.

3:38 “Sizemore. 220.”
Yup.

3:43 “Branyan (poses), 212. LaPorta, oh how about the play in left field by LaPorta.”

Spot on impression by Drennan

Again, I did not see the play, but I can picture it well enough. Ball probably went to the corner, took a bounce and he got all turned around. A triple to left field is almost always an error, no matter how they want to score it. Again, you have Kanye messing with Mike Myers.

4:25 “That can’t be a triple, that can’t be a triple, THAT CAN’T BE A TRIPLE, THAT’S AN ERROR ON LAPORTA.”
I did not see it, but just hearing him yelling it like a mad man is enough to make me quote it and make me sure it was an error.

Preach it, Bruce Drennan. He was right about just about everything he said. I think he probably overreacted on the whole “this is the major leagues” rant at the end, as I am sure they are trying as hard as they can, but apart from that he is spot on. It is depressing, and refreshing all at once. I am using this article partly as an excuse to show that video, but he is so right. Not to end too abruptly, but that is all I have. He is right, and Indians fans know it.  We look forward to the years when the minor leaguers are ready.

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