Tuesday, October 09, 2007

One more unexpected step
It would be hypocritical for me to gloat this afternoon, one day after the Indians knocked out the Yankees in the Division Series.

No one was more skeptical about the Indians than me. Eric Wedge was a glorified minor league manager. Casey Blake belonged in Buffalo. Eric Wedge would rather lose than send Mike Rouse to Buffalo.

C.C. Sabathia wasn't consistent enough. The Indians couldn't beat top teams. They were in awe of the Yankees and Red Sox.

Joe Borowski will haunt us. Wedge panicked and used Josh Barfield as a scapegoat. Paul Byrd wasn't as good as his record. Jhonny Peralta was lazy and would go cold in October. Casey Blake couldn't hold down the third base job. Trot Nixon had no business getting at-bats.

I can mock the national media for giving Cleveland no respect. But neither did I.

But the truth is, Eric Wedge did a fantastic job in this series. He knew when to take C.C Sabathia out in game one. He knew not to take out Fausto Carmona in game two.

He played Trot Nixon against Roger Clemens. He road the success of Kenny Lofton against Andy Pettite. He started Paul Byrd and Kelly Shoppach.

The bottom line is that Wedge knows how to get the most out of his players. I never would have written that a month ago. But look at the way the series went. His team went 0-6 in the regular season against the Yankees.

As it turned out, Wedge made sure his Indians could care less.

I have no idea what to expect from here, but Wedge has proved he's better manager than I ever thought.



At 4:45 PM , Blogger Vince said...

I, on the other hand, can and will gloat.
I find your lack of faith disturbing, little man.
My only disappointment is that I had tickets to Game 5.

At 5:58 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

Now we get to see what Wedge does for an encore. Boston is the only team in the AL that had a better start-to-finish season than the Indians. Their pitching is much tougher than the Yankees, and they'll be able to throw Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling at the Tribe twice if needed.

But I think Wedge has the right idea: Don't panic, don't waver from your plan, take it one game at a time. That's what got the Indians to this point, and that's what they should keep doing.

I, however, would have switched up the rotation and gone with Sabathia in Game 1, Byrd in Game 2, Carmona in Game 3 and Westbrook in Game 4. That would have set Carmona up for Game 7 if need be and limited Westbrook to one start at home.

Right now, I think Westbrook is the weak link in the rotation. His command of his sinker has come and gone all year, and against the Yankees, it went away.

The way the rotation stands right now, Westbrook would start a Game 7, and that's bothersome to me.


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