Thursday, May 22, 2008

10 things I think about the Indians
1. No matter what the eternal optimists say, Travis Hafner's days of being a feared hitter are over. He may hit .260 and drive in 90 runs. But the 2004-2006 Hafner will never return.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera needs to go back to Buffalo. There is no excuse for having a .170 hitter in the lineup.

3. Josh Barfield should be called up, and left at second for the remainder of the season.

4. Joe Borowski's return will not solve too much because the offense has not had many opportunities to lead in the ninth.

5. Andy Marte needs to play, or be released now.

6. Grady Sizemore is in a slump, and has actually regressed in each of the last two seasons. There is no suggestion for this problem, since Sizemore needs to stay in the lineup. But few people seem to want to knock Grady. Over the last few years, he's looking less like Bernie Williams and more like Rick Manning. After the injury.

7. Jamie Carroll is a bench player. Eric Wedge seems to think otherwise.

8. Victor Martinez is the biggest mystery on the roster. No homers? On May 22? Victor is my favorite player, and the only one who has hit with any consistency. But what happened to the power?

9. Paul Byrd says all the right things, and you want to believe him when he honestly explains his mistakes. But there is serious cause for concern, because of the homers.

10. Eric Wedge is starting to look like Abe Lincoln.



At 9:57 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

I'm starting to have some serious fundamental disagreements with the way the Indians are being run. Even if Hafner is done (heck, maybe Sizemore is headed in that direction, too), no one is making any effective effort to correct the problems, or if they are, it's not working.

Shapiro was ruined by the Brandon Phillips fiasco. He is so terrified of making another mistake, he won't make any trade of consequence. Which might be good, considering that his track record with trades isn't all that good. He also oversees a scouting department that hasn't turned out one single decent draft in his tenure.

Wedge is a puppet. I don't care how many times Matt Underwood tries to paint him as a fiery, passionate leader. He's completely ineffectual, he lives to serve the front office and he is probably the worst button-pusher, both strategically and psychologically, that I have ever seen. But he's in lockstep with Shapiro, so as logn as Shapiro is here, he's here. My guess is that someday he'll become the all-time Indians leader in games managed. If he someday ends up being the winningest manager in Tribe history, he'll also be the losingest.

It all boils down to this: ineffectual leadership, no people skills and an unwillingness to make meaningful changes. Inertia rules all.

But, hey, if they're satisfied with waiting it out to see if the ship rights itself on its own, why shouldn't we be?

I'm personally fascinated to see how bad this lack-of-leadership fiasco gets, how much damage Shapiro and Wedge can do to their reputations. At some point, as hard as they try to live in a bubble, the outside will creep in and Wedgiro might get an accurate picture of the type of hack-job they're doing to this organization.

Of course, once they realize the error of their ways, they will have moved on, corrected the problem and won a couple of World Series for another team, a la Bill Belichick. But that's Cleveland for you.

At 11:58 AM , Anonymous Aaron said...

I think part of the reason Jamie Carroll plays so much is the offensive struggles that the Indians have shown recently. With Cabrera hitting under .200, I think Wedge is close to outright platooning the two at second...

Which leads to the your third point. Calling up Josh Barfield would be a good thing, however I think an addendum should be added to number three. If he performs better than Cabrera leave him there


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