Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Indians keep losing
It's not like we haven't seen this before.

Forget winning the division. At this point, the Indians will be lucky to escape last place by the end of the month.

This is just the way it goes when a team is going bad: one out away from an extra inning win, and the closer implodes. No reason to rip on Joe Borowski. In the words of Woody Hayes: "I don't blame you. I blame the guy that hired you."

It's becoming more and more apparent by the day that the root of the Indians problems came from the offseason, when general manager Mark Shapiro (perhaps on the direction of ownership) opted not to spend money and improve the club.

Examples of this are all over the place on this team (a David Dellucci-Jason Michaels platoon?), but none better than Borowski. He saved 45 games last year, despite having an ERA greater than five. He coaxed a decent season out of a somewhat questionable arm. Very few people thought he had another season like 2007 in him.

Sadly for the Indians, Shapiro was one of the believers. Borowski was miserable at the start of the season, then was mercifully placed on the disabled list. He's returned, but with little relief. He's had 10 save opportunities on the season, and completed six. That's not a great ratio.

You can't blame the Indians for Borowski's injury. You can blame the front office for not looking for some proven help in the pen in case Borowski imploded. Masa Kobayashi is pretty good. Jorge Julio was not.

The bullpen is not the main culprit of these problems. But it is a microcosm of what's wrong. The team that won 96 games didn't learn much from 2006, when it did nothing to improve, and actually made itself worse by dealing Coco Crisp, a move the team is still paying for.

At this point, you have to wonder what's scarier: A bad season, or the decision making after a good one.

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1 Comments:

At 5:30 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

At this point, you'd have to wonder if the Indians are going to avoid 100 losses. If Shapiro trades C.C. and (yes) Casey Blake, and the injuries to Hafner, Martinez and Carmona continue to linger deep into the second half, the Indians might be on the road to the worst record in baseball this year.

As it is, they're less than five games ahead of the Padres, who currently own baseball's worst record.

Trading away members of the remaining small band of Tribe players having respectable seasons will only make the landslide pick up speed.

My prediction: Get ready for a brutal second half. If the Indians avoid 100 losses, it will be by only a few games.

 

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