Monday, July 10, 2006

Notice received. Thanks.

Just before the All-Star break, the Tribe officially served notice that this team is a joke. They pissed away another game yesterday in genuine Keystone Kops fashion. The only consistency the Tribe has shown over the last month-and-a-half has been their maddening inconsistency.

Sure, they've got a few great players but a lot less than we all thought in March. Grady's the only real all around player on the big league roster. Pronk and Martinez are both big league DH's. Sabathia, Lee and Westbrook are very good but not great pitchers. The rest of the guys are role players, potential in waiting or just plain bums. Belliard and Blake are worth having around but they're not going to take a team to a championship. Peralta's year has been a disaster. Last year he hit the hell out of the ball. This year he hasn't. His true future projections lie between this year and last. But, none of that obscures that he's a third baseman playing shortstop. That's pretty funny considering that the Tribe gave away one of its better players to get a minor league...third baseman. Jhonny's going to be the subject of a big off-season question: What can the Tribe do with him?

I hate to pile on, but Boone's been a disaster. The Indians have wasted $3 Million a year on him.

The rest go something like this: Broussard---role player; Michaels---role player; Hollandsworth---older role player; Neidermeyer---dead.... Well, you get the picture. I don't see much changing in the near future absent a major free agent haul.

Although I'm loath to disagree with my pal, the Hornless Rhino, the minor league affiliates are not going to help out much. There's just not much game-breaking ability down on the farm. Trevor Crowe may be the only real ballplayer among the hitters. Garko will be a pretty good hitter, who shouldn't even sit next to a glove on the bench let alone wear one in the field. Stephen Head looks like he has big time power, but he can only DH or play 1B. He's also got a very long swing at times that, unless corrected, could lead to colossal strikeout totals in the bigs. There are other very good, and even great, minor leaguers in the Indians' system, but the problem is they all exhibit flaws. A flaw either gets corrected or it gets magnified at each higher level.

This is the result of Dolan's unwillingness to spend money, and therefore, Shapiro's inability to grab top talent in the draft. This may have already spelled the doom of the Tribe for the next five years. While the Indians have been diddling around and saving money, the White Sox won a World Series and whetted their fans' appetites for championships. They're going to keep spending to keep winning. Cleveland's convenient excuse that it's a small market team is irrelevant. Two of the other small market teams in the AL Central, the Tigers and the Twins, are primed for future success. Both have assembled the makings of phenomenal pitching staffs.
Detroit has Bonderman and Verlander at the top of its rotation and a young guy named Zumaya, who's going to be a stud. Minnesota has Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano. Their learning curves have been miniscule compared to Sabathia's.

What's worse is that Minnesota, in particular, has assembled some very good hitters too: Joe Mauer; Justin Morneau; Luis Castillo; and Torii Hunter. One free agent hitter could make that team a world champion as soon as next year. Detroit's got a nice combination of relative youth
and some veterans. Guys like Curtis Granderson and Chris Shelton can help that team out. More importantly, Detroit's owner has shown a willingness to get big name free agents like Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez.

On the other hand, we've got Aaron Boone.

1 comment:

Ms. Anotop said...

I still place the blame on Shapiro...and his lack of ability to consistently put together a quality pitching staff: Tim Drew, J. Guthrie, D. Graves, J. Johnson, Hide in the Bush Man, Japanese Porn Star Man, G Mota....and the list can go on....these players represent a tremendous waste of organizational energy...all of these players lead me to believe something is fundamentally wrong with Shapiro and his staff's ability to evaluate pitching...Schurholtz can run circles around Shapiro.