Tag Archives: Cleveland Indians

A’s Get Robbed In Bugtown USA

I guess it doesn’t really matter, so I shouldn’t be crying over spilled milk, but the A’s got robbed in Cleveland tonight. For a while I thought the bugs were going to dictate the outcome of the game, and we’d be able to blame it on the insects, like the Yankees did in the playoffs a few years back. Instead, we can blame it on BRUCE DRECKMAN.  YOU blew a call tonight Dreckman, all because you wanted to go home. The A’s and Indians were deadlocked in a 3-3 tie in the 16th inning. A run hadn’t been scored in 10 innings, but it was just passed midnight in Cleveland, and you wanted to hit the hay. Well I’m not gonna stand for this. This aggression will not stand, man. Kurt Suzuki clearly made the tag on the ass no less than 6 inches ahead of the plate. I know the bugs must be a pain in the ass, but let’s at least let the players on the field determine the outcome of the game. This was the biggest blown call since Jim Joyce ruined Armando Galarraga’s career. There was only one out, so it’s not like the Indians probably wouldn’t have scored. But to send a team home on that play, is no doubt a low point in the season. It may not seem like a big deal now, but for all you fans of playoff teams, just hope that you don’t get dealt Bruce Dreckman for one of your series. His blown call will sail under the radar, but it won’t go without notice on Doin Work. F*** YOU BRUCE DRECKMAN.

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For Real? MLB Contenders Or Pretenders…?

Let’s play a little game called, “Just the Tip.”  Just for a second, just to see how it feels. Now let’s see which MLB teams can hang over the course of an entire season. Every year, someone comes out of nowhere and contends longer than they were supposed to. It then becomes a game of “will they or won’t they.” This year there are two teams that have come out of nowhere to lead their respective divisions at the time of this post. There are also two honorable mention teams that just so happened to meet in the World Series last year, but still, they don’t necessarily look like the best teams in their divisions.

The Giants, defending World Champions, don’t look like a championship team, but their pitching has kept them atop the NL West. Not sure if that’s so much a credit to the Giants, when you consider the division just seems pretty bad top to bottom. The Rockies have underachieved, and the Dodgers and Padres are pretty much irrelevant. Arizona has been a surprise, but no one really believes they can hang around and contend for the NL West crown. For that we say, the Giants will.

The Rangers, on the other hand, came into this season more or less as favorites to win the AL West. But, a lot of people saw either the Angels reclaiming the division, or the A’s making the jump and riding their pitching to a postseason berth. Instead, the Rangers have played just well enough to hold a 5 game lead over the Angels in the division. Their offense was never in question, but they’ve had surprisingly strong pitching that has kept them perched atop the AL West.

On to the real surprise teams of the 2011 campaign. I’ll start with the Indians because I sort of saw this coming. To be honest though, I’m sort of waiting for the team to fall off, as part of me doesn’t really believe they are for real. I at least thought that Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner could manage to stay healthy, and combine that with two guys who I knew would be solid this year, Asdrubal Cabrea and Shin Soo Choo, and it seemed the Indians were poised for an improbable run at the trophy this year. Unfortunately, Sizemore and Hafner have been sidelined often, Choo’s blood-alcohol level has exceeded his batting average, and Asdrubal Cabrera is left with few RBI opportunies costing him much deserved MVP attention. I’m also questioning whether that starting rotation can hold their ground for the remainder of the season.

Finally we come to the Pirates. I don’t think anyone saw this coming, but if they did, post a link showing off your premonition like I am once again HERE. Like many good teams, they’ve ridden their pitching to a division lead in late July. I honestly don’t remember the last time I saw this. I believe the statistics say it was 1992. That’s a long time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Pirates have the longest streak of futility in ALL of professional sports. Is that right? Either way, I’m a big time Pirates fan this summer and fall. I wonder how many players I can name on that team….? Let’s count. Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Ryan Doumit, Joel Hanrahan ….that’s all I’ve got. But I’m on board. Will they hang on? Not a chance. With Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cincinnati (my other World Series pick)  all chasing them, they’d be lucky to finish third this year.


Mondanity

It’s actually far from mundane where the sports world is concerned, but the A’s got swept by the Giants and I’m not really able to see a lot of positives out there at the moment. The world is lousy right now as far as I’m concerned, but at least we’re all still here, right? Well, maybe minus 100+ of us out in Southwest Missouri. That storm was nasty, and while I constantly question why anyone would settle in Tornado Alley, I don’t think anyone could have seen one of that caliber coming. Oh, and we also lost a legend in the Macho Man Randy Savage. Dude took intensity to a whole nother level and probably should be credited as one of the primary founders of the concept of swagger. Turning my attention back to sports, here’s what captivated my interest now that the weekend is over….

FIRE BOB GEREN – I told Chappy the other day that we need to bring back the “Fire Bob Geren” movement. That was before they got swept in San Francisco, and have now lost 5 in a row to drop to 22-25 on the season. People who aren’t fans of the A’s – which apparently is all but 10,000 people in this world – will say Geren doesn’t exactly have a lot of talent to work with. The reality is he has the best pitching staff in all of baseball. Even with injuries to Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy, and Tyson Ross, as long as Cahill, Anderson, and Gonzalez are still standing, they’re alright. Admittedly the offense is terrible, but they went out and got Josh Willingham, Hideki Matsui, and David Dejesus. None of them are all-stars, but each has proved himself as a big league hitter, which is something I can’t say for guys like Daric Barton or Cliff Pennington. This is Geren’s 5th season as Manager, which is practically an eternity in this day and age. The problem is he’s Billy Beane’s best friend, so you can’t count on him firing his best friend. Now, if he were Lamar Odom it’d be another story! (And if you get that reference you should be ashamed of yourself)

If you care to hear more about the Fire Bob Geren Movement, head over to AthleticsNation, where someone apparently felt the same way I did waking up this Monday morning. Only this person must not have a job to go to, because this is the longest blog post I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, Geren’s managerial shortcomings can provoke one to express a lot of frustration, so I completely get it.

Joakim Noah Called Someone a Fag – Man, why is this such a huge story today? Maybe I tuned in at the wrong time, but this entire Thunder – Mavericks 2nd quarter broadcast has been all about Noah’s “homophobic slur.” Now don’t anybody comment on why it IS such a big deal, because I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been fined and publicly reprimanded. What’s frustrating for me, and everyone else out here in California, is it has been acceptable to be gay for like 20 years now. I’m tired of seeing the rest of the country showing up all late to the party trying to overcompensate. Add to that this ridiculous commercial with Grant Hill and Jared Dudley telling us that it’s rude to call things gay. Please, Jared Dudley grew up in San Diego. I’ll bet my life he’s called plenty of things gay in his day. I guess these commercials are breaking news to a large population of the U.S., but what’s next, Shane Battier and Blake Griffin telling kids it’s okay to be of mixed descent? Get with the times. (I just saw on the ESPN ticker that the Phoenix Suns President announced he’s gay. That happened like two weeks ago. It’s a big move for him, but we should have moved on by now.)

Ray Lewis NEEDS to Remain in the Public Eye if the NFL Has a Lockout – If you saw Sal Palantonio’s interview with the Ravens’ linebacker you know what I’m talking about. I like Ray Lewis on the field a lot, but I MAY just like him even more in a different capacity, like, say a reality show. He might even have a career as a pro wrestler. Shoot, just as long as he keeps doing interviews I’ll be interested. Just watching the man talk…. it reminds me of nights in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. You know that old probably homeless, possibly a crackhead grandpa that tries to talk to you and you just keep walking? Well I have a tendency to engage that guy in a conversation. I may not always take away something constructive from it, but grandpas always seem to have a way of making it seem like what they’re telling you is the most earth-shattering stuff you’ve ever heard, even though you have no idea what in the world they’re talking about. That’s the same feeling I get when I watch Ray Lewis talk. I just want to see more. (If there’s a fantasy football season, I’m naming my team “Evil, Which We Call Crime”)

Asdrubal Cabrera is the MVP of the American League – Sure, Jose Bautista has better numbers (he just hit his 19th HR of the year tonight), but how is HIS team doing? I’m the last guy you need to notify that the Cleveland Indians have the best record in baseball, seeing how I made them my preseason pick to win the AL pennant. I can’t say I saw Cabrera being this good though. If I did, I would have drafted him instead of Omar Infante in the 22nd ROUND of our fantasy league’s draft. True, yesterday’s 5-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI performance may just be fresh on my mind, but thanks to a little ESPN2 exposure tonight, I’ve just watched this kid go 3-4 with another home run, plus a key go-ahead RBI double in the 8th inning. If the Indians do end up making it to the World Series like I’m predicting, it will because Asdrubal Cabrera got them there.

Warriors Hired Jerry West – This is exciting for obvious reasons, but I’m not sure what effect it will actually have on the team on the floor. It doesn’t seem like anything will really get the Warriors over the hump anytime soon, but you wouldn’t just bring on Jerry West if you didn’t have a good reason would you? Well, maybe. Like Matt Steinmetz points out, it will, at the very least, give the Warriors  a little more credibility. If I were a free agent, I’d probably let Larry Riley go to voicemail. But if Jerry West were calling…. You see where I’m going with this. We’ll see what the results end up being, but this is the biggest hire since the Chris Mullin / Don Nelson regime was brought back, and THAT got us that one memorable playoff appearance, so there’s reason for optimism. Just like comedian/actor Kevin Hart says, “You ain’t a Warrior if you don’t G.S.!”


Favorite 10 Other Teams

It’s no secret who my teams are. I’m pretty much a homer when it comes to sports. If you’re wondering who my team is in any given sport, just find the team located in Northern California and you’ve got it. Oakland A’s, Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders, Sacramento Kings, San Francisco 49ers, and if you have to find a hockey team, the San Jose Sharks. Every once in a while, though, there’s an out of market team that captures my attention. Often times it’s because of a player I like. Other times it’s because I’m a habitual underdog supporter, and there’s actually a team out there worse than mine. Here’s who they are, how they fared, why I liked them, and who I liked on the team….

#10 – 2000 Cincinnati Bengals

Season Outcome: 4-12, 5th in AFC Central

Who I Liked: Corey Dillon, Peter Warrick, Takeo Spikes

Why I Liked Them: This team sort of tricked me. I had flirted with Bengals fandom for a few seasons, mainly on the strength of receivers, Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott. 2000, however, was the year I finally traveled down striped road and jump on the Bengal bandwagon, if there is such a thing. The problem was, Pickens and Scott were gone, and Akili Smith had assumed full time QB duties. What was left was 1,400 rushing yards for Corey Dillon, and Peter Warrick leading the receiving core with an underwhelming 52 catches and 4 TDs. I almost bought a Peter Warrick jersey one day at the San Francisco City Center early that season. Good thing I didn’t, that’d be the second worst jersey in my closet right now.

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The Trade Deadline is Coming Who Will Find a New Home?

Stock Trading Floor

With the trade deadline approaching, it looks as though teams need to make some moves to ensure that a playoff run is going to happen. There are powerhouses (Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox), that may not need to make a move to make the playoffs, but there’s a good chance they may need to make a move to win a championship. I’ve been waiting to see what prospects the A’s can pull out of it, and they do have a few bargaining chips so this may be the last time I’m excited about news from them for awhile. Aside from the Halladay sweepstakes, many say there aren’t many difference makers in the market this year. I agree to some extent that Halladay could make an impact like CC Sabathia did last year taking Milwakee to the playoffs. Then again there are the subtle differences like Boston adding Orlando Cabrera and upgrading their defense to help them push their way to breaking the curse. I will run through some other players not named Halladay, that could be a big difference maker when it’s all said and done.

Matt Holliday. I guess I have to start with a player from my team. Matt HollidayI’m just hoping we get something to the tune of a few major league ready minor league players, instead of two compensation draft picks when he leaves this off-season. San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and even Boston could use some power at the moment, and are all within three games of the wild card spot at the moment.  Holliday hasn’t lit the world on fire since coming to Oakland, but is showing teams he’s still a good player as it gets closer to the deadline with 3 HR’s, 13 Runs, 14 RBI, and a .311 BA over the last month.

Justin Duchscherer. Another A’s player, and Buster Only was all over him as a poor man’s Halladay. I’m not sure I’m sold on him returning to his dominant form of last season, but the numbers don’t lie, as he’s set to make his re-hab stint and hopefully a return to the majors soon. Pitching as a reliever or a starter his ERA has never been higher than 3.27, which makes me a believer that teams would pick up his modest salary in hopes he returns to form by playoff time. It also opens the door for him to return to the bullpen when he makes it back up, which would make the likes of Wuertz and Ziegler available. I would rather have either of them that the Orioles George Sherill.

Victor MartinezVictor Martinez. He’s having a solid comeback season with 14 HR’s, 59 RBI’s and a .286 BA. Vic is a player that would be a good fit for Red Sox or the Mets with Delgado and Lowell constantly battling injuries. He would also be a solid fit behind the plate in Boston with the deteriorating Varitek.

Cliff Lee. I think the chances of Lee making as much of an impact as Halladay are fairly likely. It’s been reported that since the Sox placed Wakefield on the DL they sent their top scout to Toronto to watch Lee dominate the Jays in his second consecutive complete game. It seems like Cleveland should have plenty of phone calls for last years Cy Young award winner and Martinez.

Marco Scutaro. He’s an interesting player on the block. I think he is the ultimate team player, kind of like Mark DeRosa was to the Cubs last season. Marco ScutaroHe can play multiple positions, and can come through with clutch hits (Many fond memories of him in an A’s uniform). He’s a glue guy that every contender needs, and if a team deals for him they won’t be disappointed with what he brings to the table.

Freddy Sanchez. The Pirates failed to reach agreements with Sanchez and Jack Wilson, so it looks like once again they will be trying to trade their soon to be free agents for some more prospects. Sanchez is the most interesting of the two as he plays phenomenal defense, and gets on base with regularity hitting .311 on the season. He’d be a good fit with the Giants or the Cubs.

Only time will tell, and after July 31st we will see which teams make their upgrades, and which teams think they already have what they need. Even though I doubted there would be any fireworks this year. I think there are some good names on the market besides Halladay!