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Posted by Jan - 25 - 2013 0 Comment


This morning I was settling in for my one and possibly second cup of coffee (only time I drink this TYPE of caffeine) and I was opening the sport pages of the Plain Dealer (yep, still like the feel of a paper in the morning) I came to read and then think about the Tribe’s DH possibilities.  This was brought to my attention when “word” has it, Tribe hierarchic has some interest in Haffner and Thome (again and again and possibly again) and got me thinking.  Is that good or bad.

  090910-Jim-Thome-02                                                                  travis-hafner-indiansjpg-6073649f5cef97b8

As an AL team, yes the Tribe needs to have a solid DH. But in my book, solid means 130-150 games per year; 400-450 AB’s; BA .280+; 32-40 HR’s; 110 RBI’s. Everything else from the stat world, to me, is not relevant. Sometimes I think stats are created for no purpose other than to give an excuse for FO’s when THEY make a mistake in looking at the person as a “baseball player”.  Yes this goes against the concepts of “Moneyball”, which seems to be the bible for current FO’s, but really, do stats play the game? Hell no and that is why this subject gave me reason to post.

Since the DL has been part of the AL fabric and line-up, it is only in the recent years has that position been looked at as “a position”. In recent years, it was not a stigma for a player to be called a DH. To some that meant you were not a complete ballplayer. But answer me this, what/who IS a complete ballplayer? A pitcher? No, batting is not part of the position DNA. A position player? Maybe because they are usually seen as being in the line-up everyday. But the DH? No! He “appears” in the game but 4; maybe 5 times in a nine-inning game. Actually there is a stat for this, P/PA Pitches per Plate Appearance!  http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/league/al/sort/pitchesPerPlateAppearance/type/expanded  (See before long there will be another one P/NIG=Pisses per Nine Inning Game!)  Anyway let me move on.

It therefore, is a given, the DH is in play and deal with it. So, what does the Tribe do and what do I think?  Me first.

With the current make up of the team, or the way it is being made, the DH has to be one who gives you consistency; AB’s BA; HR; and, RBI’s. I’m not interested in anything else. Put him in the line-up; keep him at one spot; work the rest of line-up around him and let’s play ball.  Also my preference is a RH’d DH. Yes there are switch hitters of some offensive threats, Santana; ACab; Swisher, but I want a pure RHer like Paul Konerko to offset the lefties we have. Currently there isn’t anyone on the market and nothing worth trading for. So, for that reason, I stick with what we have, i.e., Nick, put him at 4-hole and let him play and occasionally have him DH. Rotate everyone else in and out of the DH. Multiple players available is better than a worn out; injury prone; aged DH! See Hafner and Thome.

IMO Tribe will take a shot at either Thome or Hafner for a couple of reasons. One try to catch lightning in a bottle with those injury-prone dudes. Second try to get them on the cheap, which is not outside the box of this FO’s thinking. And three, create fan excitement for “former” produces.  Enjoyed both Hafner and Thome during their playing days in C’Town, but at some time EVERYONE needs to move forward and my vote is to sing “thanks for the memories” to them and move on!

PS: Check out the above stat and look who is in the top ten! If this means something, then the Tribe is doing well according to the stats!

@jnmentor Twitter

PSS: In the picture of the Tribe Visitor Bullpen, the front row between the bully and foul pole were mine for 5 years BEFORE the Tribe ripped them and me, out and put in that party deck!! IMO THE best seats at the Jake.

Categories: Cleveland Indians

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