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Posted by Feb - 24 - 2013 0 Comment

bullpen

As I prepared my notes for this edition, I was just going to take a peek at the Cavs game v. Whatever they call that team from Naulins!  Boring game, until C’Town’s newest “named” player took over the game, and took over he did. Kyrie was SPECTACULAR in the last 7:35 minutes of the last quarter! 20 points alone to bring home a winner for the Cavs.  And this got me thinking…Does the Tribe have its “own” KI?

Run through the names: A-Cab-hmmm? Probably not. C-San-Nope! “We are all Kip-nesses” – would like to think so, but nada here too. Swish-would love to say yes just on his enthusiasm right now, but another Nyet!  Michael Bourn-might be too late for him, ya know he IS 30! (scheesh-30 looking over the hill; where the hell does that put you know who, one step in his grave?) Chisenhall; Brantley; Masterson; Myers; Vinnie; and CP54? No to each one, except for small moments CP can take the game over but not in the sense of KI.  No, I did not include Terry Francona, since his impact is not between the lines; I’m talking player here.

But right now, I have more faith that the Tribe will be playoff bound BEFORE the Cavs!  (The Browns-I’ll let them figure out their identity first before I chip in.)  Yep, my beloved and frustration-giving Indians are closer w/o a superstar because of all the sports, baseball is more representative of a “team” game than Basketball, especially NBA basketball.  What we have going on now with the Tribe, is the building of a core to be here for many seasons.  And that is especially necessary given the economics of that sport.  This year alone, the Dolan’s awoke from their slumber; heard me and others yell out loud and clear…SPEND SOME FREAKING DOLLARS AND SPEND IT RIGHT!! You cannot say they didn’t when over $117 MILLION was committed this year! Repeat that back to yourself slowly. ONE HUNDRED….. SEVENTEEN MILLION…..FREAKING…. DOLLARS!! And in this old man’s opinion, spent WISELY!! And here is why.

  1. Starting line-up on any given day, from 1-9 is talented; multi faceted; and all MAJOR LEAGUE players. No more Choo-Choo express running from C’Bus to C’Town on a daily basis, with either over-the-hill hangeroners or unproven “prospects” fitting somewhere in the line-up. This year I see a pretty set line-up, with little adjustments for who is on the hill.
  2. A better bench. Again, what was said in #1 can apply here as well. A-Cab needs a break, Aviles is no slouch. He can do the same for Kipnis and Chisenhall. Reynolds at 1B can get a break from Swish or C-San. Last year’s bench was, well …no bench at all. Maybe that is an answer to the 2nd half slump some guys had…no one to give them a rest or two.
  3. “Up the middle defense”.  Everyone who follows this game knows you have to be strong up the middle, from catcher (Santana) to SS/2nd (A-Cab and Kipnis) to CF (Bourn flanked by Brantley and Stubbs-all three who can flat out fly!). This has to be one of the better up the middle D’s in the Division if not the AL!
  4. Terry Francona.  Three words…”World Series Rings”!  This guy gets “IT”! Got it in Bawston, and got it TWICE! Got rid of the Curse of the Bambino and who knows, maybe the curse of Rocky Colavito will be history come some October/November evening!

Yea, I know, didn’t talk about the pitching.  But there is a simple reason for me why I didn’t go there. When I went over some stats from the past few seasons, I found out that situational hitting (or lack thereof); little or no offense; shoddy defense; each in their own right, hurt some good starts.  Did so in a way that the strength of the staff-the bullpen-either never got used right (coming in too early) or was never gotten to.  I know what you will say about “ifs” but every team says the same thing..IF our starting pitchers give us 6+ innings, we are in the game. For the Tribe tho, it is a very different mantra.  IF our starting pitchers get us to the bullpen, as the bullpen is set up, we have a BETTER THAN AVERAGE chance not to just be in the game, but TO WIN THE GAME!  My philosophy is you need an offense to get to the playoffs, but you need 2 SPs and a BP to win IN the playoffs.  Right now…that looks like how this edition of Tribe Baseball 2013 is being put on the field. Dolans-job well done….so far!

NBA: All Star Game-Rising Stars Challenge

Now, 20 points in the 4th quarter! KI was balling and maybe, just maybe things at the Q are a whole lot brighter…just as bright as the home gold uni’s!!  Wonder what will happen in 2014….wait I will not go there!!

@jnmentor Twitter

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