That’s right, it’s Rick taking over the minute (again) today!
Two things, ok maybe three things for your consideration today. First and foremost, that opener went exactly as you thought it would didn’t it? (shaking head no…) Come on, who had Sabathia struggles, bullpen is shaky, questionable calls, and the Indians only score in 2 of the 9 innings for a 10-8 win in your office pool? No? Yeah me neither, but that’s baseball. The Indians were actually the beneficiary of those blown calls by the way. Well, at least one. The interference call was absolutely the right call, though you probably won’t hear many Sox fans admit that. Cabrera clearly stretched out to grab Peralta and deny the double play. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen at least admitted later that interference was the right call-
“The umpire was right,” Guillen said. “I went down and saw the replay.”
As for the blown call? That would be the “phantom tag” applied by Kelly Shoppach after Peralta’s throw to the plate was high and wide of the plate. Didn’t look like a tag to me. Doesn’t sound like Joe Crede is convinced either-
“Nobody tagged me,” Crede said. “I didn’t feel anything. I went in and looked at the TV replay and he didn’t tag me.”
Maybe the Indians should consider taking replay out of the dugouts.
Second item- Victor’s injury scares me. Best case scenario is that he misses a few games and is able to bounce back and get his timing right away. I’m going to be optimistic and hope for that. Wedge’s comment after the game makes me a little nervous-
“I’m not sure on Vic,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s got something going on with his hamstring. I took a look at him when he came off the field, then I had to get on with the game. We’re hoping for the best.”
Yeah, Victor missed 6 games at the start of last season and still was the offensive MVP of the team, but Victor has been streaky in his career, not so much last season, but certainly the years before. I would hate to have Martinez miss a couple of weeks and then struggle to get his timing back. We will most certainly need him to protect Hafner.
Ok, last thing on the Indians before I get to the Cavs today. Those uniforms are horrible. Absolutely awful. Yes, I understand the retro, throw-back type of feel that they are going for. But those looked hideous. For starters, that cream color does not look good on television. It looks dingy. Second, you can clearly see the undershirts and various other undergarments. Seriously, I do not want to see that much of Sabathia ever again. The font on the front of the jerseys- who came up with that one? My wife even said it looked like bad wordart. Exactly. The Larry Doby tribute uniforms were better. These need to go away. Put them on a shelf somewhere and forget they are there. Please.
Alright here’s your Cavs item for the day. Let me say first that the Plain Dealer is the about the only game in town anymore when it comes to covering Cleveland. The Beacon Journal is just about unreadable. If they ever lose Windhorst that might be the last time I check them out. Today however, I couldn’t disagree more with Branson Wright’s piece on the Cavalier coaching staff.
“We want to be a no excuses team,” said Ferry, about this season. “Every team in the NBA has challenges and I believe Mike and his staff have done a great job of staying focused on what is in front of us and trying to get better everyday despite the injuries we have had to work through this year.”
No excuses are one thing, but what the Cavs have been able to accomplish so far with what they have encountered has been impressive.
Because of injuries, trades and holdouts, the Cavs have had 20 different starting lineups this season compared to 15 all of last season. Players have missed 175 games this season against only 50 a year ago.
The injuries and adjustments to the new players have been such a challenge that the coaching staff has had to be creative in its efforts to coach.
Now to be fair, Branson doesn’t really come out and say he believes the Cavs are doing a good job, he merely gives the facts. This piece has the distinct smell of the Cavalier’s PR department however. Nobody is denying that the coaching staff has had to work hard, or that they haven’t done what they know how to do for this team. The fact remains that this team is 8 games over .500 not because of what Mike Brown and his assistants have done, but because they have the best player in the league on the team, and an under-appreciated center that is having his best season ever. The offense is still not creative. The injuries have been outrageous, no question about that, but an offense should be designed to put people into place and be somewhat successful. Particularly since LeBron hasn’t missed many games.