"Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something." - Thomas A. Edison
"I have found that people who can successfully resist temptation invariably lead depressingly stunted lives." — C.D. Payne
"So don't weep for me now, my friends, because science insists that I have not died.
Energy just always changes state and I refuse to believe that human consciousness is the sole exception to this universal law."
- Mark Millar
"Do only butterflies die in flames? What about those devoured by the flames within them?" - E.M. Cioran

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Quest Called Tribe

What a shame.  On a day when the a new vigor and strength poured from the Indians like so much strawberry wine, I would have liked to pound out a purely positive piece.  I know the bullpen had to pick up the reigns in the 3rd inning after Jeanmar Gomez's ejection, but it was the 6th by the time Josh Tomlin finished fanning the flames.  Last season, handing the bullpen a three run lead was tantamount to etching the tic mark in the win column.  Tony Sipp is a mess, just a god awful mess (19.29 ERA, 3.43 WHIP, .462 OBA).  For a guy who had a poor spring and has all three options remaining, he is certainly not pitching like someone who wants to keep his job.  As has been mentioned countless times before, Nick Hagadone is ready for the big time.  With such a bevy of left handed pitching stockpiled, the Tribe could have easily moved Sipp (or Raffy Perez, whichever) in the off-season for the quality prospect that is so conspicuously missing for the AA level.  It's not just Sipp either, the entire 'pen has been sloppy.  Despite avoiding their third loss tonight, the aggregate ERA is a ridiculous 6.48.  I understand the concept that it is difficult to rely on individual relievers to consistently produce quality season after season, but the whole staff at once?  This is a nightmare.

Someone commented to me that he appreciated the new "angry Tribe attitude."  You want some leadership?  Captain Jack's got your leadership all the way to the clubhouse.  I agree that it is heartening to see fire in the bellies of a team that had seemed resigned to its role as a mid-market kick-dog (and in spite of woManny Acta, get it woman-Manny), that sort of chip doesn't do any good to shoulders that cannot carry a seven run lead.  

Also, I am concerned about Josh Tomlin.  I saw a comparison to Jeremy Sowers (who has, apparently and quite quietly, retired) earlier in the spring, noting that we have seen how quickly a soft tosser can circle down the drain.  Jamie Moyer notwithstanding, I can see the point.  Even so, Tomlin is running into trouble because he, quite simply, is not hitting his spots.  For a man to whom control is absolutely paramount, he has left far too many pitches in the prime hitting zone.  I'll pick this up again tomorrow when I can see some statistical breakdowns.

All of that being said, thank god for Jarrod Dyson.  I am seriously confused as to how this kid is a Major Leaguer.  It was bad enough for him after the Kipnis ball yesterday and the Brantley triple in today's 3rd.  Then the kid gets caught stealing in the bottom of the 9th on a helluva throw by Carlos Santana.  When Choo got that ball up in the air to center in the 10th, I said aloud "There's no way Dyson's catching this."  True to form, the guy ran dead out, got leather on the ball and nearly broke his face as the ball rattled back onto the outfield grass.  No disrespect brother, but thank you, thank you so much.  This one would have hurt. 


P.s. Jack can't get kicked out anymore (espceially with Jose Lopez at DH), because Jason Donald CANNOT play third.

Oh, yeah.  Break your brooms.

Pretty Girl Update! - Kaley Cuoco

Um, Kaley, if you're gonna do Playboy, then maybe you should take your clothes off.  OK?

Clip Joint Bluegrass

The Clippers (6-3) headed south yesterday to begin a weekend set with the Louisville Bats and came  up on the short end of a 4-2 final.  Despite outhitting Louisville 9 to 5, the Clips pitchers issued 6 walks in the first six innings and the Bats bats took full advantage.  Scott Barnes (4.09) started and looked good (5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K) except for his control.  Hector Ambriz (1.93) further fueled the fire with two walk of his own before CC Lee (1.1 IP, H, 2 K, 3.38) was able to close the sixth inning.  Jeremy Accardo, yet to be scored on (and a helluva nice guy, met him the other day) pitched a perfect 8th, fanning one.

At the dish there was very little to write home about.  Chad Huffman (.375) continued his hot hitting with a pair of doubles and one of the two RBI.  Lonnie Chisenhall (.333) added a pair of singles, but more pertinent is the injury to Matt LaPorta (.314).  While the fastball that bruised Matty's right hand in the 5th did not break any bones, it remains to be seen just how it will affect his ability to handle the bat going forward.

Also on the injury front, both Luke Carlin (.357) and Andy LaRoche (.200) are headed to the DL with Michel Hernandez and Justin Toole replacing them on the active roster.

The Clipper ship docks in Louisville again tonight with lanky right hander Chris Seddon (0-0, 6.75) getting the 6:05p start.

Other Minor Points of Interest...

Although Jared Goedert (.308) and Nick Weglarz (.136) each had two hits for the Aeros last night, the similarities past that are few.   Both have shown little power, but Goedert has practiced excellent plate discipline (6 BB/5 K) to produce an .822 OPS, while Wegz has struggled (2 BB/ 11 K) and has posted an abysmal OPS of .345.

Steven Wright (1.59) and his ever improving knuckler got their second start and Trenton failed to meet the challenge.  Wright stymied the Thunder over 5 and 2/3 (2 H, ER, 4 BB), while punching out 7.  The opposition is hitting just .132 against Wright thus far.  Japanese import Toru Murata threw 1.1 innings of clean relief and has yet to be scored upon this season.  Cody Allen, just promoted from A+ Carolina, tossed the last two innings perfectly for his first career save.  The 2011 23rd round pick is blazing through the system and even made a couple of appearances with the big club during spring camp.  So far in 2012, opponents are hitting .053 off of Allen over 6 innings in which he has fanned 10 and walked none.

While power prospect Jesus Aguilar (.407) is having no problems adjusting to the Carolina League, top infielder Tony Wolters (.138) is finding the slope a bit more slippery.  Aguilar has supplemented his first home run with a trio of doubles and has matched his strikeouts and walks at 3.  His OPS is a stunning 1.096.  Wolters, having fully skipped over low A Lake County, is just 4 for his first 29 with 10 Ks.  The same transition has yet to limit catcher Jake Lowery (.346).  He has produced a .952 OPS and 6 RBI in the season's first week.

Lake County
The Captains are the most talented of any affiliate this season and all of the boys are hitting in the early going.  LC played a afternooner today and the top two in the lineup certainly came to play.  Luigi Rodriguez (.324) doubled and tripled en route to scoring a pair of runs, while top prospect Francisco Lindor (.349) singled 3 times, scored one and drove one home.  Despite taking an 0-for-5 collar, Alex Lavisky (.308) still leads the club with 8 RBI.  All of this without LeVon Washington (.440), who got the day off.

Whew.  I kinda feel caught up now.  Watch out for A Quest Called Tribe, going live later this week.

Pretty Girl 04.14.12 - Rachael Harris

She's a bit of an acquired taste, I know, especially if you're used to her astringent character from the Hangover flicks.  If you need something to seal the deal, check her out in the Archer episode "Movie Star."  (She's the movie star.)