The Irish been coming here for years, acting like they own the place

St. Patrick's Day is a really divisive holiday for me. When I'm not working, it is, without question, one of the best days of the year. And when I am working, it is, without question, one of the most obnoxious days of the year.


fourleafclover.jpg 

If you're neither Irish nor inebriated, this holiday does nothing for you. If you're not a fan of corned beef or soda bread, all you've got is a bunch of goofs wearing T-shirts with ridiculous expressions like "Erin Go Braless" or saying annoying things like "Top o' the mornin' to ya!"

 

Ah, maybe I'm just jealous. Pass the Tullamore Dew. I need to get in the holiday spirit.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Wow. Cliff Lee took quite a lump today -- 10 runs (nine earned) on 11 hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. It reads as bad as it looked, and it looked heinous. Lee said he was just trying to locate his fastballs today. And I could definitely locate them. There was one that landed near the warning track in right, there was one off the center-field wall, there was one that cruised past his left ear on a liner up the middle.... well, you get the idea.
  • That being said, Lee had a point. He was basically throwing nothing but fastballs. Only five or six of his 60-some pitches were offspeed. He was throwing fastballs in counts he'd never throw them in-season, and he said he also took into account the fact that he'll be facing this Rangers team in less than three weeks, when the games count.
  • By the way, Lee had a 5.68 ERA and a .342 average against last spring -- and that's when he was competing for a job. I know those numbers aren't as bad as the 18.90 ERA he's carrying now, but it's just another demonstration that we shouldn't put too much weight into what happens out here. So don't panic yet.
  • Well, unless you were counting on Masa Kobayashi to be a go-to setup man. In that case, yes, now would be a good time to panic. But Eric Wedge thought he looked better today.
  • Travis Hafner will begin to see some action in Minor League games in the coming weeks, for a couple reasons. It gives him extra repetitions, for one. But after Wednesday's off day, nine of the Indians' remaining 10 exhibition road games will be against National League teams. Thus far, the Indians haven't had a single road game in which the DH wasn't utilized, but that's sure to change as we get closer to the regular season.
  • Let's talk about the batting order. We know, of course, that Grady Sizemore is going to lead off. We know Mark DeRosa is batting second. We know Wedge prefers to have Hafner at No. 3 and Victor Martinez at cleanup. But Wedge said today he puts Hafner, Martinez and Jhonny Peralta (who was excellent at No. 4 last year) in those Nos. 3-5 spots, and he's still not sure of the order or even if it will be static.
  • Moving down the order, Wedge said Asdrubal Cabrera will remain in the Nos. 8 or 9 spots. He likes the protection that affords the young Cabrera, though he still sees him potentially working his way back up to No. 2 (where he thrived at the end of '07) someday. That leaves Shin-Soo Choo, Ben Francisco and Kelly Shoppach/Ryan Garko somewhere in the Nos. 6-9 mix, with the order depending on the day and opposing pitcher.
  • How would you organize the lineup? I'd go with Choo at No. 3, Peralta at No. 4, Martinez at No. 5 and Hafner at No. 6 at the outset. It's too early to know what the Indians will get out of Pronk, so I would bump him down and ease the pressure on him.
  • Peralta started at third today. That's his second appearance there this spring. "We just want to give him some repetitions," Wedge said, "so that if we do need him [at third], he's been there." Cabrera started at short.
  • Kirk Saarloos came on in emergency relief of Lee in the third inning and held the Rangers scoreless for 1 1/3 innings. It was a nice audition for that long relief role.
  • A guy dressed in costume as a gigantic Dunkin' Donuts coffee cup came into the PDC this morning with about four or five dozen free donuts for all the players. Well, it's 2009. The coffee cup should have known that the modern athlete is prohibited (at work and under the supervision of a team of athletic trainers, anyway) from eating such garbage.
  • So, guess who got all the donuts? Yes, media membership has its privileges.

~AC

7 Comments

I can always count on you to talk me down, AC. Good points from Lee, even if it IS scary to look at.

Nice to see Kerry Wood and Joe Smith get quality work in (from the box score). Does Masa have options? How does that work with players from Japan?

Irish here! And love corned beef & cabbage! lol! Hope you find a dram of whiskey later! :-)

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

I was hoping he was working on something because if not my heart was going to be on the floor. Him and Fausto need to be somewhat dominant this year because who knows what were going to get from Carl, Reyes, Laffey, Sowers and maybe Scott Lewis during the season.

I have been thinking Jhonny earned the #4 spot all winter, but didn’t think Wedge would actually do it. At least I feel like there is a chance now. But I get the impression that Wedge feels like he has to treat Hafner like he is the Hafner of old in order to keep his spirit up or something, while instead I would rather he take the pressure off him and place him around the 6 hole. I do hope Choo can be as good as he is shown, but at the same time, I am not sure I am comfortable giving him the 3 spot at the outset. If Victor had more speed I would obviously love him in the 3 spot, but I am not sure I would be terribly opposed to it. I think opening day if I was writing the lineup (which I will not be) it would look like this…
1 – Sizemore
2 – DeRosa
3 – Martinez
4 – Peralta
5 – Choo
6 – Hafner
7 – Fransisco
8 – Shoppach (Lee pitches opening day, I assume Kelly plays.)
9 – Cabrera

I didn’t take you as a Tully-man, AC. I tipped a few back for you last night though. Nothing better than a viable excuse like St. Patty’s Day for Jamison on the rocks and an Irish Car Bomb sidecar

christopherw, I totally agree with your assessment of Wedge trying to maintain or build up Hafner’s confidence and thus plugging him into the 3 hole for his mental benefit. I also agree with AC on the order of what the lineup should be. However, I don’t think anyone suggests that Wedge will alter his vanilla tendencies so the 3-6 spots will still probably be Hafner, Martinez, Peralta, Choo. Given everything to consider I have a lineup that is totally off the wall: Brantley, DeRosa, Sizemore, Peralta, Martinez, Hafner, Choo, Shoppach, Cabrera. Bye bye Francisco and Dellucci. Never gonna happen but fun to think about.

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