"'Cut to the chase'? Who are you, Joe Hollywood?"

I love the NCAA tournament, if for no other reason than it gives the national audience a glimpse at the talents of guys like Western Kentucky's Orlando Mendez-Valdez -- the man so nice, they named him twice.

 

But you know what I don't like? First halves. They're a bit of a tease, really, and they do nothing for me on the drama scale.

 

Perhaps the NCAA should consider just cutting to the chase and getting to the good stuff. How about starting the games at the second half, with a point spread based on seeding? So when a 16 plays a 1, the 1 seed has a 15-point lead with 20 minutes left.

 

This idea sounded so good in my head. In print, it looks pretty stupid. And I'm feeling too lazy to erase it and blog about something else, so let's just get to today's Tribe tidbits, shall we?

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Fausto Carmona seems fine after suffering that bruised forearm in a Minor League intrasquad yesterday. Pitching coach Carl Willis said Carmona should be able to throw his bullpen session Saturday and should be good to go when his regular turn in the rotation comes up Tuesday.
  • Strong and deserved praise from Eric Wedge for left-hander Scott Lewis after Lewis went five scoreless innings of relief against the A's today, allowing just four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Is Lewis now the frontrunner for that last rotation spot? "He's right in the middle of everything," Wedge said. "I'll tell you that much. He's had as good a camp as any starting pitcher we have here. Today was definitely a positive step for him."
  • Aaron Laffey came into camp as the favorite for the job, as evidenced by the fact that he's started each of his five appearances. But Laffey's inconsistency has led to a 6.92 ERA. Lewis now has a 3.52 ERA in five appearances, but he's made only one start, so he hasn't gotten a full taste of real lineups. Still, you have to be impressed with what he's displayed here, picking up where he left off at the end of last season. Today he did a nice job pitching himself out of trouble.
  • It was an ugly start for Carl Pavano, who gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks in four innings. Five of the hits went for extra bases, including Cliff Pennington's three-run triple in the second and Aaron Cunningham's two-run homer in the fourth.
  • The second inning got away from Pavano after a Daric Barton chopper up the middle kicked off his glove for a single. "I lost it in the sun," Pavano said. "In hindsight, I should have let it fall and let [Asdrubal Cabrera] get it."
  • Pavano, as tends to be the case when a guy gets roughed up in Spring Training, said he felt good. He said he was working on using his legs more to push off the mound and get a better finishing action on his pitches. He said he's left camps before with worse stuff than he has now, so he's encouraged. I guess we'll see.
  • Ryan Garko was in left field today, and he did a nice job running down a Jack Cust fly ball in foul territory near the wall in the fourth inning.
  • Wilson Valdez put down a squeeze bunt with two outs in the eighth. You won't see that too often, if ever, especially on a Wedge team. Valdez was acting on his own there, and he nearly beat out the throw. Nearly.
  • The weekend crowds have been good here. Today's game drew 7,571 to Goodyear Ballpark, and the Big Chipotle will be jam-packed tomorrow, when the Dodgers arrive. Not sure if Manny Ramirez will be on-hand, but I do know that sellout crowd of nearly 10,000 fans will be. Fans are encouraged to arrive early. Gates will open at 11 a.m. PT in advance of the 1:05 p.m. PT first pitch.

~AC

9 Comments

You know – I’ve heard worse ideas involving sports playoff! lol! It is Friday so all is forgiven.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Hey, AC, I’m probably wrong about this, but wasn’t part of Pavano’s deal that he’d get a starting gig if he were healthy? I’m hoping he turns it around for the start of the season, but right now it looks like a shame that there’s only one spot open for our young guys.

Man, how many scoreless innings does Lewis have to toss to get a second look? If Wedge wants to go with Laffey, that’s just fine. But, let’s at least stop calling it a competition. I think Lewis has done a fantastic job, and deserves that much.

Man, how many scoreless innings does Lewis have to toss to get a second look? If Wedge wants to go with Laffey, that’s just fine. But, let’s at least stop calling it a competition. I think Lewis has done a fantastic job, and deserves at least that much.

jkrumwlede must be a Scott Lewis relative/high school friend trying to stir up some anti-Laffey sediment. I’m all for the best man getting the job, but come on…

Oops! Sorry about that double post. I actually like Laffey quite a bit. I think he will probably do quite well, if he gets the 5th spot. However, I still think Scott Lewis has more than proven himself.

While we’re at it can we get rid of the whole NBA regular season or cut it down to like 15 games?

http://www.theplayer2bnamedlater.com

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