Ring them bells

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just wanted to use this space to regrettably announce the passing of long-time press box attendant Joe Corrado.

And when I write “long-time,” I mean it. Corrado worked for the club for 49 seasons from 1949-2008, and any of you who happened to stroll past the press box en route to the fourth-level suites at Progressive Field probably saw his smiling face.

RIP, Joe.

Here are just a few notes for you in advance of today’s 12:37 p.m. ET game against the Jays. Feel free to keep the comments coming. This is a good a place to debate, vent, celebrate, commiserate and generally just let it all out.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Maybe Josh Barfield has found his niche. He was 2-for-2 after entering as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning last night. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Barfield’s .611 (11-for-18) career average in extra innings is the highest of any active player (minimum, 10 at-bats in extra innings).
  • Last night’s win was the first time the Tribe won when trailing after eight innings. Last year, the Indians were 1-66 in such games.
  • The Indians have left 216 runners on base, an average of 8.3 per game. In the AL, only the Jays (231) have stranded more.
  • The Indians have won four straight and five of six at the Rogers Centre.
  • I watched last night’s game from home, which hardly ever happens. And as entertaining a game as it was, I still must say the highlight came off the field, when the cameras showed that fan in the first row, dressed as an ump and ringing up batters on called third strikes.

~AC

37 Comments

I think that after yesterday’s performances sitting Ryan Garko and Josh Barfield minimizes what we should be praising and striving for as a team. The short list of players that should have been in the lineup today guaranteed are Martinez, Garko, Cabrera, Barfield and LaPorta. I don’t care if it was an extra inning night game followed by a day game.

those seat behind home plate in toronto always pull in the oddest of fans. those umps were good though. game 2 just started and now theres a random cubs fan that looks like he’s asleep behind the mesh. good times.

I know the Tribe aren’t exactly small-ball specialists, but how does Wedge not use the 0-4 Peralta to bunt over DeRosa after a lead off double in extra innings?! Thank goodness Barfield came through there, yikes.

RIP, Joe. That’s a man who has been through a lot with this ball club. That’s absolutely amazing.

As I generally do, I agree with AM. The fact that Garko, at least, isn’t in this line-up is ridiculous. We have to be the only team in baseball who sits one of their top three bats on a regular basis.

While I also agree with AC’s comments a while back (I think in the mailbag) that the sample size is pretty small, it might be time to give this “Cabrera at lead off” thing a shot. It would also be a good way to get Choo out of the 4 spot, where he seems to be having a difficult time.

LACF, the fact that Garko is sitting in favor of Choo against a left handed pitcher speaks volume about Wedge’s preferences IMO

I couldn’t agree more with comments already expressed here. What the hell is Josh Barfield doing on the bench today?? What more does the guy have to do to be given a chance to be more than a pinch-runner? Wedge is creating another Brandon Phillips situation here.

Going in line with losangelesclevelandfan’s comment, why doesn’t Wedge try Choo down the lineup and put Jhonny back in the 4th spot? I know Jhonny’s definitely not up to par right now but he flourished last season in that 4th spot. Maybe it would help?

I know that our team is losing games by not playing well, but you ever get the feeling sometimes that we’re just missing by the smallest of margins? Reyes just gave up two runs in the bottom of the 6th with two outs and the bases loaded. I feel like our starters are always one out away from getting out of a jam and always end up giving up the lead. It seems automatic. It’s as if we’re always one good pitch away from being a better team (although I suppose you could say that about any team).
Since Victor seems pretty entrenched in the 3 spot, why not Grady at 4? He leads the team in RBI and HR, but his OBP is pretty bad, really bad for a lead off guy. So why not take advantage of that power and move him down?
And while Choo has been collecting strikeouts since he moved to the #4 spot, he’s got just as many walks (mostly from before he moved to that spot) and he leads the team in stolen bases, so why not bat him second behind Cabrera?
I know I sound like a total fan boy about all this, but I think it’s time to mix it up — look how we produced last night when we HAD to mix it up.

Man, classic debate moment. Reyes had thrown 92 pitches after 6 innings and Wedge goes to the bullpen, in this case Perez, who got all of one out and left two guys on for Chulk.
I realize we’re up by three, but why not let Reyes at least start the 7th? Our bullpen has no problems giving up 3 runs or more.
Yeah, I know Reyes had some arm issues in the past, but he’s been healthy all year, and we need starters that can go deep.

Yeah, going to the bullpen worked out well for us.

I like going to the bullpen. Only you have to make better choices. The next move should be Wedge for ……….

I don’t think we CAN go to the bullpen in that situation. It’s sad, yes, but it’s a fact of life. Reyes was averaging 5 pitches per out and it was the bottom of their order. Why risk it by going to Perez?

With the callup of Laporta and Valbuena, I get the impression that the Indians have in some way decided, the future is now. In other words, they aren’t going to see how things play out, and if the current team doesn’t win, maybe we will be good in three years, and instead they are willing to take a chance on brining some young guys up ahead of schedule and seeing what happens.

It is possible, that the Indians, if they are operating under this assumption, should consider bringing up someone like Sowers, or other AAA starters, to work out of the bullpen? The bullpen is a mess, and I understand one or two guys might not fix it. But right now, things are NOT WORKING!!! Perez two days in a row with a three run lead. When will Wedge finally take a hint and send him down and give someone else a shot.

I am starting to think that maybe Wedge got offered the position of head scout for the New York Mets, but he has to get fired first.

My thought was that the call up of LaPorta and Valbuena was to see how they would do for the next couple weeks, and if somewhat successful, make a trade (Fransisco, Barfield, Shoppach?) for better pitching. We have too many bats. I am optimistic that this season is still salvagable. I do agree with you though, christopherw, the bullpen is a mess and something needs to change.

Does anyone else find it somewhat depressing every time Wedge has to go make a pitching change? Especially when he has too do it three times in an inning?

How this man’s decisions could instill any confidence in Indian fans is beyond me.

Also, what in tarnation is Mark DeRosa swinging at? Why didn’t Barfield at least get a shot? Why is Shoppach still stealing ABs from Garko? Why turn it too Perez, three run lead or not? With the exception of the DumbRosa question, all are questions we should ask Eric Wedge.

This team is done for the season unless something drastic happens (managerial shakeup, bullpen shakeup, complete lineup overhaul, team charter plane inexplicably goes missing mid-flight and conspiracy theories abound. It’ll be the next great Dateline NBC mystery. Keith Morrison presents: “Ten Little Indians: The case of the missing team”. Is it sad that I almost wouldn’t mind this happening? I get the feeling this would almost be a pleasant distraction from this current calamity).

I am fed up with this bullpen. They need to get their *** in gear or heads will roll.

The only thing more destroyed than fans’ confidence in Wedge has got to be Perez’s confidence in himself. He needs to go down to the minors today. .518 OBP against. Lefties hitting .409. That’s ridiculous. Call up Sowers and have him work out of the bullpen. Trade one of their many extraneous position players. Whatever, you could pick any pitcher out of Akron or Columbus and they can do better than holding hitters to a .518 OBP

I like the idea someone suggested of moving the lineup around. Cabrera leading off, followed by Choo, Victor, then Sizemore. Cabrera is batting .319 with a .407 OBP; Choo is only batting .253 but still has a .402 OBP. This kind of move would hopefully get more people on the basepaths for Victor and Sizemore. Grady’s OBP is barely higher than Cabrera’s average, but leads the team in RBIs. So this would (in theory) result in more runners on base for our top RBI guy…anyone else this is a good idea?

I don’t want to make light of Joe’s passing, my sympathies go out to his friends and family…However, Joe is not the only death of the day. Today, my hope for the playoffs died. Tell me it’s early all you like, but without a bullpen, we’re nothing. 4 pitchers giving up a run in the same inning out of the bullpen? Ouch.

Not that very many people were in favor of it in the first place, but how do we feel about the firing of the bullpen coach over the winter now?

AC – I’ve been noticing lately that Tribe hitters are swinging at first pitch and making outs quite frequently. Between that and striking out a lot, there’s where some of the Tribe’s offensive woes are.

I feel sick when Raphael Perez comes into the game.
Today again was like throwing gas on flames and the beginning of the end!
For God’s sake send him to Columbus to get his act together!!
He cannot be used in ANY situation at the major league level.
Is Eric Wedge totally blind??
Doug Leja

Hey, ClaytonM, I think that was me who suggested that line-up — I know I have, I just don’t know if I’ve said it on this blog. Choo’s OBP was much higher before he got moved to the four spot, too.
I’d almost rather see Grady at 3 and Victor at 4, since Grady has more pop. That would also give us decent speed 1-3.
I’d put Garko in at #5 and then DeRosa at #6 until LaPorta is able to heat up. The fill out the last three spots with the rotating cast of Peralta, Barfield, LaPorta, Francisco, Shoppach, and Dellucci. But I think our 1-5 needs to be consistent every day and needs to be those guys.
Anyone else notice that Sowers was scheduled to start today for Columbus and didn’t?

loserangels: I noticed that. My speculation is it’s because it was only a seven inning game. That’s just a guess.

Just an update…Rafael Perez’s ERA is now 15.19!! Is wedge waiting for it to hit 20 before he admits that this guy needs to be sent back the little league?

Scott Leo confirmed it on his Clippers blogged — Sowers was pulled in case the Tribe needs him.
Should be interesting to see what they do with him.

Normally I get frustrated that I can?t get too many Indians games on TV here in Kansas City, yet this season it is a blessing in disguise as it prevents me from getting upset with the numerous losses. I am still a huge Cleveland fan and will be for the rest of my life, but for this season I am disengaging from this team until they prove they can win. Their record needs to be above .500 or a win streak of 5 games or more to get me back on board. Will still read the excellent blog AC and keep up on their record, but this team is too disappointing to follow day in day out. In the mean time, lets go Cavs.

For what it is worth anyone that has proposed any shakeup of anything tribe related (Manager, bullpen, call-ups, lineup order)…I am fine with it. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is making no changes at all. I am out, see you all later.

No heads should roll quite yet. Let’s see where we are on June 1. A lineup shakeup is in order, but once it’s shaken, they should stick with it for a while. I’m sick to death of Wedge’s ‘lottery lineup.’ Let’s give these guys a chance to learn their roles for once. DeRosa, by the way, does not belong batting cleanup, ever.

Today’s 3 hits were a good sign, but not sure what to do with Peralta. If he doesn’t show some consistency, I don’t think we have a choice but to give regular playing time to Valbuena.

Sowers and Lewis should both be plugged right into the bullpen immediately. I think Smith can turn things around when he gets back.

Boston again? When did the AL get so competitive. Every team is good this year.

Jason
http://jmays.mlblogs.com

? How can a player become garbage overnight? This flailing in the bullpen isn’t all on the players. Where is the coaching? Where is the managing?

? Wasn’t Frank Viola in camp with the Indians this spring? Can we get Tony Arnold on the horn? I mean, I’d hate for the Indians to be proactive about this…

? Are we going to be sub-par the first half, make a trade for some top prospects in exchange for a big time member of our staff, and then win the second half AL Central title again?

? What was the point of spring training? We were just breaking in the new facility? For having an extra week or two built in for the WBC, we wasted it.

Kenny Lofton: HAHHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Seriously – Kenny Lofton? It would be cheaper to add another bobblehead night, because that what it would amount to.

Are we trying to run a winning (or at least respectable) sports franchise here, or just a destination for your entertainment dollar? If the answer is the latter, than bring ol’ Kenny back.

And, for some reason, I wasn’t that thrilled, or impressed, or didn’t feel a twinge of sentimentality when he came back in 2007. I wouldn’t assume that everyone busted out their #7 player shirts – just the fans who think that its 1995 again because you bring back an old favorite.

Its not.

Kenny Lofton? You think the solution to their problems is employing a 42 year old who hasn’t played in 2 years as a pinch hitter is the answer?

The problems really isn’t the offense. It’s this stat, Jensen Lewis and Rafael Perez currently rank 410 and 411th in OPS against in the major leagues.

Here’s the thing about Shelton. We do not have the scouting reports on the pitchers. We do not know what Shelton is telling the hitters, what their approach should be in certain situations, and how to execute it. If the information is accurate and the players are not executing it, then that is on the players themselves. If the players have the information and ignore it, then he has lost them. Both of those scenarios should carry different responses from management, with the latter scenario leading to his dismissal. I am not advocating for Shelton to keep his job and I have, in fact, said the opposite for years but there is a mountain of information and closed door conversations that we are not aware of as fans. Shelton gets whacked when we don’t hit (see wasted SP from 2008) and seemingly ignore when we do. It’s a troubling situation that Eric Wedge will probably just “grind it out” until we are performing better and the heat isn’t squarely on one aspect of our team.

As I said the moment they sent down Rundles (mistake), Perez should be shipped south for Sowers, and Lewis for Meloan. I realize AC gave us the stats of the RPs in Columbus (which are poor) but at some point in time you need to throw things at the wall to see what sticks. I am also trying to make moves that would concur with the 40-man roster. What about moving Adam Miller to the 60-day DL so we can add another RP to the 40-man roster like Saarloos, Huff, Cassel, Edell, Herges, Newsom, Ohka… anyone to be given a chance at the ML level even for a short term lease before Smith comes back.

While I understand the frustration towards Willis (more than the frustration towards Shelton, considering there’s actually an article on the main page about how well our offense is doing), I think it all comes down to Wedge. And, to his credit, I think he’d say it does, too (at least ahead of the other coaches).
I stand by my theory that the best bullpen option in Columbus is Huff, simply because he can strike people out. I know we’ve gotten no word on Sowers yet, but here’s hoping they bring Huff, too (who hasn’t pitched since the 1st) and send down Perez and Lewis.
What’s going to become really interesting is what happens when Lewis comes back.
There are an awful lot of guys who consider themselves starters that are going to find themselves in the bullpen.

I say keep Scott Lewis in the bullpen where the majority of his pitching experience is. Get a handle on Jensen & R. Perez, and keep Sowers/Laffey starting material.

And figure out what Zach Jackson’s role is – reliever or starter.

Seems like we wasted a lot of time in spring training not figuring these things out.

Go Tribe! Make the world a better place: Cletes up on Pedroia🙂

LACF, agree completely on the bullpen, and I’m sure they are eventually going to make these moves, and that Sowers and Huff will both perform much better than Lewis and Perez have, just like they called up Valbuena, Barfield and Laporta two weeks after the fans were yelling for them to make this move, and already they’ve won a game they would’ve lost without Barfield and Laporta. The question is, why do they wait? Every fan could see that putting Perez in the game yesterday was likely to cost them the game, but Wedge did it anyway, just like the Yankees game when he pulled Pavano, I immediately thought in both cases, unless they score 3 more runs, they’re dead. Those are 2 games I place the loss completely on Wedge, I’m sure they would’ve won others though if Perez and Lewis had already been replaced, probably be around .500 right now. Wedge is like Charlie Brown, expecting a different result when he has no reason to.

I’m not sold on Scott Lewis, he had success last year when first called up, but a lot of pitchers are like that, and then the hitters catch up. He doesn’t have great stuff by any means. He’s also one of the 30 guys who’ve pitched in the majors this year who have a higher OPS against than Jensen Lewis and Perez, though he was hurt, so has some excuse.

yes, now we need to send Lewis packing to get straightened out. Hopefully Perez and Lewis will get right by June 1. Realistically, we cannot build winning months without them being successful in the bullpen, barring multiple newcomers in a Perez-esque fashion ala 2007.

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