I gotta make some connection

The MLB.com army of reporters will be using Twitter to share instant thoughts and analysis pertaining to tonight’s All-Star Game, and yours truly will be included.

In the Gameday application for tonight’s game, you can track the action pitch by pitch and see the full list of tweets from MLB.com’s beat reporters on the right-hand side. That link is right here.

As for my specific Twitter account, the username is “castrovince” and the link is here. Hopefully it will be of some use in the future for breaking news pertaining to the Indians. We’ll see how it goes.

And don’t worry. I won’t use it to update you when I’m eating Fruit Loops.


Well, you already got one LOL out of me with this gem, AC:
“V-Mart intentionally walked. Will he use his blazing speed to break up a potential double play? Uh, probably not”
I was hoping Victor would a chance to go deep, like he did a few years back at the All-Star game.
Now, if only these games COUNTED for something, I’d be much more excited.

Wait just a minute here AC. You wrote an article for the Astros, you talk about what a great baseball city St. Louis is, and you pick the NL to win. We can take a hint! If you want to work for an NL team, than let’s just get this thing over with before it gets messy.

And, I was just talking to a friend of mine about the quality of sports writing and blogging the Indians have been graced with.
Alas, have I spoke too soon?

He SO doesnt want to blog about a NL team! I dont want to put words in his mouth, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be blogging about the Tribe if he didn’t want to.


If you guys want some perspective, go to some of these other bloggers’ pages and see how bland and boring they are. For as many Cubs fans as there are, Carrie Muskrat’s blog is so dry I had to use half a bottle of Visine to read the first few entries. We don’t have a very exciting season going this year, lets not get offended about AC broadening his blog. We read it almost every day, and though we’d rather he wrote about us winning all of the time, his hands are tied. Let him come up with ways to keep people intrested.

Oh yes, I’m familiar with Muskrat’s writing. The friend I was referencing is a Cubs fan, and I’ve read her articles and a blog posting or two. Surely not every sports writer is that dry. Or, maybe sports writers just aren’t as colorful as AC. Perhaps we are just spoiled over here on the reservation…at least in the writing department.

Muskat, that is. My apologies.

So the second half of the season has officially started and it’s time to revert back to our fanatic nitpicking of our beloved yet tragically flawed team. Here are a few of my recent observations:

1. if healthy and productive over the next 2 weeks, Rafael Betancourt would make a perfect fit for the L.A. Dodgers’ beleaguered bullpen
2. Ben Francisco’s .238 average, which is misleading due to his .370 average throughout July, is simply not justified as a starting OF stealing at bats away from other players worthy of a shot at 270 ABs. I smell a Franklin Gutierrez rant coming from someone soon given our opponent this weekend but my advice is don’t even start it.
3. we have an unnamed catcher hitting .196 over 158 ABs. Holy wow is that terrible.
4. over our 11 games in July, Jamey Carroll has started 5 games at 2B, and replaced someone as a PH twice. All I will say is that this better be an audition for a playoff team. Otherwise, Wedge is creating a future problem IMO b/c the guy is no longer hitting .280 over 93 ABs like he did in June.
5. if, and I do me IF, Roy Halladay gets dealt early enough before the deadline, and b/c Jake Peavy is out of the equation with his injury, would that increase the likelihood that Cliff Lee gets dealt to a contending team that is SO desperate after losing out on the Halladay sweepstakes they give up an asinine amount in return? It’s a reasonable conversation to entertain.

Well, while I do think teams in the playoff race will be interested in guys like Lee and Halladay, I wonder if they are going to be willing to make the big sacrifices. Here is the way I see it. Halladay is already on the market, and has been so for a while now. Yet, I haven’t heard of any teams seriously interested. I’m not saying that he won’t get dealt, but the process isn’t moving as quickly as I thought. I can only assume that if offers have been made, they haven’t been what the Blue Jays consider profitable. With Cliff Lee on the other hand, the Indians have another affordable year on his contract and it has been said that they won’t entertain offers unless it is a remarkable deal. In short, we are expecting at least an extraordinary offer for Lee who is NOT on the market, while Halladay IS on the market and doesn’t seem to be getting more than ordinary offers. I think that Halladay will be our litmus test. If things heat up, a lot of teams are interested, and a huge deal is made, I think that will increase the likelihood of the POSSIBILITY that Lee MIGHT get dealt.
I’m not against him being traded, while I do think it’s premature (especially when considering next season). But, what do you all think about the whispering of Victor getting traded? I don’t think it makes sense. Also, I think he legitimately wants to stay in Cleveland. Thoughts?

I definitely agree about Lee. His contract next year doesn’t have us ‘over the barrell’, and we must keep him to contend next year. 5% chance he’s traded. Soon the rumors should be flying for Halladay, and we can look at some of those and say “Well, would we take that offer for Cliff?”, and I don’t think we coud get enough to justify giving up our ace while still trying to compete next year.

As for Victor, 0% chance he’s traded. Obviously, he’s the soul of our team, All Star caliber every year, and is like a coach on the field. When we bring up the prospects they immediately look up to him, and we want them to take to Victor’s personallity. This is nothing new to Indians fans who see him every day, but the way baseball is now, when a team is dead in the water rumors fly about their marketable players. Sign him to an extension THIS offseason, and shut everyone up. Especially Boston. God do I hate them.

I can’t see them trading Lee this season- not with the contract that is in place for 2010. Pitching of his caliber is always in high demand for playoff contenders, either in a contract year or not. Look at the return we got for Sabathia in his contract year. Then again, I never can tell what Shapiro will do.

jk, I concur with your “Halladay will be our litmus test” comment. The market value on Hallday hasn’t fully developed so you’re right in that sense. But according to the ESPN gurus, the reason for that is b/c Toronto is asking for 3 top-tier level prospects (rated 60+), one B-list player and one C-list player. That’s a hefty pricetag for any player. Halladay will get dealt without question IMO. To which team and for how much will affect the possibilities for Lee.

While I think that Lee has maybe 20% chance of being traded, Martinez has ~1%. You never say never when it comes to sports but I do think that he truly wants to stay… as it stands right now. Perhaps his opinion will change if/when we fire Wedge in the off-season.

I think Shapiro needs to realize and admit two very important concepts: 1) Cliff Lee won’t resign here long term, and 2) we will not compete for the division title in 2010. That second point is essential. Putting that glossy brush to the canvass of 2010 will only hijack and delay our growth and development. There seems to be some consensus amongst the commenters that 2011 is a more realistic season.

If Shapiro stays, and maneuvers his roster under the guise of ‘competing every year in a weak division’ then we will be in dire straits once again.

joey, it’s a double-edged sword. We have an affordable contract on Lee for 2010. With that said, he would also yield a higher return because of that fact. Our ML caliber pitching depth is slim and Lee would solidify at least one spot with Westbrook perhaps as the only other mainstay. Perhaps Shapiro hopes that the economy and the team gets better in 2010 allowing him to sign Lee long term. Interesting nonetheless.

I know I am overly optimistic, as it will show in this post.
I think we still have hope for 2010. Granted, there are some serious concerns that need to be addressed. Chief among those is our rotation, as all our starters have some sort of question mark attached to their name for various reasons. Will Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano be in a Tribe uniform? Will Fausto Carmona be able to maintain his 2007 self? Will Jake Westbrook be healthy? Will Jermey Sowers be effective through the order more than once or twice? Will David Huff, Aaron Laffey, and Scott Lewis be able to be effective? And….Will Hector Rondon be ready? There are too many questions, and I would like to see some insurance. However, if a few of these pitching problems are solved through deals or through the players correcting their problems, our rotation takes a whole new look.
On top of that, even with the comedy of injuries that took place this season, we were still able to produce a lot of runs, and have a good offense. Also, guys like LaPorta, Brantley, Hodges, Brown, and dare I say, Marte are looking good down in AAA, and will likely add more to our lineup next year.
On top of that, think of what could be accomplished with new management? I don’t think anyone expects Wedge to return. I know I’m being overly optimistic, and am looking at 2010 through my 2007 goggles. But, I don’t think it’s impossible.
However, amseeley, you are correct in saying that it’s hard to rebuild and develop a team when you are “contending” or at least making the attempt.

How do you let Ben Francisco hit in that situation? Disgusting.

“AC Wrote: Hopefully it will be of some use in the future for breaking news pertaining to the Indians. We’ll see how it goes.”

What about those who don’t use things like Twitter, or facebook or myspace, etc. I know I might be odd but I don’t, I preferre to read about it on the official site. I don’t even get to see the lineups here the last two games (maybe you are on break) I like the way that this is set up here.

While AC is our premiere numero uno I must say that I enjoyed the two stories from Matt O’Donnell, particularly the minor league report. I am happy to hear that the club is being patient with Rondon. I think we are all eyeing 2010 as a potential, long term start date for the kid barring any major setback.

Let the Andy Marte chatter begin once again. I was intrigued by Wedge’s comments. Typically with EW when a player gets in the doghouse he remains there for his tenure (see Ryan Garko not running out a grounder in 2008 as an example).

“The reports I’ve been getting are real,” Wedge said. “He’s not the same guy that was here a couple of years ago or even last year. We have to see if that’s going to transfer up here at some point.”

At some point? Perhaps in the second half of a lost season? Logic tells us that IF he were to come up then he NEEDS to play every day. Which begs the question, “where will Jhonny Peralta be at?” I’ll stick to my New Years Day opinion and say that he gets moved. Bring on Marte. Give him another shot. He’s earned it.

There exists a problem with our other positions, albeit a good problem. LaPorta, Brantley, Choo, Sizemore: 4 players, 3 spots. Santana, Martinez, Garko: 3 guys, 2 spots. Cabrera is locked in at SS. Second base is still a crapshoot but the answer long term is NOT a 36 year old Jamey Carroll for 2010.

I found it interesting to read that Santana might get a September call up. Right now, we have three different catchers on the active roster: Victor, Shoppach, and Gimenez. To me, if the possibility of Santana getting a call up exists on a team bogged down with catchers, it can only mean we will see one leave. I speculate it will be Shoppach. Keep a weathered eye open.

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