"Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world."

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

It seems I’ve struck a nerve with the rabid (and, in the unfortunate case of a couple of the comments below, surprisingly crass) Wonder Girls fan base.

Effeminate high school boys are picketing outside the press box, and my approval rating among prepubescent South Koreans has never been lower.

To the Wonder Girls community, I humbly beg for forgiveness. And to the CastroTurf community, I happily report that the Wonder Girls, more often than not, do not resort to lip synching to pull off their dazzling dance moves. While they certainly did appear to be lip synching during their brief display on the Progressive Field Party Deck during Sunday’s game, it didn’t affect the integrity of the performance nearly as much as the ballpark sound system cutting out and leaving the 17,911 in attendance with about a minute and a half of the sounds of silence.

My respect and esteem for the Wonder Girls has grown by leaps and bounds, now that I’ve gotten a taste of what a fervent following they command. And I will keep the good vibes going by pledging to never use this space to erroneously report that the Jonas Brothers don’t write their own songs and Miley Cyrus does not do her own choreography.

With that out of the way, let’s return to real life… or at least our own warped version of it.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • Grady Sizemore’s elbow surgery is confirmed for Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic. Team medical director Dr. Mark Schickendantz will perform the arthroscopic procedure.
  • Lou Marson is here, and this final month of the season will be an important time for him to not only prove he’s capable at this level but also to learn the Tribe’s pitching staff inside and out. “To be honest with you, it’s going to take a while to learn not only their names but what they throw,” Marson said. “It’s not one of those things that happens overnight.”
  • Eric Wedge said Marson won’t play every day (which is obvious, considering the Indians are now carrying four catchers). But Marson will obviously get a firm look, considering the Tribe’s 2010 catching outlook and the fact that Marson has a chance to be the regular starter next season.
  • The Indians felt it was important to get Marson up here today, even though Columbus has one game left, because they wanted to pair him with Carrasco. They think that pairing will benefit both pitcher and catcher. “I’ve been catching him since 2004 in the Gulf Coast League,” Marson said of Carrasco. “I’m tougher on him than I am on some of the other guys.”
  • I must be getting older, because Marson looks really young to me.
  • Wedge said the Indians will call up one more player after Columbus’ game tonight.
  • Regarding a CastroTurf Commenter’s question about Kerry Wood’s vesting option status, Wood has finished 44 games this season, with 26 to play. He needs to reach 55 for his $11 million option for 2011 to vest. It’s starting to get interesting.
  • Matt LaPorta, as you’ve no doubt noticed, has not seen any time at first base in the games. But he continues to do pregame work at the position with infield coach Luis Rivera, and the reports have been positive.  “Luis feels good about his progress over there,” Wedge said. Wedge said it’s important that LaPorta get comfortable at first, in case the Indians need him at that spot next season. He also said there’s still a chance LaPorta will see time at first before this season is over.
  • It will be interesting to see Omar Vizquel at third base tonight. He’s been filling in for an injured Michael Young. MLB.com’s Rangers scribe, T.R. Sullivan, is already calling Omar the best defensive third baseman in Rangers’ history. And this comes after he dubbed him the best defensive second baseman in Rangers’ history earlier this year.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Michael Brantley is just the second Indians player in the last 50 years to hit safely in his first six games in the big leagues. The only other was Josh Bard, who hit in nine straight games to open his career in 2002.
  • David Huff is now tied with Carl Pavano for the team lead in wins, with nine. That is really sad.
  • But how about Yohan Pino, the player to be named from the Pavano trade with the Twins? He won his second start for Columbus on Sunday, working seven scoreless innings in which he allowed just five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He is now a combined 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 10 starts between Columbus and Triple-A Rochester this year.

~AC

16 Comments

You’ve got to love baseball. I’ve been really excited to watch the Tribe lately (or follow them on Game Day, at least), which I’m sure non-baseball fans would find strange, given how far out they are. But it’s really exciting to see these young guys, the possible future of our team, playing well and (sometimes) winning games.
The longer these guys play together, the better they’re going to get. It’s fun to follow.

“Wedge said it’s important that LaPorta get comfortable at first, in case the Indians need him at that spot next season.” … hmm, I really don’t get this kind of talk. I wonder if they’re planning on trading Choo? I can’t imagine a scenario where Laporta fits in the outfield, so if he’s going to play, it would HAVE to be 1b, right? Otherwise, there’s one outfield position open for Laporta, Brantley, Crowe and Jordan Brown (who finished the year at Columbus batting .336 with 15 HRs, and a slightly higher slugging % than Laporta). Brantley at the very least is some stiff competition. At 1b, we have only Marte (and Brown I suppose), and that’s if they keep Peralta. But the Indians want to have Laporta get some work in “in case” he’s “needed” at 1b? The only way that statement makes any sense is if they plan on keeping Peralta and trading Choo, otherwise, he should be saying, “because Laporta’s future with the organization is almost certainly at 1b”.

Any update on the rain?

Any word yet Anthony of a star time for tonights game?

LACF, I know what you mean. I had a lot of fun watching the second half of last year, and same goes to this year. It’s fun to watch the young guys come up and make an impact. I mean, this is the new look of our team for years to come, and I look forward to watching them throughout their Tribe career. It would be a bit more fun if they were in the playoff hunt, haha. But I appreciate this in a different way.

ST, you know this team works, though: they want to hedge their bets as much as possible. I also think they believe LaPorta could have a spot in the outfield, as they don’t seem to have any faith at all in Brown and while Brantley has looked great, it’s still early. As for Crowe, I’m afraid he’s become the default 4th outfielder of the future.
While I understand giving LaPorta time at first, I’d be happier if they never played him there this season and got him time during winter ball (if he plays). I want to see as much from Marte as I can.

It is always fun to watch the fringe community come out of the woodwork when you make fun of something as obviously ridiculous as the Wonder Girls. Creepy Americans with Asian fetishes are a sad, sad species.

Don’t worry, AC, none of those poster will leave their parents’ basement long enough to actually come after you. If it wasn’t for the Internet, they’d have nowhere to act out their creepy chivalry for a bunch of Asian girls.

And to Savage, the outfield could be an issue. Sizemore is the only definite spot. As far as Choo goes, he deserves to be there, but you have to wonder if they have considered trading him. He is making quite a name for himself, and could pull a good return. But he is something of a fan favorite, and I personally would hate to see that happen. It would also be a big step to play two rookies in the outfield. Trading Peralta would really clear things up for this team. Marte to 3B, LaPorta/Brown at 1B, and then the outfielders can be juggled around.

Rondon turned in a positive result for this last start in AAA – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO. I don’t think he’ll win a spot next year; I think he needs more time. But you’ve got to like the potential for 2011.

as much as Andy Marte is the flavor of the month right now I think we have to look at the situation objectively and honestly suggest that he won’t be here next year, particularly if Eric Wedge is given a reprieve for one more year. And his position on the infield is at the crux of our roster questions for 2010. Will they trade Peralta during the Winter Meetings (nope)? Will Marte be given a shot at 3B (no chance)? Will LaPorta move to 1B (yes)? Will Brantley show the Indians enough to make him the starting LF (probably)? We all know Peralta’s monetary situation for the next two seasons but it doesn’t seem like its an issue with Mark Shapiro. As much as we are all having fun watching these young guys develop and showcase their talents I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that Shapiro, Wedge and his trio of yes-men, Bud Grant, et. al will ruin everything.

I read elsewhere that Jordan Brown was not called up, and some dude named Niuman Romero who has similar numbers to Josh Barfield was called up instead? Is that correct? If so, I may have to rescind my Indians loyalty next year and become a Phillies fan, unless they get rid of Wedge and Shapiro.

ST, I think Brown will be left off the roster for the draft, he will be selected by another team and take up shop there. Two guys that might get a decent look from other teams in the off season if the Indians were to let them go would be Marte and Brown, IMO

one more thing: given the makeup of this team can someone explain to me exactly WHERE they plan to spend money during free agency? 5 of the 7 bullpen jobs are probably locked up (Wood, C. Perez, R. Perez, Sipp, Smith) with J. Lewis, Todd, and Veras competing for the last 2. My preference would be Lewis and Todd to win out but I could see them starting Todd in Columbus in favor of Veras. 11 of the 13 position players are practically set (Marson, Toregas, LaPorta, Valbuena, Peralta, Cabrera, Brantley, Sizemore, Choo, Crowe, Hafner) so that leaves the utility infielder (Donald) and one more spot to compete for. The rotation has plenty of options so pick and choose between the possible 10 available, but more like a realistic 8 are options. That number decreases by one if you make Sowers a long relief guy but then only allows one more bullpen spot. WHERE is the money going to be spent when we have 23 of the 25 roster spots locked up with decent options to fill those last 2 within the organization?!

AM, I have that same feeling. When I see quotes like the one from Wedge about Laporta it really makes me wonder what kind of idiotic plans they are hatching. If they keep Peralta, then unless Carrasco turns into the second coming of CC Sabathia, we have to all agree that Shapiro has no clue. They could have kept Lee and ditched Peralta and come out even. After all, I’m pretty sure Cliff Lee would draw some additional fans, while no one comes to see Jhonny GIDP or boot the ball at 3b, unless people mainly attend Indians games in lieu of a comedy routine. If they were out of contention next year, they could have unloaded Lee for something at least as good as Carrasco and a bunch of below average players who play positions where they have no need. The way the bullpen’s taking shape now, it angers me even more that they traded Lee, because if Westbrook can return, and they had Lee, that would’ve been a pitching staff with very few holes. At least on the Marte front, they’ve given him a legitimate shot, I’d have to think if he can turn it on again and bat around .300 this month that they would have to keep him or face a fan revolt. I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen though, Marte’s getting under everything lately. Personally, I’d be happy with Marte batting .250 and 25 HRs given a full year, he’s a defensive upgrade over Peralta and hopefully would be slightly less streaky and GIDP-prone. And if they’re not going to add Jordan Brown to the 40-man roster, they really have some explaining to do … I’m curious what player in the minor leagues has a better resume than Brown, in 4 years, Carolina League MVP, Eastern League MVP and batting leader, International League batting leader. Out of his 4 professional years, he’s only had one that was average, which was explained by a knee injury that affected him in the first half of ’08. And he plays the 2 positions that are up for grabs next year, 1b and LF. Are they really going to let Brown just walk away?

AM, I don’t see them going after any free agents, I don’t think they ever said that the Lee salary dump would be used for that, it was just to lose less money (but like I said, they could’ve dumped Peralta and kept Lee and accomplished the same goal). If they sign anyone, they should probably re-sign your boy Carroll, since Donald is a complete unknown. I can’t see why they’d leave Brown off the 40-man, Brown makes the most sense for that final position player spot doesn’t he? Since he plays 1b and LF, the two positions where they are most likely to need some help? Go with your roster above, with Carroll possibly replacing Donald, and Brown in the final spot over Marte, since he gives them 1b/OF flexibility that Marte doesn’t. Or if they trade Peralta, which they can’t be 100% discounting at this point, since they can’t know for sure whether they might get a good offer for him, they would really need Brown since they’d otherwise be very thin at 1b/OF.

ST, I am not trying to sound condescending when I say this as tone and inflection are easily misunderstood when typing, but you are completely wrong. Shapiro and Dolan both told us that releasing the contracts of Lee and Martinez would allow them to be active in the FA market this winter. I simply just didn’t see where they had the roster spots available for said monies.

And don’t get me started on Carroll. He will only be back IF and only if Wedge returns. And neither of them should be back or else we get to see Wedge create a platoon situation at 2B. Carroll is a nice ballplayer but he no longer fits with the LONG TERM PLANS of this organization given his skill set and age.

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