Anytime you have the tying run on third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and you have the opportunity to pinch hit with someone who’s batting .209 and has looked absolutely terrible swinging the bat all year you have to do it.
Apparently that’s the philosophy of Manny Acta. With the Indians trailing by a run in the ninth, Cord Phelps managed to hit a two out triple to put himself 90 feet away from home plate. It was the perfect situation for the Indians because Asdrubal Cabrera was stepping to the plate. Of course, Houston Street wanted nothing to do with him. Mr. Clutch drew himself a walk bringing to the plate Austin Kerans, who was pinch-hitting for Adam Everett, who pinch ran for Travis Hafner. Let’s add that one to the list of dumbfounding moves. Anytime you can take your best hitter out of the lineup before the ninth inning when there’s a possibility he could bat again… you almost always have to do it… ugh.
Naturally, Austin Kearns did what Austin Kearns does. No, he didn’t get the game winning double, or a game tying single. Kearns struck out and looked absolutely terrible. Why is he still on the big league roster? By all accounts, the only conclusion I can draw is that is that Austin Kearns has a guaranteed big league contract and thus the Indians are too cheap to designate him for assignment or give him an outright release. Shelley Duncan should be with the Indians, not Kearns. Ironically, Duncan doesn’t have a guaranteed big league contract. He’s working with a minor league deal. Again… cheap.
Hold on tight people, this is quickly developing into a rant of epic proportions…
Do the Indians realize they are in the middle of a pennant race? Do they realize that despite their best efforts, the Indians are a year ahead of their projected curve and competing right now. Memo to the Cleveland Indians… this may be the year you compete. Next year might be more under achieving and more losing.
Why do they continually insist on undermining themselves with such fiscal conservatism? It’s aggravating as a fan. I’m sick of it.
Judging by history, both recent and of years past, I think I finally know what to expect with the Indians moving forward. Everyone keeps talking about what moves they’re going to make and what they should do to solidify the team this year and give them a real shot at the playoffs. Here’s a news flash everybody. They’re not going to do anything.
They’re not going to add a bat that isn’t already in their system. They aren’t going to acquire an arm to help solidify the starting rotation. They.will.not.add.any.salary.period. Hate to burst everyone’s bubble. The team you see right now is the team you’re going to get come August 1 (the day after the trade deadline). Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll pick up someone off of the waiver wire after July 31st on the cheap with hopes of finding a spark, but I even doubt that. Again, heaven forbid the Indians take on additional salary.
I hate to break it to them, but they got lucky last year with Kearns. He had a decent year and they were able to flip him in July for more prospects. That’s not going to happen this year. No one is going out and trying to acquire someone who’s hitting .200 no matter how cheap the price may be. In fact, the Indians being this good probably ruined that strategy with Orlando Cabrera. I’m sure they signed him hoping he’d have a decent year, the team as a whole would chug it out in 4th place in the division and they could flip him for more prospects. Sorry Indians. That’s not the hand you’ve been dealt.
We all seem to realize the sad basic truth of being a small market team in major league baseball in 2011. Opportunities to compete when your surrounded by other big market spenders who can cover up mistakes with even more cash don’t come along very often. We aren’t the Tigers. We aren’t the White Sox. Hell, we aren’t even the Twins. All those teams have and will spend money. The Indians refuse. Yes, we have a young team that may be primed for future success, but they might also be primed for future failures. This is the time. Right now. This is the shot to go legend. Why do the Indians want to screw this up so badly.
What’s the price to pay for glory? Apparently for the Indians it’s way too high.