Just when it was starting to look really ugly for the Tribe, the pathetic Royals limped into town. C.C. Sabathia celebrated his new contract by combining on a 3-hit shutout, and the offense woke up for six runs. Boone went hitless again, so Wedge will have to address that situation soon. C.C. on the other hand looks awesome. Hopefully the Tribe can sweep the Royals and get the season back on track.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford laid out his reasons as to why he feels Phil Jackson should choose the Cavaliers over the Lakers, Knicks, Blazers and any other team competing for his services. He made several great points, among them:
*The Cavs could have nearly $20 million under the cap to work with, depending on what they do with Z.
Of course, the main selling point is having the league’s brightest young star, a surefire future MVP, on your roster. LeBron alone will perk Jackson’s interest.
Again, I have a hard time believing that Phil could pass up this kind of golden opportunity. Ford basically confirms that Jackson would have free reign in Cleveland, and combined with the chance to coach a kid like LeBron, you’ve got the league’s most attractive coaching vacancy. In fact, in Ford’s words, “The Cavs’ gig is the best open job in the NBA right now.” I couldn’t agree more.
Okay, enough is enough. In last night’s pathetic display of baseball that is becoming all too common in this town, the Tigers, in the 8th inning, INTENTIONALLY walked the winning run to first base in order to face the worst hitting third baseman in baseball, Aaron Boone. Boone, obviously not bothered by this utter lack of respect for his hitting ability, then cooperated by striking out on 4 pitches. Look, either this guy is still injured or he’s totally lost it. It’s not like he was ever that great a hitter in the first place — he has a career .266 B.A. — but he’s downright killing this team now. Last night he left another five men on base as he went 0-4 with 3 K’s. It’s time to sit this guy and let him either get healthy or figure out what’s wrong with his swing. Again, I am not quite sure if Wedge and this front office, or most fans in this city, for that matter, understand this simple fact: although it’s early, THESE GAMES STILL COUNT.
In the year that the Tribe was supposed to “contend,” they’ve dropped 12 out of their first 20 games after Wednesday’s 10-3 loss to Detroit. It’s not like they’re losing dramatically — they’re losing without any passion, without any fire, without any sense of urgency whatsoever. After the game, Wedge will say his usual crap…”We’ll start hitting”…”it’s early”…”can’t get too down or too high”…. I have no desire to buy a ticket to see this uninspired baseball. Spare me this “what does Wedge have to do with it” crap. This guy needs to start sitting players who can’t even bat their playing weight. Do something — sitting on your ass waiting for things to happen isn’t why you’re paid the big bucks, Wedge.
The Indians have already signed Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner to long-term extensions this season, and now it looks C.C. Sabathia is on the verge of inking his own deal. The Plain Dealer reports that Sabathia and the Indians are closing in on a contract extension that’ll keep the lefty in Cleveland at least through 2007 and pay him between $8 to $10 million during the first year of the deal.
Hmm…. I’m all for locking Sabathia up long-term but that dollar figure seems pretty high for a guy with a somewhat sketchy injury history, has battled weight problems throughout his brief career and has yet to develop into the legitimate #1 starter that his skill set suggests he should be. He won 17 games as a rookie (with a 4.39 ERA), but since then Sabathia has never topped 13 wins, bottoming out at 11-10 last year. His career 4.07 ERA is solid, at least in this day and age, but for a kid with so much promise he just hasn’t been able to take a pronounced step forward in his development. Granted, he’s still only 24 years old, he’s got one hell of an arm and he’s a lefty, all of which make him more valuable than his career numbers would indicate. It just seems like an awful lot of cash to throw at a guy who’s basically underachieved the past three years. Then again, we haven’t seen the contract’s official numbers — it may very well be heavily front-loaded, which would certainly make me feel better about the signing.