Kenny Roda will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the entire Cleveland sports universe. Check back often for his updates!
What is the one common denominator about the Indians over the last three plus seasons? Veterans have come and gone. High priced free agents haven’t been retained. Some young prospects have made the big league squad, while some haven’t. All are different variables but the one constant through all of this is manager Eric Wedge. For the fourth straight season the Indians will head into the month of June at the .500 mark or below. If the manager and the players aren’t going to show up for the first two months of the season, why should the fans? Maybe Eric Wedge shouldn’t show up at all.
Let the Wedge Watch Begin!
The Tribe is ranked second in the majors with a .291 batting average. That’s the good news. The bad? Well, there’s plenty. The Wahoo Warriors are 23rd in the Bigs in pitching with a 4.79 team ERA. In the fielding category, the Indians are 25th with a
.979 percentage and 38 errors. In stolen bases, the Tribe has given up 37 in 42 attempts, ranking them 29th in the league in stopping the running game. Last season the Tribe finished a major league worst 22-36 in one-run games, a miserable .379 winning percentage. This season they are already 4-5 in these kind of games. At least they’re consistent! As far as where they rank in the base running category, let’s just say they’re a notch or two below the Bad News Bears! So what does all this mean? The Indians continue to be fundamentally inept, which is directly related to the leadership, or lack thereof, they get from manager Eric Wedge. As the old baseball saying goes, “A team takes on the personality of its manager”. What exactly is the personality of this team?
Let the Wedge Watch Begin!
Barry Bonds just passed Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time home run list with 715. Thirty-eight year old Andrew Morbitzer, who cared so much about Bonds and his chase of passing Ruth, was at the concession stand getting his new bride some peanuts and beer when Bonds came to the plate and hit the historic home run. Somehow the ball was dropped by a few fans in center field and ended up around the concession stand where Morbitzer was standing. He quickly picked it up and was escorted away by security for protection. I can honestly say that if I were Morbitzer I would see how much I could get for the ball and try to cash in big time. But there is also a part of me that would take that ball and buy a syringe and all of the steroids that Bonds allegedly took, and put it on display. I’d take the ball, stick the syringe into it, surround it with all the different types of steroids and put my ticket stub with it along with baseball cards and photos. Don’t you think that would be an appropriate way to pay homage?
Oh yeah, one more thing on the egomaniac and control freak, Barry Bonds. Nice to see that while he was struggling to tie and break “The Bambino’s” mark he wouldn’t speak to the media. But as soon as he eclipsed it, he couldn’t wait to do the press conference and hear how great he was from some members of the media and, of course, himself. Wouldn’t it have been great if the media just ignored him? The Barry would have had to interview Barry and a new reality show would have been born, “Barry Talks to Barry”. Would Barry have answered his own questions? Only Barry knows.
CAVS NEWS AND NOTES
As my buddy Michael Reghi likes to say, “You can book this one to the Cavaliers!” In the upcoming June 28th draft, the Wine and Gold will select a point guard with one of their three picks and then look to get a rebounding big and possibly a shooter. They have picks 25, 42 and 55 in the two-round draft. This draft is considered average, with no true superstars and only a handful of projected starters. In fact, there is no standout, true number 1 pick. The Toronto Raptors are reportedly listening to offers already because they’re not sure who to take with the first overall pick. The good thing for the Cavs is there should be a number of point guards to choose from by the time it is their turn to draft in the first round. Consider the following. Kyle Lowery – Villanova, Rajon Rondo – Kentucky, Jordan Farmar – UCLA, Mardy Collins – Temple, Curtis Stinson – Iowa St., Dee Brown – Illinois, Guillermo Diaz – Miami, Sergio Rodriguez – Spain, and Quincy Douby – Rutgers.
The best point guard in the draft, who unfortunately won’t be available, is UConn floor general Maurice Williams. He should go in the top ten, if not higher. If he falls, it would be a smart move for General Manager Danny Ferry to get on the phone and see if he could move up to get him. But that’s more wishful thinking than anything.
Here are three candidates to be the first overall pick.
PF – Andrea Bargnani – Italy. He’s 7’0”, 225 pounds and only 20 years old. He’s compared to Dirk Nowitski because of his feathery outside touch, great first step and his knowledge for the game.
PF – Tyrus Thomas – LSU. The 6’9”, 230-pounder has a great wing span and uses it on the defensive end effectively. Scouts also love his heart and desire and many consider him to have the biggest upside of anyone in this draft.
PF – LaMarcus Aldridge – Texas. At 6’11”, 240, he has the build that most NBA GMs are looking for to play the power forward position. Add to that an above average basketball IQ and great athleticism, Toronto is going to have a tough time passing on this kid.
So while this isn’t considered to be one of the better drafts in recent years, there’s a good chance that the first overall pick will be a power forward, most likely one of the three names above.
One final thought. Let the Wedge Watch Begin!