I really don’t want to do this right now. Can we hit the reset button on this stretch?
I’m going to try to ignore the angry elephant in the room for as long as I possibly can. Believe it or not, there were other things that went on besides the Tribe’s apparent ludicrous-speed decent into the blackest abyss.
Let’s start with the good. A day off! They haven’t had one of those in a while, and the boys needed it. Not that it did much to help, but they got a breather. Yay!
It was draft week! The Indians took to Terry Francona’s mantra of getting as much pitching as humanly possible, and maybe more than that. A whopping twenty-four pitching prospects were added over three days to fill the pipeline.
The Indians took a gamble that could pay off big in high-school outfielder Clint Frazier as their top pick, who, since I know next to nothing about the kid, looks like he could make some serious scratch on the sunscreen endorsement market. I’m guessing Frazier and day games wage a hateful war against one another, and poor Clint has likely lost every battle.
And don’t let him meet Barry Bonds. He could end up looking like Sheamus.
The Stupid: The Ballad of Chris and Melanie Perez. Weed was (allegedly) delivered through the mail. The previous house-renters were (allegedly) royal pains in the collective butts of the Rock River police. The Perez’ dog was (allegedly) involved somehow, but I had (allegedly) knocked myself out with a brick to try to escape the absurdity by that point and missed that particular detail. I think I got most of it. Regardless, it’s a big (dime)bag, or “bowl” of “Whatever” if you ask me. It’s a pity he doesn’t have Twitter anymore. He could have picked Tom Petty’s Last Dance With Mary Jane as his “Song of the Day.”
It’s not that I don’t care. I do. It’s just that this pales in comparison to the whole BioGenesis mess that baseball finds itself neck-deep in. Let’s be honest: Were any of you surprised that Chris (allegedly) smokes pot? I certainly wasn’t. I’d be surprised if Masterson did, or Brantley, but, yeah… I’m not going to lose much sleep over this one.
It doesn’t absolve the Perez’ from being total idiots in how it all went down. And Chris will likely be suspended once he’s eligible to return from the DL because it’s still a “drug of abuse.” But as long as it’s not steroids, or something worse and ultra-nefarious, it’s really just tabloidism that I roll my eyes at.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s always something with him, right? The guy can’t go one week without having something revolving around him. And it’s never good. It’s to the point now that if the Indians were to snooker some other team into taking a guy who is a lot less consistent than any of us want to admit, then I’m not sure I’d miss him.
Do I really have to talk about the team itself? Can we pretend this week never happened? Let’s just say that it’s always easier and more pleasurable to talk about them when things are going well. This, is not one of those times.
Where do I go to start? Because it’s pretty much all bad. Nick Hagadone against, evidently, everyone? Or do we pick it up Mark Teixeira got a Jeffery Maier-esque assist on his grand slam? (Quick tangent: I think Tito’s afraid to upset the baseball gods if he inquires about a replay. They clearly haven’t forgotten the game against Oakland. Shouldn’t they smite Angel Hernandez instead of us?)
We have a lineup one through nine who are encased in ice, Han Solo-style. The most deep-frozen of all is Nick Swisher; being mired in an 0-for-infinity slump. That’s the opposite of exciting, bro. Actually, was no hits in his last twenty-six at-bats, but it sure feel like it’s been ages since he found the good part of the stick. If it helps, he did get a hit today, but if this guy’s not smiling, you know he’s pressing. They all are.
Carlos Carrasco, believe it or not, is my ultimate cross-bearer for this week of disappointment. Gifted with the opportunity to show that his current dominance in Columbus was no fluke with Zach McAllister being placed on the DL (with a finger issue that makes me nervously think of former prospect Adam Miller), he failed miserably. Clearly gun-shy of the idea of pitching inside after being suspended twice for headhunting, the Tigers feasted on him early. Boy, the Cliff Lee trade has been a complete bust.
To make matters worse, the Tigers were all like, “Hey, this is how you bring a starter up from Triple-A!” Of course, Jose Alvarez would go out and casually spin an excellent six innings as if he had been a twelve-year vet. Figures.
So yeah, as the sayings go, “it’s only June”. The Indians are “only” 5.5 games back in the division (with a 6.5 game deficit for a wild-card berth) and “there’s still a long way to go.” “It’s a marathon; not a sprint.” The old adages are nice and flowery, but I still prefer the reality over sunshining the whole thing away. Now being under .500 again, forgive me if I’m not certain they’ll flip that proverbial switch. With them being in the stretch of the schedule that is looked as the proving ground in terms of them being contenders, they have come up small. All at a junction of the season that, once again, feels awfully like déjà vu mixed with horrific indigestion.
The honeymoon isn’t over, but this team is too good to fall off the cliff this time around. Or so we thought.