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.

8 Comments

  • DaveR says:

    I think we got spoiled by early success. This is exactly what they should look like. They bulked up on O and let the pitching stay as is. The offense can’t be faulted for a downer every so often. When you score 4 or 5 you hope the pitching can back it up. And the pitching…. yuck.

  • Swift says:

    When do the Browns report to camp? ;)

  • Sean Porter says:

    Can we concentrate on one disappointing Cleveland sports team at a time swift? ;o)

  • Shep says:

    I’m not one to really complain, but can we please stop bringing Hagadone in when it’s a close game? Seems like every time he’s in, we lose.

  • Sean Porter says:

    Sean’s Observation o’ the Night:

    I’ve been watching the Indians since I was a wee lad (roughly ’83/’84) and I would venture to say that the words “So and So has hit well against the Indians in his career” have been uttered roughly one million times by Tribe announcers since then.

    Has there been, in the last 30 years or so, a hitter who HASN’T hit well against the Indians? I’m not being sarcastic (well, maybe a little), but I swear I’ve never heard the words “So and So has really struggled about the Tribe in his career”…

    In related news, Elvis Andrus now has a 33 game hitting streak against the Indians. That’s right boys and girls, Elvis Andrus has had a hit in EVERY (very bad word) GAME HE’S PLAYED AGAINST US IN HIS (duplicate very bad word)CAREER.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    And why do all of our bullpen lefties suck?

    • Sean Porter says:

      One of the biggest truths regarding MLB is that bullpens by their nature (thus the relievers) are always unpredictable, that its rare to get consecutive good seasons out of either. Strangely, here in Cleveland, we have been pretty immune to that. In fact, I’d get a little cocky when I’d hear an announcer talking about the unpredictability of bullpens, a little voice in my head would say: “Maybe that’s true everywhere ELSE, but here with the Tribe we trot out a good bullpen almost yearly!”

      Yeaaaaaaaaaaah… Probability finally caught up with us on that. Problem is, the worst of the worst this year in the pen have all been southpaws. I actually miss Tony Sipp and Raffy Perez – and they both scared the crap out of me.

      • HH says:

        “Strangely, here in Cleveland, we have been pretty immune to that.”

        Unless you count 2006, 2008 (5.13 ERA!), 2009. Even in 2012 our pen ERA was 23rd-best in the majors. Agree with you on the unpredictability of relievers, but hard to second our immunity thereto.