Before I get rolling, allow me the opportunity to get something off of my chest. This is purely for me, but I’ve made the decision to share it with all of you anyway.

I’d like to offer a thousand apologies to my wonderful colleague, Mr. Adam Hintz, and his painting a pleasant picture of him being some sort of everyone’s crazy uncle. It’s just that any time I get to blow something back into his face, I will not refuse the chance. The less we hear of him, the better we all are, so…



Okay. I feel better. I really don’t like that man. Every time I get saddled with a White Sox telecast, I have to fight the immense temptation to watch the game on mute. Poor Steve Stone. He’s actually pretty good. Anyhoo…

Well, this has been quite a week, huh? As we now head into the second half of the season, I felt the Tribe’s current road-trip is the litmus test of whether or not the team are contenders (or not) and buyers (or not). Considering how the Indians have had their share of struggles on the road, it looked really scary. But aside from a flukey meltdown from Masterson in Baltimore, this trip might be better than I had hoped. Besides, Justin did more than make up for his slip up yesterday. All is forgiven.

As I was writing post-doubleheader at 2 AM Tuesday morning, I said the series started in such a way that was hard to explain. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. The only thing that was certain was you could bet that Keven Towers and the rest of the Diamondbacks organization was guffawing and high-fiving one another with every one of Trevor Bauer’s 49 ill-fated pitches. The kid’s not ready, and I’m pretty sure that’s the last that we’ll be seeing of him for a while.

Carrasco was solid, but still more “meh” than, well, how awesome he was against the Royals a couple weeks ago. It’s getting close to put-up-or-shut-up time for him. Conversely, Ubaldo is probably better than what we often think he should be, or what give him credit for. He never has a pretty slash-line, and makes us scream colorful figures of speech or throw stuff at our TVs more than any other baseball player alive, but he’s been giving us a chance to win more often than not. It’s easier to accept now that he’s not, nor will he be, what we were hoping to get when Antonetti traded for him. But he’s just solid enough that–I can’t believe that I’m admitting this publicly; especially after the litany of times I’ve ripped him to anyone within earshot–I don’t think I’d object to picking up his option. Even average pitching is a precious commodity, and I’d now give it even odds that he returns next year.

Jason Kipnis. My goodness. I mean, what else can you say? I just hope that the two-day break doesn’t cool him off. If he doesn’t get to the All-Star Game, it’d be ridiculous. I generally don’t even give a rat’s you-know-what about All-Star games in general, and I’ve been stuffing the ballot to get him to New York. Cano will get top billing because it’s New York and the Yankees are the Yankees, but our Dirtbag is just as deserving to start at the pivot, if not more so. But it’s a glorified popularity contest, and you can guess where the Indians rank on that scale. So would anyone be surprised if he doesn’t even make it?

And now since I’ve said that, he’ll go into a 4-for-25,000 slump. You’re welcome.

But the best news of all? The guys look like they’re rounding into shape at a time when Detroit is having major bullpen problems and are looking vulnerable. Next weekend should be majestic. And if the Blue Jays feel charitable on Canada Day today, the Indians will be rolling into Kansas City on top of the division again.

Oh, Canada, indeed!




  • Adam Hintz says:

    The world needs people like Hawk… learn to love them!

  • Chris Burnham says:


  • Gvl Steve says:

    Everyone assumes that the Indians will trade for a starting pitcher, but I’m not so sure. McAllister is due to return after the break, and if he does that will give us Masterson (3.48), McAllister (3.53), Jimenez (3.24 since April 21), Kluber (4.17) and a red-hot Scott Kazmir (1 ER in last two starts). I also do not believe the team will be quick to give up on Carlos Carrasco despite his horrible overall numbers. I suppose McAllister is still a question mark and Kluber could always be optioned to make room for the right guy, but it would have to be somebody pretty good. Kluber has really improved. I believe the greater need is a LH relief pitcher, and hope the team makes a move there without even waiting for the deadline. That is the biggest weakness on the team and has been for some time.

    • Sean Porter says:

      I agree – I think we roll with Masterson, McAllister (after ASB), Kluber, Kazmir and Ubaldo for better or worse for the rest of the way.

      I could also see the Tribe going hard after a lefty or two for the bullpen, for sure. With Smith, Pestano and Perez hopefully back to their reliable selves, the missing ingredient is a matchup lefty.

  • Seattle Stu says:

    big measuring stick for me will be that detroit series…everytime we come up against them in critical spots they seem to woodshed us….if we can can hold our own there i’d feel a lot better….

    • Jami says:

      I could not agree more. The pitching matchups all look good, but I am nervous. Very nervous.

      • Chris Burnham says:

        Rick Porcello has been tagged with a six-game suspension for hitting Ben Zobrist, by the way. But I doubt the Tigers will allow him to begin serving it until his appearance this week. Especially since we’re missing Verlander this time around.

  • BournFan says:

    The last time we traded for a starter, well, we all know what happened there. At least he’s getting back on track now.

  • Michael says:


    It’s always nice when Hawk has to stuff his tailfeathers between his legs … the two games on this weekend I also had the TV on mute and listened to Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on the MLB At Bat app (I’m in Minnesota BTW).

    Anyhoo, I’m starting to like the look of our rotation. Granted they’ll never be mistaken for Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine in their primes, but they have done their part to keep the team in most games. We all know we’ll likely never see the Ubaldo Jimenez of 2010 again but he’s done much better than most of us expected this year. His walk-to-strikeout ratio is much better and, except for the two starts against Detroit as well as the one each against Boston and New York, he’s actually been a pleasant surprise given how his time in Cleveland before this year has gone. I think if we can get the middle relief back in shape and get Reynolds, Swisher, Santana, and Stubbs going again on offense, we may actually have a chance of sniffing the P-word this year.

  • Jeremy says:

    They called me too optimistic during the 8 game slide, but I said it then and I’ll say it again: Keep Calm and Believe in this Club. Guys are starting to get locked in at the plate and what I love is that the hits are coming from a number of guys. JK_ the kid has been unbelievable, and I tend to believe that Swish and Santana and ACab are right on the verge of getting things rolling. I’m thinking of sending Reynolds a giant jug of protein powder because the power seems to have disappeared! I agree 100% with Michael on the starting rotation. I guess the real concern that’s emerged is the ‘pen; which is crazy. Maybe that’s where we look before the deadline. what do you think? White Sox giving up Thornton?

    BTW, you know, non-Indians fans bag on Hamilton for his homer-ish tendencies towards the Tribe but I know we all love it. It’s what made him a legend. So, I guess I don’t mind Hawk per se; I’m just glad I don’t live in the Windy City and have to watch him every time the Tribe are playing the pale hose.