Free fallin’

August 29, 2012

The Cleveland Indians played the Oakland Athletics at Progressive Field tonight. Unless you’ve spent the last month in a drug-induced coma, it probably won’t come as a surprise to you when I tell you that the Indians lost the game. The final score was A’s 8, Indians 4.

In happier days than this one, I would have provided you with a recap of the game. Tonight I don’t really feel up to it. If I did, I’d tell you that the Indians got off to a rare early lead, only to surrender it in the next inning, and then later they let the game get away from them entirely. It wasn’t fun to watch on television or to listen to on the radio. You can click on this link for a detailed account of the game, courtesy of the good people at and the Associated Press. They can write about it dispassionately, and they get paid to do so. I can’t and I don’t.

The Indians have been losing a lot of baseball games lately. They’ve lost 26 out of their last 31 games. For more than a month now, the Indians have been playing .161 ball. That’s almost unimaginably bad.

I’m 55 years old and I attended my first Indians game in 1962, when I was five years old. I’ve seen a lot of bad Indians teams over the years. You can take my word for it, or you can go here and see for yourself. I honestly don’t remember seeing an Indians team as bad as the one that’s been taking the field for the last month. It seems that they can’t do anything right. The pitching has been mostly terrible, the hitting almost non-existent, and the fielding has been shoddy lately, too. I know it’s not all the fault of Indians manager Manny Acta, but honestly, how much longer can he hold on to his job? Don’t the Indians almost HAVE to fire him soon?

A week or two ago, there was a trend going around Facebook. Called petshaming, it involved writing a sign detailing bad behavior by one’s pet, and taking a picture of the pet near the sign. Something like “I ate a bagel that didn’t belong to me because I don’t care about the feelings of other people.” Pretty funny stuff, especially when the pet involved has a remorseful or defiant look on its face. The other day I felt like I should be the subject of a fanshaming photo. Here it is:


I deserve to be mocked for my faith in this woebegone baseball squadron. Honestly, I should be pelted with rocks and garbage.

I suppose I should conclude this post by pointing out that Indians left fielder Shelley Duncan was designated for assignment earlier today. Pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was called back up to the major league club from Columbus to take Duncan’s place on the roster. I’m sure Shelley Duncan was and is a decent person, and that he tried his best to be a good baseball player during his three years with the Indians, but if I never hear his name again, that’d be just fine with me.


  • Wyatt says:

    A painful sign of desperation setting in is that altho’ the guy the Tribe just sent down- Shelley Duncan- wasn’t exactly a shining star with his ‘hefty’ .203 BA, you could still make an argument that he verged on a franchise player compared to the guy who was brought up to replace him- Jeanmar Gomez- who spent his summer getting absolutely shellacked by minor league teams (7.92 ERA), yet bitching all the while that the mere fact he sucked was not a valid reason to keep him out of the majors. However the really sad part is not that his big mouth got him what he wanted (but doesn’t deserve), the really sad part is that this is apparently the best option the Indians have left.

  • Mark says:

    How about Ryan McCrystal’s post on July 4th that states “Taking three of four from the Orioles was nice but, despite their inflated record, they’re still the Orioles and I fully expect to see them in the cellar of the AL East well before the season comes to a close.” I think that might qualify for some type of shaming photo as well.

    • Vern Morrison says:

      Mark, it looks as though Ryan just slightly missed the mark with that prediction! But I don’t blame him for thinking that the Orioles were a mirage. Much as the Indians did in April and May, the O’s are performing well above their ExWL mark would indicate (actual: 72-58, ExWL: 60-70). The law of averages caught up with the Indians, mostly (although the Indians have won 6 games more than their ExWL would indicate). They won’t be in the AL East cellar, for sure, but they might finish third.

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