Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Friday, October 12, 2007

Well that was game one

They lost. It happens.

What makes it tougher to swallow is that C.C. did not look like this year's version of C.C. and the Tribe never once got out Big Papi or Manny.

But it is just one game. Whether you lose by one or by seven or twenty- it is still a loss and it only counts as one. Just can't lose four.

But we won't find out until tomorrow just how big of a hole this is. A masterpiece from Carmona and all is well. All season Carmona has never once seemed affected by the pressure. There is a lot riding on the young man tomorrow. His team needs him to avoid a huge 2-0 and the man on the mound against him is Curt Shilling-- who has pitched very well in some of the biggest games of the last six years.

We will learn a lot about the young man tomorrow and we will learn whether this is going to be a real series or not.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Give it rest already about three days rest

I just read more articles about how Wedge was wrong to pitch Byrd in game four even though it worked.

Are you kidding?

First- you don't change who you are in the playoffs. Mike Hargrove did in 1999 and it cost him his job. He may still be in Cleveland if it wasn't for that decision.

Second- why panic? The series was in the Tribe's control. I will take a rested C.C. in a game five any day. Why send a message of panic to your team? C.C. has no history of pitching on three days rest after throwing that many pitches. Byrd gave the better chance to get five. And while Carmona was brilliant in game two-- he is still young. And the Yankees could have adjusted. Why pile pressure on him if it didn't work. And say the Tribe won game five. Now what is the rotation for Boston.

Now people are saying skip Byrd in game four so C.C. can pitch on three days rest. Only if we are down 3-0 do I even consider it. Byrd is a veteran. I trust him even if you don't. Wedge trusts him too. C.C. is a power pitcher. He isn't a three days rest kind of pitcher. One guy suggested throwing C.C. in four on three so he can be ready for seven. My take is you don't worry about game seven until game seven. If we get that far then maybe go C.C. on three since you will have Westbrook and everyone in the bullpen to fill out the innings. Pitching on three days rest is like going for two in football. Never do it until you have to.

Wedge has groomed this team for years into the team he wants. I think he knows his team better than anyone else. Even his owner was quoted I would have done this differently. Every fan and sports writer knowns better than Wedge apparently. All I know is his team believes in him and that is good enough for me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Right way

Beating the Yankees is always fun. But the best part about the Tribe's series win is that (with no apologies to Frank Sinatra) they did there way.

Before the game at my bar of choice, I was struck by the bandwagoners. They seemed to be from two camps. One was the "who is pitching tonight?" group. I mean c'mon you went out and bought a new cap and t-shirt but you aren't a big enough fan to know it was Paul Byrd's turn in the rotation. The second group based on their knowledge of a handful of games that were incensed that C.C. was starting on three days rest. This gave them as much knowledge as the New York media and national talking heads as both of those groups knew Eric Wedge was making a mistake. Wedge said he trusted Byrd and it was his turn. This is how the Indians won all season. Why paniac and change when ahead 2-1 in the series.

As I told my bar buddy, you keep telling a grizzled veteran like Paul Byrd he sucks and he is going to bear down. As Byrd told the media after the game- the other night the reporters only asked him two questions- should C.C. start instead of him and if C.C. did start instead of him how would he feel. Byrd was quoted as saying, "I walked out there feeling like a loser. I think I'm a pretty heavey underdog."

Then he went out and did his job setting up our bullpen to finish the game.

With Byrd on the mound, many wanted Wedge to change his ways again. They wanted Garko at first and Vic behind the plate. These critics could not understand what Wedge was thinking. The man benched said it best in his playoff blog on

Garko wrote:
"Obviously, I wasn’t in the lineup tonight, because Kelly Shoppach caught Paul Byrd and Vic went to first base. All I thought about is that it’s cool that Eric had the courage to do what we’ve been doing all year and do what got us here to the playoffs. If you start C.C. on three days’ rest, you don’t know what you’re going to get. If you catch Vic with Byrd, you don’t know what you’re going to get there, either. This is how we won our division and won games, and we went with it. I’ve had some of my best games of the year coming off the bench when Byrdie starts. Who cares? It’s all about getting wins now. I was ready to go if we needed to, and I was actually hoping I wouldn’t get in there tonight, because that would mean we won. And that’s how it turned out. We had a meeting when the playoffs started, and Eric said, “Just be yourselves. Don’t do anything different.” If he started getting out of character and changing things, what message would that send to us?"


This team has been built the right way. They have all the right parts. And despite what many fans or media members believe-- the guys in that dugout know Eric Wedge is the right man for the job. During his entire tenure, Wedge has said the key was to do it the right way and to never waver. And he didn't. And his team didn't either.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Well that wasn't much fun

I hate waking a sleeping giant and yes I am fearful of Paul Byrd with that long of wait between starts facing the Yankees. But I agree with holding C.C. for a possible game five. If we win tomorrow- awesome. But I will take my chances at home with my big horse on the mound.

Yes- I fliched when I heard Trot Nixon was starting. And Wedge's hunch paid off offensively with a homer and double but oh did that defensive gaffe hurt. Maybe it was just one extra run as Nixon isn't throwing out anyone there but with Frank out there maybe just one run scores and the game seems more reachable.

But what fun is there without adverstiy huh.

God, I so didn't want to have to play again tomorrow. And I really don't want to have to use my tickets for game five.

C'mon Byrdie-- step up and give us a chance tomorrow.

It wasn't that bad

The final result was a 34-17 loss for the Browns against the Patriots but the truth was a bit brighter than that.

The Browns lost thier starting running back early, a starting reciver early and both cornerbacks limped off at one point. Yet for the most part, the defense played OK. The lack of a pass rush hurt but the defense gave a tough effort against the NFL's best team. Three times, the Pats had first and goal and only came away with two field goals.

You can't committ four turnovers against any team let alone the Pats and that was the Browns downfall. Anderson had to be smarter on the first pick but you really can't blame him for the next two. But for most of the day, the Browns short two weapons still moved the ball against what was the NFL's top rated defense. Wright gave a gutty effort in relief of Lewis. Despite the mistakesand as weird as it sounds, when the game ended I felt the best I have about this team all season. The Browns competed against the league's top team. Despite not covering the spread, the Browns held their own. And that is something that has been lacking the last few seasons. If not for the fumble return, the Browns would have been the first team all season to hold the Pats under 30 points.

And as for that spread, I don't gamble on football games but I found the final moments interesting. The Pats are inside the five, up 10 against a 16-point spread and decide to not only go for it but to throw into the endzone. I could hear gamblers everywhere yelling. And after an incomplete pass, Winslow's fumble allowed the Pats to go up 17. Then the Browns rush down the field and after an incomplete pass- get one second left on the clock and one more try to cover. And sure enough Winslow catches the ball but is out of bounds allowing the Pats to cover.

I could hear things being broken all over town.