Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

I decided to take the rapid to the game. I knew parking would be a nightmare and from everyone I talked to- it was worse than that.

I just missed a train when I got there and as I made my way down the stairs to the platform- the theme song from Twin Peaks was playing. Weird. I have never heard that song outside of an episode before. I decided that it couldn't be a good omen.

If you have read me for a while or know me, you know I hate Jim Thome. I still love Manny and I will never boo Manny. But I have no love for Thome and no one will ever convince me otherwise. To me Thome is Shooter McGavin or David Simms from the movies. He has a public persona and he is someone else in private. And thats fine- but Thome love was always exaggerated here. Sure he hit near the bottom of the lineup in 1995 with Manny- but look where he also hit in 1997. When he has been asked to carry teams- he hasn't. Look at Philly and the White Sox- again no shame in that. But people want you to think he is a hall of famer. He isn't. And I don't think it is close. 500 home runs is not what they used to be. He can aw shucks with the best of them- but you can't take the money after saying it wasn't about money and get to stay Opie. Again I have no problem with taking the money. Thome leaving is one of the main reasons why the Indians are good now. If he had stayed- this all would have been stunted. But the country boy sure owed C.C. today.

The seven run second got me so giddy- I sent a text celebrating it before the inning was over. Not like the a never superstitious me. And sure enough the world still revolves around me as in the next instant Victor Martinez gets hurt.

In the eighth when things looked bad, Micheals made a nice play on that ball on the wall to make the White Sox hold Crede. If JoBo ever blows up- and to me the man has iron cajones- put me in the camp of making Jensen Lewis the closer. We need Betancourt in the 7th and 8th. Maybe two calls went our way but the man made pitches to get us in an opportunity to make plays. What good is a closer without a stud set-up man. Today's closers are built for three outs. Give me a Betancourt that I can use when the game is really on the line when I need him.

I could not believe that call on the interference. But as nuts as Ozzie Gullien is- even he said when he saw the replay it was the right call.

Peralta still scares the crap out of me. He had two throws in the late innings that could have been a disaster. But the man has worked hard and he was a clutch hitter in the playoffs.

Just about everyone in this town has had a love-hate relationship with Casey Blake. But he was arguably our MVP last year. When Marte flamed out and Garko blossomed- he wordlessly moved back to third without a complaint. He is the clubhouse leader on this team. And he deserves to have the moment he had in the game. People take shots at Blake and his batting average last year with runners in scoring position. But Blake has had some big moments at the plate in late innings over the years- game seven aside.

I am not going to make predictions. But I will say this- I like our chances. But if you want two bets I would make. The Cubs will not make the World Series. I don't think they will win their division. And while it is easy to say the Yankees won't make the playoffs- my gut says the Mariners and Angels both make it and Boston doesn't. They seem set up for a fall. And the Yankees are the Yankees I don't see the Evil Empire collapsing so easily.