Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Snatching defeat from victory

When I left for my cousin's wedding yesterday, the Indians were ahead 7-2. Woke up to discover they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Watching the game today was like a slow burn to what seemed like inevitable result. It just seemed predestined to have Wood wander off the field in defeat.

The week began with a little bandwagon jumping. People kept telling me that things were starting to come together. "The Indians are going to win this, I can feel it."

Less than 24 hours later, the bodies started to hit the floor. After Monday's loss, the calls for Eric Wedge's head got louder and louder. And after today's defeat those same people who believed a division winner was likely told me they were done with the Tribe.

Sure the Tribe dropped five games this week -- five games that could have easily been wins. But the Indians haven't changed at all. They are still the same team. The bullpen is full of guys other teams didn't want. Injuries have forced guys into the lineup who should not be in the major leagues. Games out of first place don't mean much if you are double digits under .500. The Indians are what they are.

Not that there are not silver linings. DeRosa, Martinez and Choo are the real deal. I love this Luis Valbuena kid. Sparring injuries, the Indians should be set up the middle for years to come between Valbuena and Cabrera.

I personally don't see the point of firing Eric Wedge. I don't see how it would improve the bullpen. Putting Joel Skinner in charge changes nothing. The only reason to fire Wedge would be to waive the white flag. You would bring up Torey Lovullo to manage and lets the kids play out the string. That would mean trading DeRosa, Carroll and Shoppach. And trying to trade or just dumping Peralta, Francisco and Garko. That would mean letting Michael Brantley, Matt LaPorta, Valbuena and either Wyatt Toregas or Carlos Santanna play every day and take their lumps.

You don't fire Wedge in order to make a run. The Indians have not played well but I don't buy it is because Wedge has lost the clubhouse. A new manager is not going to make our bullpen throw strikes or magically improve the baseball IQ of Peralta and Garko. If you want to make a statement and shake things up -- then fire one of those two players. It would make just as much sense.

The sad and ugly truth is the Indians are what they are -- a very flawed baseball team in a very flawed division. They were this way last Sunday and they are this way today.