Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The fat lady is ready to belt one out

June 14 seems like it was a long time ago. That was the night Cliff Lee almost pitched a no-hitter. The Indians had taken two of three from the Cards and the general feeling around town was things were starting to come together.

The Indians have won twice since then. Twice. And one of those wins was against the Pirates when the Tribe led 5-0 in the ninth and let it get to 5-4 with the bases loaded and full count before getting the win.

The season will continue on but all hope of meaningful games is lost. I have been ignoring the calls for Eric Wedge's head because well frankly it doesn't seem to be his fault. Listening to a mob never makes sense. But when the All-Star break rolls around it might be time to do a mercy killing. Let Wedge shuffle off before his stress gives him health problems. I know Wedge is not a quitter so the plug needs pulled for him. I don't blame Wedge for everything but for what needs to be done, he is not the right guy to do it. Wedge is too invested. A new interim manager is needed for what has to happen next.

The new manager should be Torey Lovuvollo or better yet if they could convince him Ellis Burks. Whoever it is, they should be told a simple truth. You are here to develop talent for the rest of the season. You are not going to be the manager next year. Forget about playing veterans because they are veterans. We need to see what the kids can or can't do. There is no reason to be hero and to try and manage a miracle. Show patience and encourage.

If you are going to waive the white flag and I don't see how you couldn't at this point, you have to completely surrender. By that I mean you can't still tinker and try different players at different spots to squeeze out wins. You take your lumps and let kids play.

For me that would be the end of Indians careers for Ryan Garko, Jamey Carroll, Jhonny Peralta, Ben Francisco and Kelly Shoppach for starters. All would be trade bait if you could move them. Outside of Peralta none of them have a future on this club past this year but I have tired of Peralta's act. I like Carroll but his type is a dime a dozen and if I can get value for him now I will. And even though he may be more productive than others, I need his at-bats for youngsters. I doubt anyone would be willing to trade for Pronk but I would listen.

From the Columbus the obvious is to call up Toregas to catch, LaPorta to play left and Brantley to play center field. I know LaPorta is back to being a first baseman. But I want to see if Toregas can handle a big league staff and I am shutting down Grady Sizemore for the rest of the year. There is no need for him to play with symptoms. Schedule his surgery for the day of the all-star game and get to healing. Martinez is the one guy I don't want to trade and I think his future is at first base. In the category I can't believe I am saying this call up Andy Marte and play him every day for four weeks. Maybe we will get lucky and he will find it or at least show enough promise to get value for him. Gimenez can backup the outfield spot and first base. Cabrera and Valbuena are penciled in as the double-play combo for the present and future. Shoo and Martinez are the leaders for the kids to follow. I dangle Cliff Lee but refuse to pull the trigger on a trade until I am overwhelmed. Lee can be valuable next season but I don't see him saying in 2011 so if some contending team wants to overpay I let them. But I am not giving him away.

No one wants to rebuild. But the only thing worse is refusing to acknowledge that a rebuild is needed. If you half-ass it, it just extends the losing. Right now I would rather watch kids try and fail then what the Indians are putting on the field. Give me a reason to hope for 2010 and beyond. Quit beating a dead horse.

If you want to make a change, you have to make a complete change.