Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Friday, July 31, 2009

Goodbye Victor

It is sad to see Victor Martinez go. But I like the trade. We get a big-league ready arm in Masterson and two more power arms. I think the value received is more than I expected.

I get why some fans will be upset. Victor wanted to stay. But for the long-term health of the franchise this makes sense. Victor is getting older and spending money on sentiment is not a good idea. His numbers are great at catcher but only just above average for first base. It is time to let the kids play. I hear how fans are claiming they will stay away but I don't mind supporting a young team that plays hard. Hopefully that is what we will get.

At least Victor gets a shot at the playoffs but he will be walking into a weird clubhouse. There are a lot of guys in that locker room wondering whose playing time Victor will take. It must be nice to be a GM of a team that can pick up a all-star for position that isn't a need but a luxury.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The trade was the right thing to do

I have to learn to quit reading sports message boards. You never know how a trade will turn out. You couldn't control the ligaments in Alex Escobar's knee. You have no idea how a minor leaguer will turn out. And yet the Cliff Lee trade has already been declared the worst trade ever even before the deal has been signed.

But I do know this: everyone hated the Bartolo Colon trade and that turned out pretty awesome. People hated the trade that sent Sutcliffe to the Cubs for prospects and Joe Carter turned out to be pretty good. Then years later Carter turned into Baerga and Alomar Jr.

One of the reasons the Indians struggled early in this decade was because Manny and Thome were allowed to walk away rather then be traded for prospects.

Frankly it makes no sense to cry over who wasn't included. You can only trade for what someone will give up. Trading Lee to me was the right thing to do. He wasn't going to be here long term. The Indians are not going to contend next season. In fact Shapiro did a brave thing trading Lee. It would have been easier to sit on him and hope for next year. Shapiro did the organization right for the future.

It is true that Shapiro and Wedge have failed in their plan. The team never turned out as advertised. Their jobs should be on the line. Hopefully this trade will finally allow Wedge to surrender and play the kids. Frankly Victor should be traded next. I love the guy and his leadership. I just wonder where his skill set will measure up with his next contract ala Travis Hafner. The Indians are a small market team, they have to turn assets at their height into more assets. Is it ideal to trade Cy Young winners and team leaders two years in a row? No but allowing a miserable season linger into false hope for next year is a bigger mistake.

I hear fans swearing off the team for good. I hear the Jake will be empty next season. Baseball fans will understand and the rest will be back when the team starts to win. Trading Lee and Vic may not be ideal but I want a championship some day. Keeping both for next season would not have helped that goal.

To the naysayers I say while I understand your pain, suck it up. If you are in your 20s, you have been spoiled. What you think is suffering isn't all that bad. You want to leave, leave. I wonder how many games those going crazy over this trade have even watched this last month. I say play ball. Go Tribe.

Edit: Apparently I am the only person in Cleveland who likes this trade. The fact Drennan and every Internet poster hate it so vehemently emboldens my belief that this will be a good trade. I can only imagine the reaction on WTAM and WKNR as I am not going to bother turning them on. Go Tribe!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Goodbye Garko

I haven't posted much because I haven't had much to say. But tonight the Indians traded Ryan Garko. Now Garko has been one of my least favorite players so his leaving is fine with me. Sure his average looked good this year but he couldn't field, he was super slow and he has very little power for a man his size and position.

But here is what bothers me and may be the final (albeit seemingly innocent) step to pushing me over the edge against Shapiro and Wedge. They have called up Andy Marte to play first base.

Now I am all for Marte getting another a chance. But once again the Indians are taking their best defensive player at one position and then playing him somewhere else. This makes no sense to me. Even when Marte was up here and couldn't hit, he was still a very good third baseman. Now he is tearing it up in triple A and we are going to throw him out there to play every day at his secondary position.

Maybe all this mess of the last three years is because Shapiro and Wedge have chosen flexibility over stability. Just pick nine guys and let them play. But no we have mess with guys. Garko started at catcher but played first then left field. Cabrera played second despite being the best shortstop on the roster for the last two and half years. Peralta should have moved to third years ago but no the brain trust had to wait until it was obvious to everyone else and therefore made Peralta make the change mid-year rather than do it the right way. DeRosa was played everywhere but where he played every day last season. LaPorta was a first baseman who was moved to the outfield then moved back to first base. Gimenez was a catcher who until recently played first and in the outfield. Lets just screw with young players so we can be flexible. I know it is not this simple but pick nine, show some balls and let them play.

I have also flipped-flopped on trading Lee and Martinez. I say do it. Some say if they do that they will lose the fan base. Well frankly, the fan base is already lost. And anyone who cries and screams will be back if the team starts to win. Lee has become a stud but he will be gone in 2011 so get value now. Martinez is great but he is not worth a contract extension. We overpaid for Hafner and now that contract is killing us. Resigning Martinez would end up being the same. Get a crap load of prospects. Get a manager who can work with kids. Let them play for their supper in 2010 and lets make a run in 2011 or 2012. I have no problem watching a young team scrap, fight and take their lumps. I just don't enjoy watching a team that never had a prime grind their way into fourth place. But at least they are flexible.