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Much to Iceman’s eventual delight, it seems like the spirits of Indians fans have never been higher. Facebook is being peppered heavily every night with meaningless pro-Tribe babble. And that’s great and all because it exposes two main character flaws: you idiots overreact to everything and you learned nothing from last year’s embarrassing fade. But let’s be fair. Last year, I did this exact same post around the time that Believeland had the best record in baseball while almost 7000 fans were pouring into Progressive Field to support them with silence and drum beats every night. I determined then that it wasn’t going to last and it did not. Let’s investigate this franchise again this time around to see if things have changed and if they are in it for the long haul.
GOOD! They can hit which blows up my preseason prediction that they wouldn’t be able to. At least so far they can but then again…
BAD! I think I read somewhere that no one had an easier schedule in April. Beating up on the Royals, A’s, and Mariners is something that you HAVE to do to stick around, but it should not be over-valued or taken as a harbinger of continued good play.
GOOD! The starting pitching, outside of Ubaldo, has been consistently ELITE! They have gotten surprisingly good production from the Derek Lowe’s and Jeanmar’s of the world.
BAD! You got Derek Lowe on the cheap for a reason. He’s about to get bombed and Josh Tomlin is awful.
GOOD! Jason Kipnis appears to be coming into his own as a player.
BAD! Casey Kotchman is terrible as most grown men named Casey tend to be. Also BAD, Jack Hannahan. I like to think that you all know that he blows so you are just enjoying his hot streak while it lasts.
GOOD! The bullpen is filled with a bunch of no-namers but they are pretty effective. After a shaky start, Chris Perez (I’m not calling him by whatever dumbass nickname that he is going by) appears to have his velocity back.
BAD! Depth; which is ironically a word that Clark Kellogg says correctly. They can’t afford any injuries in the lineup or any more Venezuelan grandpa deaths. It’s already bad enough that Travis Hafner is about to go down for the year as is tradition; you need to stay off the DL. More Aaron Cunningham = more losses.
GOOD! Manny Acta is a pretty awesome manager. It is probably because he looks like Snoad without the jaw crackin’.
BAD! The fans. They are embarrassing. What is the point of these “businessman special” noon games when you aren’t even drawing 5K to them (at least you break five figures at night)? On Monday, Hafner hit a homer into the RF bleachers and there were about 6 people in the section and it took the nearest fan 8 minutes to find the ball. That is shitty. I made a claim awhile back that the Cavs had long since passed the Indians as the #2 team in the city and I stand by that. People want to watch the Cavs. They CLEARLY do not want to watch the Indians in person (other than Seal of course). Sorry, folks, but even a pretty good Indians team can’t outdraw a basketball team that has finished the last two seasons as the second worst and third worst team in the NBA. There is no excuse for these horrendous attendances. Don't hide behind the economy. There are millions of people that live within an hour of that stadium and Cleveland is a good sports city. That is pathetic.
So what do I think of this team? Taking two out of three from Texas was pretty damn impressive and shows me that this team could be in it all year. Also, I would like to see what they do against the White Trash in a series before I crown their asses as contenders. The AL is a really deep league and the Indians have not been tested very much through 6 weeks. Obviously that will change soon enough.
Verdict! Nah, I’m not buying it. They hang around until late July but play the last two months in relative obscurity. Don’t worry about them, no one cares anyway. I would instruct Indians fans to not get their hopes up (again), but it’s too much fun to watch them get depressed and angry. Basically, the baseball season is so long that it is really hard to fluke your way through it. If the Indians want to win the Central, they would have to defy those odds. I’ll take my chances betting on them to fold.