Archive for the ‘Cleveland Indians’ category

Daily White Sox Review

April 3, 2008

Bree_Olson

April 3: White Sox 2, Cleveland 1

The Good: Pitching, pitching, pitching. Jon Danks threw a solid game, going 6.2 and allowing just one run. Dotel came on to get the Sox out of a jam in the 7th, Scott Linebrink pitched a perfect 8th, and Bobby Jenks locked it down for the save. Offensively, the Sox lived by the long ball with home runs in the Juan Uribe (who avoids my wrath for a day) in the 6th and Mr. Clutch, Joe Crede in the 8th. Sox get their first win and I can avoid wasting the rest of the day at work wondering why the hell I feel like this team is going to suck just because they got swept right off the bat.

The Bad: Well, outside of those two homers, the offense was pretty dead. But a lot of that had to do with Jake Westbrook, who many say is going to have a breakout year. The outfield defense was a problem for the second game in a row, as Jermaine Dye looks like a DH playing right field. Carlos Quentin got his first action of the season and promptly went 0-for-4.

Final thought: Winner, winner, chicken dinner. So things could be worse. 1-2 going into Detroit looks a lot better than 0-3. It should be an interesting series, especially with Contreras facing a struggling Tiger offense tomorrow. Also, enjoy one of my new favorites in the adult industry–Bree Olson–in the banner pic and here (very NSFW). Searching for her at work might get me fired.

Daily White Sox Review

April 3, 2008

Halle_Berry

April 2: Cleveland 7, White Sox 2
The Good: Uh……not a whole lot. A.J. hit a home run. Crede had a RBI single. Orlando Cabrera got on base three times. Also, no one got injured.

The Bad: All right, this might take a minute. First off, Javy had one of those games where his pitches move too much and he can’t put anyone away. It seemed like he went 3-2 on every hitter; he was way too “pitchy”, trying to perfectly hit his spots. In the second inning, with the game still scoreless and two men on for Cleveland and two out, Vazquez had Kelly Shoppach down 1-2 and eventually walked him, including throwing a 3-2 breaking ball. That loaded the bases for Grady Sizemore, and whenever Sizemore is up in a run-scoring situation against the Sox, it is a law that he produces. This time, he drilled a 2-run single and the Sox were never close in the game again. The Sox had one more chance to make it a game, but Jermaine Dye struck out with the bases loaded in the 8th. Oh, and to add insult to injury, Ozzie gave Mike MacDougal a chance to work with nothing really on the line, and he promptly gave up two runs in two innings of work. He really, really sucks.

Final thought: Well, its discouraging that in the first two games of the season the Sox have allowed 17 runs, especially with the two guys we are supposed to be counting on starting on the mound. Today’s John Danks-Jake Westbrook matchup doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the avoidance of a sweep, but who knows?

Daily White Sox Review

April 1, 2008

Brooklyn_Decker_pink 

I’m going to try to write a little something for each and every White Sox game the next day; this is probably impossible, especially on the weekends. Also, if the Sox suck, I reserve the right to quit this exercise as soon as possible. But I’m going to try, and I will also see if I can include a banner pic to grab your attention.

March 31, 2008–Cleveland 10, White Sox 8
The Good: Well, Jim Thome hit two home runs, so thats good. The Sox came back from a 7-2 deficit and might have taken the lead were it not for two, possibly three, horrible calls by the umpires during the game, highlighted by a call in the 7th inning at home plate which I thought was going to kill Hawk Harrelson. So unlike last year, at least this team shows signs of not automatically quitting after down early. Nick Massett did well in long relief.

The Bad: Mark Buehrle gave up 7 runs in just over an inning, so his ERA is pretty high at this point. Juan Uribe fucked up a double play at second base in the Indians’ huge second inning which might have ended their threat. Uribe stayed consistent in his pursuit of becoming the first White Sox player assassinated during a home game by also striking out three times. Perhaps the most disappointing was the craptacular performance by Octavio Dotel, the Sox supposed 7th or 8th inning guy this year. He gave up three runs, took the loss, and looked very, very hittable.

Final thought: Eh, what are you gonna do? Sure, it would have been better if they pulled it out, but at least the season has started. If this game happens in August during a tight pennant race, I might write 20,000 words on it.

LCS outlook from HHY

October 11, 2007

I did somewhat well in my predictions for the Division series. Of the teams I picked to advance, only the Cubs failed to make it to baeball’s final four. And with all honesty, my first reaction was that the D-Backs would beat them, but I was swayed by all the pro-Cub talk here in Chicago. I should of known better.

So here is my preview of the two league championship series. Lets start with the American League.

Boston-Cleveland: This matchup isn’t getting the publicity it should, shockingly. I think its the best ALCS matchup since the Yankees-Red Sox series in 2003 and 2004. I sense that the Red Sox fans, unlike the Yankees fans, truly respect and fear what the Indians are capable of. They might be the only team in the league that can match the starting pitching the Red Sox throw out there.

But the Indians’ problem in this series lies at the end of the bullpen. There will be at least one or two games in this best of seven which will come down to the late inning pitching, and while the Indians have great 7th and 8th inning guys, their closer is absolutely atrocious. One of the biggest baseball questions of 2007 has to be how Joe Borowski, with an ERA over 5, had 45 saves. Game 4 against the Yankees was a perfect example. Joe came in with a four run lead, gave up two bombs and held on for a 6-4 win.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox throw Jonathan Papelbon out there in the ninth, a guy who was absolutely unhittable until August and is still one of the three or four best closers in the game. Consdering how good of clutch hitters the Red Sox are, I highly doubt the Indians will be able to hold one run leads in the ninth. And obviously, thats huge. These teams, outside of their closers, are relatively evenly matched….so Cleveland needs to pull out every close game they can. And I think anything less than a two-run lead in the ninth is flimsy for the Tribe.

Therefore I’m going to pick Boston in 7. I really, really want Cleveland to win. Imagine being an Indians fan right now: your team hasn’t won since 1948, and you might be able to beat New York and Boston en route to the World Series. Talk about icing on the cake. Even a fan of the rival White Sox is envious of that possibility. But I think Beckett and Sabathia will cancel each other out, and while Carmona is better than Schilling, Curt takes him game to another level in the playoffs. Plus, I think Borawski will blow a Carmona game, if Fausto isn’t able to go the distance. Look for Boston to win two games off the Indian bullpen and hold off the Tribe in a great series.

Arizona-Colorado: Let me first say I think its horrible there are still thousands of seats available for this series in Phoenix. Your team won a title in 2001, they have a great young team and a solid chance at winning another, and you can’t sell out a 45,000 seat stadium? That’s fucking horseshit. Lets contract Florida, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Arizona, go back to the 28-team major leagues, and have a contraction draft. With the first pick the White Sox select Bradnon Webb.

Anyway, this is an evenly matched series. Everything I hear from the ‘experts’ is that about half are picking the D-Backs and half are picking the Rockies. Of course, Jesus is taking the Rockies in 6. I’m going to disagree with Jesus.

The Rockies are really hot right now, but the Diamondbacks have homefield advantage (even with the empty seats), a great bullpen and timely hitting. Those three things will outlast a hot streak every time. Also, as well as Jeff Francis and the rest of the Rockie rotation has been pitching, I think the Diamondbacks will put that to an end. I’m taking Arizona in 6.

So I suppose I’m picking Boston and Arizona. Ick.

the real problem with the chicago bears offense

October 3, 2007

Yeah, it turns out it wasn’t Rex after all. Who would have thunk it? (Oh, yeah, me).

But I wasn’t the only one that saw past Rex’s horrible passes and into deeper reasons for the Bears offensive ineptitude. The receivers drop passes and outside of Bernard Berrian, don’t get open frequently. The offensive line seems half as effective as they were in 2006, both in the passing game and in the running game.

But the real issue is Cedric Benson. The guy is not an every down, load-bearing back.

Sure, like I said earlier, the offensive line isn’t opening the same holes. But it can’t be doing that much worse than in 2006. And I’m not buying into the idea that many meathead Bears fans believe, that with Thomas Jones the offense would be cruising along. Check Jones’ stats with the Jets. He’s not exactly tearing it up.

But if a guy is going to be a focal point of an offense, a 300-carry, 1200-yard plus running back, shouldn’t he be the a top ten or top fifteen back? I think so. And yet, if the Bears had their choice, I bet there are a ton of running backs in the league they would start ahead of Benson for the remainder of this season.

In fact, lets go with that premise: How many active running backs would I, hardawayhatesyou, rather have as the Bears’ premier back for the remaining twelve games on the schedule?

  • Dallas: 2; Marion Barber is a definite and Julius Jones is a strong back who has proven he can be a number one back.
  • Philadelphia: 1; Brian Westbrook is an absolute yes–sure he might break down on his first carry, but if he’s healthy he is a beast.
  • NY Giants: None; You could make an argument for both Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, but neither have proven to me that they can be an every-down NFL back.
  • Washington: 2; While Clinton Portis has not shown the same burst in DC as he did in Denver, he’s definitely better than Benson. Ladell Betts went over 1000 yards last year and is a strong runner.
  • Minnesota: 2; Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor are both better than Benson.
  • Detroit: None; Like the Giants, Detroit has two backs–Tatum Bell and Kevin Jones–who one could argue are better than Benson, but I’m not ready to go there. Jones would be a definite yes if I thought he could last more than six games.
  • Green Bay: None; Maybe in a year or two Brandon Jackson will be a stud, but I’d take my chances with Benson at this moment. I’ll take their quarterback, though.
  • Seattle: 1; Shaun Alexander is a definite yes.
  • San Francisco: 1; Frank Gore, despite his recent struggles, is clearly a better option.
  • St. Louis: 1; Steven Jackson, see the Gore comments.
  • Arizona: 2; Here is where I might lose some people. Edgerrin James is easily better, but I’m also gonna throw Marcel Shipp as a better option than Benson. Shipp had over 800 yards on 188 and 224 carries, respectively, in 2002 and 2003. He also had 103 receptions in his first three seasons. So yes, I’d rather have Marcel Shipp than Cedric Benson. Wow.
  • Tampa Bay: 1; And its not Carnell Williams. I’m going to go with Earnest Graham, a guy who is just recently getting a chance. He runs hard and finishes his runs with a fervor I have never seen out of Benson.
  • Carolina: None; DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams are the two backs in Carolina, and while both might be better, I wouldn’t necessarily want both ahead of Benson. Foster can impress, but he is really injury-prone.
  • New Orleans: 1; Reggie Bush isn’t an every down NFL runner, but I’d take him ahead of Benson. And this number would be 2 if Deuce McAlister hadn’t just blown out his knee.
  • Atlanta: 1; Warrick Dunn has proven he can carry the load successfully. Jerious Norwood might pass Benson by the end of the season, as well.
  • Indianapolis: 1; Joseph Addai is a monster.
  • Tennessee: None; Although Vince Young might be a better running back than anyone on the Bears roster.
  • Jacksonville: 2; Maurice Jones-Drew has not played well in 2007, but I saw enough out of him last year to know that he’s better than Benson. And yes, I’m going to say I’d rather go to bat with Fred Taylor. Taylor is about as injury-prone as it gets, but when healthy, he might be one of the ten most talented and hard-working backs in the NFL.
  • Houston: None; No, Ahman Green is not better than Cedric Benson. Its close, though.
  • Cincinnati: 1; Rudi Johnson, no question, and Kenny Watson–if ever given an opportunity–could prove to be an adequate dual threat out of the backfield.
  • Cleveland: None; I am not a Jamal Lewis fan. Unless I can get the 2003 version.
  • Baltimore: 1; Willis McGahee is not a picture of health, but he’s clearly a better player than Cedric.
  • Pittsburgh: 1; Willie Parker, absolutely. And I’m tempted to add Najeh Davenport here, partly because he is a tough runner and partly because he once took a dump in a girl’s laundry basket.
  • New England: 1; I love Laurence Maroney, although he seems pretty injury-prone. Sammy Morris may be a solid back, but I’m not ready to say he’s a better option than Benson.
  • Miami: 1; Ronnie Brown’s resurgence this year has me flabbergasted.
  • NY Jets: None; This is interesting. I have to divulge that I agreed with the decision the Bears made in trading Jones and allowing Benson to be the number one guy. Jones, while hard-working and a leader, isn’t fast and doesn’t break enough tackles to be considered a better option than Benson.
  • Buffalo: 1; Marshawn Lynch has already proven to be what Benson should be, and he’s only been in the league for a month. Damn.
  • San Diego: 2; I’m not even going to argue about one of these; and yes, I think Michael Turner, while having never had more than 25 carries in an NFL game, has shown enough that I would want him to be the Bears running back in the last twelve games of the season.
  • Denver: 1; Travis Henry is better, although its hard to tell how good Bronco backs are because almost everyone can rush for 1200 yards there.
  • Kansas City: 1; LJ is better, no question.
  • Oakland: None; I’ll believe the Lamont Jordan renassiance when he carries the load for a full season with either sucking or blowing out a knee. Although I like the idea of Justin Fargas, Huggy Bear’s son, being an NFL star.

So there you have it. A total of 28 running backs in the league are better options than Cedric Benson. Six teams have two backs on their current roster who I would rather see taking the bulk of Bear carries for the remainder of 2007. And only nine squads have the same issues at running back as Chicago does. Of those nine teams, only Detroit, Green Bay, and Tennessee have winning records. Detroit won’t have one by the end of the year; the Packers and Titans have superhuman quarterbacks to even things out.

So there ya go. The answer is not actually Brian Griese, or someone else behind center; its the guy behind the guy.

hhy’s 2007 baseball postseason outlook

October 2, 2007

Oh, what excitement. The 2007 postseason is upon us, and for the White Sox and Cardinal fans who write this site, it really couldn’t be better than to see the Cubs in the postseason. Outside of watching our teams battle for (another) title, the next best thing is to see how in the world the Cubs will choke this year.

Ah, I’m just playing, Cub fans. I won’t be cheering against you; in fact, I would love to actually see what would happen in this city if the Cubs won. Would the city implode? Mass orgies on Waveland? Dogs and cats living together? Who knows.

But will it happen? Can the Cubs overcome the hilariously exciting and ridiculous National League playoffs? Here’s a breakdown of the four first round series, complete with predictions that are sure to…….be not right. (Ha! I’m original!):

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks: It seems to me that this series could be decided by the end of Game 1. If the Cubbies can find a way to beat Brandon Webb, the D-Backs don’t have much of a chance to get back to Arizona for a chance to win the series in 5. They surely won’t win three in a row if they lose Game 1. After Webb, Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez and Micah Owings figure to face Ted Lilly, Rich Hill and Zambrano on the turn around. Those are ugly matchups for the D-Backs. I see Webb pulling off a close win in Game 1 over Zambrano, maybe a 2-1 type score. I then see the Cubs rattling off three straight, clinching the series in 4 with a weekend win at Wrigley, even if Arizona brings Webb back to start an elimination game. Cubs 3 games to 1.

Phillies vs. Rockies: Did you guys watch the Rockies-Padres game last night? Did you see the fat douchebag who had his little rat dog sitting on his lap behind home plate? How do you get a dog in the park? Why bring a dog? How does anyone who would bring a dog to a baseball game get seats in the first row behind the plate? It totally flabbergasted me throughout the game. Anyway, all signs point to the Phillies dominating this series. They can match the Rockies’ offensive output, and they have far superior starting pitching. The Rockies are the hottest team in baseball, but the Phils might be a close second. There is really nothing that shows me that the Phillies should lose more than one game in this series. That’s why I’m picking Colorado. What I saw last night was something I haven’t seen out of any other team in these playoffs, at least to this point: baseball magic. Down 2 runs in the 13th against Trevor Hoffman? Double, double, triple, walk, sac fly, we win. Wow. Look for Matt Holliday to show all casual fans that he is rightful winner of the 2007 NL MVP in a close race over the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins. Rockies 3 games to 2.

Red Sox vs. Angels: As much as I like the idea that the Angels are playing ‘National League baseball’ in the American League, I just don’t see how they match up in any way with Boston. Unless John Lackey can beat Josh Beckett twice in this series, the Halos don’t stand a chance. Vlad Guerrero’s October collapses will continue, and the Red Sox will cruise to an easy sweep of Anaheim (not LA Angels of Anaheim, that shits dumb). Red Sox 3 games to none.

New York vs. Cleveland: As an AL Central guy, I thought in March that the Indians were the team to beat in the division, and they proved me right. But they did it a bit differently than I thought. While Travis Hafner didn’t have his usual scary offensive season, Fausto Carmona came out of nowhere and gave the Tribe an awesome 1-2 punch in the rotation. Meanwhile, while everyone decided the Yankees were done in June, I warned fellow fans that the Yankees do this shit every year: they suck for like 2 or 3 months, then Torre and the boys make the necessary roster adjustments, their lineup gets hot and they make the playoffs. Since I’ve been right about these teams all year, believe me when I say that the Indians will beat the Yankees. The Yankees are the sexier pick, and the media will hope and plead for a Red Sox-Yanks ALCS. But even the New York lineup won’t beat Carmona and Sabathia 3 times in 4 starts. Indians 3 games to 1.

So there it is. Cubs-Rockies and Red Sox-Indians. So be sure to look for Diamondbacks-Phillies and Angels-Yankees.