Posted at 11:31 AM on August 5, 2005
by Bob Collins
It's a little funny to me to see Twins fans jumping off the bandwagon in droves as the Vikings season gets underway. It's no secret I'm primarily a Cleveland Indians fan and, there, fans are jumping on, not jumping off. Funny, too, how these too franchises seem to be linked more and more.
Number 2 son and I have been glued to the TV the last few nights, because the Indians and Yankees have been playing and we are bonded not only by our love of all things Tribal, but also by our dislike of the Yankees.
We were two outs -- two outs -- away from a three game sweep when the vastly overrated and should've-been-moved-at-the-height-of-his-trade-value Bob Wickman put a 3-1 pitch right down the middle to A-Rod, who simply has to be the one to break Babe Ruth's record, he's just too good not to. By the way, why would you throw a 3-1 pitch to A-Rod down the middle? Why not just toss is outside and maybe see if he goes fishing? Wickman is the perfect example of why closers are overrated.
We probably have no chance at the wild card anymore either, but that didn't keep us from flipping the channels back to the Twins game between pitches to see if maybe, hopefully, even stupidly the Utility Player 9 (you read it here first!) could find home plate without a GPS. But alas, we got no breaks from the Metrodome.
Thanks a lot.
But where the Tribe is concerned, there's more hope for the '06 season. We've got solid young players up the middle in Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Grady Sizemore. A solid pitching staff, OK bullpen, power at the DH. Our weaknesses are rightfield and third base but even Aaron Boone has shown he can actually hit a bit. It's a good life to only have to find a rightfielder in the off-season.
Contrast that to the Twins and I think there's every reason to believe the Twins will be looking at the Indians backsides for a few years.
Let's get that stupid football season over with so we can get to spring training!
The Tribe rotation still looks dicey after Millwood, who will be a FA after one of the best seasons of his career (by ERA). What are the Tribe plans to beef up the rotation next season, or will they just hope to see Lee-Westbrook-Sabathia all make The Leap at once in 2006?
They don't really need to make the leap. They already have as evidenced by the 3.83 ERA -- 5th best in the AL.
Why they DON'T have is the killer ace and this is usually the final piece of the puzzle for most championship-calibre teams.
The Twins had it last year with Santana. The Red Sox added Schilling to Pedro.
The Indians have a bunch of #2 and #3 rotation pitchers when they need a Dennis Martinez-type to strut into spring training. Given the fact they only have to get a rightfielder, and that they've got lots of minor league pitching currency, I reckon there's an off-season deal coming to bring in a stud.