Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “sinking ship”

You have to laugh …

… to keep from crying.

It probably should come as no surprise that the Indians were no-hit on Wednesday by Ervin Santana. The offense has been in such a prolonged slump that it feels almost inevitable that they be on the wrong end of a no-hitter.

Oh, and did we mention that Santana came into the game 0-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 10 career starts against the Indians?

And that left-handed batters entered the game hitting almost 20 points higher than right-handers? Naturally, the Indians lineup featured seven lefties who combined to go 0-for-22 with six strikeouts.

“Lots of guys get to five, six innings, but that’s when things get a little complicated,” Santana said after the game.

Not against this Indians lineup, they don’t.

The way things are currently going, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine it happening again this season.

In the three-game series against the Angels, Tribe starters David Huff, Josh Tomlin and Fausto Carmona threw 19.2 innings and gave up just three earned runs – a 1.37 ERA – but the Indians found a way to lose two-of-three.

Tuesday night it was failing to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth; Wednesday it was the first no-hitter in the 17-year history of the Tribe’s home park.

Over the past nine games, the Indians have gone 3-6 despite receiving the kind of starting pitching that would make most teams green with envy:

  • Huff has a 0.71 ERA over 12.2 innings of work, but is only 1-1
  • Tomlin has a 3.86 ERA over 14 innings of work, but is 0-1 with a no decision
  • Fausto Carmona has a 1.50 ERA over 12 innings of work, but is 1-0 with a no decision
  • Justin Masterson has a 0.61 ERA over 14.2 innings of work, but is 0-1 with a no decision
  • Carlos Carrasco has a 4.26 ERA in 6.1 innings of work (but that was the result of a single bad pitch against the White Sox) and is 0-1

How is that even possible?

And no trade before Sunday’s non-waiver deadline is going to make much of a difference. Unless the Tribe is getting Manny Ramirez or Jim Thome in their prime, no one they acquire is going to be able to get this offense turned around.

No, the Tribe lineup is going to have to do it itself, starting this weekend against Kansas City. The Royals are scheduled to start Jeff Francis (3-11, 4.65 ERA), Felipe Paulino (1-8, 4.54 ERA) and Kyle Davies (1-9, 6.75 ERA).

If the Indians can’t get it going offensively against that trio, they may never get it together.

And with training camp opening this weekend for the Browns, the Tribe picked the worst possible time to go into a funk.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

Iceberg, dead ahead captain!

Another day, another loss as the HMS Wahoo drifts ever closer to the iceberg that will sink their season.

Somehow, the White Sox scored four earned runs this weekend and were still able to take the abbreviated two-game series from the Tribe. Chicago stinks but the Indians make them look like the best team in baseball.

Friday night, Carlos Carrasco made one bad pitch, Carlos Quentin deposited it for a three-run homer and that was the ball game.

Sunday, Justin Masterson gives up one earned run in seven innings of work, but three Tribe errors helped give the White Sox three unearned runs and take the win.

What must it be like as a starting pitcher for the Tribe knowing, every time you take the mound, if you give up more than one or two runs it’s game over, man?

The only saving grace in all of this is the AL Central is full of mediocrity. Even with Sunday’s loss, the Indians head into the three-game series with the Angels only two games out of first. A good week and they could be back on top of the division.

But with the offense in its current state of distress, it’s hard to see how that can happen. If you can’t win with the kind of pitching the Tribe received this weekend, when will you win?

With the non-waiver trading deadline coming up at the end of the month, fans will be wanting the Indians to make a move to save the season. But who is out there that can save the team? Who will be the Tribe’s Leonardo DiCaprio when they are floating adrift in the North Atlantic?

Someone at The Plain Dealer was obviously paying attention when we wrote earlier this week that the Indians don’t exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to deadline deals. Today the paper ran an article detailing every trade deadline deal the Indians have made since 1994 and it’s not pretty.

It turns out that sellers come out ahead of the game far more often than buyers in these deals.

And with no real reason to believe that this year will be any different, it may be time to accept that Tribe fans will be rooting for the team they currently have, rather than the one they think they want.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

You can’t win if you can’t score

The Tribe was shut out by the White Sox Friday night, falling 1.5 games behind first-place Detroit.

It’s the farthest the Indians have been out of first place since the first week of the season.

“There’s not much you can do when you don’t score any runs,” Indians manager Manny Acta told The Plain Dealer. “We’ve had to battle all year with our offense.”

“I could care less how many times we’ve been shut out as long as we’re winning games,” Acta told The Beacon Journal. “If we win 100 and lose 62 by shutout, that’s fine with me.”

What else is there to say at this point?

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

First place no more

Moments before the start of the Indians game Monday night against Detroit, we tweeted this.

A couple of hours later, two hits for the Tribe, 12 strikeouts, no runs and another loss – the Indians’ 15th in their last 20 games – and for the first time since April 7 the Tribe is not in first place in the Central Division.


The ship be sinking, folks, and the Indians better come up with a solution in a hurry.

Duo writes the book on bad owners

It’s clear following Monday’s 3-0 loss that Liverpool is a mess under the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

As we pointed out a few weeks ago, the (soon to be) outgoing owners have turned one of England’s most-storied clubs into a struggling squad with an uncertain future.

We know bad owners in Cleveland, from Ted Stepien to Art Modell to just about everyone who owned the Indians prior to the Jacobs brothers. So watching these two ruin Liverpool has been painful.

Paul Bestall at EPL Talk has come out with a spot-on look at the current state of the squad under Hicks and Gillett. Some of the “highlights” include:

  • Hicks and Gillett want not just ridiculous, but utterly stupid amounts of money for a club they’ve effectively bankrupted.
  • A fan base determined to run the owners out of town.
  • A stadium that has never made it off the drawing board.
  • Manchester City pulled Liverpool to bits tonight at times without really playing that well. Couple this with some performances on the tail end of last season and it reminded me of the last time a Liverpool squad looked this thin on quality. Under Graeme Souness, Liverpool had become a shadow of a side within 3 years, struggling to qualify for the UEFA Cup as it was then, never mind the Champions League.
  • The arrival of Roy Hodgson cannot paper over the cracks in this Liverpool squad. Hopelessly weak in areas it used to excel in, players shuffled about to try and make do and an attack so lightweight it looked made of paper. This is the worst Liverpool squad in 15 years, no question about it.

And the blame rests solely in the owners’ box for this mess. It seemed like Kenny Huang was going to finally start cleaning-up this mess with his bid for the club, but Huang pulled out last week after reportedly growing impatient.

Now what? Hicks and Gillett are determined to hold onto the team until they can sell it for a payoff they clearly haven’t earned. When Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool FC, the club reportedly had a debt of approximately £44 million. That debt has now grown to £237 million.

And if the team continues slipping down the table? Apparently Hicks and Gillett have taken the position that will be the next owner’s problem.

Just lovely.

No coach, no GM … no Problem?

“Danny Ferry and their ownership have proven they care deeply about winning and about people. That is a winning combination to sell.” – Jeff Van Gundy

Well, not so much anymore. With Danny Ferry’s surprise resignation as GM on Friday, the Cavs’ winning combination has taken a big hit and no one may be buying what they are trying to sell.

It’s obvious that despite the unprecedented success the team has enjoyed the past five years under Ferry and former coach Mike Brown, owner Dan Gilbert has decided he knows best. Ferry wanted to keep Brown, understanding that finding a new coach that would improve the team would be a difficult, possibly impossible task.

Terry Pluto summed it up in today’s PD: “Ferry could have signed an extension to remain with the team. His contract expires June 30. But after five years — the best five years in franchise history — it’s obvious Ferry and team owner Dan Gilbert had a significant disagreement.

“A good guess is the coaching situation.”

Great. Instead of staying out of the way and letting his basketball people do the job they were hired for, Gilbert has decided to insert himself into the process. That always ends well when owners get “hands on.”

Art Garcia, writing on, asks a chilling question: Is it possible that the departures of a wildly successful coach and an equally accomplished general manager are good for a franchise?

This is Cleveland, Art. That answer seems pretty obvious.

He continues:

“Last week’s firing of Mike Brown and Friday’s resignation of Danny Ferry would signal chaos, especially considering what’s been achieved in Cleveland the last five years. Sure the Cavaliers didn’t win a title, and despite having the best record in the league didn’t get out of the Eastern Conference playoffs the last two years, but just line up the teams in the league that would gladly trade places with Cleveland.

“Yeah, it’s a pretty darn long line.

“Dan Gilbert also needs to make sure everyone in the organization is 100 percent behind the LeBron Plan, whatever it is.

“Ferry wasn’t anymore. He felt uneasy with dismissing the coach he hired, and has watched Gilbert take on a more active role in day-to-day operations, further comprising his sphere of influence. Ferry stated publicly before firing Brown that his goal was to continue to build a championship organization under Gilbert. Clearly, Ferry’s role in that project had changed.”

Gilbert does deserve credit for having a plan in place with Ferry’s departure, naming Chris Grant as GM. But will Grant have the same power and ability to battle the owner when Gilbert wants to make a move that hinders the progress of the team?

It’s amazing that the situation has gotten this far, this fast. Was it really only a few weeks ago that Cavs fans were dreaming of an NBA title? And now we’re wondering who the next coach will be and looking at a rookie GM running the show in the “Summer of LeBron.”

Just another day in the paradise of Cleveland sports.

Post Navigation