Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Royal pain

FoxSports.com contributor Michael Rosenberg says the Royals might challenge the 1962 Mets and 2003 Tigers for baseball futility. At present, he says, the Royals are on pace for 124 losses.
But I don't think the Indians are going to let them fall that far.
This afternoon, the Royals completed the darn-near-unthinkable: they swept the Indians right out of the park. Three games, thanks for playing, have a safe flight.
Kansas City reached double figures in wins today (10-22) and reached .500 at Kauffman Stadium (8-8). And it is all thanks to Cleveland, which has been gracious enough to lose five in a row to the purported worst team in baseball.
The Royals pounded out 24 runs in the three-game sweep against a Cleveland team that is lugging around their entire pitching staff like a ball and chain.
Much like last year, when a narcoleptic offense prone to sudden spasms of lumber slumber nixed some great pitching, this year's edition of the Tribe is killing off some great offensive performances with awful pitching.
With a .302 average, the Indians possess baseball's best offense. They have the only lineup hitting over .300 in either league.
With a 5.36 ERA, the Indians have the fifth-worst pitching staff in both the American League and the Majors. It all adds up to a 17-18 record, the first time the Indians have been below .500 since an opening night loss to the White Sox.
It unfortunately appears to be part of the pitfalls of trying to put together a Cadillac team on a Toyota budget. Somehow, someway, compromises will be made. You have leather seats, but the engine is small. You have a sunroof, but had to skip the power windows.
For the past three seasons, the Indians have headed into the season with some area of the team in question. in 2004, the bullpen killed them. Last year, the offense lagged. This year, it's the entire pitching staff.
Something prevents this team from blossoming into full-fledged contender each year. And we in Cleveland are always looking to next year. Which becomes the next. And the next. Pretty soon, Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez are leaving as free agents, and we are back to square one.
I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. It's only May. But Cleveland had better look at the landscape, already seven and a half games behind the White Sox. May becomes July becomes September quickly, and the noose will only tighten as the season progresses.
Espceially with 12 games left against the Royals.

1 comment:

John said...

Hello from an old office neighbor.

I agree there's something preventing this team from taking the next step forward. They still seem to lack the maturity to play as hard against the mediocre teams as they play against the good ones.

I only have one question: Why is Danny Graves still on this team? It seems to me we're approaching the point at which giving a youngster some big-league experience would be more practical that running a Graves or a Karsay out there. We have to start building the future of the bullpen from within. The sooner the better. The fact the season's still early is a positive. A change can be made without it looking like desperation.

Actually, I wish this team performed as reliably well as a Toyota.