Category Archives: Indians

Quit complaining about Cleveland sports and get your asses to Progressive Field this week

Here goes my first Bottlegate rant.

The Indians struggle with attendance has been pretty well documented. So far this season they’ve tricked an average of 18,386 fans per game to come to Progressive Field. That puts us 29th in the league, not even a thousand fans above the Tampa Bay Rays.

Lone-rays-fan2

 

Let’s put that number into perspective. The Charlotte Knights, AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, led the International League in attendance this past season with an average of 9,686 fans. More than half of what a major league baseball team fighting to make the playoffs is drawing. The Minnesota Lynx traveled to Indiana to square off against the Fever in the WNBA playoffs in 2012. That game was played in front of 18,165 fans. That’s just 221 less fans than you would find on an average night watching a major league baseball team fight for a playoff berth in Cleveland. America hates soccer right? The Vancouver Whitecaps, currently in sixth place out of nine teams in the Western Conference of the MLS with a record of 8 wins, 8 losses and 13 ties, averages 20,413 fans. A .500 soccer team in Canada draws over 2,000 more fans than a MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM FIGHTING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS, CLEVELAND. Am I the only one who is utterly fucking embarrassed by that? Our city always talks about how awesome our fans are, how we live and die for our teams and how we’re the best fans in the country. A FUCKING BELOW AVERAGE SOCCER TEAM can get more fans to come to their games than the Cleveland Indians. We had a regime change last year that immediately resulted in a playoff berth. This season has been up and down, but P fucking S¬†we can still make the playoffs if we win out, probably even if we lose one game too.

We made the playoffs last year, could make them again this year and we’re 29th out of 30 teams in attendance. What does the club have to do to get these lauded “Cleveland fans” to the ballpark? We’re never going to be the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers. We’re not going to be able to buy in to the playoffs. We’ll be lucky to make it three or four times in any given decade.¬†But that time is here.¬†We have the best right handed pitcher in baseball right now. We’ve got a core of young guys locked up for a little while. We have one of the best minds in baseball as our manager. And we’re averaging 18,000 fans a game. I’m sick of hearing about how the front office doesn’t know what they’re doing, how we should have done this or could have done that. Regardless of how you feel about the Dolans or Mark Shapiro or even Chris Antonetti, we’re in the hunt for the second year in a row. Quit making excuses, look yourselves in the mirror and admit that the majority of people here that call themselves Indians fans, well, just aren’t right now. They might have been at one time, and by one time I mean in the late 90’s when we were perennial World Series contenders, but they’re not anymore. They are sitting at home feeling sorry for themselves, sad that they are put through this year in and year out. Wait, what? Put through two September playoff pushes in a row? Those excuses don’t work anymore, guys. The only reason not to be going to games and rooting for this team is that you weren’t a fan in the first place, or you’re just fucking lazy.

Cleveland is a special city. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when the Browns are staring the playoffs in the face later this year? Or when LeBron brings the Cavs right back to the NBA Finals in his first year back home? It’s going to be absolute pandemonium, and I can’t wait. But for the love of God, until then, pay some attention to the team that is clawing to play October baseball for the second year in a row. If you’re around, get in your car, go to a few games this week, order some beers and scream your fucking head off. They deserve it.

KEEP THE CHIEF

CLE_80912929_580

 

Advertisements

Zach Walters’ legs, TJ House’s boobs bringing you into the weekend

After dropping the first game of the series Monday night, the Indians capped off their third consecutive win by slaying the mighty Houston Astros in 13 innings last night. Then this happened:

View this post on Instagram

When you got it, you got it! #thoseheels #bretttttt

A post shared by Jason Kipnis (@jasonkipnis22) on

And the holy grail:

Zach Walters, A SWING AND A DRIVE. Dr. Smooth is gonna have to start taking some clothes off or he’s in danger of being replaced as my totally normal man crush. It’s a shame my boy TJ gets overshadowed here, his stache continues to be the best in the league and he fills out that top quite well. This all would be so much better if they had swept the sixth worst team in the majors and accidentally won a game against division-leading Detroit before that, but hey. It’s Friday.

 

KEEP THE CHIEF

If You Think This Indians Season Is A Failure, Take A Hike

Wake up people. We’re from Cleveland. We don’t have the luxury of saying a season is a complete and utter failure if we miss the playoffs. We’re not the fucking New England Patriots. Sure, last season was a blast. Giambi’s walk-offs. The ten game win streak to end September. Actually seeing people sitting in the upper deck at The Prog for the wild card game. It was fun. Absolutely. But¬†that team¬†wasn’t scaring anyone in a one game playoff, let alone a five or seven game series. Our season came down to one night in October in Cleveland and we trotted out a 23 year old kid with not even 50 major league innings under his belt to toe the rubber.¬†Michael Brantley wasn’t fourth in¬†majors in hitting and third in WAR. Yanny Gomes and (second half) Carlos Santana weren’t what they are this year. And this was still playing shortstop.

cabrera

I’m one million percent more excited for next year than I was for 2014 after the Rays donkey punched us last October. Going into last winter we were nervous about what our starting rotation would look like after losing Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo fucking Jiminez. Look at us now. Corey KKKluber has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this year (.2 WAR behind Clayton Kershaw). Carlos Carrasco has been almost as good since returning from the bullpen, and according to Fangraphs has had the best slider in baseball in the second half. T.J. House has pretty much been Kazmir 2.0 and is six years younger. Trevor Bauer has gone from terrible to not that bad.¬†¬†Salazar has been up and down as well but has looked a lot more like the 2013 version as of late.

The bullpen has been fantastic as well. Cody Allen has done what we all thought he could since taking over as closer. Bryan Shaw is fucking gassed, I think that’s pretty clear, but has been very good up until this past week and a half or so. Not even going to try and spell his real name but Scrabble has done his job against lefties, and Kyle Crockett has made the jump from his freshman high school team to the major leagues admirably. Nick Hagadone has had somewhat of a renaissance. Scott Atchison, who coached Crockett’s father in tee-ball, has been rock solid. I know there’s a lot of one sentence verdicts and not much¬†statistical analysis here, but I’m just trying to get the point across that what Tito Francona and Mickey Callaway have done with this pitching staff in the past 365 days has been nothing short of a god damn miracle.

callawaytito

The only step backwards we have taken this year is with our gloves. And it hasn’t been as much of a step backwards as it has been a step backwards, off a cliff, body bouncing off boulders, breaking every single limb hitting the ground, crawl and bleed for 3 days until you¬†finally find a cabin, smoke coming from the chimney so someone must be inside, knock on the door and Andy Dirks blows your fucking head off with a shotgun. It can only get better next year. And I’m pretty sure it will. Moving Kipnis to the outfield is something I’m sure will be discussed and I’m all for it. Jose Ramirez has proven he can play at this level, both in the batters box and on the infield dirt. Whether Francisco Lindor starts next year in the majors and we move Ramirez to second and Kip to the OF, or Lindor stays in Columbus and Ramirez continues to play short, I’m convincing myself there’s no way in hell we can be this bad defensively again.

I’m sick of reading tweets about how this year is a let down. Playoffs or no playoffs, but probably no playoffs, the Indians are in much better shape than they were a year ago, and it’s not even close.¬†Get your shit together Cleveland. This team knows what they’re doing.

 

KEEP THE CHIEF