It was a game without pace last night due to the massive rain delay in the middle. Jeremy Sowers was pitching like a fourth or fifth starter when the rain ended his night after 4.2 innings and 77 pitches. He was scattering hits while giving up 2 earned runs. The Tribe was down 2-1 when the rain delay started. The Tribe did their damage after the break in the 6th inning. Peralta struck out, Valbuena singled, and LaPorta singled behind him to put runners on first and second. LaPorta was 4-4 with a double to bring his average to 0.296. Marte came up next and belted the Tribe to victory. With two strikes on him, Marte did a great job of working the count. He fouled one off and then watched two balls before pulling one out the right field corner for a three-spot.
For me, Andy Marte is a conundrum. This season is either a one-off or it is all starting to come together for the kid who is still in his mid-20s. Is he finally starting to get it, or is it pure and utter fool’s gold? I won’t pretend to be a smart enough baseball guy in terms of evaluating talent to tell the Indians what they should do. Still, I am always entitled to a gambler’s opinion of basically any situation.
My gambler’s instinct with Travis Hafner was that it was a great idea to lock that guy up. How did I do on that bet? Still, each of these wagers on talent exists in a vacuum. By that I mean, you can’t possibly assume anything about betting on Marte because we lost so generously on Hafner. Karma is an interesting philosophy to think about, but ultimately it only shows up when you think you notice it and when you are creating self-fulfilling prophecies. I guess at this stage of the game, knowing how much time Marte has cost the Indians already, I would look to trade this muddling stock while it has a temporary high point. Sure, he may go on to his next team to become a productive player, but you have to hope whatever you pull back in return is even more productive.
In other Tribe-related news, Terry Pluto has spent some time with the Dolan family and has a report on Cleveland.com. The biggest answer to a question I had was this. When the Dolan’s talked about “losing $16 million” they were insulating STO (and other portions of the Tribe) as separate business entities not included in the losses. It seems to me from reading this article that they weren’t looking at the entire Cleveland Indians “bucket.” I believe that statement about financial losses was based solely on the baseball-related income statement. My point is that even though the team lost money in one division of their business, we have no idea what the overall financial picture is from owning and operating this baseball team.