Let me take you back a few years, to a time before the trades of CC, Cliff, or Victor. We still had Jhonny at SS, and the Bearded Blunder at third. We looked like a reasonably talented, if young, team. The promise of the 2007 playoff team was starting to emerge, though it still felt a long way off. It was late July of 2006, and Mark Shapiro had just traded Bob Wickman to the Atlanta Braves, leaving the Indians with a hole in the back-end of the bullpen.
In all of his Wedgian Wisdom, the Grinder turned to a shy, 22 year-old rookie who barely spoke a word of English and had been with the team all of three months to assume the interim closer duties. And in a span of seven days, from July 30th through August 5th, Fausto Carmona recorded four losses and three blown saves, shattering an otherwise promising young pitcher’s confidence for the remainder of the season. I still haven’t forgiven David Ortiz or Pudge Rodriguez for their roles in this debacle. But above all, I remember blaming Wedge. After Carmona’s fourth loss–the one that put Tom Mastny (!) in the closer’s role–I think I even remember watching Fausto do something worse than cry: he stood precariously on the mound with his arms hugging his head, looking very much like a kid who wanted to give up pitching forever. [Read more...]