July 23, 2014

A Twitter-free AL Wild Card Experience

twitter-freeWhile the genesis and timing of the actual decision are still unknown, there was a point leading up to Wednesday night’s American League Wild Card game where I decided that I was going to watch in solitude. Not alone, in a closet, with some tin foil antennae attached to a 16-inch television while I consume beef jerky and water, but free from the thousand-or-so individuals who populate my Twitter feed at any given time1. Though the beef jerky itself sounds delightful, I wanted to be free from the noise—the pitch-by-pitch analysis and valueless play-by-play and electronic onomatopoeias, the “I told you sos” peddled as “truths” and the potential for glass-half-empty garbage that would otherwise take away from the fact that the baseball team I root for had somehow put together a 90-plus win season and was still playing the game I love into the month of October.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t curious what others were saying. I’d also be lying if I said that the fact that many of the opinions I valued—the cavalcade of WFNY writers who were inside of Progressive Field, thus likely having trouble tweeting due to depleted cell signal—didn’t help make this decision that much easier. I could hear the crowd, I could see the towels. I knew how electric the atmosphere was; the 5.1 surround sound helped propel the waves into my living room. The last thing I needed was to see some local troll or national pundit spew something negative. As easy as it would be to ignore, why invite any ounce of potential negativity into my experience? My thoughts on baseball in the Information Age are well-documented by this point. If the night-by-night noise was excruciating enough, a minute-by-minute account of what was unfolding would have put me over the top.

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Footnotes:

  1. Before anyone wants to cast this as some sort of sign of dependency, Twitter is simply the nature of the beast when it comes to this Internet world we trade in. Not experiencing one of the biggest games of the last several years with those who I interact with on a daily basis is, well, kind of weird. []

Rays 4 Indians 0: Missed opportunities send Indians home for the winter

Kipnis and BrantleyI was downtown around 5:30. Walking around 4th street, people filled the streets, rocking their red. The civic pride that we Clevelanders hold so dear was on full display. It was like a scene out of Major League when everyone in and around the city was walking past each other, holding up their #1 finger and saying “Go Tribe.” The buzz downtown was something special. We all wanted that feeling to continue. Nobody wanted it to end.

That is what makes last night’s 4-0, season-ending loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the win-or-go-home Wild Card game extra painful. Everyone who is a Cleveland fan knows – opportunities like this one don’t come around every year. So when they do, you have to make the most of them. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Mangini to the Titans and Manny to the Rays

Eric Mangini may be on his way to Tennessee:  “On Thursday’s PFT Live, former Browns and Jets coach Eric Mangini said he’s “looking at a lot of different opportunities” for 2011.

Although Mangini’s comments came before the news broke that Chuck Cecil will not be back as Titans’ defensive coordinator in 2011, it now appears that the best of Mangini’s opportunities may be to coordinate the Titans’ defense.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Mangini is a serious candidate for Tennessee’s defensive coordinator position. 

Jeff Fisher has preferred a 4-3 defense in Tennessee, but Mangini arriving would open the possibility that the Titans would switch to a 3-4.”  [Michael David Smith / PFT]

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On the Indians and Baseball’s “Level Playing Field”

Because the Yankees are the Yankees, people seem to think that baseball is an inherently unfair sport.  It’s not that I disagree with that sentiment exactly, though I am going to tweak it a little bit today.  At least that’s what I hope to do.  But it’s going to take some time, so bear with me.

One of the things that people moan about when suggesting that baseball is unfair is that free agency is out of control, and that only teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can afford the good free agents.  On this front, I happen to agree completely: good free agents generally go to one of three or four places.  But I’m not so sure that makes baseball unfair—at least no more so than any other sport.  After all, is it fair that a bunch a basketball players enjoy South Beach?  Is it fair that some owners happen to be Art Modell?  Not really, no.  But we deal with it and move on.

So today I thought I’d take a look at the rosters of some well-run organizations and see where they got their best players.  Then I’d compare those teams to the Indians.  If other teams’ best players are all coming from free agency and the Indians aren’t, then maybe we can call the system broken and move on.  Then maybe we can all adopt a more equitable hobby—like knitting.  But maybe there’s something else to find.  Let’s see. [Read more...]

Lee, Bullpen Shut Out Rays

clifflee2.jpgIndians 5, Rays 0 (Box)

Cliff Lee improved to 12-2 on the season, and lowered his AL leading ERA to 2.31 in six innings of work Friday night. Cliff struck out 7 and walked only 1 to get the win. For the second consecutive night the Tribe bats were alive, especially the top of the order. The Indians 1-4 hitters were 8 for 16 with all 5 RBI. Ben Francisco had a pair of doubles, and was 3 for 4. He is 6 for 9 so far in this series against the Rays. Jhonny Peralta doubled and homered, and is also having an excellent series against Tampa, at least offensively.

Lee will now rest his arm for the All-Star game, which is Tuesday night in New York. [Read more...]

Red Sox/Rays Fight: That Didn’t Take Long

This pretty much speaks for itself. The game isn’t even over yet, and we have the video…

[flv]http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/06/05/mlbtv_tbabos_551716_800K.flv[/flv]

We knew it wouldn’t take long for this to go down. Watch Carl Crawford, and remember that he ran in from the outfield and still beat about half of the Red Sox to the mound. That speed comes in handy.

Again, Crisp doesn’t exactly downplay the fact that he was to blame for last night’s issues, and you have to wonder if things would have been different if not for being in Boston. It’s tough to jeopardize an outing for James Shields, but it’s a team game.

Thoughts?