I have to say I was wrong in yesterday’s post. Maybe MLB did the right thing in moving the Indians-Angels series to Milwaukee. I mean, of course, I wish the games could have been played in Cleveland but watching the game last night was something special. I guessed 5,000 people would show up for the game and I was only off by 14,000. More than 19,000 baseball fans showed up to watch the Tribe beat the Angels 7-6. They filled two decks at Miller Park and Brewer officials even had to open the outfield bleachers to accommodate all the fans. To say I was shock would be an understatement but no one expected this type of turnout. Ten-dollar tickets can do wonders. Of course, if the Indians would have lost I wouldn’t be so happy and the crowd turnout wouldn’t have made a difference to me.
Other things I like besides the crowd about last nights game…
1. Kelly Shoppach. He started and ended the game. His 2-run home run gave the Indians a 2-0 lead they never gave up and his laser, rocket arm (if I can steal it from Peyton Manning) gunned down Erick Ayba for the final out of the game as he tried to steal second just before Joe Borowski gave the game away. I said it last year (although there’s no prove since it’s not in writing) that Kelly Shappach can be a very good to great major league catcher. He is well above average defensively and has an incredible arm. His hitting is average but with everyday plate appearances he could became a steady .280, 18, 70 hitter. If Shoppach emerges as that everyday catcher with Victor hurt, they could easily move Victor to first base. That makes Ryan Grako, Casey Blake and any one of their four outfielders in platoon roles expendable for trades. The Tribe might need to make a move for more bullpen help (given up seven run in 8.2 innings) or a premier corner outfielder. I think Grako will be another solid to standout player but right now there is no room for him on the team (if Victor moves to first). Of course all that depends on if Victor can be a solid first baseman. Until then, the Indians will just have to settle for having the best backup catcher in the majors.
2. Grady Sizemore. So he’s in a bit of a power slump (no HRs in two games) but he still does the little things, say like stealing three bases last night.
3. The offense. I said they would score six runs a game. The only game they scored less than seven so far, they lost, 3-4 to the White Sox. They can come at you from top to bottom and they need to. The bullpen is still suspect but if the offense continues to give the a comfortable lead, the bullpen will be fine.
4. Slider. I was so happy to see Slider slide down Bernie Brewer’s slide last night after Shoppach and Casey Blake’s home run. That made my night right there. Except I thought there use to be a big mug of beer out there too. What happened to that?
5. The Seattle Mariners. The three day rest didn’t seem to bother the Tribe but the poor Mariners were a different story. They got hammered by the Boston Red Sox 14-3. I don’t really care if they win or los but it’s nice to see how the Indians respond to the days off differently than Seattle.
On to the Cavs. Well really just one Cav and one commercial. Have you seen this LeBron James commercial for the NBA playoffs? LeBron is in a gym all by himself, brings the ball from one end of the court to the other while pretending he is the play-by-play guy. He goes around the back, between the legs and then backs down the imaginary defender. “3… 2… 1…, James turns shoots… yes… James has won it.” I find this funny. Funny because not only he made the shot (I guess game winners in an imaginary game are easier to make than real ones) but how he made it. I don’t think LeBron has ever shot that shot in his career and I know Mike Brown has never called it. I guess that made a better commercial than LeBron dribbling, dribbling, dribbling and then throwing up an off-balanced, fade-away three-pointer.