How about that Fausto Carmona? How about that Trot Nixon? During the offseason, say around Valentine’s Day, would you have ever thought the Cleveland Indians would ride those to guys to wins? I would have thought the Tribe had a better chance of signing Roger Clemens for the veterans minimum than Carmona having an ERA under 3 and Nixon having eight hits in two games.
(How ridiculous in the Clemens situation? He can come back to baseball whenever he wants during the year and charge as much as he wants for his services. He’s 45 [in August] and just a freak of nature. He’s doing things a man in his 40’s shouldn’t be able to do, kind of like a guy in the National League, yet no one is questioning if he used performance-enhancing drugs, well at least not everyday. Kind of weird isn’t it? Not only is it bad enough that he waits until May to say where and when he’ll play and for how much but he makes it the biggest spectacle possible. Clemens announced his “comeback” from the owner’s box at Yankee Stadium during the seventh inning stretch on a Sunday afternoon like he was the Pope addressing his followers in St. Peter’s Square.)
Carmona is now 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA. In his last two starts his has giving up just one earned one in 15.1 innings. Of course, both those starts are against the Baltimore Orioles who aren’t the best team but one earned one in two starts is good against any professional team. Carmona is the guy, especially after his first start when he gave up 6 runs to the White Sox, who I thought that his days in Cleveland should be done. I thought his head was so screwed up after his failure as the closer last year that his only chance for success was to get out of Cleveland. Well good thing I was wrong. Carmona, right now, is the second best pitcher on the team behind Sabathia. Say Carmona is still pitching this great in a month when Westbrook comes back, can the Indians really send him back to the minors again? That would be a tough decision to make. Maybe we shouldn’t have signed Westbrook to a long term deal and we could have traded him and made room for Carmona in the rotation. Trading Westbrook would have made the most sense two months ago but now his contract probably makes that tough to do. They need to find a spot for him when Westbook comes back. I hope they don’t move him back to the bullpen just to keep him in the big leagues. He’s a starting pitcher and putting him in the bullpen could be a repeat of last year. In the meantime, let’s just hope he continues this hot streak.
As for Nixon, I said he was a good two to three years past his prime. He still could be but he hasn’t been playing like it recently. A five-hit game followed by a three-hit game is pretty impressive. He’s now got the best average on the team (.338 to Victor Martinez’s .333. The only two guys over .300).
For the second game in a row, Nixon was the post-game interview on STO (it probably would have been Carmona but he doesn’t speak English). During his interview he got the old-whipped-cream-pie-in-the-face for the second day in a row. Always good TV. They showed this on WKYC Channel 3 during the sports segment on the 6 o’clock news. The anchors said how stupid it was and that it is a tradition that should stop now. Really? Come on now. It’s funny. Stupid yes, but funny. It keeps the guys in the clubhouse loose while bring them closer together as a team. Remember in the mid-late 90’s when Avaro Espinoza and Wayne Kirby and Omar Vizquel and Carlos Baerga and Manny Ramirez where pulling practical jokes are each other and their teams all the time. Remember the bubble gum on the cap. That kind of stuff helps a team relax and play together. After all, a team that jokes together, stays together. So news anchors in their 60s that know nothing about baseball and only pretend to during the awkward conversation during the transition from the sport segment back to news, shouldn’t talk sports at all. If one of my co-workers really liked something I wrote and one day when I was talking to someone else about the piece, he came up behind me and gave me a whipped-cream-pie-in-the-face to congratulate me, I’d be honored. So Indians, more whipped-cream-pies and I hope to see the bubble gum on the hat trick soon, too.