It feels like a good day to touch on all kinds of topics. Everyone put on your rubber gloves and reach into the Grab Bag. You’re sure to find something you like.
> The Indians won yesterday thanks to a back-up, an under appreciated player and a rising star. I’ve said it for the longest time. I even said it yesterday when Victor Martinez went down. Kelly Shoppach is the best back-up catcher in baseball. He could start for a lot of other teams. He had a hit to start the game-winning rally and he made a game-saving defensive play with that tag on Joe Crede in the eighth inning.
Casey Blake delivered the game-winning hit, a three-run double in the eighth. Blake is a guy who has been dogged a lot for not being great at anything. That may be true but he is really good at a lot of things. He can play just about any position (and has) and is a quality bat at the bottom of the line up. He’s the kind of guy Indian fans will miss when he is gone either next year or in two years.
Franklin Guiterrez scored from first on Blake’s double. When the ball was hit, I don’t think anyone thought he had a chance to score, but he did. It capped off a great day which should be the start to a great season for Franklin. (I’m tired of spelling Guiterrez. I may just call him Frankie G.) His three-run home run set the tone in the second inning and he had a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBI on the day. Now that he will play everyday, I think he is going to a stud in the making. This year a .270, 25 HR, 80-90 RBI guy but eventually a .290-.300 hitter 30-35 HR, 100+ RBI in the near future. If the Indians ever wise up and get Ben Francisco in left field and let him develop, they would have the best young outfield in baseball.
> Not the prettiest win in the world but still a great way to start the season for the Indians. This is going to be a team where a different area will have to step up in each game. Yesterday it was the bottom of the lineup after the starting pitching and bullpen struggled. Other games, the starting pitching will be great and some time the relievers will rescue the starters. It’s a nice balance that will lead to world championship (hopefully).
> How come the Indians have an off day today? I guess they do need a rest after one game. Stupid schedule.
In non-Indian news…
> The NFL announced its opening weekend schedule. All I can say is “yawn.” (Side note: You know how you yawn when you see someone else yawn. Well, I just yawned typing the word yawn. And now I did it again.) The first game of the year is a Thursday nighter between the worse Super Bowl Champions since the Baltimore Ravens, the NY Giants hosting the Washington Redskins. I’m sure Graig is getting his rocks off to this game but for the rest of the world who cares about a NFC East match-up. On Sunday night, it’s the Colts against the Bears in a rematch of the most boring Super Bowl of all time . Minnesota at Green Bay starts the Monday night double header. The Vikings-Packers is the best game of the weekend. Adrian Peterson is fun to watch and it’s the first Brett Favre-less Packers game since the invention of the forward pass. The last game on Monday night is quite possible the worst prime time game of all time; Oakland vs Denver. Really? How does Oakland get a prime time game. What a joke. The NFL can schedule any teams they want and this was the best they can do?
> The NFL scheduling gurus may redeem themselves if these rumors turn out to be true. They are considering letting the Browns host a Thanksgiving day game. It would be the prime time game after the Dallas and Detroit games. Now that would be something special. An all day tailgate with deep frying a turkey and then watching the Browns under the lights. Please make this happen.
The Browns are also expected to play in another night game. Hopefully it’s a Sunday night home game. That would be easier to accommodate into my schedule than a Monday night game. If someone could pass this along to the NFL, I’d appreciate it.
> In college basketball news, Washington State’s Tony Bennett ended talks with Indiana to become their next basketball coach. Wow! How far Indiana has fallen, and fast. A Pac-10 coach at a school not known for it’s basketball turned down one of the most storied programs in college hoops. That’s a slap in the face. It’s like buying a hooker and then her not accepting the money because it was so short and bad. Ouch.