Take the 8th inning for example. With one out, Franklin Gutierrez walked, Victor Martinez singled, and Ryan Garko was hit by a pitch. So the bases are now loaded. Here is their shot to get back in it. So what happens? Natually Jhonny Peralta, who is putting the "R" in regressing this season, K'd on a 3-2 meatball right down the center of the plate from that noted stopper Freddy Dolsi. Next was Ben Francisco who pulled a Peralta and struck out as well. End of rally. End of game.
More importantly, its time to face facts peeps - this is the end of the season. This team doesn't have the talent to win, on top of the fact that the pitching staff is essentially in shambles thanks to injuries to the rotation and the complete disaster of a bullpen. Just look at what's going on right now:
-Jake Westbrook needs Tommy John Surgery and is out for the rest of the year.
-Fausto Carmona has been out for a month with a hip injury.
-Rafael Betancourt has turned into a gas can who cannot get anyone out, yet still has to pitch in key situations because the majority of the pen is now littered with 4A journeymen like Rick Bauer, Edward Mujica, and Elarton.
-Victor Martinez has as many homer runs as Elvis, 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, JFK, JFK jr, Bobby Kennedy, High Pitch Eric, and George Takei do combined.
-Travis Hafner is on the DL and is a complete shell of himself.
-Asdrubal Cabrera his hitting .184.
-Peralta is hitting .232, Casey Blake .239, and David Dellucci .232. These three guys continue to play every single day.
All of this adds up to a 28-35 record and an eight and a half game deficit from the red-hot Chicago White Sox who are 10 games over .500. It's not to early for this front office to face reality, especially with Westbrook now gone for the year and a lineup that shows no signs of snapping out of its funk when runners are in scoring position. (SIDE NOTE - does this team EVER get any hits that aren't singles? Do they ever drive a ball to the gap and run with it? Nothing like a station to station team with no speed!)
The reality of the situation is that the time to start the C.C. Sabathia bidding is now. He isn't staying here and the Tribe isn't contending for a World Series, let alone the AL Central at this point. Here is what I do if I'm Mark Shapiro:
I go to Boston's Theo Epstein and the Yankees Brian Cashman and say "give me your best offer. You are one of the teams that can actually afford C.C. in free agency, he comes to you, helps get you to a World Series, and stays for big money. It's that simple. Wouldn't you want a leg up on your competition?" Think about it, if you are Theo Epstein, wouldn't you salivate at a postseason rotation of Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, C.C. Sabathia, and your choice of Jon Lester or Curt Schilling as your #4? With that lineup, how can you lose? Well worth a steep price of say Jacoby Ellsbury and RHP Justin Masterson.
Don't think the Yankees wouldn't die for C.C. now and in the future. Put him at the top of the rotation with Chien-Ming Wang and the suddenly rejuvinated Mike Mussina and your in business. Not to mention you have the playoff tested Andy Pettitte as your #4. Now you don't have to count on guys like Ian Kennedy and Darrell Rasner as much.
What about the Chicago Cubs? Wouldn't they just love to fill that hole in their rotation left by the ineffective Rich Hill with the big left-hander? Put C.C. with Carlos Zambrano and the best team in the NL just got that much better. A team like the Los Angeles Dodgers has gobs of young talent to throw at the Tribe (they have two young third basemen in Blake Dewitt and Andy Laroche, as well as young stud OF's Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier) and lacks and the ace to take them to the next level.
Just thinking out loud here. You know they won't pull the plug on the season until it's long been too late. Why you ask? It's easy: the Dolan's have to sell tickets. The Indians didn't draw last year when they were winning. How many people do you think we be coming out in August and September when the Indians are 15 games out of first and Browns mania is running wild in the city? They'll be lucky to get to two million fans.
Trading C.C. as early as possible is the smart move organizationally, but the dumb move from a financial standpoint if you are the owners. This shows you are giving up on the season. Sometimes, you have to give up on today and have the dividends pay off tomorrow.
This season is flat-lining and we all know it. It's time the front office takes the appropriate steps towards 2009 and beyond.