The DEFEND Cleveland Show

After an unbelievable offseason, re-Bourn Tribe fans have something to root for


I think we can categorize the Indians signing of Michael Bourn as “stunning”.  This guy is a legitimate major league baseball player, the kind the Indians have not signed in years.  For once the Indians benefited from circumstance as the big boys who could have used Bourn’s rare combination of speed and defense did not want to part with a first round pick.  Bourn is like an early career Kenny Lofton with less spectacular defensive skills but a better base stealer.  He doesn’t get on base as reliably as you would like, but as far as big time unsigned players, Bourn was definitely the best.  It’s as if the dork from high school showed up to the prom with Megan Fox.  I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

When I scanned the free agent lists I kept thinking about what scrap heap guys the Indians would bring in.  I thought of Carlos Pena hitting a buck seventy five with 16 home runs.  I had a vision of Jason Bay on the DL after hitting .206 in April.  I thought of Freddy Garcia wiping his brow with base runners on the corners down four zip in the third.  Don’t get me wrong, they still are sniffing around the bargain bin with Giambi, Kazmir and Matsuzaka.  The good news is they don’t need anything from those guys.  Any production would be all gravy unlike when they actually expected (hoped?) Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman would be productive everyday MLB players.

There is something great from a disgruntled fan perspective seeing your crappy team hoping for lightning in a bottle from a player clearly finished.  It’s so much more rewarding to be pissed at a guy that you know than one you never heard of from AAA.  Who didn’t enjoy watching Brady Anderson hit .163 for the Indians in 2002?  How about Aaron Boone hitting .138 in the Spring of 2005?  Jason Michaels anyone?  Austin Kearns?  Paging Sizemore… Grady Sizemore…  The Indians really seemed to be the only team sometimes that did not realize that some of these guys could no longer play at this level.  Now they go and ruin it by actually hiring some real players?  I’m honestly flabbergasted.

The Indians look like a real baseball team right now.  The only question mark for everyday position players is Chisenhall at third and how much you can expect from whoever is DH that day.  I would like to add the caveat that they still are going to finish third or worse in the Central, but they will be entertaining while doing so.  They have some very streaky hitters on the team, so when a few of these guys are going at once, they will win games 11-6.  Unfortunately since they will have to play “small ball” for the most part, they will also lose lots of games 6-2.  It all gets to the real bottom line, and that is pitching.  This team has no starting pitching.  None.  They are going to give up a staggering amount of runs.

When Justin Masterson is your #1 starter, you have a problem.  Masterson would be a #4 starter on every team in the AL except Minnesota, Kansas City, Seattle and maybe Baltimore.  Jimenez is a disaster.  Myers wasn’t a starter on a horrible Houston Astro staff because Houston realized his value is at the back end of the bullpen at this point.  Bret Myers days as an effective starter went away sometime while he was in Philadelphia.  Who else is there?  After that you are hoping for a speedy recovery from Carlos Carrasco.  Maybe Brauer figures it out really fast.  I foresee a steady stream of guys that all resemble David Huff producing lines like 5 IP 6H 3 SO 3 BB 5 R 4 ER.  To hope for career resurgence from Dice K or Scott Kazmir is akin to hoping for Charlie Nagy to come back and give it a go.  It’s not going to happen.

While even the most optimistic Indians fan would not have hoped for contention in 2013, even the most cynical like me couldn’t have hoped for a better off season than what has transpired so far.  While the moves they made so far can’t be expected to provide a quick fix and guys in their jockstraps dancing around a trophy in late October, it does at least make them relevant.  Based on what has passed for professional baseball in NE Ohio the last few years, relevant sounds pretty good.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Feb 13 2013. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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