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The halfway point

So here I am, sitting down to watch the Home Run Derby on the night before the 2008 All-Star game. Just 4 months ago, on March 14, I thought I had a few things figured out. By the All-Star Break, the Indians would be in first place, the Tigers in a close second, the White Sox and Twins not in contention, and the Royals starting to surprise some people.

Well, I’ve been wrong before.

As I write this, Chicago leads Minnesota by 1.5 games, Detroit by 7.0 games, Kansas City by 12.0 games, and the Indians by a whopping 13.0 games. A week ago, in fact, the Indians management decided to throw in the towel on the 2008 season and traded CC Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers for the new mayor of Akron, Matt LaPorta.

And yet we’ve seen some weird stuff this season: an unassisted triple play, a week where the Indians starters did not give up a run, the emergence of Cliff Lee and Aaron Laffey, and the sudden power outage in the middle of the lineup. Anyone else know that the Indians have a +6 run differential? The Royals, the team ahead of the Indians, have a -61 run differential. When those numbers disagree so much, it’s tough not to see that it’s just not the Indians year.

That said, the Indians have seen their fair share of good baseball in the first half. What follows are my suggestions for how to make the second half of the Indians season better than the first.

  1. Release, trade, or intentionally injure David Dellucci. This guy shouldn’t have been with the team from the get-go. It’s a rebuilding year now, time to let that huge large (he gets how much? He’s still overpaid.) contract go.
  2. Call up Asdrubal Cabrera. He’s too good to have in the minors much longer.
  3. After the inevitable trade of Casey Blake, make Andy Marte the starting third baseman and Jhonny Peralta his backup. I’m now an Andy Marte fan, because it seems like if he gets enough playing time, he’ll finally start to play well. And as for Peralta, if it’s not Marte, I think he’s your third baseman of the future.
  4. Trade Jamey Carroll. He’s of no use to us once we get Barfield back, but he may be of use to a contender who’s willing to part with a relief pitching prospect… and we need a closer.
  5. You guys will hate me for this one, but…what about moving Grady Sizemore to left field occasionally? Gutierrez is an absolute phenom in center field, and he has a cannon. Why not put Sizemore’s weak arm in left, Gutierrez in center, and Francisco in right? That’d be one of the fastest outfields around.
  6. If you get a good offer for Garko, trade him. We have LaPorta coming up as well as Mike Aubrey down in AAA. Garko is a decent first baseman, but he doesn’t hit for the power that LaPorta apparently can.

That’s what I got. Anyone have any other suggestions? Feel free to comment!

Originally posted on Cleveland, Curveballs and Common Sense on July 14, 2008 at 3:48 PM. Post text content © 2008 Jimmy Sawczuk. All rights reserved.