There's a whole lot of buzz in Cleveland lately. And today in particular, that buzz is surrounding the one sport that is dormant right now. Sure, the Browns are in first place, the Cavaliers are a hot ticket in town, even the other football team that this area cheers for picked up a huge Big Ten win.
But today is about one individual and one individual alone.
Back in 2008, it almost a given what was going to happen. The Cleveland Indians were going to nail down their second American League Cy Young award winner in a row. Cliff Lee had an incredible season and unless all the writers decided to ignore the facts and give the award to Roy Halladay based on career consistency and name recognition, the Arkansas native was going to take home the trophy.
And he did, almost without a doubt, at least in Indians' fans minds.
Every year, the Baseball Writers get together to pick out the best of the best in Major League Baseball. Usually, they like to get a thing or two wrong. The Baseball Bloggers Alliance likes to get together to do the same thing. We may not be flawless either, but at least we have some fun with it. With a few blogs in on the fun, (make sure you check them out: Did The Tribe Win Last Night? and Wahoo's On First), Cleveland's Chapter gets a vote. Here is the collective vote of 14 writers from those sites and myself.
This will be incredibly disorganized and lacking of my usual clever segues...but what can I say? I'm a little unpracticed in the form of organized blogging.
Photo - Chuck Crow via Cleveland Plain Dealer
I figured when I keep getting the point that I need send out five to six tweets at a time, I'd probably use the space I have created for such matters. It is that point as the Indians sit on the cusp of keeping their season alive, or letting it falter away with just one game.
Last night hurt. It wasn't the end-all-be-all, thanks in part to the completion of that rain-suspended game that they had yet to win (and did their best to at least make us think otherwise on the virtual plus one in the Wild Card standings), but it sure did hurt to lose and end up right back where they started when Monday dawned.
The little spectacle late Thursday morning and afternoon was quite something to be a part of. Major League Baseball completely took over Twitter with their Final Vote campaign. Strangely enough though, it wasn't even enough to completely derail the LeBron madness.
However, social media and the internet as a whole has completely changed the way we watch and follow sports, as evidenced by what is happening with this whole LeBron thing. And that alone is evident in the 10 seconds of video I'm about to show you.
I enjoyed wasting some time by partaking in the #VoteKluber campaign. But how ridiculous is the MLB to make tweets count as votes? It didn't really help Kluber at the end of the day, as he finished pretty much where he started with the actual voting on MLB.com despite finishing with the second most hashtag tweet votes.
To keep me entertainined, in addition to reading some of the ways some of you and others were getting the word out about Kluber, I opened up myself a column on Tweet Deck so I could watch the #VoteKluber madness unfold.
Towards the end of the vote, I was interested to see just how well he was keeping up with everyone else and well, these 10 seconds show you exactly that.
Incredible...just incredible. Clearly, Kluber and Richards had the most activity. There was one point where Richards was going way faster than Kluber. Needless to say, poor Dallas Keuchel didn't stand much of a chance, did he?
Great effort from the fanbase today on trying to get our guy in the game. Unfortunately it fell just short, but I have a feeling he'll still end up in the game in a few days.
Yesterday the MLB All-Star rosters were announced and, unsurprisingly, Corey Kluber was not among the selections of either the players or manager John Farrell. Why unsurprisingly? Because, Kluber has no name recognition and his numbers, while better than some of the pitchers that got picked, he simply will not garner the selection over others who most know. If he was having a slightly better year (not that his year isn't All-Star worthy), with more wins, he'd have been a lock.
Instead, he has to try and get in via final fan vote or hope one or many of the pitchers ahead of him will either drop out, or become ineligible by pitching on Sunday, and there's a 99.9% chance that happens. So if you really want to see The Klube in the All-Star game, chances are, you will.
That being said, Kluber does have something to stay in regards to a roster without him on it, of course.
Alright so Justin Masterson. A key piece to what this club has put together over the years. Masterson had a masterful 2013 and when the Indians were piecing together contract extensions to core players this offseason, there was talk of Masterson getting one. But he didn't and at this juncture, doesn't appear as if he will.
The Indians were ultimately reluctant to sign off on the deal due to concerns of too many years. Many of us on the Internet, myself including at times, thought something needed to get done with him. That he was a key piece to this club moving forward and with the lack of top-flight starting pitcher on this club, signing Masterson up for the next three seasons was necessary.
I sort of waffled on that notion though, because like the Indians, I wasn't sure if that extra year would make it worth it. Waffling aside, I more times than not wanted Masty signed, to something.
Now we are seeing why the Indians were so reluctant in 2014. Maybe it is odd-year syndrome, but for yet another skipped year, Masterson is dealing with some issues after having a great season the year before.
It seems pretty silly to have last posted some weird Unimpressed Kluber memes and now follow things up with a serious post about the latest with the Chief Wahoo business, but that's kind of where I am at right now.
In case you have yet to catch it, the Native American's (or at least a group representing them, better yet, a guy representing a group called "People Not Mascots") are suing in the Indians. Well, the Cleveland Indians. Not themselves. That would be counter-productive.
You read that. Yes that's a nine as the highest single digit number and yes that's a B for billion, not million, billion. The lawsuit, or at least all I can glean from the CBS story, is against the Indians for their offensive logo, Chief Wahoo. It doesn't appear as if it is against the Indians in name or anything like that, but it very well could be. It certainly isn't a federal trademark denial like the Washington Redskins are going through.
But this seems really significant in the grand scheme of offensive sports names, logos, and mascots.
I might be skipping dangerously close to politics here. If you think this is a political debate. It isn't. I don't follow politics, nor do I care to engage in discussion about them. In fact, that is primarily my reasoning behind my stance. Baseball isn't politics. So let's get the politics out of baseball. Let's just worry about the on-the-field stuff. Your baseball team is your baseball team. What they wear on their hat should be secondary to everything else in regards to where they play and how they play.