Morning Rundown: The Undeserving BunchI guess two walk-off wins in a row is too much to ask. Oh well. As Rick Manning said, at least we had fun for a few months this season.
September 18th, 2012 - F/12
Minnesota Twins - 6
Cleveland Indians - 5
W: Tyler Robertson (2-2) L: Scott Maine (2-2) S: Glen Perkins (12)
Lonnie Chisenhall had the opportunity to be the hero two games in a row. I mean, I don't mean to spit on his contributions in this one to begin with, he hit a solo shot in the fifth inning that helped put the Indians in the position they were in, but, the at-bat in the bottom of the tenth was a little disappointing. The fact is though, he's the guy you should be least disappointed with given the situation the Indians had.
"We fought hard again and came back and had the lead," Acta said. "We couldn't hold it and we couldn't execute offensively. If you can't drive the runner from third with no outs to walk off a team, you pretty much don't deserve to win the ballgame."
Yup, pretty much you don't deserve to win. Chisenhall's at-bat was with the bases loaded and two outs, so again, he is the one you should be least disappointed with considering he actually had to get a hit to win the game. Probably the most disappointing part of his at-bat was the fact he swung at the first pitch, much like he didn't wait the last time he was in that spot. However last time he had less than two outs and the outfield was pretty much begging him to just clobber it, regardless of where, just hit it far.
That was not the case here, he needed to be patient and wait for his pitch, not swing at the first thing that was remotely a strike.
What hurts more is the previous two outs. Jason Kipnis reaches on a single, then the Indians catch a break and Asdrubal reaches on a fielding error, Kipnis can go all the way to third with no outs and the game is pretty much won. A similar situation the Indians were in on Sunday, in fact, even better as they have Carlos Santana up to the plate.
But as you can probably guess or have already seen, Santana couldn't exactly get the ball deep enough. Michael Brantley was intentionally walked (again) and Russ Canzler couldn't get anything deep enough as well. Leading to the Chisenhall at-bat with two outs.
So as Manny Acta said, if you can't execute in that situation, you really don't deserve to win the game and well, the Indians didn't. They'd go on to lose it in 12 after the Twins put up two runs in the top of the 12th.
How the Twins would score is rather, deflating considering Darin Mastroianni pretty much uses speed to kill the Indians. He steals second without a throw and on an infield single, out-smarts everyone by just running. And Matt LaPorta, well, he seemed to forget that Mastroianni was doing just that in addition to trying to be a cutoff man on a ball that didn't even go into the outfield.
"You don't think. You see the ball go through," Acta said. "You have to see the ball go through before you decide to become a cutoff man. That's pretty much a routine ball to second base. Plus, if that ball goes through, we don't need a cutoff man.
"It was too softly hit and they have one of the fastest guys in the game running with two outs."
Mistakes all around, but you know... Whatever. As I said earlier the Indians didn't deserve to win in that situation, so while this is irritating and frustrating, it is nothing compared to the fact that they shouldn't have had to be in that position.
And another thing, I really doubt Matt LaPorta is going to be around next year, so I could care less about him learning from his mistake. It seems harsh, but whatever man.
Of course the Twins woulds score another run after that, which made Carlos Santana's 16th homer of the year in the bottom of that frame a little more frustrating. Uh, sir, why couldn't you have done that a few innings prior?
The Indians used a club-record 10 different pitchers in this one. Pretty crazy. David Huff went into the fifth, giving up three earned off seven hits, but he couldn't finish, giving way to Chris Seddon for a few outs. From there, Manny Acta made more than several trots out to replace someone. The crazy thing is, Joe Smith pitched the 10th, Esmil Rogers the 11th and an out in the 12th and then Maine finished the 12th. So in nine innings he still used six pitchers.
Despite not coming through, Lonnie Chisenhall is really hitting the ball well since his return last week. He has a hit in all the games he started, and five RBI in 25 at-bats. He has a pair of home runs of course, that winning hit, and really it is great to see him getting these at-bats and being prominently featured. This is a big part of the Indians future because he fills a need they haven't really had in awhile.
I'm glad the Indians were able to battle right back early and respond to the 2-0 lead by putting a run up in the first and in the second. It's that type of fight/bounce-back that was missing a month ago. So regardless, of the result, things are not completely crap like they were just a few weeks ago.
So, it was revealed a few days ago that Mark Shapiro has been rather quiet on Twitter due to some negative and disturbing comments made towards him on his account. He'd been silent since July and it didn't start with the bad skid, but it certainly was likely to escalate things as he said there were personal attacks on him his and family that became too much for him.
Shapiro finally broke his silence yesterday, releasing a statement and even doing some question and answer for the fan base.
"Want to reconnect with all of you Tribe fans," Shapiro wrote on his account. "Sorry for my absence, been a rough time for all & I stepped back to focus on leading the [organization]. We're as disappointed in this season as you are and can't thank you enough for the dedication you show every day toward our team.
"We are lucky to have fans with your passion and are working tirelessly to bring you that championship you deserve. The reason I joined Twitter though is to connect directly with you all, so I want to refocus my efforts with that goal in mind."
I'm sorry but this man does not need to apologize for his absence on social media. Regardless of went down. Even more so, whoever these people are that are making these comments, seriously. Grow up already. It's a game and while I'm just as passionate as the next guy about it, there is some sort of barbarianism at play when you make personal attacks towards a man and, even worse, his family that has NOTHING TO DO with how well your sports team fares.
Grow up people. I know we are a passionate fan base, but we are certainly not barbarians.
What's funny is that ties nicely into something that was brought up over by our friends at Did The Tribe Win Last Night? about season tickets and the Indians image. I have no doubt that the Indians' image is a little damaged and that people are upset. Heck, I'm upset.
But what Mike Brandyberry covered is a little fascinating. He talked about his conversation with a sales representative about his season tickets in 2013 and here are the two things he came away with...
However, two things stunned me from our very brief conversation. First, the season ticket representative seemed scared and tentative on the phone. I can’t blame her. While none of the problems on the field or in the organization are her fault, I’m sure she hears plenty of the complaints while making calls about renewals and customer service issues.
But secondly, and more concerning to me, she didn’t try to sell me on 2013. I’ve been undecided about renewing before and I’ve always heard a sales pitch about the direction of the team, the core of players it has moving forward, etc. This time, however, I just heard a simple, “ok.” No sales pitch, nothing.
Mike later brings up a good point. I know people got really annoyed at the 'What If' campaign, but it is better than nothing. The ads now are "Cleveland Indians, celebrating tradition." At least with What If, there was some hope, if not for us, the fact that the organization had nope.
Now we're back to 'celebrating tradition' where we get bobbleheads of old players, and a marketing strategy based off people who are no longer here. People who don't give us hope. Sure you may have hated What If, and been annoyed by it by the time it was at its peak. But at least it celebrated the possibility of something happening. It celebrated what the Indians have and could do with what they have.
Now... We're back to square one. It really feels like there's going to be some starting over taking place. I'm not sure who and what, or how, but there will be some freshness to 2013 in some fashion and it will be in a big way. Not a replacement at a position or a minor shakeup in the coaching staff, something that changes how this team operates. That isn't a bad thing though.
I just find it really interesting that there is the same sort of "deflated" mentality in the marketing office that there is in the stands and if that is the case there, I can only imagine what kind of mindset the front office is in.
There is hope, at least from Manny Acta, that designated hitter Travis Hafner will be back on the current homestand. That homestand ends tomorrow, so today, or tomorrow. I mean we'll see with that. Hafner has been hitting in the batting cages, but it seems as if things just kind of popped up real quickly in regards to his return. It probably has something to do with the current record, but hey, it'll be nice to see Hafner back for the final few weeks here.
"If you're fine, you should play, regardless of who you are," Acta said. "The season is not over and we're obviously a better bacllclub when he's in our lineup and producing."
Clearly, Acta could care less who you are and what is going on this season. If he's healthy enough, and it sounds like he will be soon enough, If not tomorrow, soon after, why not get him out there and give him one last go-around in what may be his final year with the Indians. It's only right.
Meanwhile, someone you'd have liked to have gotten a look at in regards to his future with the club is Rafael Perez, but that seemingly will not be happening.
"I don't think Raffy is going to be able to pitch for us for the rest of the season," Acta said.
He doesn't think, because Perez has been shut down for the season after multiple failed attempts at a rehab outing. And with a few weeks left, seems pointless to keep trying because obviously there's something that just needs one good healing.
There are no plans of surgery though as Lonnie Soloff notes that he's simply got a recurrence of inflammation and soreness.
Another lefty, Nick Hagadone, has resumed throwing and will probably head out to play winter ball later. He has some time to make up for, as well as some other things to make up for.
Whether we see Roberto Hernandez is another question. He did throw an extended bullpen session and all that fun stuff, but we will see as he gets re-evaluated.
Jason Donald was playing catch, which is a good sign considering his injury has to do with his wrist. None of these people are going to be rushed back though.
The Indians nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award this year is none other than Jason Kipnis. Sportsmanship and community involvement is a big part of the honor and no doubt those are two areas Kipnis excels in, in addition to his on-the-field contributions.
"Anyone who gets into the same sentence with him is obviously honored," said Kipnis, who is one of 30 nominees. "You try to be a good person and a good teammate on and off the field. Everyone knows that's what he was. He is a role model for that."
Fan voting for the award is underway on MLB.com and of course he'll be up against 29 other players. A great honor for someone in their first full season to already have the respect of someone who does a lot of good things in addition to what he does on the field. Congrats Jason.
And because you need cheered up, here you go.