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7.07.2013

Sunday Grazing: Licking the Phantom Cam and Tribe All-Stars

Nino Colla | Sunday, July 07, 2013 | | | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Usually this is the day we reserve to find out the fates of all the players who have put on a good performance in the first half of the MLB season. The Sunday before the All-Star break is the day that Major League Baseball announces the rosters for this year's summer classic.

Yeah all that happened last night. So naturally, the outrage and calls of travesty all happened last night. Which gives us the perfect fodder for Sunday Grazing, because you know I like talking about All-Stars...Ugh.

Sunday Grazing, a little bit of an outside the diamond look at the Cleveland Indians.

[TOMAHAWK TALK: ALL-SATISFIED ]

This is one of the most frustrating topics to discuss about baseball. The part that is frustrating about it is that it actually really doesn't matter.

And if you've heard one person complain about how "This Game Counts" and how it really doesn't and the fact that it does count for something is stupid, you've heard them all complain. So I'm not going to do that.

In fact, I'm actually not going to complain at all.

You know why?

Because the two deserved Indians players both made the team, and that's all I cared about. I didn't have to vote for them and there was really little breath spent on it from the start, other than that mini-rant about voting in one of the first Sunday Grazings.

The Indians got their two All-Stars, Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson. They both deserved to be on the team, and they both made the team. Congratulations to them.

And both were picked by a rival manager. So, there is a ton of joy in that, even though he got to pick more Tigers than any other team.

"In my opinion, Jason Kipnis has been one of the hottest players," Leyland said. "He's a guy that's got a bunch of stolen bases. He's a guy that may be very useable in that game to steal a base late in the game. ... I thought he was a very worthy candidate."


But shoot, other than the Tigers and Orioles, no team has more than three All-Stars, it is really spread out this year. Even the LA Angels have one player, Mike Trout, and the Royals have three.

I'm not going to sit here and complain about it, because every year there are snubs, but eventually they too get in because of injuries, other players dropping out, or any other reason a player can come up with to not play.

If a catcher goes down, Carlos Santana is going to go to the game. Was it a bit of a snub that he didn't make it in the first place? Yeah probably. The only meaningful statistic that either Jason Castro or Salvadore Perez have Carlos in is batting average and barely home runs. Santana's OPS and OBP trump both, he's knocked in more runs, and has scored more runs that Perez and the same amount as Castro.

But Castro is the only deserving player the Astros have, so he has to be there. Why did Leyland take Perez over Santana? Who knows. But who really cares? Santana isn't have the amazing year he started out to have, and it isn't all that disappointing that he didn't make the squad. If something happens and he gets on, good, great, he deserves it. He is the second best catcher in the AL behind Joe Mauer offensively. Shoot, if you believe the Elias Rankings and projections, Santana is even better than Mauer.

And don't give me that "defense" argument as to why he didn't make the team over Castro or Perez. Defense doesn't matter in selecting All-Stars, and it never will. The day that happens, I'll start caring again who makes it.

I will say that it seems like this "Final Vote" thing has turned into a complete joke. Basically it comes down to which position the Manager wants to fill and has the most candidates for. In the National League it came down to a bench spot, which is a lot easier to compile a list of players for. The joke in it is that Yasiel Puig is on the ballot. A cop-out. A way of saying "Well if you want Puig in the game, you can vote him in." but not actually putting him in the game.

And on the American League side, we have the riveting final vote between... five middle relievers.

Um, okay? Why? Trust me, I love the love for the middle reliever. The fact that Brett Cecil and Jesse Crain are on the team is awesome. If this were a year ago, Vinnie Pestano would have made it. It's cool.

But who actually wants to vote for a middle reliever? Shouldn't you just put one more guy on and put that last spot up for grabs between a few of the deserving snubs from starters or position players? How about the incredible log jam at third base? Josh Donaldson of Oakland, Adrian Beltre of Texas, Evan Longoria of Tampa, and even Kyle Seager of Seattle could all have cases made for them. But they had to put up with Miguel Cabrera and Manny Machado. Good luck there.

I'm sorry, I said I wouldn't complain. And I'm not, I'm just incredibly amused as to how this process has evolved. If anything, I think the reason I'm not as outraged this year is because of the people who made it. And the reason for that is, all of the starters, in some way or another, actually deserve to be on the team. Thankfully, there was no Derek Jeter voted into the game by his stupid fanbase. You know if they could, they would, even though he hasn't played a single inning this year.

Boston and New York didn't have the firepower that they usually do, because they don't really have the star-power they usually do, to disrupt the voting of the starters and put in people who clearly don't even deserve to be on the team, let alone starting the game.

So for one year, you won't hear outraged complaints from the peanut gallery on this one. I'm really content with the guys the Indians are sending and the entire teams as a whole. And also because as much as they want to tout it, the game doesn't actually mean anything. Let's get over that.

[PHOTO OF THE WEEK]

This will mark two weeks straight I've used a similar picture. I'm just so enamored with these baseball players in the air though, what can I say?

Hosmer skies high to grab a ball Johnny Giavotella tried to flip to him to get Brantley doubled off. Brant was safe back at first, but if the throw was better, he'd have been dead meat.

Photo - Getty Images (Ed Zurga) via Zimbio.com
If I could LOLTribe caption this picture, I'd no doubt have Hosmer screaming some sort of "karate chop" like call, because that's exactly what the end result of this may look like.

[SUNDAY FUNNIES]

Bro-hio is taking over the freaking world man! Or should I say, Bro.

The Indians are capitalizing off the popularity of the Bro-hio phrase and shirt worn by Nick Swisher.

They've renamed Section 117 as Brohio and if you buy a ticket to sit in Brohio on a Friday nights, you get the shirt and are a total BRO.

Hopefully it isn't the colossal failure that Pronkville was for Travis Hafner. In 2006 the Indians renamed the upper mezzanine section for Hafner because he hit some long home runs there. In 2011 it was replaced by a partnership with Subway, in Hafner's second to last year with the club. Let's just say, he didn't visit Pronkville all that often after the naming.

Thankfully Brohio is a little closer for Swisher to visit, and perhaps in days he plays in right field, it fits even more perfectly as he is right there with all his other Bros to sing Hang On Sloopy all he wants.

Not to continue picking on STO, but, okay I'm going to pick on STO again. Actually, I'm going to be picking on FOX here, because this is there brain child.

This whole "Phantom Cam" business is... I really don't know what it is, but it is akin to the neighbor kid down the street receiving a brand new toy, that really isn't all that great, yet he talks about it and shows you how great it is endlessly in hopes that you will be jealous or envy of him.

So the Phantom Cam showed me Miguel Cabrera's bat wiggle a bit after he grounded out. Um, cool.

Anyway, it was mentioned during the broadcast to mention #Phantom in a tweet to STO to tell them what you thought of the Phantom Cam. Unfortunately all that there is in that hashtag is a bunch of foreign tweets and me insulting the Phantom Cam. Mission accomplished. I guess the FoxSports in Detroit got the hashtag right.

[IF I COULD BE SERIOUS FOR A MOMENT]

Remember Milton Bradley?

Of course you do.

Anyway, he's off to jail, perhaps where he was headed all along. I mean when you show the rage you do on the baseball field, when you are no longer on the baseball field, that rage is bound to come out somewhere. Sad as it is to say, he abused and threatened his soon-to-be ex-wife in on two separate occasions in 2012 and 2011.

Now he has to spend a few years in jail and complete over 400 hours of community service. He'll also be on a five year probation and will have to go through anger management, perhaps something he should have done a long time ago before this incident occurred.

Milton is an angry person. He always has been. If this wasn't a shock to you that it happened, you must have never really seen the multiple incidents that he was involved with on-the-field. Is it a shock to anyone who saw those that this has happened off of it? Not to me. It is really sad and hopefully he gets the help he so desperately needs. He's needed to take a chill pill or awhile now. It is a shame a woman had to be abused and threatened for him to get that help he needs. Hopefully it changes him for the better.

[GREAT MOMENTS IN TRIBE HISTORY]

The last time the Indians hit a inside the park home run, it came at the expense of a current Indian. In fact, it is pretty weird how the parallels to the last time, and this most recent time where Jason Kipnis went the distance against the Royals are quite stunning.

Obviously there is concern for Alex Gordon, who crashed into the outfield wall and could have seriously hurt his head/neck area. But Kipnis being able to go that far was probably the result of Gordon being knocked out.

Much like Ryan Raburn was knocked out on the Jhonny Peralta inside the park home run.

That's right, the roles were reversed. Raburn was a Tigers outfielder, Peralta and member of the Indians. And then this happened.



I don't think if we ever found out to this day how that happened. Who knows if one of the Indians in the bullpen ever admitted to Raburn that they unlatched it to their new teammate. Or maybe that is something that those members of the Mafia will take to the grave.

[DR. WEIRD'S LABORATORY]

I wondered aloud if STO really thought about the title of their little window on Billy Butler this past week.
Oh trust me, I get the pun. Which is what STO replied with. They were "trying" to be "punny" but, I didn't laugh. I just kind of got weirded out. Why is Billy Butler licking the competition? Who wants to lick your opponent? I mean shoot, if I saw Chris Perez out there on the mound, he's one of the last things I'd lick. Maybe the dirt before him.

It's just weird, man.

[LOLTRIBE]

I may be overusing this joke, but, I don't care.

Photo - Getty Images via Zimbio
If you have a better effort than mine, I'd like to see it. You can find the original image here, and submit entries to me on Twitter @TheTribeDaily with the hashtag #LOLTribe, on Facebook, or through e-mail. I'll feature it next time on Sunday Grazing.

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