Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, Tony!

By Tony Mazur

Paul Hoynes, the Cleveland Indians beat reporter from the Plain Dealer, has a section in the newspaper where Tribe fans can ask him a Tribe-related question, and he'll answer it as honestly as he can (or at least that's what Larry Dolan says).

I've decided to answer these questions, just for fun.

Q: Do you see the Indians trading Victor Martinez during the off-season for pitching help and allowing one of their young minor leaguers (Beau Mills or Matt LaPorta) to take over at first base?

A: Are you talking about the same Cleveland Indians? Victor Martinez will be an Indian next season. Now Ryan Garko is a different story. If Eric Wedge starts Martinez behind the plate and Kelly Shoppach back him up next season, Garko is safe. This will probably be the case, even though Shoppach had a great year.

Q: The recent history of the AL Central Division
shows that you can be mediocre one year and division champions the next.
Am I being too optimistic in wondering whether the Indians can challenge
for the division in 2009?

A: The AL Central, just like the NFC North and the NBA's Eastern Conference, sucks. Period.

Q: In the Sept. 19 game against the Tigers, why
wasn't Gary Sheffield tagged out when he stepped off first base to
approach the pitcher's mound and Fausto Carmona?

A: Because it made for interesting baseball. I'm sick of players getting along. I love a good baseball fight, even though Carmona and Sheffield fought like women.

Q: Since Gary Sheffield has made threats to get
Victor Martinez and Asdrubal Cabrera on or off the field, shouldn't
they try to get a restraining order against him? Let a judge order
Sheffield to remain 200 yards from either of them. That way, Sheffield
couldn't take the field when the Indians play them, let alone be in
the dugout.

A: Are you insane, sir? What does it matter to you? I could care less either way. As should you.

Q: You haven't explained in your columns why
the Tribe is waiving people off the 40-man roster? Is it a cash-cutting
move? Is our depth and farm system so poor that these players were

A: John Hart had that system in tip-top shape. Now that Shapiro has taken over the throne, the Buffalo Bisons/Columbus Clippers are the Cleveland Indians. And to answer the question, of course it's a cost-cutting move. Shapiro made the mistake of signing these washed-up veterans to appease you and I (which never worked). After unloading our pricey veterans in 2008, the Indians went from the middle of the league to the bottom tier in team salaries.

Q: Granted CC Sabathia was holding up the Indians
for more than he was worth, but is owner Larry Dolan really so close to
the poorhouse that the team could not pay him if it would have helped
produce a contender for this season?

A: They could have paid him whatever he wanted, but they chose not to. I'd like to know where the money from the 455 sellouts is. I'd like to know where the revenue from last year's postseason went. I'd like to know where the money the Dolans are receiving from Progressive for the naming rights to the stadium.

Q: You said that the Indians won't have four
lefties in the rotation next year. You have to assume that Cliff Lee,
Fausto Carmona, and Aaron Laffey will be the first three. Jake Westbrook
probably won't be back in time, and I've heard Adam Miller is headed
to the pen. Everyone else in the pipeline (Jeremy Sowers, Scott Lewis,
David Huff and Zack Jackson) is left-handed. Are you counting Anthony
Reyes or do you think the Indians will pursue someone in the off-season?

A: You know you're in bad shape when you want to salvage guys like Anthony Reyes, David Huff, and Zack Jackson.

Q: If Pollyanna Wedge managed the Cubs, do you
think they would have finished third or fourth in the NL Central? If Lou
Piniella managed the Tribe, how deep would they go in the playoffs?

A: As hard as I've been on the Tribe this season, I can't fault Eric Wedge. A Major League manager does not do a lot. Neither does a head coach in football. The head coach or manager is surrounded by specialty coaches, helping the players with their expertise. We could have dug up Casey Stengal and the Indians would have a similar record.


Rick Morris said...


Great stuff! You're "keepin' it real," unlike the brown-nosers at DiaTribe and the Swerbs Blurbs boards.

These feeble mouth-breathers who submit questions to Hoynes are some of the most unintentionally funny people I've ever seen. The constant Wedge-hating cracks me up as well. I agree with you, his main problem is the mediocre talent he gets saddled with, not anything that he does. There are some areas where I'd like to see improvement from him, but they pale in comparison to the external issues of talent. These pathetically misinformed fans who think he's squandering talent on par with the '27 Yankees are nothing short of hilarious.


Jacob Rosen said...

First of all, it is only logical for the Indians to keep and hold Garko, Shoppach and Martinez. They are cheap, all play at least decent (this is Garko's worst hitting year of his career, give him a break)at the major league level, and should continue to develop somewhat.

David Huff is an excellent pitcher, by the way. Although it pains me to see all of these lefties in the organization and not enough fire-ball right handed talent, he is the best pitching prospect without a doubt in the organization. Miller is pretty washed up by now, and if you had any chance to see Huff you would understand that he will be a MLB starter someday soon.