Friday, August 5, 2011

Curious start to the trip for the Indians. Plus Kenny Powers and Ubaldo.

This week opened unusually for the Indians. Obviously an important road trip was starting, with visits to first place Boston and Arlington. The Indians had looked like a joke for a number of weeks, with the third worst record in the American League over that time. A feeling of "here we go again" was rampant for Tribe fans. For every thrilling walk-off win, there were a couple games of Indians hitters looking like they were straight out of double-A.

Jim Rogash/ Getty Images

So what the the team do? At the trade deadline, they made a huge wager on the future of Ubaldo Jiminez, and that did send a bit of excitement through the team, although didn't seem to solve the Indians biggest problem areas. But Ubaldo isn't pitching until tonight, and the Tribe had four games versus the bloody hose to worry about first.

By the time Thursday's win was over, you could look at the series two ways: one, the Indians traveled to Boston and pulled off a series split against a vastly better stocked team. Or two, the Indians blew a prime opportunity to (again) sweep the Sox by allowing some clubhouse boy to hit two game winning hits in two days against them. Pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth about the Tribe offense is all the rage, and there was plenty of that happening in between the offense showing up Monday and Wednesday.  But Justin Masterson righted the ship, Kosuke Fukudome came up with some big hits, and between Jason Kipnis' four-game home run streak and some timely hitting by Travis Hafner and Carlos Santana, the Indians escaped okay.

Now it's on to Texas. And it's time for Ubaldo.

Besides Joe Mauer, and a collection of MLB players in some spots, what other baseball player has a national ad campaign? (Yes, I realize Kenny Powers competes by endorsing K-Swiss...) And Ubaldo is our star now. There's obviously a lot of hope coming from Cleveland (not to mention the Indians' brass) that Ubaldo is the answer as a stud top-of-the-rotation guy. And of course there's some well founded fear that the Indians gave up too much, that we glossed over some kind of physical ailment which chased away teams like the Yankees, and that if we were going to give up Pomeranz and White, it should have been for a stick, not an arm. But the time for worrying is not now. Any analysis of this trade is premature by months at best, years in reality.

So let's watch Ubaldo Jiminez tonight. And hope he's the spark that the Indians need to get back on track this season.

"Tell Me" indeed.