Exorcism Needed Quick

First Pyro Assenmacher’s spirit invaded Cleveland Indians’ Chris Perez’s body in Texas this weekend, now Eric Plunk’s ghost entered Joe Smith’s frame in the bottom of the eight inning. Perez even looks like a younger, shaggier Assenmacher, and upon closer scrutiny, Smith has some similar traits as Plunk.

Look at those diabolical eye brows underneath Smith’s cap — very Plunk like. Those eyebrows scream “Ninth Inning, Game Three of the 1997 World Series.” Those eyebrows are concentrated pain. You know who else has arching, evil eyebrows? Chief Wahoo.

I had an epiphany in about Chief Wahoo during Game Six of the 2007 ALCS. I was in Scottsdale, and when Fausto Carmona gave up that grand slam to J.D. Drew, I motioned for the bartender at the Grapevine to give me the entire bottle of Grey Goose because I knew the season was over. After haggling over legalities and price, the old sot finally obliged. About halfway through that bottle, I realized that Chief Wahoo was no longer my friend. In fact, he had never been my friend, and he was smiling all the time because he was laughing at my pain. That night did not end well — the Beloved Nephew passed out before 7 PM, leaving me to wander Old Town alone, cursing the gods at the top of my lungs. How I did not go to jail that night is another one of life’s little mysteries.

But I digress. Larry Dolan needs to tap his St. Ignatius connections and have a priest meet the team at the airport and get busy on the tarmac. If Assenmacher and Plunk are around, Jose Mesa can’t be far behind. Hell, Alvin Morman and Chad Ogea have probably been invited to the party, although Ogea is certainly still hurt, so he can’t do much damage. If Tony Fernandez is around though…

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Exorcism Needed Quick

  1. It is good to remember that there were times much worse than these. The Tribe just finished a road trip where they played well enough to win every game. Bullpen meltdowns killed them. But this team seems to be playing over its head. What’s the pythag?

    More important, on my recent trip to the old home town I saw both walk-off wins. Most triumphant. It reminded me of 95, except no one in the line up is really that good at hitting.

    • Their Pythag is 56-57 — that difference is just noise. They are what they are. Management threw away the few bright hopes of the future to chase an illusion. Playing well enough to win and not winning are too different things — ex. 1997 World Series. Besides, they didn’t play well enough to win on this roadtrip — they had defensive collapses, baserunning blunders, etc. They were in close games and took themselves out of it.

      I’ve seen them in Anaheim, SF, and Phoenix. I think they lost all the games I went to — all were close, all were almost good enough.

  2. I don’t think management made the trade to chase an illusion. The Tribe’s attendance is up (about 4K per game) and they want it to stay up till the end of the season. If they can somehow find a way to win the division, the team gets big money during the rest of this season and a boost for season ticket sales for next year.

    I had not been to Jacobs/Progressive for a few years. It was strange being there with the place less than half full.

    We can’t evaluate the trade for five years, right? Right now, it seems like a very high price to pay. But you never know about pitching prospects, or how is Guthrie doing these days?

    • Chase, propagate, whatever. Sure, they wanted attendance to stay up — which is why they decided to act like big players getting Jimenez, who has not been ace material this year for unclear reasons. P.T. Barnum was successful for a reason.

      You are right — a trade can’t be evaluated for a while. As for Guthrie, who has a lower ERA than Jimenez this year (yeah, if park adjustments are made, Jimenez has been better); that is a different fish. The Indians paid big money to draft a guy who didn’t have the ceiling they thought he had, then because of his major league contract, they panicked with his development. White and Pomeranz have minor league track records. Sure, they might not pan out for any number of reasons, but arms like that are very rare commodities (plus, the Indians spent about 5 million in signing bonuses between the two of them). Meanwhile, Jimenez has question marks also.

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