Big series starts tonight for the Indians, as the Detroit Tigers come to town for three games. Let’s be clear – despite the Tigers early struggles, the Indians potential path to the playoffs will go through Detroit. The Indians (23-18) presently have a 2.5 game lead over the White Sox (21-21) and a 3.0 game lead over the Tigers (20-21) with the season now squarely at the quarter pole.
Tonight specifically is a big game, as the Motor City Kitties will send their top two starters to the hill (Justin Verlander and Doug Fister) on Wednesday and Thursday. Tonight is the first of NINETEEN games that the Indians and the Tigers will play this season, and every one of them is big. After sweeping the Tigers last April, the Tribe ended up losing THEIR LAST TEN games against the Tigers last season, adding salt to the wound of their late season swoon.
We all remember last year’s 30-15 start and then subsequent collapse. This year’s team to me is much better built to last. But they will never win the 87-90 games necessary to make the playoffs unless they start to get better production from their top two starters, Justin Masterson and Ewww-baldo Jimenez.
I’ll be there tonight. I can’t wait.
It will be interesting to see the fans reaction to Chris Perez if he gets brought into the game tonight. Perez created a firestorm of controversy locally when he made the following comments to the media after a dominant nine-pitch save on Saturday night:
“I’m tired of getting booed at home. So I figured I’d throw some strikes today. You can quote that. I’m here — I’m here to win. I’m here for my teammates, and I want to bring a championship to Cleveland, to do my job and help the team win. I think I do a pretty good job of showing that on the field. I don’t think I bring any undue attention to myself. I’m out there for the team. In big wins, I get excited and I’m like a kid again, because it’s fun.
They booed me against the Mariners when I had two guys on. It feels like I can’t even give up a base runner without people booing me. It’s even worse when there’s only 5,000 in the stands, because then you can hear it. It [ticks] me off. I got two guys on, yeah, my release point was all over the place, but really? I’ve got two guys on. They haven’t even scored yet and you’re booing me? You’re saying, ‘Get this bum off the mound.’ Come on. The mock standing applause just adds to it. You see their true colors. It doesn’t bother me; it [ticks] me off, I don’t think they have a reason to boo me.”
My take: Perez has every right to be mad. His comments don’t bother me. The guy has been one of the most valuable pitchers in all of baseball this season, and has been near flawless since his performance in the opener. You gotta be an idiot to be booing this guy right now.
Attendance will pick up as school lets out and the weather is more consistently nice. But it has been EMBARRASSING to this point, bottom line. Even with strong weekend attendance of nearly 30,000 a game … the Indians are DEAD LAST in attendance in baseball, and are a LONG WAY from 29th place.
We’ll get more into my thoughts on why this has been the case in a future Dish.
Quote of the Day …
“CNN’s ratings hit a 15-year low this week. In fact, things are so bad at CNN, Wolf Blitzer started renting out ‘The Situation Room’ for birthday parties.” ~ Jimmy Fallon
Insane Fact of the Day …
The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.
BIG bounce back day for stocks yesterday. Dow jumped 135 points, breaking a string of six straight losing sessions. NASDAQ rose 68 points, the S&P jumped 20 points.
No real news – just bargain shoppers buying in a beaten down market.
Facebook shares plummeted 11% to close at $34.03, well below their $38 IPO price. A lot of people are saying that Facebook’s offering price was too high and too many shares were sold to the public, hurting the stock’s performance out of the gate. Facebook’s troubles could crush enthusiasm for all the companies set to go public later this year. It could also lead to changes in the IPO process. At the end of the day, biggest thing was just that it was bad timing for Facebook. Tough market to IPO in right now … with the issues in Europe and stalled growth here domestically. I wouldn’t buy stocks with Brent Hinz’s money right now.
Could be another positive day for stocks today as well. No new Europe headlines, Best Buy posted really good earnings this AM, and we’re waiting on existing home sale data at 10 AM that is expected to be up from last month. And it should. Rates have never been lower, affordability has never been better. We get new home sale data tomorrow morning. Durable goods orders and jobless claims data on Thursday. Consumer sentiment on Friday.
Here’s a prediction to end with: The Dow Jones touches 11,000 before it touches 14,000.
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