Sunday, July 1, 2007

Halfway Home

49-32 - First Place American League Central
30-12 at home at Jacobs Field (and Milwaukee)
434 Runs Scored - 2nd in MLB
24 Saves - T-5th in MLB
3 All-Stars - (Martinez, Sabathia, Sizemore)

Now if you would have told any Cleveland Indians fan before the 2007 season that you knew that this is where the the Tribe would be after 81 games, two things would have been true: you were full of sh!t and any true Indians fan would have gladly accepted this position.

But the tone around the fan base is one of pessimism, not optimism. There is talk of the lack of prodcution from the veteran OFs (Dellucci and Nixon) signed in the off season. There are rumblings about the need of a RH power bat in the middle of the line-up. Many are worried about the lack of clutching hitting and daily production from the team, especially Travis Hafner. And there is concern over some of the young arms in the bullpen (Cabrera, Mastny, Mujica) not living up to expectations.

But despite this, the Indians remain on top of the AL Central, less than two games removed from the best record in baseball. Yes, you read that right, less than two games removed from the best record in baseball.

I prefer to look at it this way. This is where the Indians sit DESPITE the issues they have had the first half of the season. Imagine the offense when Travis Hafner awakens, and he will, from his June slumber. We've gotten a glimpse of the Indians starting pitching staff this past week when they are at full strength and hitting their spots. The Indians were 17 GAMES BEHIND after 81 games last year... SEVENTEEN! Under Uncle Eric they have historically been a notorious second half team. In 2007 they aren't starting the second half needing to make a hard charge. Instead they need to maintain and hold off the Tigers and the hard charging Twins.

I'm not saying the Indians are the best team in baseball. I'm not saying that they are a mortal lock for anything. All I'm saying is that right now, despite all of their faults, they are in 1st place, somewhere they haven't seen for quite a few years.

And, IMHO, that's pretty damn good.

No comments: