Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Frosty can of corn

Its frigid here. The very concept of going negative in temperature is funny to think about. It is now so cold that there are officially no degrees to hand out. Even worse, we are removing degrees. We are in debt in the degree category. We owe degrees. I think the windchill has approached -30.

I was leaving my mentor time with John and he pulled up to my car and told me to put it on WTAM 1100 AM radio. I did, and suddenly my heart warmed and the piles of snow melted away from my presence. On the coldest day of the year...and quite possibly of the last few years, Eric Wedge was being interviewed about the Cleveland Indians. That's right. Baseball in January. Forget about the bumbling NCAA division 2 level Cleveland Browns, and lets talk cavs once they have finished owning the East, setting the record for home wins in a season and going straight to the finals...It's baseball season.

Here are my 7 keys to the AL Central Pennant.

1. Travis Hafner returns to form- Pronk must be a healthy productive middle of the line up guy or the tribe suffers.
2. Cliff Lee pitches like the 2008 version and not the 2007 version. The guy was freak nasty last year and still no one really noticed.
3. Carmona pitches like the 2007 version and not the 2008 version. If his sinker isn't sinking, he's sunk.
4. Kerry Wood appears in 60 games. If he makes that many appearances, it means the tribe is winning and he's closing games and it means he is healthy.
5. The bottom of the rotation has a .500 record or better. If Carmona and Lee can be league leaders like they have shown, then Laffey, Sowers, and Pavano (and any number of other youngsters who can compete for those spots) just need to keep the boat from rocking. If they can keep the Indians in the game, then the bullpen and bats can take us to glory.
6. Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach need to find their way into the lineup as everyday guys. I'm not sure what this means. I guess the odd man out would be Garko, though, I hear he's working on his outfield skills, but Martinez at 1st and Shoppach calling the game behind the plate makes a lot of sense.
7. Grady has another 30/30 gold glove caliber year. 30 homers and 30 base thefts from your lead off? He can make it happen.

Well, there's my baseball/spring fever fix. I'd go play catch outside now, but I have sensitive skin that prefers warm weather (a.k.a. I'm a wuss.)

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