The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 6/16
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum

Well well well well welly well.  The Indians lost again to the Mets, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, but it was largely because our defense was not good and our pitcher gave up a bunch of extra-base hits.  Okay, you stopped me.  Because you’ve heard it before.  Today’s column lacks a bit of the ranting and raving of yesterday’s, because the bile has not had time to recharge, but that doesn’t mean the Indians played any better.  They didn’t. 

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mets (37-28) 0 0 5 0 0 3 0 0 0 8 14 9
Indians (23-37) 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 4 9 “0”

W: Niese (4-2)  L: Talbot (7-5) 

santana_bagSo … how about that World Cup, huh?  Switzerland over Spain, New Zealand gets a point … this is some tournament, isn’t it?  And Jupiter … that is one big planet, I tell you.  And hydrogen sulfide … boy, that stuff sure smells bad, doesn’t it?  I mean, it’s actually poisonous!  I mean … um … I gotta talk about the game now, don’t I? 


0) Administrative Note 

Many thanks to the legion of Twitterati out there who joined me in my @MorganEnsberg campaign!  His name is Gregor Gross!  Let’s give him a hand, ladies and gentlemen!  Check out his Twitter feed at @gregorgross, where he has made exactly one post in English in the page that shows.  That’s right, I’m big in Germany.  I am a doughnut!  (According to John F. Kennedy, so is Gregor!) 

Gregor, vielen Dank, und tschüss! 

1) Human Duct Tape 

After I graduated from college, I travelled over the summer before heading off to graduate school.  I definitely recommend grad school for those graduates who aren’t ready to enter the workforce, because it is an excellent way to avoid entering the workforce.  As far as an Actually Valuable Experience, well, it leaves some things to be desired, but in terms of putting off the terror that is Real Life, it’s not a bad hedge bet.  I worked my way through grad school as a Teaching Assistant, meaning I got paid enough to rent a terrible apartment and eat cheaply while drinking a lot of alcohol and hanging around with other older college students.  I got a lot out of grad school, like the knowledge that I didn’t really want to do mathematics research for the rest of my life, intramural softball, really cheap bassoon lessons (I paid for a one-hour class and got a half-hour private lesson every week, PLUS the use of a decent bassoon … for three years!) and the ability to meet my future wife. 

I lived in the dorm the first year because it beat looking for an apartment, and one of the things we did was form a team for a sort of intramural “track day.”  We were grad students, so we generally had marginal athletic ability, but we held our own against the whippersnappers.  I ran the third leg of the 4x100 and the 400 and placed in both events. 

However, our team was kind of short on warm bodies, so I ended up volunteering to run the hurdles, something I did not do in high school or college.  How hard could it be, though?  You run, you time your jumps, it’s all about rhythm, right? 

Well, yes.  It is.  And I had none. 

I finished dead last.  I believe it took twenty-four seconds. 

See, I ended up chopping my steps really badly, and clipped a couple hurdles, and … well … let’s just say that while I was fast enough to pass two guys in the relay and kicked hard enough to finish in the top half in the 400 … I was no hurdler.  I mean, like, “Look at that guy!  He is literally the worst hurdler I have ever seen!  I have dropped my beverage because I have doubled over in laughter!”  Really, really bad hurdling. 

Anyway, the point is, I got on the team because I had some valuable skills (speed, endurance), but when asked to do something because literally no one else on the team would do it, I looked ridiculous and failed utterly. 

And thus, we end the discussion of Shelley Duncan playing left field. 

2) Dept. of Misleading Statistics 

Mitch Talbot struck out three hitters and didn’t walk any.  He threw 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes, and induced 11 groundball outs to just 2 in the air.  So Talbot had his Sinking Shoes on and kept the Mets’ offense down, right? 


See, everything the Mets lifted into the air, they POUNDED.  Five different Mets hit doubles off Talbot, and Ike Davis ripped two of them.  And these are not “ground balls down the line” doubles, these are “would have been home runs in the Baker Bowl” doubles.  Yes, Duncan could probably have played a couple of them better than he did.  Yes, a full-time left fielder might actually have caught one of them.  Yes, a healthy Trevor Crowe might have caught the one ersatz center fielder Austin Kearns dove at and missed.  Might, might, might.  These balls were POUNDED. 

Talbot was bad.  Game was over.  Teeth now enamel-free. 

3) Line of the night 

I encourage folks to try out the BBTN Live feature at ESPN: I don’t always get a chance to participate, but when I do, I TOTALLY dominate the conversation.  I am a Compleat Hog.  It’s invigorating.  Also, I irritate the Red Sox fans. 

Anyway, the line comes from Don Saverno, a participant in the chat: 

All you have to know about today's lineup is that Austin Kearns is playing centerfield. He weighs about .92 Jamarcus Russells. 

I told him I was stealing it, and by golly, I have. 

(For the curious, Kearns was playing center in place of the injured Crowe, which is why Duncan was in left as well.  Not sure it wouldn’t be a better alignment with Choo in center and Kearns in right, though.) 

4) Sotto voce 

After snapping an 11-game hit streak, Shin-Soo Choo has now taken two Size Four collars in a row.  He has not hit a home runs since June 1st, and has only one stolen base after stealing 4 in April and 5 in May (caught 1 time in each of those months). 

5) Running is Fundamental 

Perhaps … but maybe sliding is not. 

After stretching a single into a double (he was there in plenty of time and was safe), Carlos Santana cleverly KEPT sliding past the second-base bag and was tagged out to end a rally.  He was credited with a “single” and an “Oaf Cluster.”  

6) Dunk smash! 

Shelley Duncan may be a Steve Buffum Hurdler in left field, but the man can hit a fastball.  Duncan hit a two-out two-run homer to pull the Indians back into the game temporarily and is now slugging .611 on the season. 

Sure, he grounded into a double play, but he’s an enormous right-handed power hitter.  They do that.  (Ask Austin Kearns.) 

7) Hibachi! 

After a terrible start to June, Travis Hafner extended his hit streak to five games, and 7 of his last 8.  In those 8 games, Hafner has 4 homers, two doubles, and 8 RBI.  He has also drawn six walks (two last night) against 4 Ks. 

After a powerless April, Hafner has heated up with the power stick, slugging .462 in May and .533 thus far in June.  In addition, Hafner has missed only two starts, and pinch-hit late in one of them (hitting a double). 

Of course, after tonight, we head to NL parks and Hafner will not play, but he’s been hot lately. 

8) Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept. 

After overreacting to a thoroughly frustrating night Tuesday, it bears mentioning that Jason Donald went 2-for-4 with a run scored playing second base last night, showing that he has more mental toughness than, say, I do. 

9) Asset Watch 

Jhonny Peralta hit .224 in April, then .252 in May, and is now hitting .309 in June.  He has seven multi-hit games in his last fifteen games (not counting the single-at-bat June 10th game). 

Chipper Jones is injured in Atlanta, and Caliheimgeles is missing shortstops for the foreseeable future. 

Operators are standing by! 

10) Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept. Redux 

Frank Herrmann threw first-pitch strikes to all four hitters he faced, retiring them all and collecting a strikeout in the process. 

Hector Ambriz gave up one hit in 2 scoreless innings of work.  Naturally, the hit was a double.

The TCF Forums