In honor the 25th anniversary of the movie Major League, I am attempting to chronicle the events of the movie from the perspective of a sports blogger.
Not Half Bad? Not Half Good.
Let’s not fool ourselves; The Indians are not a good team.
With a 38-43 record at the midway point of the season, they are in better shape than just about anyone could have predicted. But there’s a big difference between exceeding absurdly low expectations and being good.
Expectations for this team were indeed low. If you recall, just about every set of predictions had the Indians finishing in last place. Two weeks into the season, many people – including myself – thought this might be the worst team in franchise history. Considering the Indians’ sad history, that is really saying something.
I have been proven wrong. These Indians are not the worst team in franchise history. They’re not even the worst team in the American League East this season! Believe it or not, there are two teams below them in the standings.
But for some reason, this unexpected non-horribleness has caused some people to refer to them as “good.” This team is not good. To be “good,” I think a team should at least have a winning record, which the Indians most certainly do not.
I have a suspicion that the second half of the season is going to show us all just how not “good” they really are.
Can the team really count on Jake Taylor and Eddie Harris to stay as healthy and effective as they were in the first half? At their age, it seems inevitable that at least one trip to the disabled list is in store. Even if they remain on the field for the duration, you’d have to think that the heavy workload will soon start catching up with them.
I’m also skeptical about Pedro Cerrano. He’s shown some impressive power, but there’s a very good chance that he’s going to struggle in the second half. I know we’re not supposed to talk about this, but there’s mounting evidence that Cerrano simply can’t hit a curveball.
To his credit, he’s displayed a remarkably good eye at the plate, and has consistently worked himself into favorable counts. But pitchers will eventually adjust, and it will be interesting to see how Cerrano reacts.
There’s also a growing concern that he has TOO good of an eye. It’s nice that he doesn’t chase many pitches, but considering that he’s the team’s primary power source, the team might prefer that he be a little less selective. After all, a walk doesn’t do the team much good if the batters following him in the order can’t drive him in.
On the other hand, I fully expect Roger Dorn’s recent hot streak to continue for a little while longer. Another good month could finally allow the team to trade him to a contender, and be free of his massive salary. I imagine Dorn would welcome a change of scenery, so expect him to be plenty motivated.
As for the rest of the team, I just don’t see much reason to think that they’ll continue to play as well as they have. Remember that most of these guys were basically signed off the scrap heap before the season. Most of them were considered to be fringe major leaguers at best.
Eventually, they’ll probably start playing down to their talent level, and we’ll get a return to the poor level of play that we saw during the first few weeks of the season.
So my suggestion is to enjoy this non-awfulness while you can. Because I have a feeling that it isn’t going to last for long.
This post has been part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In case you couldn’t tell, today’s letter was M, and the topic was “Major League.”