I would like to use this week's Friday Sports Extravaganza to usher in a new McBone feature: 100 Reasons We Love Cleveland Sports. As loyal Cleveland sports fans, we at McBone Inc. recognize the rich heritage that looms behind our three major franchises. From Napoleon Lajoie to Jim Brown to LeBron James, Cleveland fans have many reasons to be proud. McBone is here to offer you a handful of them.
Reason #100 to Love Cleveland Sports: Vic Power's Basket Catches at First Base.
Willie Mays' basket catches in center field? Forget about it. Vic Power is not only one of the best fielding first basemen in baseball history, as evidenced by seven consecutive Gold Glove awards (1958-64), he is unquestionably the coolest. McBone knows of no other player who has ever employed the basket catch at first base, let alone with the flair that made the Puerto Rican one of the most popular Indians of his day.
But Vic Power's glove wasn't all there was to his game. A more than capable hitter, his lifetime .284 average and 126 home runs were good enough to earn him six all-star berths.
Mattingly and Hernandez be damned. McBone salutes you, Vic Power, and the incomparable style you brought to your position.
They don't hit. They don't look like they will hit. I know they can hit, but.... Look, everyone's wondering when they will snap out of if. Obviously the time has come to wonder if they will. From top to bottom, there is NO ONE in the order who is picking this team up. And yet...yet...I am a believer in the law of averages. I cannot and will not believe that 2 runs is this team's ceiling. Look for, if not an incendiary, at least a warmish month of September to balance things out. With Detroit's awful pitching, a halfway decent offensive attack should be enough for the playoff run. If I'm wrong, well then, wait'll next year.
Travis Hafner is injured. He has to be. He has played through whatever it is, but there is no way, no way he suffers a dropoff this severe without something being wrong physically. For three seasons he has been arguably the best hitter in the AL. I've watched too much baseball to believe that such a dramatic loss of production can simply be attributed to nothing more than an off year.
Jhonny Peralta: stop trying to pull pitches that are a foot outside the strike zone, please. Just stop.
Grady Sizemore: get your bat on the ball and watch good things happen. Strikeouts suck.
Casey Blake: Oh, hell, you're Casey Blake.
Eric Wedge: Forget Trot Nixon. Forget Jason Michaels. Please find more at bats for that long, ugly swing of Franklin Gutierrez'. At least he's hitting a bit right now.
Still waiting for something, anything to happen. Still, I'm not so desperate that Charles Oakley comeback rumors get me riled up. Can't say that Troy Hudson has me salivating either. Why bother?
Charlie Frye went 12 for 15 for 122 yards in his preseason start against the Chiefs. I loved how ESPN highlights showed only Frye's two mistakes in a 16 to 12 Brown's victory. The national media is positively begging for Brady Quinn to start.
I'm telling you all right now that Frye should be the starter on this team. Not the slow-footed Derek Anderson, not the rookie Quinn, and certainly not the fourth string Ken Dorsey. Frye, in my opinion, has been written off way too soon and deserves a chance to takes snaps behind a line that is, if not improved, at least rebuilt.
Kamerion Wimbley will be a pro-bowler this year. Barring injury.
Nate's unreasonable prediction of the week
The Indians will muster 6 runs in one game this week.