Calling all Tribe fans
- Updated: May 17, 2012
“In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the the attendance, you haven’t, the Tribe has managed to win a few games here and there….”
After this afternoon’s 6-5, extra inning, walk-off, comeback victory over the Mariners, coupled with Detroit’s loss to the Twinkies, the Indians sit atop the AL Central with a 4 game lead, at 22-16. Despite the Indians’ early season success, they are dead last in attendance in the major leagues. 30 out of 30 teams. A meager 14,175 per game through 19 games. According to e-SPN’s box score, only 12,894 rolled through the gates to witness this afternoon’s glorious win.
The Tribe are doing it in ways I did not imagine when I made a stretch of a prediction nearly two months ago: Tribe = Sexy darkhorse pick. I envisioned a starting rotation led by Justin Masterson and a rejuvenated Ubaldo Jimenez, a strong bullpen, and an infield anchored by Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis up the middle, with breakout years from slugging prospects Lonnie Chisenhall and Matt LaPorta (I know, the expiration date on calling LaPorta a prospect passed 1+ years ago, bear with me here) at the corners. My premise was a bold (ridiculous?) claim I made in The Legend’s editors’ virtual meeting room that the Indians were one outfielder away from contending (no, I did not have Johnny Damon in mind).
Turns out that both Masterson and Jimenez are struggling, but the rotation is hanging in there thanks to Derek Lowe’s rubber arm, gutsy performances out of Jeanmar Gomez, and some passable spot starts from Zach McAllister. The bullpen is solid as predicted, but I had no idea that lefty Nick Hagadone would come up from AAA Columbus and pitch lights out (1.54 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 12 Ks in 11 2/3 innings pitched). Manny Acta chose Jack Hannahan and Casey Kotchman to man the corners with defensive prowess instead of rolling the dice on Chisenhall and LaPorta. The move has worked with Hannahan off to a hot start at the plate, and both he and Kotchman turning in sparkling defensive gems on a nightly basis. The Tribe are leading the AL Central!
So let’s go watch them, Indians fans. A fast start in April and May does not a winning season make, as we painfully witnessed during last year’s mid to late season swoon. I promise, I learned my lesson, no more stupid posts locking the Tribe in the playoffs months too early like this beaut from last July. But crap, can we put some fannies in the seats while they are playing well? Weekend forecast = sunshine, temperatures in the 70’s, and the Miami ‘Disco‘ Marlins in town for a weekend set. Ballgame weather.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!” Asses in seats people, asses in seats.