Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thank God for the Central Division

As bad as the 2009 Cleveland Indians have been — and don’t get me wrong, they’ve been downright repulsive — the season is far from over.

And thus starts the blog where I make a ridiculous prediction, not even believing it but setting my hopes up high, ruining all my credibility (as if I had any in the first place) and blowing smoke out of my ears.

For what I’m about to say, I only believe because we play in the weakest division in baseball. By far.

So here it goes: Ahem, the Cleveland Indians will win the American League Central Division this year.

Asinine? Completely.

Bold? Without a doubt.

Insane? You betcha.

Off my rocker? Fell off a long time ago.

Off the Reservation? Couldn’t be further from one.

But hear me out.

As I mentioned, the central division is the joke of all jokes. I can scrounge up eight other bums off the streets of Cleveland and seriously contend for the division crown.

Unfortunately, many of those bums already don a Cleveland Indians jersey this year.

With a monumentally disappointing record of 29-37, the Tribe find themselves just 6.5 games out of first place.

It’s the only division in baseball where teams aren’t even trying. It’s a scientific fact.

Only one team has won more games than it has lost, and go figure, it’s the scumbags from Michigan. The Piston’s ugly brother, the Tigers.

Every other division in baseball has at least two winning/respectable teams.

My theory: The tribe have already played their worst ball of the season and I can’t imagine them playing any worse, so the only way is up. And in a division where no one wants to win, that plays to the Tribe’s favor.

Oh, and I expect the Seagulls to win us at least seven to eight more games.

Currently, the Tribe are without one of their best hitters of the season, Asdrubal Cabrera, one of their most solid starters during the past three or four seasons, Jake Westbrook and every woman’s fantasy and even some men's, Grady Sizemore (I don’t include myself on that list. I prefer Shin-Soo Choo, thank you very much.) All three should be returning shortly.

The Tribe have been playing plus .500 ball for the past month and seem to be getting hotter. Cliff Lee’s last 12 starts have been absurd, with an ERA of 2.07. The bullpen (disregard last night) has been returning to planet Earth.

The offense is heating up as Choo, Mark DeRosa, Victor Martinez and Jamey Carroll are all providing sparks in clutch moments.

The biggest reasoning for my nutty prediction is, the Tribe are a second half team.

They prefer showing up to the party fashionably late, like the (un)cool college kids still attending high school parties.

It happens every year.

So if the Tribe can stay within six to eight games back of first place by the all-star break, watch out.

Who knows, by then, they could be just three or four games back.

Until then, I’ll be searching for my rocker.

-Nick Carrabine


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