By Brad VanFossan
It appears as if the Cleveland Indians caravan is running out of gas, but the Tribe brass is hoping that putting a new (well actually used or maybe refurbished) sparkplug could get the engine running like it was in April and May. Six games out isn't quite detrimental, but it's like being a woman and curling your hair in front of running water. I'm assuming that's dangerous anyway? There's a month and a week of baseball left, and six games left with Detroit, so Precious might be warming up, but she's not on stage just yet.
Oh yeah, the spark plug I'm talking about is good ole' Jim Thome, the awe shucks, strong as an ox, Illinois native who broke every Indians fan's heart back in 2003 by taking more money to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. But all is forgiven right? Forgiven yes, but never forgotten. But I think everyone has to keep in mind, no player, well I should say not very many ever stay for less money. Especially not any former Cleveland athlete of major significance. It's been eight years now, so it's time to stop holding a grudge, and besides, Thome is a role player now and the only reason the Indians have claimed him off waivers from the Twins is because of Travis Hafner's season ending injury. We're all hoping there's a little thunder left in that forty year old swing. I personally think it will be pretty awsome to hear his name called for that first return at bat with the Tribe, granted his walkup music doesn't suck, i.e. isn't country or salsa with the exception being Blake Shelton's Honey Bee!
The last time I wrote I was pleading for the front office to make a trade at the deadline. I was assuming we were going to get a bat, not an arm, but the Indians threw a curve ball at all trade prognasticators and traded for Colorado's young right hander Ubaldo Jimenez, well formerly of Colorado. Old news I know, but to recap, we sent both of our top pitching prospects, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz to Colorado, knowing that Jimenez has been hurt this year, and hasn't put up anywhere close to his solid 2010 numbers, in which he was 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA. Since coming to the Tribe, Jimenez has been knocked around more than Kelly Pavlik's common sense and reputation. We needed this guy for right now, not 2012 or 2013 (Jimenez is under contract for the next two seasons), as there is no guarantee you'll be in contention the next season, unless you are Boston and New York. So making a trade just to make a trade isn't always the best move when you're a small market team, nor is making one out of panic. Here's hoping Jimenez can just be decent for the rest of this season, that would be an improvement over the dumpster fire he has been.
I think Thome can add a little pop to this lineup, even if that's all he can do, who am I kidding? That's all he will do. Swing for the fences Jimmy, I'd rather see you swing and miss then watch pitches go by repeatedly and bitch about called strikes and being forced to swing at strike three low and away when you have two strikes on you alla Travis Hafner. At the very least it will bring back memories of a better day in Cleveland sports history, when everything was good in the world, when Smokey sings, wait a second that wasn't supposed to transfer from thought to keystroke. I digress, I have to use that expression once per article, so there it was. To be brought back to the times of the 1995 and 1997 World Series, life was good, sports-wise at least. So in the words of Blake Shelton, Mr. Thome...you be my World Series, I'll be your sell out streak. Welcome back to Cleveland big guy, and may the force of the 90s be with you.