Thursday, June 29, 2006


Tell me, again, why we got rid of Omar Vizquel? Jhonny Peralta, who supposedly made Vizquel expendable, cost the Tribe still another game, allowing the faltering Cardinals to snap an 8-game losing streak last night. Bob Wickman, whom Mark Shapiro desperately tried to dump in the off-season, was the hard-luck loser. Wickman had one of the oddest lines of the season, 2/3 of an inning pitched, 0 earned runs, and a loss. I can understand why Wickman causes Shapiro heartburn. He's a difficult pitcher to watch under the best of circumstances and Shapiro's target, Trevor Hoffman, is having another banner season.

But this is more about Peralta who has been in a season-long slump and is not making anyone forget Frank Duffy, let alone Omar Vizquel. No question, Peralta has the better bat, although this season I've seen better swings on an East Cleveland public park jungle gym then I've seen out of Peralta. But clearly Peralta has more power and should, over the long haul, have a higher batting average and on-base percentage. But when Peralta's not hitting it only magnifies what a butcher he is in the field. He has extremely limited range and a weak throwing arm. For good measure, he doesn't make the routine plays, either. I've read "Moneyball". I know that the Billy Beane school of thought, of which Shapiro and his ilk are disciples, places a lower value on defense. But at some point someone has to catch and throw the friggin' ball and the Indians may very well be the most inept team in that regard. A little less offense (which actually describes Peralta's season to date anyway) in exchange for a stabilizing force on defense looks much more preferable option as we close out the month of June. When does Browns training camp start?

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