Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When The Wheels Fall off

I can't help but recall Chris Palmer's description of the Browns second season back as a "train wreck." For some reason, this comment created quite a furor, eventually costing Palmer his job. His sin, of course, was merely verbalizing what was obvious to all. The Browns were a mess. I can't help recall all of this as I consider what more Eric Wedge can possibly say about the Indians season as it completely unravels on the West Coast.If you catch his post-game interviews or read the comments, the frustration level is at an all-time high. The only thing he hasn't said is, in the words of Roseanne Cash, is that this thing has turned into a runaway train. We can only wonder what will happen if he does slip in the "train wreck" comment. Who would blame him? The media? Mark Shapiro? The Dolans? As I've said before, in the Billy Beane world of running a baseball operation, of which Mark Shapiro is a disciple, the manager is just a mid-level supervisor. That being the case, of course, he's easily replaced. But that also being the case, he has very little power over the players he's given to play. In other words, and this is not to blame Shapiro, it all goes back to those cheapskates, the Dolans. Their business model depends on Shapiro performing magic each year by hitting on undervalued/overlooked talent in favor of known commodities who command known commodity dollars, and Wedge not screwing it up. Well Shaprio's magic ran out this season as pretty much all of his off-season acquisitions have tanked. The Indians have been running half empty since opening day and, in that context, you can hardly blame Wedge. The only thing now that could get him fired is he, like Chris Palmer, he lets the frustration boil over and tells us all what we already know.    

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