For the second time in three weeks, the White Sox are facing the Cleveland Fightin’ Stereotypes, this time within the comforts of the GRate as the Sox start their 2019 swan song of a homestand. Of course, the Pale Hose are performing their obligated duties by fielding a 25-man roster of players to face the opponents set before them as they begin clearing their lockers and tipping their attendants/ball boys/tithing to Papa Reinsdorf. But this article isn’t about Tim Anderson’s approaching the goal line of winning a batting title or Eloy Jiménez using this month to feast on tired/spent pitching arms and clobbering milestone homers like this one in Detroit:
NO SIR. This is Know Your Enemy. And we need to discuss the current present and rapidly approaching unknown future for the Tribe from Cleveland. So let’s do this as I started with the KYE: Angels Edition, and give you the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How? about the Lindians!
These are the Indians (OK, I really can’t keep up with the witty clever ways to avoid mentioning their unfortunate moniker) who started September 4.5 games behind the first-place Twins and in a tie for the A’s for the top wild card spot. Last we saw them, Cleveland failed to take advantage of a four-game series with the Sox, splitting it. One of those losses was the last time Reynaldo López looked like a competent pitcher in 2019:
And while Cleveland was able to go on a bit of a run, winning two of three in Minnesota, any gains were given back per the laws of alchemy by losing two of three against the Twins in Cleveland a week later. And as of Saturday night, the entire month of hard work and effort trying to retake control the AL Central resulted in a whole half-game net gain in the standings. Starting Sunday, the Indians were four games back with seven to play. Their up-and-down play has dropped them completely out of both wild card spots, however they remain one game back of the second WC spot (Rays) and three back of the first WC (Oakland)
The Indians … whoo boy. Well, I guess they were trying to honor the Native Americans … in their own, early ass hell 20th Century kind of reasoning according to Wikipedia:
The name “Indians” originated from a request by club owner Charles Somers to baseball writers to choose a new name to replace “Cleveland Naps” following the departure of Nap Lajoie after the 1914 season. The name referenced the nickname “Indians” that was applied to the Cleveland Spiders baseball club during the time when Louis Sockalexis, a Native American, played in Cleveland.
I, for one, would 100% fully support the renaming to the Cleveland Naps. #MakeClevelandNapAgain
Cleveland…is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. The city proper has a population of 383,793, making it the 52nd-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in Ohio. Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 33rd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,057,009 people in 2018. A Gamma + city, Cleveland anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States. The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, across the U.S. maritime border with Canada and approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border.
Fascinating stuff! Also… I’m not sure “Welcome to Brownstown” is the best use of marketing dollars…
Tuesday, September 24th @ 7:10 p.m. Hector Santiago (1-1, 5.65 ERA) vs. Mike Clevinger (12-3, 2.54 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Mike “Just Passed” Gasick
Wednesday, September 25th @ 7:10 p.m. Ross Detwiler (2-5, 6.98 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (15-7, 3.23 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Ja-NotSo-Nice Scurio
Thursday, September 26th @ 7:10 p.m. Dylan Cease (4-7, 5.79 ERA) vs. Aaron Civale (3-3, 1.82 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Leigh “Private Dick” Allen
Well, Larry, the deal is that the Indians clearly cannot afford to lose this series against the White Sox. Cleveland has only six games remaining, and barring every Twins slugger contracting Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, a division title is extremely unlikely. The Cleveland Show (I actually liked that Family Guy spinoff) ends their regular season with three more games against an extremely-motivated-to-host-the-NL-Wild-Card-Game Washington Nationals where, thanks to the random joys of season-long interleague play, they will lose their DH in an NL park. Cleveland will also need Oakland (two vs LAA; four @ SEA) and Tampa Bay (one vs BOS; two vs NYY; three @ TOR) to falter just enough for them to sneak in to the playoffs. Again, all scenarios are still open for varying levels of playoff participation, but their destiny is out of their hands.
Well Mark Walhberg from M. Night Shamaylan’s The Happening, the White Sox truly have their work cut out for them in the series, with Nova and Big Boss Ross starting the first two games and Dylan Cease, who’s about as reliable as most of Shamaylan’s film career since The Sixth Sense. Hopefully the Sox will find a way to at least even out their home/road home run deficiencies as they have only hit 81 homers at the GRate vs 92 yabos in the various hovels other teams call ballparks. Or maybe the Sox can find the spoiler within and will themselves to be the second Chicago team to crush Cleveland’s playoff spirits in four seasons (ok, on a much smaller and meaningless scale, to be fair).
So there you have it. For those of you hoping for the White Sox to finish strong and send those Cleveland fans into the unreliable arms of Baker Mayfield for the remainder of 2019, just know the folks at Tankathon.com have the Sox with the ninth pick in the 2020 draft, 1.5 games “behind” Colorado and 1.5 games “ahead” of San Diego. And damn it to hell, if the Sox find a way to let the Padres “win” again … (I mean they went ahead and fired their manager Andy Green with a week left in the season … our team extends losing managers with secret extensions and free ceviche lessons after every game.)
And just for laughs … here’s Jack Parkman with the shimmy that makes all the women in Cleveland want to puke: