When you are taught the game of baseball or any other game, certain axioms are accepted. For example, a “walk is as good as a hit” or “never let the second or third out of any inning be made at third base,” which is something that cost the Indians a chance to win a game when Francisco Lindor tried to steal third in the eighth inning last week. It is difficult to criticize Lindor, arguably one of the top five players in the game, but he no doubt learned a lesson from his mistake.
Then there is this one: “good pitching stops good hitting.” Apparently, that one doesn’t hold true anymore, otherwise Trevor Bauer would have never gone to the Cincinnati Reds in a three-team deal, giving the Indians offense for this year, in Yasiel Puig, and in the future with Franmil Reyes, along with a few prospects. Say what you want about Bauer, as he is probably among the top 10 starting pitchers in the game, but the Tribe is loaded with young pitchers who they think can fill the void. Despite what is said publicly, I have been told when Bauer threw the ball over the center-field fence in Kansas City in what turned out to be his last start with Cleveland, it was the final straw for the front office, including manager Terry Francona.
Once the Indians overtook Minnesota by a half-game, they have let things slip to the point where they will most likely need to win five of six in the remaining head-to-head meetings against the Twins if they intend to win the American League Central Division.
ABOUT THE BROWNS
These events show how far the Cleveland Browns have come since they returned in 1999: First, there was less interest in the NFL Draft this year than any year prior to the return of the team under the ownership of the late Al Lerner. Same goes for the exhibition season, where the only real battles of position players include the non-glamorous positions of left tackle and right guard, as well as the place-kicking battle, right now between incumbent Greg Joseph and rookie Austin Seibert, and backup quarterback, most likely a fight for being the third string QB, between Garrett Gilbert and David Blough.
I would be surprised if anyone other than Drew Stanton is the second-string quarterback. I know fans are always concerned about the backup quarterback, but the reality is few teams in the NFL can withstand any injury to the starting quarterback that would cause him to miss more than two games, the 2018 Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles notwithstanding. That said, Gilbert is a boyhood friend of starter Baker Mayfield, which could come into play when the roster is decided.
GOLF OUTING TO REMEMBER
The Glueck family, including father, Jeff, and brothers Ryan and Jordan, had an incredible bonding moment last week. The three were playing golf at Beechmont Country Club in Orange.
On the 163-yard par 3 third hole, Ryan used a 9 iron and got the first hole-in-one of his career. Not to be outdone, Jordan stepped up to the ninth hole, a 168-yard par 3 and using an 8 iron, did the exact same thing. I can’t even imagine how that happened, nor can I imagine what Las Vegas would have established as the odds for that to happen. Congratulations to the Glueck family. What they did is unlikely to happen again for awhile.