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Game Thread: July 16, 2009

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The traditional second half of the season starts tonight, though essentially it represents the beginning of a long exhibition season for the Indians. The biggest date on the calendar left isn't October 4th, the end of the season, but July 31st, the non-waiver trade deadline. Payroll is a big issue again, and so is the dearth of major-league pitching, both of which seems to be pointing to the Indians being extremely active on the trade market between now and the end of this month.

As for things to look forward to, we should be seeing Matt LaPorta soon, and other prospects later on in the summer. Fausto Carmona should be back in a couple weeks, with Jake Westbrook to follow in a month or so. The talent is there for this team to be relevant again, I just don't know if economics will allow it enough time to regroup.