The Indians are deep into the dog days of summer, those days that, over the last three seasons, have seen my brain consuming itself as we all watch a losing team play out the string. Just a few days ago, I wrote that this team offered us something to dream on and I still believe that. However, the last two days and the stultifying losses to the Baltimore Orioles (seriously, Baltimore: It's not just The Wire. There's a baseball team there, too) have certainly sapped some of the momentum from my jig or wherever it is that momentum resides.
Incidentally, I'm deep into my vacation and I'm writing from Hilton Head, South Carolina and, by deep into my vacation, I mean that I'm hot and flushed with red wine. Earlier, I saw a family of 6 walking from the pool led by a large, bald man who wore a t-shirt, still chlorine soaked, and a towel wrapped around his waist, giving the impression of a giant, cinematic, pale-skinned samurai.
The Indians lost tonight, if you didn't grab that from the title or the first paragraph. They were two-hit by a man named Brad Bergesen. Bergesen, despite the uninteresting career numbers, had a couple of good starts before this against bad teams (Kansas City and Chicago (AL)), so his good start against another bad team (Cleveland (Underworld)) was not exactly shocking. Josh Tomlin, who increasingly is becoming my mental image of John Grady Cole, Cormac McCarthy's protagonist in All The Pretty Horses, took the loss. Tomlin pitched decently through his five innings and, bafflingly, operated as a groundball pitcher. I don't know what to make of Josh Tomlin except that, as long as he gets results, commentators will fawn over his toughness or grit or whatever it is that make men under six feet tall out of places like Texas Tech stick in the bigs.
Then there's this:
"There's a big difference between Triple-A and the big leagues," manager Manny Acta, "and it's not just the meal money."
Manny's talking about David Huff there and it seems increasingly clear that this isn't a happy marriage between Huff and the Indians. Then again, this is only a marriage in the sense that mail-order brides are married: no one here owes each other anything and there wasn't any emotional foundation to build on. The sentiment expressed in the internet buzz, mentioned in an earlier recap, seems increasingly to be irking the Indians or, at least, irking Acta and he's more than willing to fire a shot across the bow of Huff, or Huff's agent or Huff's mom or the anonymous internet denizens who love Huff or whoever runs the show that is David Huff's career.
Briefly, a shout-out to Brick and his terrific recap last night in the stead of your four mainstays who are either installing SAP software, working in Eastern Europe, child-rearing or vacationing. Hopefully, there's better baseball ahead.