Friday, July 18, 2008

Hey Crimestoppers! We've Moved!

Pronk Needs You is leaving the Blogspot nest for a spiffy brand new home at woodsmeister centeral using WordPress. We even have a domain name and everything.

We're now at

Adjust your feed readers and bookmarks accordingly.

See you over at the new place!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Midseason Mojo Update

The All-Star Game has come and gone, and at Pronk Needs You! we pause to sum up the season so far:

  • It's been a bloody awful mess.

All right. Enough reflection on the season so far. Others with far more ability to write reasoned discourse about the state of the Tribe (particularly the DiaTriber and the gang at Let's Go Tribe), have been much more eloquent about how things reached this sorry state where we've pretty much bagged the season and and are watching for prospect development and improvement and because we have that latent streak of masochism present in all Cleveland sports fans.

On to the Midseason Mojo Watch

  • Bullpen: Ain't a damn one of them got the mojo necessary to back the car successfully out of the driveway. Well, maybe Raffy Perez has 1 Elvis. They're the primary reason that this team is in this mess.
  • Cliff Lee: Enough said.
  • Jake Westbrook: He looked great starting the year, then wham! TJ surgery.
  • Fausto Carmona: Control problems, then an injury. Now rehabbing.
  • CC Sabathia: No longer a Tribesman, he's got mojo aplenty now with the contending Brewers.
  • Paul Byrd: Even when lightning strikes and he puts together a good outing, it gets shot to hell by the bullpen.
  • Aaron Laffey: Has generally pitched well, if with a little hard luck. He's not the problem.
  • Jeremy Sowers: Has not figured it out yet, but did strike out 8 in his last outing.
  • Matt Ginter: ????????????

Hitters/Position Players

  • Kelly Shoppach: After an awkward transition to the starting catcher gig, has generally hit well. Surprisingly, his throwing has suffered.
  • Sal Fasano: He's Sal Fasano. He has the best mustache on the planet and he's OPSing .929 as backup catcher.
  • Casey Blake: The Bearded One is having a career year, especially with RISP. With any luck, Shaprio will be able to flip him to a contender for a decent prospect or two.
  • Jamey Carroll: He's filled in well since The Beaded One was sent down to work on his hitting.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera: Hitting a ton in Buffalo. Probably should have started the season there. May not see Cleveland again before September now that the Tribe is out of contention.
  • Ryan Garko: Swinging for the fences and generally looking awful.
  • Andy Marte: Has actually been playing since The Concession and looking like a major leaguer. Hit his first homer of the year over the weekend. His line for July: .292 /.320 / .500
  • Victor Martinez: Injured after a couple at bats in the first game of the year, hasn't gone yard all year, and stuck on the DL for a while.
  • Pronk: Pronk has had no Elvis all year. On the DL with a bum shoulder. Date of return uncertain.
  • Jhonny Peralta: All Jhonny does is field his position moderately well enough and hhit, hhit, hhit.
  • Jorge Velandia: Roster filler.
  • Shin-Soo Choo: Has made some puzzling decisions in the outfield, but has a plus arm and has demonstrated the ability to get on base and has shown some power.
  • Ben Francisco: Tracking down fly balls remains a challenge for Ben, but there's no doubt about his arm. Has been very streaky - both in a good and bad way. OPS+ of 119 on the year.
  • Franklin Gutierrez: No doubts about his fielding. Appears to be going through sophomore slump and has looked totally and completely lost at the plate for long stretches.
  • Grady Sizemore: Having a career year and leading the AL in homers. Potential to join 40/40 club.
  • David Dellucci: Has not performed as billed. Likely trade bait if he can pick it up just a little bit. At bats now solely for purpose of showcasing for potential trade.


  • Mark Shapiro: His lack of impact off-season moves has hurt this team in hindsight, but he wasted no time throwing the towel in on the season and getting what looks like an outstanding package for CC. If he can spin off Byrd, Blake, Dellucci and, maybe even Jamey Carroll, he can increase his mojo dramatically.
  • Eric Wedge: This team came out of spring training flat, his handling of the bullpen has been puzzling, and his handling of Andy Marte has been downright mystifying. I am beginning to wonder whether he really knows how to prepare a baseball team to come out of the gate and play baseball and whether he is suited to handle a team with high expectations.
  • Derek Shelton: Generally, the veteran hitting on this team, with a few exceptions, has been pretty weak. It's a wonder he still has his job.
  • Carl Willis: The starting pitching has generally looked good - downright blazing in spots. The bullpen has looked abysmal. As much as Willis should get credit for the starting pitching, he derserves some blame for the bullpen.


This team has not played up to its Pythagorean record, primarily because of the bullpen and lack of clutch hitting. We'll see if giving the young kids some playing time will make the rest of the season interesting. Before the four-game sweep of the Rays, they pretty much had No Elvis.