Yesterday, as I was moving out of Cleveland and driving towards Iowa (thank you endless Midwest storms and losses of power and flooded interstates, it was a special trip thanks to you) I listened to alot of sports talk radio from both Cleveland and Detroit. A recurrent theme in both cities was the relative hugeness of the Tribe's 3-1 extra innings victory on Thursday afternoon, because, as many would not fail to point out, the Tigers had the Yankees coming to town next, while the Indians then faced a weekend series with the lowly Royals. At the same time, fans and talking heads in both markets also pointed out that the Royals "always play the ____ tough", which, as far as I can tell, every opposing team thinks, because they expect to go 12-0 against the Royals every year, and therefore remember their frustration those three or four times the Royals play them tough.
But leaving the latter misconception aside, this humble blogger did feel his Royal Pride insulted by those that thought the Tribe was headed for some kind of baseball paradise just because they were en route to the K. Consider:
White Sox: 17-23
But beyond the titillation of a pennant race and teh chance to play spoiler, the majority of tonight's intrigue concerns the return of Zack Greinke (5-5, 4.40 ERA) to the starting rotation, an issue thoroughly discussed earlier this week here and elsewhere. Personally, I long ago decided to give up trying to figure anything related to pitching out -- well, everything in the non-Scott Elarton is horrible category -- and just hope for the best. My concern with Greinke is that his background will encourage too many people to play the armchair shrink, a problem already rampant in baseball clubhouses as it is. So for that reason alone, I wish him success tonight.
He'll be squaring off against the fat but still effective Carsten Charles Sabathia (14-6, 3.43 ERA), now in his 20th season with the Indians.
Not to brag, but it looks like that mythical beast called "Sports Nation" agreed with my selection of Mike Sweeney as the face of the Royals. Its pretty interesting that he won as handily as he did, picking up 56% of the vote. Perhaps its an issue of comparing the ideas of the hardcore Royals fans (i.e., people on this site and other daily blogs) to the more casual ESPN-based crowd. Looking at the state by state map, Gordon took Nebraska and Dayton claimed Kansas, while Sweeney won everywhere else... Hmm... maybe it was just my extreme eloquence?