View from Spring Training 2011: Cleveland Indians

2011 Cleveland Indians

NFL Equivalent – Cleveland Browns: If it all possible, we wanted to avoid comparing teams from the same city. However, in this case, it’s just too easy. Oh Cleveland. You know what, I’m sorry. It’s not pity, it’s just simple compassion for a fan base that has been raked over the professional sports coals over and over again. King James, Art Modell, The Drive, Edgar Renteria: the list of sports heartbreaks goes on and on. Poor Cleveland. Indians, Browns, there is no joy in Mudville but hey, at least you have the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and this sweet tourism video.

Google Search: Where did Shin-Soo Choo come from? Sure when he arrived in the majors he showed some promise but I don’t think anyone, except maybe the Cleveland brass, expected him to be this good. It almost takes away the sting of two disappointing seasons by Grady Sizemore, almost. Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that the Indians were being helped to an ALDS win by a swarm of midges? Alas, four years later and the Indians don’t appear to be anywhere close to making the playoffs. Regrettably, it may be the end of this decade before the Indians have enough talent to make any kind of real run.

Famous Movie Quote: So an eerie start for the Erie warriors as they drop a heartbreaker to the Yankees 9-0. The post game show is brought to you by… Christ I can’t find it, to hell with it! – Harry Doyle from Major League

I couldn’t have quoted any other especially considering that Charlie Sheen has recently pledged to finance and star in Major League 3: Ricky Vaughn and the Goddesses. Sadly the 2011 Indians will resemble Lou Brown’s team from the beginning of the film more than the end. It is going to be a bumpy road. Manny Acta could try stripping a piece of clothing off a cutout of Gloria James after every win, but even that might not be enough. 2011 Record: 72-90, 4th AL Central

view from Salt River Fields courtesy of @SDarkwingDuck

View From Spring Training: 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks

2011 Arizona Diamondbacks

NFL Equivalent – Carolina Panthers: Both teams are lost, mired in small market underperformance, and there is no real suggestion that they will be finding themselves anytime soon. The D’backs, like the Panthers, have some tremendous offensive talent. Justin Upton and Chris Young are comparable to Steve Smith and Jonathan Stewart. Like Carolina, the Diamondbacks are struggling to find a helmsman for the ship, firing their GM (and Haverford College Alumnus) Josh Byrnes mid season in 2010 as the Panthers parted ways with longtime head coach John Fox at the end of last season.

Google Search: Frankly I’m surprised that Upton is still around. Rumors swirled all offseason about a move, as Kevin Towers contemplated total explosion for the sake of rebuilding. A team that was once known for having a stable of excellent front line starters (Dan Haren, Brandon Webb, and even the blossoming Max Scherzer) are now likely to trot out the likes of Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson, and Ian Kennedy. Yikes. Give the Arizona front office a break, at least they are in the process of  installing solar panels at Chase Field.

Famous Movie Quote: You know your problem? You don’t like winners. – Otto from A Fish Called Wanda

This quote applies to the 2011 incarnation of the Diamondbacks for two great reasons. First, the Arizona squad will not like winners because they won’t be winners this season. In an NL West populated World Series Champs and upstart contenders, the young, inexperienced D’backs will struggle to reach .500. Secondly, A Fish Called Wanda came out in 1988, the same year current Arizona manager Kirk Gibson hit his famous World Series home run against the Oakland A’s. While on the subject of great comedies from the late 80’s, what has happened to Ricky Vaughn? A return to the California Penal League has become a distinct possibility once again. 2011 record: 64-98, 5th place NL West

view from Salt River Fields courtesy of @maxhollister