I'd rather not focus much energy on the World Series, so I thought I'd transcribe the most interesting parts of Terry Pluto's live chat yesterday.
First the quote, then my thoughts below. He covered a wide range of Tribe topics.
"I really think their chance was in game five... I'm pretty phobic about trying to win in Fenway."
Pluto says Wedge's biggest mistake was bringing out Sabathia in game five for the seventh inning. Pluto clearly thinks home-field edge is much bigger in the postseason.
"My feeling is that even if Lofton scores, yes it's three to three, but the snowball was coming downhill and the Indians were just going to get buried in that game. That's just the way I felt about it."
I can't possibly disagree more. We were somehow inevitably going to get buried? He doesn't offer any logic, just a feeling.
"Guys who are left-handed but are no good still get paid a bunch of money simply by breathing and standing upright."
This was a great line about why Sabathia is going to break the bank, and why the Tribe likely can't afford him.
"In the last couple of years, they've acted like they didn't need a left fielder... I want to go get a regular left fielder. I mentioned Jason Bay in my column... You're not going to get a guy like Carl Crawford -- they don't want to trade him. Often you get an impact player when you get a guy after a down year. I'd start with Cliff Lee and go from there."
Pluto assumes that Huntington is ripe to be had for a potential superstar, just because he had an off year. But more interesting is that Terry wants to get rid of Jhonny...
"Do you use Lee and Peralta together to try to get that big bat? I do. Look at Barfield; he's a career .300 hitter in the minors, and he hit .280 two years ago. He's a guy you can't give up on too early... You can really bail on guys who are good athletes too early, and it costs you. The upgrade defensively up the middle would be huge."
Pluto is under the assumption that Barfield is an excellent defender. He also loves to fall back on batting average to defend Barfield, though he does mention that it was troubling to see so few walks out of Josh this year.
Then, speaking of trade talk, there's this...
"A guy like Borowski, you can trade if he struggles. Sometimes another team will take him as a closer, and some would take him as a setup guy."
C'mon, Terry, there is not a team in baseball who would trade for a $4 million dollar setup man who can't handle low-leverage saves. Not one. If he fails with us, we eat $4 million.
"I've not heard from Paul Byrd since this thing broke... If I'm with the Indians, I'm probably not concerned about this... I would not be worried about it. I'd bring him back and see what happens. It's not like Paul Byrd is going to suddenly lose his fastball -- there's nothing to lose."
As many of his readers know, Pluto is a Christian who writes about faith often. He clearly is disappointed in this story, but in the end I think he's right in that we should expect Byrd to be the same pitcher next year. We'll have to take Byrd's word that he has not used HGH since 2005.