Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cleveland Indians Prove Their Pathetic Ways

In the Double-A Eastern League playoffs, the Orioles affiliate Bowie Baysox are facing off against the Cleveland Indians affiliate Akron Aeros in the first round. Tied 1-1 in a best of five series, Game 3 was played in Akron. David Hernandez was in trouble early, down 2-0 in the bottom of the 2nd with the bases loaded a two outs. The next batter hits a grand slam to right-center. This Aero? Travis Hafner.

Yes, that Travis Hafner. The one who landed on the DL back in May with a shoulder injury. The one considered one of the best power hitting first basemen in the American League.

He was on a rehab assignment in Akron, and this was his first game with them.

Forget the fact this is legal. The Indians are in third place, 10.5 games out of first, they have no prayer of getting to the playoffs. Many players in both Bowie and Akron have been there most of the time, let them fight for their playoffs! Don't cheapen them by putting a guy like Hafner there, who kills major league players, when you don't have a shot at the wild card.

You don't see the Orioles rehabbing anyone there right now. And they have people that could. Chris Ray is still recovering from his Tommy John surgery and recently pitched for both Frederick and Aberdeen. George Sherill is close to coming off the DL, he could be down there. The Baysox are known for their bullpen trouble, Ray and Sherill could've helped. Maybe Adam Jones could have taken a little longer to recover and played in Bowie. But the Orioles didn't. The only roster change they made was to bring up Brandon Erbe, but that is much different, you are bringing up a player who was only pitched against the Single-A league. Maybe it wasn't intentional, but the Orioles didn't cheapen Bowie's playoff run by putting professionals there, they allowed the Baysox to play on their own.

The Indians cheapened the Aeros possible playoff run by putting Hafner there. At least let your Double-A team play, keep their spirits up for the future. By looking at the Indians, they may need it. Shame on the Cleveland Indians for this move, it may be legal, but it is classless and cheapens what could have been an interesting series with baseball pride on the line. They don't need Hafner to rehab there, less than a month of the MLB season is left, and the Indians won't play in its postseason. If you want to rehab Hafner, play him in the fall or on the Indians.

Game 4 for the Baysox is tomorrow, and they are down 2-1 to Akron. Let's hope they pull it off, and let's hope Hafner doesn't get more "rehab" time.

(Photo credit: ESPN)

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