Friday, February 16, 2007

What the Foulke??

Apparently Indians "closer" woke up this morning, looked at the uniform they wanted him to wear as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training, and saw a very bad word: Cleveland.

So he retired.

Sometime this morning on WTAM's Wills and Webster morning show, Mark Schwab will go in depth on why the hopeful to Bob Wickman's throne has thrown in the towel. Like there is an in-depth story. It's a simple as this -- Keith Foulke didn't want to pitch for a team that God hates.

And here come the inevitable headlines: Indians bullpen Foulked, Tribe Foulked, Stick a Foulke in Them, What the Foulke is in the Water Up There???

Just two days ago Plain Dealer Indians beat reporter Paul Hoynes presented the best-case scenario for the Tribe's closer job. That was that Foulke and Borowski trade off injuries, one always healthy to pick up a few saves, each getting close to 20 saves before it's all over.


Somewhere Bob Wickman is laughing so hard his belly is shaking like a jar full of jelly.

Foulke wasn't even in town when LeCharles Bentley went down with a probable career-ending knee injury on the first day of Browns training camp last year. But he already knows better. No way he's going to be struck down before practice even starts! No, siree, Keith Foulke will take matters into his own hands.

Now we know why the Indians signed all those relievers in the offseason. They wanted to make sure they still had one by the time the season started. Foulke's already gone, Borowski didn't pass a physical with the Philadelphia Phillies which allowed the Indians to jump on him, Roberto Hernandez was born a month and a half before the Browns secured Cleveland's last championship, Aaron Fultz has a career 4.37 ERA, and newly signed Cliff Pollitte missed most of last year due to injury.

This makes two times in three seasons a scrapheap addition was penciled into a prime position in the Tribe's lineup, then produced absolutely nothing. Remember Juan Gonzalez two years ago? The Indians signed him, put him in right field and the middle of the lineup, then watched him hurt his hamstrings the next-to-last day of spring training. Grady Sizemore had already been sent to AAA. Thankfully the Tribe was able to put Grady into that empty outfield spot as Juan Gone gave us just one at-bat in which he couldn't even run all the way to first base in 2005. Is there a Grady to take Keith Foulke's spot? Should the Indians even be wasting their time on guys like this? After all, they had to practically beg Foulke for a date to the prom this offseason anyway.

Even Keith Hernandez thinks Juan Gonzalez and Keith Foulke should give their money back.

Whatever the case, it's just another typical morning in Cleveland. Wake up and the sky is falling. And the season hasn't even started yet.

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