October 23, 2013

The Tribe Whisperer

 Carlos Baerga, 1993 Topps Magazine

Here is a Carlos Baerga baseball card. He's right there, in the middle. Touch his butt, he doesn't care. It doesn't come across well in the scan here, but his name and position at the bottom are in braille. Just in case you couldn't see.

Perhaps you'd like to know more? Let's open up this Topps Magazine card and see what's inside ...

Mention of the Cleveland Indians no longer invokes laughter.


Seriously though.

Even last year's whispers that the Tribe might be awakening from its long cellar-dwelling slumber have now turned into out loud predictions that this team is ready to contend in the American League East in 1993.

I have an idea for a cool comic strip. Here it is:

Panel one: Entire 1984 Cleveland Indians roster is sleeping in someone's (their mother's) basement.

Panel two: Cleveland Indians fans - you know, the guy who does the drum and all his friends - are at the upstairs kitchen table. They are not talking because they are sad.

Panel three: The guy on the drums whispers to another guy, "Pssst. Maybe we'll be decent this year?"

Panel four: Other guy is like, "LOL."

Panel five: Passage of time, seasons change, calendars flip.

Panel six: Basement door opens, everybody at the kitchen table looks toward door.

Panel seven: It's Carlos Bearga. He says, "Who made pancakes? I am hungry. For success."

Panel eight: The guy on the drums yells, "I THINK WE CAN CONTEND THIS YEAR MAYBE."

If anyone can draw this I will seriously give them a million dollars. I mean, obviously I won't, but that would still be cool, I think.

Baerga's a powerful switch-hitter, cranking out a career-high 20 homers and 105 RBIs last season, and a talented second sacker.

Panel nine: Bearga says, "I am your talented second sacker."

Panel ten: Everybody is like, "Wtf who says that? Get back downstairs please, you are weird."

True, his 19 errors were second in the league to Steve Sax's 20, but that number should drop as the Indians young infield matures.

We know that errors are a poor judge of overall defense, but this card obviously did not have advanced defensive metrics in mind. Therefore, let's recap:

Carlos Baerga is a talented second sacker.
Oops, actually he is the second worst second sacker in the league.
Maybe he will get better when the guys around him grow pubes because his errors are not his fault.

This has been another fantastic issue of Topps Magazine. Keep a lookout for next month's issue, which includes a feature on talented non sacker, Tony Gwynn! He'll get thinner as he matures, is the thesis.

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