Hazy Shade of Winter

The long winter months are upon us, and as blows the wind and the snow, so go the players in and out of town. The places remain, but the names change. Hopefully, the winds will bring new plants, strong and young, to blossom in the spring.

The Indians traded one of their surprises of the 2007 season, Franklin Gutierrez, whom they acquired in the Milton Bradley trade with the Dodgers several years ago. Franklin was a pleasant addition to the 07 edition of the Tribe, igniting the offense along with Asdrubal Cabrera to push the Indians to the brink of the World Series, only to fall to the eventual champions, the Boston Red Sox, in a classic seven-game series. Gutierrez demonstrated he belonged in the Majors with a fantastic season, hitting well while playing stellar defense. He proved his worth in the field, gunning out four runners, and having a respectable .790 OPS at the plate.

I will be sad to see him go. However, as many articles have pointed out, the Indians dealt him from a position of strength, with the outfield being currently roamed by Grady Sizemore, Shin Soo Choo and Ben Francisco, and the minor league system stocked with uber-prospects Matt LaPorta, Nick Weglarz and Trevor Crowe. The bullpen was a much more pressing need, and with the addition of Joe Smith from the Mets and Kerry Wood via free agency, the Tribe is now better suited to matching up with their opponents, most notably the Tigers, Red Sox and Yankees. Now, the only question that remains is how to reposition the infield, with Jhonny Peralta being groomed for third base (unless Andy Marte makes a miraculous turnaround), Asdrubal Cabrera moves over to short where he has better range and a better arm than Peralta, and Josh Barfield also returns to his Padres form.

Hopefully, this year will be a turning point for the young guns. As long as Cliff Lee keeps his Cy Young game, Fausto Carmona returns to his 2007 form, and a handful of the minor leaguers exceed their expectations earlier than predicted, then they should do pretty well this year. I would rather be the Indians than the White Sox or the Mariners, that's for sure.

Somehow, the song in the post title keeps playing in my head...

(with apologies to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel)

Time, time, time, see what's become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please
But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hear the salvation army band
Down by the riverside, it's bound to be a better ride
Than what youve got planned
Carry your cup in your hand
And look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That's an easy thing to say, but if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again
Look around, the grass is high
The fields are ripe, its the springtime of my life

Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me
At any convenient time
Funny how my memory slips while looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme
Drinking my vodka and lime

But look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Look around, leaves are brown
Theres a patch of snow on the ground...


Dave said...

I like the Bangles version of that song.

Dan said...

That is the one I hear in my head when I think about it.