Victor, You are Better Than This
Okay, I have to say this, and hopefully I will only have to say it once, Victor Martinez is a great hitter and can call a pretty good game behind the plate, but he has a lot of work to be done as a human being. I mean come on now, do you really thin J P Howell, all 6-foot 180 pounds of him was really going to try and take you head off with an 86 mph breaking ball? The whining and the crying after that episode, and the next inning bickering behind the plate just puts further focus on the fact that Cleveland Indians Manager Eric Wedge might have bigger problems than his pitching staff. I know there is mixed feeling out there on his performance and the teams effort, but if you got a guy, who is suppose to be your leader screaming profanities at another teams manager and he is not even thrown out of the game, that is resulting to a bully mentality.
And I like him as a hitter. Well, who would not want a guy who is flirting daily with a .400 average. But the whining the the boorish treatment of the umpire crew in this series is horrendous for a guy who think he deserves to be an All-Star. I hope he can wise up in time before his manager might be shown the door and someone else comes in here and cleans house of the negativity that seems to persist behind the Cleveland plate. I can see the need to push a guy off the plate when he is nibbling with the chalk lines, but to throw behind him and then graze his uniform with a inside pitch above the belt to show your pitcher can do it is beyond control. But your boorish behavior to begin to insult and throw profanity at an opposing manager when he is stating the obvious intent to intimidate is insulting.
I though you had more class than to try and raise your team’s game by getting into a scuffle with the one team that will not back down to you or anyone. Did you forget who you were playing………..Seriously here, did you forget this team were not phased by the New York Yankees in the spring of 2008, or by the Boston Red Sox during the season. The fact that you were smirking behind your mask after the tussles was amazing. I really would have loved to see Carl Crawford get to you without him being pulled by the umpire to the side. First off, you were throwing at CC’s buddy, and he likes to defend his friends. Secondly, you had the nerve to throw insults at Rays Manager Joe Maddon. I hope you get a suspension from it all, but in all fairness, it will probably be us who get hit with a few fines and suspensions.
But for you to even consider trying to show up this band of brothers is an insult to your game right now. I am not shy to defend my guys, but that set of events was a farce from the get go. So what if Upton stole third base when you had a 9-0 lead. The Rays were trying to come back. Sorry but that is the game Victor, to win, not to lay down and wait for the next game to begin. But then you might have forgot that in 2008 when you went home in October instead of to the playoffs. You got a good look at the type of bond this Rays team had yesterday afternoon. You got to see what it takes to again rise to the top. Your team might have that deep inside them, but they have to bring it to the surface or you are, at best, only the second best team in your own division.
You lost a huge amount of my respect yesterday and Saturday night, but I know you can care less what I think. But the fans in Cleveland also saw your brooding and behavior and hopefully they will respond and want you to step up your game as a leader in your clubhouse. I always wanted to draft you on my Fantasy teams every season, and I have had you every year up to 2009. For some reason I had a gut feeling you were not the same guy. I am wrong in the hitting department, you still got loads of game, but as a leader and a positive influence for your team……….you have a void spot in your soul right now.
I do have to say this in your defense. That might be your type of leadership style, what we saw in the Trop. during that 4-game series. If it is, you might want to refine your objectives to more positive results and not play on emotional outbursts and events to change your team’s personality. It is dangerous to play a lethal game where you test another team’s stamina and heart. But it is even worse when that team comes at you full bore and not only answers the call, but puts you back on your heels. I know you could not hear me calling for you from the stands, but I wanted a piece of you myself. Not to fight or even sit there and exchange insults, but to try and lend you some word of advice to bring your team back together and not lower yourself to such childish maneuvers. You are a professional athlete, and a key member of your team. Not only do the Indians players look to your actions, tons of kids in the Cleveland area want to be like you.
I hope they want to be like the 2008 Victor Martinez, or the post-Rays series Victor Martinez. You have the ability to change the flow of your teams decent into the cellar of the American League Central division. The frustration you put out on the forefront this weekend needs to be addressed in your own locker room before you try and take on people like that. You do not have the muscle right now behind you to pull off the series win, but it is within your team to begin to bring that out and become the squad you envisioned on February 15th. But first and foremost, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself because Cleveland needs you to be a success this season.
And Victor, do not let your Manager be the guy to take the fall for all of the teams faults. Come on, if you step up and be the leader you say you are, then they will follow and the team will see a gradual drive to the positive. How embarrassing is it to be an Indians fan when your biggest superstar in the city is seen flashing a New York Yankees cap during a baseball game, and it was not even at Progressive/The Jake. You need to make some one like Le Bron James want to sport that tribe gear. And to start, you need to make it a joy for fans and players’ to throw on that gear again with the Cleveland logos.