Will The Indies Plus Steve Equal Sink or Swin In The Playoffs? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Winfield   
Thursday, 31 March 2011 11:32

Will The Indies Plus Steve Equal Sink Or Swim In The Playoffs? by Ryan Winfield 3/31/2011

Last September, when Steve Everett announced his decision to sign with the Industrials, you could hear a collective groan come from the rest of the league.  The signing sent a clear message from the team that coming up short four years in a row simply wasn’t acceptable.  As I’ve noted in a previous article, though some in the league look at the Indies as the “Yankees” or the “Evil Empire” of the KWL, I see them as the Atlanta Braves, a team so dominant in the regular season only to implode every postseason, with only one title to show for it.  Evil Empire? This team reminds me more of Empire Buffet. Sure, it tastes good going down, but you know it’s going to end up in the toilet way too early.

So that leaves the obvious question: Can this go-for-broke roster move actually make a difference? One of the easiest ways to determine the difference Everett could make would be to plug in his comparable stats to the man he replaced on the Indies, the recently retired Don Kern.  Kern averaged an RBI every 7.7 at bats, while Steve averaged an RBI every 2.8 at bats. This is obviously a huge upgrade in the run producing department, and a valuable asset to protect Brian Meyers in the lineup, who averaged an RBI every 2.7 AB’s himself.  Don was second overall to Pat Burnell in team on-base percentage at .438, however Steve put up a staggering .561 clip in the same category. Since Everett is an on-base machine, the Indies may be better served to let Meyers protect Steve in the lineup instead of the other way around.

As we have already covered, the regular season hasn’t been the problem for the Industrials. It’s the playoffs, where no one has the authority to manipulate the schedule in their favor, which is the bane of the Indies’ existence.  Luckily, this is where Everett gets more clutch than a 16 year old learning to drive a stick shift. Last postseason, Steve hit 6 home runs, or one more than the entire Indies team! He averaged an RBI every 1.7 AB’s, and with 13 walks, he put up a .571 OBP. Although Don only played in one game due to prior engagements, he did have 3 hits, including a double, in 7 at bats. Add in the exceptional left field defense of Everett, which will help the entire Industrial pitching staff, and you get a championship level player on the field.

It is on the pitching bump, however, where Steve will be called upon to make the greatest difference, especially in the postseason. Steve will be replacing young Zac Adams in the rotation, a move that ruffled more than a few feathers. Ironically, both Meyers and Everett were batted around in the 2010 playoffs, going a combined 2-3 with a 5.53 ERA for their teams. Although Everett had a down season in general last year, going 5-4 with a 3.00 ERA, Meyers has been emphatic in stating that he can get Steve back to his 2009 form, where he posted a 2.26 ERA while averaging nearly 2 strikeouts per inning.

Unfortunately for the Indies, Steve is NOT a registered psychiatrist, as the mental game has always been where the team has needed the biggest upgrade. I’ve only been around for one season, but from all accounts the team implosion that I witnessed towards the end of the season and into the playoffs is an annual affair. Death, taxes, and an Industrials meltdown, am I right? Whether it was on-field arguments regarding the regarding the management of the pitching staff, or Meyers making up rules on the fly concerning base running rules against the Chuckers, the writing was already on

the wall well before the last playoff game that this wasn’t to be the Indies’ year.

Zac Adams was reportedly so disgruntled with the Everett signing; he took a trip to a special mountain in the offseason just to reevaluate his place in this league. Sources say the team is already split down the middle regarding the displacement of Adams, who posted a very respectable 2.69 ERA in his rookie season. Adams went so far as to file for free agency before Meyers evoked another super secret unwritten rule, essentially banning Zac from accepting Scared Hitless’ offer for the number two job on their pitching staff. Can Adams and Everett coexist?

As the Magic 8 Ball would say – “Outlook not so good.”  Sure, Steve brings a big, clutch bat to the lineup, white glove caliber defense, and, if you believe Meyers, a newly revamped arm slot that makes him nearly unhittable. But let’s not forget, the newly defunct Monday Night 40’s had an offense for the ages last season and I don’t see any trophies on their mantle. And if Meyers’ bluster about Everett and his new pitching mechanics are nothing more than his usual hot air, is there really an upgrade over Adams? The numbers say no. And let’s not forget, when it comes to the “head case” department, this team would make Milton Bradley and Carlos Zambrano look normal by comparison.  The Industrials have another long offseason ahead of them, as they will again be eliminated by the champion Friars…if they even get that far.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 April 2011 10:36
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