A selection of the commentry about Austin Kearns over the last year. We’ll miss you Austin.
4/7 Game Recap, The first comment: …Austin Kearns popped out to the catcher, trying to sacrifice him to third. This was a mistake by either Kearns for not coming through or by Manny Acta for trusting Kearns (*Edit: Postgame, Kearns said he was bunting on his own).
4/28 Game Recap, Less than a month in, already getting tired of Austin: Austin Kearns had another chance today for a couple innings and squandered it as well, bobbling the only ball that was hit to him on the ground and striking out in his only at bat. If he keeps up this play, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shelley Duncan (who hit another home run tonight) taking his starts away from him in left field when either Grady or Michael Brantley get a day off.
4/30 Game Recap, Now I mentioned it twice: I’ve been too hard on the Indians for striking out so much and Austin Kearns for failing at baseball, so I won’t mention here that every Indian except Michael Brantley and Orlando Cabrera struck out today and that Austin Kearns went 0-5.
5/8 Game Recap, See, I said something nice about him: Austin Kearns finally did something positive for the team, hitting an RBI single to give the early lead to the Indians. His defensive play was still lackluster, but at least he got a hit. Going into this game Kearns had less hits than anyone else who had played for the Tribe this year, including Travis Buck who has been in the minors for the last 17 games. He now has 7 hits on the season in 14 games played.
5/19 Game Recap, Speaking of backhanded compliments: Speaking of underachieving players, Austin Kearns had two hits today, including a double, and now has hits in 4 of his last 5 games. It’s not much, but it may signify a bit of a turnaround. Kearns will need to play a lot better if he wants to stay on the team when Grady Sizemore comes back from injury. Right now it looks like Travis Buck may be the one who remains in Cleveland unless Austin can show something for himself.
5/27 Game Recap, Out of context: …with Shelley Duncan in left and Austin Kearns in right, it looks like the outfield is made of molasses.
Indians Arguments: Batting Order, This is more complaining about management than Kearns himself: If Carl Crawford is roaming left field instead of Austin Kearns, we would have a more worthwhile discussion.
A Look Back: Tribe Hitting Through May, Part 2, A reasonable assessment sans jokes: Travis Buck is like a slightly better version of Austin Kearns. Both of them started on the roster this season, because Grady Sizemore was injured and remain on the roster now due to Travis Hafner’s injury. Somehow during this time Kearns has played in more games than Buck… While filling in for Hafner and Sizemore they have not really impressed, hitting .260 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI between the two of them in 23 games over the month of May. One of these two will obviously be sent down when Hafner returns in a couple weeks and it will likely be whoever is playing worse at that moment in time.
6/11 Game Recap, I don’t remember this, but apparently I wanted Kearns to pinch hit: Manny Acta obviously has no trust in either Austin Kearns or Travis Buck as neither have played in the last four games.
Make a Move, was my first real call to have Kearns removed from the roster. It’s too long to repost here, but I maintain that I was right about everything. Three of the players I mentioned, Jason Kipnis, Ezequiel Carrera and Jason Donald, are now on the team.
6/16 Game Recap, It only went down from this point:Austin Kearns has not played in 9 of the last 10 games and Chad Durbin has not played in the last 4. Coincidentally, over the last four games the Indians have won twice after losing 14 of the 18 games before that and my stress levels have dropped significantly. Now that these placeholders have been taken out of the starting lineup and removed from any game action, the next move is to either bring up some players who can actually help the team or sign one of the many players that have been released recently.
6/22 Game Recap, My most enjoyable bit of the year thus far: Site note: In an effort to reduce the amount of negativity produced by BurningRiverBaseball.com we will no longer be making any mention of Austin Kearns until he either gets his batting average above .250 or is removed from the roster. I believe we have said all there is to be said about this particular outfielder and will now await the Indians response to the situation.
7/4 Game Recap, Some people just can’t go along with a bit: Austin Kearns is lucky Joe Coblitz is not writing this game recap. Otherwise, those of you reading this might have got cheated on a fair analysis. The Indians took the lead over the Yankees in the seventh inning, 4-2, after Kearns’ three-run two-out home run. It was Kearns’ first home run since August 22, 2010, when he was playing for the Yankees. Kearns entered the game batting .196 with no homers and two RBI in 102 at-bats.
7/10 Game Recap, The end of censorship: Austin Kearns is being removed from my black list, because he has a positive ‘POG’ score in his last 7 games and because I’m ending all running bits before the All-Star break.
That pretty much leads to today, where we have a team without Austin Kearns. Hopefully, Terry Pluto will write a book about this team a decade from now and we will finally find out why Austin Kearns was on the team to this point. If he does write it, I’d love to know about Jose Hernandez as well.