Last night I was sitting at the bar of a local restaurant, waiting to pick up the gf and hang out with her. I wasn’t paying attention to the TV set and was instead fiddling around with my cell phone. I had no idea what was on that TV, and I never had to look up, because a guy on the other side of the bar made his feelings known;
“Jesus Christ, they traded another one! I feel like it’s the fucking 80s again!”
I never looked up. I just knew. The Indians had traded the defending Cy Young Winner, Cliff Lee.
If you’re old like I am, then you know exactly what that guy meant when he shouted his displeasure across the room. Back in the 1980s, the Indians were well known as the official farm system of the Toronto Blue Jays. We traded away more talent every year (usually to the Blue Jays) and we got what is commonly known as “prospects” for our big-name athletes.
The 1980s got to be such a joke, that we used to go to Cleveland Municipal Stadium just for laughs….and we always got seats really close to the action because the place was empty. One day, my brother and I went up to the game just to see if Julio Franco, Willie Upshaw, Joe Carter and Ron Kittle would finally be placed in the lineup in the right order. That day, they finally were. The scoreboard showed the lineup as such
I’ll allow you a minute to look over that lineup carefully to see what we were looking for…..
See? It was funny, wasn’t it? True story.
To the best of my recollection, only one of those trades ever truly brought us a pack of prospects that would eventually work out for us, that trade being when we sent Joe Carter to Toronto and got Carlos Baerga and Sandy Alomar Jr in return. However, Carter got his World Series ring. But Sandy and Carlos did give our team a big turnaround.
The Indians have done it again with this recent bevy of trades concocted by Mark Shapiro and Larry Dolan. Dolan’s refusal to spend money, combined with Shapiro’s wholesale sweep of the clubhouse for guys who have the letters A, AA, and Triple-A in front of their positions have put us in another long-term down period.
Ryan Garko is gone. So is Mark DeRosa. Betancourt is no longer is session. Now Cliff Lee is gone. And that’s just this year. C.C. Sabathia was in uniform here one year ago.
To top it off, Victor Martinez is being shopped around.
Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that we lost a series to Seattle because Ben Francisco and Russell Branyan beat the crap out of us?
Enough is enough.
Dan Gilbert, if you’re reading this, please heed this call. Save this team and purchase it now. You’re a genius with our Cavaliers. Please buy the Cleveland Indians and turn them around. We’ll name the whole damn sports complex after you. We hated the named “Progressive Field” anyway (or as WFNY likes to call it, “Regressive Field”). Gilbert-ville is the first thing that comes to mind, but we can work on that.
Which reminds me….if Dolan claims to have no money to spend on guys like CC, then what happened to the money that Progressive spent on naming rights? Whatever.
Ready for a wake-up call? This team is in the dumper and trading away it’s starting lineup….and two years ago, we were one win away from the World Series. That’s how fast Dolan and Shapiro have killed this team.
The city of Cleveland has a long history of watching its’ baseball team get sent into the crapper by poor management and greedy ownership. The time has come to stop going to Indians games and take a stand. Wedge must go, Shapiro must go. Dolan must sell thsi team to an owner that doesn’t see it as merely an investment, but also as a source of pride.
Because that’s what the Indians mean to us…they are a source of pride for us.
Well, at least they used to be.