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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cleveland Indians - No Trades, Size Matters

Well, the writing's on the wall and it ain't pretty. While the Cleveland Indians have managed (through great pitching and timely hits) to stay in first place, people still don't seem to believe. And by "People" I mean Team Management. I don't think THEY believe in this team and with what's happened over the past week, I'm willing to bet they don't make ANY moves before the trade deadline.

The injury to Grady Sizemore that has him on the 15-day DL - AGAIN - For the THIRD time - was the final straw. They were this close (holding my thumb and forefinger really close together) to being a serious World Series contender.
All they needed was another bat. The pitching is straightening itself out with a little help from the minors - see David Huff. We've got arguably the best Bullpen and Closer going right now, so if Justin (Just Nasty-son) Masterson and Josh Tomlin could get a little help on the starting side, our pitching is looking pretty good. The problem, as we all know, has been hitting.

The Indians are not good enough to live by the "long ball." They played smart baseball at the beginning of the year, getting hits and bunting and sac flies; doing the little things as directed by Manny Acta to get runs on the board. But as the season has gone on, pitchers are lucky to get 2 runs out of the offense and that lack of run support has hurt.

Shapiro and Antonetti have been clear that the Tribe is working it's "Rebuilding Plan" and that being in first place this year has been a surprise. They are at least a year ahead of schedule. They are not willing to sacrifice prospects just to add a rent-a-bat. But pressure from fans was changing their minds. I could feel them sway to the side of "well, maybe we better take another look at do something."

As Cleveland Fans, we all know that there's no guarantees for "Next Year." We've learned to appreciate the moment and take what we've got and run with it. We need to run with this team, not tell them they are playing above their heads and that they really aren't any good. These guys are exactly where their talent has taken them. And if Asdrubal's web gems every day aren't enough, we've got a guy on pace to win 20 games (Tomlin) and another guy going for 40 saves (Perez). Hello? That is awesome and we should be celebrating it.Indians management should be getting these guys the help the need to cross the last hurdle. Instead, they have been dragging their feet. And now Grady is hurt. I truly believe that this is the end of trade talks. Other teams are going to be tough to negotiate with and Management is going to use that as the excuse for not getting a deal done.

The reality is much simpler: they don't believe in this team. They won't give up Pomeranz, Kipnis, White, Hagadone.... for a bat because they don't believe. If they truly believed in this team, they would give up one prospect for a World Series shot. We all would. But Size matters. And this injury to Grady Sizemore has tipped the scales away from "Hope" and back to "Rebuilding." I just wish Management believed in this team as much as the fans do. Even if we don't go to the games, we still believe.

Respectfully Submitted,


1 comment:

  1. Ray from BrunswickJuly 19, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Imagine it's 1994 except the season doesn't end in August due to the strike. The little Indians were making a serious run at the 1st Place KC Royals and a case could be made that they might have caught and passed them. Who might they have traded to get that starter, or closer that the FANS thought they needed? Thome? Vizquel? What would 1995, 1995, 1997,1998 looked like then? You might be right, K8, but I don't think you are. I say let the GM steer the course and stay the course. It is curious that most MLB teams don't invite fans to closed door meetings.

    And the reason that fans are not flocking to the ballpark has a lot to do with Cleveland media. I turned on 1100 and 850 this weekend to try to get some Indians talk. Unless the game was on, all the talk is about the Browns. This is just not a baseball city right now. It's a shame.