Dolan = Wet Blanket

Sports fans around northeast Ohio spend much of the football season complaining how they need to hear from Browns’ owner Randy Lerner.

Usually, it’s the cry of he doesn’t care if his football team wins or loses, and we, as fans, need to know he has the same passion we do.

Maybe Lerner has the best idea.  Say nothing unless you are prodded, and even then, say little.

After hearing Indians’ owner Paul Dolan make the media rounds over the last couple of weeks, Lerner’s silence would be welcome.  And it would certainly make Tribe PR guru Bob DiBiasio’s job much easier.

The beginning of spring training is an anticipated event for a baseball fan.  We should be excited about which phenom is going to take Goodyear by storm, how hard Ubaldo Jimenez is throwing, and how Jason Kipnis reminds everyone of Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia. 

Instead, Dolan threw a wet blanket on that excitement.  And he wonders why people do not storm the ticket gate at Progressive Field to see the 2012 edition of the Indians.

As usual, Dolan’s message was filled with “can’t” and “won’t”.  The Tribe can’t spend with the bigger market teams, they won’t pay a single player more than $20 million per year. 

This year, he even added that Progressive Field isn’t big enough to allow his franchise to compete.  Really?  That beautiful ballpark is not even 20 years old, but perhaps the owner is bucking for a new bigger place to play?

Judging by the reaction of the fans who listen to sports talk radio, the owner’s words angered the fan base.  A fan base that is tired of waiting. 

In case Mr. Dolan doesn’t realize it, the Cleveland Indians haven’t won a World Series in 63 years!

Dolan talked about how the front office has worked hard to make sure the Indians have fielded competitive teams recently, unlike the Pirates and Orioles.  However, he should define what he means by competitive because in the last ten seasons, the Tribe has been over the .500 mark exactly twice (2005 and 2007).

He also complained at how the Indians have never been as bad as a team like Tampa Bay, so they didn’t accumulate a bunch of draft picks in the top five. 

We are not idiots.  That might be a good argument for an NBA team, but there are plenty of superstars in the major leagues who weren’t picked in the top five choice in the MLB draft. 

Remember Manny Ramirez?  13th pick overall.  Jim Thome was drafted in the 13th round! 

What should have Dolan said?

He should be positive, for one.  Talk about how his organization is obsessed with winning, and that they will do everything in their power to bring a title to this city. 

He could talk about how he will review the performance of his front office, and continued seasons of non-winning baseball will not be tolerated. 

He could talk about the good, young players on the roster right now, and that the Indians will do everything they can to make sure SS Asdrubal Cabrera and OF Shin-Soo Choo will continue in a Cleveland uniform for the foreseeable future.

Stop talking about finances!  No one cares. 

Obviously, the Dolans can own a major league baseball team, they bought one.  However, it appears they cannot run a major league baseball team.  And it seems like the local media doesn’t put a lot of pressure on them.

The most vociferous voices critical of recent Dolan platitudes are two guys who recently came to Cleveland and now work on 92.3 The Fan, Kevin Kiley and Adam the Bull.  Both have been stern in their comments that the message sent by the Tribe ownership is not acceptable.

It’s time for the Dolan family to stop producing excuses and start winning games. 

They’ve already brought a championship when it comes to telling the fans why it can’t/won’t happen.

MW

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