The more and more the front office of the Cleveland Indians talk about the July 31st trading deadline, the more and more it appears they are setting up their fan base for inactivity.
Team president Mark Shapiro tweeted yesterday about how difficult the trade market is in 2012 with the inclusion of an extra wild card in this year’s playoffs.
The other night they informed us that 11 teams in the American League were over .500 for the first time in league history, showing us how many teams feel they are still in contention.
It seems the mantra of the front office is “when in doubt, make excuses, and oh, throw in that we are losing money too”.
If the Tribe wants to see attendance figures decline even more, then it would be a good idea not to improve the roster before the end of the month.
This team is currently just four games out of first place, and just a half game out of the second wild card spot.
It’s pretty clear they cannot reach the playoffs with the roster currently in place, no matter how optimistically the powers that be look at it.
However, this is the same front office that needed a right-handed power bat after the end of last season, and did nothing to address that problem.
In fact, 90 games into the 2012 season, that is still a need for the Indians.
The rumors are out there already that the White Sox and Tigers are trying to add to their teams before the deadline. As for the Tribe…nothing.
They did have a chance to add Kevin Youkilis a few weeks ago, and many fans and media people talked about how it was a bad idea. We said if the cost wasn’t particularly high (it wasn’t), he would at least be an upgrade over the Jack Hannahans, Shelley Duncans, and Johnny Damons on the roster, and there is no harm in getting him.
He’s reborn with the White Sox, which is a knife to the back of the Indians.
Heck, the Tribe doesn’t even try to help its roster by getting players from Columbus.
(Note to Indian lackeys: Don’t sell Russ Canzler as nothing more than a “AAAA” player. He’s had three big league at bats, he’s done nothing to show he can’t hit in the majors).
It boggles the mind that the front office doesn’t tinker with the current roster. Why do they seem to have so much loyalty to guys like Duncan, Damon, and Casey Kotchman?
It seems like they are afraid to cut them loose and/or bench them for not hitting.
Are they trying to be nice? If so, the handling of the Nick Hagadone situation contradicts that theory.
Look, it would not be in the Tribe’s best interest to deal the best prospects in an already thin farm system, but there will be players who could be available a lower cost who can help this team.
Getting players who are even marginally better than the non-producing players helps the Indians.
Why the front office can’t see this, who knows?
Instead, they seem to be grasping at straws, taking a good two-week stretch by one of the struggling players as proof they can do the job. However, 20 good at bats followed by 40 poor at bats doesn’t make you a good hitter.
If GM Chris Antonetti does nothing in the next two weeks, look for more disgust and disdain from the Indians’ fan base. It will be just another example of trying to do everything needed to put a winning team on the field.