A little over a week ago, the Cleveland Indians sent an email to various fans asking for input on a new seating plan. They are studying taking out several rows of seating in the lower bowl between first base and third base and replacing them with tables to create a patio type area.
They were just feeling people out on doing something like this, nothing has been decided as far as we know.
Last year, there were rumors the Indians were looking at putting a hotel beyond the right field stands removing a portion of the upper deck.
This is exactly the kind of thinking that typifies the organization in recent years. That is a defeatist attitude.
They seem to be searching for various ways to draw people to Progressive Field, kind of reminiscent of the Cavaliers organization after the Brad Daugherty-Mark Price-Larry Nance teams.
At that time, the Cavs changed uniforms several times, even going to the popular color at the time, a black jersey. They brought in a supposed superstar in Shawn Kemp. They tried all sorts of marketing gimmicks.
It didn’t work, because the only gimmick that draws fans to games in Cleveland, Ohio isn’t a gimmick at all. It’s called winning!
Instead of taking out seats, the Tribe front office should be looking at accumulating talent so they can win and draw fans to a beautiful ballpark that doesn’t need a facelift. They are taking the easy way out instead of listening to the true baseball fans on the North Coast.
Here’s hoping new manager Terry Francona slaps some sense into the people running the Indians.
Recently, Indians’ president Mark Shapiro was interviewed by Fox Sports Ohio’s Patrick McManamon, where he talked about the number of wins the teams’ research shows a free agent worth $9 million will bring. The numbers show one victory is gained, which supports the decision the Indians have made not to sign free agents.
Obviously, it’s not as simple as that, and you need to look no further than Alex Rodriguez to see what spending huge amounts of money on aging players can do for you. For the Yankees, it’s a bothersome contract, for a team like the Indians, it would be suicide.
Still, the question that comes from here is all of this statistical analysis is nice, but what if it is wrong? And here’s a stat for Shapiro…nine losing seasons in 11 years. Your model is not working.
After this season’s disaster, it was thought that perhaps the Indians’ front office gained some humility, but maybe getting a skipper that has won two World Series to take the job in Cleveland has empowered the Tribe.
They’ve talked about how they have spent more days in first place than any other team in the Central Division the last two years like that’s an important statistic. Instead, it just brings more ridicule for bringing up something so inane.
The reason the Indians are losing season ticket holders is the hardcore baseball fans in this city no longer have confidence in the front office and ownership.
That’s what Dolan, Shapiro, and Antonetti need to repair, not come up with plans that have little to do with baseball. Those things are nice, but without the fanatics, attendance is going to continue to decrease.
That should be the basis for any surveys. Just one question: If we can build a team that can make a sustained playoff push (three or four straight years), will you buy tickets?
The answer would be a resounding YES!