The Cleveland Indians went into the All Star break dropping the last two games before baseball’s vacation to the Oakland A’s.
The usual culprits were involved in the defeats, the bullpen, particularly the situational guys, failed in Saturday night’s loss along with a defensive miscue, and yesterday, it was another anemic offensive display, but at least it was to one of the American League’s best pitchers in Sonny Gray.
After reading some stuff about the Tribe over the weekend, most notably, Marla Ridenour’s interview with president Mark Shapiro in the Akron Beacon Journal, we realized that it is getting exhausting to be a baseball fan in northeast Ohio.
So, here is a list of things we are tired of regarding the Cleveland Indians:
1). Stop the constant moaning about market size. It is what it is. There is no salary cap in the sport, so the only people limiting what the ownership spends is the front office. We know the revenue stream isn’t as big in Cleveland as in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles, but figure out another way to get it done.
We get it, so stop bringing it up. In fact, we would prefer if the management embrace it, and cater to the toughness of the region.
Adopt an attitude of our payroll isn’t huge, but we are going to win anyway.
2). Stop operating out of fear. The Indians organization is afraid to make a mistake, mostly in the area of talent evaluation. It’s why Francisco Lindor didn’t get called up until the middle of June.
It’s why they don’t jettison Michael Bourn. It’s why Bradley Zimmer, a 22-year-old college player who was the Indians’ first round pick a year ago is still at Class A Lynchburg despite a .305 batting average and 889 OPS in a pitching friendly league.
With veterans, they are afraid of them finding success elsewhere. With young players, they fear trading them and having them turn out like Chris Archer.
You have a break a few eggs to make an omelet. The Tribe would rather go hungry.
3). Stop antagonizing the fans on social media. Sometimes, it’s like they are trying push fans away. After Lindor was finally recalled, they put out a tweet that if everyone who wanted the rookie in a Cleveland uniform bought a ticket, they would be sold out for the rest of the year.
Perhaps it would be better if they actually played better at Progressive Field. Their home record is among the worst in the sport.
4). Go for it when the opportunity arises. This isn’t to say the Tribe should deal Lindor or one of their young, controllable starters for a rental player or someone on the downside of their career. However, if you can deal from depth or move a mid range prospect for someone who can make an impact for a half-year or 1-1/2 years, then take a chance.
Like Detroit did last year for David Price. If the Indians would win the World Series, no one is going to care if the player moved turned into an all-star five years later. We would still have the trophy.
The front office seems to loathe even considering something like that. Heck, next year, you might be 20 games out half way through the season. Take a shot.
5). Stop believing that what went wrong last year will correct itself, and what went right will stay the same. The test for this going forward will be David Murphy and his option for 2016. Please, repeat, please do not pick up this option! Murphy is a decent major league player having his best season in the last five years. There is a very good chance that next year he will revert to hitting around .265.
There is no reason to pay him $7 million to do that.
Granted, the Scott Atchison deal wasn’t for a lot of cash this season, but we and many others could have told the front office he would not pitch as well in 2015 as he did in 2014.
Don’t their analytics people tell them the same thing?
As long time Tribe fans, we want to have fun following this baseball team, but over the past few years, it is tedious and exhausting.
We just want it to be enjoyable again.