Now that the 2015 season has ended, the change at the top is official for the Cleveland Indians.
Team president Mark Shapiro is gone, and there will be a new top baseball man at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
Rumors have circulated that GM Chris Antonetti may be elevated to President of Baseball Operations, with current assistant GM Mike Chernoff being moved up into Antonetti’s old spot.
We hope this signals more changes in the wigwam, as Antonetti will be free to implement has own vision of a baseball team, which may or may not be the same as the man who went north to Toronto.
We would like to see a change in attitude within the organization, one that could get the city excited about the Tribe once again.
Shapiro talked a lot, even in his appearance in the broadcast booths on Sunday, about the market inequities within the game of baseball, and making sure everyone knew the Indians didn’t have the same revenues as big market teams.
Why not change the culture from that “woe is us” message?
Instead, embrace the small market challenge. Adopt an attitude of not caring if we can’t afford a huge payroll, we are going to beat the big boys anyway.
The Tribe in recent years seem to want to be everyone’s favorite little brother, not wanting to challenge other teams, the umpires, or players who seem to beat them time and time again (see Cabrera, Miguel).
This attitude should permeate from the front office, to the manager and coaches, right down to the players.
Danny Salazar shouldn’t be scolded by Terry Francona for being upset that the plate umpire squeezed him against Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, instead, why not go out there and tell the man in blue that this was a post-season race and he missed a call badly.
Do you know who holds the major league record for ejections in a managerial career? Atlanta’s Bobby Cox who was constantly battling for his players.
This isn’t to say Francona doesn’t. He is a great player’s manager, and the 2015 Tribe fought to the bitter end for him.
Other things we’d like to see…
**How about trying Jose Ramirez in CF? Abraham Almonte looks like a 4th outfielder, and he could be a solid one, but Ramirez has the look of a guy who can play everyday, and is blocked by Jason Kipnis at 2B.
The switch-hitter just turned 23, puts his bat on the ball, and has the speed needed to play in the middle of the diamond. Putting him there would eliminate one hole for Antonetti this winter.
**It is doubtful that the Indians will be able to trade for a middle of the order bat, but what about Michael Brantley there? Brantley is a professional hitter, and if healthy next year, should hit for more power.
If Ramirez plays everyday, a top of the order including Francisco Lindor, Ramirez, and Jason Kipnis will provide plenty of men on base for Brantley, very good with men in scoring position, to drive home and be the first Indians since Victor Martinez in 2007 to have 100 RBIs.
Jason Kipnis put the pressure on the front office after Sunday’s game by saying the pieces to win are in place. Now, it’s up to the remodeled front office to be aggressive and finish the job.
With the pitching in this organization, there is no reason not to win in 2016.