How's the phrase go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
It's one thing to be a fan of a team that is trying, whose front office cares but just makes stupid calls.But Antonetti has said repeatedly that the Indians are going to just have to win with the players they have. He didn't lie. Look at the acquisitions: a subpar 3B and an A-ball 1B/OF.
It's clear that the front office has NO interest in pleasing the fans who support this team game after agonizing game.
We're all fools for supporting a company that clearly and blatantly thumbs its nose at us.
I'm not big on boycotts, but why would any of us pay a nickel to watch this mess?
Shame on us fans.
Maybe bandwagon fandom is the way to go. The Pirates are good? Oh yeah, that's my team.The Nats? Go Washington.
You can look at the players and see the frustration, not because they're losing but because their ownership couldn't care less.
Front office, this is directed at you: You have let us all down without regard. You take our ticket money and don't even try to make ago of 2012. I will not go to another game or even watch you on TV -- or listen to you on the radio -- until you get it in your selfish, tightwad brain that the biggest problem with this franchise is YOU!
After a couple years of Shapiro , around 2002-2003 I realized there was something wrong going on .offseason after offseason ,which I feel is very important to what shakes out during the coming season, they failed to make the necessary pickups , questionable talent evaluations and putting spins on various op's of the club. It's a shame that dedicated fans have to be treated to what's been going on with this team, but with no front office or ownership changes I don't see much changing in how they conduct business .
I haven't read the message you're responding to, but I just wanted to say something about your comment. I completely understand your frustration with the lack of offseason moves. This past offseason, in my mind, goes down as one of the biggest failures of an offseason that I can remember. Simply no excuse to not add to a young, promising core of talent that had a very good chance to compete in this division. That is 100% on the FO and ownership.
But going back to 2002, 2003, etc. It was a completely different story. The club that Shapiro inherited from John Hart was going in an absolutely terrible direction. The major league roster was full of over-paid players who weren't going to win a championship anytime soon (think Hafner times about 5 or 6 players) and the minor league system was essentially non-existent so there was no hope of any young players coming up to help anytime soon. During that period, it did not make any sense to add veteran players in the offseason. Shapiro pulled off some of the best trades in Cleveland history during those years (Colon for Lee/Sizemore/Phillips, Diaz/Dreese for Hafner, etc.) in order to bring some young talent that would be around for a long time back into the system. By limiting spending from 2002-2004, Shapiro enabled the team to see what it had in its' young players (Martinez, Peralta, Westbrook, Sizemore, Hafner, Sabathia, Carmona, etc.) and was able to save the money needed to lock up the players that they identified as their "core" starting around 2005. Now, I'm not saying all of these moves were right or wrong, or anything in between, just saying that the course that they followed was a smart course, and since then teams like the Rays have followed our model and have been very successful with it.
100% agree that the follow up spending on this rebuild has not been there, nowhere close to what it should have been, and that's on ownership and the FO. I do believe that every effort was made to put a winner on the field once the FO saw we were competitive in 2005. From 05 to 09, payroll went from 41 million (26th in baseball) to 81 million (15th in baseball). We can't pretend that a 40 million dollar increase is any small amount, and putting a small market team into the middle of the pack payroll-wise was a huge financial risk on the part of ownership. As much as I hate what the FO and ownership has done this past year, we have to give credit where credit is due. They doubled their payroll over a 4 year span despite the fact that our attendance was never better than 21st in the league over that time frame.
I am much more critical of what they have done with Antonetti at the helm than I ever was of Shapiro as GM. When Shapiro was GM, poor decisions were made without a doubt, but he did take some risks and he did make several attempts to put a winner on the field.
Yes, everyone wants to see a contender every year....but the harsh reality of the unbalanced system of MLB is that's simply not a possibility for most teams. The big market teams...the Yankees, the Red Sox, The Angels, etc. They are capable of contending every year because they can spend basically at will. Teams like the Rays, Indians, Pirates, A's, etc. simply do not operate in the same market at those clubs. That's not an excuse, it's simply the reality of the situation. The A's have a good team this year, but they haven't been good in a while. The Pirates have been awful for years. The Rays had a string of a bunch of years in a row where they were so bad that they were constantly picking in the top 5 in the draft, and that's where a lot of their current talent has come from. They too, will have to rebuild at some point as well. But the biggest difference between a team like the Rays who have been very competitive the last ~5 years and a team like the Indians who have had 2 good seasons out of the last decade or so is that the Rays have drafted exceptionally well, whereas the Indians have only recently drafted well.
And comparing Cleveland in 2012 to Cleveland in the 90's is truly like comparing two completely different cities. If you don't believe it's drastically changed, you haven't been downtown lately. It's not the same place. In the 90's, the Indians were THE only game in town, the stadium was brand new (notice that the Twins still draw huge crowds to Target field despite being a horrible club), and the economy of the city and surrounding suburbs was much better than what it is now. Again, this is not an excuse for poor management or ownership, it's simply reality.
Every single year...no but, it is not unrealistic that the Indians could contend 8 out of 10 years if they had a good organizational structure from top to bottom, they don't. I would consider the Indians (currently) one of the poorest operated baseball franchises today. they draft poorly, put all the failings on the fans (op we didn't put a good team on the field, so it is YOUR fault we don't pick up any free agents). We play in a terrible division, which if we kept a payroll around 80 mill consistently be won. Look at this team; we played maybe a months worth of good baseball and we were in first place for a good long while. It wasn't because our team was so good, it was the fact that the other teams were just that much worse than us.
Poor ownership has lead to poor hirings which has lead to more poor structural issues which leads to a crummy team. I think the "business as usual" philosophy of the Dolans has finally even ticked off the "real fans" that gave the guy a chance for way too long.
I agree with you, no doubt about it. Having a good team twice in a decade is unacceptable, regardless of the market. I think that competing for 2-4 years then rebuilding for 2-3, then competing for another 2-4 is actually acceptable in this market, I really do. That's truly the only way clubs like us have a chance. And even when you are competing, even if you are spending money, that doesn't mean you're automatically a playoff team. Detroit may not make the playoffs, but I'd definitely say their ownership was all-in this year. However...If you compete for 2-4 years, you should get at least a playoff berth or two out of it. ONE playoff berth per decade isn't good enough, and I agree it comes down to the ownership.
We drafted like absolute garbage from 2002 until 2007/2008. I liked Chiz in 2008, but the rest of that draft was pretty bad as well. I know you don't agree, but I really do like our 2009, 2010 and 2011 drafts...very possible that our 2012 draft ends up looking good as well. The thing that I liked about those 3 drafts is that we were finally aggressive in taking some high-upside talent. However, high-upside often means young, and young means they're going to spend more time in the lower levels, which is why our AA and AAA clubs are still so baren. I am excited to see what our farm system looks like next year at this time. We have a TON of talent, much more talent than we've had in recent memory, in the lower levels of the system. Hopefully by this time next year that talent will be in AA or pushing into AAA.