Tribe Swishing with re-Bourn roster

It was only about a month ago on these pages I wrote about the premature decline of departed Indians players Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera. I wish the list of disappointments ended there, but unfortunately – much like John Adams’ trusty tom-tom – the beat goes on.

Recall just under two years ago when many of us rejoiced the fact that the burdensome contracts given to such players as Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner had expired, freeing up some cash which would enable the Tribe to hopefully pluck some gems from the free agent market.

The Indians went out and promptly signed free agents Nick (Mr. “Bro-hio”) Swisher and Michael Bourn. To say that they adequately replaced Hafner and Sizemore would be the more diplomatic way of stating the issue. To say that they are no longer burdened with ill-advised contracts would not.

What’s not to like about Swisher’s 30 homers and 105 RBI? Outside the fact that it took two years to achieve those numbers, nothing much. And, speaking of nothing, that’s what they’ve basically received from Michael Bourn in his two years with the Indians (as of this writing). A batting average in the .260’s, with 33 stolen bases and an alarming 18 “caught-stealing’s” (again, over two years) from the guy who was supposed to make us forget about Kenny Lofton? Heck, Bourn’s barely made me forget about Casey Kotchman. And Swisher even has me longing for – gulp – Johnny Damon.

I have to admit, I was a little leery at the time about the signing of Swisher, but I thought Bourn would be the lead-off hitter we’d needed since Grady Sizemore was healthy, the last time of which I believe coincided with the sighting of Halley’s Comet. Of course, by now, I should be leery about anyone the team of Shapiro/Antonetti signs.

What should be terribly disconcerting for manager Terry Francona is that we have Swisher and Bourn “locked up” for another two seasons. And, yes, given the success (obviously, I use the term loosely) rate of the Indians front office when it comes to free agents, there are others I wish were also “locked up” – if you know what I mean.

The real shame of the two-year wait we have staring us in the face is that the Indians have the makings of a top-notch (read: contending) pitching staff, but a second-rate offense and a bitterly putrid defense. And, oh yeah: Get ready to hear the front office sing the blues over the winter about how poor the attendance was in 2014 – as the excuse for not going after some legitimate hitters as well as their need to stay within "budget" – because we’ve all heard that song before. Never mind the fact that the level of confidence the fans have in this ownership group is about as low as possible; it will be our faults again for not supporting these guys.

Ah, 2017 … I can hardly wait!

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

Read More on Sporting Views
Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:43 AM, 09.30.2014