Stubborn Indians must learn from mistakes
Now that the Indians have pretty much admitted that the 2015 season is beyond saving – witnessed by their trading David Murphy, Brandon Moss and Marc Rzepczynski before the July 31 trade deadline – it becomes clear that many errors in judgement occurred in the evaluation of the talent level on this roster.
The question to ask is: Will anyone be held accountable?
Recent history says it won’t happen, but circumstances scream that it’s certainly about time it does.
All season long, manager Terry Francona and GM Chris Antonetti have insisted that the Indians had way too much talent to be playing as poorly as they have. A statement such as this typically means one of two things. Either the manager isn’t getting the maximum production from the talent he’s been given, or the so-called talent was highly over-estimated. In practice, it’s usually never one extreme or the other, but somewhere in between, and that is the case here.
As far as Francona is concerned, he has long been touted as a “player’s manager” which means he lets the players play, and generally runs things with a low-key approach. It should be remembered that one of the reasons he was canned by the Red Sox was because he’d reportedly lost control of the team, and he was being taken advantage of. Having said that, it should also be noted that he won two world championships with the Sox, and in eight years as manager in Boston, he never had a losing record. So I’m not saying the guy is chopped liver. I’m just saying the team is.
Chris Antonetti talks a good game, is likable, and no-doubt sincere in his quest to build a winning organization. So was his predecessor, Mark Shapiro, who chose Antonetti to replace him several years ago. Since Shapiro/Antonetti became the main guys, the buzzword when it comes to the Indians has been “patience.” And it seems to be getting louder.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it up to here with patience; I’d much prefer to see a baseball team that didn’t leave me thinking about forging a prescription for Percocet on a nightly basis. Carlos Santana? No mas. Lonnie Chisenhall? Puh-leeze. Those two were at one time the poster boys for the so-called future. Listen, I’ve seen the future involving those two … and it stinks. Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn should become, at the conclusion of this season, a part of the past. The core of starting pitching that the Indians treasure so much is decent, but let’s not get too carried away here. They rank in the middle of the pack this year.
As I’ve noted in this column previously, the attendance at Tribe games has been trending downward for several years now. The Tribe’s Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, are averaging almost 9,000 a game. At the rate the Indians are “progressing” it won’t be long before the Clippers surpass the big league team in fan support, which would then justify the Dolans moving the Indians to Columbus and the Clippers up here. Nah, I’m only kidding.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!