Now don't mess this up, Dolans
The recent World Series appearance by the Indians certainly has created a much-needed surge in favorable publicity for the Tribe, translating into a bump in season ticket and – presumably, come next spring – general ticket sales as well.
Now, with everything looking rosy in Tribe Town, it's easy to get caught up in the hoopla and maybe even get the idea that – suddenly – Indians management is nothing short of "brilliant."
Well, not so fast, Bucco.
Don't get me wrong: The organization has done many things right over the last few years, and some of you may even recall a Tribe World Series prediction by yours truly last spring. (You really didn't think I was going to NOT mention that, did you?) In fact, the mid-season trade in which the Indians parted with several top prospects to obtain Andrew Miller was a significant deviation outside the "norm" of traditional Tribe organizational thinking. Very outside-the-box-ish, if you know what I mean.
I will be the first to admit that, after the injuries to Salazar and Carrasco, I tempered my optimism as to how far the Indians would get in the playoffs, and only a surreal stretch of incredible pitching carried them farther than logical minds thought they'd go. The Indians' collective bats never really did much in any of their playoff series, and that's where I become concerned about the Tribe heading into next year.
There are already some rumblings about the Indians not offering Mike Napoli a decent contract because of Napoli's cold spell in the playoffs. Granted, Napoli did a disappearing act in October, but then again, who didn't? If the Indians are going to play the "no productivity" card on a guy who hit 34 dingers during the regular season, then there are about another dozen guys on the roster – all of whom swung and missed with stunning frequency during the playoffs – who shouldn't be offered contracts either then, right? Just sayin'.
I don't know if next year will be worthy of "Party at Napoli's" T-shirts, either, but the best way the Indians can tear down all the goodwill they re-established with their fan base over the past year would be to start looking like cheapskates again.
What I'm saying is that this group of players deserve another shot at delivering a World Championship before we summon the wrecking crew.
I mean, what do you suppose would have happened if the Cavs had dismantled their team after losing to the Warriors the year before last? Do you think they would have won the NBA Championship the next year? Yeah ... me neither.
Something to ponder, Larry and Paul.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!