Sometimes itís better to say nothing

Do you ever read an interview with a high-profile personality and catch yourself scratching your head, wondering why on earth that person felt compelled to comment at all?

Case in point: the recent comments by Indians owner Paul Dolan, particularly the one where he said the Indians “lose money almost every year” had me – as well as many Tribe fans, I imagine – rolling my eyes in disbelief.

I mean, I simply do not understand the motivation in making those comments. Were they said as means of justifying the trading of several of the Indians' higher-priced players for relative question marks?

We’ve been down this road several times with this ownership group and it always ends the same after following this recipe:

1. Strong minor league system yields decent talent.

2. Groom talent; when time is right, add free agents – usually mid-season acquisitions to keep the costs “reasonable.”    

3. Take your best shot for a few years. If it doesn’t pan out (a.k.a. get you a World Series title) plead poverty (point to so-so attendance figures) and start dealing the established stars for promising young talent.

4. When it becomes clear that the current group of talent is not good enough to get you to the promised land, trade rest of veterans for young (and much cheaper) talent and move back to No. 1 (above).

To be clear, there’s nothing the Dolans are doing that surprises me here; this has been their M.O. for the two decades they’ve owned the Tribe. What does surprise me though is Paul Dolan’s apparent need to comment. But again, I ask: why?

Does he really think that the group who paid $323 million for a sports franchise would, by pleading poverty, somehow convince Joe Fan to pony up more of his hard-earned paycheck-to-paycheck income and help the poor Dolans out? I don’t know about you, but I’m on the verge of tears thinking about their financial plight. Maybe we should start a GoFundMe page for you, Paul.

Poor Paul is forever miffed by the “lack of commitment” on the part of the fans. Has he ever considered that that commitment thing is a two-way street? Why would fans support a team that has gone backwards the last two seasons when – given his track record – they know what lies ahead on the horizon?

Cleveland fans have seen this movie several times before, Paul. You’ve as much as said the chances of getting Frankie Lindor to extend his contract and remain an Indian are remote.

You’ll never admit this, but one of the reasons that the Indians had a then-record attendance home game sell-out streak was because when the Indians became good under Dick Jacobs, management went “all in” financially and the team remained competitive for a solid decade. People know when an owner really, really puts winning first, and fans will support them, almost blindly.

Conversely, they also recognize a bubblegum and duct tape operation when they see them, too. Guess which category you fit in right now?

Your timing in making those comments couldn’t be worse, with the Browns already having relegated you to second-class citizenship. The Indians get off to a slow start this year, and they’ll be an afterthought come July. Really.

You would have been much better off had you said nothing.

Jeff Bing

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

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:42 AM, 04.02.2019