Cleveland Indians (there, I said it) are a conundrum

So, here’s the deal: The local professional baseball team, soon to be formerly known as the Cleveland Indians, has succeeded in confusing the bejeebers out of me.

You’re familiar with the old idiom, “Caught between a rock and a hard place,” right? That’s where I am right now with our beloved – soon to never again be referred to as – our Tribe.

After a lifetime of living and dying on every pitch and every out of every game I could catch in person, on the tube, or on the radio, I doubt I could ever turn my back on them completely. Just the same …

The methodology of the current ownership is testing my loyalty – big time.

It’s difficult for me to praise the Dolans, but the fact is they are excellent owners, and in a couple of areas (unfortunately?). They have built up an incredibly successful farm system and at the same time allowed a very talented front office to do their thing on a budget that is the MLB equivalent of a cold cup of coffee with a half-eaten donut (sorry, I was hungry). This is the kind of organization that, on paper at least, a team owner of ANY professional sports franchise would do just about anything to have running his or her team.

Unfortunately (there’s that word again), all of the good things the organization does are more than offset by ownership’s antagonizing penny-pinching approach employed when it comes to keeping quality talent and/or by parting with the cash necessary to acquire additional talent to make a legitimate run for a championship.

Hence, the team usually is good enough to make it to MLB’s post-season, yet does a pratfall when they face superior talent in the playoffs. Obviously, this approach is good enough for management’s bottom line, although they have claimed, with a couple of exceptions, to be losing money every year. (Obviously, that claim cannot be true because if they were indeed losing boatloads of money year-in and year-out, they would be crazy to not alter their financial approach, no?)   

This takes us back to square one, does it not? I cannot root against the Indians, um, soon-to-be-former Indians, but when they win (which should make me happy) it only reinforces the Dolans’ belief that they can be cheap and still be successful at the same time. It makes for a real pickle, I tell you.

I don’t know about you, but the perennial notion of sneaking into the playoffs and then spouting the “anything-can-happen” pipedream is wearing thin.

The players know from the moment they arrive in the big leagues that they are merely temporary placeholders for the younger players behind them, because once they begin to make some real money, they will be too expensive to play ball in Cleveland. It’s like the MLB version of the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Except this movie is much more expensive to attend.

And it most assuredly will have an unhappy ending.

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 13, Issue 12, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.15.2021