Like son, like father
Anyone who reads me with any regularity is probably all too familiar with my rants about how the Dolans appear to be happy with mediocre baseball – if the Indians draw enough fans to make whatever the Dolans consider being an adequate profit.
I have given ownership credit on several occasions for putting together one of the best front offices in all of baseball. Year in and year out, the guys who make the player personnel decisions have kept the Tribe competitive with an ever-shrinking budget.
This year, in spite of the two best starters on the team out for extended periods, the Indians remained competitive, revealing some outstanding young pitching that suggests that the Indians/Guardians could be a team to be reckoned with as early as next season.
I had the pleasure of talking Tribe with my son recently when we met for a late summer picnic on the Port Clinton shores of Lake Erie. He brought up a couple of interesting points of which I was unaware.
The Indians have a very impressive record in games that they had scored 4 or more runs. It’s no secret that any team's record will improve as the runs scored rises – it’s almost a mathematical certainty with even a mediocre pitching staff – but the Indians would have won about 100 games had they scored 4 runs every game this year – and that’s not a lot of runs, folks. It underscores how good our young pitchers are.
Jason then also added that in baseball today, it’s far easier to strengthen a lineup with relatively inexpensive hitters – decent bats are a dime a dozen (did you hear that Dolans? I mentioned “dime” specifically to get your attention) when compared to starting pitching. The team could get two or three legitimate bats for what it would cost to get ONE legitimate big-league starter, and guess what – 2022 could be the year Cleveland regains the Central Division crown.
Good points, Jason. But you don’t have to convince your old man …
Unfortunately, that is not the reality of baseball in Cleveland with this ownership. It’s no secret that the Indians – along with every team in MLB – took a huge hit from COVID in 2020. But you don’t see every team in baseball slashing payroll to the extent the Indians have; in fact, nobody comes close.
So brace yourselves, folks, for the same party line we hear with great regularity here: “We want to see what the kids do first. We think we have enough talent here to get the job done.”
It would be nice if that were the case, but it is far more likely that we will once again come up short on offense, which will even be more aggravating if we fall short by only a few games.
And mark my words, at some point Paul Dolan will make a comment about his being “disappointed” in the home attendance, because “we feel we’ve put a competitive team on the field, and we’d hoped the fans would respond more enthusiastically.” Yes, he’ll question your loyalty.
That’s the funny thing about loyalty, Larry. Sooner or later, you’ll have to be loyal to your fan base, and at least present the illusion that you want to win. Badly. You display that loyalty by investing in the team on the field to try to win now ... today.
Because, as in any relationship, loyalty is a two-way street.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!