Friday, May 23, 2008

La La La La la La La!

The good news is that yes, the Cleveland Indians will eventually resolve their offensive problems. The bad news is that they will not resolve those problems in time to save the 2008 season. General Manager Mark Shapiro took a “wait and see” approach to the declining team batting average (last place in the American League) back in April. “We will not react until after 40 games,” was Shapiro’s response to inquisitive reporters and fans.
Manager Eric Wedge took on the same approach to the problem continually stating that the team will work this out and in doing so, they will really see what they are made of.
A little more than one year ago, the New York Yankees found themselves 15 games out of first place and managed to get back on track and make the playoffs as the wild card team.
The 2008 Cleveland Indians are not the 2007 New York Yankees.
Talk show hosts in Cleveland are chastising fans calling in, telling them that they are over-reacting and that this is a professional sports team that will eventually overcome their issues. As talk show host Mike Trivisonno on the Indians’ radio network states, “When the Indians are hitting, nobody knows who Derek Shelton is. When they are not hitting, everybody wants Derek Shelton fired!”
Not true. Not true in the least. The Indians are 22 and 25, 4.5 games out of first place, and 2 games out of last place. 47 games represents exactly 29% of the season and their winning percentage is .468. As long as the Tribe brass keeps the attitude that things will turn around, the fans do not think that management is doing enough to force a turn around. No one should be fire but accountability is lacking from top to bottom. this is the course that has been chosen for this team and we are to live with it.
If this team were committed to winning this season, Andy Marte would be long gone, Aaron Laffey and Ben Francisco would have broke camp with the 25 man roster, and the likes of Craig Breslow and George Julio would be part of some other team's AAA roster. At some point much earlier than 47 games, players options for the minor leagues would be disregarded for a winning record and attitude.

Enough! We are all tired of asking what is going to be done. Nothing will be done and nothing is being done. Soon, players will be traded, sent down, and released. After wasting 29% of the season, there is no urgency to pull this team out of their offensive woes. They will be allowed to work out their issues at the expense of the 2008 season.

So, if you love baseball and you love the Indians, you keep watching and rooting for your team, knowing the season is over and you wait for next year.

It is a shame that this talented group will fade into less than a mediocre season.

Perhaps the team will work things out for the 2009 season but you can be sure that the 2008 team will not be in the playoffs.

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