I figured it out!
I’m not sure what took me so long but I finally get it!
Here is what happened to the Cleveland Indians this year…
G.M. Mark Shapiro and manager Eric Wedge (and the Dolans as well) have taken such a hands-off approach to this team and the 2008 season that there is only one explanation that comes close to making any sense at all!
Since last fall, Shapiro has purposely stayed out of the free agent market and avoided any trades that would substantially increase team payroll. He has shown no sense of urgency to fix this team since week 2 of the season and has repeatedly stated that he was not going to over-react. As the losing and injuries tallied up, Shapiro insisted that he would re-evaluate the team after 40 games. (He got us Scott Elarton, Sal Fasano, and Jorge Velandia, brilliant!) Wedge, who obviously consumed mass quantities of the Shapiro Kool-Aid, has repeatedly stated that his focus is on game preparation, not results. Further, he insists that this season will turn around if we just keep after it. (Keep after what????)
All this is part of a plan to re-sign C.C. Sabathia!
What other explanation could there be for the total lack of any sense of urgency from the coaches on up?
There is no cavalry on the way. This season was derailed to put together the payroll to keep C.C. in Cleveland.
These guys aren’t even being coached! It is as if they are sailing without a rudder. On one hand, you have to admire the way Wedge will (almost) never berate a player in public. But, when he finally chewed out Raphael Betancourt in the media for not pitching inside, what happened? Betancourt was heard screaming in the shower and tossing some equipment, but then he emerged as a good set-up man again since the incident. Is that all it took? How about getting on Garko, Gutierrez, Marte (oh, boy!), Dellucci, Sowers, Byrd, etc.?
What would Ozzie Gullien do if he managed the Indians?
Look what he did a few weeks ago to his team. He berated the entire team for their level of play and they won a boatload of games to take over 1st place. With their victory celebration last night, they sure didn’t look like they were suffering any permanent psychological trauma from Ozzie’s rant.
No, this season was submarined by design.
If that’s not the explanation then coaches on up to ownership should all get fired for their catatonic approach to the team and the season.
Could we fire an owner?