Tuesday, July 8, 2008

OK, Let's Move On...

A letter to Indians Fans

Dear Fans,

Thank you for your many years of loyalty to and support of the Cleveland Indians. Because you are vitally important to the success of the Indians, I want to communicate the thinking behind our recent player personnel decisions, including our decision to trade C.C. Sabathia, directly to you.

After keeping the strong nucleus from our 2007 playoff team intact, we all had high expectations entering the 2008 season. Unfortunately, the team did not play up to our expectations and we sustained injuries to key players within our starting lineup and rotation. Due to our team's performance, as well as the significant opportunity to add talent that can impact the short-term and long-term success of the organization, we decided to trade C.C.

We did not take our decision to trade C.C. lightly. He has been an integral member of the Indians organization and the Cleveland community for the past eight years. We all shared the pleasure of watching C.C. develop from a young draft pick into a mature team leader and one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. After re-signing C.C. in 2005 to a contract that extended into what would have been his first two free agent years, we were able to share in and enjoy his 2007 Cy Young Award winning season as a Cleveland Indian, a performance that propelled our club to the AL Central Division Championship.We made extensive attempts to secure C.C.'s future in Cleveland by signing him to a contract extension. In fact, we offered C.C. a top of the market contract that included the highest annual salary in the history of the Indians organization. Unfortunately, due to C.C.'s desire to test the free agent market, we determined that trading C.C. provided the best outcome for the long-term success of the organization. By trading C.C., we capitalized on an opportunity to infuse upper level talent into our organization that can contribute to our on-field success for many years rather than risk losing C.C. for only two draft picks with a distant and uncertain future.We remain enthusiastic about the steps we have taken towards fulfilling our organizational mission to build and sustain a championship-caliber team. Our minor league system served as the catalyst for our 2007 playoff run and continues to develop exciting, young players. We look forward to the opportunity of watching many more young players blossom into Major League stars as Cleveland Indians.

We have confidence that the tremendously difficult decision to trade C.C. will enhance our ability to put a winning club on the field to make our loyal fans and the entire Cleveland community proud. On behalf of my family and the entire Cleveland Indians organization, I appreciate your continued support and look forward to seeing you at a game in the near future. Go Tribe!


Paul Dolan

Thanks Paul, we developed a star and could not secure him. If that's the way it must be, so be it. You probably received the best players you could for the circumstances, only time will tell. However, the trade does nothing to turn around the failings of this year or to inspire hope for next season. Matt LaPorta is projected to be ready in about one year to join the bigs. If anything, the fact that he will probably move back to 1st base should serve as a wake up call to Ryan Garko. Your management staff cannot seem to provide that wake up call so we must take a more indirect approach in grooming a 1st baseman in the minors.

OK, so let's move on. Trading Sabathia was something, it shows that someone is still upright and breathing in this dormant organization.

What's next????

What are we doing to stop the losing streak, to salvage even 4th place out of this season? Sowers vs. Verlander tonight is not going to help.

Perhaps a lesson can be learned from the 2007 Yankees. When injuries struck them early in the season, they went to their farm system and held together until the regulars got healthy again. A couple of the call-ups actually did very well and stayed with the team as they began July 15 games behind Boston and secured the wild card spot in the American League by the end of September.

We had high expectations, although guarded, for this season. No one now is expecting a turn around in this season but we need to see a light at the end of the tunnel. You have provided us with a cave.

If you expect to see the fans at the ballpark in the near future, the team must produce. Just as the fans have filled the ballpark like no others in this country, they can stay away as well.

As in baseball, you are only as good as your last at bat.

The fans are asking, "What have you done for me lately?"

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