Jon: Just got home. Will headline the Anibal Sanchez trade.
Jacob: Ominous emails like that are the worst, Jon. Seriously thought for a moment the Indians got him. That’s what I get for being off Twitter all day.
Jon: Sorry Jacob. On the other hand, this IS the Indians, so, you know, you can’t fool me again after you’ve already…
Craig: I’m so beyond frustrated that this summer is totally wasted with the Tribe. This is a complete organizational failure when they had a real chance. It hit me for real (for real) today with all the trades and now I’m just ticked off at these front office know-it-alls who sit there and pretend like they’re too smart to give a guy a third year to play the one stinking offseason dire need. 1
I have to suspend more disbelief to be a Tribe fan than I do to enjoy Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel. 2
Kirk: I don’t like to be that guy, but Antonetti should lose his job if we don’t make the playoffs in 2013. I’ll never understand the one foot in approach of trading for Ubaldo, then doing absolutely freaking NOTHING else. The trade was bad enough for me but to not do anything to support the contention effort is nothing short of moronic. He should have to answer for that.
TD: I can’t say I disagree. As I wrote today he put all his eggs on the basket of Ubaldo. Then brought back Grady and never solved LF. Player regression is not his fault but his reaction times are too slow.
Scott: I’m as far from “fire him” guy that you’ll meet, but I agree that this season (beginning this past winter) was an utter embarrassment. Needs couldn’t have been more glaring; execution couldn’t have been more half-(hearted.) 3
Jon: TD was right all along: Grady sealed their fate.
The Willingham miss was big, but gosh it’s hard for me to fault them for that one in particular, especially in retrospect. It’s one thing to say I told you so (if you thought all along Willingham was “the guy”, to use the parlance of our times). Quite another to say, after he puts up a .950 OPS, they should’ve known that a career .830 OPS guy was gonna do it. Heck, if I remember right, a whole lot more people wanted Cuddyer, who’s been pretty Damon-esque this year.
But you pays your dime, you takes your chance. They missed on Grady. They missed on Ubaldo. They missed on LaPorta and Donald and Marson and Knapp. They failed to develop Santana (or so it would seem). For a FO that loves to remind everyone of its successes–and there’ve been a lot, especially in the minor trades–their major failures are why this team isn’t in contention. And that sucks.
I tend to agree with Kirk. These guys have shown us everything they can do, and I’d lean toward cleaning house next season if things don’t improve. I do think they’re smart, but they’re also too savvy for their own good sometimes. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to take not just a change in the front office, but a change in ownership to have any effect. The Dolans have poisoned the well, and no one in this city is ever going to cut this team any slack again so long as they’re at the top.
Craig: I used to think the fans and front office were all pulling in the same direction. Now I don’t feel like the front office even shares the same goals. That’s the distrust that the Dolans and Selig have wrought.
Again, I don’t totally blame the Dolans or even the front office, but damn it if it isn’t a perfect storm that has me questioning everyone except my fellow Tribe fans who I know still want to care and see playoff games.
Blink and half a decade has disappeared. We only have six or seven decades to enjoy this team in a lifetime.
Jon: I tried to explain to my brother once about the Cleveland sports trauma-thing. He’ll never get it. I never will either, at least not directly. But I’ve watched other people get it. And it’s exactly what Craig’s hinting at.
People are scared they’re going to die, just like their parents and grandparents did, without getting what they want. That fear can make you pretty unsympathetic to phrases like “contention cycles” or “reloading the system” or “Russell Branyan”. Funny enough, that’s why Detroit is going all-in this year: their owner knows he’s going to die soon, and he wants to see it before he goes.
I’ve always given our front office a lot of slack because I think they do better than most would, under the same circumstances. I can’t imagine how terrible it must be to be a Pirates fan or an Orioles fan–where there aren’t down years, but down quarter-centuries.
But that doesn’t mean our front office has been successful. They’ve just managed the decay as best they could. And it’s the decay that speaks to what Cleveland fans are most afraid of: I’m going to rot away before this thing ever happens.
- Willingham naturally. I was venting. [back]
- Yes, I also tweeted this later. I plagiarize myself when I like a line. Sue me. [back]
- Scott didn’t say “hearted” but you know. [back]