I know what you all read last night and saw this morning. Indians CEO Paul Dolan says he is not interested in making any changes to his front office or with his manager. Now before you all freak out and scream bloody murder at the Dolan ownership, take a look at the actual quotes themselves.
“We all have a lot of work to do, but their jobs aren’t at stake in this. As I sit here today, I have no intent to make any changes. I have to understand what’s happened. I’m not going to have that understanding today. Hopefully, sometime in this off-season, we’ll be able to assess and move from there.”
“I don’t know how (to explain the free fall), don’t understand exactly what’s happened — other than we haven’t performed at virtually every level of the game for the last month.”
“We had a team threatening to make the playoffs that has collapsed. We have to understand what happened, and I’m not going to make judgments on that right now. It’s going to take more time to assess what we have, what we need, and what we’re capable of doing.”
First things first. Knee-jerk reactions to a long process are never a good idea. That is not the proper way to run any business. Firing both a GM and a manager in the middle of a season is very rare. These are obviously strange circumstances, considering the fact that a team that was in first place two months ago has lost 21 of 25 and are the second worst team in the American League. But nevertheless, I can understand Paul Dolan’s thinking. Let them sit back and marinate on what happened. There is no rush to do anything rash now. There is still a month of games left to be played.
Who knows, maybe these guys go on a tear and win 10 in a row. (OK, I laughed out loud while typing that last sentence, but stranger things have happened in baseball, that is for sure).
Now read those comments again, and consider when and where they were give. Do you honestly think that Paul Dolan was going to say “yeah, Manny Acta’s situation is dicey right now, we don’t know how this team has collapsed, and his job could be in jeopardy?” Or did you think he’d say “this falls on our front office. We see a real lack of talent here and things are going to need to be changed. We will be re-evaluating everyone?”
Of course not.
And if you actually do believe that he would give those kinds of answers, would he really choose Manny Acta’s charity bowling event to do so?
Of course not.
While many of you (me included) don’t think Paul Dolan has been a good owner, one thing you won’t hear said about him is that he isn’t a smart guy. He carefully chose his quotes to make sure he didn’t say anything that was going to come back and bite him, the way his father’s infamous “we will spend when the time is right” blast has followed him for a decade.
Read this quote closely:
As I sit here today, I have no intent to make any changes.
The key part of that sentence is “as i sit here today.” That doesn’t mean that at the end of this debacle of a season, he doesn’t sit down and say to his people, “this isn’t working. The fans aren’t happy. We aren’t happy with the direction of the organization. Changes have to be made.”
I think we all know something is going to come down the pike this winter. The status quo just isn’t the answer. A veteran purge could be coming as well.
As I was putting this piece together, CBS Sports’s Jon Heyman tweeted out this piece of info, that shouldn’t be any big news to Indians fans:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 24, 2012
Choo will most likely be dealt this winter to restock that sagging upper levels of the farm system. Closer Chris Perez will be following him out the door. The real question is will Paul Dolan have someone new in place to make those moves.
(photo via @LindseyBaseball/Lindsey Foltin)