August 26, 2014

Why we shouldn’t be surprised by the Indians attendance

progressive field

No matter what, it’s disappointing.

That’s a fair statement for any diehard fan of a competing team like the 2013 Cleveland Indians.

You see, these Indians aren’t like the contending teams of the ‘90s for one obvious, over-reported and obnoxious fact: Attendance. This season, through Thursday’s games, Cleveland ranked 28th in the sport with an average number of 19,037 paid fans per opening.

Obviously, this is a deep and exciting baseball team peaking at the right moment and in the thick in the American League playoff race. Heck, they just swept an entire weeklong home stand.

Yet in digging through historical Cleveland Indians attendance and using it side-by-side with existing research on Major League Baseball attendance, this season’s disappointing fan support really shouldn’t be all that shocking.

Cleveland’s baseball history

Cleveland Municipal Stadium was a dump. According to my family, I went to a few games there as a youngster. I was hardly old enough to recall. But from all indications from fellow WFNY writers and fans, it was just a terrible stadium for baseball. The stories go on and on.

Heck, even though the stadium opened in 1931, the Indians didn’t actually use it for its entire schedule – reserving the 75,000-plus seat capacity monstrosity only for special occasions – until 1947.

In the early days, the stadium had its attendance peaks and troughs as influenced heavily by the on-field success of the team. As is common now, the 1948 championship squad, 1954 pennant winner and other brief spurts of success sparked intermittent top-four MLB attendance rankings.

The most significant changes to the stadium took place in 1968 and 1974. In those years, the old wooden seats were replaced with plastic ones, a new scoreboard was put in place and modern suites finally were added.

In 1973, Browns owner Art Modell signed a new 25-year lease to operate the stadium, after it previously was owned by the city. Under Modell’s ownership, the stadium also was beginning to host the World Series of Rock concerts, increasing the use and revenue of the gigantic edifice.

Indians attendance saw a huge boost for the 1974 season. After averaging just 7,594 fans the year before, an 81.1% jump took place with the stadium improvements – all the way up to a 13,756 average – moving the team from last to seventh in the 12-team American League. It was the team’s best attendance figure since the 89-win 1959 season.

indians attendance history2

Overall, the narrative never changed. Cleveland baseball remained a mediocre product, at best, and the stadium remained one of the worst in the sport. Although attendance ticked up moderately toward the end of the ‘80s with the improving team, the franchise still ranked among the AL’s worst.1

‘Honeymoon’ effect for new stadiums

As the narrative continues, Jacobs Field opened in 1994 as a shining new beacon for Indians baseball fans. Designed by the same architectural firm (HOK) that created the downtown success story of 1992’s small-yet-practical Camden Yards in Baltimore, The Jake changed the framework of Cleveland baseball.2

indians attendance history1

That should have been expected, too. For decades, economists, statisticians and all kinds of researchers have documented the “honeymoon” effect for new stadiums. A new park, especially in baseball, can spark a wild attendance swing in the positive direction for a period of about 6-10 years. The research is overwhelming.

But as a typical “honeymoon” is just a fleeting, passing and determinately short period of time, so is this boost in attendance. It’s possible that the new location of a stadium or the overall economy could lead to long-lasting effects. Generally speaking though, the research shows that the historical baseline eventually returns as the attendance average.

In The Diff in late February, I shared my undergraduate honors thesis project – titled “Minor League Baseball: Tradition, Success and the Recession” – on attendance trends in the minors. My 70-plus page thesis shared the narrative of nine different franchises along with a regression analysis of 12 years of minor league attendance data.

Stadium age – whether related to an entirely new building or major renovations – was one of my project’s many significant variables. On the major league scale, the difference can be even more drastic. A few articles that were included in my references detail the potentially extreme nature of this “honeymoon” effect.

Why baseball stadiums; how long of a ‘honeymoon’

Overall, attendance in baseball has surged over the last few decades. The reasons for this explosion are varied. On the outside, the geography of MLB teams has become more efficient over time thanks to relocation (sorry, Montreal), expansion and more attractive stadiums. These all were purposeful with an eye on attendance and revenue.

Even after the colossal 1994 strike, the game recovered with a bounce to new heights. The now-controversial big bashers of the mid-to-late ‘90s helped revive the national appeal of the game. One 2010 study, a senior capstone project from Bryant University’s Mark McDonnell, referred to MLB as “America’s recession-proof pastime.”

But why exactly is baseball attendance so susceptible to this “honeymoon” effect of new stadiums? Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys of UMBC’s economics department did a cross-sport analysis of new stadium attendance boosts in a 2003 study called “Novelty effects of new facilities on attendance at professional sporting events.”

Their key theory and discovery was that the number of games in a professional sports league can affect the intensity of demand. While there are only eight NFL home games each season, with most being played on Sunday afternoons, there are 81 home MLB games spread all throughout the week. That creates much more variability in day-to-day attendance.

This study confirmed previous analyses of MLB attendance boosts. Significantly, new stadium “honeymoon” effects last for about eight seasons while steadily declining after a big first season. In the NBA and NFL, such an effect is hardly significant, with no clear year-by-year differences.

In all of my research, one of my favorite articles was by Christopher Clapp and Jahn Hakes from Clemson University in 2005. Their article in the Journal of Sports Economics, titled “How long a honeymoon? The effect of new stadiums on attendance in Major League Baseball”, cut into the heart of all MLB attendance analysis.

The goal of this article was to determine the magnitude and duration of these new baseball stadiums’ attendance boosts. They looked into the difference between newer stadiums (think Camden Yards) and older ones (think Three Rivers Stadium). Another factor for exploration was team quality, to see if winning teams combined with a new stadium could have any additional effect. While revenue also was a key topic, it doesn’t necessarily relate here.3

Their results: Smaller, modern stadiums, built after 1975, are having much larger effects. They should expect a 44.1% increase for year one of a new stadium compared to the baseline. Attendance remains 26.9% greater than the baseline in year two, then 20.2% in year three. By years nine and 10, the effect is only 2.6%, which is not statistically significant. This proves the 6-10 year range that was introduced earlier.

Highlighting the new-stadium success stories of Cleveland and San Francisco, the authors also looked to see if there was significance in winning percentage-attendance boosts for new stadiums. Due to a lack of evidence, they concluded the results were merely aberrations, but at least left open the door for that theory in unique situations.

Cleveland’s new (old) reality

Cleveland’s baseball attendance story is sensational. Just as the beautiful Jacobs Field opened in the mid-‘90s, the Indians became a powerhouse, the economy was surging, downtown was booming and the Browns were leaving town. It was a prefect confluence of several unique factors.

Now, the baseline has returned. The Indians are consistently ranking in the bottom seven in MLB attendance, just like before in old Municipal Stadium. The perfect storm is over.

An under-reported factor is the fact that four new baseball teams have popped up in Northeast Ohio during this span: the Akron Aeros (moved from Canton in 1997), the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (1999), the Lake County Captains (2003) and the independent Lake Erie Crushers (2009).

Thus, the Indians must work harder than ever to even remain competitive in the constantly surging MLB attendance picture. Just back in March, Baseball Prospectus wrote on the franchise’s analytic-based promotional efforts. Obviously, April and May always will remain a killer for attendance. It’s incredibly difficult for an outdoor team to draw fans in sub-50 degree weather.

Previous research has shown that major external events – such as a playoff appearance – spark lagged attendance changes. That certainly will be the hope for the Indians as they head into 2014. This past offseason’s spending spree, the hiring of Terry Francona and the impressive July 2013 could eventually lead to a moderate rebound.

The Indians also lowered concession prices and added a nostalgia-packed promotional schedule for 2013. Their new ticket pricing system has been labeled as innovative yet controversial. The new online system for managing season tickets – Tribe Rewards – could be described as confusing or unnecessary, which is never a good thing for your bread-and-butter customers. Their handling of major promotions also has come under question.

The main issue affecting the Indians is their complete lack of a season ticket holder base. The franchise’s attendance varies so widely because there is no consistent flow of attendees. According to a late 2012 Crain’s Cleveland article from now-Indians employee Joel Hammond, the team reportedly had just around 6,000 full-season equivalents.

It’s disheartening for a competing major league team, making its case as a legitimate contender, to play in front of sub-20,000 fan crowds on a consistent basis. Now-quiet closer Chris Perez certainly had a point in his very controversial comments last season.

But per the numbers, the decline of Indians attendance over the last decade could be called disappointing and any number of adjectives, but certainly can’t be considered shocking. The existing data on “honeymoon” effects is too overwhelming for us to be too surprised by this development.

Photo: Jacob Rosen/WFNY

Note: A Friday afternoon voicemail seeking comment on this article was left for Curtis Danburg, senior director of communications for the Cleveland Indians. Any on-the-record comments received from Danburg will be edited into a later update.

Disclaimer: The author is a former employee of the Double-A Akron Aeros and has provided consulting on the topic of minor league baseball attendance for the team this season.

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Footnotes:

  1. Despite a solid run from 1947-1951 surrounding the great Indians teams, there was only one other season at Municipal Stadium with an average attendance better than 20,000 fans: 1993. The soon-to-be-summarized article by Clapp and Hakes (2005) theorized that classic stadiums, built before 1960, usually experienced significant final-season boosts in attendance. That certainly was the case for the improving Tribe that year. But that was far more the outlier in terms of attendance. []
  2. Teams listed in the graphic below with asterisks made the playoffs. Also: In 2007, the Indians “hosted” one home game at Miller Park. Those were some strange circumstances, and it is also noted below with an asterisk. []
  3. I could go on and on about revenue from stadiums and the topic of whether it is worth taxpayers’ money. In essence, my point of view is similar to that of Grantland’s Jonah Keri, who is the leading sage in the ongoing Tampa Bay stadium saga. MLB usually plays the bully in these situations, forcing cities to foot the bill or else. That means the financial loser, usually, is the city and its residents, while owners pocket the money. If it was so unprofitable to own a team, don’t you think more owners would be trying to sell? []
  • TheOtherTim

    I grew up with the old stadium, A horror show for sure, but enough people were nostalgic enough to boost its last season’s attendance by almost a million with the same W-L record from the previous season.

  • paulbip

    How about feeding your family or going to a ball game?

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    Bingo. Good post, Jacob, the historical perspective is wholly pertinent here. But I was going to say that you left two things out. paulbip pointed out one of them, and the other is the soul-crushing competitive imbalance that Cleveland MLB fans are subject to. I wrote a very similarly titled post in May, if you don’t mind my posting here for discussion purposes (doffs cap, salutes). http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2013/05/the-cleveland-indians-dismal-league-worst-attendance-figures-are-not-surprising-or-perplexing-in-the-slightest/

  • timmycouch

    paulbip…..

    you are aware detroit just filed for bankrupty, right? that is a lazy excuse. not to mention i can assure you that is not the demographic the tribe’s front office is going for.

  • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

    It’s obviously been a while, but I don’t ever remember sitting in a plastic seat at the old stadium. The seats were always wood slats and solid steel frames.

  • Lunch

    If the majority of the demographic consists of people who are choosing between going to the game or putting food on the table, then why shouldn’t the Indians front office go after this demographic? For example the Indians could offer free food with every ticket purchase. Problem solved. The family gets a meal, and sees the ball game, which makes the front office happy.

  • Harv 21

    The bad attendance at Muni was not mainly the result of Muni being a pit. The teams were generally bad, and rarely in contention by July. When some of the teams did well in early season, even for a few weeks, attendance surged and the town went fairly insane. But until Jacobs/Peters starting putting $ into the farm system and scouts the product was not average, it was bad. And so was attendance.

    “The main issue affecting the Indians is their complete lack of a season ticket holder base.” There it is. But I’d suggest a big % of those in the mid-’90s were bought by companies or groups of friend who shared them. A lot of companies left Cuyahoga County, and a lot of friends and companies backed out of ticket sharing when the Dolans gutted the roster and couldn’t replace the departing stars with young quality. I disagree that the absence of the Browns was a huge factor in the ’90s. There’s only 8 football games/year. It’s way more expensive to have tribe season tix. Many local sports fans attend both. I don’t believe the Browns absence accounted for hundreds of thousands more people attending those tribe games in those years. The Indians drew 3.2m as late as 2001, two years after the Browns returned.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I have to agree strongly with the competitive imbalance aspect. As a fan, I’m absolutely not investing in an Indians’ team because I don’t believe it’s sustainable and I’m not interested in supporting a team that doesn’t have a legitimate shot at some day winning. Until I see the Indians in first place in August, it’s hard to justify putting in dollars. It’s too much of a tease otherwise.

    At least with the Cavs/Browns, you know that there is a fair chance for them to succeed (even if they historically blow it). With the Indians, the feeling is they’ll just miss the playoffs, the Dolans will make some mediocre signing to claim they’ve ‘put them over the top’, and they’ll win 75-80 games next year before restarting the cycle.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yes.

    without getting into deep research i would guess there are less businesses around to purchase season tix or club boxes. one could find data saying the population has declined by x% but what’s not considered that those who left tend to be younger professionals; the mix of those remaining is poorer and older. in other words, cle pop may have declined by x%, but the indians potential ticket buyer population has declined by x³%. i haven’t seen this point discussed in all the carping about attendance but it bears mention.

    tell me i’m wrong if i’m wrong: is cleveland stronger or weaker in 2013 vs 1995?

  • Petefranklin

    Dont forget all the new season ticket holders who got first dibs at Jacobs. Most probably never had season tickets before.

  • Petefranklin

    Browns?? You’re kidding right? I love all the cap room that they are saving for 2015 because we definitely don’t have any holes this year. Maybe they get to .500 by then.

  • saggy

    that would be me. was at the last CWS series in Municipal and got season tix at the Jake for the first 7 years.

  • saggy

    I don’t care about the whole competitive balance thing. Really, all i care about is baseball.

    But i used to go to games because you felt like you could get close to the game.

    Now, IMO, all the stuff they do to “improve” the atmosphere takes away from the game. I go to hear the crack of the bat and listen to guys talk and clap. But now (with apologies to John Adams) all i hear is loud extraneous music above a sideshow of walking, man-sized muppets throwing T-Shirts and hot dogs.

    Sure, I would go to more games if the price were just a touch more fair, but that’s really not the biggest issue. But you don’t get the same access as before. you know: being able move up in your seat to an empty area late in the game; or being able to move down to see BP even if you don’t have a box seat.

    I feel the players, too, are less likely to indulge the fans with any semblance of hospitality. Maybe my fondest memory of Cleveland Stadium was when Joe Carter, between innings, told me to throw my glove down to the field – he signed it, put a ball in it, and threw it back. Where is that stuff today?

  • 5KMD

    Good stuff Jacob.
    Soooooo, let’s build a new stadium with half the current capacity. That will be good for the next decade.
    Seriously though. I can’t fathom who has the lifestyle to get a full 81 games season ticket package. I know there are those folks out there but that is some serious commitment. I’ll continue to watch the games online or on TV when I can, listen to Hammy when they aren’t on here in PA, and follow on my phone when I cam busy with the wife and kids (which is always).

  • Steve

    Why not look at the actual results of the franchise? For all the benefits the Browns get, they can’t come close to putting a winner out there, while the Indians have shown the ability to contend. How do you prefer watching 4-12 going “at least they had a chance!” to this current Indians team?

  • Steve

    An exaggerated argument. There’s plenty of people with tight budgets getting s—faced in the muni lot on fall Sundays.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I don’t think you understood what I wrote.

  • Steve

    I think a big part of the problem is “the Dolans gutted the roster and couldn’t replace the departing stars with young quality”. Fans, quite unfairly, hold the downturn of the team against the Dolans.

    The Dolans spent quite a bit to maintain a competitive team in 2000, 2001, and even 2002, after Jacobs/Hart let the farm system fall off, and made Giles for Rincon type trades that really harmed the future of the franchise. The Dolans only “gutted” the roster (there wasn’t much to gut) because not even maintaining a top 10 payroll could keep the team competitive.

    Because the team started to lose, Dolan took all the blame, and got called cheap. And he’s still getting blamed and getting called cheap today.

  • Steve

    No, I perfectly understood. It’s an end around instead of saying “I’m just not that big a baseball fan, I prefer 4-12 football to +.500 baseball”. Dress it up however you like, but its how most of this town feels.

  • mgbode

    I don’t think that is what he said though. He said that the NFL and NBA models are setup better for overall competitive balance. I know alot of baseball fans that feel the same way.

    The counter argument is that a smart FO can supplement a team by drafting and trading well for young players and go on 4-5 year runs before rebooting (like we did from 2005-08 though we got injury derailed in 2 of those years). And, that in baseball, once you get to the postseason, it is all about who gets good pitching and timely hitting (and it isn’t always the ones with the pedigree for it).

    I personally believe the Indians have the best current chance at a championship of the 3 major sport teams, but it is mostly rooted in the model that is baseball (if they can get to October, then anything can and often does happen). But, it’s understandable many fans feel the way Ezzie does when the Angels/Dodgers rake in $250mil in local TV deals that pay for their $200mil payroll while the Indians take in $40mil or so that doesn’t cover their modest $75-80mil payroll.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Completely wrong. I’ve worked at the Jake for summers and I am a huge Indians fan. The problem is the horrible structure of Major League Baseball. When you know your team has only 1 potential shot in every 5-6 years, no matter how well they run, you lose interest in investing in the team until you are convinced they have that realistic shot right now – that this is that one in five years.

    When the competitive balance is equal, even if your team stinks you at least feel that you’re rooting for a team that has a chance at success at some point. You don’t feel like you’re investing in a guaranteed low return, even if your actual returns are often low.

    It’s like buying a lottery ticket vs. buying a ticket in a chinese auction. Unless the lottery ticket is for a crazy pot that it’s worth wasting money just so you can have fun dreaming about it, you (hopefully) wouldn’t even think to buy a ticket. But if it’s some school auction where you have some realistic shot at winning, even if the prizes tend to suck, you’re more willing.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Exactly. IF the Indians were to win the division, I believe they could win the World Series. But until I’m convinced they can win the division…

  • Harv 21

    I’ve constantly challenged both commenters and writers who say “cheap” (v, poor). But if you shift blame to the previous successful regime, saying attendance fell after “Jacobs/Hart let the farm system fall off,” where’s the blame for a full Dolan decade of a barren farm system? Can’t compare the Jacobs wildly successful drafting success followed by a few dud years with what happened from the Dolans’ purchase until Kipnis made the majors. Their drafting has been historically bad, comically bad. Not saying that the Dolan Hate Fever is fair, that they aren’t nice guys, etc. But it’s not fair to say they’ve been good owners either.

  • Steve

    I know what Ezzie said. I think there is a slight gap we have to bridge between that and how he actually feels though.

    This town clamors about how much they want to watch a winner, but then hold out when the Indians start to win a few games. I get the skepticism, but people are complaining about when the other shoe is going to drop instead of enjoying the moment. When the Indians are losing, the fans act like things are as miserable as it could possible get. When the Indians win? Things are going to be miserable in the near future. That’s what Ezzie is getting at.

    I think it’s not much more complicated than this town is a huge football town, and not much of a baseball town. The Browns just have to open camp to get people excited, while the Indians have to meet a standard quite a bit higher. Now, maybe Ezzie actually is someone who is so disgruntled by the economics of baseball that he won’t get involved, but what happens when the Indians are in first on August 1st that changes those economics that he’ll know show up?

  • Ezzie Goldish

    He shouldn’t have bought into a league where he couldn’t compete, though. MLB is horribly structured, but everyone knew that. If he wasn’t planning on competing regularly (which he can’t in a small market unless he’s willing to take big investment risk), he shouldn’t have bought in.

    I don’t think they deserve all the blame, but I wouldn’t expect Dolan to add to the payroll next year by adding a top starter and some bullpen arms, a 1B or 3B, etc. This year was their investment to avoid apathy, next year they will ride the coattails of this year.

  • Steve

    The lottery analogy makes no sense to me, and if anything, I would reverse it. The payoff of a great Indians season isn’t lower than the payoff of a great Browns season, unless you happen to like the Browns a lot more.

    A guaranteed low return is the Browns’ ineptness over the years. A lottery ticket is the Indians getting everything working at the same time like it did in 2007.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I think my reply basically already addressed this… but basically once they’re at a point in the season where it’s clear they are legitimate contenders for this year, the economics don’t matter anymore. The smaller the sample size, the less the money impacts it. Like mgbode said, any team can win a short series, they just have to get there. Until it’s realistic to believe they’ll get there, it’s not worth it. Once it is realistic, it is.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    ? But which would you buy? I’d definitely buy the lower return more than the one in a billion shot.

  • Steve

    But he did compete. 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2013, with a few years of fairly exciting ball sprinkled in. We’re not talking about the recent history of the Royals or Pirates here, and is kind of what I’m talking about. Things weren’t 90s good, and Dolan gets lumped in with some of the worst owners in the history of professional sports.

    I’d bet that Dolan won’t make a big addition to the payroll next year, because it’s damn hard for any Cleveland team to draw top FA talent. But I’m not alright next winter off as a miserable one.

  • timmycouch

    bingo. people will make every excuse in the book. if its just not that big of a baseball town, thats okay….4-12 football or a 7-8 seed in the nba arent remotely comparable to even making the mlb playoffs as a wildcard

  • Steve

    I’d say the farm wasn’t barren, and improved after Jacobs/Hart left, despite the drafting, which isn’t the only way to build a farm system. The Indians built some good young talented teams from 2004-2008. If they could have assembled a consistent bullpen from year to year, things would be viewed a lot differently.

    But I think your statement proves my point. You are on the fairer side when it comes to evaluating Dolan, and you still accuse him of gutting the team. There are a lot of people not willing to take the time to understand the situation who just simply hate Dolan, and still hold it against him.

  • mgbode

    as Jacob and others have shown, next year’s payroll is already almost at the same line this one is at. the Dolan’s have shown a propensity to spend $70-80mil when they think they team is good enough to compete for a playoff spot (and $20-30mil less when they don’t).

    that’s the problem. we will be likely losing Reynolds, Kazmir, Ubaldo, and others and will have to be good at selecting the next line of guys who can find a solid year on the cheap. but, it’s not because the Dolan’s are being purely cheap. it’s because that’s what will fit into their ‘competitive team budget’ of ~$80mil, which has alot to do with the market size of Cleveland.

    this can be fixed by getting better young players in the system. and with Kipnis, Santana, Chisenhall, Salazar, McAllister, and others there is renewed hope (from me at least) that we are doing a better job at recognizing and advancing that young talent in our system (either in draft or trade). let us hope that it continues and that Lindor and Frazier are as good as touted.

  • Steve

    Then your analogy makes no sense at all to me, as I can’t even tell what you prefer.

    And in sports, I’ll take the big risk to win big. The Browns or Indians losing next year is not comparable to putting food on the plate or a roof over my head.

  • Steve

    “Once they’re at a point in the season where it’s clear they are
    legitimate contenders for this year, the economics don’t matter anymore”

    The defense rests, your honor. The economics matter until they don’t. Once they’re contenders, and any potential loss is easy to handle, we’ll buy in.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    …because of the structure. I still don’t think you fully understood my original point. It’s one thing to root for a team that has equal odds, through good times and bad. But when the league is structured to screw the team, it’s a lot harder to justify the rooting until you know that the screwing isn’t applicable right now.

  • Jeremy Campbell

    The fact that this article starts out stating that there is only ONE difference between this year’s team and the team from the 90′s tells me that I’ve read far enough.

  • WFNYJacob

    Looking at this now…

    Kipnis (2nd rd, 2009) is the one star draft product of Brad Grant’s era as Director of Amateur Scouting. (circa Nov. 2007).

    Jury is still out on Chisenhall (1st rd, 2008). He’s only 24 and at least has made it to majors. So it’s a push at the moment.

    Salazar (FA in 2006) was signed before Grant (who probably deals more with college draft) and the one actual internal pitching prospect to develop.

    Both McAllister (July 2010, NYY) and Santana (July 2008, LAD) were trade pieces. Indians have fared well here often, but usually in MLB-prospect deals.

    If you look at the last five drafts overall, especially high-round pitchers, the results are inconsistent at best so far. It’s admittedly early. But I just don’t share the same optimism you do. More on this later today in The Diff.

  • The Swami

    Shapiro needs to be replaced.Too many years of bad trades and bad signings. Fans are tired of it! Not coming to games!

  • Alan

    They will never win or get fans to attend games cause I put a curse on them. The last time the Indians went to the World Series I put a curse on them cause their cartoon like team symbol is a disgrace and racist. Remove the cartoon Indian and I will remove the curse.

  • GoingYard

    Shapiro isn’ the GM anymore. He still has input but it is ANtonetti’s now. ANd he made a lot of nice moves this year. Too many to list. All GMs are not perfect. Trades sometimes do not work, but you forgot the Gomes/Avilles one…you forgot the swisher and bourne signings, you forgot Kazmir…you forgot the Jubaldo trade…you forgot Giambi…Reynolds was the only bad one.

  • The Swami

    Are record against the teams in the playoffs is way below 500.Lets see how good this team really is.We won’t be facing the AAA Twins,White Sox and Astros.By the way it took 2 years for the Jubaldo trade to produce.And look at his record this whole year,not just against AAA a teams in September.