I’m not even supposed to be here today. I’m on vacation, but for whatever reason I didn’t pawn off my WWW, so here goes!
This is the part where I complain about the Indians even if the trades were alright
I know it’s not all the Dolans’ fault the Indians are where they are in the game of baseball. I know it’s not all Mark Shapiro’s fault. I know I’m dumb for putting up with the Browns because they’ve been less successful in a sport with a supposed even playing field. The bottom line is this. Based on any decent standard I don’t think the Indians are doing well enough. Out-performing the Browns isn’t a bragging point. The Indians haven’t given up on this season by trading Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera. You can make business sense out of both deals, but I’m sick and tired of making business sense out of the Cleveland Indians. It’s not my job as a fan.
If I was a portfolio manager and the Indians were my stock portfolio, I could probably get into it a bit more, but I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling badly for wanting the Indians to be better. I’m tired of looking at the division and seeing a real opportunity to make some noise only to see the Indians underperform, trade away two guys and then see the Tigers actually do something to improve as they did by trading for David Price. I’m sure Chris Antonetti’s quotes were something about the difficult competitive and trade landscapes. Again, like I should feel badly for wanting my professional baseball team to compete at the highest levels.
Antonetti: "You'd always like to do more." Said 2-3 trade offers came down to wire, would've impacted MLB team. Couldn't cross finish line.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 31, 2014
Yesterday on Twitter I constantly heard some variation on, “The Indians have a good track record on trades!” It’s true. They seem to do just fine when it comes to making trades. You know where their track record stinks? It stinks when it comes to making the playoffs. They’ve made it twice since Mark Shapiro and company decided to hitch their wagon to Eric Wedge back in 2003. So keep telling me how good the Indians are at trades. It’s like bragging about a stock broker because he doesn’t lose you money.
Maybe I’m just a fair weather fan now. Maybe this is what MLB has done to me. Or maybe Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti actually truly need to be replaced now. Sure, a playoff run might still happen, but don’t tell me it’s the stellar work of this front office at the trade deadline that only found opportunities to trade away starters. Even if those starters were struggling, it’s hard to understand a clubhouse feeling like it’s going for it with nothing but exports at the deadline.
This is the team they chose to follow up their magical run last year? At least the Browns keep firing the losers who lose. Maybe the Browns pull that trigger too frequently, but the Indians have barely proven to this fan-base that they have a gun in the last decade.
I’m not even supposed to be here today. I’m sure some of you wish I wasn’t.
I’m also not feeling super confident about the Cleveland Browns, by the way
This is another year that I find myself getting optimistic on occasion. Brian Hoyer had some flashes a year ago. The Browns’ defense has improved on paper once again. They’ve hired a coach that I feel pretty good about right now before any games have been played. In so many ways, it’s exactly where I was a year ago, and earlier this week, that fact scared me.
A year ago, I was excited for Rob Chudzinski, especially because he was backed up by Ray Horton and Norv Turner. Finally, they replaced Pat Shurmur! Yes, the Browns were returning Brandon Weeden as the starting quarterback, but they’d gone out and signed Jason Campbell who surely was an improvement over Colt McCoy. Plus, the Browns were keeping Trent Richardson fresh and healthy in camp. We all know how last year ended.
Right now I wonder if the Browns have done enough in terms of quarterback. Brian Hoyer looks good, but honestly he’s a question mark. I don’t know anyone who wanted Johnny Manziel more than I did in the draft, but this rookie is a question mark too. Connor Shaw is another rookie like Manziel, and Tyler Thigpen might not be as good as Jason Campbell.
I think the Browns’ defense is improved year-over-year and I can’t imagine a defense performing worse for Mike Pettine than it did a year ago with however Chud was guiding Ray Horton. That’s because you never imagine your team getting worse from year to year. You never imagine all their moves being failures.
I do feel like the Browns improved their team. I legitimately like Ben Tate and Terrance West. I legitimately thought it was time to move on from D’Qwell Jackson and Karlos Dansby has been a playmaker. I liked T.J. Ward, but Donte Whitner is an experienced player with a great track record. The Browns might have paid too much money but they kept Alex Mack. Josh Gordon might not actually be suspended indefinitely if things go his way today. Jordan Cameron is in a contract year and was a weapon a year ago.
But here’s a bit similar to what I did last year. 4-5-4-5-5-4. That’s the Browns win total for each year since Derek Anderson helped them win 10 in 2007. So, you can say you miss “optimistic Craig” and I tend to agree. Be my guest and let the Browns bring him back. I don’t even know if I know what he looks like anymore. 4-5-4-5-5-4.
All you need is Love…
I’m really sorry to be such a downer today, but I can’t help but be honest. Plus, all this negativity has led me to finally accept that the Cavaliers just need to trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love if that’s what it takes. I’ve hemmed and hawed about bargaining power and winning the game of poker and I’m not backing off that, but the Cavaliers can’t waste a year even on the potential upside of Wiggins.
The most obvious reason is that LeBron James is the best player in the world and when you have that guy, you don’t waste a rep. You’re going to put 82+ games on that player’s career, and if you leave anything in the tank, you’ve wasted one of a very few opportunities any of us have in this lifetime to see a championship for a Cleveland team. Can’t do it. Won’t do it.
The other reason is that Kevin Love is already a great player. “What if Wiggins becomes a superstar?” If he does, it will take at least two years for him to become that superstar. At the same time, how much better than Kevin Love can he become? 20%? If so, what’s the probability that Wiggins actually fulfills that potential? It’s difficult for a player to become as good as he is supposed to become. We know Kevin Love already has.
That’s why LeBron James only comes around once in a while. That’s why Kevin Durant only comes around once in a while. Kevin Love is already good enough that we know he only comes around once in a while, not that he’s on LeBron or Durant’s level.
Point being, I want the Cavs to play good poker in the trade market, but I also want them to play their best possible hand in the card game that is this upcoming NBA season. It’s hard to imagine the Cavaliers having a better poker hand than the one including Kevin Love. LeBron is an Ace, Kevin Love is clearly a face card, and we think Wiggins will be a ten or higher, but we just don’t know yet.
Living large might not be all it’s cracked up to be
I saw a really interesting documentary this week. While I don’t know that I can apply the principles of this film to my own life in a lot of ways, it really spoke to me anyway. Tiny is the story of a guy who builds a micro-house with the idea that he was going to take on a truly minimalist lifestyle. The documentary showed an entire culture of these people who already live like this around the country. Something about their efficient, debt-free lives seems so appealing. The older I get, the less I feel the need to chase more and more material possessions and the more I want to unload many of the things that clutter my life.
Anyway, it was an interesting story and it’s on Netflix.
Now… back to my regularly scheduled vacation.