Well, I just heard this morning on the car ride to work that the inevitable was going to happen.... Indians management is working on the final details of a trade that will send C.C. to the Brewers. With the way the season has gone, we all knew this was coming, however it's still a kick in the groin when it happens.
I've basically accepted that the Cleveland Indians will never be able to keep their elite players and if we do finally win a championship it will be a fluke. Weak and/or cheap ownership has probably cost us what should have been at least two titles over the past ten years or so. People bashed the Marlins for having a fire sale and dumping salary after their two World Series wins including many of us here in NE Ohio (myself included....) but at least they got it done. I'd happily endure three to five years of 70 win seasons for a title.
Even more disappointing and frustrating are the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'd be willing to bet that LeBron is playing elsewhere come 2010 and that David Stern and Nike will be the biggest reason why. LeBron says he wants to win a title in the worst way and that will be the determining factor in where he will play in the future. While I believe him to be sincere, I feel that the pressure from David Stern, Nike and the rest of LeBron's sponsors will be too much to resist. He'll be gone and Cleveland will be boned again with nothing to show for it. I've suspected that the league has tampered in favor of it's big market teams for some time. Minnesota made a trade that was completely one sided and benefited the Celtics, ditto the Grizzlies/Lakers trade putting Gasol with Kobe. Is it any surprise that the teams that benefited are in huge markets? Hmmmmmm.
Worse yet is how the talking heads such as Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless openly imploring LeBron to leave Cleveland. How is this not tampering?
All this is why I'm pretty much giving up on sports except for football. The NFL have by far the fairest salary system, draft system and free agency system. There is no (or very little) big market bias in the NFL, at least as far as signing and drafting new players and keeping the ones you have (TV coverage is a different story). The Bills and Browns have just as good of a chance to compete with the Cowboys and Giants of the world provided they draft well and sign good players in free agency.