Is Our Fans Learning?

I can't take credit for the concept of this post; it comes from the mind of one of the site's leaders, who thought it might be humorous / cathartic / massochistic / instructive. So here's what I've done: I've waded through miles of comments in search of the most representative of Cleveland Sports Fan Idiocy. Given the usual high quality and astute commenting, you'd think I'd be searching for needles in large, sprawling haystacks, but NO: It was actually rather easy to find stupid comments. I've compiled some of my favorite, along with a quick take on why they're included. Have fun, grab the popcorn, and prepare to break the nearest bottle and stab yourself with it.

From maxx46:

False hope with every victory. Blow a kiss to Lee too. He's gone come September.

My take: This just might be the dumbest of all the comments I've read. It implies that we'll hold Lee through this trading deadline, even though we're deteremined to trade him now, and... waive him in September? Trade him the moment the season ends? This is awesome.

From whaticee:

Talent evaluators of the draft have been way off for many years. Look it up. The last good pick was Victor Martinez. Sadly those bad draft picks are now in the majors. From an all star at every poistion to no all stars at any position

My take: I did look it up, douchebag. Victor was signed as an amateur free agent in 1996. But I admire your confidence in the face of facts; clearly we have no stars at any position at all. 

From dawginutah, regarding Jensen Lewis getting yanked after walking the first two batters of the ninth with a 7-run lead:

It sounds like the poor guy is on Wedgie's sh!t list. That means he will be treated like Brandon Phillips & others Wedge disliked or didn't respect. So add Lewis to the long list of players who will one day excell elsewhere cause this sounds like just the beginning of that kind of treatment for Jensen. And who's to say Wedge wasn't at fault for pitching him more than one inning? Even tho' it wasn't a close situation why not bring in Wood for the ninth?

My take: Wow.

From dogdale:


does anyone realize he's on pace (actually a tad ahead) to match last ears RBI total? 90 in 495 / 30 in 159.

Why doesn't he play everyday? his numbers scream that with consistent starts he excels. Oh I guess we don't want him driving in too many runs....

My take: Until dogdale pointed it out, I didn't realize that management was trying to prevent the team from scoring runs. I was under the impression that being third in the AL in runs scored was a sign that the lineup has been productive. Clearly the ills of this season would have been remedied by more Ryan Garko!

From LariSpitler, following the DeRosa trade:

I ask why we start trading away players 1 month plus before trading deadline. This is how negotiations work, the closer you get to the deadline the more desperate teams are to get their players. . .We on the other hand trade them a month earlier. Time for Shapiro and Wedge to go. 

My take: I included this one because there are literally dozens of commenters who think it's obvious that waiting until the deadline trumps trading now. One even called for Shapiro to die (that comment was thankfully removed). 

From tdawg69, following the DeRosa trade:

Unbelievable! The only reason they would do this so early is to save $$ on his salary....

RP Mujica 2.95 ERA
SP Sabathia 3.55 ERA 78K's
RP Julian Tavarez 3.65ERA

My take: Yes, saving one month of DeRosa's salary was the only reason to trade him. Sharp analysis. I also like my buddy 69's list of Mujica (the obviously dominant bullpen force whom we just refused to keep because of his big contract), Sabathia (the guy who was begging us to offer him a discount contract just so he could sign here for life), and Tavarez (WTFBBQ?!) This is roughly like saying, "It's worth paying more in cap-and-trade because BOAT, SAUCER, McRIB SANDWICH AM I RIGHT?

From bbcoach:

Well how long are the Dolan's going to wait to tell Shapiro to get rid of Wedge, Willis and Shelton. Hopefully soon. The pitchers are not pitching and are not in the game. The hitters have no clue but to try going for the fences all the time (how about hitting to the opposite field, it is called situational hitting) and when you make a minor league lineup out what do you expect against real major leaguers.

My take: Please tell me the "bb" in your name stands for "basketball."

From indians75959:


My take: Gotta love the all-caps approach. Sowers has been a letdown, but some fans on have accused Wedge and Shapiro of "lying" to fans when Sowers pitches, because they just know that sending Sowers out there is an effort to lose.

From fauxnuze:

Has the trend of when we have high expectatiouns = horrible team and low expectations = winners struck anyone yet? Whats up with that? High expectation cause WEDGE to CHOKE. Slow starts, choking down the stretch or worse (Boston)...I can imagine Wedges pregame comments. Hey guys, we HAVE to win THIS GAME! Someone has to hit a grand slam...whatever one says to totally freak someone. Dude is a minor league manager. That's all and thats it. He's prpoved it again and again

My take: I love the idea of Wedge running around frantically in the clubhouse shouting, "Someone has to hit a grandslam! Who's it going to be? Grady, GRAND SLAM! Start us off!"

From aebleone:

Hey, remember Ed Mujica who couldnt get anyone out for the Tribe? Well, he's pitched 32 innings for the Padres and has a 2.23 ERA and 30K's to only 9 BB's. Add him to the list of players such as Brandon Phillips,Jeremy Guthrie, and Ryan Ludwick that Wedge wasn't able to turn into Major League ballplayers but other teams have made into superstars! A couple more players on the Tribe's current roster heading that way include Josh Barfield and Trevor Crowe.

My take: Ed Mujica is a superstar! So is Guthrie! And Ludwick! And it's pretty easy to project that Barfield and Crowe will become superstars once the shackles of Wedge are removed.

From HardPanther:

The bullpen is absolute junk!
This is what Paul Dolan spent $81 mill on instead of keeping Millwood, CC and Bob Howry, back then.
Joe Smith was part of a Mets Bullpen that blew their division lead 2 years in a row. Why did Shapiro think that Smith would do any better here?

My take: The Indians have a magical hill of money that they just refuse to mine for studs such as Bob Howry.

Conclusions: Any time a team struggles, fans will be unhappy. That's fine. But the comments above are not exactly outliers in a sea of reasonable reaction. There is a deep, fundamental misunderstanding of how money works in this game. Jay and others have worked hard to elucidate the options that a team like Cleveland has when it comes to free agency, player retention, etc. And yet there remains a huge mountain to climb to help the average fan have even a basic understanding. 

I'm not Eric Wedge fan, but clearly fans are ascribing every problem with this team... Eh, what's the point? He's going to have to be fired, whether it's entirely fair or not. 

Finally, there is absolutely no appreciation for Choo, Shoppach, or even the strong seasons turned in for several years by Peralta. The fans are palpably angry at the team and management. READ THIS DOLAN

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