I recently registered as a member of LGT, but I've been a fan and frequent reader of the site for a few years now.
I've been an Indians fan since 1984, right around the time I first became interested in, and began playing baseball. I grew up on southern Connecticut, surrounded by Yankees and Red Sox (and only after they'd won the '86 Series) Met fans so how I came to follow the Indians is a mystery to me, my friends, professional acquaintances and relatives. Perhaps it had something to do with the very first pack of baseball cards I purchased, which contained a Joe Carter Donruss 'Rated Rookie'. But that would have made me a Cubs fan, so who knows. Point is I've been living with the team's ups-and-downs, elations and disppointments, and illusions of greatness for the past 28 seasons and have the emotional scars to prove it.
I understand and appreciate Cleveland's position as a 'small market' team, and understand and appreciate the fact that the organization is constrained in the quantity of resources it has to devote to player development and salaries. So I get the fact that the Indians must live by the 'player development' mantra, whereas wealthier teams like their counterparts in the Bronx may adopt that party line until such time as the losing affects attendance or simply generates too many critical tabloid headlines at which point, bang, here's your $2XX million dollars, Mr. Rodriguez, please save us.
So to my point: I feel that since 2006 or so, notwithstanding the '07 Run To Glory (and truly horrible decision to mock Josh Beckett's girlfriend, a moment of unexplainable arrogance that a franchise as desperate to win a championship as the Indians could just not afford) just about every single decision the organization has made has been with an eye toward turning the franchise into a business venture that generates Stable, Predictable Cash Flow and to hell with winning baseball games.
As a fan, I can deal with losing. I can deal with injuries. I can deal with defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. I can even deal with Jose Mesa. BUT I cannot and will not accept management telling the fan base that it is committed to fielding a winning team, and then dotting the roster with the likes of Jack Hannahan, Shelly Duncan, Jose Lopez, Trevor Crowe (since released, I know), Casey Kotchman, a geriatric Johnny Damon....and yeah, Carlos Santana (who do we think 'won' the Blake trade now?). Trotting these clowns out day after day and expecting a different result is visual evidence of the textbook defnition of insanity-same thing over and over, expecting a different result.
I suppose that the spirit of Constructive Criticism requires that I make some suggestions about how to fix this mess. Well, maybe we start with bringing some of the AAAA talent in Columbus up to the big league club and letting them have at it for two months to see what's what. Goedert, Phelps, LaPorta, Canzler....they cannot, I don't think, be worse than the flotsam presently masquerading as major league baseball players. To an extent this has already begun to happen with the pitching staff-Lowe's DFA, Tomlin's move to the pen (*FINALLY*)....again, I"m not saying that the replacements will be world beaters; just that they are something different and somewhat unknown quantities.
Out of all of the position players, I think the Indians should commit to Choo, Kipnis and Cabrera. MAYBE Chisenall. After that, every single roster spot should be open for argument. Let's get some new blood in here, start promoting our players and make clear that which anyone who follows and cheers for this team already knows: The Indians' major league club is one of, if not the worst, in baseball, and has been since the beginning of the season.
Apologies for the rant. I'm just totally disgusted.