WARNING: This post contains mostly information of a non-cycling nature. I do actually follow a few other sports. Reader discretion is advised.
Baseball, basketball, and football. I've rooted for every Cleveland representative in these respective sports. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest NBA fan, but I watched nearly all of the Cavaliers games this last post-season. It was exciting despite their not making the finals. For as long as I can remember, I've been a Browns fan. Even through all of the heartbreak of the late 80's. Seeing the team leave and then return. The last couple of years we still got to see and/or listen to games while living in Idaho. Despite their record, the Browns were at least in the game and/or winning a lot of the time. We had many 'Cardiac Kids' moments during the last few years that kept it exciting.
The Indians, on the other hand, I have only really come to be a fan of during the last 9 years. Prior to that, I was a long-time Cincinnati Reds fan. I can't tell you how many times I fell asleep with the radio tuned to Reds games and Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall calling the game. Remember the Reds in the early 90's? There was a lot to be excited about then.
Well, the Indians did give us something to cheer about a couple of years ago after a long hiatus. Anybody who follows the Indians knows how this season has gone. Some can be blamed on injuries. I don't need to say anymore than has already been said about the bullpen. Even though the team is below .500, there are (now, maybe were) some bright spots in the lineup. Again, anybody who follows the Indians knows who these are:
This week started off horribly with the Ryan Garko trade for a friggin' Class-A pitching 'prospect'. I know the Indians need starting pitching, but come on, Class-A? Why didn't they just pick up some little leaguer? Just when the the Indians were actually winning some games, they decided to get rid of a solid first baseman that can actually hit the ball.
Then, today, they trade Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Phillies for THREE (actually four) MORE MINOR LEAGUERS. Oh wait... I mean 'prospects'. Cliff Lee is, by far, the best starter the Indians have (had) this year. Remember, pitching is the Indians' weak suit this year. Guess that means we should give up our best pitcher right when we need him most. Sounds logical, right?!? On top of that, Francisco has one hell of an arm in the outfield to go along with a decent batting average and a base stealing threat. Sure, he's no Carl Crawford or Jacob Ellsbury in the SB department but Francisco and Choo at least make opposing pitchers pay attention. The Phillies didn't even have to give up any of their good pitching 'prospects' to get Lee either. The Indians got another stupid Class-A pitcher in the deal.
To make matters worse, there is even talk that Victor Martinez is on the block as well. I'm sure the catcher from the Phillies deal is going to be just as good... He's played a whopping 7 games this season.
Perhaps the most telling thing about both deals is that the Indians have basically traded starters for minor league players. What does this say about the Indians' minor league organization? Is there currently not enough good talent in the minor leagues that can help in the future? Aren't the minor league teams supposed to 'develop' these 'prospects' into actual major-league players for the future? These guys they just picked up had better be damned good because, otherwise, Cleveland got screwed. Philadelphia didn't have to give up their most precious pitching talent they were willing to deal for Roy Halladay.
It almost goes without saying that the Cleveland Indians management has given up on winning in the 2009 season. Who cares they won 12 out of their last 14 games? Cliff Lee wouldn't have made an impact on the 2010 season, right? Sure, he's eligible for free agency after next season and might not be here in 2011. Why not get one more solid year out of him as a STARTER and actually DEVELOP some other pitchers in the meantime?
Perhaps I'm just a bit cynical and tired of 'rebuilding'. At least the Browns have acquired some players to try and win. I don't think I'm going to watch any more Indians games this year. I can't root for a team that makes it obvious they don't care about winning.
1 day ago