The DEFEND Cleveland Show

What if…nothing happens?


What’s the biggest problem with the Indians?  You could argue having no power on the corners, and that is a pretty legitimate argument.  Hannahan, Kotchman, and Duncan aren’t going to get it done.  You could argue having subpar starting pitching with unreliable veterans, and mediocre prospects on the mound every night.  Not everyone can be the Phillies or Giants, and pitching is always a need.  So what is their biggest problem?

In my opinion, this team just isn’t interesting.  The Indians have not been able to create a captivating storyline to make fans compelled to come out to Progressive Field and watch them play.  You really couldn’t ask for a better market situation to try and sell tickets.  The Cavaliers are awful, and their players of interest are injured and out for the rest of the season.  The weather has been unseasonably warm, and dry for the most part.  Tickets are affordable.  The ballpark is nice.  Yet, there is an ocean of empty seats at Progressive Field.

Let’s all agree that the 2012 Indians are not going to win anything.  They need at least three legitimate everyday players and probably two starters to contend.  Despite the plan that management had told the public that this was a year for contention, the Tigers and lack of key player development (calling Matt LaPorta and Lonnie Chisenhall!  Matt LaPorta and Lonnie Chisenhall!) has made this team one of the cannon fodder for the “real” teams of the American League.  Still, when you wake up every morning on the corner of Ontario and Carnegie, you have to sell some tickets.

The Doomsday Scenario that is unfolding is this.  The Public does not believe in the Dolans as owners.  The team has devoted limited resources to sign players, so they must field a team of young players and calculated gambles like Grady Sizemore and Ubaldo Jimenez.  Even if the team starts relatively hot, there is a lag time until there is public buy in.  If there is a slow start?  Look out below…  Nobody is buying tickets.  The team will face financial losses, and try to deal high salary players and potential free agents like Choo and Perez to try to get lucky with prospects.  The never ending “rebuilding process” starts again.

The Indians function like a business, not a team.  As a fan, you want a kooky zillionaire owner like the Tigers have to throw money at the team.  That guy just wants to win.  I believe the Dolans want to win too.  They just don’t want to lose money while they are doing it.  In MLB, that’s a real problem.  They call that, “The Pirates Model”.

The Indians need to come up with some sort of spark for the 2012 team.  “What If?” isn’t going to hold much water if they are well below .500 on May 1st as I expect them to be.  The idea of “Blue Collar Guys Working Together” doesn’t sell tickets either.  They need to focus in on a few of these guys and sell them through.  In the “Good Old Days” of the Indians, everyone wanted to see Omar, Kenny, Thome, and Manny.  You knew these guys.  I don’t know if they need to have Michael Brantley get a face tattoo, Vinnie Pestano ride in from the bullpen on a llama, or Justin Masterson change his name to “Rex the Destroyer”.  You gotta do something though.  Casual baseball fans (i.e., almost every potential ticket buyer in NE Ohio) needs something to focus on besides Dollar Dog Night.  Otherwise the 2012 season will feel like a never ending root canal.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Apr 11 2012. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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