I have often made my feelings about the Indians front office very visible on this website.
Here: (http://www.morethanafan.net/2012/08/06/indians-a-reflection-of-a-failed-front-office/), and here: (http://www.morethanafan.net/2012/09/28/an-eventful-thursday-tribe-and-browns-heading-in-new-directions/).
If you don’t read those, and I would encourage you to, I’ll give you a summary of what I said. Shapiro stinks. Antonetti stinks. Neither are accountable. Neither have a direction for this ball club. Both have failed this organization miserably. This week should be no different for the Tribe.
With a new manager and a new season ahead of us, the production of the Indians front office should be the same: abysmal. The Indians have clear and glaring holes that need to be filled. A first baseman, a power hitting, right-handed outfielder (Swisher, cough, COUGH!), and starting pitching. The team right now is young, and messy, but not a complete failure. They have strong pieces, but the glaring holes are not going to allow those strengths to truly float this ball club along.
With this front office, although they should, the Indians will most likely not get anything done this weekend. They could make a few minor deals just to appease the fans while insulting their intelligence, but overall the Indians will be a very similar ball club to the one they were last week.
I would like, more than anything from this organization, to see Shapiro and Antonetti pull the trigger on an aggressive trade to make this baseball team better. That, however, wouldn’t be “financially responsible” or “in the best interest of this ballclub”. The excuses will seemingly mount as the Tribe continues to get nothing done. The first base hole will still be wide open, the right-handed outfielder will still be in New York, and the Indians will have, yet again, failed, thanks to the front office.
I’ve had people telling me to be patient. I’ve had people telling me to believe that things will change. I’m sorry, I’ve believed. I’ve had faith in this front office. I gave the FO one final ultimatum: “Get a trade done at the deadline or lose my vote of faith and confidence.” Of course, nothing was done, and my belief in the FO was gone.
These guys are simply not accountable and their interests lie in areas outside of winning baseball games. (Reference Shapiro’s “just don’t come” comments.) I’m all for the ballpark experience and the club seats, but this town needs winning more than they need luxury at the ball park. The Indians plan, at this point, seems to be to allow the fans to watch the miserable organization in the most amazing way. It’s all fine and good, but it’s not what is most important.
How many times have we heard that the Indians expect to be “very active” and how many times have we heard the excuses and the crying of “small market”? How many times will we believe these imbeciles in the suites behind home plate? It doesn’t make any sense, or does it? It makes a ton of sense. These guys want to win, but simply don’t have the fortitude or the interest in doing so. To win, one must take risks. One must go out and make moves. The Indians haven’t taken a risk since Ubaldo, and unfortunately it hasn’t turned out as planned. Maybe that’s why the Indians won’t take risks anymore. Maybe Ubaldo ruined their appetite for risk-taking. One bad move, however, can’t determine your course in later moves. That’s not how an organization works. And honestly, the Ubaldo move wasn’t even all that bad. No, he’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s certainly not as bad as Pomeranz and White have been.
I’ve had enough of the failed prospects. I’ve had enough of being the sellers. The Indians need to be buyers, and with Baseball’s Winter Meetings having arrived, what a perfect time to make some moves. With this FO, there will be no moves. There will be no exciting and necessary additions to this ballclub. And it’s not because they can’t, it’s because they won’t. They are far too cheap, far too focused on other things, and far to incapable of building a winning team. Let’s face it, in 2007, they got lucky. They locked all of these players up for the long term, and they immediately started their decline because they had a flukey year. It had nothing to do with building a winning baseball team. It was a bunch of young guys, and Travis Hafner on the juice, who somehow won baseball games, but still couldn’t manage to finish.
So what should you, as a Tribe fan, realistically expect this weekend? My expectations would be as follows: they trade Asdrubal Cabrera for prospects, they trade Shin-Soo Choo for prospects, they trade Ubaldo Jimenez for prospects, and/or they trade Chris Perez for prospects. I really wouldn’t understand the logic of most of these moves, but for the Indians I guess that is completely to be expected. This baseball team will be set back another 3-5 years and the losing will continue, regardless of the manager at the helm.
My hope for this weekend: although I have no hope for the Indians, they go get someone. I don’t care who, (Swisher, cough, COUGH), or how, but I need them to get better. They aren’t going to get better by simply adding more prospects. Their wallet will get fatter by doing so, but what good is a fat wallet if one is not going to use it? That seems to have been the Indians M.O. for quite a while now. Fatten the wallet, and keep it fat. Don’t spend it, don’t get better, just keep the money in the wallet and go from there.
So, as active as the Tribe will supposedly be this week, don’t expect any moves to make this team better, or any moves at all. Call me a cynic, but this front office has yet to do anything to make me think otherwise. The lack of accountability starts at the top and trickles all the way down to the bottom. The horrible part is, there seems to be no end to this lack of accountability in sight.
Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove