As a lifelong fan of a mid-market MLB team, I feel like the expectations I enter the season with are valid. I’m not expecting to win 105+ games or lead the league in any particular category. I like to see a young team that gels well together and does not rely on superstars to get the job done. What superstars my team does have, I hope to get the best out of their current contract because I know it will be very hard to keep them after that.
I have two goals every April that I, as a fan give to my beloved Indians. Show progression from the previous season and give me a reason to watch in September. As a kid growing up in Central Ohio in the 90’s, I became very spoiled watching the Tribe. Playoffs and dominating seasons were a yearly occurrence. Stars wanted to come to be a part of it and players nearing the end of their careers chasing a title, jumped on the Cleveland bandwagon. Baseball has changed a lot since then. Money drives the sport now more than it ever did. Mid-market teams have to get creative in spending to build a winner. It’s not an easy thing to find the perfect mix of affordable talent that gels perfectly into a contender.
Too often lately, as August starts to wind down, the Indians are out of contention. Major League Baseball was my first love as a child and I enjoy nothing more than watching the season end and the playoffs begin. Not having the Tribe be a part of the post-season theatrics is a grueling thing. I don’t need them to wrap things up early, but I want them to be a part of the race. I want every game to mean something. As an out-of-town fan living in Baltimore, this is my third staright year subscribing to the “MLB Extra Innings” pay-per-view, allowing me to watch every Indians game from the comfort of my own home. Unfortunately, the last couple years, this service has gone virtually unused during the late part of the baseball season.
I don’t want that to happen this year. I’m not sure what needs to be done, I don’t feel like our hitting or pitching is strong enough to do a thing in the post-season were we to make it. But I don’t care, I just want to get there.
I hate when teams in Cleveland’s situation trade away promising young talent for a presumed “star” in order to compete. Because there is such a large risk factor involved to receive a decent return investment. I was very vocally against the Ubaldo trade last year and still am. Although Pomeranz and White haven’t really done a whole lot to help my argument, I felt like the deal was done to appease the fan base more than improve the team. I also felt that the Tribe had a solid 1-2 punch in the making in those two guys and hated moving them.
Like I said before, I’m not sure what needs to be done. I believe that this team can compete for a wild card with the current pieces in place. I don’t see them going much farther than that though. But to be honest to just be a part of the playoff race would be a huge step in the right direction.
That’s all I am asking for…give me a reason to watch in September. The rest will take care of itself.
What are you looking to get out of this Tribe season, let me know on Twitter @kylecedwards713