After Comments the Last Two Days - Being an Indians Fan is Tough
Even when you know bad news is coming, it still can make you sad when you hear it.
That’s how we felt when Cleveland Indians’ president Chris Antonetti spoke on Tuesday and talked about the “daunting” financial reality of the team.
He also spoke about the “reality” of the financial loss the Indians suffered during the shortened 60 game schedule, losing money from ticket revenue, concessions, and parking about other things.
So many things go through our heads on this.
First, we understand this was a difficult season for every major league baseball team. We are sure they didn’t make as much money as they usually make.
On the other hand, they didn’t have to pay any player his full salary either and the costs of travel were also greatly reduced because there were fewer trips as well as shorter ones.
The Cleveland Indians are definitely not the only team who can make these claims.
Secondly, since the off-season just started and the team has just introduced some new season ticket options, this seems like an odd way to solicit potential ticket buyers.
Your team president pretty much told everyone the payroll will be trimmed again, and one of the team’s best players will likely be traded. We are sure this news isn’t making anyone reach for their checkbooks.
We understand that the ownership is being honest, in fact, brutally so, and are trying to be transparent about the financial state of the franchise. However, there is a difference between being truthful and beating someone over the head with the truth.
It’s likely the supporters of the team know what the owners want to spend on players with the trades over the past few years of Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger, as well as the loss of Michael Brantley to free agency.
In theory, many people thought those moves were made to free up money to spend on either younger impact players. That didn’t turn out to be the case.
We know and understand the Cleveland Indians cannot spend on players the same amount of money that the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers spend. But why can’t they spend what the Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, and Milwaukee Brewers can?
And although we don’t live in those cities, so we don’t know the message the ownership provides to the fans, we would doubt it isn’t the constant “woe is us” message Indians’ fans receive from the ownership here.
We would agree with declining the club option for Carlos Santana and although we would pick up Brad Hand’s option with the hope of trading him, he wouldn’t be terribly angry if they simply let the southpaw go when the World Series ends.
Unfortunately, it seems like the same modus operandi will be in place. The Indians will trim these salaries and not spend them on players to help the remaining players.
Remember, this isn’t a rebuilding situation for the Tribe. They made the playoffs from 2016-18, missed in 2019 even though they won 93 games, and made the post-season this season.
They have a cadre of young, controlled starting pitchers, led by 25-year-old Shane Bieber, the likely AL Cy Young Award winner. Their best two position players are 27 and 26, and both would rank in the top 25 players in the sport.
Why wouldn’t you want to make a push and try to bolster the roster around these players? Maybe the Indians will be better in 2021, but it puts a lot of pressure on everyone, including apparently many young, inexperienced players to perform at a very high level.
This is probably just the first in what should be many such talks from the Indians’ organization telling their customers not to get high expectations.
It’s a dreadful situation if you are a fan of the Tribe.