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Shapiro Isn't Crazy

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Shapiro Isn't Crazy

Unread postby consigliere » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:45 pm

Rack Papa Cass.....great take.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:21 pm

But Dolan is....
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Unread postby swerb » Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:19 pm

Hard to believe Shapiro will have been here 20 years when this extension expires.

Cassano makes some good points about the leeway he's given here, and also the thrill of being able to rebuild a franchise, putting your stamp on it ... as opposed to reloading it with strictly FA signings and little ascension from your farm teams.

Again, I thought hed walk when his deal was up after this year to pursue the things this market and ownership group doesn't afford him. He would have been a sought after FA GM had he not reupped, and likely gotten significantly more $$$ elsewhere.

You gotta give the guy credit for sticking around to finish what he started, despite being limited to a payroll in the bottom 6 or 7 in the league each year.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:23 am

I disagree that he would have been that hot of a FA GM. He is a middle of the pack GM. Sure he has some hits, but he has almost as many misses, and has had some pretty fortunate breaks as well.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:36 am

I asked Perry from Fox and Kline from BA this question privately, and they both agreed he'd be the most sought after GM this upcoming offseason if he did not resign with the Indians.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:47 am

Are there any other GM's whose contract was set to expire to challenge him for that spot?

Gil Meche was one of the top FA pitchers, does that make him good?
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Unread postby pup » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:49 am

Perry from Fox:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6392576

Ranks him 13th. I would say that is about middle of the pack, no?
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:27 am

Pup wrote:Perry from Fox:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6392576

Ranks him 13th. I would say that is about middle of the pack, no?


Both think of Shapiro highly. Plus, you stated you disagreed he'd be a hot GM candidate this offseason. I was merely stating a case he would be. Who cares what competition is out there against him....he'd likely have been the #1 or #2 GM candidate available, which is what you said he wouldn't be.

In response to the above, I asked Perry about this in my Q&A with him:

Q: You recently ranked the general managers in baseball and listed Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro 13th out of the 30 general managers (GM). Is Shapiro really a middle-of-the-pack GM according to your ranking, or this a result of so many strong GMs in the game today? Do you think retaining Shapiro is a good or bad thing for the organization?

DP: Shapiro’s a good GM, and his ranking is a reflection of the strength at the top of the list. It’s a much narrower gap between, say, one and 13 than there is between 13 and 26, for instance. Re-signing him is certainly the right move for the Indians. I think he’ll be considerably higher on that list in the coming years.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:58 am

Both think of Shapiro highly. Plus, you stated you disagreed he'd be a hot GM candidate this offseason. I was merely stating a case he would be. Who cares what competition is out there against him....he'd likely have been the #1 or #2 GM candidate available, which is what you said he wouldn't be.


I most certainly said one two different things. So I guess the right thing is, Shapiro is a middle of the pack GM, but would be highly sought after in the free agent market.

Shapiro’s a good GM, and his ranking is a reflection of the strength at the top of the list. It’s a much narrower gap between, say, one and 13 than there is between 13 and 26, for instance. Re-signing him is certainly the right move for the Indians. I think he’ll be considerably higher on that list in the coming years.


This is where I disagree. I disagree with a few positions on Perry's list but that is a different story. Is he a good GM? Why? For every good move he has made, I would guess I could argue a bad move to put right next to it. For every Grady, there is a Vazquez.

The farm system is much improved, yes. Yet we are afraid to use them. This offseason is a perfect example. We have great depth at a couple of positions, yet we spent our entire free agent budget on those positions, when there was other positions of need.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:19 am

Pup wrote:This is where I disagree. I disagree with a few positions on Perry's list but that is a different story. Is he a good GM? Why? For every good move he has made, I would guess I could argue a bad move to put right next to it. For every Grady, there is a Vazquez.


But, of course, don't pretty much all Gm's not named Scheurholtz (sp) have this problem? Shapiro gets put under the microscope here because he is our GM, so every move he makes is held against him good or bad. But, look around the league, a lot of GMs are doing a lot of the same things (signing retreads and/or guys on rehab). Shapiro does it more than most of them of course.

The reason Shapiro is held so highly is how much of a good realtionship he has with others in the business. He's upfront and honest, and not full of himself like some GMs (Beane).

And, you have to give Shapiro credit for what he has built. Sure, he may have failed to bring in a top quality FA or two....but the talent he has assembled on this team without having to really spend is a testament to his abilities as a GM. The pitching staff is loaded, and in addition to Sizemore and Hafner, you have some very nice young players in Marte, Peralta, Barfield and Garko who could be fixtures a long time here.

My biggest beef with him will continue to be how much he handles his prospects with kid gloves.....a byproduct of the BP fiasco I guess. It is the one thing he really needs to get better at. He also has been extremely loyal to Wedge in the past, which was another fault...but the loyalty is not as strong as it once was and Wedge would indeed be fired now if the team was healthy but struggled early on.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:58 am

But, of course, don't pretty much all Gm's not named Scheurholtz (sp) have this problem?


Just because all the girls have warts on their face, it doesn't make the one with less any prettier.

The reason Shapiro is held so highly is how much of a good realtionship he has with others in the business


Again, it does not make him good at his job.

And, you have to give Shapiro credit for what he has built


Which I have. Now, he has to take the next step.

He also has been extremely loyal to Wedge in the past, which was another fault...but the loyalty is not as strong as it once was and Wedge would indeed be fired now if the team was healthy but struggled early on.


One of my biggest beefs for a long time, and you yourself have said if Wedge takes 100 win talent, wins 90 games and misses the playoffs, he will probably have his option picked up and an extension in hand.

Combine that with SOME of the personel decisions and this hurts his overall rating, in my eyes. It doesn't mean my eyes are right, but I was one of the leaders on the Wedge bashing and you have finally come around :eek :shock:
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Unread postby leadpipe » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:23 pm

Beane has earned he right to be full of himself. If the biggest dick in the world can get the Tribe over the hump, sign him up. My Dad is the greatest guy you'll ever meet, however, you don't want him hocking free agents for your squad.

Look, Shapiro is O.K. I don't think he's the village idiot and I don't think he's Billy Beane. He's got the contract now that will give him a chance to prove himself either way.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:29 pm

I'll buy that Pipes.

Nutshell for me, he is a good GM. Not great like Atlanta's Scheurholtz (sp) or others of that ilk....but he is good nonetheless. Taking into the situation with this team, the owner, the payroll, the market and all that....to me, Shapiro is the perfect fit for the GM of this team. He'd be a good GM with any team IMO, but I think his value increases significantly in this job with the Indians. That's sort of what I was implying previously. I don't think there is any other GM who can do a better job working under the limitations Shapiro works under from a finanical standpoint.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:43 pm

I don't think there is any other GM who can do a better job working under the limitations Shapiro works under from a finanical standpoint.


1. Billy Beane - who I can't stand but gets the job done.
2. Terry Ryan

So once again, we are willing to settle. As a fanbase, we are willing to settle because what choice do we have? Hell, maybe some of Shapiro's underlings are better suited for this job. Maybe they would have spent the limited FA budget on another position. Not even saying it is right, but it is something.

2005 - Howry, Rhodes, Wickman. Pitched damn well for this team, and they were still not good enough to get over the hump.
2006 - Mota, Saurebeck, Wickman. Pitched terrible (at least 2/3). Under .500
2007 - Hernandez, Fultz, Borowski. So if these 3 match the 2005 bullpen, which would be impressive and unlikely, how are we better? We are not.

So the choice becomes, make a change. If you believe the guy getting the players is doing the right thing and getting the right players, then the manager should be gone. If you believe the manager is getting the most out of the players, then the GM is not getting the job done. If you believe the general manager and the manager are getting the job done and both are still around, then you might want to go at it with a different strategy.

Either way, settling should not be the only option.

2007, The Year of the Blind Squirrel Theory, Fantastic.
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Unread postby gumby30 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:52 pm

I agree that terry ryan is a good gm but you have to give shapiro is respect. He can only do so much with this budget. He built this team into a contender again!!
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Unread postby pup » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:16 am

I agree that terry ryan is a good gm but you have to give shapiro is respect. He can only do so much with this budget. He built this team into a contender again!!


Shapiro has received plenty of credit from me about his building of the minor league system.

What he does not get credit for is finishing off the major league team.

$5,000,000 of that tight budget went to a guy who retired. I know he didn't get the money, but it meant not going after someone else.

$3,000,000 to a old man with a bad back, to serve in a platoon role. Could be $5 million with incentives, based on PA, so I am sure they are counting him as 5 mil.

That right there is $10,000,000. Lose Paul Byrd in the jungle somewhere, and there is a stud corner OF. Instead, Delucci, Michaels, Blake and Nixon. You tell me what you would rather have. Carlos Lee in left with those chuds in right, or all 4 of those chuds being counted on.
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Unread postby gumby30 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:30 am

you know thats not the way this team is going to go. They are not going to spend all kinds of paper on one guy. You seem to forget that its a business for the dolan family not just a sports team. They are here to make money too.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:47 am

I agree Gumby.

If you can sign a Carlos Lee for one year at $10-15M, that is one thing. But it is the YEARS that make it difficult. Having someone on the roster like Lee making $15M three years from now makes it even harder to resign our own.

I'd much rather dole out the long-term committments to our own players, and I would expect that by not going out and signing some FAs to mega-deals allows us the flexibility we need to keep at least two of Westbrook, CC, and Hafner. I think they let one of the pitchers walk not because of money, but because of the viable alternatives we have in the farm system ready to produce now....but still see Hafner and one of CC/Westbrook being resigned. There is NO EXCUSE.

I'm on record with that, and feel everything they have done with keeping payroll flexible and not signing mega contract FAs is so they can have the financial means to extend those guys. If the Indians are not able to keep any of the three, I'll go through the roof....and if they only keep one (it will be Hafner for sure) I still will be disappointed. My ideal hope is they keep Hafner and Sabathia.....and to me there is no excuse for them not giving them their market value and keeping them. They are top players at their position.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:14 am

you know thats not the way this team is going to go. They are not going to spend all kinds of paper on one guy. You seem to forget that its a business for the dolan family not just a sports team. They are here to make money too.


Hogwash. You can argue about how much knowledge Forbes may or may not have about actual figures, but they have continually said the Indians are the most profitable team in the league. You think they are making this up to spite the Dolans?


If you can sign a Carlos Lee for one year at $10-15M, that is one thing. But it is the YEARS that make it difficult. Having someone on the roster like Lee making $15M three years from now makes it even harder to resign our own.


Who? They are spending money they are spending anyway. If anything, 3 years from now, this team will be made up of young guys making min salaries. They will lose the Byrds, Borowskis, Nixons and Michaels.

The only players they will be ginving raises to in the time of Lee's contract will be CC, Pronk and Westy. Let's say they keep CC for market value.

CC - 18 million
Miller - Arby, minimum
Sowers - Arby, minimum
Carmona - Arby, minimum
Lofgren, Lewis - Arby, minimum

2006 rotation will be about 17 million.
2012 rotation will be maybe maybe 22 million.

The whole team in 5 years will be young and inexpensive, outside of CC, Pronk, Grady and Victor (who is on his last contract with the Tribe if they keep Pronk). You are telling me that Carlos Lee is going to keep them from signing one of those?

I'm on record with that, and feel everything they have done with keeping payroll flexible and not signing mega contract FAs is so they can have the financial means to extend those guys. If the Indians are not able to keep any of the three, I'll go through the roof....and if they only keep one (it will be Hafner for sure) I still will be disappointed. My ideal hope is they keep Hafner and Sabathia.....and to me there is no excuse for them not giving them their market value and keeping them. They are top players at their position.


So you are confident they will get something done with CC? I would love to know your reasoning....
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:47 am

Pup wrote:Hogwash. You can argue about how much knowledge Forbes may or may not have about actual figures, but they have continually said the Indians are the most profitable team in the league. You think they are making this up to spite the Dolans?


I've talked to several people about this Forbes report, and everyone has said "take it with a HUGE grain of salt." I have no doubt the Indians are making money, but most profitable? Hardly. The teams with their own networks can hide earnings in those networks, which is why the Forbes report shows the Yanks and Boston being least profitable. They do not have any access to team info, and most of what they run are estimates.

The Forbes report has value for information purposes....but it is hardly the be-all-end-all when it comes to team valuation and profitability.

Who? They are spending money they are spending anyway. If anything, 3 years from now, this team will be made up of young guys making min salaries. They will lose the Byrds, Borowskis, Nixons and Michaels.


True, those guys are gone. But, in just two years players like Lee, Sizemore, Peralta, and Victor will be making $12-15M more in total than they are now. You HAVE to consider that going into 2009, which is the first year of a Sabathia/Hafner extension:

Player (2007 salary and 2009 salary)
Lee: 3M to 6M
Martinez: $3.2M to $5.9M
Peralta: $1M to $3.65M
Sizemore: $900K to $4.75M

And, an additional example, Sizemore will go from $4.75 in 2009 to $10.5M in 2012. A bargain still, but an example how the payroll will increase as these contracts start to kick in. Most of the deals some of the guys signed are backloaded.

Plus, as the Indians get older, tons of players start hitting arbitration. Guys like Barfield, Marte, Sowers, etc in two years possibly. As this roster gets older, the payroll will increase. That is something I think the fans don't get....is that a big reason the payroll appears so low is because we are SO YOUNG. As this team matures, it will go up.

The Twins are the model I always follow. They have virtually done NOTHING in free agency or trade to pick up high salary players....yet their payroll increases every year:

2001: 24.1M
2002: 40.2M
2003: 55.5M
2004: 53.6M
2005: 56.2M
2006: 63.4M
2007: 70M (projected)

As that team is getting older, their players are becoming more expensive. Whether it be because they are in arbitration, or long term pre-arby deals are hitting the backloaded portion of the deals, or the players about to hit FA they have resigned.

The only players they will be ginving raises to in the time of Lee's contract will be CC, Pronk and Westy. Let's say they keep CC for market value.

CC - 18 million
Miller - Arby, minimum
Sowers - Arby, minimum
Carmona - Arby, minimum
Lofgren, Lewis - Arby, minimum

2006 rotation will be about 17 million.
2012 rotation will be maybe maybe 22 million.


Dude....you are way off. First off, by 2012 Sowers will be in his final arby year. If he doesn't have a multi-year deal by then, and he continues to say just pitch like Cliff Lee, he'll get $8-10M in arby by then. Adam Miller, if he pitches well, will be in his 1st or 2nd year of arby, and getting $3-5M or more a year....Carmona somewhere around that too. The 5th starter could likely be a guy making min, so agree there. So, with CC in tow at $18M, it costs more likely almost $40M for that 5-man rotation. And that is on the low side, as those were modest projections.

Also, by 2012, what of Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, Andy Marte, Josh Barfield, Grady Sizemore and others? Need to extend them too....which will be very costly.

So, it is not JUST Westbrook, Hafner and CC we need to extend...short term yes....but long term, a 5-year contract given to a player today DOES affect the ability to resign a player who's contract expires in 2-3 years.

The whole team in 5 years will be young and inexpensive, outside of CC, Pronk, Grady and Victor (who is on his last contract with the Tribe if they keep Pronk). You are telling me that Carlos Lee is going to keep them from signing one of those?


You seem to be of the mind they dump everyone and go with prospects again. I am not. I think they will mix in prospects from here on out and let some people walk, but they will resign most of their talent. When I say most, I am predicting 2 of every 3 guys, maybe half.

So you are confident they will get something done with CC? I would love to know your reasoning....


I am very confident something will be done with Hafner, or has been done. As for CC, I am not confident. I am 50/50 they can resign him. That said, I think they have the means to resign him, but it works both ways as the player has to want to stay (that is the part I am unsure about).
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Unread postby pup » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:09 am

You seem to be of the mind they dump everyone and go with prospects again. I am not. I think they will mix in prospects from here on out and let some people walk, but they will resign most of their talent. When I say most, I am predicting 2 of every 3 guys, maybe half.


Which is the total difference between our arguments. I have NO REASON to believe they will sign any of them past thier initial just before arby time, extending them through those years. They haven't done it yet, they won't do it then.

When these guys hit arby years, what will the Indians do? They will sign them to deals that pay them around their arby number for a few years, then jump up. By the time they jump up, the Carlos Lee 6 year deal is either over, or tradeable.

Most of the deals some of the guys signed are backloaded.


Just like the ones they currently have, the next wave of signings will be backloaded.

True, those guys are gone. But, in just two years players like Lee, Sizemore, Peralta, and Victor will be making $12-15M more in total than they are now. You HAVE to consider that going into 2009, which is the first year of a Sabathia/Hafner extension:


OK. There is Paul Byrd and Trot Nixons salaries. I think we will survive without them in 2009.

You don't believe they are signing CC. I don't believe they are signing CC. Nobody in Cleveland believes they are signing CC. There is no CC extension. The Pronk deal will be very payroll firendly, so I am not too concerned with that one either.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:32 am

In the next 2-3 years, the Indians are going to have a lot of players hitting arbitration. That, along with the increase in salaries to current long-term guys will alone increase payroll by $20-30M. Yes, other players will drop off (Nixon, Byrd, etc).....but the point is, if you look at this 25-man roster today at $61M in payroll....the roster after the old vets drop off and you don't include the Big Three FAs we have the payroll in 2-3 years will be at that or above that.

25 guys in 2007: 61M
18 guys in 2009 or 2010: $50-60M+

So, that leaves you with roughly 25-30M MAX to fill 7 spots on the team, extend CC, Hafner, and Westbrook...to bring the payroll to a ceiling of $75-80M. If CC and Hafner get extensions that total say $30M.....where does that leave money to be able to go out and sign a Carlos Lee or anyone? THAT'S what I am talking about.

You sign Carlos Lee to a 5 year deal, then kiss Hafner good-bye. That's where the 1-2 year deals make sense, and is a huge reason this team likes them. Not only does it offer payroll flexibility, but it also does not put any restraint on this teams ability to resign their guys. It is going to be hard enough as it is....
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Unread postby pup » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:33 pm

I can't even really argue this anymore. If they resign 2 out of 3 guys that they should, then it could possibly be a worthy point about not signing a Carlos Lee.

My main point, which gets lost in the arguments of numbers is this: The Indians will not pay market value for any 2 out of 3 players. Since that is a foregone conclusion, in my eyes, then do everything you can to win THIS year, or next year.

To worry about 2010, when you have a realisitc chance to win in 2007 is a slap in the face to an entire fan base that just wants to win a title. I know what you are going to say, that I can think that way and they can't, but that is why Dolan is hated by most of the fans (and I don't even put this on Dolan as much as Shapiro).

Most people see a team that won religiously for 8 years, watched that team get torn apart before they won a WS under the assumption that they were going to do things a smarter way, but still win. Well it has been 5 years and they haven't won. Above .500 once. They did the same thing this offseason they did before 2005 and 2006. Those didn't work. Why are we going down the same path? So if we get lucky they will contend, if not wait another year.

My problem is I really beleive they are close. You know what teams that want to win do when they get close? They add the pieces they need. We rehash old memories.

If I didn't think the core talent was good enough to win a World Series, I wouldn't spend 1/10th of the time discussing it. You have to surround that core talent with some missing pieces though. That is what they suck at.
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