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Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

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Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 21, 2012 10:48 am

Spare me the rghteous indignation, hate and shock.

There's no danger I know of or have heard of but I can tell you that a lack of attendance and support (and the attached stigma of that lack of support and attendance coming while a team is at the top of the standings) is not beneficvial to the long term health or viability of the business in its current market.

Is Cleveland a 3-team town? Is it big enough? Enough Money? Enough Interest? Enough civic/political/corporate support to make three teams profitable and sustainable?

I simply think the city has regressed enough in terms of population and income and many other ways that it may be Buffalo or Cincy (and it ain't even Cincy if you really look at it) instead of Detroit.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby jb » Mon May 21, 2012 10:52 am

I think if they just play about 35 - 40 games in the Superdome to augment income until microwaves strat selling more everything would be fine.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby gotribe31 » Mon May 21, 2012 10:59 am

I've wondered (and worried about) the same thing. I'm not an economist so I don't really know the answers to the above, but the whole "win and the fans will show up" just hasn't been holding true to form. Even the playoff games in 2007 were sellouts, but not "hard" sellouts where the tickets simply weren't available; scalpers were selling for at or below face value come gametime.

Personally, I'd rather lose the Cavs than the Indians if it came down to that. Still not convinced that it's a zero-sum game though. I do know that as long as the gate recipts are down, the team can't afford to spend big money to attract marquee free agents who don't seem to want to come live in Cleveland anyway. So then gate recipts stay down becuase fans don't get properly excited until it's too late. Kind of a catch-22.

What's sad is that it seems like Cleveland will always have to overpay to attract FA's, as we saw this offseason with the Beltran and Pena offers, and as we saw for years with LeBron's Cavs. And the Indians can't afford to pay the going rate for superstars, let alone overpay. With the new rules in the draft and international free agents, aquiring and developing future stars became that much harder for small market teams. Extremely frustrating.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 11:02 am

Not with the current attendence. You just can't be last in the league and expect that to be OK over the long term.

I wonder if Dolan would sell before considering a move. I also wonder if he would make sure to sell to someone willing to give it a good shot in Cleveland. I'm not a Dolan hater and I like the front office, but I'm in the minority. It doesn't matter if it's true or not, but the vast majority of Cleveland fans think Dolan is cheap and doesn't care about winning.

I like this team, but I am disappointed they haven't been able (for whatever reasons) to do more to put a contender on the field.

I think that the team can and would be supported in Cleveland with a run of sustained success, if it is success that fans actually believe. And I don't think most fans really believe in the success that we've seen so far this season.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:07 am

Good points. Wondering if Title of thread would be better served as "Is Cleveland Still a 3-Team Town"??

Does it matter? If you get rid of the Cavs do the Indians draw any more? I think we have a reasonable answer to that questions if it's the Browns who are gone.

Are the Cavs healthier if the Indians move?

Do they Cavs make a difference to the Indians at all? Nominal amount?
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:10 am

BTW- You're going to need to separate your love of a specific team or sport if you're going to look at this honestly.

It doesn't matter if you don't give a damn about the browns and Cavs. Screaming, "I love my Tribe" doesn't help unless you're bringing 15k friends every night.

Like wanting a bigger house and bigger car or having to cut something from your budget.

Is it sustainable as is? For how long? Are there any fixes?
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Mon May 21, 2012 11:11 am

Much more sustainable than a casino.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby gotribe31 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:18 am

I think the biggest issue is the lack of die-hard baseball fans. Clearly, there are plenty of football fans who will go to Browns games, buy Browns gear etc no matter how shitty the team has been for however long. I'm one of those people, so I understand the mentality. But there aren't as many baseball fans who will do the same. Why is a playoff team a pre-requisite for going to a baseball game? I'm hardly endorsing mediocrity (or worse), but do the Indians HAVE to be in 1st place for you to enjoy a summer evening at the ballpark? I like to watch baseball. I like the Indians. I'll go watch Indians baseball even if they're in last place. Would I prefer them to be in 1st place and on their way to the ALCS? Of course. But everytime I'm home in Cleveland and the Indians are in town, I'm at at least one game regardless of the standings. I'm jealous of everyone that lives close enough to the stadium to go more often.

Like Swerb pointed out in another thread, you can get a bleacher ticket, parking, a hot dog and a beer for cheaper than a ticket in the upper dawg pound for a Browns game. Price point isn't the issue here, at least I don't think it is. People who swear they won't give Larry Dolan their money but line up to hand it over to Randy Lerner confuse me.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Govbarney » Mon May 21, 2012 11:19 am

The population is there (the region is 16th in the nation). I have to believe eventually the economy will recover, and the TV ratings show interest in the team hasn't waned.

With Cleveland and its fans its psychological. The city suffers from a combination of PTSD and Battered wife syndrome. Its a fan base of people afraid to love again , because they are tired of getting burned. Unfortunately I think the only way to get the fan base in this city reignited is to do something that has not been done in 48 years. It doesn't even have to be the Tribe winning it all , I think if any of the Big 3 pulled off the impossible the spill over joy would be enough to effect the attendance of the other 2 teams. Over night the psych of the city would change, we would go from losers to winners, pessimists to optimists. Anything would be possible again.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:26 am

The PTSD issue doesn't seem to apply to the Browns though. Yes, there are more empty seats and there is frustration, but I have reasonable friends whose Browns cycle is now officially clicked into hopeful again despite the same shit going on for over a decade.

Is football simply that big a King that it truly doesn't matter what they do on the field. Was the prodigal son returning home a 25 year blank check to make sure they never left again even though they're basically Damien from The Omen in your house (city)?

Not arguing w/you. Much of it's true. But it doesn't account for the Browns.

I need to write a column on this at lunch.



Govbarney wrote:The population is there (the region is 16th in the nation). I have to believe eventually the economy will recover, and the TV ratings show interest in the team hasn't waned.

With Cleveland and its fans its a psychological. The city suffers from a combination of PTSD and Battered wife syndrome. Its a fan base of people afraid to love again , because they are tired of getting burned. Unfortunately I think the only way to get the fan base in this city reignited is to do something that has not done in 48 years. It doesn't even have to be the Tribe winning it all , I think if any of the Big 3 pulled off the impossible the spill over joy would be enough to effect the attendance of the other 2 teams. Over night the psych of the city would change, we would go from losers to winners, pessimists to optimists. Anything would be possible again.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Bigfist » Mon May 21, 2012 11:38 am

I think the question could be raised about a lot of cities. Is baseball sustainable in Tampa Bay? How about Oakland? Seattle? Kansas City? All of these teams are not going to find suitors. The days of the city building you a ball park and welcoming you with open arms are over. Cleveland is in trouble, but no more than the above cities. Maybe Selig had it right..contraction may be the answer.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 11:39 am

peeker643 wrote:Good points. Wondering if Title of thread would be better served as "Is Cleveland Still a 3-Team Town"??

Does it matter? If you get rid of the Cavs do the Indians draw any more? I think we have a reasonable answer to that questions if it's the Browns who are gone.

Are the Cavs healthier if the Indians move?

Do they Cavs make a difference to the Indians at all? Nominal amount?


The short answer is I have no idea.

I wouldn't think that the Cavs and Indians don't have much to do with each other. I don't know anyone that says, "Well, I'd go to more Indians games if I hadn't already gone to those Cavs games." or vice versa.

People do talk about 455 coinciding with the absence of the Browns, and that may have something to do with it, but I think that 95-2001 was teh perfect storm of a lot of factors. It was a unique time in oru city's history, and I think that happens even if the Browns never left.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby aclayman » Mon May 21, 2012 11:40 am

The whole argument that Cleveland is "Browns Town" is obviously true to some extent. But comparing fan attendance at Browns games vs. Indians games is somewhat ridiculous. We're talking 8 games versus 81. If you pony up for a Browns game, you're paying for 12.5% of the team's entire home schedule. Indians... 1.2%. Individual midseason baseball games just don't carry as much weight on any level. Why go to a Wednesday night game in May against Seattle when you can just wait for Saturday? With the Browns, the opponent barely matters. You go because it's the only thing happening all week in mid November. I just think it's an apples and oranges situation. Cleveland fans are equally cynical about all their teams.

And don't overlook the fact that thousands of hardcore Cleveland sports fans had to leave Northeast Ohio to find better job prospects. So the fan base has become more spread out, further hurting attendance.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 11:42 am

I think you are right Al. Of all the sports that a casual fan could attend, it does seem like baseball would be the one LEAST relient on a playoff team. You'd think baseball would be able to pull those fans due to weather, atmosphere, history, cost, etc more than any other sport.

gotribe31 wrote:I think the biggest issue is the lack of die-hard baseball fans. Clearly, there are plenty of football fans who will go to Browns games, buy Browns gear etc no matter how shitty the team has been for however long. I'm one of those people, so I understand the mentality. But there aren't as many baseball fans who will do the same. Why is a playoff team a pre-requisite for going to a baseball game? I'm hardly endorsing mediocrity (or worse), but do the Indians HAVE to be in 1st place for you to enjoy a summer evening at the ballpark? I like to watch baseball. I like the Indians. I'll go watch Indians baseball even if they're in last place. Would I prefer them to be in 1st place and on their way to the ALCS? Of course. But everytime I'm home in Cleveland and the Indians are in town, I'm at at least one game regardless of the standings. I'm jealous of everyone that lives close enough to the stadium to go more often.

Like Swerb pointed out in another thread, you can get a bleacher ticket, parking, a hot dog and a beer for cheaper than a ticket in the upper dawg pound for a Browns game. Price point isn't the issue here, at least I don't think it is. People who swear they won't give Larry Dolan their money but line up to hand it over to Randy Lerner confuse me.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 11:44 am

aclayman wrote:The whole argument that Cleveland is "Browns Town" is obviously true to some extent. But comparing fan attendance at Browns games vs. Indians games is somewhat ridiculous. We're talking 8 games versus 81. If you pony up for a Browns game, you're paying for 12.5% of the team's entire home schedule. Indians... 1.2%. Individual midseason baseball games just don't carry as much weight on any level. Why go to a Wednesday night game in May against Seattle when you can just wait for Saturday? With the Browns, the opponent barely matters. You go because it's the only thing happening all week in mid November. I just think it's an apples and oranges situation. Cleveland fans are equally cynical about all their teams.

And don't overlook the fact that thousands of hardcore Cleveland sports fans had to leave Northeast Ohio to find better job prospects. So the fan base has become more spread out, further hurting attendance.


Yes, but how/why is that different in Cleveland than any number of other similar sized cities that are outdrawing us?
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 11:52 am

Some interesting stuff here, if you buy in. Some is pretty much what I thought, but some of it is surprising to me.

http://www.thebusinessofsports.com/2011/07/13/is-winning-everything/

I've been banging the "just win" drum, but according to this, winning comes in 3rd behind a good park and star players

When we include all of these factors together to predict annual attendance in MLB, we find that the stadium has the strongest effect, followed by star players, and then the winning percentage in the current season. Last season’s performance also has an influence on this year’s attendance. Statistical analysis shows that the order of the size of the effect on predicting attendance is as follows:

1.Stadium quality
2.Star players
3.Current season’s winning percentage
4.Last season’s winning percentage
5.Population-related factors (SMA population, number of MLB and other professional franchises)
6.Ticket and concession prices
7.The economy (per capita income)


But, I have been saying that sustained cross season success is the main ingredient.

Taken together, putting together a string of winning seasons should increase attendance. The problem is that compared to investing in the stadium and star players, winning is uncontrollable. Of course, signing star players may help winning, but that’s also hard to predict. From a marketer’s perspective, you are better off promoting what you can control and deliver—and winning is not one of them.


The economy. For all the hand-wringing about the effects of the economy, we find that lower per capita income levels across MLB cities affect attendance, but much less so than the other factors we’ve discussed. In the end, the fan’s objection is not so much to price, but to the value offered by the team in terms of the stadium experience, the players on the team, and the performance on the field.

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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby aclayman » Mon May 21, 2012 11:53 am

I think we'll end up right there with KC and Oakland, etc, by late summer (attendance wise). But yeah, essentially the same way we had a perfect storm in 1995 (new stadium, great lineup, rock hall of fame, etc), we've had the perfect storm of shittiness in the last couple years: Indians trading 2 Cy Youngs, Browns being a total embarrassment, and LeBron's exit serving as the final straw. If having the hometown kid / best basketball player on earth wasn't enough to end the misery, why have faith in anything? Basically, Cleveland sports needs a better marketing department. The whole "What If" thing relying on nostalgia for the '90s has everything ass backwards.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 11:57 am

^^Agree.

I know it might sound counterintuitive, but I think that the overall miserable history of Cleveland sports in general, and the all encombassing shittiness over the last 2 seasons of all of our teams has an effect.

But I do think that 3 sports are sustainable here. I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't be. I just don't really buy that there isn't enough money in the region to support them. The money is here. Enough of it anyway.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:58 am

The problem between Cavs/Indians/Browns is far less individual people choosing one of the other and far more corporate money/suits/seats. That is where the trade-off comes in. In the mid 1990's the tribe had EVERY company in town owning a lot of Jakobs field seats.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby aclayman » Mon May 21, 2012 11:58 am

That "business of sports" thing is pretty similar to the Fairweather Fan metric thing i wrote last week, which went into admittedly ridiculous detail, but basically covered the same categories: except i with "age of ballpark" and "team payroll" instead of "star players." But the basic result was that only the Braves and Rays draw shittier-vs-expectations than Cleveland right now.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Govbarney » Mon May 21, 2012 11:59 am

peeker643 wrote:The PTSD issue doesn't seem to apply to the Browns though. Yes, there are more empty seats and there is frustration, but I have reasonable friends whose Browns cycle is now officially clicked into hopeful again despite the same shit going on for over a decade.

Is football simply that big a King that it truly doesn't matter what they do on the field. Was the prodigal son returning home a 25 year blank check to make sure they never left again even though they're basically Damien from The Omen in your house (city)?

Not arguing w/you. Much of it's true. But it doesn't account for the Browns.

I need to write a column on this at lunch.



Govbarney wrote:The population is there (the region is 16th in the nation). I have to believe eventually the economy will recover, and the TV ratings show interest in the team hasn't waned.

With Cleveland and its fans its a psychological. The city suffers from a combination of PTSD and Battered wife syndrome. Its a fan base of people afraid to love again , because they are tired of getting burned. Unfortunately I think the only way to get the fan base in this city reignited is to do something that has not done in 48 years. It doesn't even have to be the Tribe winning it all , I think if any of the Big 3 pulled off the impossible the spill over joy would be enough to effect the attendance of the other 2 teams. Over night the psych of the city would change, we would go from losers to winners, pessimists to optimists. Anything would be possible again.



I cant argue with two facts , Ohio is a football first state in a football first nation.
but I think the Browns success in attendance and pre-season excitement is comparable to the same phenomenon that has Opening day sell out every year for the Indians, but only have 13000 show up for game 2.

It takes the Browns a little longer , but usually they make the same people who follow the Draft like its the moon landing in April, physically ill by November.
And sure the Browns are technically selling games out, but we all know that stadium is filled with empty seats , other teams fans, and people who bought there ticket on Stub Hub for 10% of the original ticket price. The other thing about Football Games , that an every day baseball game cant compete with is its a event that gives people a ligit excuse to get wasted at 9 am on a Sunday.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:00 pm

aclayman wrote:I think we'll end up right there with KC and Oakland, etc, by late summer (attendance wise). But yeah, essentially the same way we had a perfect storm in 1995 (new stadium, great lineup, rock hall of fame, etc), we've had the perfect storm of shittiness in the last couple years: Indians trading 2 Cy Youngs, Browns being a total embarrassment, and LeBron's exit serving as the final straw. If having the hometown kid / best basketball player on earth wasn't enough to end the misery, why have faith in anything? Basically, Cleveland sports needs a better marketing department. The whole "What If" thing relying on nostalgia for the '90s has everything ass backwards.



Well, the fact that the fans went nuts and there was a tangible post Jim Thome attendance boost is kind of counter-intuitive to what you are saying here.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 12:01 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:The problem between Cavs/Indians/Browns is far less individual people choosing one of the other and far more corporate money/suits/seats. That is where the trade-off comes in. In the mid 1990's the tribe had EVERY company in town owning a lot of Jakobs field seats.


I keep forgeting about that.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:02 pm

aclayman wrote:That "business of sports" thing is pretty similar to the Fairweather Fan metric thing i wrote last week, which went into admittedly ridiculous detail, but basically covered the same categories: except i with "age of ballpark" and "team payroll" instead of "star players." But the basic result was that only the Braves and Rays draw shittier-vs-expectations than Cleveland right now.


Comparing yourself to Atlanta and Tampa fans is never a good thing.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 12:04 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:
aclayman wrote:I think we'll end up right there with KC and Oakland, etc, by late summer (attendance wise). But yeah, essentially the same way we had a perfect storm in 1995 (new stadium, great lineup, rock hall of fame, etc), we've had the perfect storm of shittiness in the last couple years: Indians trading 2 Cy Youngs, Browns being a total embarrassment, and LeBron's exit serving as the final straw. If having the hometown kid / best basketball player on earth wasn't enough to end the misery, why have faith in anything? Basically, Cleveland sports needs a better marketing department. The whole "What If" thing relying on nostalgia for the '90s has everything ass backwards.



Well, the fact that the fans went nuts and there was a tangible post Jim Thome attendance boost is kind of counter-intuitive to what you are saying here.


You keep bringing this up. So, some fans went to the park for a few games last year to see Thome. It doesn't have much to do with anything.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby The Score » Mon May 21, 2012 12:07 pm

For me, the current economic structure of MLB isn't sustainable for a healthy overall sport. The Indians are on the bad side of the economic divide and because of that, they aren't a sustainable team long term.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:09 pm

When speaking on marketing toward the 90's nostalgia it means a lot mother.

Fans showed up to pretend it was still the 90's. Andrew wrote on marketing and frankly, marketing toward the 90's with Loften and Thome has drawn fans. It's been far more succesful than "bring your dog to the park day"
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Madre Hill, Superstar » Mon May 21, 2012 12:16 pm

There has to be a draw. Fans will flock to Browns games because football is an event unto itself, regardless of who's on the field. The Cavs shouldn't have any problem with attendance as long as Kyrie Irving and the Draft Pick To Be Named Later are on the court. The Indians...

The players aren't much of a draw anymore. Even with Grady's Ladies, C.C., and Cliff Lee, we were still having problems with fans showing up. Progressive Field isn't shiny and new anymore. And now with drug testing / more level playing field / whatever, history isn't being made night in and night out. And you have a bevy of noon and 4pm games which aren't friendly at all to anyone holding a nine to five. Top it all off with 81 home games to choose form, and you can see why there's no real pressing need to fight traffic and overpay for parking for just another baseball game.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby jb » Mon May 21, 2012 12:18 pm

gotribe31 wrote:I think the biggest issue is the lack of die-hard baseball fans.

People who swear they won't give Larry Dolan their money but line up to hand it over to Randy Lerner confuse me.



Two points here Al.

In my community literally hundreds of boys and girls play T Ball through Pony BB and SB. This is in NE Ohio and kids here are BB crazy. But when was the last time MLB televised a LCS or WS game that ended the same day it began? How in the hell can you cultivate an audience that way?

And as far as the Dolans vs Randolph Mortimer?

I wouldn't necesarily hold up the Browns as the paragon of fan passion or attendance success the past 2 seasons.

But having noted that, a fan can hope through stupid. A fan can't hope through under-resourced and a system that makes it next to impossible to truly contend with no room for any margin of error for a home team to compete for a title. Stupid can always potentialy fix itself given enouugh time and treasure. Monekeys. war & Peace. Typrewiter. That sort of thing.

Systemic failure is deadly to hope.

That and let's face it, as whiney/bully and on the take as Holmgren seems to be, heckert is infinately more liekable than the schmarmey self-satisfied shams that are Shapiro and Antonetti and all their busted draft picks, all while they pat themselves on the back.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:20 pm

More teams have won WS in the last decade than any other sports.

The Indians were one game away just five years ago.

WTF are you talking about with no hope. The baseball playoffs, more than any other sport, are consistently won by whatever team gets hot at the right time.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Mon May 21, 2012 12:21 pm

motherscratcher wrote:I wonder if Dolan would sell before considering a move.


Does the team make him money? That's the only question that matters.

15K in May doesn't mean a thing if the bottom line stays in the black. And Perez should STFU, expecting sellouts during the week is crazy. People have lives and jobs and families. He plays a game. His fat ass should be honored anyone comes to see him.

The team will be fine. Stay in 1st into the summer and the numbers will improve, just like every year.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:23 pm

Who said they expect sell-outs?

Perez cited record setting bad attendance, he never demanded that every seat be filled.

And 15K in May means good luck adding salary at the trade deadline.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Mon May 21, 2012 12:28 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:Who said they expect sell-outs?

Perez cited record setting bad attendance, he never demanded that every seat be filled.

And 15K in May means good luck adding salary at the trade deadline.


I've seen 455 mentioned in every article about attendance. Certainly implies sell-out, although there's a good chance Perez has no idea about that time.

Worry about July in July.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby mattvan1 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:31 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:The problem between Cavs/Indians/Browns is far less individual people choosing one of the other and far more corporate money/suits/seats. That is where the trade-off comes in. In the mid 1990's the tribe had EVERY company in town owning a lot of Jakobs field seats.


Nailed it. All the corporate $$ had absolutely no where to go 95-99 except The Jake. There were other factors indeed, but luxury box sales more than make up for a lack of walk ups.

Anyone have a handle on the season ticket count? Is attendance down due to lack of walk ups or because the season tix base has been eroding since CC and Lee were jettisoned?
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 12:32 pm

The Score wrote:For me, the current economic structure of MLB isn't sustainable for a healthy overall sport. The Indians are on the bad side of the economic divide and because of that, they aren't a sustainable team long term.


I disagree

We've been saying that for 15 years now, and the owners just keep making more and more money, and the franchises just keep getting more and more valuable.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Bigfist » Mon May 21, 2012 12:34 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:More teams have won WS in the last decade than any other sports.

The Indians were one game away just five years ago.

WTF are you talking about with no hope. The baseball playoffs, more than any other sport, are consistently won by whatever team gets hot at the right time.


Huh? In the last ten years the Stanley Cup has been played, there have been nine different champions...only Detroit has repeated in that time period. Off the top of my head, I know that St. Louis and Boston have each won the World Series twice in the last ten years.

And we were one game away from going to the World Series five years ago..not winning it.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:38 pm

Hockey isn't a major sport, it doesn't count. So if you and the six people that hang your head on it want to scream about how awesome it is, good for you.

And we all know the Indians would have ran through the WS just like the Sox.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:39 pm

And that greedy bastard Dolan slashed prices just last year: http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/news/a ... 8&c_id=cle
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Mon May 21, 2012 12:42 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:
And we all know the Indians would have ran through the WS just like the Sox.


This is a very painful statement. Cannot believe they didn't get one win from Fausto or CC. FML.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby gotribe31 » Mon May 21, 2012 12:57 pm

jb wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:I think the biggest issue is the lack of die-hard baseball fans.

People who swear they won't give Larry Dolan their money but line up to hand it over to Randy Lerner confuse me.



Two points here Al.

In my community literally hundreds of boys and girls play T Ball through Pony BB and SB. This is in NE Ohio and kids here are BB crazy. But when was the last time MLB televised a LCS or WS game that ended the same day it began? How in the hell can you cultivate an audience that way?

And as far as the Dolans vs Randolph Mortimer?

I wouldn't necesarily hold up the Browns as the paragon of fan passion or attendance success the past 2 seasons.

But having noted that, a fan can hope through stupid. A fan can't hope through under-resourced and a system that makes it next to impossible to truly contend with no room for any margin of error for a home team to compete for a title. Stupid can always potentialy fix itself given enouugh time and treasure. Monekeys. war & Peace. Typrewiter. That sort of thing.

Systemic failure is deadly to hope.

That and let's face it, as whiney/bully and on the take as Holmgren seems to be, heckert is infinately more liekable than the schmarmey self-satisfied shams that are Shapiro and Antonetti and all their busted draft picks, all while they pat themselves on the back.


I hear what you're saying on your first two points. I hate that the World Series starts/ends so late, and I guess I can see that as an overarching factor. I get that the salary cap system makes it more likely that the comically mismanaged Browns have a better chance of a quick turnaround than the Indians when the Indians are terrible...but the Indians aren't terrible, and weren't last year. They weren't (and probably still aren't) a playoff team, but they aren't the MLB equivalent of 4-12 either.

I will never for the life of me understand the hatred for Shapiro and this front office, and I really don't get what you mean when you refer to them patting themselves on the back. The team has come up short on the ultimate goal of winning a world series, but I don't see them as having a bottom-10 front office in baseball, far from it. The drafts have been below-average up through 2010, and I keep hearing about that. One look at the Browns draft record tells me that the Indians are hardly the only team in town to draft poorly. Shapiro has hit on more trades than he's missed on overall, and done a pretty decent job with the resources at his disposal. And as far as the "patting themselves on the back" goes, what are they supposed to do, run around like chicken little and scream that the sky is falling? e0 is right when he says the Indians are the best run organization in town. Just because Shapiro isn't a former major league player doesn't make him a bad front office guy. Not everything he touches turns to gold, but he inherited a barren farm system from everyone's hero John Hart and did a pretty good job with a team that was facing a completely different financial environment than the ones that Hart ran so well in the mid-90's.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby jb » Mon May 21, 2012 12:58 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:More teams have won WS in the last decade than any other sports.



There couldn't be a less relevant ststement. Random big markets winning titles since the strike hardly validates the system.


2011

St. Louis Cardinals

Texas Rangers

4-3



2010

San Francisco Giants

Texas Rangers

4-1



2009

New York Yankees

Philadelphia Phillies

4-2



2008

Philadelphia Phillies

Tampa Bay Rays

4-1



2007

Boston Red Sox

Colorado Rockies

4-0



2006

St. Louis Cardinals

Detroit Tigers

4-1



2005

Chicago White Sox

Houston Astros

4-0



2004

Boston Red Sox

St. Louis Cardinals

4-0



2003

Florida Marlins

New York Yankees

4-2



2002

Anaheim Angels

San Francisco Giants

4-3



2001

Arizona Diamondbacks

New York Yankees

4-3



2000

New York Yankees

New York Mets

4-1



1999

New York Yankees

Atlanta Braves

4-0



1998

New York Yankees

San Diego Padres

4-0



1997

Florida Marlins

Cleveland Indians

4-3



1996

New York Yankees

Atlanta Braves

4-2



1995

Atlanta Braves

Cleveland Indians

4-2



http://www.radio-media.com/markets/main.html

#1 New York, NY 15,340,000
#2 Los Angeles, CA 10,609,200
#3 Chicago, IL 7,612,100
#4 San Francisco, CA 6,012,000
#5 Dallas, TX 4,576,700
#6 Philadelphia, PA 4,291,700
#7 Houston, TX 4,165,000
#8 Washington, DC 4,041,300
#9 Boston, MA 3,888,800
#10 Detroit, MI 3,859,700
#11 Atlanta, GA 3,750,700
#12 Miami, FL 3,489,800
#13 Puerto Rico 3,264,900
#14 Seattle, WA 3,150,300
#15 Phoenix, AZ 2,801,300
#16 Minneapolis MN 2,550,200
#17 San Diego, CA 2,485,600
#18 Nassau, NY 2,353,600
#19 Baltimore, MD 2,236,800
#20 St. Louis, MO 2,210,800
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby The Score » Mon May 21, 2012 1:03 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
The Score wrote:For me, the current economic structure of MLB isn't sustainable for a healthy overall sport. The Indians are on the bad side of the economic divide and because of that, they aren't a sustainable team long term.


I disagree

We've been saying that for 15 years now, and the owners just keep making more and more money, and the franchises just keep getting more and more valuable.


I think the owners are making profits on every team. I don't think that the Indians can make profits and have a 100+ mill payroll, or sign a top FA (either their own or from elsewhere) and continue to profit. Therein lies the problem.

The point on sustainability is that the team won't continue in town long term with the lowest attendance figures in the league. They'll get a better offer from somewhere else.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby jb » Mon May 21, 2012 1:04 pm

gotribe31 wrote:
jb wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:I think the biggest issue is the lack of die-hard baseball fans.

People who swear they won't give Larry Dolan their money but line up to hand it over to Randy Lerner confuse me.



Two points here Al.

In my community literally hundreds of boys and girls play T Ball through Pony BB and SB. This is in NE Ohio and kids here are BB crazy. But when was the last time MLB televised a LCS or WS game that ended the same day it began? How in the hell can you cultivate an audience that way?

And as far as the Dolans vs Randolph Mortimer?

I wouldn't necesarily hold up the Browns as the paragon of fan passion or attendance success the past 2 seasons.

But having noted that, a fan can hope through stupid. A fan can't hope through under-resourced and a system that makes it next to impossible to truly contend with no room for any margin of error for a home team to compete for a title. Stupid can always potentialy fix itself given enouugh time and treasure. Monekeys. war & Peace. Typrewiter. That sort of thing.

Systemic failure is deadly to hope.

That and let's face it, as whiney/bully and on the take as Holmgren seems to be, heckert is infinately more liekable than the schmarmey self-satisfied shams that are Shapiro and Antonetti and all their busted draft picks, all while they pat themselves on the back.


I hear what you're saying on your first two points. I hate that the World Series starts/ends so late, and I guess I can see that as an overarching factor. I get that the salary cap system makes it more likely that the comically mismanaged Browns have a better chance of a quick turnaround than the Indians when the Indians are terrible...but the Indians aren't terrible, and weren't last year. They weren't (and probably still aren't) a playoff team, but they aren't the MLB equivalent of 4-12 either.

I will never for the life of me understand the hatred for Shapiro and this front office, and I really don't get what you mean when you refer to them patting themselves on the back. The team has come up short on the ultimate goal of winning a world series, but I don't see them as having a bottom-10 front office in baseball, far from it. The drafts have been below-average up through 2010, and I keep hearing about that. One look at the Browns draft record tells me that the Indians are hardly the only team in town to draft poorly. Shapiro has hit on more trades than he's missed on overall, and done a pretty decent job with the resources at his disposal. And as far as the "patting themselves on the back" goes, what are they supposed to do, run around like chicken little and scream that the sky is falling? e0 is right when he says the Indians are the best run organization in town. Just because Shapiro isn't a former major league player doesn't make him a bad front office guy. Not everything he touches turns to gold, but he inherited a barren farm system from everyone's hero John Hart and did a pretty good job with a team that was facing a completely different financial environment than the ones that Hart ran so well in the mid-90's.



Again, Al, if you gotta put the Browns up as your barameter, you're hosed. It's like saying your wife isn't too bad compared to that woman from Mike and Molly/Bridesmaids.

And please stop with the mitigation of Shapanetti. The opp cost blown from the resources of horrific draft picks and trading 2 Cy Young winners for a sore arm and crap is worthy of Mangini's 2009 draft.

These statements can be true:

The Indians have had more success and are a better run FO than the Browns since 1999.

The Browns have a much better opportunity to one day win a title than the Indians becasue the NFL is a superior competitive system 1 through 32.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 21, 2012 1:04 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:More teams have won WS in the last decade than any other sports.

The Indians were one game away just five years ago.

WTF are you talking about with no hope. The baseball playoffs, more than any other sport, are consistently won by whatever team gets hot at the right time.


This is true, but a weak arguement. I think what people are talking about is the opportunity for success, and the high payroll teams have a better opportunity year after year.

In Clevealnd we talk about windows. In New York there is no window. Every year is a year they can win it all.

Now, you're absolutely correct that baseball more than any other sport is about who is hot when they get there, but the big teams have a much more likely shot at getting there year after year.

That's probably part of the reason that the Browns seemingly get more support than the Tribe despite the asshattery of the last decade. The Browns blow, but it has everything to do with the FO/Ownership, and those things are correctable.

If the Indians blow, a big part of why (or the perception is) that it is an unlevel playing field, and even a perfectly run small market team has "windows" and relies a great deal on luck to make it through.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 21, 2012 1:07 pm

I wrote something to hopefully generate some discussion somewhere. A lot of it was focused on corporate issues. e0y2e3 and I had the Milwaukee vs. Cleveland discussion yesterday. Milwaukee is loaded with large and mid size companies that support those teams and buy those suites.

Shrinking population here. Fewer businesses. Fewer corporate sponsors.

The more I think about it the more it's the Bermuda Triangle of sports towns right now.

Can someone outlast it and help/hope for a comeback? I don't know. I'm afraid anyone smart enough to do that is smart enough to see better opportunities somewhere else.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby jb » Mon May 21, 2012 1:10 pm

peeker643 wrote:I wrote something to hopefully generate some discussion somewhere. A lot of it was focused on corporate issues. e0y2e3 and I had the Milwaukee vs. Cleveland discussion yesterday. Milwaukee is loaded with large and mid size companies that support those teams and buy those suites.

Shrinking population here. Fewer businesses. Fewer corporate sponsors.

The more I think about it the more it's the Bermuda Triangle of sports towns right now.

Can someone outlast it and help/hope for a comeback? I don't know.

As I said, ain't no shame in being Buffalo.



And refocussing, this is a huge issue. Ohio bled manufacturing jobs since 2002 at a horrifc rate and so many corporate entities have left town. There's no doubt that is having a huge impact. Next toime you are at the PIG, count the loges with chairs warpped that are dark with windows shut. Staggering. Eye is dead on about that.

Been a while since crowns used to leave jacobs Field and head down to the Sohio Riverfest after getting their Revco Baerga Bobblehead enjoying Topps Fireworks.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 1:22 pm

And Tampa and Minny have been relevant in the MLB for most of the last decade, with occasional break-outs from Cleveland and Oakland.

Sure there are windows and sure it is easier for the big markets, but baseball is far FAR more level and people pretend. Just because people want to pretend like St. Louis being the 20th biggest market matters, it doesn't.

Hell, Minny fell off a cliff when they started spending money.

And I wasn't aware the last decade when back to 1995.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 1:25 pm

PS: Texas wasn't built on big name FAs...
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby pup » Mon May 21, 2012 1:35 pm

Baseball as a sport mitigates the effect on talent more than any other sport. So many different ways to win a game without being more talented than the other team.

To use "different teams win" as part of the argument for the system not being a disaster is flat out dumb.

I can take 8 people from this board and throw Randy Johnson at his best out there and have a shot at winning a game. No other sport is anything close to that.
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Re: Is Indians Franchise Sustainable Here Long Term?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 21, 2012 1:36 pm

That is exactly the point, the Big Market whining is complete and utter bullshit, of a Colin Cowherd/Skip Bayless level.
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