Radical, militant, fundamentalist Islamists have nothing on some sports sites forum users. In fact, those militants may be more reasonable.
In perusing the boards on this site and on other sites over the past week I've learned that Mark Shapiro is just plain stupid, Casey Blake is the worst player in the major leagues and LeBron James is an over-rated, selfish, poor-shooting hack who prevents the players around him from getting better.
I've also learned that new Tribe utility infielder Jamey Carroll is Satan and that the player to be named later in the deal to acquire him is bound for the Hall of Fame. Once we actually learn who that is I'm definitely looking for all his baseball cards on Ebay.
I also came to find out that the 2008 major league season has, in essence, been cancelled and the World Series hardware handed to the Detroit Tigers after they won it last week, in December, with the Miguel Cabrera trade. I'm not sure if the Indians will refund me the money I laid out for Opening Day tickets given I've also learned they are the cheapest organization in professional sports and care only about money and not at all about actually winning baseball games.
Not to mention that Derek Anderson is definitely the savior and long term solution at QB for the Browns while at the same time he definitely needs to be traded for some team's first pick next season because Brady Quinn is definitely (or not) the QB of the near future.
Welcome to December in Cleveland.
I blame latitude and longitude for the sudden onslaught of fatalism and the rash of ridiculous posts and opinions. Its geography that shortens the days and chills them to the point where stepping away from the computer must not be a viable option.
When you mix this town's sports past with this town's sports present and then throw in a dropping thermometer and ice on the roads you're set up for the perfect storm of foolishness and nonsense.
Let's just take the absolutely nothing story of Jamey Carroll as an example. Carroll was a 2b for the Rockies prior to being traded to Cleveland Friday for a player to be named later. That was a scant two days after the Marlins and Tigers finalized their Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for prospects deal that was the talk of the winter meetings.
One poster wrote:
"Today we lose 3 former draft-picks in Barton, Whitney and Smith and we get back Carroll & his 2.3M contract. December 6, 2007.... a day that will live in Tribe infamy."
"Next on Shapiro's agenda: A 3 year extension for Casey Blake. Take it to the bank!"
A date that will live in infamy?
And how did poor Casey Blake get caught up in the maelstrom that is a Jamey Carroll thread?
In total, three pages of reaction to a trade for Jamey Carroll. A journeyman player who, I would bet, no one on the boards has scouted, talked to, been teammates with, played against or, in all likelihood, even seen play.
Forgive me my ambivalence.
I'm simply having a hard time getting worked up about Jamey Carroll. Much like I'm having a hard time getting worked up losing the player to be named later. There's simply not a whole lot to this deal. Jamey Carroll is likely the 25th man on this roster. Regardless of how well or poorly he performs he's unlikely to have a large affect on the field in 2008.
Yet people are up in arms.
Apparently the Carroll deal embodies all that is wrong with the Indians as an organization. They're not willing to part with minor leaguers, they're not willing to make meaningful trades, they have a utility infielder fetish and they aren't willing to lavish millions of dollars on free agents.
It must be the past 13 years of atrocious results. The division championships, pennants, World Series appearances and post season runs lose their luster when you're dealing mediocre minor leaguers for mediocre major leaguers in December to fill out your roster.
Or maybe it's that the organization simply can't produce home grown stars and depth through their minor league affiliates. Although "The Hardball Times" (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ranking-organizations/) ranks the Indians as follows:The Good Stuff, Part ThreeHere are the top five farm systems for hitters:1. Los Angeles Dodgers2. Arizona Diamondbacks (trailing the Dodgers by less than 1%)3. Colorado Rockies4. Cleveland Indians5. San Diego Padres
The top five for pitchers: 1. Minnesota Twins2. Cleveland Indians3. Chicago Cubs4. Philadelphia Phillies5. Milwaukee BrewersPutting it all together, here's how each team's farm system ranks:1. Los Angeles Dodgers2. Cleveland Indians3. Arizona Diamondbacks4. Chicago Cubs5. Milwaukee Brewers6. Minnesota Twins7. Detroit Tigers8. New York Mets9. Colorado Rockies10. Philadelphia PhilliesWhat a mess this organization is. What a fluke 2007 had to be in order for them to get to within a game of their 3rd World Series appearance in 13 years. All of this disorder and chaos and dearth of talent at every level and the response to the Tigers grabbing Cabrera and Willis is obtaining Jamey Carroll?
The point in all of this isn't to either laud or criticize the Jamey Carroll trade. The point is that people much smarter than I am and much smarter than anyone on the boards are pulling the trigger on these deals and making these decisions. Perhaps that's what the board users fail to realize. That there are people who do for this for a living, who are paid well to make the decisions and who are accountable in the long run for each and every move. That despite the board user being a fan and a reasonably intelligent individual (in some cases) that they aren't privy to the information, processes and philosophies of those actually being paid by the Indians, Cavs and Browns.
I understand they've watched some games. But the fact I've watched a TV, rode in a car and that I've even walked across a bridge doesn't mean I could build any one of those things either.
See what all the fuss is about at: http://www.theclevelandfan.com/boards/