Last season, the Tribe had a decent 2014 campaign where they went 85-77 and saw Cory Kluber win the American League Cy Young award. We saw Michael Brantley transform into a pure hitter, our bullpen proved to be as solid as they come, and we have a handful of quality young guys in the minors just waiting for an opportunity to play. There was plenty to build off from last year heading into 2015.
Many fans are so turned off by the Indians ever since the Dolans bought the team in 2000. I am constantly hearing fans comparing the Indians of now to the Indians of 20 years ago. To me, that is such an unfair comparison to make. There will never be a team in modern day baseball that will equal what the 1991-2001 Cleveland Indians were. It’s simply not possible. Fans in Cleveland were so used to a dominant team during those years that they overlook what we have today. We have an outstanding team as of 2015 and I want our fans to realize that. The front office has bent over backwards constructing this team through the draft, shrewd trading, and valuable free agent signings. It’s time for the fans to show their appreciation.
I feel that a lot of fans hold a grudge on the Indians current ownership because of how the team was dismantled after they purchased it which is, once again, completely unfair. Being a small market team, we have trouble keeping our players from chasing the big bucks to the New Yorks, the Los Angeleses, and what have you. That’s exactly what happened with all of our elite players from the 1990’s. Money talks and they went to where the money was. There was no way they were staying here and that is not the fault of our front office. That’s just how it goes in baseball.
After a few years of mediocrity, the Indians were once again contenders in 2007 with the likes of CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, etc.; however, history repeated itself. Sabathia and Lee wanted beaucoup bucks and the Indians were forced to part ways with them. This commenced a full rebuild mode that led to a liquidation of pretty much all of our assets. So what were our owners supposed to do? They couldn’t do anything because the star caliber players wanted out of town.
You can tell that a lot of Tribe fans despise the Dolans still. It’s sad but it’s true. The worst thing about it is that they truly love the Indians and want to see them succeed. It’s just kind of hard to do when you don’t have as much money to spend as the bigger markets and you can’t keep your players from leaving. There’s a disconnect from the front office and the fans. It shows when I go to the games and see only a quarter of the seats filled. It breaks my heart that we can’t sell out games like we used to. It also frustrates me that when I go to a game against Detroit, I’m surrounded by Tigers fans and empty seats. I shouldn’t feel like I’m a visitor in my own ballpark. Last season, we were one of the better teams in baseball, yet we were 29th in attendance.
I certainly don’t want to tell you how to spend your money; you worked hard for it. If you don’t want to spend money on the Indians, I understand, but I want to tell you that the reason you’re not spending money should not be because the team is bad or because you have a misguided hatred towards the Dolans. I know interest in baseball exists because the TV ratings are still huge in Cleveand. Our team is not going to rebuild itself anytime soon. The Tribe here to compete and a supportive fanbase would be a nice contribution to their success.
I know the love for this team is there and I think it’s time we finally got behind the Indians again. I believe they’ve earned our support and it’s time we showed them that we’re all in. 2015 is not the 1990’s. It’s something completely different; it has its own swagger to it. This is an era in which the Indians are a team to be feared once more.