Excuse me, Mr. Dolan? The time is now: Between Innings

The 2018 Cleveland Indians have a good team. A team worthy of contending for the World Series. But, there is one person who can put the team over the top in both talent to increase the odds of ending the 70-year drought, and also push the Tribe into the collective mindset of Northeast Ohio. That person is Paul Dolan.

Mr. Paul Dolan
Progressive Field, Home of the Cleveland Indians
2401 Ontario St
Cleveland, OH 44115

Dear Mr. Paul Dolan,

I am the self-appointed chairman of the Tribe die-hard fan community that desperately desires the 2018 Cleveland Indians advance back to their rightful perch at the top of the Cleveland sports hierarchy. I write to invite you as the Chairman/CEO and “control person” of the Indians to help in this quest.

The Ohio North-coast community would be pleased to cover the team’s payroll, travel, and lodging expenses while you visit various cities throughout the MLB postseason through ticket, concession, and merchandise purchases. The denizens of Northeast Ohio already are providing a Top 2 market rating as I am sure you are aware.

The rare opportunity to fully seize the sporting landscape is upon you. The nearby football establishment suffered through the worst two-year stretch in NFL history, and the basketball neighbors in the Gateway Complex just had the greatest player of all-time flee from their active roster. The needed bandwagon fans who are willing to blindly spend in the party atmosphere developed in the backdrop of a winning ballclub have ripened over the course of these recent events.

The confluence of happenings from the 90s that overtook the region are not likely to return. The city will remain mostly a football town despite the wretchedness of both the stadium and team that sits on the lake shore. Progressive Field has received some fantastic and noticeable upgrades over the past several years, but renovations lack the panache of a fully new ballpark. There is a reason the number 455 is retired.

However, with the proper push, the people can still unite on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario in greater force and no shove towards the turnstiles is stronger than trading for a big-name player.

It might seem unfair to make this plea given the Tribe has six All-Stars. Given the fact the offense has been the fourth best in all of baseball. Your front office might point out that the Indians have also had the best baserunning and defense among the American League contenders. Perhaps it is noted in those meetings the rotation boasts four of the Top 21 starters in MLB.1 Maybe all that is needed to make a deep October run is a couple of good relief pitchers– even if they won’t grab the headlines. And, yes, any upgrades to the 25-man roster would be folly without correcting the bullpen.

Still, with Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, and Lonnie Chisenhall2 all free agents at the end of the season, it makes sense to cash in more chips to end the longest World Series drought. Given the current state of the other sporting franchises in town, the time could not be better.

Manny Machado is the prize to be won at the trade deadline, but there are plenty of other potential targets with expiring contracts on losing teams. Adrian Beltre is a future Hall of Famer. Josh Donaldson plays with a flair that would fit well with the current cast of characters. Brian Dozier’s poor first half might help grease the skids for the rare inter-division trade. Given the teams ahead of the San Francisco Giants, it is worth putting in a couple calls about Andrew McCutchen. Plus, there are bound to be other surprise names that come up over the course of conversations in the next two weeks.

Please reply with actions in the trade market as soon as you are able so that we win over the casual fans before HBO Hard Knocks distracts the local residents with delusions of a four-win season from the Cleveland Browns.

Kind regards,
Michael Bode
WFNY writer / Lifetime fan of the Cleveland Indians

  1. In terms of fWAR []
  2. included for WFNY writer Jeff Nomina []