The numbness is only matched by the persistence. From the Shell Station off I-71 in Strongsville to the Sunoco on Rockside Road in Valley View or the Valero on Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, the underlying need to find the “win big” scratch card becomes normalcy; day-to-day and year-to-year. Infinitesimally minuscule probabilities of striking it rich are understood. The anticipation before uncovering each section of the ticket has waned. Excitement from modest returns has all but dissipated. Yet, somehow the desire lingers, and the cycle continues.
Such is the life of the Cleveland Indians front office in search for their next star outfielder.
As with most Instant Game sets, the Indians have seen constant change-over from which to select even from the end of the season. A few of the more popular plays have remained or are expected to be re-introduced. Some options have been discontinued with a slight chance of reappearing months or perhaps even years later.4 A few are only to be played situationally– such as either against left-handed or right-handed pitching. Finally, there is the tease of the new with potential huge payouts despite such promises in the past having disappointed.
With precious few exceptions, the top prize value on any of these scratch cards will be lower than the lottery jackpots of trading for a Tommy Pham or signing a Bryce Harper– or even an Andrew McCutchen. The principal investment required for those near guarantee returns is significantly more than is said to be possible for the Indians; so on and on goes the hunt for satisfaction through lesser means.
But, fret not. McDonald’s Monopoly is returning soon. Maybe the next great Tribe outfielder is among the prizes. Supposedly, the game isn’t even rigged anymore.