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Indians Fans…Why So Bitter?

Indians fans have been spoiled since Terry Francona has taken over this franchise, yet don’t seem to appreciate where he’s led this team from.

When Francona arrived, the team had gone through a couple of forgettable managers, Eric Wedge and Manny Acta, who at times got the fans excited with fast starts or even in Wedge’s case, one game away from the World Series, but overall both failed to reach the promise land.

In four seasons Francona had not only gotten the team to the World Series, but with the help of the front office had built a team with exciting stars like Lindor and Ramirez, and also a team filled with starting pitching that would make any team in the league jealous.

But now, with there still plenty of questions about if this team can matchup with the big dogs of the American League in 2019, there’s more grumbling and anger about the franchise than there has been in a long time.

Yes there’s still a ton of questions about the outfield – who is going to line up in all three starting spots on opening day, and yes the pen also has their share of question marks, but at the end of the day, do you really think this team isn’t going to compete to try and get back to the Series once again?

Unlike last season, Goodyear will be an interesting place in 2019 for this group of Indians, as with positions to be won it will be fun to see what players can step up and win roster spots, and more so win starting spots.

Leonys Martin, Jordan Luplow, Tyler Naquin, Greg Allen, Brady Zimmer and Jake Bauers. All names that Indians fans should probably get use to hearing as they will all compete for the three outfield spots.

Yes there might be a darkhorse to be added, but likely these are the players who are expected to have the best shots to win the open spots, two of which were taken last season by Michael Brantley and Melky Cabrera.

Yet every day on twitter fans seem to want to spend more time expressing their utter frustration that this team hasn’t opened their pocketbooks for a ‘big name’ player, and instead have focused on allowing the young players to have a shot.

From being called inept, cheap, not caring – the Indians front office and owner Paul Dolan have taken a beating this offseason, but the track record of delivering quality teams since 2013, teams that have always been in the playoff mix, should be enough to allow some leeway – right?

Without getting too deep into it, the team eyed cutting payroll about as soon as the offseason began, and why fans are upset all they need to do is look at attendance for the team in terms of where they stand in Major League Baseball – 21st a year ago (24,083 a game), 22nd in 2017 (25,285 a game), and this off a World Series run.

It’s not popular to bash fans for not going to the ballpark, but it is a direct reason as to why this franchise has had to shift their focus some to giving young players shots in the outfield and bullpen, and have had to deal some players with sizable contracts (Yan Gomes, Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso), and let others walk (Brantley, Cody Allen, Andrew Miller, Lonnie Chisenhall).

Fans have made their minds up about how they feel about this team, but before you declare you’re ‘not going to watch a game’ or ‘not go to the ballpark’ this summer, remember this – this is a team that deserves your support, they’ve earned it.

They have given fans memorable playoff rides, have put up solid regular seasons in winning three straight AL Central Titles (something that hasn’t been done since the 90’s), and again, they still have a roster that’s the best far and away in the American League.

So all this anger and bitterness – put it away for awhile.

Let’s sit back and enjoy the ride a bit, if the team fails – take all your energy (as it seems plenty have already done) and put it behind a football franchise that before winning five of their last seven games this past season had lost or tied 37 of of their last 41 games, yet they seem to get a pass from the Cleveland fan base.

Will the Indians win a World Series in 2019?

I don’t know – and neither do you. Just remember this – no one felt they would in 2016, and they were two runs away from doing it.

If you want to declare the ‘season over’ before Spring Training even starts – feel free – but something tells me that you’ll be back if this team finds its way, and with the guy sitting on the bench and his ability as a future Hall of Fame manger, as well as a front office that has always been aggressive in making deals to make the team better – I am betting they will have this team right back in the postseason mix in nine months.

From there, who knows – but don’t at least deserve a chance?

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Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Richard Lyman

    January 27, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    The Indians fans are far too jaded. No matter what, they won’t show up at the park. World Series victory would come with last in attendance. If it doesn’t change, we’re the next Expos.

  2. Pingback: Indians Fans…Why So Bitter? – neosportsinsiders.com | Cleveland Indians

  3. jason tenney

    January 28, 2019 at 8:06 am

    From the cleveland area now residing in Missouri and i get why the indians fans are bitter! This offense would make anyone feel bitter! I dont care if you have the best rotation alive if you cant score runs your going to gas out a rotation and most likely we will see alot of 2-0 games!
    The ownership with lack of wise spending putting at least a competent offense on the field to compete with the astros yankees and red sox have said to fans we dont care about our starting pitching staff and the talent that is there possibly wasting the deepest starting talent this “pitching wise” franchise has ever seen!
    You cant rip 60% of your offense from the lineup in the off season and think that even remotely this team can compete with the big dogs…..and thats the reason why fans are bitter……..so close but oh so far away!

  4. Archer

    January 28, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Did Dolan pay you to write this? Why so bitter? It’s very simple. The Indians lost a world series bc your manager that is so great made exceptionally bad decisions and didn’t put the Cubs away when they were down. And unlike the Royals and Cubs who lost then THEIR FRONT OFFICE MADE MOVES TO WIN THE NEXT ONE the Indians did nothing to get over the hump. How about letting Rajai Davis walk after he hit the biggest home run in Indians history??? A shut down closer or bullpen arm after Miller pitched the WBC after all that playoff pitching and smoked his arm. Kelvin Herrera? Nope. Or a CLUTCH hitter maybe Nelson Cruz or Steve Pearce for example. No we trade Mejia for Hand and terrible Cimber. Hand didn’t even make up for the loss of Miller. Bottom line. Dolan will never give us a winner. The window is closed for a year now. Too concerned with gimmicks like drink rails and district tickets. So the ballpark is more “young people friendly”. Like that terrible music blaring thru the speakers. Good teams draw attendance. And baseball fans hate that way to loud music. The good front office guys went to other teams now. Antonetti is terrible. Not baseball smart. Tito is over rated. Younger managers are the trend and they produce. Tito’s insistence on playing veterans is ubdurd. And Yandy Diaz…. Let’s see if he’s another Jesus Aguilar this year. I hope so. All that money wasted on Edwin and Alonso last year….. Aguilar walked away and went to the all Star game. Gomes traded so TERRIBLE Perez can start. Great idea. But this last straw for me is letting Brantley go. He’ll be in the world series and the Indians won’t win the division this year.

  5. Matt

    January 28, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    I have defended the Dolans for many, many years as sensible owners who trust the front office and spend at the right times, but this offseason finally broke me. I’m bitter because I don’t believe ownership has any real intention to compete for a World Series this season (I exempt the front office, they are doing the best they can with their financial restrictions). Does that mean IF they get into the playoffs (this team is only projected to win 91 games in the charming soft AL Central, people shouldn’t assume it’s a slam dunk division winner) they can’t win a title? No, of course it’s possible. But I no longer I believe ownership is doing everything they can do maximize their chances. We look at 2016 as if that’s the norm, but that team wasn’t built for a title and got red hot at the right time — and FYI still didn’t win it all, as great and magical as that run was. I don’t think we can count on getting lucky like that two out of four years with three monsters in the AL.
    I’m not asking for $300 million to sign Harper, but $7 million for a decent reliever or outfielder seems eminently reasonable.
    When Lindor is a free agent in three years — meaning they have to trade him in two years, max, because I don’t believe the team can, or even should, spend $300 million on one player — then you have to go all in for these next two years and then you can step back and retool/rebuild and I would have defended the Dolans again. But they are wasting a year of Lindor on hope and scotch tape and I can’t abide that.
    We complain about fans not showing up and say “it’s a business,” but we laud players for playing for the “love of the game” and taking pay cuts to be team players — because what’s the real difference between $8 million and $10 million per year, right — yet we never expect owners to want to own a team for the love of the game. We also haven’t ever seen the books and have no idea what the profit margins are, so I’m not going to assume the Dolans are losing money and “have” to cut payroll.
    I just don’t think fans are being unreasonable in expecting ownership to go for it while they had the foundation of a champion but the supplemental help of a thrift store.

  6. Kord

    January 28, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Totally agree with this article. Team goes to world series- fans complain. Win division 3 years in a row- fans complain. Set team payroll records- fans complain.

    Fans say “spend money and win more, we’ll show up!” They did their part, fans didn’t. The best part of this is that now they know there is nothing they can do to to make fans happy and can use their resources to build a competitive team at a good price. Fans will complain, but what’s new?

    I hope they sell out to Montreal. I am one tribe fan who would celebrate the move. Cleveland doesn’t deserve them.

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