Indians Faithful Braving Dull, Boring Winter

By: T.J Zuppe

The baseball winter meetings wrapped up during the week, with a variety of moves made throughout the league. Of course the big names, like outfielder Carl Crawford and first-baseman Adrian Gonzalez’s arrival in Beantown provided the big splash.

The Yankees leading a bidding war for pitcher Cliff Lee also received much attention, as teams jockeyed for the services of the ace hurler.

And in Cleveland, the Indians added free-agent catcher Paul Phillips and lost two prospects in the major league phase of the Rule-V draft. That was it.

For those keeping score at home, that would be a backup catcher, who will fight for playing time with fellow catcher Luke Carlin at Class-AAA Columbus, as well as a two minor leaguers lost for the time being, in shortstop Josh Rodriguez and pitcher Jose Flores.

Indians Hope the Return of Grady Sizemore Makes Up For Lack Of Off-Season Movement

Rodriguez was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while Flores was taken by the Seattle Mariners.

Those were the big transactions of the Indians’ winter meetings.

That sound you hear is a collective yawn by the city of Cleveland towards their baseball team.

Now, the Indians did show some interest throughout the week in several players, including reported conversations involving outfielder Fred Lewis, mutual interest in infielder Nick Punto, while other names like shortstop Adam Everett and outfielder Jeff Francoeur were bantered about as well.

Yet, at the end of the day, the Indians got their back-up Class-AAA catcher, in Phillips.

Now it has become clear, the Tribe intends on viewing the return of outfielder Grady Sizemore and catcher Carlos Santana as major off-season acquisitions, even though both are mending from injury. Rightfully so, both could provide a punch in the lineup, a group that severely needed it last season.

They also view the in-house options in the starting rotation and throughout the infield, as better than picking up a free-agent, simply to add a name to the mix.

However, as the calendar turns to 2011, the Indians still need an everyday third-baseman, additional right-handed stick in the outfield and veteran options in the starting rotation. Throughout all the hearsay, the team did not address any of those positions.

The perception has now become that the team is not even trying to better itself, despite attempts that could say otherwise.

What the fans are looking for is some sort of bone to be thrown their way, to excite their spirits heading into the holiday season. They need some sort of reason to be excited about their team, outside of a possible return in Sizemore and Santana and the prospects of a full season of youth in the rotation.

All of which could pan out for the better, however that “if” factor will not help put many butts in the seats in 2011.

The passion is still there. They are begging for a reason to have hope.

However, the lack of movement just keeps making it a little harder to remain optimistic in the cold winter months.

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1 Comment

  1. great, another awful baseball season!


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