Window is Now

By Michael Reghi

Make no mistake, from Paul Dolan on down to the clubhouse attendants, the Indians deal for Ubaldo Jimenez over the weekend proclaims loudly the need, want, and desire to win today. And in the next two seasons. Yep, 2013 is now your line of division Indians fans. I’d venture to say a strong 80% of you are completely on board with that. For six weeks, as the Tribe has stumbled following the 30-15 start, you, the fan base, have been very vocal about your desires for Chris Antonetti to be bold, be aggressive and go after an American League Central Division crown that might need just 85 or 86 wins to capture.

I have many questions attached to the decision to jettison back-to-back first round draft choices in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, who virtually all of baseball, every organization in the game rates as ‘top of the rotation major league starters’ going forward. To be clear, that translates into 2’s, with a possibility of Pomeranz being a ‘1’. Again, point to all the failed ‘potential’ you want in Indians lore, and that’s easy to do today. Just be clear that the evaluations of White and Pomeranz run universally throughout baseball, not solely by the Indians organization. To say the vast majority of major league teams coveted them tells you all you need to know.

Who in this deal makes me pause more then any of the players involved? Dan O’Dowd. Sharp, shrewd and highly valued throughout the game, and a man who is intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Tribe front office executives, having worked for years with Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti. He certainly feels strongly that White and Pomeranz will be impactful at the top of his Colorado rotation in the next season or two, doesn’t he? He stated he’d need a ‘Herschel Walker type deal’ to part with Jimenez.

They believe they got that overload in their favor.

Why was Dan O’ Dowd so quick to rid himself of Jimenez, coming off the 19-8 season in 2010, a 2.88 era, with a start in the All Star game? He’s come nowhere near approaching that, winning just 10 of his last 36 starts dating back to the middle 2010. A 15 game winner in 2009, just 27 years of age…and MOST IMPORTANTLY…UNDER CONTROL through 2014????? Realize how important that is, please!! And Dan O’Dowd wanted rid of him, WHY????

O’Dowd became increasingly disenchanted with Jimenez’ mound makeup, and his resistance to making the changes necessary that the Colorado staff suggested he adjust. Yes, some mechanical, some motion and delivery related, yet mostly the approach. Will the Indians get him back on track? Have to. Not maybe, have to. He must be the unequivocal ‘1’, the ace, the shutdown dominant pitching leader for this to make sense. He seemingly brings that type of stuff to the party. You, as Indians fans, need to be celebrating, and having winning parties, with Jimenez at the forefront of success.

The Indians are now ‘ all in’…for today, and the next two seasons, 2012, and 2013. I genuinely like the work that Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti do. I’ve applauded the last three drafts under the direction of Brad Grant. I’m the one who told you in February this 2011 season would have you ‘excited and pleasantly surprised’ by the Tribe’s on field performance in a division that screams of being mediocre. They were ultra aggressive, proving to you that indeed, they want to win today, now, and in the next two seasons.

They parted with plenty, make no mistake. They know that. They need Jimenez to jump off the pages, and produce in a grand fashion.

While they might succeed in the short term, with Jimenez a top of the rotation starter and in the majors today,  I believe the long-term favors Dan O’Dowd and Colorado in this deal with White and Pomeranz UNDER CONTROL of the Rockies for five full seasons. It’s going to stimulate plenty of conversation.

And now, the Indians have to raise at least an AL Central Division flag, if not greater, in the next two baseball seasons. They said so with this deal. Anything less will be an abstract failure.

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2 Comments

  1. WOW!!! NO comments in DAYS??? Could be the loss of interest in the condescending WKNR as folks await a new era of sports talk in Cleveland…LOL! Karma indeed!!!!!!

    GO TRIBE! w/o the ‘tude…even when they WIN – the negativity flows from WKNR!!!???

    • Joe-

      Evidently you haven’t been listening to me discuss the Indians since February. I’ve came out of the gate with positive enthusiasm
      for how Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti have done their jobs over the past three baseball seasons, in acquiring a surplus of young talent, most of whom, Masterson, Santana, Brantley, Perez, and going further back, Asdrubal Cabrera and Choo, form the core nucleus going forward. Which was completely necessary to accomplish any success in the AL Central. They’ve done it properly. I’m at the ballpark virtually every night at home, and continue to stay excited about a baseball organization that this city SHOULD rally around. Have stated that daily and consistently all season long! I very much appreciate your listenership and attention to ESPN Cleveland. Please be factual though, and don’t lump each individual with what you perceive to be overall negativity. It has not, and will not, be the case with me.

      Thank you. Michael Reghi ESPN Cleveland


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