Thursday, August 6, 2009

Future News?

As I sit here on this gorgeous Thursday watching the Indians '09 Futility Tour I encountered upon an ESPN article citing team owner Larry Dolan.

In the article Dolan backs the team decision to trade stars Vic Martinez and Cliff Lee, explaining that the team is more than 500,000 attendees short of their projections and expects to lose $16 million this season.

This isn't news, we all knew the Indians have problems. The news is that Dolan spoke. Of course, it wouldn't be so important if it weren't for the last segment of the article.

Dolan also said ownership will have input into whether manager Eric Wedge returns next season.

That seemingly innocuous sentence that served as an epilogue to an overall sobering article says a lot about the future of the Indians.

All season long rumors have been flying about the tenuousness of manager Eric Wedge's job, and all season long GM Mark Shapiro has stood by his man despite the obvious fan outrage. By addressing this issue to the media, no matter how small, I believe that the Dolan's are tipping their hand toward a regime change in Cleveland.

The bulk of the article was about the lack of attendance and clear resent from the Tribe faithful. I believe that the ownership recognizes that the resent is not just directed at these trades that were made to balance the books, but at the management, who may be the reason they need to balance the books.

Indians fans saw their team go from projected AL Central winners to basement dwellers yet again. The ire was placed upon Wedge, as it often is (warranted or not), yet the team stood pat.

This brief statement from the Dolan's gives me the sense that they sympathize with the fans, and are aware of their concerns.

With this I believe that it will be very difficult for Wedge, and possibly his BFF Shapiro to retain their jobs beyond this season.

The Dolan's, much like us fans, are tired of the ride-it-out mentality that has only resulted in a few above average second halves in recent history. The recognize the need for change, and in saying this, acknowledge that they will be making such a change.

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