With a tidal wave of negative press following the Cliff Lee trade, the Cleveland Indians decided to hold a roast of general manager Mark Shapiro at the downtown Marriot Hotel Thursday night in an attempt to ease some of the tension surrounding the organization with humor. Shapiro graciously agreed to take part in the roast featuring several local celebrities. Below are transcribed highlights from tonight's event.
Indians radio play-by-play man Tom Hamilton served as master of ceremonies for the roast and opened with some early jabs at the club's top decision-maker.
HAMILTON: They told me I was going to be hosting tonight, my first thought was, 'as long as I'm not traded by then.'
Earlier today, Mark asked me what I thought about the team's chances next season without Cliff Lee. I told him the chance of contending was Awaaaaaay back...GONE! (crowd applauds and John Adams bangs the drum).
DREW CAREY: I thought about extending Mark an invitation to appear on our show but quickly reconsidered because with this guy, the price is NEVER right!
I remember when Mark became the GM and promised us we would be contenders in 2-3 years, then again 2-3 years later, and once 2-3 years after that. (crowd laughs and applauds loudly as Shapiro's face turns red)
TONY RIZZO: Wow, they told me I was following Drew Carey and I said, 'WHAT BRO?!'
Hey, seriously I like Mark a lot; great guy, just not the way Mark like Eric Wedge if you know what I mean, YOW! (Shapiro shifts uncomfortably in his seat)
BRUCE DRENNAN: Marky, Marky, Marky. (Shakes head while looking at Shapiro as crowd giggles) I'd tell ya the Cleveland fans will forgive you for trading a Cy Young Award winner with a year and a half left on his contract, but I wouldn't bet on that if I were you! (crowd erupts in laughter)
ANDY MARTE: When Mark acquired me from the Red Sox organization he touted me as a rare can't-miss talent. Well, I missed! (crowd gives loudest laugh of the night.)
GRADY SIZEMORE: Ricky Gutierrez, Josh Barfield, Billy Traber, Jeremy Sowers, Jason Michaels, David Dellucci - and people say I swing and miss a lot?!
JON SLADEK: Hey Mark, when I was at Faulkner University you know what we called guys from Princeton? (Shapiro shakes head no) Nothing, because I hate you for ruining my baseball team! (Security ushers Sladek off the podium)
Despite the late unpleasantness, Tribe owner Larry Dolan dubbed the Shapiro Roast a success. Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes summed up the night by quipping, "That would be the first success this franchise has enjoyed in about three years."
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