I read a rumor last night that inspired me.
It set my mind in motion, and I came up with an idea so easy and exciting that I had trouble falling asleep.
Everyone knows that Omar Vizquel is one of the greatest defensive shortstops in the history of Major League Baseball.
Coincidentally, the loss of Jamey Carroll means the Cleveland Indians have an open spot for a backup infielder.
To me, it's clear as day that the Cleveland Indians should sign Omar Vizquel.
It’s that simple.
Not only would reacquiring Vizquel make sense from a baseball standpoint, but it would also be great business. Tribe fans are demoralized, having seen their team reach the playoffs just once in the last eight years. After watching their three best players (sorry, Grady) get traded in the last 16 months, impatient Clevelanders have stopped showing up at the games.
I bet thousands of fans would come just to see Vizquel.
Cleveland fans haven’t forgotten him. Four years after the Indians decided to commit to Jhonny Peralta instead of taking advantage of Vizquel’s willingness to re-sign for a hometown discount, he got a standing ovation in his first game back at Progressive Field.
Remember when Kenny Lofton came back in 2007? He became the face of the franchise once again as the Indians came a game away from their first World Series appearance since 1997.
Getting Vizquel back would be even better.
Omar and his infallible glove spent 11 years at Jacobs’ Field. He wasn’t just an incredibly nice guy or the last remnant from the “glory days” after Jim Thome left in 2002; he was our little secret. ESPN never mentioned him in the same breath as A-Rod or Jeter, but baseball always knew his name when he made the highlight reel or won his umpteenth-straight Gold Glove.
He won’t command a lot of money, and he’d probably be willing to take a discount if it meant he could finish his career in Cleveland.
Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Dolan, if you really want to put people back in the seats in 2010, there’s a very easy way to do it.
Bring Omar home.