Mr. Paul Dolan,
I thank you for your letter attempting to let the Tribe fans know your perspective on this trade and the condition of the Tribe, in general.
To let you know a little about me, I have been an avid fan of the Tribe for over 50 years even though I live in Indiana. I have seen the worst and the best over these years, both from the players, manager, coaches and GM's standpoint. While not an expert, I do have opinions.
From your letter, I think that you have a few misconceptions that you have been believing. I would assume those misconceptions are coming from your General Manager, Mr. Mark Shapiro, or your team manager, Mr. Eric Wedge.
First, in the second paragraph of your letter you stated that "keeping a strong nucleus of the 2007 playoff team intact we had high expectations". First of all you should have looked at the facts that we had one of the worst offensive performances in all of baseball the second half of the year and it continued into the playoffs. Of course it has continued to the present, which encompasses 179 games. Your advisers told you that a David Dellucci/Jason Michaels platoon would be as good as Kenny Lofton and there was no need to upgrade. Your GM also convinced you to keep Andy Marte on the team, taking up a roster spot and with a manager with no intent on playing him. You had to know that your bullpen, especially closer was questionable.
If I and many other fans could see last winter that we needed some signficant help, why could not your staff have forseen that? This is not just opionion, the statistics clearly proved that out.
Your staff has convinced you that the offensive slump is because of the ballplayers. Wouldn't you think that the batting coach, Derrick Shelton, could be the cause of the entire team slump? Don't you think that the scouting of opposing pitchers, hitting instruction and philosophy would play a big part in an entire team slumping offensively?
Your staff has now convinced you that the poor performance this season is because of the injuries. Mr. Dolan, the Tribe was performing poorly before the injuries really became an issue. Maybe not resigning Mr. Showalter as an advisor had an affect also?
Your staff has convinced you that we can reload with young players from AAA and everything will be fine. Look at what your staff has assembled at Buffalo: Graffiano, Ensberg, Tyner, Linden, Ginter, Weaver, Rincon, Halama, Bauer, Reichert and others. I think that they may have misled you over the last few years about our great prospects and great minor league system. I don't think that our scouting system is as great as you may have been led to believe.
In you last sentence you state, '....decision to trade CC will enhance our ability to put a winning club on the field to make our loyal fans and the entire Cleveland community proud'. My question is when will this occur? 2009, 2010, 2011 or later?
Mr. Dolan, I would ask that you actually look into everything that you are being told. Get yourself some independent baseball advisors to adequately evaluate your staff. Look at all the movement of players over the last three years and tell me moves your staff made, on and off the field, that really worked in our favor.
I know that you are a businessman and most owners want to look at only the bottom line. I hope you take a look at what is really happening. I am convinced that you will soon see your bottom line (attendance) falling to new lows if this staff continues to operate like they have for the last 3 years. While your staff may have you convinced that they are on the right path, most of us faithful Tribe fans know otherwise. Your last request is that you hope to see us at some Tribe games. That will be very questionable.
Thank you for your time. Yes, Go Tribe!
A Tribe Fan - Bob Salyer