Note to Indians: Don't Blame the Messenger

Justice HillCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2010

CLEVELAND - APRIL 10:  Fans stand for the national anthem prior to the start of the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays game April 10, 2009 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

His e-mail probably wasn't an official response to my comments Monday about the Indians and their second rebuild the past decade. The writer, a team employee, had thought I was unfair in lumping the Tribe with the dregs of baseball -- and said so. He also accused me of being overly forgiving of the Browns.

In saying the latter, he must have missed my frequent commentary over the past eight months about the Browns and their years and years of futility.

I won't argue the last point with the man, because that'll serve no purpose. I'd rather respond to his defense of the Indians. Here's part of what he said:

"Do I need to remind you that we were tied for the most wins in MLB with 96 TWO YEARS AGO? We were within one game of the World Series. Two years prior we won 93 games, finishing one game from the playoffs. The Pirates have lost 17 straight seasons. The Reds haven't been in the postseason since the last decade and the Browns have only been to the playoffs once since '99."

He went on to ask, perhaps rhetorically: "How many times have the Royals and Nationals been to the playoffs this past decade?"

Well, his question was on point if I lived in Kansas City or D.C. and tried to gauge the sentiments of fans in those two markets. But to dwell long on what the Royals or Nationals have done lately is to misread what I wrote. Yes, I did mention those teams from baseball's dungeons as examples of what fans can expect to see on the field this season at Progressive Field.

It won't be pretty.

It's not just my saying this; it's baseball fans from around the city; it's the men and women who used to buy Indians tickets by the fistfuls; it's also baseball writers and analysts from across the country. They all see what I see: a team that's made peace with mediocrity.

I take no pleasure in deconstructing these Indians, the team I grew up rooting for. Aside from my criticism of "Chief Wahoo," I harbor no deep-seated anger toward the organization.

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