Cleveland Indians Fans Held Hostage Under a Clueless Owner

B. JonesCorrespondent IApril 3, 2011

CLEVELAND - APRIL 01: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians has a moment to himself after getting hit near the neck with a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the Opening Day game on April 1, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Any article written with a positive spin about the state of the Cleveland Indians provides insight of what it must be like reading propaganda fliers in some rogue totalitarian regime. The dictator in this version is none other than Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan, and it's time for a fan uprising.

Only one problem: There are no fans.

The smallest crowd in Progressive Field history showed up to watch the Indians lose, and who can blame them? It's one thing to have a bad team or organization. It's an entirely different thing to not even attempt to field a winning team.

Dolan has repeatedly told fans he will spend money when they show up.

This is kind of like owning a restaurant where the food is terrible and nobody eats there.  Your few loyal patrons beg you to invest in top-dollar chefs and ingredients to improve the food. You acknowledge the problem, and the need for better cooks, but instead declare not to make these top-level hires and investments until people start showing up to your restaurant first to eat your bad food.

An article Saturday on Cleveland.com described how Alex Rodriguez' annual salary totals 88 percent of the Royals' 2011 payroll. We all know the problems of baseball are rooted deeper than Northeast Ohio.

However, what has changed? Was there a salary cap when Dolan bought the team? No. Were we a larger market when he bought the team? No. Dolan knew exactly what he was signing up for when he purchased the Indians. Why would someone stay in a business if it wasn't profitable? The fact is, owning a major sports franchise is like having a license to print money and Dolan puts yours in his pocket rather than on the field.

Fans waited a decade for the Indians to find a legitimate No. 1 starter to pair with the prolific offenses of the 1990s. Under Dolan, they traded consecutive Cy Young award winners for nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why would the fans care if the team doesn't care? The last time the Indians lost as many games in a two season span as they have the previous two, Woodrow Wilson was president and color television didn't exist.

Not everything has changed. Some things still remain black and white.

If you aren't going to try, then sell the team!