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  1. #1
    Team Player Gin Rummy Champion Scrote Squad's Avatar
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    Default Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac_clevela/ac_clevela_ts3766

    By Justice B. Hill, Associated Content

    Summer had rolled into fall, but this warm, humid Friday night at Progressive Field felt like a night in mid-August more than one in late September.

    With temperatures in the 80s, fans should have flocked to the downtown ballpark on Carnegie Avenue and Ninth Street, even though their Indians were playing the gosh-awful Kansas City Royals.

    The game itself featured a pair of 90-loss teams that were trying to stay out of the cellar in the American League Central Division. So even with fireworks as part of the post-game show, the prospects of cheering for two of baseball's worst teams didn't seem overly appealing.

    "Team's bad; economy's bad," said Rick Balasz, a law student at the University of Virginia and a Cleveland native who was at the game. "It's just not the cool thing to do."

    Cool?

    Well, the Indians don't exude cool anymore.

    Not too long ago, any weekend night would have filled the ballpark with people — 43,405 jammed into the aisles and concourses back when Progressive wore the name Jacobs Field. In those halcyon days, "The Jake" shook with excitement. On those warm nights in the bleachers, John Adams, with his kettledrum next to him, would pound a steady melody that stoked emotions and ignited the Indians.

    But his drum was silent this September night. Adams himself was missing. So were 18,000 others who would, back in The Jake days, never have missed a ballgame in the waning days of the baseball season — particularly a game on Fireworks Night. The Indians were the show then; they were the hottest, sexiest ticket for sports fans.

    The Indians were cool.

    The shelf-life of cool lasts about as long as unrefrigerated milk. Fans are fickle about cool, an unsettling fact for the Indians organization. It has watched cool turn into indifference, and indifference has left seats unfilled — thousands of unfilled seats each night, even on days made for baseball. People know they have better things to do with their time and their cash. They want to see a good show, not a roster of cheap, no-name talents who are trying to hone their skills for later years.

    "Star power puts people in the seats," Balasz says.

    Getting baseball fans like Balasz to put their fannies in $15 seats has proved difficult for an Indians ownership that has seen the life sapped out of the franchise.

    Some people and most sports talk show hosts in town blame ownership. They say its tightfistedness has left fans so disillusioned they would rather wile away whatever warm days remain in this Indian summer anywhere else but at Progressive Field.

    So empty seats outnumbered filled seats. The cacophony of sounds that used to shake the ballpark to its rivets had become a hum in comparison, and this was a good night, a night that offered fans fireworks with their baseball, peanuts and Cracker Jack.

    Fireworks aren't an every-night affair, so it is baseball — good, exciting and winning baseball — that draws the crowds.

    They did see winning baseball on this warm night — a rare sight, indeed, for a team with more than 90 losses. But the Tribe's 7-3 victory came against the Royals, a team as lousy as the Indians are.

    That's what baseball has become now. It looks much like the bad baseball played at old Municipal Stadium, a ballpark where gimmicks and discounted tickets were what the Indians relied on to fill seats.

    They will have to offer more next season, it seems, if the organization expects fans to return to Progressive Field and have it rockin' and rollin' as they did back when the ballpark had "Jacobs Field" on its marquee.

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  3. #2
    Oh My God! cdt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    It's not fun to watch minor league baseball at major league prices. I'd rather go to a sports bar and watch talented teams facing each other and have some beers under 5 dollars. Dolan's a cheap piece of shit and this will be the reality until he sells the team.
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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    I feel like im watching the JV football team play on Saturdays.

  6. #4
    Situational Stopper Lo Key's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    why go downtown and pay ridiculous prices when I can see better baseball and better prices with the Lake County Captains and the Lake Erie Crushers?

  7. #5
    I just got a semi macbdog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    Not too long ago, any weekend night would have filled the ballpark with people — 43,405 jammed into the aisles and concourses back when Progressive wore the name Jacobs Field. In those halcyon days, "The Jake" shook with excitement. On those warm nights in the bleachers, John Adams, with his kettledrum next to him, would pound a steady melody that stoked emotions and ignited the Indians.
    Uh... the 'Jake' hadn't been packed like that on summer nights since 2001. That was 9 years ago.

    I don't blame fans for losing interest in the team the last two years, they were a wholesale disappointment last year and the team ended the year as badly as they started it this season. But let's not fall into delusional fantasies about the 90s- the Indians were the only product in town worth watching, with the Browns defected to Baltimore and the Cavs being their usual afterthought. It was more spectacle than true love of baseball- the Indians were the shiny object of Cleveland sports. The Indians slugged, but every single year they had the exact same rotation problems, and every year the solution was the same: piece together a rotation of a young immature Bart Colon, and a couple no. 3-5s, usually a combo of Chuck Nagy and few vet castoffs, to get them 7 innings and hope the offense made up the diff. And they did- until the playoffs, when their lack of a top of the rotation reared its' head every single offseason (including 95 and 97). They were championship contenders much in the same way the Twins have been in the 00s (good enough to make the playoffs but not to advance), or the Hawks of the NBA. Very talented, but with an obvious flaw was that never corrected. Fans also don't notice that the team stayed together not b/c Jacobs was paying that much, but b/c Hart convinced the vets to take less so he could keep guys around. Hell, Hart's lone big FA pickup, Robbie Alomar, left money on the table to come here to play with his bro. But when folks look back, that isn't what they remember. The rose coloring seeps into their vision and all they see are sunshine and rainbows, not the reality of the time. Yeah, the Tribe has lost their 'cool'- no debating that. Even I found this season hard to stomach and I ended up not attending a bigleague game after the end of July. But this also wasn't 'Title Town' under Jacobs- just a well-paid, playoff-making (and playoff losing) team with enough shiney objects to keep the fans coming until the football team got its' legs under it again.

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  9. #6
    So we come to it at last Chris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    I can't believe you just compared those teams to the Hawks...we were about to win the World Series in 97, and we were in it in 95. The Hawks are not good enough to even sniff the Finals.

    I agree with the rest but it doesn't change a damn thing. We still suck and will continue to suck until someone does something.

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    Orange and Blue Doctor K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    Yea, I gotta agree with, cmstophe.. The Indians of the 90's were a top 3 franchise for a period of time...I don't view the Hawks of basketball nor the Twins of baseball a top 3 in their respective sports... Personally, I would look at the '08 Phillies and compare them very favorably to the Indians of back in the day-- this Phillies team is basically what you would have gotten with the Tribe if they would have landed that ace....

    Indians
    Braves
    Yankees

    Those were the 3 teams with a legit shot to win championships from like 96-01 with the Braves time extending a bit before that and probably ending in '99

    Even the teams that get no love should...(i.e '96 and especially '99 squads)-- I personally thought the 1999 Cleveland Indians were the best of that entire era because they were complete offensively... Robbie Alomar's '99 and '01 seasons really go unnoticed-- Ramirez and Thome came into their own in '99 as well... They were a bit shakey at catcher and of course pitching was always the issue... But they had speed, patience and power throughout that lineup...

    If the Indians would have landed Schilling or Pedro, they would have won it all... May have won two, because keep in mind they were up 2-1 on the Yankees in the '98 ALCS...

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    Dont forget about the 2007 team. We had the Boston series in our hands and we freaking fumbled it. I KNOW we could have beat the Rockies.

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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    1) Kind of a pointless article...wait, you mean nobody wants to see a last place, rebuilding team in a city where the economic picture is beyond terrible?

    2) The "Dolan is cheap" thing is so old and unfounded, it's not even funny.

    Fact: He spent when the front office felt like the Indians had a chance to seriously contend, signing Kerry Wood to a 2 year, $20.5 M deal. That move obviously didn't work out, but you can't say he didn't spend.

    Fact: He spent when the Indians locked up Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, and Jake Westbrook to long term deals. Again, you can question the moves, but you can't question the spending.

    Fact: The Indians were in MLB's top five spenders on the 2010 Draft, spending a record $10 M to secure high-celing prospects.

    Fact: The Indians offered CC Sabathia 4 years/$72 M ($18 M per), Manny Ramirez 7 years/$119 M ($17 M per), and Jim Thome 5 years/$60 M ($12 M per). These are not offers a cheap owner makes.

    This offseason, they will probably lock up Choo and Cabrera.

    The Indians are about as "cool" as every other team that's currently losing. Don't worry though - they'll be "cool" again in 2012, when the Indians return to the playoffs.

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  16. #10
    Oh My God! cdt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    Quote Originally Posted by sgm405 View Post
    1) Kind of a pointless article...wait, you mean nobody wants to see a last place, rebuilding team in a city where the economic picture is beyond terrible?

    2) The "Dolan is cheap" thing is so old and unfounded, it's not even funny.

    Fact: He spent when the front office felt like the Indians had a chance to seriously contend, signing Kerry Wood to a 2 year, $20.5 M deal. That move obviously didn't work out, but you can't say he didn't spend.

    Fact: He spent when the Indians locked up Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, and Jake Westbrook to long term deals. Again, you can question the moves, but you can't question the spending.

    Fact: The Indians were in MLB's top five spenders on the 2010 Draft, spending a record $10 M to secure high-celing prospects.

    Fact: The Indians offered CC Sabathia 4 years/$72 M ($18 M per), Manny Ramirez 7 years/$119 M ($17 M per), and Jim Thome 5 years/$60 M ($12 M per). These are not offers a cheap owner makes.

    This offseason, they will probably lock up Choo and Cabrera.

    The Indians are about as "cool" as every other team that's currently losing. Don't worry though - they'll be "cool" again in 2012, when the Indians return to the playoffs.
    Cliff Lee shouldn't be playing for the Rangers and CC shouldn't be pitching for the Yankees. Flat out, you don't let two Cy Young winners get away in back to back years.

    I understand letting Victor go because Santana is a stud but couldn't we have used Victor at 1st? I mean Hafner is awful. It just doesn't help that the teams that are playing in the playoffs are winning with guys we were unable to retain. Sends a bad message to the fan base and I'm sorry but we've been rebuilding for the majority of this decade. Why should the fans believe that we're going to be a perennial contender anytime soon? We overachieved a year or two but other than that we've been mediocre to absolute trash.

    If you build it they will come. If you trade it or let it walk, they will stay home or find other things to do.
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    Quote Originally Posted by cdt View Post
    Cliff Lee shouldn't be playing for the Rangers and CC shouldn't be pitching for the Yankees. Flat out, you don't let two Cy Young winners get away in back to back years.

    I understand letting Victor go because Santana is a stud but couldn't we have used Victor at 1st? I mean Hafner is awful. It just doesn't help that the teams that are playing in the playoffs are winning with guys we were unable to retain. Sends a bad message to the fan base and I'm sorry but we've been rebuilding for the majority of this decade. Why should the fans believe that we're going to be a perennial contender anytime soon? We overachieved a year or two but other than that we've been mediocre to absolute trash.

    If you build it they will come. If you trade it or let it walk, they will stay home or find other things to do.
    1) It's easy to say "we should have re-signed CC" if you totally ignore two things: A) CC wanted to go to NY, B) New York would have outbid any offer the Indians made. He wanted to leave...he knew it, the Indians knew it, so they got the best return possible for him.

    2) There's a reason Cliff Lee has been traded two more times since the Indians dealt him to Philadelphia - he is going to demand some serious cash this winter. Again, if the Yankees or Red Sox want him, they can simply outbid any offer that Cleveland could potentially make.

    3) I hated the Victor move, but we're stuck with Hafner...nothing you can do about it. They're not going to pay Victor handsomely when they have a 1B they believe will become a stud (LaPorta).

    4) We did NOT overachieve in 2007...that was a damn good baseball team, one that was good enough to win it all. Unfortunately, we didn't get by Boston, but I get tired of hearing this overachieving crap. If you're going to bash them when they're bad, give them credit when they were good. They also had a very good team in 2005, and would have contended in 2008 if it wasn't for massive injury problems (Sizemore/Hafner/Martinez/Westbrook/Betancourt, etc).

    5) They will not consistently contend until MLB fixes its economic issues. The team not consistently contending is NOT Dolan's fault. Until MLB fixes things (if they ever do), the Indians will have to try to contend in windows. 2005-2008 was one window. 2012-2015 will be another.

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  20. #12
    So we come to it at last Chris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    The Indians started horrible in 2008 even healthy, IIRC.

  21. #13
    IT'S TRIBE TIME NOW!!! Pyro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    I was at this exact game the article was talking about. It was semi-packed and John Adams WAS there. Don't know what this guy is smoking.

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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    I have no problem with the state of the Indians. I refuse to feel sorry for a cheap ass owner and the excuse for an organization he has assembled over the years. The Browns and Cavs are a different story. They have owners & GMs that are willing to spend money and sacrifice a profit for the better of the time. In other words, they are there to WIN. I do not put this on Shariro though, he has no flexibility or leverage to do anything.

    My advice, sell the fucking team Dolan. The fans are out there, you just found a way to piss us off.

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    IT'S TRIBE TIME NOW!!! Pyro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indians Are No Longer 'Cool'

    I sent this doucher an email.

    Dear JBH,

    In regards to your article, when you say John Adams wasn't at the game, this simply is not true. I was at this very game you speak of (Indians win 7-3, fireworks, etc), and John Adams was in fact at this game. If it wasn't him, then who was beating the drum all game long? Certainly looked like him.
    I don't appreciate you making stuff up to make it seem like it was worse than it was. John Adams doesn't miss a game because the team sucks. He's only missed about 30 games, and he's been coming since the Municipal Stadium.
    Now, were there a lot of empty seats for a night full of promotions (dollar dog night, fireworks, student ID night, etc)? Yes. But John Adams was there.

    And that is one fact, that always shines through.

    -NAME WITHHELD

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