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Opinion by Tim Shirer

On Monday, the Cleveland Guardians assigned first base prospect Kyle Manzardo to their minor league camp. The power hitting first baseman Manzardo was acquired by the Guardians at the trade deadline for Aaron Civale last season when the team was one and a half games behind the first place Minnesota Twins. Civale at the time was the team’s best pitcher with injuries to Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. General Manager Mike Chernoff and team President Chris Antonetti took a lot of heat from the already disgruntled fan base and the media that already treat the team like a stepchild to the Browns.

Chernoff and Antonetti did not exactly make any new friends in the locker room with the deal. Antonetti and Chernoff flew down to Houston where the team was scheduled to play because the locker room was reportedly so disgruntled by the trade. There were even some reports that Jose Ramirez was not happy with the deadline deals the front office made that weakened the team for the rest of the 2023 season.

Antonetti (who does most of the talking to the media) explained that Manzardo was going to fill a big need in the future. Okay, when is the future in Cleveland? There always seems to be someone to fill a whole in the lineup in the future, but never currently. The Guardians have had a glut of middle infielders for several years now in the minor leagues. They have touted these guys like Gabriel Arias, Bryan Rocchio, Jose Tena and Tyler Freeman as great prospects for several years now. Then they added Manzardo last season and he’s now in the same boat as the middle infielders. When will he get a shot to prove at the big-league level that he is the star Antonetti and Chernoff told the fan base and media that he is going to be?

I have bent over backwards defending the Guardians/Indians organization through the years. I think they are one of the better front offices in baseball, I have no doubts about that. What I want to know is what is their plan to actually put a team on the field that is the best players they have in their organization instead of storing them away at Triple or Double-A? They are like a chipmunk who stores too many nuts and cannot eat them all and they end up being taken by another squirrel.

You can’t keep feeding your fan base a line of BS because eventually they will stop believing the BS you are feeding them and leave altogether and in Cleveland it’s already a problem since 90% of the Cleveland media will ignore the Guardians in a second to cover an electrical outlet being changed in Berea at the Browns facility.

When somebody like me starts to doubt that there really isn’t even a true plan to win a World Series you really have a problem, and it has reached critical mass with me at this point. They will never lose me 100% because tiny baseballs flow through my blood stream, but wow, I’m not really happy right now and if I’m not happy a lot of people who are just fringe fans aren’t going to be happy and that is very dangerous territory. One final question is with all of the great renovations going on at Progressive Field right now, will there be anyone there to enjoy them if they keep delaying the future on the field season after season? 
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or Follow Tim on Twitter/X @TBBucsTim or LCSentinelcom
​POSTED 03/20/2024 19:18