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Opinion by Tim Shirer

For those who know me, I mean actually know me and have had actually conversations with me in person know that I am pretty much a defender of the Cleveland Guardians organization.

Well with that being said some things can’t be defended and the moves made at the trade deadline by the team absolutely are a perfect example of that.
First off, the fan base for this team is weak and fickle. The casual fan has no clue about how a baseball team runs from top to bottom. The fans who pay attention a lot have not been happy for years with ownership not spending money. For the first time in years the team’s attendance has been up, they have been selling out games as recently as the last homestand.

The team heading into Monday after winning on Sunday was a half game out of first place behind the Minnesota Twins, a half game with 57 games left and what did the front office who constantly let’s us know that they are the smartest people in baseball do? They traded Aaron Civale who through Sunday was the best active pitcher on the staff. This could have been mildly acceptable if they traded him for a player who will contribute now, but they didn’t. They traded him for another prospect, first baseman Kyle Manzardo who will not see the Major Leagues this season. So how does this help your team that is a half game out of first place? IT 100% does not!!! Not only did it weaken the team’s chances of winning the AL Central Division, but they have damaged what was a young locker room that was close. Then on Tuesday they traded Josh Bell. I know Bell hasn’t performed well this year, the negative fans were on him from his first at-bat of the season, who cares about them, they don’t understand intangibles. The intangibles here matter a lot. A guy like Bell mattered to the young players who last week saw another team leader that the negative fans hated Amed Rosario get traded. These are young players and a lot of them were on the roster last season when the team made the postseason and won a playoff series. What is the front office telling them right now? We don’t believe in you this year, maybe next year.

Let’s be clear here, I have no problem with a youth movement or building with prospects, but the team is loaded with prospects. I think what bothers me and finished my belief in that the front office wants to win this year is the fact that the two players they received for Bell, one Jean Segura they released immediately, and the other player is being assigned to High-A Lake County so is at least two maybe three years away from seeing Progressive Field.
These moves 100% tell the team, we have given up on you this season, maybe next year or in two years. What does this tell Jose Ramirez who is as competitive as they come? I guess it tells him, thanks for taking less money to stay here we aren’t planning on trying to win every year.

Watching the press conferences with Terry Francona the last couple days he has towed the company line and even been a little testy with the media so this makes me think he is not happy at this point and time either. I would not be surprised if this is it for him. Don’t be one bit surprised if he retires after the season. THEN WHAT? I’ll leave it right there.

tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or Follow Tim on Twitter/X @TBBucsTim or LCSentinelcom
​POSTED 08/02/2023 15:00