The same criticisms of the Indians are getting really old and are false
Opinion by Tim Shirer
As much as the Cleveland sports perspective seemed to have changed in June when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, the city’s first major sports title in 52 years, somethings remain the same. One of those things is the continued harsh criticism of the Cleveland Indians and their ownership group The Dolan Family.
Over the winter the Indians did not go after the high priced free agents as teams like the Dodgers and Red Sox did. The Indians signed guys like Juan Uribe, Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli. Well as usual when these signings were announced the “Cheap Dolan” critics reared their ugly, ugly, no common sense heads.
Let’s get past the fact that the critics of these signings could not have been more wrong. The three signings worked out exactly as the Indians hoped they would. Let’s start with Uribe, yes he has been released, but he had a presence in the locker room that mattered. The presence of Uribe in the locker room gave a father figure to players like Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and even Carlos Santana, who is having arguably the best year of his career. Uribe let Santana know early on that it was ok to have fun while you play the game. It has been apparent in Santana’s play this season that he is playing with less stress, therefore the results have been much better. Was Uribe good defensively and offensively? No he was not, but I don’t think that was main concern when he was signed. I know this, the Indians brass would have liked to have kept Uribe around as they did Giambi, when it was apparent he was done.
The signing of Davis was another one Tribe fans were very critical of and those people seem to be pretty silent right now. The criticism of him was he was old now and probably slow. Well as of today he’s leading the American League in stolen bases with 27 stolen base. Speed is probably gone? I don’t think so. Here’s even more proof that signing Davis was a really smart signing. In yesterday’s win over the Yankees (5-2) Davis hit his 10th home run. Through Davis’s first 10 Major League season’s he had 43 home runs, his career high was 8 three times (2012, 14, 15). So do you still think Davis was a bad signing? If you still think it was a bad signing, then you probably think the Browns will in the Super Bowl this season.
Now to Mike Napoli, I can honestly say anyone who thought this was a bad signing is just simply an idiot, who knows nothing about the economics of baseball or the advantages of a one year contract. Napoli hit his 28th home run on Saturday and is on pace to hit 42, which would be a career high. He is also on pace to have 118 RBI, which would shatter his career high of 92 in 2013 when he was with the Boston Red Sox.
Let me just say this in closing. The constant criticism of the Indians offense is really getting old. The offense wins game for the team. The problem the last couple weeks has not been because of the offense, more a product of the starting pitching. I have been watching baseball for a long time and I can tell you this with confidence, the starting pitching we saw this last week is an anomaly. Bauer, Carrasco, Tomlin and Salazar when he comes off the disabled list will get back on track. So for those of you who continue to attack the Indians organization with the same old arguments, it might be time to stop. The offense is good and they have a BIG right handed power bat and it’s named Mike Napoli.
POSTED 08/07/2015 14:48