Who doesn’t like finding an extra $20 in your pocket or on the sidewalk? If you’re like me, your day is made if you find a quarter on the ground.
The Indians have been having nothing but good days over the past few weeks. They found a whole fleet of Brink’s trucks parked at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
It is amazing how television has revolutionized sports. What is equally amazing is the amount of money that can be raked in if you get the right deal. The Indians have taken on the role of the Prodigal Son; returning to the network they were carried on pre-Sports Time Ohio and throwing themselves at the mercy of FOX Sports. It may be a case of realizing that they should never have left in the first place.
The Tribe’s new ten-year, $400 million TV deal is still dwarfed by the obscenely-amounted windfall that the Dodgers will eventually get. But for a franchise that has had trouble in recent years retaining and acquiring the needed talent to remain competitive, this is the baseball equivalent of manna from heaven. And it has already paid dividends in recent weeks in giving the team the ability to sign the likes of Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers (and maybe Shaun Marcum?).
The Indians will still need to be smart, so don’t go counting the days until Giancarlo Stanton becomes a free-agent. But this new flexibility seems to be much more enticing to outside free-agents now. We probably won’t ever be in the mix to get the Big Boys (Pujols, Hamilton, et al.) of the world, but we might be able to afford for the solid, steady-quality kind of players, which may to fit Cleveland’s blue-color sensibilities as a city, anyway.
It may also prevent salt being dumped on deeply-cut wounds. Maybe we wouldn’t have another Thome-to-Philadelphia moment. Or Manny-to-Boston. Or CC and Lee basically telling us that we couldn’t afford them. (Choo pretty much said the same thing.) Money may be the root of all evil. But it’s also needed to keep the fanbase from wanting to write an organization off the map as cheapskates by forcing us to watch Triple-A level baseball at Big League prices.
Just think… Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep Jason Kipnis or Michael Brantley? Bauer? (Granted, we still don’t know much about how or even what he’s going to be yet in terms of his potential, but play along.) Now it seems possible to keep these guys as career Indians. In recent years that didn’t seem realistic, because it wasn’t. Now, at least, it seems plausible.
The way baseball is today, the wallets need to be a bit fatter than they used to be. The Indians finally found yet another way to remain above water. And it turns out they didn’t have to do a whole lot to find their lifeboat. All they had to do was turn around and find a familiar place to stay. They’re pushing a lot of buttons right now. And all of them seem to be the right ones.
They continue their return to viability with the return to FOX. Things are continuing to look far brighter in the shorter term than most, if not all of us, have likely anticipated. While the growing pains of this year will probably still happen, a new window of opportunity appears to be opening again. Money talks. Now let’s hope the Indians do the walk.