It seems like there is no consensus feeling amongst media types when it comes to all things concerning the Indians. This week’s example is former Major League Baseball Executive of the Year, Jim Bowden.
After recent teases that saw the team get off to strong starts only to fall off the cliff midway through the season, it’s easy to see why so few outside of the Indians’ fanbase (and if you buy into the usual attendance arguments, possibly many within it) are seeing the current perch atop the AL Central as nothing more than another façade; a speedbump before Detroit clearly asserts themselves with the widely-presumed divisional stranglehold.
The good starts, including this season’s, have deduced the Indians to effectively being the boy (or boys) who cried wolf. And sometimes that can lead to ridiculous hyperbole; such as Bowden calling for the Indians for to wave the proverbial white flag by selling. Now. Again. And in doing so, effectively erasing and wasting every reason and effort of the the past off-season, which includes the hiring of Terry Francona and signings of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.
Why? Because the outside perception is that the team is perpetually doomed to fail, now and forevermore. The team’s existence simply to be a virtual outpost feeding system for the big boys.
So, let’s see here: Baseball wonders why the Indians don’t spend a bit outside of their normal constraints to show a commitment to, at worst, try to win, and they get scoffed at. Now they do just that, and it should be torn down? Some people need to pull a Champ Kind occasionally and sit things out for a while.
And then there’s this, which he extols Antonetti’s off-season work, which pretty much cancels out everything he said in his infamous column. So who knows what he actually thinks.
I certainly don’t. All I know is that I can’t stand it when people talk out of both sides of their mouths. Page hits are one thing. Being a loquacious troll is entirely another.
Ironically, Bowden’s columns are ESPN Insider exclusives, so it’s almost as if he feels he can get away with saying anything (unless you pay for it), no matter how ridiculous it sounds on the surface. The Indians haven’t been anywhere near the favorites of the ESPN baseball braintrust for several years now (go ahead and cue the Keith Law Bias-Cat), because they haven’t deserved the respect. But proceeding with the funeral before they even have the sniffles? That’s not an “opinion” in my eyes. That’s being paid for pulling stuff out of the air and hoping it comes true so you can pat yourself on the back later.
Nobody will debate that the Indians have a lot of proving to do, especially in the pitching department. But if the Indians are to do just that, they can’t give up until they’re certain they’re done and out of contention. They have to start somewhere, and the building that they are attempting will never be anywhere close if they aren’t given a chance to continue and sustain the process of doing so.