Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Moving On...

My Cleveland Gladiators (affectionately called 'mine' after my recent jump onto their bandwagon) got a big playoff win last night in Georgia and they will now advance the conference championship game... but they aren't the only ones moving on. The really big story over the holiday weekend actually became official yesterday. CC Sabathia is now a Milwaukee Brewer, traded Monday for 1B/LF Matt LaPorta, LHP Zach Jackson, RHP Rob Bryson and the always popular player-to-be-named-later. The Tribe insists that this player will have a chance to be a big leaguer so we will wait and see on that one.

Listening to the radio and reading responses online, Indians fans are obviously less than thrilled with the move. And I understand that. I loved watching CC grow from a solid-but-inconsistent young pitcher into a Cy Young winner last year. There were always questions about his weight, but none of us can deny that CC was a durable pitcher while he was here and he actually liked being on the Indians. That goes a long way for fans in this town. Yet with that said, I just cannot rip the Indians for this move. This is what Major League Baseball has become over the last decade. With no hard salary cap in place, the rich stay rich and mid-market teams are forced to make agonizing decisions about their own players. Do you risk everything and give him a huge, long-term contract that he will likely never live up to and will strap your team financially for years? Or do you trade him for prospects and hope that those young guys pan out and become stars?

In this case I really think Mark Shapiro made the right decision. We've seen it too many times in the past where we thought we could keep our own players, only to see them bolt to greener (as in dollar signs) pastures. Did we get ripped off in this deal? Who knows? But to me, the Brewers are giving up four prospects for a pitcher they are renting for maybe 15 starts this season. And they are currently behind two teams in their own division. So by no means does this guarantee them anything. At least the Indians know their season is already over and building for the future begins now. We can only hope that this deal can come remotely close to the Bartolo Colon trade that netted us Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Phillips. I'm not expecting that this time around, but I just hope one of these players will end up being solid for us. I'd honestly rather see it go down this way than CC just walking away for nothing after this season.

And ripping the Dolans for this move is just silly in my view. CC was offered a 4-year deal at $72M before this season started. Given the history of long-term huge money deals for pitchers (Barry Zito immediately comes to mind) I would have really been upset if the Tribe went for more years and more money. It just wouldn't have made any sense and would have hurt the long-term potential for this team. I wish CC the best and I'm looking forward to seeing him hit in the National League. But I'm not looking forward to him wearing a Boston or New York cap next season when he chases the almighty dollar. And that's why Major League Baseball in 2008 drives me crazy. This scenario will play out again and again and again until the system is fixed.

We'll definitely miss the big lefty

Trade Reactions:
Other Tribe Updates: Life without CC begins for the Tribe tonight in Detroit when Jeremy Sowers and his 7.53 ERA try to end the team's current 8-game losing skid. In case you missed it over the long holiday weekend, our favorite punching bag closer Joe Borowski was designated for assignment on Friday. Thinking back to last year, it now truly seems miraculous that we were able to squeeze 45 saves out of that right arm. And Jeff Weaver was picked up off the scrap heap to plug the enormous hole left by CC in the Tribe's rotation. That ought to be fun to watch. And Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee will be the lone members of the Tribe in NYC for the All-Star Game. Oh, and Grady will even be in the Home Run Derby, thanks to his AL-leading 22 HR's (18 of them solo shots by my own unofficial count - lots of clicking on individual box scores there).

Gladiators Update: Big win for the Gladiators last night. Once again our receivers basically caught everything thrown to them and they squeaked out another big playoff win, this time on the road. And QB Raymond Philyaw added 8 more TD passes, now giving him 16 for the postseason to go along with no interceptions. My personal favorite moment from last night's game was team president and CEO Bernie Kosar hovering behind the officials as they tried to review a play near the end of the game on instant replay. You can see he is pouring everything he has into this team and it's fun to watch. The Gladiators now advance to the National Conference Championship game against the Philadelphia Soul this Saturday at 1:00pm on ESPNHD.

One win away from ArenaBowl XXII...


sportsgirl132 said...

I agree with everything you wrote here.

Cleveland fans are just frustrated right now. I think that the CC trade makes more sense than some critics want to admit. Right now we're just not happy no matter what anyone does.

People want to say how great of a trade this is for Brewers.I agree but I see the other side, too. They'll have the chance to make a run this year--but likely fall just short. Then THEY lose both their starters next year for draft picks while their big guns go to big markets. It's the curse of the small/mid markets.

You talk to fans of bigger market teams and they spout the same thing:" An owner shouldn't have a baseball team if they can't spend money." Fine--but some organizations can never even dream of the kinds of money the Yankees and Red Sox bring in with tv contracts, etc..
Baseball really sucks like that--and I get so tired of the anti-cap blogs, etc--ALL coming from Yankee fans, Boston fans, and now Detroit and Cubs fans.

When you think about it, how FAIR is it for a team that spends $200 million to even be ALLOWED TO PLAY a team with a third of that payroll? It simply makes no sense. It's like the kids that can afford the fancy ball equipment playing against kids with no mitts and sticks for bats. Where is the real competition in that?

Personally, I don't want to even hear the argument that small market teams can do it. Yes, it has happened ,but baby--you got ONE shot. That's all there is. How many small market dynasties do we see? It is NOT a level playing field--period.

Congrats to the Gladiators . It's nice that Cleveland has something to be proud of these days. Sorry for the rant.

chiefwahoo56 said...

No need to apologize for any rant - that type of post is welcome here! Good points about the NY and Boston fan mentality... of course they are opposed to a hard cap, that would level the playing field and take away their competitive advantage. They can spin it however they like but that's what it comes down to. MLB is really annoying when it comes to this and it makes me wonder why I keep putting money into it. I guess it's the hope that one day we can overcome all the bullshit and win it all. Damn it, last year it was laid out perfectly for us (Yankees then Sox). Now I'm pissed again, LOL.