5 1/2 games out with no hope in sight. Look at the lineup tonight:
Michael Brantley .266, from CC trade; expectation: career 4th outfielder, slightly below Ben Francisco in ability
Jason Donald - .219, from Cliff Lee trade; expectation: career utility infielder
Matt LaPorta - .239, from CC trade; expectation: mediocre career
Lou Marson - .229 - from Cliff Lee trade; career backup.
The only person who was missing was Carlos Carrasco and we know about him.
The Indians have squandered their riches (CC and Lee) and gotton NOTHING in value in return. They have overpaid for Ubaldo Jimenez who apparently is more like Fausto Carmona than Cliff Lee. Antonetti's comment about ups and downs that pitchers go through and that Ubaldo just went into a down when the Indians got him is a joke. That's why you scout guys.
Now writers are talking about Jim Thome. I was a huge proponent of Thome coming back here but after we signed Hafner to the long-term extension and his body made him into a full-time DH, I knew that was never going to happen. Heck, we could have had Omar Vizquel a lot of times and, instead, we went through AAAA utility man after utility man.
So, the ML team sucks. There is not one, I mean NOT ONE quality prospect left in the minors that has a high likelihood of being any more than a complimentary player here over the "window" (2012-3). The cupboard is bare and while Kipnis looks to be the real deal, Chisenhall's 2011 minor and major league numbers make me think that we will be LUCKY if he turns out to be Casey Blake.
in addition, we won so many games early that it is likely that we will now only get a middling draft slot next year and, if we aren't careful, we will end up being somewhere between 16 and 20 in draft slot next year, meaning we will have to give up our top draft pick if we sign a Type A free agent (not withstanding changes to the collective bargaining agreement). Cleveland should NOT be giving up draft picks. EVER. But, you know what? As desperate as the FO is to win after way overpaying for Jimenez, they will probably sign a high priced FA or two and lose a draft pick or two. Remember David Dellucci and Roberto Hernandez? Our 2007 draft was given an "F", mostly because of the strategy that had to be employed because we didn't have a second or third round pick AND because we didn't have those picks..
Plus, Kansas City had another great draft and great signing of Latin kids while we were mediocre in both areas and have positioned themselves to slam the "window" on our hands as well as trumping us in long-term development since our 2010 draft class is pathethic now due to losing Pomeranz and having so many of the other guys, except for Wolters, underperform, some at unbelievably bad levels .
The only hope to salvage anything out of this season right now is that we dump Durbin, Duncan and Hannahan and trade Joe Smith if we get a good return and start rebuilding for next year. You bring up Head, Goedert and the relievers and you start building for next season. I said to do that in July. The Indians didn't. But I worry that won't happen. The Indians are so "in" on competing this season they have to justify the Jimenez trade by maybe doing something else stupid and, certainly, by keeping every AAAA guy they have to try to win games to not make the Jimenez trade look really stupid (i.e., trade the farm and, 3 weeks later, pull the plug on the season).
Heck, even if they did pull the plug it doesn't mean deserving guys in the minors will get a chance. They never gave Jose Constanza or Chris Coste or Jordan Brown in his IL batting champion season, even a cup of coffee in losing seasons. But they filled the roster in losing seasons with AAAA guys and broken down vets.
The Indians just don't get it. They never will. They believe AAAA guys win championships and they make stupid trades where they waste two Cy Young award winners for the types of guys you can pull off a waiver wire or acquire as a non-compensation FA and then, with a pathetic team held together by duct tape and all the stars being in alignment, trade two of the top 50 prospects in baseball for another Cy Young award type guy when any idiot knew that it would take immense luck for this team to even be competitive by September.
So now that the season is officially over maybe the FO can have a rational thought. Nah, it's the Cleveland Indians. That ain't happening. They will play CYA and continue doing the stupid things that ended the dynasty in the 90s and have kept them virtually non-coimpetitive in the current millenium. They will thrash around just like the teams of the 80s, doing changes of direction faster than you can say 'mediocre'.
The Indians don't get it. They never WILL get it and they will continue to squander the riches that mediocrity bring with it. They are the Cleveland Indians. What more should we expect?