Thursday, August 31, 2006

Welcome to the Fold

If you read any add for an investment fund, there is a boilerplate statement in small type warning that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Indeed, particularly when applied to the Indians and particularly when it comes to handicapping the chances of next year's team.

We've been pointing out in as many ways possible that this team was doomed from the outset because of the penny-pinching ways of owners Larry & Paul Dolan. They forced GM Mark Shapiro to make moves to benefit the Dolans and their dwindling bank accounts at the expense of a competitive team for the fans.

To that we welcome Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw to the fold. In his column in this morning's Plain Dealer, Shaw attempts to dump the same sort of cold water on the fans as we've been trying to splash them with repeatedly. As Shaw points out today don't get too excited about the recent success of the Tribe, even after sweeping the sinking Toronto Blue Jays and coming off an 18 win 10 loss month. To the ultimate apologist, say someone like WTAM's Mike Trivisonno or Kevin Keane, this amounts to something to build on. To the ultimate realist, like Bud Shaw or us, this is something not be fooled by.

We've noted, as does Shaw, that the Tribe has some legitimate top-line players who would fit well on any team. That's not exactly unique insight. But we've also noted that this team has numerous holes in it and stringing together a few wins this late in the season is hardly reason to get excited. Shaw's spin on it is that "ownership must turn fans on to something more than the promise of Ryan Garko and the grit of Joe Inglett if this August optimism is going to have any shelf life," a sentiment with which we could hardly disagree.

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