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Indian Fans Beware
June 15, 2013 - Al Stephenson
I was driving in the Akron area this afternoon and tuned in the radio hoping to get an update on the U.S. Open. What I got instead was a Cleveland station where Chris Antonetti was being interviewed by some local sports personalities. Antonetti, the Indians General Manager, made a comment that left me not caring about golf. He suggested that the Indians would be an active participant come trade deadline time.
To paraphrase Frasier Crane - "Hello Cleveland, I'm listening."
Here are some of the things I remember from the show. Antonetti was thankful for the ownership shelling out some bucks over the winter to acquire talent. That led me to believe that one of two things are going to happen come the deadline. First, Antonetti believes the Indians are a contender and bolstering the lineup could mean a playoff push. Secondly, ownership is not impressed with the results of their offseason spending and want to unload some of the high priced newcomers. We can only hope it is the former.
Another thing that caught my attention was when one of the radio guys asked Antonetti if any player was untouchable, he said no way. The radio man then said "but what about... He hesitated and I tried to think of who he was going to name. What Indian player - at least in his mind - would indeed be untouchable.
I considered Jason Kipnis, Justin Masterson, Carlos Santana or Michael Brantley. I was a little surprised when the name turned out to be Cody Allen. The relief pitcher has been very good. In fact I think he has closer stuff. If the Indians can deal Chris Perez for another bat, I'm all for it. I'll take my chances with Allen at the backend of the bullpen.
Looking at the high priced newcomers makes me wonder if the Indians might be considering a fire sale. Michael Bourn has been pretty good, but Nick Swisher has struggled at the plate lately. Mark Reynolds has been a pleasant surprise defensively - and at third base at that - but he does strike out an awful lot. We knew he was going to do that though. After all he led his league with 204, 223, 211 and 196 whiffs from 2008 thru 2011. He is on that pace with 75 heading into tonight's game.
So what is management thinking? I hope they see a nucleus and make deals for the present rather than looking to save some money. We don't want to become the Miami Marlins here.
The view from my seat suggests that the Indians are probably not as good as the Tigers. We are not good enough for a wild card berth either. However, I think we do have a good nucleus and I hope the decision is to build on that.
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