Did I mention that Dolan sucks?

Indians fans are getting robbed. Plain and simple.

93. That’s how many wins the Tribe had last year. Two games out of the playoffs. One of the top young teams in baseball. We’ve got a contender again.

Only, just like any other team, good or bad, there were holes to fill, namely at first base and in right field. I can handle Ben Broussard, but having both Blake and Broussard in the lineup every night is brutal. So who has Shapiro brought in to fill one of those two positions? Nobody.

But the departures this winter could be more significant than the arrivals. Bob Howry’s already signed with the Cubs, leaving a considerable hole in front of the closer. Not a big deal right now, since the Indians don’t have a closer. Bob Wickman’s looking more and more like he’s going to retire and Howry, a suitable in-house replacement, is gone, but they are talking to Trevor Hoffman. He’s 38. And the Tribe is reportedly offering him $21 or $24 million over three years. Thirty-eight.

[Personally, I’m a bit surprised Shapiro is willing to invest so much money on a closer, a guy who’s only going to give you 50-70 innings while wrapping up as many 7-4 contests as he will 2-1. I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last, but saves are the most overrated, bloated stat in sports, and committing $7 or $8 million a year on the most overrated, bloated stat in sports makes absolutely no sense to me.]

The losses of Howry and (maybe) Wickman pale in comparison to the eventual loss of Kevin Millwood. Cliff Lee piled up the most wins, C.C. had a dominant second half and Jake Westbrook was steady, but Millwood was the linchpin of that staff. Anybody who doesn’t see that doesn’t know baseball. And letting him get away when you’re thisclose to becoming a real threat is ludicrous. Even worse, it’s cheap.

Mark Shapiro isn’t the reason the Indians had to settle for someone like Paul Byrd this off-season. Larry Dolan is. And I know I’m not stating anything that most Indians fans don’t already know, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less pissed off about the whole situation. And you should be too. We’re getting mugged.

Remember how fucking great the mid-’90s were? Your team was in contention every single year, and you knew that going into the season. Sure, there were plenty of rotten moments, like the ’97 Series (damn you, Edgar Renteria), but at least they were there, among the best in the game, always with a chance to finally claim that elusive and oh-so-coveted title. It seems like so long ago.

We could have that again.

Only Larry Dolan’s too stinkin’ cheap. Go out and spend $45 or $50 million on Kevin Millwood, because it’s what’s best for this team. I’m not saying the Indians should start spending $90 million a year, but what’s so outrageous about settling into the $70-75 million range? Hell, even $60 or $65 million. Because this penny pinching just isn’t cutting it.

Instead of paying for a good team, why not pay a little more for a great team? Either that, or sell to someone who would. Please.

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