Jun 4, 2014


Perhaps the time has come during the three-day MLB First Year Player Draft (that begins today) for the hierarchy of the Cleveland Indians front office,
year 13 of the Mark Shapiro/ Chris Antonetti regime, rather than trying to draft a diamond in the rough to play on their rough diamond, only 55 errors so far, they should draft the Lucky Charms Leprechaun.

Cereal-ously? Couldn’t hurt.

It also couldn’t hurt, just to cover their bases to possibly make year 13 of the Shapiro/ Antonetti draft lucky if they looked for four leaf clovers, turned up the horseshoe, rubbed the rabbit’s foot and anything else that could make the Tribe magically delicious.

Seriously! The last 12 years of drafting under the Shapiro / Antonetti system the luck of their skillful picks have been black cat, walking under a ladder, broken mirror, spilling salt, 666 and stepping on the baseline unlucky.

That voodoo that they don’t do is a big boo!Or in the case of the Shapiro/ Antonetti experience — a big BOO-BOO.

Especially when you consider that over the past 12 years the Shapiro/Antonetti administration from their 2002 GM/ Asst. GM beginning to their current President/ VP-GM ascent in the Dolan Family echelons have had 18 first-round draft picks.

Step right up! Young and old! Don’t be afraid! Fathom a guess of how many of those 18 young and healthy players drafted in the first round during the Shapiro/Antonetti era are on the Tribe’s (25- player) active roster. Don’t worry about having to look up your answer as it will appear later in this column.

It’s now later.

The answer is….

The one and only, Lonnie Chisenhall.

The Chosen Chisen puts the Shapiro/Antonetti experiment of players drafted in the first round by them who are currently on the Indians every day roster at a .040 average.

Wow! That average makes Jason Giambi average look average.

Where are they now, Part I — Besides The Chosen Chisen, only three other first round picks made by Simon and Garfunkel, Oops! Wrong “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” duo, make that, first round picks made by Shapiro and Antonetti on MLB rosters are Jeremy Guthrie, drafted No. 22 in 2002, who is now with Kanas City, Alex White, drafted No. 15 in 2009, who at the moment is recovering from Tommy John surgery with Houston and Drew Pomeranz, the No. 5 pick in 2010, who currently is with Oakland.

Bellevue High School Alum and Cleveland’s 18th pick in 2003, Brad Snyder, is not on the Texas Rangers 40 man roster but does play for their Triple A affiliate the Round Rock Express. Meaning injuries to the right 25 players and Snyder is back playing in MLB.

Where are they now, Part II — After 12 years of selecting almost 500 players in the annual 40 round event during the Shapiro/Antonetti era only two other drafted players, Jason Kipnis and Cody Allen have joined The Chosen Chisen on the Tribe’s present every day active roster.

While Kipnis was drafted No. 63 in 2009, Allen holds the distinction of being drafted twice by Cleveland. In 2010 he was drafted in the 480th spot by Batman and Robin.

Oops! Wrong Dynamic Duo. Make that, Shapiro/Antonetti.

But Allen did not sign until they drafted him again as the 698th selection in 2011.

Since teaming up in 2002 the not-so Dynamic Duo of Shapiro/Antonetti have drafted one all-star, the aforementioned Kipnis, who far exceeded his .268 MLB career average when he was named player of the month last June after making only 54 outs in 93 at bats for a .419 average with 12 doubles, one triple, four homers and 25 RBI. He scored 17 runs, stole nine bases and drew 30 walks in 27 games.

That binge not only helped Kipnis be added to the roster of players voted into the All-Star Game but it also helped jack up his 2013 average as he finished the season hitting .284.

Does that mean the pressure is on Penn and Teller? Oops! Wrong magicians that make things disappear.

Make that the first round draft pick disappearing act of Shapiro/Antonetti at today’s draft to choose their second all-star in 13 years or will they be content and settle on former first round type of players they’ve picked in the past like Micah Shilling, Matt Whitney, Michael Aubrey, Beau Mills, and Adam Miller who are no longer playing professional ball.

Hmmm…. the way drafted players disappear in their system it appears that Cleveland has a better Witness Protection Program than our federal government.

How important is today’s MLB First Year Player Draft? If Cleveland wants to regain its status as an asset to the community that they once were then getting the right players in the right place at the right time has to be done right.

Please don’t suggest if they win, people will come, because last year they did win two more games than my predicted 90 wins, made the play-in game for the playoffs and still finished next to the next last team in attendance with a mere 1,572,926 fans turning the turnstiles.

So if the free agent signings of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, David Murphy and Giambi, along with the traded for players Michael Brantley, Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana, Yan Gomes and Justin Masterson are not bringing in the fans, then Abbott/ Costello...

Oops! Wrong comedy team of “Who’s on First?”

...then Shapiro/Antonetti to build their always rebuilding team for the future need to look to the past.

I’m sure the home grown names Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Charles Nagy and Manny Ramirez invoke memories of go to the ole new ballpark and watching your own home grown players evolve into winners.

So here’s hoping when the draft starts today that the Dolans twins, Shapiro/ Antonetti, have all their “Lucky Charms” in order so they can make the Cleveland Indians magically delicious.



Draft-wise, tear them apart. Acquisition-wise, they have been near perfect. The only poor trade being the Cliff Lee deal. That was about as empty as they come. But they have made some absolute steals a la Carlos Santana (despite poor Avg. this year, made huge contributions last year) for Casey Blake. Or getting Justin Masterson (again, great last year) for a guy you weren't resigning next year anyway. I get the argument, but give credit where credit is due. These guys can wheel and deal, despite poor drafting.

Oops almost forgot, Yan Gomes AND Mike Aviles for Esmil Rogers?

Steve P

Would anyone trade Michael Brantley straight up for C.C. " can't walk Sabathia today, remember Brantley was the "thrown" in player.. Chuck did fail to mention Francisco Lindor the shortstop in waiting, and one of the top prospects in all baseball, drafted first just a few years ago, Jason Kipnis and the new closer Cody Allen were all drafted along with three or four other drafted players who are on the active roster after being added recently..

Sleeping With Y...

Yes. When it comes to the “Trader Lanes” of this century then by all means the Justin Masterson trade was Masterful. Just looking at his Cleveland career record of 48-59 and 4.13 ERA compared to Victor Martinez’s .316 BA and 346 RBI’s since the 2009 trade is not “The Curse of Rocky” but is closing in on being the curse of @#^! Shapiro/Antonetti.
Could you imagine Martinez being the full time DH instead of the Swisher, Giambi, Raburn and Santana rotation?
Yes. But thanks to that trade that’s all you can do.
Imagine it.
The Blake for Santana trade, for now, does benefit Cleveland as Carlos with only 6 errors in 28 starts at third base is currently hitting 169 average points above Casey this year. Of course, Casey is no longer at the bat.
Oops! Do you mean the Yan Gomes who leads the MLB in errors, 9 so far, for a catcher and the Mike Aviles who only runs out routine grounders when his toe isn’t stubbed?
Also Chrip, just so you don’t forget, I am….
Sleeping With Your Spouse.
Steve P.
Just because the Indians called up 3 or 4 players from the minors does not mean they were drafted.
The main players I believe you mistakenly have in mind on the June 4, 2014 active roster for the Indians might be Jesus Aguilar who was signed as a free agent in 2007 and has been sent back packin’ to Akron once Carlos Santana was recalled, Trevor Bauer who the Tribe obtained from Arizona as part of the 3 way trade of the Shin-Soo Chin trade with Cincinnati and Nick Hagadone who was part of the 2009 Victor Martinez trade to Boston.
As far as Mr. Hoefert failing to mention Francisco Lindor, who is yet to be placed on the Indians 40 man, I have 2 words about the combined Cleveland sports media and Tribe front office hype.
Mark Lewis.
Also Steve P., just so you don’t forget, I am…
Sleeping With Your Spouse.