BLOG: My plan to save the Cleveland Indians

Tom Jackson
Aug 23, 2012

 

The Cleveland Indians are in trouble. They are losing over and over again, and dispirited fans are largely staying away.

But if the Dolans or Mark Shapiro will only listen to me, I have figured out a way to save the team.

The key to reviving the Indians lies in the simple fact that Manny Acta is a good first half manager and Eric Wedge is a good second half manager.

As with last year's version of the Indians, Acta's team got off to a hot start in the first half of the season but since the All-Star break has been plunging to the ground like a wounded airplane, trailing black smoke.

Meanwhile, Wedge's Seattle Mariners spent the first half of the season digging itself into a deep hole, as Wedge's teams always do, but are suddenly hotter than Georgia asphalt in July. As of Wednesday, the Mariners had won eight straight games, while the Indians had lost eight in a row, including three to Seattle.

Wedge's Mariners finished in last place last year and he's managed the team into last place this year, too, so he should be available soon. Acta is supposed to return to the Indans next year.

Here's my big idea: The Indians hire Acta and Wedge as co-managers for 2013.

For the first half of the year, Acta is the manager. Wedge is the bench coach, or first base coach, or Chris Perez' personal charm trainer, or wherever he can fill a need. Acta performs his usual first half magic of making a bunch of AAA players perform like the New York Yankees, and the Indians are in first place as the All-Star game is played at the New York Mets' stadium.

After the final out of the All-Star game, as beer-sodden fans in sports bars all over northern Ohio are celebrating Carlos Santana's walkoff grand slam, Kate Wedge kisses her husband and as usual he turns from a frog into a baseball prince.

In the second half, the part of the season, when Wedge suddenly becomes a baseball genius and Acta runs out of gas, the two reverse roles. Wedge takes over as manager and Acta becomes a coach.

I haven't figured out who should manage the team during the playoffs, but wouldn't that be a nice problem to worry about? It would give the fans something to argue about as they flock to Progressive Field to see the resurgent Tribe.

When "platoon managing" becomes the hot new trend in baseball, and when Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford fight to portray Larry Dolan in "PlatoonBall," 2015's hottest movie, my system will be vindicated.

 

Comments

princedenny

This may have been thee DUMBEST, MOST CLUELESS article ever printed in the history of journalism.  Even if it's an attempt at being humorous, you struck out Tom.

 

Contango

@ Mr. Jackson:

I say end the private ownership of all professional sports teams and make them into publicly traded cos.

Manchester United recently had an IPO. It's also one of the wealthiest sports franchises in the world.

Wouldn't you like to own a few shares of Indians stock?

 

Norwalk Lifer

@ Contango

United is not a great example because they are not truly publically traded.  The voting B shares have all been retained by the Glazer family and the recent IPO is basically a cash grab.

The Barcelona ownership model on the other hand is an interesting possibility.

Swamp Fox

Ease up on Mr. Jackson, what did you expect he works for Matt Westerhold and the Register, he is doing the best he can with his journalistic ability..

Tom Jackson

 @princedenny You have to admit that's an achievement of sorts.

@Contango, that would certainly help drive fan interest, which the Indians could use.

 

 

dire wolf

how about adding some more talent to the roster?

coasterfan

Why not just accept the fact that the Indians are a minor-league team with only 2-3 players that would make most other major league rosters? There ARE two really good teams in our region who field a much, much better product: the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers.  I've been a Reds fan my entire life; it's not too late for long-suffering Tribe fans to switch allegiances.

My son is a Texas Rangers fan and we were able to get awesome box seats for a game this weekend in Cleveland, since even the best seats are often empty at a Tribe game these days.....

Contango
@ coasterfan:   Your son is a TX Ranger fan?   Better keep a close eye on him, he might begin to emulate other long held TX qualities like God, guns, the Bible, business creation and individual responsibility.      "The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people."   Into which category do you fall?  
tk

Two things would help the Indians.  An owner that cared about the team and a salary cap for MLB.  Small market teams are never going to be able to compete the way it is now.  They can develop great players and teams with more money will come along and offer the players a salary the other team can't afford.  Look how the Yankees cherry pick other teams top players.  Check out the lineup and see how many Yankee players came up through the Yankee system.  Can you get beyond Jeter?

Tom Jackson

 I still think that gallows humor is the most appropriate response to the Indians these days, but y'all seem to want a serious discussion, so here's my two cents.

The Indians should trade Chris Perez (Pestano can close), trade Choo (who they can't/won't afford) and use the cash they'll pick up getting rid of Hafner, all in service of the same goal -- getting as much starting pitching as possible. As the Dolans won't pay for free agent sluggers, the goal for position players should be to get folks who can at least field the ball.