There’s a whole lot of tension these days between Indians ownership the fleeting fan base.
So don’t think the Dolans will score any brownie points just because they’re perceived to be players in the free-agent market. Until they actually bring in a difference-making player, Indians fans won’t give a rip.
Cleveland lost out on one Tuesday, when outfielder Shane Victorino reportedly signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Red Sox.
(By the way, doesn’t that make Torii Hunter’s two-year, $26 million pact look all that much better for the Tigers?)
It’s the second year in a row the Indians came up empty on a marquee outfielder, having watched Carlos Beltran pick the Cardinals last offseason. Gee, wonder how long until closer Chris Perez publicly laments the fact Victorino isn’t an Indian, like he said about Beltran in the summer of 2011.
Last offseason, the Indians’ “big” splashes were the trade for Derek Lowe and the signing of Johnny Damon, neither of whom finished the year there.
This offseason, the biggest move has been the hiring of manager Terry Francona, with the trade for shortstop Mike Aviles second, light years behind.
The Indians are a shell of the franchise that dominated the division in the 1990s, and into the early 2000s. And the rebuilding process might be set to get even more painful, should they trade Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo and Perez this month or next, as many suspect they might.
And even if they keep their bigger names, Choo is a free agent next winter, and Cabrera and Perez the offseason after that. Odds are, they’ll find new homes soon anyway — especially Perez, who blasted the Dolans during the regular season, while in the same sentence praising Mike Ilitch.
Big difference between those two, of course.
Ilitch typically get his guy. And once again, the Dolans did not.