Monday, April 13, 2015

Was I Too Tough on the Indians?

Normally I try to find the lighter side of sports.  I try to have fun, make jokes and poke fun at our opponents.  The truth is I am a long suffering homer.  When I see one of our teams with a chance I desperately want to see them do what they have to do to get the job done.  The 2015 Indians is one of those teams.  This team has a chance.  But I will honest, I failed to find the humor in last weekend.  Despite your best efforts, I don't see the silver lining from last weekend.  Last weekend disgusted me.

Last weekend was hands down the toughest weekend I've had on Twitter.  Covering the Indians is one of the toughest things in the world.  While I can get away with almost anything when talking Browns football, many of you don't want to hear criticism of the Indians... ever.  Even if they somewhat deserve it.  While I think it is awesome that some of you hold an unwavering belief in our team, many of you don't have tolerance for other people's opinions, even if they are based in reality.  In the past I've not tried to burst that bubble that many in our fan base have created for themselves.

Last weekend was different.  The Detroit Tigers came to our house, on our opening weekend.  The fact is that the Tigers have always been an absolute scourge to me.  I hate them, maybe even more than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.  I hate their uniforms, I hate their players, I hate their attitude, I hate their fans, I hate their city, I hate the stupid script D that they wear on their hats, that every wannabe gangster from that area gets tattooed on them.  I hate everything about them, passionately.

The fact of the matter is that I came to a decision that if we couldn't handle our business against that team and run them and their asshole fans out of town with their tails between their legs that I was going to give the Tribe some tough love.  I was going to be furious, because this is supposed to be our year dammit.  4 straight years of them dominating this division is enough.  And we got our asses kicked from pillar to post.  We looked like we didn't even belong in the same league as them.  And as many of you read my stuff, you know I didn't pull any punches.  Many of you didn't like that, but you know what, I was pissed and I'm not apologizing for that.

And oh boy did you guys jump to the defense of the Indians.  The number one thing I heard was that I was an idiot because "It's Early," well guess what... the games started counting last week.  And if you remember back to last season we dug ourselves a hole in April that we just didn't have enough time to climb out of,  We missed the playoffs by one game, that we would have easily overcome had we not stunk it up all through those apparently unimportant April games. So no, spring training is early, it's the regular season now.  It's never too early to win.

Many of you have angrily reminded me that there are still 156 games to go, and there is a long way to go.  And yes, I can do math I do realize that.  However do you realize it's going to be an even longer 156 if our main division rival plays us with the belief that they own us?  It's gonna be a long 156 if the Tigers batters are living rent free in our pitchers heads.  It's gonna be a long 156 if we are trying to play catchup all season long again.

My biggest point of anger comes from Miguel Cabrera.  To me he's a lousy shit talking, whiny, ballplayer that I would hate even without the opinion that he is also one of the games biggest uncaught cheaters.  It would take you ten lifetimes to convince me that guy isn't juicing, and considering that he has annually put up video game numbers against the Indians he leaves me with an awful taste in my mouth.  With Ray Lewis and Ray Rice out of football I can easily say that Miguel Cabrera has taken over the role of my most hated professional athlete.

I started in on Cabrera as I always do, but this time a Detroit fan account began retweeting my hate for him.  I don't pick fights with other fan bases, I don't troll people, I don't go out of my way.  But Detroit sure went out of their way for me.  While you all were marveling at the new bar and additions to the ballpark, I was getting accosted by angry Detroit fans at every one of Cabrera's hits.  I had faith in the Indians that they were going to help me out, give me some ammo to fire back with... and alas no.  It got worse every single day.  And yes, I resent the Indians for that.  I wish I could send my notifications from this weekend to every one of their accounts so they can see the hell that they caused me by letting that POS rip them apart for the entire weekend.  And in the end I had to take it hard on their behalf, so guess what I don't feel bad for giving the team some grief.

So yes that was fun, getting ridiculed by asshole Tigers fans for three days.  That was a blast getting ripped up by many of you for not putting on my "it's okay it's early" rose colored glasses.  I loved reading the people who couldn't stop gushing about the stadium, while inside it the only thing that matters was going horribly wrong.  It was great to see people literally say how they couldn't be mad because watching Cabrera play baseball was "an honor" (yes I read that and almost puked).

So yes, part of my anger is petty rivalry hate.  Yes, part of my anger is a unsubstantiated mistrust of a player based on a belief.  So if you have criticisms of that take, I can understand that.  But most of my anger is based on something a little bit more relevant to our future success.  So I'm sorry, I think that some of you should be a little more pissed as well.

Why?  Well, the one thing that many people have no problem complaining about when it comes to the Indians is their attendance.  And no offense the same people that got pissed at me for railing the Indians will be the same folks vocally pissed off at our poor attendance numbers.  And yes, it's been horrible.  And while more people went to opening weekend this year than they had in 9 seasons, what now?  To put 20,000+ into that stadium nightly requires a lot of casual fans and out of town fans to find it worth their while to make their way to the stadium.  After this weekend do you think that those folks are excited to spend their money on going to a ballgame?  I'm going to guess not, hopefully I'm wrong but c'mon.  Last year's poor April seemed to kill the entire year's attendance, first we blamed the weather, but the sun came out and the people still didn't.  And I think a big part of that was the frustrating nature of the team.  Nobody showed up to watch continuous return runs and bad defense, we didn't rebound attendance at all until late in the season when we clawed our way back into contention.  So no, I can't imagine last weekend helped us at all for this season.

So what, who cares about fair weather fans?  Well the Dolans do, and if you didn't notice they didn't make any trade deadline moves last year.  They didn't make any major moves to improve anything this offseason.  And this isn't some Dolans are cheap critisism, I agree with them.  Why the hell should they make an effort if people aren't coming out to the ballpark?  Really bad teams have been drawing more than us and that is a fact, we are a fickle bunch.  And they won't make moves if we don't show up, it is as simple as that.  Lets be honest, a large section of our fanbase has been crystal clear that they aren't showing up unless there is a reason.  Something has got to give if we want to get to the next level.  This team has been living within this horrible catch 22 situation for a few years now, and it's getting frustrating.

So you can be mad at me all you want, unfollow me, block me, whatever helps you sleep at night.  Just don't criticize me, I'm sticking by my guns.  Don't waste your time arguing with me.  We blew a golden opportunity to get some huge buzz generated in this town about the Indians and that is a fact.  Instead we are six games into a season and already trailing two teams in the division by four games.  In my opinion if it is too early for anything it is already building a four game deficit in what promises to be a dogfight of a division.

So no, I never said the season is over.  No, I never said there isn't a long way to go.  So save it, please.  I don't want to fight with you.  I assure you with my smart ass nature, you don't want to fight with me.  I won't be taking another series so personally until the Tigers are in town again anyways, so I don't foresee issues.    

So you don't have to love the fact that I think the Indians potentially dropped the ball in a big way last weekend.  You can continue to tell yourselves that games don't count until June.  Find your silver lining,  I can promise you that you won't find me in your notifications criticizing you they way many of you have come at me.  In fact I'm jealous of that blind optimism.  I wish I wasn't over thinking three baseball games the way I am.  But I think my extreme disappointment has merit, and you don't want to see it, stop trying to blind me from it.  

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