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my new theory is that dolan was obviously underqualified to own the team, as the decision to “cut payroll” is obviously hindering our efforts to stay competitive – or at least, capable of going to the world series. i was unhappy that john hart deviated from the original template he and hank peters had devised in the early eighties – that is, to develop and acquire young talent, sign them to long term contracts, and perhaps sign an occasional veteran to fill holes as they appeared. instead, hart, in search of some elusive elixir (or, in this case, a “front line starter”, as he called them) squandered far too many young position players and hurt the confidence of other players. also, his obsession with a formula bullpen caused us to lose a great deal of talent (brian giles for ricardo rincon, anyone?). it is extremely disappointing that players do not seem to really want to come to play in cleveland STILL, and i wonder if the players feel that they are not dealt with honestly. i am hopeful that mr. shapiro can correct whatever it is that causes this, if we do decide to dip into the free agent market again, because it was recently pointed out on cleveland radio that it’s been 6 years since a tribe drafted and developed player entered the major leagues as a regular. my brother used to say, “john hart is out of ideas” and i admit, when you raid your minor leagues again and again for questionable acquisitions and they don’t exactly work (john smiley jeff juden…), you may lose steam. it may be years before the tribe fully recovers. there must be some answers, though, aside from merely starting from scratch by trading away the last vestiges of recent winning indians teams, because it will only become more difficult to attract whomever we pursue as free agents when they are playing for crowds of 10,000 at the jake, fans staying away in droves as their favorite players have left the building.


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