Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ezekiel 25:17

An actual letter that appeared in today’s PD under the heading “Put It in Writing”:

Here's my diaTribe on the Indians' payroll situation.

In Paul Hoynes' article Sunday regarding the Indians' payroll, he listed them as having the 24th-lowest total in Major League Baseball. Included in the story was team President Paul Dolan saying the Indians have never been stronger financially.

Somewhere along the way, the Dolans have lost touch with what is supposed to be the goal of a baseball team. It is not to build a nest egg for future generations of Dolans to line their cribs with money. It is to win a championship. If they were to focus on this fact, maybe they would be less reluctant to tear apart the organization every time a prospect blossoms into a star who would like to be paid accordingly.

Their talk of being "unable" to re-sign the trio of Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and C.C. Sabathia dulls the enthusiasm for a very promising year.

From: Bob Verbiak, Medina

Well, Bob, since I take this letter (and particularly the inclusion of the 3rd word in the missive) as an affront to my Sunday post here at The DiaTribe, when I took Hoynes to task for a blatantly one-sided article that bordered on the absurd in its exclusion of basic facts, let me channel Jules from Pulp Fiction.

Oh, were you finished? Well, allow me to retort.
First, I missed the part of the article that you used quotation marks for regarding the Indians being “unable” to re-sign the troika of Tribesman. It’s been a while since Fr. Streicher’s freshman Grammar class for me; but generally, Bob, when you use quotation marks, it should refer to a direct quote from the piece that you are referencing. Nowhere in Hoynes’ article is Paul Dolan quoted as saying that the Indians will be unable to re-sign Hafner, Westbrook, and C.C. But that’s just getting the dander up in the grammarian in me. Nice to see that the sharp eyes at the PD caught it.

As for gist of the argument, that the Dolans have “lost touch with what is supposed to be the goal of a baseball team,” does the fact that the Dolans are paying less for young players more productive than those being overpaid elsewhere mean that they’re cheap or that they’re trying to “build a nest egg for future generations of Dolans to line their cribs with money” (note the proper use of quotation marks, Bob)?

As my counterpart at Let’s Go Tribe pointed out on Sunday, apparently everybody would be happier if Keith Foulke took the $5M he signed for, just to boost that payroll number. You know, so we can all sleep well with the knowledge that we’re REALLY getting our money’s worth out of the product on the field?

And what, exactly, dulls your enthusiasm for what is a “very promising year” (isn’t it annoying to see quotation marks used properly?) – is it at least 2 more years of Pronk and C.C. or is it that the Indians have Adam Miller sitting in AAA, waiting to take the spot of Westbrook (or that of Byrd if Westbrook is extended)?

Here in reality, the Indians have started negotiating with these players and have a good opportunity to re-sign one, if not two of them, to long-term deals because of the flexibility of their payroll going forward.

Is it preferable for the Indians to negotiate through the media, to tell Hoynes that they’ve offered Westbrook 3 years at $10M per and his agent is mulling it over, only to have Westbrook vilified for not jumping at that much money? Or is it OK for the Indians to handle their business internally as they attempt to build a consistently contending team on the field?

Realizing that the purpose of printing newspapers is to sell the newspapers, Hoynes’ article was blatantly one-sided and meant to rile up the “tight-fisted Dolans” contingent of the fan base. The printing of this letter is just further proof that the PD is simply interested in stirring the pot of inferiority and pessimism that pervades this city. While that inferiority complex and pessimistic perspective is certainly deserved, printing articles and letters like these show exactly why the Plain Dealer is having such a difficult times selling those papers, even in this one-paper town.

Enjoy the season Bob.
Keep writing the PD and calling WKNR to vent your misguided frustration.


Hermano said...

Thanks for the Fr. Streicher comment. I never had him (Pasko for Freshman English), but I still use his Dictionary of the English Language every time I write something, even now that I'm in law school.

t-bone said...

Sadly, today is the anniversary of the 1993 spring training off-day tragedy.

Here's a Jason Stark article at the 10-year anniversary.


t-bone said...

oops, got my dates messed up. anniversary is tomorrow.