Saturday, July 23, 2005

Me Scalp 'em Indians Good!

Larry Dolan: Killing Me Softly With His Song...

Okay, okay, I now what you might be thinking: After the moron that is me proclaimed to the world that The Chicago White Sox would take a tumble (after the All-Star break), and the Cleveland Indians would overtake the baseball equivalent of the "red-headed stepchild" to the Chicago Cubbies in the second half of the season, I might have, um, a bit of a reason to go off on some tiresome tirade about the Tribe, right-?

Well, you couldn't be more wrong! I'm going to (for once) take the high-road over The Detroit-Superior bridge and simply brush off any negativity towards the post-All-Star slump on display down at The Jake. That's right, you heard me: "It's only a game."

I'm not going to lose control like some cyber-tempestuous toddler (this time) and go off on some half-cocked Bill Bixby rampage - "Hulk smashing" any puny humans who get in my horrific way.

AND, if you're expecting me to go off in some sophomoric Second City sketch-like fashion, with myself portraying some psuedo-journalistic Jedi who suddenly shows up on the doorstep of The Larry Dolan Death Star - where I thusly go on to verbally "strike them down with all my hatred" - um, both Lord Dolan ("The Emperor") and Darth Shapiro. Well, sorry to disappoint you this time, kids, but you couldn't be more mistaken!

To quote Kevin Bacon in "Animal House": "All is well - ALL IS WELL!!!"

The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and The Cleveland Browns are only another month away, so let's all just ...let's all just ...remain calm. Let's all just remain calm ...and collected. Take some deep breaths and - and - did I mention the part about remaining calm yet? OH, SCREW IT!!!!

McMemo to The Cleveland Indians' front office: "What The F@%k Are You S*#theads Doing!?!?!"

Okay, I'm not going to be a hypocrite here because the 2005 Cleveland Indians - for all intensive purposes - are still in the wild-card hunt. Mark's Shapiro's "maneuverings" - to this point - have produced productive results. Namely: Grady Sizemore, Jhonny Peralta, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee. And much to even my pre-season dismay, when I felt banged-up closing pitcher, Bob Wickman, was just a bargain-basement band-aid with a bad elbow. Wickman later turned out to be the only Tribe guy selected for the All-Star game (and deservedly so!).

But Shapiro is too quick to "take a bullet" for his Dark Master, Larry Dolan. For the last year or so, Shapiro and staff have promised this town "a contender" by - and no later than - the 2005 season (anybody got a calendar handy?). Dolan, himself, made NUMEROUS public proclamations that he would "spend money" if the Indians were "in contention" during the 2005 season. Well, the future is now!

And old Irish proverb: "Please don't piss in my face and tell me it's raining..."

So what is going on with the Cleveland Indians - besides owner Larry Dolan holding out his empty pockets in dismay like that Monopoly guy on the "pay $15 poor tax" Community Chest card? Well, short of me running down to Jacob's Field and dangling Mr. Dolan by the legs off the upper deck to secure some "loose change" for high-priced free agents ...not much.

The Indians' organization got lucky with Kevin Millwood, so-so support from Aaron Boone, and a kamikaze kick in the injured groin from Juan "going, going" Gonzalez. Trading Jody Gerut for Jason Dubois is a lateral move for the moment - nothing more, nothing less. But unless this team pays some semi-serious money for a few ready-for-primetime players, the Tribe is never going to go anywhere, anytime soon.

Okay, like most, I despise the Yankees and the Red Sox, so I'm not supporting throwing money at the problem. And the Detroit Tigers - even with their $75 million dollar baby payroll - are treading water to keep up with us. But until Larry Dolan decides to "fill in the blanks" around his nicely-priced newbies, you are putting too much pressure on the up-and-comer's to succeed with this self-imposed string-cheese salary cap.

I'm not advocating to "break the bank" - but it wouldn't hurt to open up the safe once in a while and roll around naked in a pile of money. "Whispers in the wind" are telling me that the Indians are set to trade Millwood and (possibly) Bob Wickman this year for, uh, future considerations. Sure the Tribe is slumping, but they are still within a couple games of a playoff birth - are Dolan and Shapiro ready to blow it up to mortgage the future?

I sure hope not. Like some sorry satiricial scene out of "Planet of the Ain'ts," I don't want to be wandering down the Lake Erie shoreline one day only to stumble upon the tarnished statue of Bob Feller buried waist deep in the sand, with me crumbling to my knees and sobbing big Wahoo tears: "You blew it up, you maniacs! YOU BLEW IT UP!"


Chris McVetta is the Cleveland Browns/Indians "taking a (beat)ing" writer for NorthCoast Voice magazine and co-founder of "The Whacked-Out Wahoos" support group who meet bi-weekly at Panini's for grief support, Cleveland salary cap-counseling and a beer (or two) to cry in.

Belloq to Indiana Jones: "Do you know what the Ark is, Jones...? It's a transmitter for talking to God!" (That's right - but The Id and I is NOT! So if you need to give us a jingle, or just hurl dung in our general direction, contact us at: )

Special Thanks to our Cleveland "shout out" from our friends over at ESPN2's "Cold Pizza."

NEXT UP AT BAT: "Wedding Crashers," I Wish I May, I Wish I Might, I Wish To Be a Local Playwright Tonight ...and we're LIVE for opening day at Cleveland Browns Training Camp!


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