What's Eating Dan Gilbert's Grapes?
The Id and I - "If web blogs were cereals, we'd be The King Vitamin of cyberspace!"
You couldn't imagine my utter shock and horror the other day when I heard the announcement that our dear old Gund Arena was being renamed: Quicken Loans Arena.
Granted, Gund Arena sounds like something that should come with a free shot of penicilin, but Quicken Loans Arena...? What - was A-B-C Check Cashing Coliseum already taken???
I realize that it's Dan Gilbert's money and he can name "The Cleveland Cavaliers Stadium" anything he wants, that it's not my money nor my business, and I should probably just keep my mouth shut - but I'm not going to! Because outside of just being a shameless plug for the billionaire's business, I think it would have been a much more humble gesture towards the Cleveland Community if Richie Rich had named it something, uh, the rest of us could enjoy...
Even the previous bounced around name, The Rock (after Rock Financial) Arena, would have been a gracious nod towards our musical heritage and tied in with - between all the tumbling tumbleweeds - that other Rock Hall thing down by the Lake Erie shoreline.
But, no, that would make too much sense. After all, Dan Gilbert didn't want to lose a sale by that one stray brainstem who happens to stumble upon Quicken Loans Arena up there in flashing neon lights and calls them for a "Cleveland special" (A 3rd home mortgage loan to feed one's starving family - or pay for stuff bought on eBay) - and a damn fast one at that!
Meanwhile, across the alley "...on the Boulevard of Broken Baseball Dreams" lies our old friend, Larry Dolan, clutching his piggy bank with clenched fists like C. Montgomery Burns on holiday. Now that The Cleveland Indians have moved into 2nd place in the AL Central division - past The Minnesota Twins and are in serious contention of a playoff birth - Larry Dolan has pulled out his checkbook - and all the stops, Tribe fans! - for the option year on 3rd baseman, Aaron Boone. Woot! Woot!
I have applaueded Mark Shapiro and the Tribe organization in the recent past for their amazing turnaround time on trades and talent that produced Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, Travis Hafner, Jhonny Peralta and Victor Martinez. But enough is enough with the teasing and the dangling of these talented tater tots in front of our collective faces, Napoleon Dynamite - it's time for the main course here in Cleveland 2005!
If Larry Dolan does not - or cannot - "pony up the dough" to at least attempt to put the Tribe over the top (and 1st place in the AL Central would be a fine start), then he owes it to the fans and the city of Cleveland to sell the team to some other Daddy Warbucks in waiting. A new owner with an MBNA credit line (wink, wink) - that can at least match the Minnesota Twins, if not surpass it, and doesn't need to wait for "triple coupon day" at Tops to purchase a high-priced bat to fill in for an often bad - and battered - Casey Blake.
But what do I know, huh-? I'm just a lowly graduate of Cleveland State University - "where the city is our campus" - the Cleveland school system is our shambles - and the nefarious Cleveland panhandlers holding out a tin cup are our playground bullies ...even the ones NOT named "Larry Dolan."
Chris McVetta is a serious sports journalist like Dennis Kucinich is a serious presidential candidate for the 2008 (or any!) election. He is available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and to just boost your sagging newspaper circulation or television ratings (because, hey, you're sure not going to do it!). When sober, Mr. McVetta can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org