Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sorry Larry Dolan, facts are facts

By Rick Morris

The success of the Cleveland Indians in 2007 has obscured, in the minds of many, the fact that the organization has put greater emphasis on its bottom line than winning on the field. Fans have waited in vain for the team to make it somewhere into the middle of the bell curve since Mark Shapiro and Company instituted the payroll slash-and-burn in 2002.

We always make mention on FDH programming of the fact that analysts can speak with the most knowledge about situations closest to home. Therefore, I can speak with more authority on Cleveland sports than on any other market because I have observed it up-close my entire life. Nevertheless, it's always nice to be reinforced by something noticed by an observer of the national scene. Such was the case with this column by our friend Russ Cohen of Sportsology. As he notes, the correlation between payroll and World Series titles is undeniably strong. The Tribe obviously has a strong core in place, but as previously noted here, it wasn't nearly strong enough to beat Boston minus a strong overachieving scenario. A few impact moves are still necessary to give this team a legitimate chance at a world championship. The Dolans must change their policy and give the go-ahead for at least a mid-level payroll in order to maintain credibility with non-homers moving into 2008.

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