Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not the answer? Of course not.
The Indians are 14 games under .500 going into Sunday's game with the Reds. The Tribe traded one of their best players, utility-man Mark DeRosa, to the Cardinals Saturday night.

The hopes of contending, which I'd pretty much released after the season's first week, have finally been let go by the Indians front office.

I'd like to say there could be more deals coming, but really, the Indians don't have anyone else other teams would be able to trade for.

Some veterans (Carl Pavano) aren't good enough. Others (Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez) too costly.

No, at this point the only major move the Indians have left to make involves manager Eric Wedge. There was a time Thursday night that I really thought it would happen. I called Joel Hammond and predicted Wedge would get be dismissed before the Reds' series.

But you have to say one thing about this organization: It is stubborn.

Some columnists -- like myself -- have called for Wedge's firing. Others, like the ABJ's Sheldon Ocker (who knows more than me)says firing Wedge is not the answer.
Ocker is right, but there's another point to be made: Firing the coach is rarely the answer. What it represents is a chance.

In my lifetime, the only time a new manager was presented as an "answer" was Charlie Manuel. Manuel, as it turned out, was the answer -- for Philadelphia. When the Indians fired Manuel in 2002, they replaced him with Joel Skinner, knowing full-well he wasn't going to turn the team around.

Doc Edwards, John Hart and even Mike Hargrove weren't answers. No one thought they'd turn the Indians around. But they were brought in because it was obvious the team had gone as far as it could go under the current manager, and a change needed to be made.

The 2009 version of the Indians is bad. Al Lopez couldn't turn this bunch into winners, but that's not the point. There are more than three months left in the season. If Wedge is to be fired, then the move needs to be made sooner rather than later. If not, the the ownership needs to hold a press conference and say Wedge is its man for 2010.

Without that, Wedge is a lame duck manager, and the remaining months of this season will not just be hard to watch, they will be boring.

It's not about answers. It's about chances.

I think it's time for the Indians to take one.



At 3:16 PM , Blogger Mike said...

Craznik wrote a really good column yesterday on the Indians recent struggles on

Firing Wedge can't come soon enough. At this point, I really don't see the point in keeping him around a day longer.


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