Indians owner Paul Dolan held court on a variety of topics recently with Zack Meisel of The Athletic (subscription link). It’s essential reading for fans of the organization; there are a few items worth highlighting from a hot-stove perspective.
Dolan’s comments are sure to raise a few eyebrows from those who’d like to see the team spending more. After capturing a third-straight AL Central title last year, the Cleveland organization is set to enter the 2019 season with a reduced payroll.
That’s a reflection in part of the fact that there wasn’t any real postseason revenue last year, says Dolan. He claims that the team lost money last year and does so in most seasons, though annual bottom lines are subject to quite a lot of interpretation and Dolan also acknowledges that the ownership group has “seen an asset grow in a considerable value.”
Dolan indicated that the general philosophy in the Indians organization is to aim to keep open a contention window for a lengthy stretch, rather than to push in too many chips in a given year. Reaching the playoffs more often, in theory, creates more chances to win it all and tamps down on the number of lengthy losing stretches.
That’s what the team is engaged in at present, says Dolan, who says “the downside is out there somewhere.” Maximizing chances now would also mean raising the specter of a quicker and more dramatic decline. The hope, says Dolan, is that “we can put it off for as long as we possibly can.”
If it’s not clear enough already, Dolan left little doubt that huge contracts aren’t part of the plan. The Cleveland org “probably” won’t be doing any $300MM contracts — at least, he says, unless and until “somebody else is doing $1 billion deals.” He even critiqued the small-market Padres for spending $300MM on Manny Machado, saying that the club will “bump up against the issue with having so much of their payroll tied up in one guy.”
And what about the club’s own star, Francisco Lindor? Dolan says that fans should “enjoy him and then we’ll see what happens.”
There’s some conflict in some of Dolan’s positions. At one point he plainly stated that a team should never assume it is going to the postseason. Later, he cited the weak AL Central competition as part of his justification for the organization’s shopping of its elite starting pitching this winter.
“We ended up not doing it, but you heard talk about some of our elite pitchers,” said Dolan. “…we could theoretically have moved somebody there to get some upper-level talent that would have the effect of extending our window, taking our payroll down a little further, and if it took a few wins off of our expected wins this year, we probably have that buffer.”
Having failed to identify a suitable trade arrangement for Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer, and with an affordable new deal in place for Carlos Carrasco, the Indians will enter the season with their trio of veteran stalwarts still fronting the staff. They’ll also carry one of the cheapest and most questionable outfield groups in baseball. As Dolan hints, the roster is still quite a bit more talented than those of its division rivals. (The White Sox, of course, were denied the opportunity to invest in Machado.) But taking a title — and setting up in the best possible manner for the postseason — can never be taken for granted.
Some fans, surely, will be frustrated with the explanations proffered. Some, perhaps, even wish the Dolan ownership group would turn things over to another. “You just don’t know,” Dolan said on that matter. “There’s no plan not to own the team. I’ll put it that way. My parents are aging, so things could happen.”
“t’ not to”
Xabial was right, AL central is a disgrace. We can afford to move our ace pitcher because everyone else is so bad that we have a ‘buffer’? Why do we even bother watching the regular season?
Also I can’t wait for the regular season to start lol
Retool, build around the two stud infielders.
Who will walk in free agency.
Damage control, for Mr. cheap.
Your cousin James, is a better owner than you!
He owns the Knicks!
He’s related to that dumpster fire?
He got his initial cash flow from the NY Dolans. They are the ones with the money. The Cleveland Dolans were just a small time law firm. The NY Dolans had cable money that they loaned to the Cleveland Dolans.
And what’s the Knicks record this season? The worst in the NBA!
say what u want, james dolan spends (not wisely) but hes not afraid of spending
this dolan guy from the indians is a disgrace the indians should be all in.
i was rooting for them so hard when they lost to the cubs and im a mets fan
That’s a bit too far. Paul Dolan is certainly cheap and this interview was bad, but at least the Indians have had some recent success.
James Dolan is a bad owner, but he’s not cheap. He’s like Arte of the NBA, Come to think of it…
Dolan’s Knicks, are finally, (FINALLY!) moving in the right direction! whereas the Indians make me feel, if window closes, and their pathetically weak division, catches up wit them (and rest of baseball) they’re doomed 100+ yr drought of Cubs’ futility.
CLE making postseason every year isnt “success” it’s a product of a division, they still haven’t won.
The last time Knicks won it all, was 1973.
The last time Indians won it all, was 1948.
If it isn’t “success”, then I’ll take that “failure” any time. You can’t win it all without first getting to the postseason.
Making the playoffs every year is far better then being a near unwatchable circus like the Knicks have been for a while now. If luck doesn’t go their way meaning no #1 pick aka no Zion they are screwed. Unlikely that in a league dominated by super teams that KD will come to NY to team up with and join nobody.
Cleveland blew a 3-1 lead.
If you ain’t first, you’re last.
Golden State did it first
If you’re not winnin’, you’re losin’
(Good reference !) = )
Making the playoffs every year is a success imo. It’s the difference between being a Braves fan and a Marlins fan. Marlins have won more titles in my lifetime but the Braves are for more successful, and respected.
What a joke.
Oh yeah. He is as good as gone.
This guy makes the Thriftpons look like big spenders.
If the Indians aren’t going to give out any huge contracts, they might as well trade Lindor and get a big haul for him. He’s going to command a huge deal & if they have no plans on giving him a huge deal, they should trade him when he still has a few years of control left. That way they will get a better return
Vandals Took The Handles
I wrote yesterday that the Indians should think about a total rebuild in the next year or so. Lindor, Rameriz, and the starting pitchers would bring in gobs of quality prospects. Doubt that Francona would stick around at his age to go through that though.
Fact is that this Dolan does not own the team. His father is the primary stockholder.
Have no doubt the franchise lost money last year. Attendance was down, and season ticket sales for 2019 are down again. The fans know the team is slowly regressing.
The Dolan’s may well sell the franchise in the next few years. But the reality is that Cleveland is now a small market, and it’s next to impossible for small market teams to turn a profit in MLB. As I mentioned the other day – when Dan Gilbert was looking to buy into pro sports he investigated buying the Brewers. Saw no way a team could compete in Milwaukee for more then a few years. He bought the NBA Cavs instead. Mark Cuban was encouraged by the national media to buy the Pirates when they were up for sale. He saw the financial figures and said the only way he would buy into MLB would be with a large market franchise.
I don’t care for Paul Dolan. But the things being said about his being a double-talking cheapskate have also been unfairly said about all small market owners/execs, and even mid-market owners/execs such as the Atlanta and Toronto people recently.
This is not the NFL where all teams share equally in TV revenue. The disparity in revenue between the large market teams and the other 2/3’rds is simply outrageous. The financial playing field will never be leveled, and the 2/3’rds will remain as farm clubs/feeders to the large market teams.
The Royals spend years building a young WS winner – they almost immediately have to watch their players leave for salaries they cannot possibly pay. Then it’s rebuild time again. The Cubs spend years building a young WS winner. They then spend even more money on free agents and taking on salary in trades. Their idea of cutting back is to hold down the spending for a year. They have not lost one player because they couldn’t afford to pay him. That’s MLB reality.
“Attendance was down, and season ticket sales for 2019 are down again.”
That’s on the fans. Team wins the division and they still don’t show up. Pathetic really, considering how few teams even get a birth to win a World Series.
Vandals Took The Handles
How is that on the fans?
The 2018 ALC race was a foregone conclusion by Memorial Day. When the Indians got to the playoffs against the Astros they never had a chance – only their top 4 hitters were decent. And in the off-season they lost 2 of the 4.
TIckets, parking, refreshments, and souvenirs are not cheap. And one other thing – dominant pitching is not all that much fun to watch. I went with a girlfriend to see a night game decades ago when we had nothing to do. The home teams pitcher threw a no-hitter. As we were driving home she told me that other then the 8th and 9th innings – “it was the most boring game I ever saw”….then started laughing. She was right. There were maybe 8-10 k’s and 2 half-decent defensive plays. Might be nice to see at home on TV, but other then watching from behind home plate or the bleachers, the angle on 70% of seats in a park make it very difficult to see the velocity, movement, and location of a pitch.
I followed the Indians team of Lofton, Omar, Manny, Belle, the 2 Alomars, Baerga, Thome, and others that ran for 5-7 years. They were exciting to watch. What little I’ve seen of this version of the Indians is an analytical-probability based team where defenders shift a lot to make routine plays, and Francona swaps pedestrian batters and relief pitchers to gain a slight match-up advantage. In short, even if they win there is not a lot of excitement watching Tyler Naquin bat for Jordan Luplow; Jake Bauers bat for Roberto Perez, or Carlos Santana work a walk after hitting 5 foul balls.
I’m the opposite, I don’t really like watching them get hits. I enjoy strikeouts more, because in my eyes the pitchers are the stars.
If you can’t enjoy a well pitched game with solid defense then you are not a baseball fan, go watch the Harlem Globetrotters where you know what is going to happen each game.
The beauty baseball (unless Manfred continues to try to ruin it) is that you never know what you’ll get. A slugfest ? A blowout ? A pitching nail biter ?
If a no hitter is bad for you, you don’t belong here…
during the playoff run 2016 the stadium was rocking in Cleveland it was packed no?
Well, this is why there needs to be a hard cap and a mandatory spending percentage.
Lmao! This goof wants other similar market teams not to spend money and just cry poor like he is. What an embarrassment this ownership deserves the massive loss of revenue that will happen when this teams window closes. Hopefully that’s this year. I can’t imagine being a player or fan of this team and not cringing after hearing this garbage.
Expect more small market penny pinchers to point at Padre big spend on Machado. Especially after Padre keep losing even with big spend!
It’s all part of the pre-CBA psyop messaging plan.
Yeah EJ…. ‘Merica loves us some Psyops…
We eats it like Breakfast
Ha ha, yes COL Taylor! Along with napalm, which smells like victory.
I’m fine with it.
wait……there’s more than one Dolan in professional sports that is ruining his team?
Sounds like Millionaire BS. Save your money. Do like me, stay home and BBQ… Good Luck Tribe Fans
I have an mlb .tv streaming package. I use that, especially since I live in SoCal and going to Tribe games would get very expensive for me.
Well sure but my point stands… for the last two seasons I have not supported MLB.com for the same reasons. Probably gonna cut off the Game of the Day pretty soon…
And that will call my bluff… cuz I Love Baseball
At least I’m only 4 1/2 hours away from Goodyear, Arizona, so I can still take trips over there for games that are affordable. That’s my true enjoyment, relaxing and watching the youngsters play.
Last sentence this guy sounds like a petulant little baby.
he seems fine with winning the division but nothing else.
In other words. Enjoy Lindor until he’s free agent eligible and wave bye bye.
Baseball has a serious OWNERSHIP Problem… I will (currently) no longer support my local team (of 52 years) because of this competitive indifference…
And many White Sox fans complain about owner Jerry Reinsdorf? At least he has a World Series championship to brag about and 6 NBA titles. Indians fans should be peeved after reading this article, as if they didn’t already know the truth of it.
Yeah. Twins fans complain about the cheap Jim Pohlad, but holy crap we’ve got nothing to complain about compared to Dolan.
Oh trust me, we are
No postseason revenue?
How does an organization “lose money most seasons” but “grow in considerable value” at the same time?
Vandals Took The Handles
Because currently MLB franchises are going up in value.
You can own rental property in which you don’t get enough in rent to cover the mortgage payments, but the property goes up in value.
If a business or a rental property is gaining value, then the owners are not losing money.
Not exactly how that works. Tesla is one of the least profitable companies out there and was steadily gaining value. Tech startups are nearly all wildly unprofitable until they’re bought out. With that off my chest I don’t believe that’s the Indians situation at all. Dolan’s making money, there’s no doubt about that.
What a shame, that they make a profit. They should just lose money. Why else do people a business opportunity?
There’s a big difference between an operational balance sheet and equity value. It would help if our fan base understood the difference. Ownership has absolutely no obligation to lose money operationally, but this one does in order to further the team’s chances, and I appreciate it. It’s humorous to me that our fans act like they have a “right” to a winner, and that it should be compulsory for an owner to dig into asset equity despite the fact that our fans barely dig into their pockets to support the team. Ownership runs a negative balance sheet when we have a chance to win, that’s all I can ask. Want them to spend more? Don’t act like the small market that we are. Would I like if we could retain Lindor? Sure, and ownership tried to extend him when he was far away from free agency, when risk was balanced between athlete and franchise. Now Lindor smells the big bucks and so he’ll be a Yankee. Nothing we can do except plan for it, act decisively when the time .comes and have a Yu Chang or Brian Rocchio in the pipeline. I think this organization is run brilliantly, and only the most myopic, self-entitled fans in the world would refute that. Truly, all I could ever ask of ownership is (1) a sincere commitment to my city and (2) smartly spend the revenue the team generates. #1 is the most important thing to me, and the Dolans love Cleveland and would never threaten the city with the loss of the team. That makes them noble owner no matter what else they do. But they also do plow what the team makes back into the team, and it shows in the results on the field and the quality of coaching, scouting and the front office The only real mis-step by ownership was buckling to MLB on the Chief Wahoo matter, which was a shame. Small markets cannot afford to lose important affinity symbols (the whole world knows where you’re from when you sport the Chief; wear the blockhead “C” and you look like you root for the local high school..)
Well said Avory! A small market team has to operate in a smart way as they don’t have the money like the Yankees to deal with mistakes (Ellsbury).
Ask Baltimore (Chris Davis) and others if they would be happy with a team that has a chance to win every year. Once your in the playoffs anything can happen good 2016 making the World Series with an injury riddled starting rotation and bad laying an egg in 2017 & 2018.
I also agree with your comment on Chief Wahoo.
I’ve read your comments on the team for years, HJ, and always appreciate your reasoned perspective. We made uncharacteristically poor moves when we signed Swisher and Bourn and they hurt us badly. I think we learned from that. We simply cannot easily sweep mistakes like that under the rug like bigger markets can do (you cite Ellsbury which is an excellent example). I thought what we did this winter–getting out from under Encarnacion and Alonso and adding Santana at a fraction of the annual cost the Phillies signed him for–was absolutely brilliant. But do fans celebrate that? No, they complain about what they don’t see, like any big names in the outfield. Instead, they should be encouraged by the growth in Greg Allen, the promise of Oscar Mercado, the health of Leonys Martin. And how about the Carlos Carrasco extension? I remember telling critics after he was acquired that he’d win many more games with the Indians than Cliff Lee would the rest of his career elsewhere. You can only imagine the grief I took. But those are the kind of moves a nimble small market team has to be ready to make, and I accept that. I’d much rather we make those kinds of deals than not have a team at all (which is what truly incompetent ownership in this city would leave us with: eventually, no team at all.)
Avory, good example with the Carrasco extension. There is a player that loves the Indians and the support, faith, and patience that the organization showed toward him. I appreciate that the front office is keeping the Indians at a level where they have a chance to contend. My friends that are Tiger fans are not enjoying where they currently are with several bad contracts. I watch many, many years of bad baseball in the 1960’s through early 1990’s. I am happy that they Indians continue to be very competitive. Go Tribe!!!!
I think there’s a disconnect between what Indians fans are perceiving here and what most people’s compalints are. I don’t think many people are advocating that Cleveland gives Lindor 350MM dollars. That’s tough for a team like Cleveland to do. I get that. However swinging a deal for an outfielder or adding a couple bullpen arms to a team with an absolutely stacked rotation isn’t a big ask. You won’t have a dominant Kluber and Bauer forever with these other guys. It’d be a real shame to miss out on a WS while you have them because you were missing a piece or two.
I’d kill to see my team have a rotation with 90% of the talent cleveland’s Has. I don’t think Indians fans appreciate what they have right now. 2 MVP candidates in the lineup and 3 Cy Young level pitchers in the rotation. That doesn’t exactly fall into your lap every few years. This is the time to plug up your holes and go for the title.
No offense to Indian fans, but you had a team favored to win the division, coming off two straight division titles, and attendance went DOWN?
Which is exactly why payroll went down.
It might be time to stop complaining about ownership and take a look in the mirror.
I don’t get it either and I’m an Indians fan.
True enough, but the fact is that we’re not a wealthy market, and the fans we have are obsessed with star power, not winning baseball games. Our ownership wisely ignores the fans’ ridiculous complaints, and does what it can to put a consistently good product on the field and maintain a quality ballpark experience. That’s about all they can do. What is the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”?
Spoken like someone who really has no business owning a franchise. Satisfied with just being good, funny he takes shots at the Padres meanwhile they’ve been much worse yet still spend as much money as them and will probably spend a lot more in the future. As a Pirates fan, I feel your pain.
How are these franchises growing exponentially in value if they “always” lose money?
The value of the franchise goes up on paper. That’s value that doesn’t exist until they sell the team. (And these numbers are alway over inflated) You can own a Bob Feller rookie card, and its worth a lot more now then when you bought it. But to actually get that value as money means selling it, and no longer having the card.
Give Lindor whatever he wants. He deserves it
They already offered him an extension and he balked, I don’t blame him. At the same time with the contract he’ll command there will be no way on earth a team like Cleveland can afford it and put any sort of talent around him to be competitive so it would be a waste anyway. Nobody wants to hear it but MLB needs a salary cap so it’s a level playing field like every other major sport seems to operate under. The well run organizations will still remain competitive.
I’ve been saying this for years! I agree 100%! You can essentially cross off 1/3 of the league or more for not being contenders before the season even starts.
What a cheap stiff. He really criticized the Padres for trying not to suck and actually spend money. This guy should sell the team because he doesn’t know how to run a team in 2019
According to Spotrac
San Diego’s 2019 payroll 93,943,700 which is 23rd in MLB.
Cleveland’s 2019 payroll 112,658,751 which is 19th in MLB.
Let me know when the Padres start spending.
Am I frustrated that payroll has dropped, yes. People have to know that the small market Indians can not spend like the Yankees.
What is going to happen when Tatis, Gore, Paddack start costing money. The Padres will lose some of them as well.
Im not a Padres fan but they will spend more when their window begins to open. The Indians owner already conceding Lindor as gone 3 years from free agency is a very bad sign.
It’s reality, and Machado’s signing will be like A-Rod in Texas and Stanton in ?Miami, if you think he’ll be in SD the whole deal you’re delusional.
They have some youngsters working their way up through the system, including one named Tyler Freeman. They’ll be fine.
More importantly, let me know when the Padres know how to spend wisely. Eric Hosmer anyone?
We have to have the least perceptive fans in the sport. I’m going to miss Lindor, but people cry when we have him and they will cry when he’s gone, even though we’ll have had him for the best six year stretch of his career.
No one guys carries a team in baseball. This isn’t the frickin’ NBA. You need to build a TEAM, not an image. The Padres are going to suck again this year. My only regret is the White Sox didn’t get Machado so he could have been an anchor on that team instead.
What happens if those players don’t pan out like most prospects?
The same fans who lauded the signings will criticize the team for being so stupid for paying the guys. It’s a vicious circle. Dumb fans call owners cheap when they don’t overpay for guys they want, then call the owners idiots when the players (inevitably) become an anchor around the team’s neck, wrecking the team’s entire salary structure. When will fans (and owners) ever learn? Answer: never.
I don’t think it’s inappropriate to call Indians ownership cheap when they wouldn’t spend let’s say 10MM or so on putting together a bullpen in front of Brad Hand or maybe swinging a deal for a legitimate outfielder. It’s not often you get a team that has a pitching rotation so stacked. It’ll be another 30 years if you’re lucky to see a rotation like that come together. Be a shame to waste it by not filling the obvious holes. That’s what would piss me off personally.
Well, I’m a fan, and I have no problem with what the team did strategically this offseason. Every team has “obvious” holes…did every team successfully address them? What did the World Champs do with the gaping hole in their bullpen? Nothing. What did the NL East champion Braves do to address their lack of depth in their starting rotation? Nothing. Every team has issues, but not every team has issues AND is spending above its means like the Tribe. So you gotta get creative, which we have, and we’ll see how it goes. How people can complain is beyond me. Just take a look at the sports book in Vegas and compare the Tribe’s odds with the rest of MLB. C’mon now, you think they’d improve much if we add a “legitimate” outfielder (as if what you had in mind just grows on trees and wouldn’t require a ridiculous three-year outlay) and oh, so we could just go out and buy a bullpen like the Colorado Rockies did last year? How did that work out for them? Those acquisitions almost dragged down a contending team they were so horrible. People act like you can fix things just by waving a wand, and maybe if you’re the Yankees or Dodgers you can (at least it’s easier) but being “pissed” just because my team didn’t do stupid things just for the sake of doing something isn’t my idea of being operationally smart.
An outfielder via trade would be the way to go there. I don’t think there was anyone in FA worth getting with the Indians budget. Bauer will likely be gone next year and possibly Kluber.
How you planning on replacing that production? It’s not happening. I’d do everything I could for this year and next if it didn’t work out. Lindor will be gone shortly after and then you’re in serious trouble. 3 Cy Young caliber arms and 2 MVP’s and you want to whine about going out and getting some obvious help?
As for the Sox they need a closer for sure but they have a banner flying and 240MM on their payroll. I’ve criticized the Braves too. If they expect to win in that division they certainly need help. Criticism is okay. We don’t need to sit here and bow down to ownership.
The deadline is still there to add. Your division sucks. That works In your favor but from the comments it appears Dolan doesn’t want to spend a dime to make that happen. If he pulls something off in July to push them over the top then it’ll all be alright. But I don’t have much faith in the guy whose number 1 priority has been salary shedding. Not winning.
That has 0 to do with it. It doesn’t matter what happens in the end. Its about at least trying. Not complaing another small market team decided to dare go for it
Shoving all your chips into the middle of the pot in the hope you end up with the best hand is the absolute dumbest thing a small market team can ever do. Especially in a sport like baseball, where the outcome of a series of games is so capricious. You, like so many others, think there’s something magical we can do to put the team “over the top”? Be realistic, there was no move out there that guarantees squat…because baseball doesn’t work that way. People who criticize teams for not doing anything never, ever look back at successful teams and say, “Geez, not doing anything worked out, didn’t it?” Or, “Wow, that big move sure did backfire, didn’t it? when things (as often happens) DON’T work out. The Cleveland Indians have an organizational philosophy that slow and sure wins the race, and the more bites at an apple you get, the better chance you have. That’s the way they operate, and looking around at other teams and the stupid, emotional, and reactive things they do, I got no problem with that whatsoever.
If you want More shots with a peashooter instead of 2 legitimate shots with a real gun you be my guest. Slashing 30MM bucks and doing nothing to replace Brantley or Miller or Allen off a team that was already overmatched last year isn’t my kind of baseball. It’s not like you needed to spend 200 MM dollars this year then gut the team. Spend more to plug up some clear holes while you have the talent then when Bauer/Kluber/Lindor walk away pare it back down. Those guys don’t go grow on trees but it appears from your line of thinking that they do.
Honestly with your line of thinking why add anyone? It’s all a gamble right? Just go out with what you have and hope for the best? Hope Tyler clippard is good enough? Why would you splurge for someone just a bit better? It could all backfire.
So, those Vegas odds on the Tribe winning the World Series this year look like peashooters to you? Hilarious. You obviously don’t follow baseball very closely. I guess you had Milwaukee in the NLCS, huh? And the Tribe taking the Cubs to the very brink in 2016 without 3/5 of its rotation? Yeah, so very predictable. And right, Michael Brantley is a guaranteed “thing” in 2019, just like he was in 2017 and 2018, right? And what did Andrew Miller give the Tribe the last two years? Anything? And you really think he would be the difference this year for sure? With Cody Allen coming off his year last year? Wake up. Be realistic. Good health is more critical to this team than any of those guys, and none of them were guaranteed good health OR good performance in 2019. Were we “overmatched” in 2017 when we had the Yankees down 2-0 in the ALDS and Andrew Miller turned the series around by giving up a game-winning homer in a five-game series? Don’t give me this “over-matched” nonsense. The playoffs are a crapshoot, and even if you don’t believe that, it strains credulity to think there was anything the Tribe could conceivably do to “match up” player for player with the Astros in 2017 or the Red Sox in 2018, two historically good teams. We are going to live or die with our pitching staff anyway (which, by the way, is intact for two more years, 4/5 intact for three years, 3/5 intact for more than than that) and just have to hope we hit enough. You’re delusional if you think any moves you can dream up that we “should” have made would have improved the team’s chances this year even marginally in the Vegas sportsbooks. Because they know how baseball works, and having a clear path the division buys us lots of time to see what we’ll need when we get to the postseason. Patience is a virtue, not a weakness.
Yeah we’ll stand pat and hope for the best. I think they should give just give plawecki back honestly. Roberto Perez is probably good enough. it’s all just a lottery in the end anyway.
You just said it yourself you’re going to need in July. That’s a guarantee. You couldbe plugged some of the obvious holes now with dollars. You didn’t. Now in all likelihood they’ll be getting plugged via trading prospects in July. Or you know they’ll just roll the dice cause why not? Having an Andrew Miller definitely isn’t preferable to a clippard.
Theres a diffrence between that and conceding your superstar gone already. If you cant see that then your billionaire owner is getting exactly what he wants
You are hilarious, and clearly someone who doesn’t know what’s happening beneath the surface on this team. We don’t have gaping holes that need plugging, we are the favorite to win the division by plenty, we are doing things to address things at the margins, we’ve added some important depth at AAA, and we’ve got plenty of interesting second and third tier prospects to trade for players we might need come summer time on teams just looking to unload salary. You want to act like we’re a five alarm fire because we’re not acting like a panicky student that got an “A” instead of an “A+” and is worried we won’t get into Harvard because of it, hey, have at it.
He had a point about SD because a small market team spending like a drunken sailor on leave ruins it for every other small market team out there. And that’s proven just by it being discussed right here right now.
What universe do you live in when you think Cleveland with any owner at the top and the paltry attendance figures they have can afford London at over $300,000,000.00????
Is Avory Dolans burner account?
Avory is just talking the realities of a small market team in major league baseball. I ‘d rather have a team that has a chance to win, rather them sell out and then be bad for years rebuilding. As Avory stated, “playoffs are a crapshoot.” 2016 was proof of that. Even with all the injuries, the Indians made it to game 7 of the World Series. Throwing money at a problem does not always work. They loaded up on young outfielders. Between Zimmer, Allen, Naquin, Mercado, Luplow, Johnson, and Bauers, one or more of them will likely emerge to be a solid piece or pieces of the future.
Your “organizational philosophies” are cliches, and Dolan is awful. Please stop defending him.
Three straight trips to the playoffs, three straight division crowns, within one inning of knocking off the Cubs for the world championship, and you actually think you look smart calling Dolan awful. What an ungrateful lout of a fan you are. But typical.
Lmao enjoy him because I sure as hell won’t pay him. He’s fortunate Carrasco took a pennies on the dollar deal . Thankfully he locked up Kluber and Ramirez early because hed be in real trouble right now if he didn’t.
They made the playoffs three years in a row, and they lost money? Wow, what BS!
No BS! Attendance has gone down and payroll went up quite a bit in that timeframe.
No MLB ownership is losing money, save maybe, Miami. These owners make tons off revenue sharing. They Yankees had enough money to turn a profit to afford Corbin or Machado/Harper but didn’t. Instead, they bought back YES Network.
The full interview is entertaining, for the wrong reasons. I get the man can do what he wants with his money, but he came across as conceited and mildly sleazy, which are not good optics for a billionaire that is tied to a sports franchise that serves the general public. I’m interested to see if he walks back some of his more egregious statements.
Yeah. The excerpts here don’t make it seem as bad as the actual interview. I’m a Twins fan, and we often complain that the owners are cheap, but I can’t imagine Jim Pohlad doing an interview that comes off this sleazy.
I WAS going to spend some money and subscribe to the Atlantic, but if all they’ve got is a reporter who takes the claim of losing money without challenging it, I’ll pass.
If billionaire a-holes just want to watch their accounts grow, there are plenty of non-sports businesses they could run. Leave the teams to people who want winners and not just ROI.
For the sake of our Teams we need to stop supporting Uh… Under performing Owners. Period.
It’s amazing. Most of the big market teams are using the luxury tax as a cap. They are giving small and mid markets a chance to financially compete. The little guy is like, no thanks. Crazy
ghost of dave kingman
Twins win the division by 5 games. Mark it down.
Twins have one legit starting pitcher. He can not start every game. Also, what has Buxton and Sano proved at the major league level?
Geez, it’s just baseball. Why are you getting your panties in a bunch over a game?
Ain’t there more important things in your life to get bothered about?
You mean like you belittling other posters for using “God’s name in vain”, hypocrite. How about you leave people alone. Every time I come on here you have some disparaging remarks for someone about something. Give it a rest already.
Hmmm, and what exactly do you call what you just did?
Cute spin trying to turn it on me, but my point remains valid. I mean, you’re on here arguing with anonymous people because they don’t like your favorite baseball team and then you have the audacity to tell others to find better things to bother themselves about? Come on, man. I’m an Indians fan too. GO TRIBE!
You can fool some of the people all the time: but a billion dollar enterprise losing money all the time isn’t believable: its all accounting losses based on double dipping contracts. The depreciate them and they deduct the payroll expense too boot: This is baseball at its worst: making excuses not to put the best teams on the field.
Yet they’re still winning 90+ a year. Go figure.
Ownership lives off the apologists. Dolan is giving the middle finger to city of Cleveland right now and you’ve got guys smiling and waving back.
Most people don’t look at the rules: MLB Rule 21A which says that every team must do everything it can to win every game they can. The whole tanking ( which he is saying they are going to do) is illegal by rule: they have bamboozled people into accepting less than the best wait til next decade carp: They play to look like they are trying to win instead of really trying to win. As a Twins fan for 50+ years I have gotten tired of this pattern. They take public money and public support and then provide the least they can get away with from the fans..
I don’t live in Cleveland.
No, ownership survives Cleveland despite the blockheads. Because the Dolans have deep roots in the city and care for it more than you ever would. The only one giving the middle finger to Cleveland are negative know-nothings like you. You think you’re being constructive with your cynical commentary? Please, go back to rooting for the Yankees like all the insecure, self-loathing front-running wannabes we unfortunately possess in our fair city.
I’m a Twin fan and you do good PR work.. Billionaires asking for public funds for stadiums means only 1 thing they want that Billion dollar evaluations but they don’t want to pay for it. I’d agree with you if they forsook all public financing.. then you could honestly say they cared about cleveland: when you want public subsidies; all they want is to make money by duping the ignorant.
Not a Yankees fan. You’re very upset though. Not everyone sings the drew carey theme song and applauds what their great owner does. Your team could potentially throw a great opportunity in the trash. 3 Cy Young level pitchers and 2 MVP candidates in the lineup but you’re just alright with them not spending just a little bit on a bullpen or grabbing an outfielder? It doesn’t take billions of dollars to fill obvious holes. It does require more than ownership wants to lay out though.
Thank you! An excellent response for all the Cleveland haters out there.
Thanks, that sums it up!!! Cleveland ownership has been purposely tanking it while winning the division several years in a row and going for it again this year. Keep up the good work!
imagine if they really wanted to win it all instead of just look good.
Bitter, bitter, bitter…no one likes subsidizing owners–it’s socialism for the rich after all–but if that’s all you got in your head when you watch your local team, just take a walk in the park instead. The rest of us simply are figuring out a prudent way for a small market team to take on the big boys, and the way we figure it, you’ve got to be smart, not dumb, and hope the richer owners in big markets with their subsidized ballparks (you know, the teams that usually win all the time?) get a little sloppy and stupid with their winnings and give us an opening once in awhile. Sorry, that’s just the way baseball is structured, and if you don’t like it, go watch major league soccer or whatever else passes for modern entertainment. Me, I live for moments like 20o7 or 2016 when we had a chance to play David to Goliath and almost made it work. I enjoy that. I don’t have a sense of entitlement just because my team has never won in my lifetime and probably won’t. But if you love baseball, there’s more to the game than rings, sorry. And certainly more to it than being consumed by how billionaire owners and millionaire players are sticking it to us.
Its supposed to be about trying to win and its sad that people don’t understand that the billionaires are lying to you about their finances. They could care less about baseball it is about duping the public.. that gives them a great thrill.. me I watch it for the plays and the players..
Sorry you feel duped, but the way I see it, you can’t be duped if you are aware of the situation. If you think there’s a way you can reign in the greed of the rich (or the poor or the middle class for that matter) hey, have at it. I’m not fooled at all, and I don’t think most people are either. But if the goal of every competitive endeavor is to “win,” why don’t you celebrate rich owners?. They’ve won in life, haven’t they? It’s baseball that isn’t life, it’s a pastime, one I enjoy watching, especially by players wearing my city’s laundry.. I hope they win, I’m glad when they try their level best within their resources to win, but I’m not going to be bitter about it when they don’t. Unless, of course, they lose to the damn Yankees or Yankee wannabe’s (Red Sox). That’s just hard to stomach.
duped is what you are showing: the rich didn’t get rich because they earned anything: they got rich because they are subsidized, thru public stadiums and tax breaks the working guys don’t get. The myth of them earning anything is a myth. They take advantage of the fools. They didn’t win ” they got money and there is a big difference. Winning is about giving your all to what you are doing, they are giving their all only to one thing: themselves. They don’t care about the city they get subsidized from or the people they profit from. There is a sucker born every minute and they take full advantage of that.
Clearly you didn’t read my comment about “socialism for the rich” above. Evidently it went right over your head. But it’s okay, I understand your deep bitterness and resentment…it’s just that you can’t enjoy being a fan of sports without checking some of that hurt at the door, anymore than you can be a big believer in science and head to church every Sunday and swallow everything that’s said without having a little faith.. It’s always your choice.
Clearly you didn’t get anything that I said about how they got what they have or that lack of commitment to winning while expecting that same commitment from the players while holding out their hands.
“why don’t you celebrate rich owners?. They’ve won in life, haven’t they? “.. no you seemed to miss the whole thing I wrote> The fans are losing believing the owners care about anything but their pocket books..
Dumboldguy thanks for your insight, while trying to be insightful it truly is comical!
yes the sycophantism of people like you is very funny.
Goodness. You’re in some kind of abusive relationship here.
You’ve lowered the bar for your team so far, it’s painful to witness. I guess that’s why you’re standing up and applauding when Dolan tries to soften the blow ahead of time by warning you about Lindor.
“says Dolan, who says”
Amazing how many on this site hate the Indians, while there are other teams that spend even less.
The Indians do it in a way that still provides a winning team, while not joining the insanity of these mega dollars contracts. I respect that.
You’d defend the Indians if they traded Bauer for a used notebook. When you’re that good and slash payroll in the manner they did you’re going to hear negativity. Idk if you’re living in your own Cleveland bubble here but they aren’t the only ones who get criticized around here.
They slashed payroll because attendance has been on the decline. They slashed payroll to set themselves up for a move to better the roster, it never materialized. They have the division where they want it, they can and will go into this season and see how it unfolds and then move accordingly. It gets pretty old constantly seeing the internet GMs dictating how they should spend their money and move their talent. If you’re not a true Tribe you have no room to come in here constantly bashing them.
So I shouldn’t defend my team from attacks by Cleveland haters?
That the value of the team has increased while the current ownership group has been in control does not mean the team has not lost money every year. The value of the team means they have equity that they can cash in only if they sell. That does not mean they do not have a negative cash flow. A business can only lose money for so long before filing bankruptcy or selling. Do Indians fans really want to see the owners of the most successful Indians teams in modern history have to sell the team?
Joshua and Avory are right, but they come from different perspectives. It is frustrating to see a team stating that they figure they don’t have to be good, they just have to not be as bad as their divisional competition, so they can trade their best pitcher. It is eye opening to see ownership (Dolan is not the owner, he is MLBs designee for the ownership group) admit that they are managing to a bottom line and not thinking about going all out to win. Fans need to realize that this is sport for the fans; it is a business for the people in the sport, players as well as owners. Income statements are profit and loss statements Balance sheets are total value statements. A team can do nothing, not invest in any way like Miami, and the team will go up in value because there are only a limited number of teams. You buy a team now, invest nothing and you can cash out a billion dollars ahead in 10 years when you sell the franchise because it went up in value, even more if you didn’t put money into the team., but retained money because you were “rebuilding” and spending on the farm and not on major league talent. The idea they didn’t get post season revenue so they cant invest is a false argument. Franchises rise in value, with greater equity every year, If they wanted to finance against the increased equity they could do so. They simply have made the decision that they have a monopoly in their market and they don’t have to invest, they just have to be good enough to keep a certain level of the fan base engaged, and when the run seems to be ending, they restock with young talent and keep the really bad periods short. Baseball is a business folks, and I think once fans understand that they wont be as frustrated with the actions of owners and players. $350 million for Harper and $300 million for Machado and the only thing they cared about was not the fans or the city or the chance to win, they only cared about who would pay them the most. I love baseball but owners and players just want to carve up the money that fans contribute directly (tickets, memorabilia, concessions) or indirectly (TV) that finances this business. Enjoy the game and try and ignore the business side, we don’t have a say in that and by focusing on the play on the field you may remember why you fell in love with the game again.
One thing Dolan has wrong is saying the Padres will run into problems having that much of their payroll tied up in one guy.
“The Padres are set to see an increase in TV revenue from around $30 million per season to around $60 million per season in 2020. Along with that they recently did an interview where they described a refinance of the team that cost them $60 million in the short term but gave them much more flexibility to spend in the long term. The Padre’s revenue for 2020 should be around $300 million without factoring in in any of the increases in ticket, sponsorship, TV ad revenue (the Padres own 20% of Fox Sports SD) that they are already seeing rolling in from the signing of Machado. It also does not include any increases in revenue from MLB.tv and national TV contracts.”
With revenue of $300 million, there is no reason the Padres cannot spend $150 million on MLB payroll. Machado’s $30 million is only 20% of that payroll. That is sustainable.
In theory, sure, but I’d like to see how this all adds up when (not if) Machado and Hosmer fail to perform miracles. These things just have a way of not working out.
I also just wouldn’t want to be making decade-long bets on anyone in an uncertain general economic environment, much less the hard-to-predict baseball one.
I mean, if Machado was that transcendent, wouldn’t the Orioles have been better? He’s just not worth paying that much, even if the math works and the analytics say he is. At some point you have to look other players on your team in the eye and explain why you should only make 1/10 Manny is making even though you contribute as much to the team. That’s just not tenable psychologically, even if everyone knows how MLB salary structures work.
This is getting embarrassing.
You obviously have a bone to pick with Machado and the Padres because they have exposed the myth that Dolan is selling you. Anyone can see that’s why he singled them out in this interview. When the Padres struggle, you will try to spin that as validation of Dolan’s blatant greed.
You think that your interests are aligned with the owner of your favorite franchise, but they really aren’t. Him saving money hurts the team and doesn’t do anything for you personally.
Any owner claiming their team is “losing money” is a liar.
Lose money….what a clown. How does a MLB team lose money? Have dipshit owner. Good,luck Cleveland fans, Francona will bail soon.
In 2016 Cleveland averaged under 20,000 fans per game and placed 28th overall in attendance, beating Tampa and Oakland. They went to the World Series. In 2017 they averaged over 25,000 (22nd overall), and under 24,000 in 2018 (21st overall). In 3 playoff years they have eclipsed over 2-million fans once.
That said, why should ownership be motivated to spend money when the people of Cleveland can`t (or won’t) fully supporting the franchise? It is ridiculous for any person to question Indians ownership’s commitment or refusal to back up the brinks truck. This isn’t Oakland; you have a Stadium that’s 25 years old and you used to sell the darn thing out not too long ago. Clearly the city is not on-board with Indians baseball.
Bring back Bill Veeck (RIP). He knew how to bring the fans in, and make it a fun experience, regardless of the standings.
All goes back to ownership making dumb decisions. They ripped out about 8000 seats.. now you can’t buy a ticket for a weekend game. Cleveland has to draw fans from a large area.
They also made millions of dollars on creating STO and selling it to Fox and locking the team into a horrible tv deal.
And true or not… owners should never publicly blame the fans. Personally i used to go to 10+ games a year, but now i refuse to give the Dolans my money.
So you intentionally deprive yourself of going to see a baseball game, just to make a point that has no effect on the target of your point?
And sit at home and watch it on tv when the tv contracts pad the wealth, brilliant!
I don’t buy the weekend game argument seeing the team wasn’t exactly selling out games.
I can’t speak on the TV viewership. Although I’m sure with a little effort I can find out.
Point is, overall support could be better. Indians have a set pitching staff for October. Team is a World Series contender based on that alone. They need a better bullpen and at least one bat. I can’t believe the city that once rocked Jacob’s Field does not care about a team that could win the World Series, weak AL Central or not.
I have to say, at least some of you guys acknowledge that attendance could be better. I had this same discussion with Pirate fans a year or so ago when they complained about their owner. I pointed out that in 2015, Pittsburgh, coming off two straight playoff appearances and on their way to another, finished in the lower half of MLB in attendance. Not one person would say that fans could go the park more.
The more and more I hear from fans of other teams, the more grateful I am to root for a team whose fans turn out, even if the team is losing.
I hadn’t realized that attendance was that bad. The Twins were just awful in 2017 and they had similar attendance to the Indians. Twins made it interesting last year, but it was pretty clear by the trade deadline we weren’t going anywhere, and we had just slightly more attendance per game. Granted, Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 16th largest metro area and Cleveland is 33rd, so Twins attendance should probably be higher…
Can we stop with the narrative that the Dolan’s have put out a quality team since they owned them.
They bought the team in 2000 and have been to the playoffs 5 times. I repeat 5 times over that time span. And soon enough when Lindor / KlUber /Bauer gone by 21(if not earlier) they’ll be back to mediocrity.
And the AL Central from top to bottom has been one of worst divisions in the American League over the last 5 years. Even last year with the 91 win Indian team they had the 5th best record in the AL, they would have finished 3rd in both the AL West and AL East. And they only had 1 more win than the Rays.
This ownership group along with the Pirates are probably the worst in baseball.
Rogers bought the Blue Jays just before the end of the 2000 season. They have made the playoffs twice. And they have deeper pockets than Dolan. Blue Jays have to be considered in your group of worst owners.
Not surprising to see an article on Indians ownership draw so a response. But over 140 replies about how and where they should spend their money when there are only a few true Tribe followers here is comical.
I think everyone here is saying they should spend money for the on the field product. On the stars they have. Continue to build around this pretty good core. Instead of letting them all go, falling back to the middle of the garbage AL Central, and not put a competitive team out there.
But they are competitive and should win the division again. They can add $100million to payroll (that they don’t have) and still not stand a much better chance than they’ve already had. They had a worse lineup in 2016 and when to extras of game 7 with their rotation totally shot. Should they spend twice as much in payroll and know you might only get a 1 game wildcard game like the Yankees/Red Sox?
They cleared payroll to set up some moves, but the right guys weren’t there. So instead of spending dumb, they’ll go into the season and then assess after a month or so and move accordingly. I’m not sure why so many non-Tribe fans think they know better how to spend their money or move their players.
Excellent comment, Hammer. I don’t know which annoys me more, clueless outsiders or cynical, unappreciative, glass-always-half-full so-called Tribe fans.
The Dolans have been playing this game with the fans as long as they’ve owned the team. There is never a full throated commitment to winning a WS, just the tease of a perpetually open window of contention. And, there is the big lie of losing money. Nobody believes that.
The Dolans do have one talent: obfuscation. “and if it took a few wins off of our expected wins this year, we probably have that buffer.” How does one learn to talk like that?
They can lose money season after season when the payroll goes up, expenses go up and attendance goes down. The value of a brand going up (which only really matters once they sell) doesn’t mean the daily operating expenses are not causing them to lose money.
I can see why a lot of people are upset about this article and there are a few parts that I question too. Like how does a team with revenue estimated at 275M and a payroll of 120-135M lose money most years. And if they do why do so many other owners with similar revenue spend more on payroll and not claim to be taking a loss. My problem is I bet at least half the people here didn’t read the full article and only the half quotes in the article and click bate tweet advertising it.
For example the article asked could he envision them signing someone to a 10yr 300 million contract. He said No but we never foresaw a deal like we did for Encarnacion. You don’t know. He then continued on to the part about the 1 Billion contract that was quoted.
It could be he is just trying to soften the blow of losing Lindor but I think he realizes he is a special player that you have to at least consider breaking out of you comfort zone to keep like the White Sox felt about going after Machsdo. That said I still think Lindor is gone but it won’t be until his final year when his demands outgrow how far Dolan will stretch.
It’s a subscription so I doubt more than a couple people read the actual link and not just what’s above.