Cleveland Indians fizzle on, and off field in year’s biggest series

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Things couldn’t have gone worse for the Cleveland Indians on and off the field during a highly anticipated series against the Minnesota Twins.

The Cleveland Indians couldn’t have had a worse weekend, on and off the field.

In-between the lines, the Tribe, fighting for their playoff lives, basically laid a giant egg against the Twins with first-place on the line.

The omen was delivered Friday night. With the game tied at 2-2, a terrible, once-in-decade thunderstorm rolled through town, forcing a postponement. The Indians weren’t meant to win the AL Central this season and Mother Nature saw to it.

With a day-night double header scheduled for Saturday, the Indians went on to lay a giant egg in Game 1. Attendance at the stadium was laughable. Is this team in a pennant race? Judging the rear-ends in the seats, you’d have though the Indians were flirting with 100 losses.

The Tribe went on to lose 2-0, as Mike Freeman made the last out. I listened to the game on the radio, and nightmare flashback of Michael Martinez ending the 2016 World Series ruined my day.

The Tribe was down, but not out. Until they took the field for Game 2. The Indians immediately dug themselves a hole, trailing 2-0. They came back in the bottom of the first and tied the contest at 2-2. Then, with the bases loaded and no outs, Franmil Reyes, Yu Chang and Kevin Plawlecki struck out killing the rally.

The Tribe actually had a 5-4 lead head into the eighth, then the Twins put up a five-spot on the board thanks to Eddie Rosario launching a Nick Goody offering into the stands.

That contest ended the division race, as the Twins basically played the Sunday finale like they had just clinched the division. The Twins scratched Jose Berrios from making his scheduled start, while Max Kepler also got the day off.

Was Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli sending a message? You better he believe he was!

1. The Indians have a favorable schedule ahead, with the Philllies and Tigers on deck at Progressive Field, before the Tribe finishes the regular season against the Nationals in Washington D.C.

The margin of error is so think for this club because it seems like Oakland and Tampa never lose.

The Indians probably have to 10-2 to have a shot at getting into a one-game playoff. No pressure, right? If they are able to make that crazy final push, they’ll have finished the regular season with 97 wins.

2. Is winning the Triple-A championship more important than helping the big league club? I don’t know at this point, because what in the heck was keeping the Tribe from promoting strikeout savant James Karinchak?

With Brand Hand getting some rest, the bullpen is desperate. Karinchak finally got into the game after Goody had already blown it  Saturday night. He forced a flyout before coming back in the ninth to strikeout the side.

The Indians inability to promote their younger players before its too late is confounding. How Oscar Mercado spent so much time in Columbus earlier this season continues to boggle the mind. Karinchak, who did battle some injuries earlier in the year,  is another example.

3. The business side had just as rough a weekend at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

-A season ticket holder from Ontario drove all the way from Cananda to watch the the big series only to discover his tickets were cancelled for “broker activity.” Long story short, the Indians basically flagged him as someone who was buying tickets just to sell them.

– Season ticket holders took it on the chin again when the Tribe cancelled their autograph party. Basically, this event gives season ticket holders the opportunity to meet and get an autograph from the entire team.

It seems like a cool perk for fans who dole out big bucks for season tickets. The problem was that the event was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but the Indians had to play their makeup game against the Twins.

The Indians didn’t postpone the event and instead to cancel it altogether.

You can understand why fans might be disappointed, and this email from the Tribe sure didn’t help.

"“…Following a 6 A.M return from California on Thursday morning, this evening’s unfortunate delay will result in another late night for our team. With a limited number of games remaining and a tight postseason race, we want to give our players the ability to focus 100 percent on their efforts on making the postseason for a fourth consecutive year. We apologize for the inconvenience and understand the frustration that comes with cancelling tomorrow’s event. Our staff and players know how much our season ticket holders appreciate this event and we hope to make it up to you with great play on the field during these final two weeks.”"

That last sentence…Talk about not knowing the temperature of your fan base. The players shouldn’t be trying extra hard became some autograph event was cancelled. The playoffs are on the line!

Season ticket holders are the lifeblood of the Tribe’s business arm and there are people fired up by this. Why couldn’t this even have been done earlier in the summer.

I am not a season ticket holder and don’t have a horse in the race, but the whole broker thing, in addition to the event cancellation doesn’t reflect well on how the Tribe treats their season ticket holders.

And these people are important. They’re the lifeblood of the Indians’ arm. If people aren’t buying, baseball in Cleveland is in trouble.

Next. Even Peter King rips OBJ for wearing the $150,000 watch. dark

This fight in the stands won’t be used to promote the family friendly atmosphere at Progressive Field.