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I Am Shocked - Shocked!

Sheldon Ocker doesn't like the trade. In fairness, his opinion represents that of a lot of fans in Northeast Ohio. And his gripe has less to do with Shapiro (who seems to have finally gained the trust of most of the fans) and more to do with Dolan:

But something else is at work here. Northeast Ohio baseball fans have deep-seated misgivings about the Dolan ownership. They doubt the Dolans will spend what it takes to maintain a competitive franchise.

Perhaps I'm a bit off with my definitions a bit, but did not the Indians field a "competitive" team last season? "Ok", Joe Fan might say, "but an owner has to spend to maintain that competitive team."

When all is said and done, Shapiro probably will use the entire $56 million he was allotted ($14 million more than he had in 2005) for payroll, if he can find quality players to take the money.

So the payroll increased by $14 million. "But," Joe Fan will invariably say, "they didn't sign any proven talent!" Now we get to the heart of the matter. The big issue with this offseason is that the Indians didn't sign any highly-recognizable talent. Yeah, some fans know who Paul Byrd is, but they definitely knew who Brian Giles and Trevor Hoffman were.  

The fans' response: Why didn't the Dolans offer even more? Or Shapiro offered more, but he knew the players wouldn't accept, a cynical ploy designed only to silence fan complaints. This theory shows how little credibility the Dolans have with the public.

Because Shapiro went through the Trevor Hoffman negotiations just to put up appearances, right? Hey, if you want to think that Shapiro does what he does just to tick off the fanbase, I'm not going to stop you. It's a free country.

But the Crisp giveaway was totally voluntary. Shapiro had a choice. He didn't have to make the trade, then seek to fill a gaping hole by acquiring Michaels, a player who doesn't hit for power, who can't run, who is suspect in the outfield and who never has been a regular.

I'm sure that since Michaels was a center fielder for the Phillies, he should be OK in left field. He's a good defender, I don't care where Ocker got his scouting report.

Right or wrong, the Tribe's fan base feels betrayed. And betrayal can lead to the kind of hostility that keeps customers away from Jacobs Field by the thousands.

They felt betrayed after the Colon trade as well. And after Jim Thome left. And after Omar Vizquel left. Feeling betrayed is something the Cleveland fanbase likes to do. Everything is a gigantic conspiracy designed to rid them of happiness. Why? Because it's Cleveland, that's why.

As I've said previously, this trade had very little to do with money in 2006. Dolan didn't go up to Shapiro and tell him to dump Crisp. This was Shapiro's call. He saw an opportunity to land a tremendous prospect that fills a gaping organizational hole, and took it. If some fans want to look at it from a different angle, so be it. But don't make this deal out to be something that it's not.