It’s a tale the Indians know all too well: a once dominant and promising team comes off a season of highs and enters into a season struggling to stay afloat. It’s happened this year, and it has happened before, all too recently.
Do you remember 2008? CC Sabathia was the reigning Cy Young Award winner and beginning his final contract year with the Indians under manager Eric Wedge. The Indians were coming off their playoff run of 2007 and, as the 2008 season got underway, the team was off to quite a rocky start. When they reached a record of 37-51, it became fairly obvious that the strong players on the roster, such as Sabathia, would not be sticking around much longer once their contracts were up. Mark Shapiro began the task of taking those stronger assets and selling them where he could in order to maximize their worth to the team. Sabathia was not performing up to expectations of seasons past, as he was 6-8 and posting a 3.83 ERA when he was traded in July of 2008 to the Milwaukee Brewers.
This week the DTTWLN staff is doing an in-depth look at the Cleveland Indians attendance. While everyone knows the Indians have an attendance problem, how they necessarily got to this point appears to be an explanation with many answers including play on the field, population and economic changes and improvements in technology. Regardless of the reasons, one thing is certain, the Indians have an attendance problem. This afternoon, we examine the tipping point in the current attendance decline.
Previous Stories This Week:
From the Perfect Storm to the Indians Attendance Disaster by Bob Toth
Times Have Changed While Indians Attendance Issues Have Worsened by Mike Brandyberry
Indians Attendance Issues Have Spanned Over 65 Years by Vince Guerrieri
In 1986, the Jacobs brothers were heralded as the latest people to save baseball in Cleveland.
The Indians’ grip on the town had been tenuous for the past 30 years, and seriously discussed leaving the city on several occasions. But in each instance, a change in ownership led to some stability in the team – but usually its own upheaval in the front office, leading to decades of mediocre baseball.