Sports Illustrated via Associated Press shared revealing remarks Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro made during a meeting with fans from the organization's social media program. At the meeting, Shapiro fielded questions from those in attendance.
For an executive, his answers proved surprisingly clear and spin free.
When asked if the Cleveland Indians possessed interest in signing old Tribe great Manny Ramirez, Shapiro stated, "Chances of that are not real good. I never say never, but I don't think Manny's a short-term answer at this time." What honesty!
Seriously, I now must eat the words I shared in my piece, "Fan's Take: Should the Cleveland Indians Sign Manny Ramirez?," I previously wrote, "Don't expect any insightful feedback from the front office on Manny Ramirez."
However, I feel like the Manny Ramirez answer represents an exception to the organization's usual PR routine. Again, to quote from my aforementioned article, "Anyone who keeps up with the Tribe should know the PR routine by now. Somebody inquiries about a specific player and the front office responds along the lines, "We are constantly seeking multiple options to improve our ball club anyway possible.'"
In fairness, I'm not insulting this routine. I understand certain aspects to free agent and trade negotiations must remain private. As much as we fans want to know everything, we can't. Perhaps Rolling Stones put things best when they sang, "You can't always get what you want."
Back to Mark Shapiro's meeting with the fans. Another surprising comment came when Shapiro admitted, "It wouldn't take much to improve us there (left field)." A fan joking about being ready to play left field sparked the comment.
Shapiro could have responded to the joke with spin, at least in veteran Johnny Damon's case. Damon didn't go through spring training so his early offensive struggles remain understandable. Or, Shapiro could point to Johnny Damon's great clubhouse presence, something Associated Press' Tom Withers publicized in his article, "Johnny Damon Leading Cleveland Indians by Example."
Instead, Mark Shapiro spoke the blunt truth. Hopefully, all those in attendance at the meeting appreciated his straight talk.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
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