The holiday season is upon us, and whatever it is that you celebrate—Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, the end of the semester—there is ample reason to be merry. The most important reason, of course, is getting gifts.
In this edition of the Weekly Wroundtable, we asked: What’s at the top of your Christmas/Hanukah/Festivus list for the Indians? In addition to the usual suspects here at Wahoo’s on First, we had the honor of being joined by WaitingForNextYear‘s Craig Lyndall and Bleacher Report‘s Samantha Bunten.
Here’s what we’re hoping to find under our trees:
Samantha Bunten: It seems obvious, but top of the list has to be signing a first baseman. It’s the only position on the field for the Indians that doesn’t have a clear-cut occupant, and there are no truly viable options in the system.
No one is suggesting the Indians perform a Christmas miracle by going out and getting Prince Fielder, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them go get Carlos Lee. The hang-up between the Indians and Astros on making a deal for Lee appears to be the percentage of his remaining contract that the Tribe is willing to take on.
The holidays are the time for giving, so let’s throw some money at the problem so we can all get back to enjoying our holiday without visions of a first baseman-less 2012 Indians dancing in our heads. In lieu of that, you can never go wrong with a gift card redeemable for pitching.
Craig Lyndall: The top of my Christmas list for the Indians is a trade of some kind. We all know that the Indians can’t be major players in free agency. That being the case, I’m looking for one more bold trade to address the need for a right handed bat. Yes, it will cause some hand-wringing for the fanbase just like the Ubaldo Jimenez trade did, but the Indians need to be bold.
All I want from the Indians this year for Christmas is a real run at the division. Not a gimmicky fast start and a thrashing attempt to keep their heads above water the rest of the way. A true run at the division including wins over Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago down the stretch of the season is what I’m after. Look at me being modest and realistic with my Christmas wish.
Lewie Pollis: I’d love for Prince Fielder to decide that it’s his dream to play in Cleveland for the league minimum, or for an accounting error to double Larry Dolan’s payroll limit. A time machine to take the team back to 15 years ago would be nice too. But I realize that’s unrealistic, and you know what, Santa? I’ll level with you. You can forget all that if you just bring us Omar Vizquel.
Vizquel, who first came to the Tribe 18 years ago this week, is a free agent again, meaning all that would have to happen for him to come back to Cleveland is Chris Antonetti calling his agent. Yet I haven’t heard any rumors or speculation outside my own head about him putting on an Indians uniform again.
There’s a pretty good argument against signing Vizquel: we don’t need him. The Indians already have Jack Hannahan as fifth infielder and Jason Donald and Cord Phelps ready to fill the utility role. But that argument went out the window when the Tribe signed Andy LaRoche and Jose Lopez. If we’re going to a let low-upside veteran take playing time from our younger guys, can’t it at least be one of the most beloved figures in Cleveland sports history?
Jon Rudder: At the top of my Christmas list is for Progressive Field to be sold out all season long. I know it is highly unlikely that that will happen, but an increase in attendance this year would be very nice to see.
Last season the Indians ranked 24th in attendance in Major League Baseball. The teams behind them were Toronto, Baltimore, Kansas City, Florida, Tampa Bay and Oakland—all of which were at or near the bottom of their division with the exception of Tampa Bay.
Tribe fans, show up! You had a team last year that was in first place for a majority of the season, and that was still in the hunt for a division crown into August and September. This year could be better. Let’s bring the magic back to “The Jake.”
Geordy Boveroux: I’m feeling like that over-eager kid on Christmas morning. I’m waking up earlier than should ever be considered humanly possible just to unwrap the presents from my list of things that could never under any means all be under that tree. On top of that list? Prince Fielder. Hey, it’s Christmas, I can ask for whatever I please.
I don’t seriously expect to have Fielder all wrapped up in a bow for me, let alone in a Cleveland uniform. But if I were to ask for one thing this year, why not him? The only bad thing you can say about him is that he bats left-handed, but can you can’t complain with the way he rakes. An acquisition of his magnitude would but this team over the top.
Now after I’ve unwrapped all my presents, my top two options (my second choice would have been Carlos Beltran) are nowhere to be found. But there’s that one box in the back behind the tree I missed. What do I want to be in it? A playoff run. All I want to see is the Indians take what they have and run with it. I just want to see where it takes them.
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