Outside of Jim Brown, is there any national figure out there that makes people think Cleveland sports than Charlie “Rick ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn” Sheen? Plus, unlike Brown, he actually played for the Indians in perhaps their most successful (fake) season ever. He would attract the national attention the Indians never receive, which leads to bigger crowds, endorsement deals and more cash.
Of course, it’s questionable how much money Charlie has, considering his penchant for having a really, really, really good time. Again he’d have to be a frontman of an ownership group, and with the people he’d draw in you have to wonder how good that money would be. If nothing else it would be an amazing first couple of years. What would follow might be a little problematic, but it’d be great at first.
If there’s one thing Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has over the Dolan clan, it’s that he wears the love of his team on his sleeve. In no way does he just sit in the background and let the front office handle things. He has a say in how everything goes with the Cavs. Sometimes it comes back to bite him, like when he hired Mike Brown over a stronger coach, catered too much to LeBron James, or wrote that letter following James’ departure that made him look desperate. All of that stems from his love of the team, and his devotion to the fans.
He’d be a wonderful owner for the Indians, if the money is there of course. Forbes has his net worth at $1.5 billion, so he could certainly afford to run a baseball team. Judging from how he deals with young players in contract issues with the Cavs, he seems to believe in the long-term view of team building rather than just throwing money around, so perhaps he’d dump money into the scouting and drafting departments. If the Indians could build a pipeline of talent and find diamonds in the rough with a well-financed, global reach, they could set up something like what the Red Sox or Rays have and the future Indians could compete just about every year. Kind of like how the Twins did for the last decade or so, but less middlingly. Gilbert might have to flip the Cavaliers to be able to afford all that comes with the Tribe, and seeing as how LeBron leaving knocked its worth down he might have to take a bath on it. But Cleveland is much more a baseball town than a basketball town—the Indians and Cavs aren’t even in the same galaxy in their meaningfulness to the city.
Mr. Carey drew attention to Cleveland with his hit TV show, “The Drew Carey Show,” and has now taken up that most auspicious of positions as host with “The Price is Right.” So already he’s a favorite of the elderly, college students, the cheap, and fans of the band the Presidents of the United States of America. Carey might not have Gilbert money, so he’d have to be more of a front man for an ownership group and own maybe five to 10 percent of the team. He’d be pretty good in the early, turnaround years, being able to keep the mood at the park light.
Maybe he doesn’t know baseball, but what owner really does? More importantly, he’s an everyman who’s made it, and he’d be the guy who would make Progressive Field the place to be for the average Clevelander. He’d be the type of owner who would lower beer prices, have cool giveaways, and like Wrigley and Moreno before him, sit in the stands and hear what the fans want and what they’re thinking about the ballclub. Maybe he’s not the richest choice possible, but he knows what what price is right so he’d be good at the financial and economically sound choices of players. Drew could be a lot of fun.
This isn’t a slam against the current ownership group at all. It’s just nice to dream about where the Indians could be with a little bit more money or a more flamboyant character pulling the strings. It’s safe to say an ownership group headed by any of these candidates would bring that to the franchise.