The new year is upon us, and if their recent string of aggressive moves is any indication the Cleveland Indians seem to be looking forward to a fresh start. So in this special edition of the Weekly Wroundtable, we asked our panelists (14 writers from four different Indians sites): What should be at the top of the Indians’ New Year’s resolutions list for 2013?
Nino Colla (The Tribe Daily): The Indians need to make a strong commitment to accountability. With a new coaching staff and this new-found aggressiveness in their personnel moves, they need to make sure they are holding themselves accountable for these moves. It seems like they are, as going after guys like Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino, who cost a good chunk of change, will make sure there is a strong commitment to producing.
TD (WaitingForNextYear): Figuring out a way to bring the fans back that have been alienated. The faith in the Dolan ownership is about as low as it can be. They have to change that.
Vince Guerrieri (Did The Tribe Win Last Night?): To get better. There’s no simpler way I can say that. There are so many needs right now for the team (starting pitching, right-handed hitting, one, maybe two outfielders, a first baseman) that need to be addressed before the team can even THINK of contending.
Brian Heise (Wahoo’s on First): Let Lonnie Chisenhall play third base everyday. For two years now he has been forced to sit behind Jack Hannahan. Now is the time to unleash the beast and see what Chiz can really do at the big league level.
Steve Kinsella (Wahoo’s on First): Continue to operate the way they have since the end of the 2012 season. There is no such thing as rebuilding and windows don’t exist…not in the market the Indians will try to compete in.
Craig Lyndall (WaitingForNextYear): If Asdrubal Cabrera is still on the team, Weight Watchers before spring training. Otherwise just avoid all extended losing streaks. A bad team can hide itself as long as it isn’t extraordinarily embarrassing itself.
Jeff Mount (Wahoo’s on First): To make absolutely certain Jose Lopez never bats cleanup again for as long as we all shall live, and to promise that if it happens again any fan attending that game will get a full refund.
Katrina Putnam (Wahoo’s on First): Improving the rotation and the lineup are important goals, since both were pretty terrible last year, but the Indians also need to resolve to take more chances next season. They’ve taken steps in the right direction with Trevor Bauer, Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs, who all have weaknesses that could hinder the team, but possess even greater upside. The Indians can’t afford to keep using players that produce consistent-but-average results, because they haven’t been able to win that way. Taking a small risk on high-reward players could really pay off.
Lewie Pollis (Wahoo’s on First): Don’t let sentiment get in the way of production. In 2011 it was Orlando Cabrera anchored at second base while Jason Kipnis wallowed in the minors. Last year Casey Kotchman, Johnny Damon, and especially Jose Lopez hung on with the team (and continued to get regular playing time) long after it was clear that the Tribe’s younger options in Columbus were more talented—not to mention that Manny Acta kept his job for weeks after he had seemingly lost his clubhouse. If the Indians want to contend in 2013, they can’t let guys like Trevor Bauer and Tim Fedroff get LaPorta’d.
David Roberts (Did The Tribe Win Last Night?): Not to fade in the second half of the season.
Merritt Rohlfing (Wahoo’s on First): Don’t fade in the second half. Two years in a row now, fans have been teased and let down by a post-All Star Break swoon. It can’t happen in 2013. It’s one of the most disheartening things to experience, and that’s twice in a row now.
Ronnie Tellalian (Did The Tribe Win Last Night?): The Indians should resolve to make serious improvements to their rotation for 2013 and beyond.
Evan Vogel (Wahoo’s on First): Do whatever it takes to win the city and the fanbase while focusing on doing everything possible to field the best product that you can from this point forward. Forever.