Juan Gonzalez Signs

Signed OF Juan Gonzalez to a minor-league contract; Invited him to Spring Training

Regardless of how Bud Shaw wants to spin it, this is a nice deal for the Indians. Gonzalez will return to the scene of his last good season, and hope to resurrect his career. The Indians get to see if he’s healthy for half a million dollars and a minor-league deal.

Back to the Shaw piece. Frankly, I just think he had this column in his queue and was waiting for some excuse to use it. Then the Indians signed Kevin Millwood, so he to re-write it a bit and…voila! Dolan is cheap because the Indians are signing injury-prone players. Nevermind that the Yankees signed Jon Lieber two seasons ago post-Tommy John surgery. Nevermind the Red Sox signed both Matt Mantei and Wade Miller this offseason, both of whom have arguably more question marks than Millwood attached. Where did he think Bob Howry came from? Or Scott Sauerbeck?

Dolan will have to spend serious money first to make serious contention happen.

The Indians aren’t going anywhere you’d identify as a dream destination with the 25th or 26th highest payroll.

Baseball’s economy isn’t suddenly going to get friendly enough to improve that standing significantly, so it’s all on Dolan – as it should be in a town that set an unmatchable sellout streak at Jacobs Field.

Well, I guess I’ll have to wait until I see a Derek Lowe-type signing until I buy those tickets. After all, it’s all about the spending, right?

The only hope of raising revenues significantly this season is a hell-on-wheels start. To take the city by storm, the Indians must take the division by storm. Even then, April and May are tough sells at the turnstile and could be tougher with LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

If I didn’t know better, Shaw just insulted the intelligences of the entire Indians fanbase. When the Indians won last year, the fans showed up. If the Indians win this year, fans will show up. They won’t show up just because they didn’t make an effort to get Carlos Beltran or Pedro Martinez. It’s about winning baseball games, not spending money. And until columnists can learn to tell the difference between the two, I fear we’ll be getting more pieces like this.

Juan Gonzalez is the type of signing clubs of all payrolls look for. It’s not indicative of how cheap the owner is; you could use other arguments much more easily. It’s about getting value for your dollar, no matter how big your wallet is. Otherwise, why would the Red Sox even care about Matt Mantei? There are legitimate arguments that Dolan isn’t spending as much as he could, but this isn’t one of them.

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