A Brief History Lesson for Cleveland Indians’ Front Office Haters

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Feb 18, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti speaks to the media during MLB media day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the opinions of a forgetful Internet, the Cleveland Indians’ front office has been exceptional

Mark Shapiro had the unenviable job of taking over as the Cleveland Indians’ general manager after the departure of John Hart, who many fans still identify as synonymous with the Tribe’s winning ways of the 1990s. He inherited a team whose fan base, right or wrong, would never fully appreciate the moves he made for this franchise. 

Shapiro’s arrival coincided with the team’s sale to Larry Dolan, forever linking Shapiro with Dolan and his “cheap” and “oft-rebuilding” ways. Due to his connect with Shapiro, protégé Chris Antonetti has been dealt a similar hand in Cleveland despite the duo being the crux of a front office that has built — and taken steps to sustain — the foundation for a young and competitive team.

There is a perception of incompetence. Shapiro and Antonetti deal with fans who question their ability to evaluate young talent on a daily basis.

But it’s all ridiculous.

The accusations and assertions are unfounded, as both Shapiro and Antonetti have pulled off a number of brilliant moves to help shape the current roster. Sure, Shapiro and Antonetti whiffed badly on the acquisitions of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn — both moves that are handicapping the franchise financially now — but no one could have predicted such a significant slide so early in their deals.

While fans are frustrated — and rightfully so — by the Tribe’s lackluster performance through June, it’s senseless to chastise the front office and rally behind some ridiculous banter about the leadership’s inability to find an answer.

Here’s a brief history lesson for all the Indians’ front office haters.

Next: Bringing in Slamtana

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