As the Browns fire yet another coach and general manager, it’s time to reflect on how lucky we all are to have Larry Dolan and his consistency as owner of the Cleveland Indians.
The week started with the Cleveland Browns firing their head coach Freddie Kitchens and they finish off 2019 by firing their general manager John Dorsey. The former move came as little surprise after the disaster of a season and even the latter move is not a big surprise given the ownership that is Jimmy Haslam and his wife, Dee.
It’s just the latest front office/coaching debacle for an organization full of them. They have had six head coaches and five general managers already under the Haslams…since 2012. The carousel of embarrassment just never ends…
But there’s another team in town that’s the exact opposite, one that deserves our respect and admiration far more than they get. I’m of course talking about the Cleveland Indians and owner Larry (and Paul) Dolan. Since taking over as owner in 2000, the Cleveland Indians have had just four full-time managers and general managers.
None of the previous three general managers were fired with one leaving (John Hart) and two being promoted to team president (Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti).
The four managers they’ve had are Charlie Manuel, Eric Wedge, Manny Acta, and Terry Francona (not counting Sandy Alomar‘s stint at the end of 2012). Only Manuel didn’t last three years with the club and he was a holdover from the Dick Jacobs and John Hart Indians. Needless to say, continuity has been key for the Indians and given that continuity, is it any surprise that the Indians have been the far better organization?
The Indians catch flak all the time for how they run their organization, they don’t spend enough or the manager doesn’t’ play the right players, yadda yadda yadda. But the Indians are the team that has had six straight winning seasons. They are the ones that appeared in the playoffs four times this decade including a World Series trip.
The Browns? They’ve had one playoff trip in the last 20 years and just two winning seasons. If you want to find the last six winning seasons for the Browns you’d have to go back to 1987 to find number six….1987! Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, the Berlin Wall still stood, and yours truly was two years old and still in diapers!
This isn’t me trying to get anyone to stop rooting for the Browns (I’ll never stop) and only follow the Indians. But rather to remind people that while the Dolans aren’t perfect, they are the best we have in Cleveland.
They are rational people that let the smart men in the room run things. Stay out of the way and write checks, even if those checks are too small for most fans. It’s time again to appreciate that. The Browns may be a trainwreck but at least we have one component ownership, front office, and coaching staff in town.
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The Haslams could learn much for the Dolans. Maybe the sixth, seventh, or whatever time it is now will be the charm. With decades of inconsistency with the Browns, one can’t help but wonder what might have been if Larry Dolan, and not Al Lerner, had gotten the rights to buy the expansion Browns back in 1999.