Does the Ramirez extension signal an about-face in Dolanomics?
So where were you the day the Guardians announced the contract extension for Jose Ramirez? On a quest to locate the Loch Ness Monster? Tracking Bigfoot? Working on the next iteration of the Hula Hoop?
I ask because people tend to remember where and what they were doing when something of great historical significance occurs, and the idea of the Guardians owners parting with many millions of dollars that isn’t Monopoly money definitely qualifies.
I was at work, and several coworkers – who know all about my feelings regarding the Dolans and their Great Depression approach to spending on player salaries – told me that the Dolans had parted with big bucks (at least as is relative to the Cleveland Guardians) to extend the contract of Jose Ramirez.
My reaction? I laughed when I first heard the news and laughed a little harder at each additional “No, it really happened” insistence from different coworkers as the day wore on.
Frankly, after the Browns’ Deshaun Watson trade stunner, I suspected that my work besties figured I’d swallow anything. And to be honest, it would have been easier for me to believe that someone had captured Sasquatch rocking a Hula Hoop while riding on the back of Nessie about 500 yards out on Lake Erie other than to believe Ramirez had been extended through the year 2028. By the Dolans?
So, what brought about this sudden change of heart from a couple of guys who’ve been hiding for years now behind the “fiscal sanity” mantra (even though we all know there is no such thing in professional sports)?
Well, the Guardians announced their 29th consecutive home opening day sellout a few days before the opener. While 29 consecutive home opener sellouts are impressive, the keywords here are “a few days before the opener.”
It wasn’t that long ago that the Indians/Guardians sold out shortly after the tickets went on sale, and the fact that it did not sell out quickly had to make the Dolans take notice.
After years of allowing a wealth of pitching and positional talent to leave (either through free agency or trades) many fans have verbalized their disgust in the apparent “As-long-as-we-make-a-profit-it’s-all-good” approach to baseball in Cleveland, and ticket sales are starting to indicate as such. I mean, if the opener isn’t selling, how many tickets have been sold for the other less-desirable dates in April and half of May?
My guess is not many.
So, kudos to the Dolans for appearing to have acknowledged the need to hang on to some of their quality talents if they expect to sell tickets. My concern now is that they will stop with Jose Ramirez, claiming to be “tapped out,” when they still have a lot of work to do.
If they don’t get on the ball and sign the majority of their good young pitching talent, along with a few of their top young position players, the impact of the Ramirez signing will be relegated to that of a circus side-show.
In other words, at that point, no one will care.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!