What if the Tribe made the Richardson trade?
By John Mast
September 20, 2013
This trade the Cleveland Browns made shipping Trent Richardson off to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first round pick doesn't bother me because I'm just more of a Tribe fan and a baseball guy more than I follow football. On the surface, it looks like a solid trade for both teams, because of their current status regarding being close to winning.
Then, I wondered how I'd feel if the Cleveland Indians would have made this kind of a deal at the deadline, say, by trading Justin Masterson for prospects.
Sure, it would've ticked me off as a fan, but even more, it would've made me question what the front office was doing. As we see now, the Tribe has a good shot at the playoffs. Popular thinking and their poor record against top teams suggest that the Indians don’t have the horses to go all the way. But baseball is different than football. If you get into the playoffs, weird things happen as bats go silent and the underdog can slip past a juggernaut on solid pitching, good defense and some timely hitting. We've seen it, but it almost never happens in football.
So, in that respect, the Browns are too far away to consider themselves contenders. But they should NOT have a fire sale, because with a great defensive foundation, the upcoming draft and a few good free agent signings could make them very competitive in a year or two. So I don't see unloading Richardson as a fire sale — it's a strategic maneuver to do for the offense next year what they did for the defense this year.
When the Indians signed Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn this past winter, they were making a commitment, not unlike the Browns, to making their team better. The results show that the Indians are closer to competing than the Browns, and also that the Dolans are more committed to, and believe in, the core of their team than is the Browns ownership.
Another main difference is that the Dolans have owned the Tribe for more than a decade with a stable upper management team. The Browns have not only gone through GMs and coaches like they’re latex gloves, but have recently adjusted to new ownership as well.
I’m rooting for the Tribe as they hopefully push to the playoffs, and I have enjoyed the season regardless of how it ends. I’m thankful the Dolans finally made a move to make the team relevant again. Unfortunately, the fans’ distrust has limited this from showing an improvement at the turnstiles.
As for the Browns, it seems the fans are jaded from past failures of inept management and disastrous drafts. And while I feel for the season ticket holders, I understand what the Browns are doing. Quite honestly, I think it’s going to pay off in the long run that might be sooner than people think.
One thing’s for sure, it is tough to be a fan in Cleveland. So, let’s suck it up, enjoy October baseball whether the Indians are part of it or not, and give the new Browns management a chance before we condemn this move. It may turn out to be the best thing the franchise has ever done.
Interestingly I was thinking the same thing, and thought it would be like trading a cleanup hitter in mid-April. As Colts proved last year and Chiefs are proving this year, teams can unexpectedly turn things around quickly. I truly believe Browns ownership rigged the deck against Weeden and Richardson. they didn't provide a fullback for Richardson and didn't bring in a top notch receiver for Weeden. If you look at the Colts, Dolphins and Redskins, they all brought in veteran receivers to help their young quarterbacks. Even Brady is struggling this year without top receivers.
Weeden and Richardson may not be top notch pros. But the Browns ownership never gave them a chance to prove their ability limit.
But, hey, let's not dwell on that Tribe fans. It looks like the Indians will be in a one game playoff next week. Lets look forward to that.
What a waste of space.
Let's trade this writer to the Colts.