Those Indians, they just can't do anything right.
Last winter, they couldn't lure B.J Ryan or Trevor Hoffman to town, so they had to settle for grossly overpaying Bob Wickman to the tune of $5.4 million for another year of his services.
Even coming off a career high 45 saves in 2005, the move was largely panned for a variety of reasons, but mostly because Wickman isn't Jose Mesa from 1995, he of the three-up, three-down save variety.
All we ever heard from Joe Blow on the street was how Wickman was not to be trusted, how watching a Wickman save required one to chug antacid, how the Indians were never going to win anything with Wickman as a closer.
Then Wickman was traded to Atlanta for a Class A catcher and a bag of peanuts, we were subjected to the likes of Fausto Carmona, Jason Davis and Tom Mastny in the closer's role, and suddenly Wickman didn't look so bad.
Then, Wednesday, Wickman signed a one-year, $6.5 million extension with the Braves, and the Indians instantly became idiots for dumping Wickman under the auspices that he was certain to retire at season's end. Even if the Indians didn't believe that, it became Cleveland's own "weapons of mass destruction" rumor, based on faulty intelligence gathered by an inept network of spies.
Yeah, those dumb Indians. What kind of GM is Mark Shapiro anyway, shipping off an experienced closer for jack-diddly-squat? The Braves are going to get a lot of mileage out of Wickman, and we're going to be left with nothing.
It's so easy to be a backseat commentator, isn't it?
If the Indians kept Wickman and inked him to a one-year extension worth nearly $7 million, what would we all be saying?
"Does Wickman have compromising photos of Larry Dolan?"
"What are Dolan and Shapiro smoking?"
"Do the Indians want me to have a coronary, subjecting me to another year of Wickman?"
I think, at this stage, being critical of Indians management is such a reflexive action among the fan base that no matter what the Indians do, it will be met with criticism.
The Indians do deserve a fair amount of criticism for creating a domino effect that began last winter and will end with the team's fourth losing season in five years. But to call the Wickman trade a bad move in retrospect is purely a knee-jerk response without a lot of thought to back it up. If they had kept him, that would have been a bad move, too.
Criticism of the Wickman trade says a lot more about the fans and local media than it does about the team.