A few days ago I suggested manager Eric Wedge spark the team by igniting a bench clearing brawl. Despite the fact I sent multiple emails to the web address firstname.lastname@example.org (come on, that's got to be him) Wedge clearly didn't listen and through 53 games the Indians are still brawl-less.
No worries though, because today I have a new million dollar plan to turn the 2008 Indians into division winners. This one is a bit more elaborate than a simple fight. It will involve Akron Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh, Larry Dolan, and a copy of the script for Major League: Back to the Minors. That's right, the 3rd Major League movie--the one nobody in Cleveland likes to talk about or even acknowledge that stars Scott Bakula in one of his first post-Quantum Leap roles.
Anyway, Larry Dolan and Mike Sarbaugh will need to work together on this one. The end result will hopefully be a new attitude/outlook for the Indians both on and off the field. It will start with Dolan inviting the two managers to join him for a night out on the town. The three of them will enjoy drinks and finely prepared steaks at Morton's while chatting up old baseball stories and discussing Travis Hafner's face configuration. Then, when the dinner is winding down and both Sarbaugh and Dolan have loosened Wedge up real good, the plan will go into action. Sarbaugh will begin to tell Wedge what he would do differently if he were the manager of the Indians. He will go on and on about having a consistent everyday lineup, how to better utilize the pitching staff, ect. Wedge will become annoyed and eventually interrupt -- "well, Mike there's a reason I am up here in the big show and you are still coaching kids in Akron." Then its time for Sarbaugh's line, the line he must rehearse 100 times before this historic dinner even takes place:
"Listen Wedge, my guys verses your guys, anytime, anywhere."
After some initial wavering, the game will be arranged. The two teams will play an exhibition match in Cleveland with local television and radio coverage. The key to all of this is that Sarbaugh will be instructed by Dolan to throw the game and let the Indians slaughter his Aeros. A cash bonus will also be included if the Aeros are able to somehow allow a Victor Martinez home run. Meanwhile, Eric Wedge and the Indians (who are not aware the fix is in) will not only experience a victory, they will go through a total reevaluation of their lives, their existence, and what it means to play major league baseball -- thus sparking the turnaround that will win propel them to the top of the division. The defeated Akron Aeros on the other hand -- well who really gives a shit about them -- I root for the Indians and I want them to win this year.
And if for some reason Wedge doesn't agree to participate in this game, I say we just ship the Akron Aeros up to Cleveland for a game against the Tigers this summer while the Indians sit in the stands. I think that would get the message across just the same.