Cleveland fans have no illusions about their team history. The Indians were the doormat of the American League for decades. Flashes of greatness came and went, with nothing substantial to show for it. Happily, the fortunes changed in the decade of the 90’s. With the opening of a new stadium and new ownership breathing new life into the tired franchise, the Indians fans time had finally come. Well as with most things in life, all good things come to an end, and the Indians were in the crapper once again. Today’s book shows how the Indians took on a plan to rebuild again in hopes of finding new success on the field.
Terry Pluto loves his Indians. Being a home-grown Cleveland guy, he has taken on the Indians a few different times in his books and always produced quality, insightful results. Pluto’s newest topic is the rebuilding of the Indians after their success of the late 90’s and eventual decline due to the normal baseball shift of power. This book discusses ownership, players, management, the stadium and everything in between that has contributed to the downfall of the Cleveland Indians.
You can always tell through his writings that Terry Pluto is a homegrown Cleveland guy. That being said, it does not seem to have a negative effect on his work. You can see an intense passion towards the city and the team, as well as his personal caring about them. What it doesn’t do is incorporate any sort of bias about the team. He is quite honest in his assessments of the moves the Tribe has made and the final results of such moves. He is honest in his assessments of the players and management and the future plans of the team.
The most interesting aspect of this entire book was his look at ownership change and the newness of Jacobs field wearing off. It is interesting to see how these two things have such a great effect on the team you see on the field. Change in ownership can usher in a change of culture that affects the entire team. It effects who makes what decisions and that can wreck all sorts of havoc for a team. Also when a stadium loses its newness, naturally attendance will drop if the product on the field is not all that good and that is another challenge a team then has to overcome. These are all things every team will face at one point or another, and it’s actually something my Phillies are going through currently. This book is a little dated and the Indians are really now on the second round of rebuilding but the same basic principles and problems are still applicable. At least this time around they seem to be heading in the right direction.
This is a very good book and will easily appeal to Indians fans. Some general baseball fans may have a little trouble getting into it, but should really give it a chance, because eventually your own team will be facing the same problems and doing the exact same thing.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Gray & Company Publishers