Tribe fans run gamut of emotions
From disappointment to hope, fans reflect on Sabathia trade
Plenty, general manager Mark Shapiro said. Just look at the turnarounds the White Sox and Twins have pulled after disappointing 2007 campaigns. "It was not long ago, obviously, that we were on our way to 96 wins, and the bulk of that talent is still here," Shapiro said. "It hasn't just all gone south at the same time. It may feel that way in this moment, because of the emotion, because of the competitiveness we all feel and the frustration we all feel for where we are. "Good times are coming ahead, and I firmly feel that this team has a chance to come right back next year and compete for the division." For now, though, as the Tribe sits a season-high 14 games back in the AL Central, all that can hold some fans over are their favorite memories of Sabathia. Working at a different clothing store, Tolliver had the opportunity to meet Sabathia and his wife, Amber, while the couple was on a shopping trip. Since then, Tolliver has been more impressed with Sabathia's character than his 97-mph fastball. "He was a gentleman the whole time," Tolliver said. "That's important when you reach the status he has achieved." And while Sabathia may not have won the fans over as much as Vizquel did, O'Malley certainly doesn't see fans booing the hefty lefty as they have for Ramirez and Thome. "He'll get cheered," O'Malley said, "because everyone knew he'd be out of here at the end of the season anyway." But maybe his days as an Indian aren't completely over. In a press conference Monday at Progressive Field, Shapiro did not rule out the possibility of pursuing Sabathia in the free-agent market this coming off-season. That didn't go unnoticed by Strongsville resident Sue Naumann. "Shapiro is very intelligent," Naumann said. "And, I don't know if I was the only one, but I saw something working there that we might be able to get him back. "Who knows? Crazier things have happened."
Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for MLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.